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jarrelljl May 4th, 2004 03:51 PM

Need help with itinerary for 6-day trip to Germany
I am visiting Germany in July with my daughter. We arrive in Frankfurt on July 11 and depart from Frankfurt on July 16. This is my first trip to Europe and I was set to book a bus tour of the Romantic Road & Castles until I read comments posted here.

I am really interested in the Rhine - Mosel area, but there were no tours available. Would a 4 or 5 day train pass be best and just reserve the hotels in the cities I am interested in without going throught a travel agent?

How do I go about getting advance tickets to the places we want to tour?


TuckH May 4th, 2004 04:03 PM

This being your first Europe trip, I would think that the Romantische Strasse would be ideal for you. What were the comments that turned you off? I'm surprised.

jarrelljl May 4th, 2004 04:35 PM

There were a couple of messages that said that the bus trip would mean we would miss a lot that Germany would have to offer. With it being our first trip, I thought it would give us the chance to see some of the more interesting areas. We plan on a day trip to either the Rhine or Heidelberg when we first arrive.

The bus trip seemed to be the easiest way to see Germany.

mkdiebold May 4th, 2004 07:22 PM

The Mosel area is best seen by car. Driving up the river on one side and down river on the other side is a lovely trip. By car, it's easy to stop at a castle or two, and visit the small towns along the way. The same is true for the Romantic Road. It really isn't difficult to drive in Germany. Use for spot to spot directions. I'd arrange for a hotel the first and last night of my stay. Why not head to the Mosel first? Spend a couple of nights there and then head down the Romantic Road? What "advanced tickets" are you referring to?

jarrelljl May 5th, 2004 12:08 PM

Thank you for your responses. The advance tickets would be for the castles or if we were to take a boat ride on the Rhine.

Russ May 5th, 2004 12:43 PM

The 5 nights you have are just about right for a Rhine-Mosel tour. You can do this independently without buying stuff in advance - just book your rooms, that's all. And don't buy a railpass, which will cost upwards of $300 for two; you can ride the local trains every day for 6 days on daypasses for about 130 Euros total.

On 7/11, get a "Happy Weekend" (28 Euros for up to 5 people) ticket and head to the Rhine Gorge - Boppard or St. Goar are pleasant and convenient base towns - and spend 3 nights there. See the sights - Rheinfels Castle ruins (self-tour) in St. Goar, Marksburg Castle (tour) in Braubach on the east bank, and the pretty towns of Bacharach, Oberwesel, and Linz (just north of Koblenz.) You can do a boat cruise for a couple of hours too - anywhere beetween Boppard and is very scenic, with many castles and vineyards.

Then, spend a couple of nights on the Mosel. You won't have enough time to see all the places reachable by train. Trier, Cochem (best base town), Traben-Trarbach, and Burg Eltz Castle (tour, 1 hr. walk from Moselkern station) are all terrific.

Here's a site to peruse the Mosel towns:

On weekdays, buy a "Rheinland-Pfalz" ticket (daypass, 21 Euros for up to 5) to train from place to place. You'll need an additional ticket - about 3 Euros each - for the stretch between Mainz and FRA for your return to the airport since that leg is outside the area covered by the daypass.

You might like the vacation rental, where we stayed 3 nights last summer, with a view of the Rhine in St. Goar:

Singletail May 5th, 2004 12:50 PM

Forget about that comment about "missing a lot of what Germany [has] to offer" because unless you stay there for about a year you are bound to miss SOMETHING that "Germany has to offer." You can't do everyhting and, frankly, a lot of that Rhine stuff IS, IMO, some of the best stuff that Germany DOES have to offer.
I'm a great fan of rail passes use but I think Russ gives excellent advice re this particular trip.

Some people think Germany is about having a beer in Munich...I think you've hit on the perfect solution for a first visit. Have a great time.

tcreath May 5th, 2004 12:55 PM

Now I'm kind of concerned because this was kind of our dilemma as well. My husband and I are planning on going to Germany for about 4-5 days and then heading over to Switzerland for 5 days. We have been debating between the Rhine/Mosel areas and the Romantic Road. We decided to do the Romantic Road but do you think the Mosel area would be better? This is not our first trip to Germany but we've only been to Munich and it was as a day trip from Austria.


hopscotch May 5th, 2004 01:13 PM

Another opinion, which agrees with parts of the others, but may not meet your needs.

I've lived in Germany and have traveled all over the place. For your first visit of 4 days:
Take a Rhine (Rhein) River cruise.
See Koeln (Cologne), maybe Duesseldorf.
Go to the Mosel if you have time.

What the heck are "tours" anyway? Get a guidebook and do it yourself. If you graduated from high school you can do this. Trust me.

Advance tickets? For what? Buy your tickets in the train stations like all of the rest of us.

Get hotel reservations in hotel booking offices in train stations everywhere. Actually, I prefer to go out in the cities and find my own hotels.

tcreath May 5th, 2004 01:58 PM

Sorry, I should have mentioned in my post above that we are planning on traveling ourselves and not taking a tour. We will be renting a car regarding of which route we plan on taking. I'm not much of a tour person myself. Europe is much easier to navigate than a lot of people realize.


mkdiebold May 5th, 2004 05:23 PM

Be sure to enjoy the white wines of the Rhine/Mosel area. They have to be some of the world's absolute best! Bring some home! Fantastic!

RufusTFirefly May 5th, 2004 07:08 PM

Mmmmmmmm--Munich, beer.

chip May 8th, 2004 05:27 AM

Consider driving-very easy, once you get use to the road signs.

when touring Germany, we arrived in Frankfurt, picked up the rental and we were on our way...
we toured the Rhine Valley between Mainz and Koblenz, which many guide books described as the most scenic. We took a short Rhine cruise which was easy to pick up along the way (no advance needed). We also toured some castle ruins. We spent the night on the Mosel in Brehm (suggested by some German friends, but Cochem would also be nice). The next day you could tour Berg Eltz and more of the Mosel or Rhine area. Just FYI the Mosel and Rhine are quite different; we actually prefered the Mosel.

The rest of your trip you could spend on the Romantic Road with stays in Rothenburg(one night) and Fussen.
We are up early and out late...
that said, we were able to tour Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau, Wieskirche, and Linderhof in a day (Rick Steves' book has a very easy to follow loop drive for this!).

This gives you a great first look at Germany: Rhine/Mosel, Rothenburg/Romantic Road, castles.

mkdiebold May 8th, 2004 07:13 AM

Driving in Germany is easy but "different" from driving in the USA. In Germany, you navigate not by "east, west, north, south" but by what city you are heading. In other words, you need to know the names of the cities or towns inbetween where you are and your ultimate destination. All road signs will give you a list of cities and you'll need to "head in the direction" of that city. It's a system that requires a driver and a navigator! I used for making a personal booklet of directions.

Yes, Munich beer (and every beer in between) is on par with Rhine/Mosel wines!

hemant May 8th, 2004 05:20 PM

The German itinerary is very interesting.

Russ has mentioned the day tickets which work in a region. I am trying to figure out if one wants to do both Rhine/Mosel and the Bavaria (near Fussen) in 5-6 days, how would the travel between the regions work. Would it be very long journeys as I understant you are not allowed to use the fast trains. Or would car still be better. We are 4 people travelling together.

artstuff May 9th, 2004 06:01 AM

hemant -

The Lander-Tickets are available for travel only within the region (state) from Monday to Friday (for up to 5 people traveling together).

The Happy-Weekend-ticket is available for travel on Saturday or Sunday and can be used country wide.

If you want to travel from the Rheinland-Pfalz region to the Bavaria region, perhaps you can schedule it during the weekend. If traveling Monday-Friday, you could buy point-to-point tickets to get you from the border of Rheinland-Pfalz to the border of Bavaria. OR, since there are 4 of you traveling together, perhaps just buying Lander-tickets for the other regions that you are passing through might be more economical.

Check out the following websites for info on Lander-tickets, Happy-weekend tickets, and rail schedules (to get an idea of the length of travel and trains available).

Happy planning and traveling. Peace.


mikemo May 9th, 2004 07:46 AM

Some of my and other's comments may be redundant: The Moseltal, Rheintal and Rothenburg are wonderful. I always drive in Germany - rental MB's are a bargain and the small C180K does great with gas milage, autobahns and mountains. I especially like the Hot Jagdschloss Niederwald above Rudesheim for first or last night I/O of FRA.

omnius May 21st, 2004 02:27 AM

As an American living in Frankfurt, I can definitely recommend the Mosel and Rhine valleys. Of course, it depends on what you want, but the area is lovely, with more castles than you can shake a stick at and awesome wine. Definitely take in a wine tasting (check out for an example). Driving is the way to go. Some of the stuff (such as Burg Eltz, a real medieval castle, an absolute must) is only reachable by car. A possible itinerary would be Cologne, Mosel, Rhein valley, then down to, say, Heidelberg or even Tübingen (beautiful old university town south of Stuttgart). Munich is great but very expensive, plus it's a schlepp from Frankfurt (5 hours drive).

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