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Itinerary help - Alsace and Germany - 14 days

Itinerary help - Alsace and Germany - 14 days

Sep 11th, 2017, 12:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 2
Itinerary help - Alsace and Germany - 14 days

My boyfriend and I are planning a trip for late March/early April for 14 days (excludes travel days) for his 30th birthday. We are planning to fly into Frankfurt and out of Munich. We want to visit Alsace as well as Germany (would love to see Austria as well, but don't think there is time). We love wine, food, scenic views/hikes and more quaint villages. We have done some research and have these cities/locations in mind:
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber
- Baden-Baden
- Strasbourg
- Ribeauvillé
- Riquewihr
- Colmar
- Freiburg
- Lake Constance
- Füssen
- Ettal
- Mittenwald
- Hallstatt and Salzburg in Austria if possible
Can someone advise on an itinerary? Specifically what city our base should be in Alsace (thinking three days), where to go around Lake Constance, and general insight on the locations above? I would prefer choosing a few cities to base in and make day trips from. Also wondering if you would suggest traveling by train or renting a car.
Thank you in advance!!
cgrenemeier is offline  
Sep 11th, 2017, 01:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,473
Also wondering if you would suggest traveling by train or renting a car.>

Though trains and buses from train stations could take you to all those places. But in 14 days you will have to cut a bit or a lot - figure travel time in between places. narrow down geograhpic scope a bit - and car could be sweet - anyway for lots on trains check www.bahn.de/en - German Rail's online schedule for all European trains and fares for ones involving Germany; www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Colmar would be a great base for your Alsace plans.

Rothenburg and Austria are outliers - cut them and you have a doable but still rather hurried itinerary.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 11th, 2017, 02:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,266
I would definitely recommend a car for the Alsace region. We based ourselves in Obernai and took day trips to the nearby towns. I would also recommend Haut Konigsberg..a fantastic castle. Plan to have lunch there..fantastic!
michele_d is offline  
Sep 11th, 2017, 09:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi cgrenemeier,

I've spent time in Baden-Baden (4 nights), Freiburg (3 nights, wish it had been more), Lake Constance (Lindau, 3 nights), and Rothenburg od Tauber, all without a car. I live in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and I don't have a car.

I was easily able to get out & about and see things and go hiking. The Black Forest (particularly around Freiburg) has excellent train & bus connections. I spent about 4 nights in Schluchsee, without a car, and I got around the area very nicely and did some hiking.

And I can tell you that you don't need a car in this part of Bavaria at all. Fuessen, Ettal, & Mittenwald are all nicely linked to Garmisch by train or bus.

You can check the frequency of transport using the German rail system at


I'll also add that using trains & buses is far more enjoyable to me than being stuck inside a private bubble. I get to do some world-class people-watching, and everyone can sit back and enjoy the views instead of focusing on the road or a map.

Also, of course, using the rails is far more green (yaaaay!). We're seeing some damage from climate change here as our winters get shorter & shorter and warmer & warmer. The ski season has been dramatically reduced, and scientists say that the Bavarian glaciers will be gone in about 20 years.

Since public transport is a good option, it seems a shame not to take advantage of it (I know that's not true for some of Europe and most of the USA). You may be really happy to help keep this area beautiful, after coming so far to see it.

Have fun as you plan!

swandav2000 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2017, 05:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,473
With just 14 days that leaves little time for driving thru neat rural areas on side roads impractical so yes take trains between bases - or slash itinerary and say do leisurely drives thru Black Forest and perhaps Alpine Road Constance to Fussen, etc and of course along Alsace wine road.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 12th, 2017, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,473
I would definitely recommend a car for the Alsace region. We based ourselves in Obernai and took day trips to the nearby towns.>

Yes better but if basing in Colmar there are public buses going to nearby wine towns too and also of course guided tours.

If there several days rent a car - just a few days maybe not unless you are driving to other places like Germany.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 02:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 903
We have been to Germany numerous times and find that using a car is best. You can stop when you want to stop and start when you want to start. The roads are generally better that the U.S.

Rothenburg is a favorite stop of ours for years. We like the Reichs Kuchenmesiter Hotel.

We are going to Alsace area in two weeks. I will be able to let you know more about that area soon as we are doing 12 days by car prior to getting on river boat in Basel.

You need to weed down your itinerary somewhat. You may have too much packed in for a limited time. If you fly out of Munich with an afternoon flight it is not too hard to get up in Mittenwald and drive to the Munich airport. We have done that from Garmisch a few times and you do not waste your last night in an airport hotel.
traveldawg is offline  
Sep 14th, 2017, 03:43 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,349
Thanks for posting your qns...I looked up a few of the towns in your itinerary...gorgeous ... this may be a possible trip for us in the future!!
mnag is offline  
Sep 14th, 2017, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1
I flew to Zurich last summer and rode bikes up the Rhine to Strasbourg with my daughter. We used a car, and if I were you would definitely drive.

Zurich: jumped off Walchebrucke bridge and floated the river
Rode bikes to and around the lake at Maur/Greifensee, Switzerland
Hotel Haum in Konstanz
Library at St. Galen
Drove from falls up into Black Forest and discovered beautiful scenery and friendly Bavarians; stayed in a funky, hipster place in Hasel, Germany: Landgasthof Erdmannshöhle: don't miss the "Shepards pie"; great breakfast' very friendly staff.
Vitra outside Basel: world class (do the tour and the slide!)
Boat crossing in Basel
Alter piece of Cologne: a must
Stayed in Barr, south of Strasbourg HIGHLY RECOMMEND TWO PLACES THERE:
Caveau Folie Marco: awesome Alsacean cuisine and wine in an old wine cave in Barr
Les Hortensias Hotel in Barr: great pool; on edge of vineyards; very nice winery right up the street; short Walk to Caveau
Grab an early am cafe and drive from Barr to Mont St Odile to catch the sunrise and see the Chapel of tears. Great view of Rhine Valley, Freiburg.
We stayed in Strasbourg two nights: walked up to top of Cathedral, took a wine tour.
DEFINITELY catch the Cathedral light show while sipping a great wine on a sidewalk cafe. A highlight.
Then flew Stuttgart to Berlin: spent a week in Berlin. Not disappointed. We had city bikes and rode everywhere. Perfect.
kmbmitts is offline  

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