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My south-west Germany itinerary is complete!

My south-west Germany itinerary is complete!

Oct 3rd, 1999, 09:37 AM
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My south-west Germany itinerary is complete!

Thank you to everyone who made suggestions and answered my often silly questions!

For anyone who is interested, I have posted my itinerary below. Wherever possible, I have chosen hotels and inns with a history or a story behind them. The principal motivation for this holiday is to visit castles and medieval towns & villages, which we wanted to do in the widest possible range of locations. I wanted to incorporate the city, the Alps, lake and forest scenery, romantic medieval towns and a river valley. If you see a glaring omission it might be because after long and careful consideration, I have left it off the itinerary because I have, for example, chosen an alternative similar location to visit.

15 Oct: Fly London Stansted to Munich on Lufthansa (they are offering excellent rates at the moment—we paid £80 including tax for each return ticket)

Stay 2 nights in Hotel Exquisit (in Pettenkofferstrasse, near Sendlinger Tor—I got a great weekend rate of DM195 through the German tourist office here in London). Visit Nymphenburg, Residenz, Victualienmarkt, pedestrian zone and whatever else time will allow. Suggestions for good, moderately priced restaurants would be most welcome!)

17 Oct: Pick up rental car & drive south, via Andechs (lunch) to Oberammergau. Stay 2 nights at Pension Dedlerhaus (former home of Rochus Dedler who composed the music for the 1811 Passion Play). Explore the town. Visit Garmisch-Part. & take cogwheel train up the Zugspitze. Visit Linderhof and Kloster Ettal.

19 Oct: Drive via Deutsche Alpenstrasse to Schwangau, (en route to Meersburg, next hotel stop). Visit Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau, plus Wieskirche. Continue to Meersburg. Stay 1 night at Gasthof zum Bären.

20 Oct: Spend morning visiting the castle.
Drive via Black Forest High Road to Gengenbach. Stay 2 nights in Hotel Sonne. Visit surrounding area, including the open air museum and the Triberg waterfall.

22 Oct: Drive to Neckarzimmern on the Neckar River. Stay 1 night at Burg Hornberg castle hotel. Possible trip to Bad Wimpfen in afternoon or following morning.

23 Oct: Two options: either leave car at hotel and take train to Heidelberg or drive to Heidelberg (which option is better?). Visit castle and old town. Return to hotel by train or car and set off for Rothenburg. (We aim to arrive by 6pm). Stay 2 nights at Hotel Reichs-Kuchenmeister.

25 Oct: Drive to Munich Airport, via Romantic Road (stopping along the route). Stay final night at Kempinski Airport hotel (again, we have an unmissable discount) before flying back to London.

I would appreciate any advice on good places to stop en route to break up the car journeys. We will be travelling on a combination of autobahns and B-roads, to make the most of the scenery, while minimising journey time as far as possible. Also good restaurant recommendations would be much appreciated!

If anyone thinks we are making a huge mistake with any of our travel plans, please let me know!

Thank you again to everyone who has made suggestions. I am so grateful to the people on this forum for sharing their experiences. Of course, I will share mine when we return!
Oct 3rd, 1999, 10:38 AM
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Zoe, Congrats---you have done your homework and have a great itinerary.
Be sure to take the night watchmans tour
at Rothenburg---it leaves from the main
square about dusk and well worth the time. Try to spend time in Dinkelsbuhl
on your way south from there. Have a
great time and report back.
Oct 4th, 1999, 01:45 AM
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Thanks Bob!

It has taken me a long time to finalise our plans--but I enjoy the research and planning almost as much as the trip itself!

We do plan to take the Night Watchman's Tour--hopefully on our first night, so we can get a sense of the town before we explore it the next day. And we will be stopping in Dinkelsbuhl on the drive back to the airport--we'll want to break up the journey. Nordlingen too, time permitting.
Oct 4th, 1999, 05:14 AM
dan woodlief
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Don't know exactly how close you will be, but if you get close to Freiburg it is worth a stop to see the Freiburg Munster (cathedral).
Oct 4th, 1999, 08:19 AM
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Zoe: A couple of things come to mind with your fine itinerary:

In Munich, have dinner at the Hofbrauhaus on the second floor and beer and pretzels downstairs in the beer hall. Touristy, but still fun.

The Wieskirche is on the way to Schwangau near Steingaden and worth the trip. Also visiingt Ettal on the way fro Garmisch to Oberammergau is a good idea. The basilica is gorgeous! Linderhof Castle is also right in the area. The cows are brought right thru "downtown" Garmisch at days' end and pretty neat to see if you are in the area.

If you don't mind heights, take the Zugspitzebahn cable car to the summit. The cog wheel train is either thru forest or in a tunnel and it is boring with little scenary.

Dinkelsbuhl was a disappointment for me. We were there in May and I found it to be uncharacteristically (for Germany) dirty, run down, noisy with loud cars, music, etc. Rothenburg is a tourist haven, but wins hands down. I have no intention of returning to Dinkelsbuhl. I've been to Rothenburg a dozen times and always seem to stop by on every trip.

Have a great time!
Oct 4th, 1999, 08:32 AM
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Zoe, I encourage you to drive to Bad Wimpfen. I was there in October two years ago for one afternoon and it was a delight. The drive along the Neckar River was gorgeous and bucolic, splendid fall weather, and the little town is a gem. A tiny perfect gem. Just walking around in it for a few years is a delight. I do hope you can fit it in. Enjoy!
Oct 4th, 1999, 08:33 AM
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OOps, talk about a Freudian slip. I should have written "walking around in it for a few HOURS" not years. Guess you can tell I wanted to stay longer!
Oct 5th, 1999, 03:20 AM
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Thanks to Kay, Lee and Dan,

A couple of questions in response:

1. Dan: do you think we'll have time to do Triberg (waterfall, Black Forest Museum & open air museum plus taking a look at the cuckoo clock shops) AND Freiburg in one day? How much time should we devote to each?

2. Kay: We are really keen to see Bad Wimpfen. How long do you think we should spend here? Our plan is to arrive at Burg Hornberg and enjoy the afternoon and evening there (after all, it is the nicest hotel on the trip!) and then do some sightseeing the following day before setting off for Rothenburg. Realistically, can we fit in a visit to both places before, say, 4pm? Or should we visit Bad Wimpfen the afternoon before? Also have you "taken the waters" there? I had a car crash earlier this year and injured my back and neck and it would be great to have a treatment!

Lee: thanks for your views on Dinkelsbuhl. We'll be passing through on the way back to Munich, so we'll see what it's like and decide if we want to stop or continue on our way! How long should we spend at Ettal / Linderhof?

Thanks again!
Oct 5th, 1999, 03:21 AM
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Kay, apologies: I meant to say can we fit in Bad W. and Heidelberg before 4pm in one day!
Oct 5th, 1999, 06:41 AM
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No, Bad W and Heidelburg are way too much for one day. The drive from H to Bad W is a few leisurely blissful hours and then spend, say, three hours in Bad W.

As for Heidelburg, I LOVED the castle area in fall, my favorite season. WE had to rush it because my husband was sick so we were only up there maybe 2 hours. The city below the castle is nice to walk around, say one hour.

Hope this helps. kk
Oct 5th, 1999, 10:56 AM
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Zoe: You can visit the basilica at Ettal in one or two hours. The church interior is very elaborate, but not very large.

Linderhof is not far and can be reached in maybe 30 minutes or less. It's a pleasant drive. Try to visit in the AM and you can see the castle interior and the grounds, including the grotto concert hall where Wagner played for King Ludwig. The fountains may be on as well. You can visit the castle in four hours as it is not large like Neuschwanstein.

Dinkelsbuhl is about 25 miles from Rothenburg. The town is a smallish version of Rothenburg, but without the influx of tourist dollars (Marks). Hence, it doesn't get the same attention from a cleanliness and upkeep standpoint. It could be a lovely little gem, so it's unfortunate. It reminds me of Swabisch Gmund near Stuttgart. Another town that could use some renovation, but with possibilities.

Enjoy your trip and have fun.
Oct 5th, 1999, 05:46 PM
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Lee - After what my wife spent on souvenirs in Dinkelsbuhl they should be able to erect a new wall!!! If you want to get Romantic Road souvenirs like hat pins, walking stick plaques, steins or ornaments buy them in Dinkelsbuhl instead of Rothenburg. Much cheaper. I also suggest hitting the local drug store (Apotheke) to pick up real cheap souvenirs like Fa soap and deodorants, beers, candy and tissues. I love buying the big packs of tissues cause once you get home it smells like Deutschland every time you blow your nose.
Oct 5th, 1999, 06:05 PM
dan woodlief
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I have not been to Triberg, so I can't speak for that area. For Freiburg, allow 1/2 hour for the interior of the cathedral, another 1/2 hour if you decide to climb the tower, an hour for wandering around the Munsterplatz, which surrounds the cathedral (more if you want to shop), and another 1 1/2 to 2 hours for a decent walking tour of the main tourist areas (all within a few blocks of the cathedral).
Oct 6th, 1999, 06:06 AM
Ken Horn
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Zoe- Sounds like a wonderful trip. My only advice is don't wear yourself out trying to see too much. It will still be there on your next trip.
In Munchen, there is a nice small inexpensive neighborhood resturant directly across the tram tracks close to the Exquisite at Sindlinger Tor as you head toward Marienplatz. Weather permitting there are tables outside under the trees. Stand at the tram stop facing away from Sindlinger Tor, look across the street, and you can't miss it. As I remember, they close Saturday evening and Sunday. The Victualienmarkt closes about noon on Saturday and is closed Sunday.
Also, I would drive to Heidelburg, park the car between old town and the castle, and walk. That way you don't have to waste time on getting to and from the Bahnhof and waiting for a train. Stop at the TI at the Bahnhof and get a map.
Have a great time and please report back. Ken Horn
Oct 6th, 1999, 07:12 AM
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Doug brings up a good point: those little out-of-the-way towns offer some great bargains on souvenirs and many of them locally made. This would be especially true in the Black Forest when looking for items and certainly cuckoo clocks.

My former landlord in Morfelden once told me that when a couple goes to Germany, you either you either bring back a baby or a cuckoo clock. Since my wife and I are 45, we didn't bring back the former on either of the last two trips.
Oct 6th, 1999, 09:23 AM
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Thanks again to everyone. I can't begin tell you how grateful I am for all the excellent advice and tips I have been given on this forum. Just over a week to go and I CAN'T WAIT!

I will be keeping a journal of the trip--as I always do--and will certainly report back.

Ken--is it easy to drive in Heidelberg then? If the journey by car is more scenic than the journey by train, we'll take the car!
Oct 7th, 1999, 06:42 AM
Ken Horn
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Zoe- Heidelberg is easy to drive in if you miss their rush hour AND they don't have some sort of festival going on. Oct 23 is a Saturday so you should be OK. If you are going to drive to Rothenburg and arrive before 6PM I would leave Heidelberg by 4:30 at the latest and take the Autobahn (South then East then North) to dodge all of the traffic on the narrower roads. Find the Bahnhof and pick up a map before heading to the castle and old town. As I remember, it is in the west part of town on the same side of the river (south side) as the castle. Have a good time and drive carefully.
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