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How is this Christmas itinerary for Germany?

How is this Christmas itinerary for Germany?

Oct 16th, 2010, 12:18 AM
  #1  
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How is this Christmas itinerary for Germany?

Arrive Frankfurt late on Christmas Eve

Christmas Day, spend looking around Frankfurt city centre, perhaps join the walking tour.

26th Dec, train to Nuremberg, stay three nights, which will also include a side trip to Bamberg.

29th Dec, train to Berlin, stay with friends there. Hopefull this time will also include a couple of day trips out of Berlin. Any suggestions here?

Approx 7th Jan, fly to Vienna, for possibly 4 nights.

12th Jan, fly home.

What do you think? As a guide out of all these places, I've only been to Vienna before - really like it there, so definitely going back to lap it up again.

Thanks for your suggestions/recommendations in advance
nz101 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 12:29 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You are aware that the Christmas markets will be closed by then, aren't you? Things will be very quiet 24-26 Dec.

Berlin for New Year's Eve is a good idea. Great party there.

As for side trips, I'd play it by ear and decide depending on the weather. If it's nice winter weather with snow and sun I'd head for the Harz mountains, maybe do a steam train trip up to Mt. Brocken (requires very early start in Berlin), but at least see Wernigerode or Quedlinburg, the most beautiful towns famous for timber-framed houses.

Otherwise good options are always Potsdam with the castle(s) and gardens, the Dutch quarter and Russian colony; Dresden (great museums) or Leipzig.
Ingo is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 12:55 AM
  #3  
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Yes I know, its a shame the markets will be closed by then, but it can't be helped with my arrival date. I've heard that there is one market though in Berlin that runs through until about 6th Jan, not sure whether this is true.

Will definitely look into Werringerode - not heard of this town before. I'm very keen to see lots of timber framed buildings . Haven't heard about Mt Brocken either, so thanks for that information.

Have already looked up photos of Quedlinburg and it looks absolutely gorgeous.

Yeah, all I need is a bit of fine weather when I am there, hope it won't be too bad !!!
nz101 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 01:18 AM
  #4  
 
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I have a page about Wernigerode on Virtualtourist which is quite informative and up-to-date as I stayed there this year in spring. Here is the link: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/4166c/1f9e/

There you'd also find pages on Schierke/Harz mountains (small page), Leipzig (a lot of info), Dresden (in urgent need of an update ...).

Can be that a "Christmas" market in Berlin is still open then. It won't be a real Christmas market, though, it's rather Glühwein drinking and Currywurst eating ...
Ingo is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 02:05 AM
  #5  
 
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Berlin keeps a couple of Christmas markets (not all of them) open until New Year's (for example Gendarmenmarkt which is upscale and very atmospheric, and the one around Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche) so you can have a look at those and taste a Glühwein. The atmosphere just isn't the same any more, though.

Quedlinburg and Wernigerode are herewith recommended again. Pick a good weather day. If there is snow, even better.

If you want to visit another city, Leipzig is a good option that can be reached in an hour or so. Here is my Virtualtourist page on Leipzig: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/f86bd/a548/ - but Ingo has a better one than mine ;-)
quokka is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 04:26 AM
  #6  
 
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I would suggest that you stay a bit longer in the Frankfurt area before moving on.

Though the 26th is still a down day for many, you can tour Marksburg Castle, the only never-destroyed, tourable castle on the Rhine, in Braubach to the northeast. Catch a train north along the east bank of the Rhine for a scenic route: www.marksburg.de

On the 27th, the Speyer Christmas Market (Speyer is south of Frankfurt on the Rhine) reopens and runs from 11:00 to 9 pm: http://www.speyer.de/de/tourist/fest...ch_language=en
Russ is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 11:58 AM
  #7  
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Thanks so much everyone. Ingo and Quokka, I've read both your reports and viewed the photos. While Leipzig looks great, I think Werringerode is more my cup of tea, I really love the smaller towns, castles on the hill, timber houses, crooked lanes, etc. I've had a look on the bahn site for trains and was a little shocked at the price of tickets and how long it takes from Berlin, about 3.5 hours minimum. Am wondering if I am being too ambitious to do this as a day trip?

Another question for you, if you had to make a choice between Werringerode and Quedlinburg, which would it be?

Russ, originally I decided that I was going to stay longer in Frankfurt and spend a day visiting a town or two along the Rhine, then I decided that it was probably best left for a nicer time of the year, but now you have me wondering again!!

Now I'm thinking perhaps I should leave out the Nuremberg part of the trip, extend the time in Frankfurt, and then perhaps spend some time in the Werringerode region on the way to Berlin. What does everyone think about that? After all one of the largest attractions for Nuremberg is the christmas markets, and I have no hope of seeing it, so should I be going there at all???
nz101 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 01:15 PM
  #8  
 
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I personally like Wernigerode better. I think the houses are more colourful. Granted, it is smaller, but you could not cover all of Quedlinburg in one day anyway.

Also, Wernigerode's setting is more beautiful. If the weather co-operates you can see the Brocken mountain. Definitely go up to the castle!

As for trains - yep, I told you to better start early! It's a slow connection ... if you take the 7.31 train to Magdeburg and then the Regional train to Wernigerode you'd arrive at 10.20 - and if you book a bit in advance (at least three days, better earlier) you can get the special fare of 19 Euro one way.

Or take only regional trains (approx. 3 hours one way) and use the Ländertickets for Berlin/Brandenburg and Sachsen-Anhalt.

Don't know about skipping Nürnberg/Bamberg - both are well worth to see. On the other hand, how about squeezing in Wernigerode on the way from Nürnberg to Berlin? Spend one night in Wernigerode and arrive a day later in Berlin (30 Dec)?
Ingo is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 02:54 PM
  #9  
 
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I like Nuremberg very much, but it's not necessarily a must-visit unless you have specific goals there.

I was at the Speyer Christmas market a few years ago, and though fairly small, it had the right ambiance, the right food and grog, really very nice overall.

If it were my trip, I'd head to Braubach (maybe via Koblenz so you can drop bags in a locker - none in Braubach) on the 26th early, see Marksburg and enjoy the ride through the Rhine Valley down to Mainz, a good larger town to overnight in, and visit the old town area around the Dom there if the weather is decent. Then on the 27th, head down to Speyer for the Market and a look-around, and then head east for Würzburg for 2-3 nights. It's a city of decent size on par with Mainz, not as far to travel to as Nuremberg, and it's easy to daytrip from there to Bamberg, Nuremberg, or Rothenburg (had you considered Rothenburg? It's pretty special.)

I found Wernigerode pleasant and mildly interesting but not fascinating.
Russ is offline  

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