one week in Germany

Old Nov 12th, 2005, 01:35 PM
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one week in Germany

I am traveling to Germany Dec 17-25th. Any ideas for a one week itinerary. I am landing in Berlin and want to go to Cologne, Munich, and Dresden with a stop in Nuremburg. Also, do I need to make train reservations for ICE travel between Berlin, Cologne and Munich? I will probably travel late at night.
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Old Nov 12th, 2005, 02:00 PM
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Sounds a lot like this itinerary...

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34704159

Perhaps with the same purpose?

Seriously, though... I am not trying to make fun of a new registrant, but your idea of five (far-flung) destinations in Germany in eight (six?) days is likely to draw ridicule here, rather than helpful advice.

There is a "culture" rather engrained in the "community" here, that looks sneeringly at an itinerary in virtually constant motion, as you seem to want to do.

Are you planning to travel solo? Have you been to Europe before? Is the air travel to get to/from Germany already purchased?

At a minimum, i would persuade you to omit Cologne - - and pretty much any detination west of a line from Berlin to Munich.

Welcome to the forum. Hope you have time this weekend to get out to a library or bookstore for a good quality map of Germany and (one or more) comprehensive guidebook(s) about Germany. The intrnet is often a poor substitute for reading when you are at the earliest stages of planning a skeleton framework to a country (especially if you have never been to that country before).

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Nov 12th, 2005, 02:05 PM
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I cannot agree more with Rex.

Skip Cologne - it is too far out of the way. Berlin - Dresden - Nuremberg - Munich is the logical route.

Not sure what you mean with "travel late at night".

reservations for ICE trains are not necessary IMO. I am sure you'll find a seat.
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Old Nov 12th, 2005, 02:33 PM
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Keep in mind it's close to christmas. 22./23. without a reservation, you might end up standing. The 24. trains are "almost empty". No, snow in Munich on Christmas eve is rather unlikely. When I was a child we always had lots of snow, but things have changed over here.
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Old Nov 12th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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I would do 3-4 in Berlin and split the rest between Dresden and Nuremberg and call it done. Nuremberg is unbelieveable at Christmas, so go there last or you'll not want to leave it save for your flight home. Visit Munich at a warm time of year when you can get out and really enjoy the mountains and the countryside nearby.
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Old Nov 12th, 2005, 06:41 PM
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I've built a sample Berlin-Dresden-Munich itinerary for you on EuropeTracker:

http://www.europetracker.com/reportdemo.php?trip=398

Trip assumptions:
1. Fly open jaws to Berlin/from Munich for $650 (this price may be optimistic for holiday season)
2. Spend 3 nights in Berlin, then a short train to Dresden and 1 night there
3. Take the CityNightLine (www.citynightline.ch) night train with a couchette directly to Munich. I've used $99 but if you book very soon you can get the couchette for $39.
4. Overall expense level is Tourist Low (2-3* budget hotels) but you could do the trip for much less than the current total (€1435 or $1720) on a backpacker budget.

That is still a pretty ambitious trip, but it allows you to see three of Germany's jewels. Forget about Cologne and other points west if you only have 8 days. Save the Rhine valley for later.

It skips over Nuremberg, but since it is only 2 hrs from Munich, you could work that in as a day trip (figure about 75€ round trip for 2nd class train).

You could take the CNL train from Dresden to Nuremberg but it arrives there at 3:30 in the morning which is not very convenient and would leave you very tired for a whole day.

Good luck.

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Old Nov 13th, 2005, 01:00 PM
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Thanks to all. It is a family trip, wife and two children college age. Even though it is winter, we do want to go to Munich and spend one of our days there visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle.
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Old Nov 13th, 2005, 01:10 PM
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More infomation for Rex. Yes, I have purchased airfare. Flying in and out of Berlin-Tegel. Family and I will spend Dec23-25 with family of former exchange student who lives in Neumark. I also purchased two twin railpasses( yes I did use www.railpass.com).
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Old Nov 13th, 2005, 01:26 PM
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I can recommend Hotel Condor in Munich and Hotel Buchholz in Cologne as very nice places to stay within walking distance of the main stations. (Small rooms but terrific German hospitality).

We flew from Munich to Cologne because there was a fare war going on and we caught seats just as the fare went down to $0.00 (that's not a misprint!). I think regular fare is 50 or 60 Euros on many days.
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Old Nov 14th, 2005, 10:51 AM
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gatordad--Another 2 cents worth. Sso you have to be in Neumark Dec. 23-25. That leaves Dec. 17 or 18 through Dec. 22--5 or 6 days--for the rest of your trip.

With only 5 or 6 days, I would eliminate either Cologne or Munich (actually both).

If you arrive in Berlin on the 17th, I'd spend the nights of the 17th and 18th there. Take a train the night of the 19th to Munich (since you indicate it is a must-see). Spend the 20th and 21st in Munich with a daytrip to see Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau (or Neuscwanstein and Linderhof) castles.

Evening or early morning train to Nuernberg. Spend the 22nd in Nuernberg for the usual sights and the huge Christmas market.

Then off to Neumark.

If were really doing this trip, I'd skip Cologne/Munich and visit Dresden, Nuernberg and perhaps a smaller city like Bamberg.
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Old Nov 15th, 2005, 07:31 PM
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I am willing to miss Munich if there are castles in closer areas to Dresden and Bamberg that rival Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles.
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Old Nov 16th, 2005, 01:29 AM
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Rivals Neuschwanstein in which way?

Please keep in mind that Neuschwanstein was built in the 19th century according to plans of a Munich Royal Court painter. It is a castle like the (relatively modern) people in the 19th century imagined a medieval castle had to look like. It is not really a medieval castle.

Around Dresden you can see a number of authentic (really old) castles like Albrechtsburg in Meissen (including the Gothic cathedral), castle Weesenstein, the Renaissance castle Lauenstein, fortress Königstein ... and some magnificent Baroque palaces like Moritzburg (on an artificial island), Rammenau.

Honestly, I believe that Dresden's riverside "skyline" is as fascinating as Neuschwanstein's location in the Alps - just different. Being in East Germany and not seeing the recently rededicated Frauenkirche, Zwinger, Semper Opera and one of the famous museums is a mistake. And especially spending Holy night at a Christmas service in either Frauenkirche or Kreuzkirche is a memorable experience. I personally will be in the Kreuzkirche as usual.

Beside all that, I think if you have only one week you should not spend much of your time on the trains - do not travel too far from Berlin.
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Old Nov 16th, 2005, 08:36 AM
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By all means take the sage advice of Ingo. We did last Dec. of 2004 on our advent tour of Germany and saved several days for Dresden and surrounding area. The Moritzburg Schloss, Pillnitz, Albrectsburg in Meissen ( and the Meissen porcelain factory and museum )and the Green Vault collection of treasures are vastly more stunning than Neuschanstein ( OK maybe not the setting) and I have not mentioned what there is in Dresden but Ingo has got it correct. This is a fabulous city and area so stop the train and see it. IMO Neuschwanstein is a big dud compared to so many other castles and palaces throughout Europe.
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Old Nov 16th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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>is a big dud
I couldn't agree more. You're not going to miss a lot if you skip Neuschwanstein!
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Old Nov 16th, 2005, 12:30 PM
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I disagree on Neuschwanstein. It is a magnificent confection born of a rather fevered mind. Just because it isn't 500 years old doesn't mean it is not interesting. And some of the rooms have some of the finest 19th century wood carvings in existence.

It's the history of the period and Neuschwanstein as an icon of the wretched excesses of the declining European monarchies that make it the most interesting to me.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 04:37 AM
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With that amount of time, I'd spend all the time not yet allocated in Berlin.
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