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Places not to be missed in Germany?

Old Oct 1st, 2010, 01:59 AM
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lyb
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Places not to be missed in Germany?

I'm planning next year's trip and I'm thinking Germany. Bought a book, but would like Fodorites' recommendation on cities/ places that you feel shouldn't be missed.

Things I love to see when traveling are architecture, historical sites & plain old beautiful scenery

This will be my first visit to Germany

Thanks
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 02:53 AM
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Big ask, for me Moselle is wonderful.

Cities near UK were bombed flat so there is a lot of reconstruction, however that means somewhere like Ulm is the real thing and a pretty city.

Now let the real German experts take over
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 05:10 AM
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Mosel river scenery and its towns are very nice--I like it much better than the Rhein.

Favorite town in Germany is Bamberg.

The big cities I like best for staying several days are Berlin and Munich--two very different experiences.

I was also fascinated by "Mad King" Ludwig of Bavaria, so I enjoyed all of the castles and palaces he built (Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, Herrnchimsee) as well as the slightly older family castle Hohenschwangau that is just across the valley from Neuschwanstein.
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 07:29 AM
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Am I right in thinking that to get to the castle areas, I'd have to rent a car? Can't really reach it by train?
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 09:14 AM
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You can get to the castles by train and bus. For Neuschwanstein, you can take the train to Fuessen, then there are buses that run regularly from Fuessen to Hohenschwangau, which is the name of the town at the base of the hills between Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles. Fuessen and Hohenschwangau are only a few miles apart.

I don't know the details of public transport to Linderhof and Herrnchimsee, but I am almost certain you can reach them as well.

We loved Munich - going back for a second visit next year. Bamberg is on our itinerary too since we missed it last time.

We really enjoyed Rothenburg obT on our last trip - it is on the tour bus track, so it can get sort of overrun, but we found that is was pretty easy to avoid the crowds by stepping slightly off the main thoroughfares. The town looks like a storybook. There is a neat city wall that you can walk and from there you have great views of the town.
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 09:23 AM
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Hi lyb,

Yes, it's quite easy to get to Linderhof by bus or train as well, depending on your departure point; the final connection is a bus from Oberammergau (please spend a few hours in this lovely town!) to the castle. The stop is "Linderhof Schloss, Ettal." Garmisch is actually a good central point for trips to both Füssen and Oberammergau/Linerfhof.

You can check all the train schedules at

www.bahn.de

Have fun!

s
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 09:56 AM
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Am I right in thinking that to get to the castle areas, I'd have to rent a car? Can't really reach it by train?>

I can't think of any major castle or sight that you cannot reach by train and or bus from a train station. The German train system is extremely dense and frequent - zillions of trains everyday everywhere.

If you are going by train - and IMO a great way to go and i have been riding German trains for too long to admit (there were a few steam trains in regular service in West Germany when i first went!) then check out these Wunderbar sites that dwell on German (and European) train travel - www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com - download the latter's German chapter in their superb IMO European Planning & Rail Guide for loads of ideas on where to go as you requested in your post. And for train schedules www.bahn.de - the German Railways web site is easy to use and has a wealth of info, including even on what bus or tram to take from your hotel or residence to the train station.

And if traveling all across Germany, say Frankfurt to Berlin to Munich to Frankfurt then a German Railpass can be a great bargain - hop any train anytime - the more days you buy on the pass the cheaper per day it becomes - with extra days above the minimum costing $20 per day or so - if only doing a few longish train rides then scour www.bahn.de for online advance discounted fares which however are train-specific and to get - sold in limited numbers - should be booked weeks if not months in advance - but if even doing very many of the online discounts then the German Railpass may be better.

But it depends - if you end up traveling mainly in Bavaria then the Lander (regional) passes, such as the Bavarian Pass, sold locally are a bargain but they have restrictions as you cannot ride the spiffiest and fastest trains but slower regional ones, which could be fine, depending on where you are going.
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 10:09 AM
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thank you so much for all the info...I do prefer to travel by train, such a hassle free way to go! I'm getting excited, though since it's not until next Sept, I'll have to control myself Though I do love the discovering and planning part of the trip...usually by the time I get to the location, it is so stressfree for me because I know what and where I want to see/do and how to get there.

Thank you, thank you, this is so far such a great start to my planning!
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Just returned from Germany and Austria. We really did not want to go to any big cities this time. All our travel was by train and some handy bus connections and a taxi a couple of times. We flew into Zurich,took train to Lindau (charming place) on Lake Constance, then to Fuessen for a couple of nights to go see the castles, then to Mittenwald with day trip to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and on to maybe the most lovely of all, St. Wolfgang, Austria(day trip to Bad Ischl and Hallstatt) on Wolfgansee with boat day trip to St. Gilgen,last stop we went to Landshut, Germany to be near the Munich airport to fly home. Landshut has a castle,river Isar,church with tallest brick steeple in the world,etc. It is in the flatlands and not very lovely getting there after all the other beautiful scenery.
Maybe this will be of some help. We have also been to many other lovely places in Germany so you have a lot of decisions to make.Have a good trip.
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 10:55 AM
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We really liked Oberammergau: beautifully painted buildings, shops with all sorts of wood carvings and Christmas ornaments, nice town for strolling around.
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 11:25 AM
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We liked Munich (take the Third Reich Tour) and also Rothenburg, also the castles around Fussen (where we stayed).

Also LOVED Mittenwald and Lake Konigsee which we took a boat over to see St Bartholomew's Church. It was one of the most beautiful places (IMO) in Germany. We stayed in Berchtesgarten for several days to see Lake Konigsee and Eagle' Nest and day trip to Salzburg.
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 01:02 PM
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I second all of the recommendations above. Several other places that we visited in September 2009 we found absolutely lovely:

Quedlinburg - a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its fachwerk buildings

http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/quedlinburg.html
http://www.quedlinburg.de/index.php?id=118057000198

Wernigerode - with it's castle and charming old town.

http://www.wernigerode-tourismus.de/
http://www.wernigerode.de/index.php?...age_en&lang=en

Hannoversch Muenden - More beautiful fachwerk buildings

http://www.hann.muenden-tourismus.de/ (also has English version)

From Hann Muenden heading back to Frankfurt Airport, we stopped in the Alsfeld and can highly recommend it.

http://www.alsfeld.de/
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 01:13 PM
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oh, boy, it seems I'm going to have a lot of decisions to make, but what great dilemna to have

When I went to Salzburg last year, I did go see Lake Konigsee, was only there for about a couple of hours, and thought it was sooo beautiful.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 11:40 AM
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I just looked at a guide book and along with your recommendations, I have to say it's going to be hard to hone it down. So many places I would like to see but don't want to just do drive by! I only have 2 weeks, luckily I have plenty of time to decide.

But keep the suggestions coming, this is the type of confusion that's not so bad to have
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Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 11:51 AM
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Each time we return to Germany, we try to see new places as well as revisit some of our favorites. It is always difficult trying to narrow down the itinerary to a manageable level.
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Old Oct 4th, 2010, 07:38 AM
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Things I love to see when traveling are architecture, historical sites & plain old beautiful scenery>

Dresden and Saxon Switzerland just to its south along the Elbe River fulfills this to a hilt IMO

History of course, given Dresden's ill-fated decimation in WW2 and subsequent Phoenix-like revival - dubbed the Florence on the Elbe due to its neat architecture and culture the city shines again - the huge old church turned to smithereens in the war is back up like before. The ornate museums and concert halls along the Elbe shine again - world-class art museums.

And easy day trips go to Saxon Switzerland just to the south, one of Europe's most scenic river valleys - with red standstone ridges topped by things like the Bastei - two forts with a bridge in between them (If i recall correctly) and castles, etc. Boats are a sweet way to travel along this stretch of the Elbe - in season plenty of services - trains easily take you from Dresden to boat docks.

and Dresden still reflects a certain DDR-esqueness IME - the old East Germany, warts and all.

Dresden can be a great base and stop if going between Berlin and Munich.
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Old Oct 5th, 2010, 07:43 AM
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If you go to Berlin it is easy to do a day trip to nearby Lutherstadt-Wittemberg - the old town where Martin Luther nailed his paper launching the Reformation to the church door - the town is full of old buildings, many with Luther-related histories - and there is also a great castle - anyway for lots of history and a dreamy enough old town consider Lutherstadt-Wittemberg!
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Old Oct 5th, 2010, 07:58 AM
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Without aspiring to provide a complete list, this one winds through Germany and covers a few interesting places:

1. Berlin
2. Hamburg
3. Luebeck
4. Sylt
5. Bremen
6. Cologne
7. Rhine Valley (Mainz, Wiesbaden, smaller Rhine towns, Frankfurt)
8. Weimar
9. Dresden
10. Nuremberg
11. Bamberg and Wuerzburg
12. Munich
13. somewhere in the Alps (Berchtesgaden is good as it warrants quick trips into Austria to Salzburg)
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Old Oct 5th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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I agree with hsv. My son's favorite city is Berlin, but my favorite is Munich. But I actually love the smaller towns in Bavaria-Mittenwald, Berchtesgaden, Fuessen. And I like Rothenburg despite all the tourists. I have been there dozens of times and I still want to go back. I've only been to Luebeck twice, but I so loved it. It's way up north from Bavaria, so I don't get there every year. There are too many beautiful places to see in Germany, so decide the area you would like to see on this trip, then another for your next trip.
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Old Oct 5th, 2010, 10:13 AM
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scatcat,

that's exactly what I was starting to think, I'll pick one area, kind of leaning towards Bavaria for now, and explore that are in depth and on another trip go up to Berlin.... With only 2 weeks, I don't want to just whiz by everything...it's so difficult to choose though. If only I could do 2 trips a year, that would solve alot of these decisions.
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