Lower Saxony Itinerary

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Sep 7th, 2018, 05:36 PM
  #1
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Lower Saxony Itinerary

My wife is traveling to Minden for a workshop next month, and we have decided to go as a family. We are flying in to Amsterdam on October 11th and leaving on the 18th (airfare was much cheaper to fly into AMS). We will either be renting a car or taking a train to Minden.

My wife will be in class the 12-17, and I plan to sightsee with our two kids (12 & 7) each day using Minden as our home base. Would like to get opinions on potential sites/itinerary. Also, I am comfortable driving oversees, would it be worth renting a car or should we rely on the train?

We have never been to Germany before and are excited to go. We are avid travelers and enjoy seeing more local, natural, and rural things in additon to notable sights other than only visiting major metropolitan areas.

The only request my kids have made is wanting to travel on the ICA on one day. Tempted to see how far we could travel in a long day to one of the major cities.

Please recommend places and potential itinerary.

Thanks in advance...
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Sep 7th, 2018, 05:57 PM
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You can travel along the beautiful Weser river valley. Some of the best spots are, Hameln (Pied Piper) Hoexter, amd Hannoversch Munden. 2:20 to drive the whole length

I can't recommend Quedlinburg, Wernigerode and Goslar enough. Quedlinburg is the farthest, at about a 2:20 drive from Minden. You have the Harz mountains right there, too. A car is probably necessary for this trio

Another possibility is Celle,a lovely town full of half-timbered buildings at about 1:22 from Minden, and Detmold, the closest place to Minden, of this lot

Muenster (cathedral) and Goettingen (nice university town), both at about 2 hours are more options.

Some of these may be better options if you take a train, but the Weser River Valley, in October would be awesome to drive
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Sep 7th, 2018, 08:03 PM
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I recommend Lüneburg: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1ByfEG
Michael is online now  
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Sep 8th, 2018, 01:51 AM
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In addition to what the others already said: Let me also add Hameln - and read the kids the tale of the Pied Piper.

Externsteine: https://www.externsteine-info.de/
Walsrode in the Lüneburg Heath has an excellent bird park: https://www.weltvogelpark.de/

A mix of some days by car and some days by train will probably suit you best.

"Ride the ICA" probably refers to the ICE train? They will want a fast route. The high-speed route with speed up to 300 kph is Cologne to Frankfurt. Another fast one is Hannover-Kassel-Fulda. This could be done as a loop via Frankfurt and Cologne, but that means a long day on rails. Cologne cathedral is, by the way, very conveniently located next to the central station. An hour between trains would allow a quick hop over to see it.
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Sep 8th, 2018, 07:42 AM
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If taking ICE trains - can do so from Amsterdam but they do not go full speed except on routes quokka mentions - book those far in advance - up to 3 months in advance I believe at www.bahn.de/en - German Railways - www.seat61.com has loads on doing that yourself online - general info European trains BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.
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Sep 8th, 2018, 01:43 PM
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Maybe on a day when mum has off they could take the Harzer Bahn steam train from Wenegerode near Muiden up the Harz Mountains - kids may love:

https://www.hsb-wr.de/en/mehr-erfahr...hmen/about-us/
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