My German Itinerary - Need Advise

Jan 2nd, 2007, 11:04 AM
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My German Itinerary - Need Advise

As usual, I am looking for friendly advise/critisism of my planned itinerary. I haven't made any reservations (other than airfare), so I'm pretty open-minded.

This will be my first trip to Germany. I'll be arriving in Berlin in the early morning of February 3rd and leaving from Munich on February 11th, for a total of 8.5 days.

The current plan is to establish my base in Berlin for the first 4 days - 2 days of Berlin plus two day trips to Potsdam and Dresden. After 4 days, I'll fly to Munich, which will serve as my base for the next 4.5 days: 2+ days in Munich, plus day trips to Nuremberg and one (or two?) Ludwig castles. I also wanted to see Rothenburg, but don't see how I can fit it in, there being no direct train from Munich.

Thanks in advance.
EugeneNY is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 11:29 AM
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I haven't been to eastern Germany, but I can comment on your itinerary for southern Germany.

Regarding the Ludwig castles, I would do both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. They are close together and you can get combination tickets so that your tours are basically back to back with some time in between to get from one to the other. When we went, we made our reservations online so we didn't have to wait in the long line to get our tickets or wait a long time for our tour. If I remember correctly, we were there for about 4 or 5 hours, including some extra wandering around, like up to the Marienbruke to see the castle from the bridge behind it, and lunch. We had a car, but from what I understand, there is a convinient train from Munich to Fussen and then a bus to Hohenschwangau where the castles are.

We also went to Nuremberg, which was really cool. The train from Munich to Nuremberg was easy - direct train, although it was a regional rather than express, so it took awhile. If you can get an express, go for it. In Nuremberg, the castle and the old city are great. We were based in Nuremberg for a few days, so we took a day trip to Rothenberg - no direct routing though - we had to switch trains twice and it took about an hour or a little longer to get there from Nuremberg. Because of that, I think visiting Rothenberg may be too much of a stretch on this trip. I'd do a day trip to Nuremberg and leave it at that. You definitely don't want to shortchange Munich either, which is a terrific city.
J_Correa is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 11:59 AM
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Two days for Berlin is too, too short! I would stay all the time (8,5 days in one zone: or Berlin, or Munich, and make day trips.
For Berlin - I would say minimum 5 full days, plus one day Potsdam, and you can go also at Dresden (we visited it 30 years ago and even then, we loved it).

If you prefer Munich, you can spend there 3 days, then visit Salzburg, the castels Herrenchimsee, Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau and Linden, Garmisch, Oberamergau,Zugspitze, etc.
valtor is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for your replies.

J_Correa, I'm looking forward to visiting Nuremberg...looks like it's an hour or so by train from Munich.

Valtor, I will be flying into Berlin, so I may as well spend a few days there.
EugeneNY is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 01:55 PM
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Let me make a few suggestion that will save you time and money for the trip.

Instead of going Berlin-Dresden-Berlin-Munich-Nuernberg-Munich, go Berlin-Dresden-Nuernberg-Munich.

The trip from Dresden to Nuernberg can be made by train in 4-1/2 hours, and you will save the time and cost of Dresden to Berlin and Munich to Nuernberg. Time by regional train from Dresden to Nuernberg is 4-1/2 hours, faster than you can make it by air from downtown Berlin to downtown Munich, when you consider flight time, preboard time, and travel time to/from airports. If you go on one of the bi-hourly IREs (dep Dresden 10:25, 12:25, 14:25, & 16:25), the fare is only €46,30 pP.

Spend a couple of nights in Nuernberg, and while you are there, you can make a day trip to Rothenburg (about 1:15 each way, €13,80 RT with a VGN TagesTicket Plus ticket).

By the way, with the completion of the new high speed rail line between Nuernberg and Ingolstadt, the trip by direct regional train (RE) from Nuernberg to Munich now takes only 1:45. Trains leave every two hours at 7:10, 9:10, etc.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 02:11 PM
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Is there just one of you, or are you traveling with someone?
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 02:13 PM
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Neuschwanstein is one of those places that looks better from the outside than it does on the inside. One reason is because it was never finished.

Two days in Berlin? Enough to get your interest. Two days there is like 2 days in Paris, Rome, or London. Not sufficient other than to get a taste.

bob_brown is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 10:05 AM
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Again, thanks everyone for taking time to respond. My reason for establishing Berlin and Munich as bases was to avoid carrying my bags around. I guess I'll try to revisit my original itinerary and see if it makes more sense for me to just keep moving south from Berlin.

Larry, I'm traveling solo.
EugeneNY is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:07 AM
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I thought you might be solo. I asked because there is also a night train from Berlin to Nuernberg/Munich. However, since you are alone, unless you don't mind the possibility of sharing with one or more strangers, a single compartment is pretty expensive (€139 for a single compartment if you book ahead and get a SparNight fare).
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:33 AM
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Avoid carrying your "bags". Learn to pack light. I go to Germany for 2 weeks at a time with just one 15# carry-on bag. That's pretty easy to carry around.

I don't know about Dresden, but I would expect there to be luggage lockers and maybe a check room at the station. Go to for the layout of the station in Nuernberg. It shows lockers in two places, one on the platform opposite track 1.

What's carrying your bag a little bit more vs. saving 4 hours and over 100 EUR.?

As for the trip from Nuernberg to Munich, or for a trip from Munich to Nuernberg to Munich for that matter, you can use a Bayern Single Ticket (€19) which allows you unlimited rides on regional trains all day long (after 9 AM weekdays).

Larryincolorado is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:38 AM
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While Neuschwanstein was never fully completed inside, what was completed is very interesting indeed--at least it was to us. Some very fine craftsmanship to bring to reality some strange (and sometimes approaching bizarre) concepts.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:49 AM
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Don't miss out on Rothenburg - it's really a special place! Switching trains is not a big deal at all. Go there from Nuremberg. I am not into overly touristy things but I adored Rothenburg.
pepoling is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 09:38 PM
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To minimize the roundtrip train ride, I would suggest spending 3 nights in Berlin, then the last night in Dresden. Fly Air Berlin from Dresden to Nurenberg (6:20 am flight $55 on Jan 7). From Nurenberg you can take the train to Rothenburg then down to Munich. You'll save time & money by cutting back on the roundtrip fares.
DAX is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 10:35 PM
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Rothenburg has always been honeypot to foreign travellers in Germany. same as peopling, I m not so much into all too touristry places but i like Rothenburg.
well, i would say Fuessen, Rotehnburg and Salzburg can be consider to be fit into ur 4.5 days in Munich, thought i don't know how u can do all of these for 4.5 days, pretty hectic schedule ..u may check out for the train time to work out ur own itinerary
firedrago is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 02:11 AM
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R-burg is the single most popular destination in Germany..for Germans! and I think it is worth the effort to see it.

There is no "direct" train from any major city since you usually end up changing in Steinach but don't be put off by that.
Dukey is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 05:58 PM
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I almost agree with DAX, who repeated what I said earlier about saving time and money by not going back to Berlin and flying to Munich, but I would not recommend flying from Dresden to Nuernburg. First, the flight does not cost $55! With basic fare, taxes and fees, and fuel surcharge it will cost €87. Shame on you DAX. Include the cost of transportation to and from airports and it comes out to over €90.

Not including the time to get off the plane in Nuernberg, pick up your checked luggage, and find the S-Bahn station, flying will take at least 3 1/4 hrs. Plus you have to be at the Hbf in Dresden at 4 AM. The fastest train (ICE) takes less than 4 1/2 hours and costs only €67, but I would recommend the IRE for €46 and less than 5 hours. You have a much better choice with the train. There are hourly ICE connections and IRE connections every two hours from 10:25 to 16:25.

Larryincolorado is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 06:03 PM
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As Dukey said, there is no direct train connection from any major city to Rothenburg. The only train to Rothenburg is an hourly shuttle from Steinach. But, not to worry. Steinach is a very small station (5 tracks). Most trains come in on tracks 1 or 2, and the train to Rothenburg leaves on track 5. Almost everyone getting off the through train will be going to Rothenburg, so just follow the crowd.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 08:32 AM
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Thanks, this is all extremely helpfu. I'll try to come up with a better defined itinerary over the weekend.
EugeneNY is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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I'm no German expert, but I did see luggage lockers at Dresden train station when I was there last summer, if that's any help to know.
Christina is online now  
Jan 5th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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>>I'm no German expert, but I did see luggage lockers at Dresden train station.

I think that makes you THE expert.

I really expected Dresden to have them. Since 911, I have had no problem finding luggage lockers at train stations in German (although I have only tried a couple of times). I have also written to several tourist offices about lockers in their station and have always been told they have them.
Larryincolorado is offline  

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