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Munich and environs vs. Florence and environs

Munich and environs vs. Florence and environs

Old Sep 7th, 2022, 02:28 PM
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Munich and environs vs. Florence and environs

Hi. Thanks to many of you, we will be flying from Tel Aviv to either Munich or Florence for an additional week, travelling 11/13 and flying back to the States 11/20. We are wondering if we should do Munich or Florence for that week. For each of them, which are the most memorable day trips? We are thinking Neuschwanstein, Dachau, Salzburg for Munich. [Another option is to split time between Munich and Salzburg with a visit to Vienna, then flying back home from Munich.] We are thinking Tuscany, Sienna, Cinque Terra for Florence and are open to more. Follow up question: for your recommended destination, would you recommend car or train for day trips? Thanks much! Mary
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Old Sep 8th, 2022, 10:17 AM
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Given that you have bier in your screen name, you should choose Munich - of course!

Looks like you have 7 nights to work with, so 6 full days. If you choose Munich, you can definitely make day trips from there - very easy to do by train - and very cheap with the Bayern day pass, which is good on all regional trains in Bavaria (and to Salzburg). I might split the trip and stay 1-2 nights in Salzburg. I don't think I'd go all the way to Vienna with that short of time though. It's possible, but would be too fast paced of a trip for my style. Neuschwanstein is easy to visit from Munich - train from Munich to Fuessen and then a bus out to the village where the castle is. Hohenschwangau castle is there too, which is also very much worth visiting (I enjoyed it more than N). The whole area is beautiful, including the town of Fuessen. Salzburg is also an easy trip by train - direct train, no changes. My favorite day trip from Munich was to the Andechs monastery - take the S-Bahn (Munich's suburban rail) to the Starnbergersee, which is a beautiful lake and worth a visit on it's own, then either walk, take a bus, or take a taxi to the monastery on the hill and enjoy some of the best beer anywhere in Germany.
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Old Sep 8th, 2022, 02:03 PM
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Thanks for the great Munich ideas. We are still in limbo. Anyone have Florence ideas? Thanks!
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Old Sep 8th, 2022, 04:27 PM
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Have you visited any places in Germany or Italy before?
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Old Sep 8th, 2022, 05:33 PM
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At the edge of Munich:

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Old Sep 9th, 2022, 07:43 AM
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I've been to both and I'd ask what your interests are and if you've been to either before. They're really very different destinations with different things on offer. If anyone in your party is into art, particularly the Renaissance, I would strongly recommend Florence. You could easily spend all of that week seeing art in Florence and Siena. From Florence, you could certainly see parts of Tuscany including Siena, but I think you really have a lot in and around Florence to even consider Cinque Terre, which is worth 2-3 days easily, not really a day trip. I spent 2 nights there and wish I had more. I could easily stay in Florence a week and not get bored with the art, history and food, plus a night in Siena, which is my favorite town in Italy for the Duomo and campo. If you have a car, maybe Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pisa (which I loved!), San Gimignano, Lucca, Volterra, Pienza. I've been to all of them on a cycling tour and loved them all. However I'm not sure what the weather will be in November and if they'll be as appetizing then.

In Munich I focused more on the history, saw the Residenz, many of the churches, the National Documentation Center (excellent history on the Nazi party, but LOTS of reading), Alte Pinakotek. I did a day trip from Munich via coach tour to Oberammergau, Neuschwanstein and Linderhof. I didn't think too much of Oberammergau but loved the castles. There wasn't enough time though to see Hohenschwangau which is literally right next door (or down the hill and across a parking lot) from Neuschwanstein. I wish I'd seen that. I'm not sure how easy Linderhof is to get to on your own but I really enjoyed that too, quite a contrast from Neuschwanstein, which I absolutely loved. It far exceeded my expectations.

I also did a day trip on my own by train from Munich to Salzburg, leaving very early, returning very late, and that was enough for me to see most everything I wanted in town. I don't know that I could have spent more time there. It is pretty but easily covered pretty quickly if you plan ahead.

I didn't visit Dachau from Munich, while I'd planned to, I was pretty mentally and emotionally exhausted from Auschwitz, which I'd visited on the same trip. Those are not easy visits to make.

I think you have two distinct options here, the decision really depends on what interests you more.
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Old Sep 9th, 2022, 04:15 PM
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Agree with Amy. Iíve done both trips a few times and they are very different.

because you said early November Iíd probably choose Florence as it wonít be awfully crowded and the weather wonít be terribly hot.

But if you are thinking beer gardens and castles then Ö thatís a horse of a different color.
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Old Sep 10th, 2022, 01:29 AM
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I've done both and, since I prefer Italy I'd choose Florence. The Tuscany region is wonderful but going in November the cities are going to be your main focus. They are nearly all very small, many walled, with lovely gems in little corners. The big drawers are Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Siena, Potenza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, St Gim, Volterra the last 6 require either a car or a coach/bus. If you want to stick to trains then there are a bunch of smaller walled cities with great castles and museums along lines between Lucca, Florence and Siena.

I've been to Tuscany four times and still have not done them all. Once in February which was a little harder but at least the crowds have gone.

In Munich as in all of Germany, watch out for cyclists who have absolute rights in cycle lanes and can ride on the pavement but don't need to have or use bicycle lanes. Keep your wits about you.
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Old Sep 10th, 2022, 02:02 AM
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Thought Michael's photos were Herrenchiemsee...

Last edited by swandav2000; Sep 10th, 2022 at 02:28 AM.
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