Itinerary Help - 7 Weeks in S. Germany

Old Jan 17th, 2007, 11:02 AM
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Itinerary Help - 7 Weeks in S. Germany

My family (2 adults, 2 kids (ages 6 & 8) will be taking our annual summer trip – usually about 6 weeks or more - to Southern Germany this year. I have been planning our itinerary and I would love some input. Since we travel for so long to a relatively small area/city, we usually spend like to spend a week or longer at a place to really soak it in. Also, we usually have only 1 or 2 things planned for a day so we don’t burn out the kids. Our current plan is to drive for most of the time with a 12 day stay in Munich at the end.

The adults like cathedrals, art museums, rococo architecture, castles, car museums and travel experiences (last year it was the Edinburgh fringe festival and military tattoo). The kids like amusement parks, bike rides if the area is flat, natural history and kids’ museums.

Here is our current itinerary:

Frankfurt Area (3 nights): We fly in here. We want to enjoy the sights and conquer jet lag. Possible sightseeing: Kaiserdom, Natural History Museum, Heinerfest, and the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz.

Heidelberg Area (6 nights): Big question here. Some tour books recommend skipping this entirely, while others say don’t miss it. Possible Sightseeing: Heidelberg Castle; Imperial Cathedral in Speyer; Dom St. Peters in Worms, a bonsai museum (a hobby of ours); Zum Roten Ochsen, a Heidelberg beer hall; Tripdrill Amusement Park; Holiday Amusement Park.

Rothenberg Area (6 nights): Rothenberg, day trip to Dinkelsbühl for Children’s parade, day trip to Wurzburg for Residenz;

Fussen Area (6 nights): Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau, Linderhof, Skyline Amusement Park, Kaltenberg Knight Tournament, Weis Church

Friedrichshafen Area (4 nights): Lake Rabbit Fest, Legoland (although we have one in CA), Rutenfest in Ravensburg, lake bike rides, Fritz Busch Car Museum;

Rust (2 nights): Europa Park followed by on long drive across country with a 1 night stay.

Berchdesgaden Area (6 nights): Salzburg, salt mines, Sound of Music tours, Konigsee, Herrenchiemsee

Munich Area (12 nights): Englisher Garten, Bike trips; Residenz, Schloss Nymphenburg, Summer Fest, Hofbrauhaus; Alte Pinakothek, Deutsches Museum, BMW Museum, Bavaria Filmstadt

The time we have is fixed so additional areas (Cologne, Mosel Valley, Stuttgart, Nurnberg) would reduce time planned in others. Is Heidelberg worth that much time? Are there any other recommended changes?

Other questions:
Best amusement parks for 6 & 8 year olds? The 8 year old loves roller coasters.

I tried to find certain fairs that seemed different. Are there others that I missed?

Any rococo architecture/interiors that should be added to the list above?

Best local auto rental ideas for a 35 rental with pickup in Frankfurt and drop off in Munich?

Are German beer halls acceptable for our kids’ ages, just as an experience?

Sorry for the long post.
baileytrips is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2007, 11:20 AM
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My Trip Report should be of some help to you...
TuckH is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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>beer halls acceptable for our kids’ ages
Generally no. Kids under 16 may enter though when accompanied by at least a parent. (btw. 16-18 means thay can stay until 10pm and drink beer).
If the kids like it, you should at least stay one afternoon in a public pool. You'll meet lots! of locals with kids and maybe get some insight into "summer life".
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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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With that sort of time, I really encourage you to explore some of the lesser-known areas of southern Germany (specifically southwestern Germany) including the Schwarzwald and Schwaebische Alb. I live in Stuttgart and have thoroughly enjoyed our explorations of Baden-Wuerttemberg. I would definitely encourage you to spend less time in Heidelberg and Rothenberg (these are really tourist-heavy areas, especially in summer) and possibly choose another base a little further south. Here is a very partial list of things to see as day trips from the Stuttgart area:

Burg Hohenzollern - spectacular hilltop castle, with a great restaurant (the tour is only in German, as far as I know, but still worth a visit!)

Schloss Lichtenstein - every child's dream castle, a little Lego castle perched on a cliff, accessible only via a drawbridge over a chasm!!

Bad Wimpfen - beautiful medieval town perched above the Neckar River with a tower watchman still living in the "Blue Tower"; many other castles nearby, including Burgs Guttenberg and Hornberg

Residenzschloss in Ludwigsburg - the German equivalent of Versailles, great English tour and gorgeous gardens.

Ulm's Cathedral - world's tallest cathedral spire, a fun hike up and great views.

Lots of scenic drives in the Schwaebische Alb and Donau River valley - if you can figure out a place to rent bikes, there are trails aplenty here.

A drive along the scenic high road through the Schwarzwald - there are many short hikes to waterfalls, lakes, and other scenic points. Triberg has a fun hike up along Germany's highest waterfall and cuckoo clocks galore. There's supposedly a very good amusement park in the Black Forest which I forget the name of, unfortunately. I hear Freiberg is also very nice but I haven't gotten there yet!

Tuebingen - a fun college town with a beautiful medieval district and lovely half-timbered houses perched along the river.

If you are interested in cars, might I suggest the brand-new Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart and the Audi Museum in Ingolstadt (north of Munich). I believe the BMW museum is still closed for renovations. Also near Munich, if you think your kids are ready for it, I highly recommend the Dachau Concentration Camp memorial.

On the Romantic Road, south of Rothenberg, I recommend Landsberg am Lech (lovely town on the river; we enjoyed Hotel Goggl) and Schloss Harburg (authentic medieval castle).

You mentioned the Mosel Valley - I prefer this area over Heidelberg by far; the scenery is gorgeous and Burg Eltz is amazing. I can vouch for the Hotel Haus Lipmann in Beilstein, highly recommended on this forum.

I'll stop there but that is just a taste of what this area has to offer!

hausfrau is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2007, 12:06 PM
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>very good amusement park in the Black Forest
I'm sure that's the Europa Park mentioned by baileytrips. It's rather big.
>Bavaria Filmstadt
I would skip that! I've been working there as a guide when I was a student. "Das Boot" is interesting, the rest is a waste of time.
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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Hi BT,

When you are around Berchtesgaden you might want to take a drive around the Salzkammergut area, and even overnight in Hallstatt, St Gilgen or other town.

ira is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2007, 02:40 PM
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What a neat trip - how cool that you and your family can spend to much time travelling every year. I love it.

A couple things that popped into my mind in reading your itierary:

In the Fussen area, just over the Austrian border is a town called Ruette and near there is a lake called the Plansee. The lake is very pretty and very clear and there are a few places to swim. We were there for a few hours and wished we had the whole day to hang out - it was sort of an accidental find on a day that we just got in the car and drove around We followed a road on the map that was marked as "scenic" between Oberamergau and Reutte. Lots of families at the lake picnicking, swimming, and having a good time.

Also neat Fussen is a summer tobagan run near the Tegelbahn up to the top of a mountain. Each ride on the tobagan costs a couple euro and it is a lot of fun.

In Munich, near the Schloss Nymphenberg is a terrific beer garden in a park called the Hirschgarten. We went back a few times because we liked the atmosphere so much. Our first visit was on a Sunday afternoon - we had just arrived in Germany and were looking for something low key that included food and beer and wasn't too far from our hotel - LOL. There was a little carnival in the park next to the beer garden which was fun. Also, the beer garden itself was filled with families and groups of friends out for an afternoon - everybody hanging out, having a good time, enjoying the nice weather. Very nice atmosphere. A lot of people had brought picnics - some quite elaborate.
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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 02:53 PM
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Don't miss the Technik Museum in Speyer. The kids will love it and it's right near the cathedral.
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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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>Don't miss the Technik Museum in Speyer.

There is also a big sea aquarium across on the Rhine.

In Sinzheim, about 40 km east, there is a second Technik Museum (second branch) with even better exposition - it's the only museum that has BOTH ever produced supersonic passenjer jets on display.
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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 03:18 PM
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Your kids are gonna love Berchtesgaden - the salt mine tour, a boat ride on Koenigsee, the summer bobsled run and miles and miles of hiking paths through pastures, over hills and mountains, past lakes and under towering pine trees. There's a nice toy store in the middle of town with lots of great Playmobil playsets and train stuff. Salzburg is about a half hour away. You'll find a couple of days worth of stuff in and around the environs. There's a nice mall just outside Salzberg. The kids would probably love taking the cogwheel train near St. Wolfgang or any of the cable cars nearby.

Berchtesgaden also has a nice water spa you can unwind at:
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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 04:37 PM
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Just a few suggestions...
On the way to Fussen, a nice place to stop is Andechs Monestary. Andechs has a gorgeous church and nice indoor/outdoor beer gardens. I see no concerns with kids here, as it seems to be tourist (not a bad thing in this case) and family friendly.

In Fussen, for a medieval dining experience, try dinner at Hotel Krone. Be sure to try the Honig wine!

There is a cable car and a luge ride (a blast) by Neuschwanstein.

For a day trip, head to Ehrwald, Austria for a trip to the top of the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mt. shared by Germany and Austria.

The Berchtesgaden area is beautiful! We stayed in Ramsau (15 min. from Berchtesgaden) and loved it.
A drive to Hallstatt, Austria took us about 1:30 each way and through quintessential Austrian lake and mountain scenery.

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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 11:41 PM
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Thank you for all the help. I am trying to incorporate some of the suggestions already.
baileytrips is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 12:52 AM
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I've been to Europa Park so much that I'm getting sick of it. My kids love it. Parents love it. The European theme is very quaint and the park is very clean. It will be crowded in the summer though. Schools out after first week of July. See if you can get there before that.

There are lots of hotels in the area but we usually stay at one of the three hotels in the park. Any one of them will do but you have to reserve ahead of time due to popular demand. Definitely visit the Colesseum hotel and have a drink there. It's has a beautiful inside court.

When you get to the park, go to the rides near the hotels. There are less people there in the morning.

Don't miss the gladiator show. It's very good.

Drinks are very expensive in the park. You might want to bring some water bottles.

I've never been to Legoland but friends have. They say it's quite good too and geared exactly towards your kids' ages.

I love Europa Park but this year we are planning a two-day bike ride around Bodensee.
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Old Jan 18th, 2007, 12:39 PM
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I know that I asked for help on amusement parks, but given that this will be in July and August, does anyone have any suggestions for water parks (slides, wave pools, etc.). I have now thought about public pools as suggested by logos999 for at least an afternoon each week, but the kids might also like a water park.

Thanks again for all your help.
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Old Jan 18th, 2007, 12:46 PM
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>any suggestions for water parks
There's a big one in Tölz, smaller in Kochel, Therme Erding is very nice too and there are many public pools in Munich. Basically any mid size town has one. The privately operated are rather expensive.
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Old Jan 18th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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