Paris to Strasbourg to Germany?

Old Oct 26th, 2007, 09:47 AM
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Paris to Strasbourg to Germany?

I am in the preliminary stages of planning a summer trip with my two children (ages 5 and 7) to France and Germany. It is their first trip to Europe.

I am thinking of flying to Paris, and spending 2 nights ( I know that is no time- but my husband and I have been there before- and want to focus on somewhere new). From there take the new high speed train to Strasbourg for 3 nights. After that I would like to head into Germany to see a castle on the Rhine.

Comments and suggestions wanted.

Should we rent a car in Strasbourg, or is there some type of rail or boat travel to take up the Rhine. How long is that trip.

Thank you!!!!!
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 09:51 AM
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Rhine boats www.k-d.com
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 10:42 AM
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Renting a car is always a good idea if you want to explore the area, and driving is easy on both sides of the border.

Don't forget that you must return the rental car in the same country that you took it, unless you are not afraid of tremendous international drop-off charges.
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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Your kids are a little too young, but you might be interested in the drive North from Strasbourg. You'll pass remnants of the Maginot Line as well as lots of vestiges from WWI and WWII battles. When you see the rolling hills of the area you'll understand why so many armies easily marched through here to invade their neighbors.
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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There are literally dozens of castles along the Rhine, so it's worth doing a little research beforehand to figure out what you want to see.

For kids I highly recommend Burg Pfalz, which is an impressive small fortress on an island in the middle of the river near Oberwesel. You take a boat out to the castle (I believe from the town of Kaub on the eastern shore) and there is a self-guided tour. It's a great place for kids to roam around (no fancy furnishings) and get a very hands-on look at an authentic castle.

Lots of people rave about the Rhine cruises but I personally prefer to travel by car, because you can stop whenever you want. (Young kids might get antsy on a boat.) You could spend anywhere from one to several days driving along the river from Koblenz to Mainz or vice versa, visiting a variety of castles and towns along the way.
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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or several days driving and drinking the local wine!
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 11:57 AM
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Agree that a car is the best way to travel on the Rhine in my opinion.

If your budget can handle it, you might want to look into staying at the Auf Schoenburg Castle Hotel in Oberwesel on the Rhine. Great place and the kids should get a kick out of staying in a castle.

http://www.flyhahn.com/cities/oberwesel/index.htm

http://www.burghotel-schoenburg.de/
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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Oh yes, how could I forget to mention the Hotel auf Schoenburg? We just spent a fabulous night there. WOW. I've stayed in several castle hotels in Germany and this was the best yet. It deserves all the rave reviews it gets on Trip Advisor. We had the Falkon Suite and it has a roll-out bed built into the eaves in the sitting room, which just might work for your kids (and makes it more affordable).
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Hausfrau, we stayed there in 2002 and the room rate was 132E or about US$130 back then. I don't think I could afford it now that the rates have gone up and the dollar has gone down so much!!

It truly was a very special part of our trip though. We also had a lovely meal in their restaurant and a drink out on the terrace with those amazing views!
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 04:45 AM
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Thanks for all of the input. If we only have 7 nights, and we do two in Paris- would you suggest 2 or three in Strasbourg? The remaining nights would be exploring the Rhine (and/ or Mosel).

Have you been to Colmar, France? Is that worth a night- or is it similar to Strasbourg? I don't want to make it too hectic of a trip.

Thank you!
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 04:46 AM
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Sorry I forgot to add: Any recommendations for accomodations in Strasbourg?
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 05:23 AM
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The drop fees on rental cars can be high, but sometimes if you shop around you can find a deal. Check to see if your employers travel dept has a rental car agreement taht you can use for personal travel - sometimes drop fees are excluded. Also, try AAA or any other affiliations. Typical fee can be 155EU between Paris and Germany. My view is that the experiance of driving makes it worth it. Word of advice, don't get your car at the airport when you arrive in Paris. You won't need it until you leave the city. Hertz has a very easy pick up location at the Louvre parking garage (carousel) and it's a fairly straight shot out of the city.
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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Another variation would be to rent a car only for the time after Paris and Strasbourg. You won't need a car in Paris, and the TGV will take you faster to Strasbourg (and you'd have to pay toll for the motorway).

When you rent in Strasbourg and drop off at the airport in Paris, you won't have to pay internation drop-off charges.

You will be more flexible with a car once you have seen Paris and Strasbourg, and can also adjust your itineraries. The Black Forest, the car museums of Porsche and Mercedes in Stuttgart, and the upper rhine valley (Freiburg, Basel) offer last-minute alternatives if the weather in the middle rhine valley should not be nice.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 02:23 AM
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take the TGV to Strasbourg, then rent a car (in Kehl on the German side of the Rhine next to Strasbourg) going to Baden-Baden taking the Black Forest High Road (Schwarzwaldhochstrasse). There are already two castles in Baden-Baden. Then continue to Heidelberg and take the road from Mainz to Koblenz (I would prefer to do this stretch by boat). There are boats on the Rhine from Strasbourg to Cologne and you can stop overnight at several places. This requires, however, reservations. The top thing to do is to take a full Rhine River Cruise wirh room and board.
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