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Itinerary help needed Germany Switzerland Austria

Itinerary help needed Germany Switzerland Austria

Apr 28th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Itinerary help needed Germany Switzerland Austria

Heading to Europe in May. Flying to Frankfurt coming back through Vienna. Want to make best use of time in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Please offer suggestions. Will be with two kids ages 11-15. One boy and one girl. Easy hiking okay, nothing super difficult. Winery visits not likely. This is my first post, but I can tell there are lots of knowledgeable folks here!
bbqlover is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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Not easy to answer without knowing how many nights you'll have.

pja1 is online now  
Apr 28th, 2007, 10:06 AM
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What else have you planned on doing? Castles? Museums? Small villages? Big cities? Or is this just a hiking vacation?

How much time do you have?

Are you traveling by train or car?

And the trip is in May and you don;t have hotels yet? This could be a big issue of you're going to try to put 4 people in a room - since quads/family rooms are fairly rare - and are often reserved far in advanc.?
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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Welcome to the board.

May is not a big time for family travel, so finding quad or family rooms may not be a problem.

You might start by going to St. Goar (about 1.5 hours by train from Frankfurt airport) for the Schloss Rheinfels, a castle in ruins. The kids will love it. Hotel am Markt has quad rooms:


But we do need more feedback on plans (how much time, train or car, etc.) before an itinerary can be suggested.
enzian is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Sorry I left out some important info. We will have just short of three weeks, beginning May 25. We really want some great scenery, castles okay, but not the focus of the whole time. Would also like to see some lakes and just the amazing countrysides of these countries. Both kids love good bread, so we hope to find some excellent bakeries. I am sure it won't be too hard. We do have reservations in Vienna at the Radisson SAS Altstadt for three nights. Hopefully that will be a nice place. I realize I need to firm up plans everywhere. We do have a rental car arranged. Saw something about the Mosel valley and a suggestion for St. Goar. I will look into those. Please suggest your favorite places.
bbqlover is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 12:13 PM
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We did these countries as 3 separate 2-week trips. In Germany, we did Heidelberg, Freiburg (Black Forest area), Munich (& surrounding Bavaria), Rothenburg, and Berlin. We moved around quite a bit on that trip.

Next, we did the German speaking part of Switzerland: based ourselves for 8 days in an apt in Meiringen (which I highly recommend for a family) and covered the Berner Oberland area, places like Brienz, Lucerne, Grindelwald, Gimmelwald, Wengen, Jungfrauhoch, Bern we went to as day trips. Then we moved to Zermatt, again staying an apt for 3 days, finally back to the city of Zurich from which we flew home.

In Austria, we based ourselves in Vienna for 5 nights and saw Melk on a day trip (boat along the river); then moved to Zell am See for a week to see the Salzburg area, Innbruck, and the surrounding lakes area.

We didn't rent a car in any of these places, though we did have a friend who gave us a car tour of the Black Forest in Germany & we did a bus tour to Neuschwanstein, Oberammergau, etc, and in Salzburg we hired a driver for a private van tour for the lakes area. In Switzerland, the trains and boats go everywhere and are great fun. (FYI, children under 16 are free with a family pass, and the first class boat cabins on those lakes serve lovely meals with a view to die for).

Have a great trip (but I hope you have at least 6 weeks to do these beautiful places justice. The apartments we stayed in were absolutely perfectly located, fairly modest in cost (some 2 bedroom; 2 bath; others 2 bedroom, 1 bath). I may still have the info if you are interested.
victoria_reynolds is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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Your trips sound great! I would appreciate any info you still have. Thanks!
bbqlover is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 12:42 PM
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Ok---this is much better! Finding good bread will be no problem. If you want to focus on lakes and beautiful conuntryside, that's good to know. There is plenty of that in all three countries.

I suggested St. Goar as a first stop because the ruined castle there is supposed to be perfect to explore on your own, and the town sits right on the Rhein. From there you could proceed to the Mosel (via Koblenz) and head south.

It makes sense to stay in western Germany at this point if you are going to Switzerland and the Alps. You can combine Bavaria with your Austria tour.

In Switzerland, I would suggest a stop in Kandersteg, which has a beautiful alpine lake you reach by chairlift:


It would be worth leaving your car for a night and taking minimal luggage up to spend a night at the mountain hotel there. Evenings there are peaceful and magical.

The next valley over, the Gasterntal, is "wild and romantic"---meaning no villages. There are a couple of rustic hotels and restaurants, but otherwise it is uninhabited. It makes a beautiful place for a bike ride or a stroll (private cars are not allowed on the road in).

Other places in the region that would be more or less on your way east toward Austria would be Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Mürren (all close to one another, so pick one of the three), Grindelwald, Brienz (on a beautiful lake as mentioned by victoria_reynolds, and Luzern. There are some mountaintop hotels near Luzern that are supposed to be a great experience, and someone has mentioned a "ropes course" that kids love on Mt. Pilatus (also near Luzern).

From there, east to Austria, into Bavaria if you wish, then on to Salzburg and Vienna. I'm afraid I can't help with the Austria part.

There are so many beautiful places that it's going to be tough for you to make the choices. The temptation is to try to see too many different places. It's generally better to pick a couple of "bases" for each week and spent 3 or so nights in each rather than moving constantly.
enzian is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 01:04 PM
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We've never been north of Munich, so the Mosel, Rhine, etc. I don't know about.
Our favorite places...here goes...

On the way to Fussen...Andechs Monestary and the Wieskirche.!

Fussen is a very nice and picturesque old town. Easy to see Ludwig's Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castle's, Tegelgerg cable car and luge (alpine slide) and Ludwig's Linderhof Castle from here.

Mittenwald is a gorgeous village amidst the Alps. One of our favorites.
Easy to visit Garmisch, The Zugspitze, Ettal Monestary, Oberammergau and Ludwig's Linderhof Castle.

Berchtesgaden (we stayed in the village of Ramsau, beautiful)
Konigssee, Berchtesgaden, Salzburg, Ludwig's Herrenchiemsee Palace (castle).

Salzburg is beautiful also, plus it's an easy and very walkable city. We took a day trip through quintessential Austrian lake scenery to Hallstatt from here.

Switzerland...loved the Berner Oberland where we stayed in Wengen.

Luzern is a wonderful town with a lakeside setting. A boat ride on the lake is very nice and the nearby Swiss Transportation Museum was excellent.

Not on your list, but between Switzerland and Vienna, a trip through the Italian Dolomites is a possibility. Many nice towns and dramatic scenery along the way. Our favorite are Brixen/Bressanone, Sterzing/Vipitino. Just outside of Sterzing is Castle Reifenstein/Tasso.

This seems like a lot of info, but I hope it helps in someway.

pja1 is online now  
Apr 28th, 2007, 01:37 PM
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Envian and Paul, thank you for the additional info. Could you give more specific hotel suggestions in Kandersteg, Wengen, Mittenwald, Berchtesgarden, Lucern, or Salzburg. Actually, any great places you could recommend for a family would be appreciated. The cable car and boat ride on the lake sound great as well. Again, thanks for taking the time to post.
bbqlover is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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Paul, how far are the Italian dolomites from Switzerland- how much time to allow to get there and then to Salzburg area?
bbqlover is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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Hi again,
Depending on where you'll be in Switzerland, if you get a good map (we use Michelin maps from (Barnes and Noble) you can get to Salzburg from Switzerland via Italy. From say St. Moritz/Davos/Chur area, you could go through Val Mustair (Switz.) to Val Venosta (Italy) towards Meran/Merano, down to Bozen/Bolzano and back up towards either Val Gardena and/or Brixen/Bressanone (beautiful town!) and the Brenner Pass to the Innsbruck area. If you'r interested, I can give you info on places to stay and great castle's to visit (Churburg, Tirolo and Juval) and the small walled town of Glurns/Glorenzo in Val Venosta. All not far from Switzerland. Sorry if I went on too much here, love the area.

Actually, the Dolomites can be easily reached from Mittenwald and/or Innsbruck. Mittenwald is less than an hour from Innsbruck, and Innsbruck to Italy is 30 minutes. To the Dolomites (Val Gardena), another 45min. to an hour.

Places where we stayed and highly recommend:
Wengen - Hotel Eiger
Mittenwald - Pension Schwalbennestl
Ramsau (Berchtesgaden) - Mayringerlehen
Salzburg (we stayed outside of town 2 times) Gasthof zum Kirchenwirt
Pension Helmhof

For Val Venosta info:
For classic Dolomite scenery head to Val Gardena.
We stayed at Garni Ariston in St. Christina.
Hope I didn't go overboard with all this. I think I did though.

pja1 is online now  
Apr 28th, 2007, 05:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Hi once again,
If you're interested, here's a link to our recent photo's of some of the places I mentioned www.worldisround.com/home/pja1/index.html

To read our trip report, click on my "name" pja1 and it's about #86 I believe.

Paul (again)
pja1 is online now  
Apr 28th, 2007, 09:25 PM
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Paul-Thank you so much. I have inquired on rooms at several of the spots you recommended. I am getting so excited for our trip.
bbqlover is offline  

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