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Please review my REVISED Germany/Austria/Switzerland itinerary

Please review my REVISED Germany/Austria/Switzerland itinerary

Jun 10th, 2013, 07:08 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 16
Please review my REVISED Germany/Austria/Switzerland itinerary

Thank you for all your input on my original itinerary. I have now a revised itinerary for trip starting mid-September and would appreciate your expert scrutiny. I also have a number of questions. Thanking you in advance.

Fly to Frankfurt, pick up rental car
Drive to Bacharach – Rhine cruise, Burg Eltz (3 nights)
Drive along Black Forest (just big bang section from Titisee to Freiburg)– stay in Staufen (1 night)
Drive to Lauterbrunnen – see Wengen, etc. (4 nights)
Drive to Fussen – castles, Zugspitze (3 nights)
Drive to Hallstatt – check out scenery (1 night)
Drive to Munich – stay near airport (1 night)
Fly home

Now my questions.
1. Would you recommend staying at Wolfgansee vs. Hallstatt? Interested in great scenery and charm. Only staying for 1 night. Should I make it 2?
2. Should I stay in Lauterbrunnen vs. Wengen?
3. Shoud I stay in Staufen or Freiburg? We like being able to walk around after dinner and check out the town. Which has more to do? Which is less touristy?
4. We will do the short Black Forest trip from Freiburg to Titisee. Is this a mistake? Should we do the whole road?
5. Please confirm that sticker (vignette) costs ~8 euros for Austria and 60CHF (gulp) for Switzerland. Where do we get these stickers? At rental agency when we pick car up at airport?
6. From our itinerary, is there any scary mountain driving? My husband is pretty fearless, but good to have a heads up.
7. We are skipping Salzburg. Is this sacrilege? We will not be attending concerts and are mostly interested in scenic beauty.
8. How about Bacharach vs. St. Goar? Which is better?
gensuki is offline  
Jun 10th, 2013, 07:52 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 708
You buy both stickers at border points. Swiss sticker is 40 CHF and is good for a whole calendar year. If you do not have it you will be stopped at the border and directed to a separate queue to buy it. The Austrian sticker is euro 8 for 10 days (or more for longer periods), you are not checked at border points so it is up to you to stop and buy it - if you are found without one you will be stung with a hefty fine, to be paid immediately (policemen have the power to impound cars).
asps is offline  
Jun 10th, 2013, 11:52 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 308
If you are looking for a hotel near the Munich airport in late September and you do not already have a reservation you may (again) have sticker shock because of the Oktoberfest. You may be better off driving on to Freising, Landshut, or even Ingolstadt to find more affordable lodging for the last night if your flight is early. If your flight is after noon you could stay an extra night in Hallstatt or Wolfgansee and still make it to the airport in time...

Have a good trip!!
Travelforbeer is offline  
Jun 10th, 2013, 12:00 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
From Hallstatt you could at least drive via the fabulous Lake District - St Wolfgang area - and at least see how this gorgeous Sound of Music country looks and perhaps stop for lunch in St Wolfgang, the main city there.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 11th, 2013, 05:51 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,228
Your previous post says, "The rental car is pretty expensive..."

You might be wise to drop the car for the first week or so, at least until your journey to Füssen. Train service in Germany is excellent, a car is unnecessary for your destinations, and driving immediately after a transatlantic flight is usually unwise. Here are the available train fares for TWO for your major legs.

1.) FRA - Bacharach: 22€ (standard fare; get a 20% cruise discount that same day by showing your train ticket at the KD dock.) Daytrips from Bacharach to Eltz and villages are 26€ with the Rheinland-Pfalz daypass.

2.) Bacharach - Freiburg: 49€, adv. sale at DB
3.) Freiburg - Lauterbrunnen: 78€, adv. sale at DB
4.) Lauterbrunnen - Freiburg to pick up car for rest of trip, 78€

"3. Shoud I stay in Staufen or Freiburg? We like being able to walk around after dinner and check out the town. Which has more to do? Which is less touristy?"

Freiburg is a real city, not a town. There is nothing to do in Staufen in the evening.

"7. We are skipping Salzburg. Is this sacrilege? We will not be attending concerts and are mostly interested in scenic beauty."

It's quite scenic near Salzburg. You might stay in the area instead of in town and pay Salzburg a visit for the sights there - no one will force you into a concert hall. Berchtesgaden and the Königssee are outstanding for scenery - Hallstatt too - but then there's also Hohenwerfen Castle nearby (real castle, not the late 19th-century palaces you'll see in Füssen.) I would opt for more time around Salzburg and less or none in Füssen.

http://www.salzburg-burgen.at/en/wer...rfen/index.htm

http://www.salzburg-burgen.at/en/
Russ is offline  
Jun 11th, 2013, 12:05 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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As usual, Russ has some excellent suggestions. You could go directly from Bacharach to Lauterbrunnen by train. Then return to Freiburg from Lauterbrunnen, overnight in Freiburg and pick up the car there. The trainfare is slightly less expensive using this itinerary.

This will cut your car rental by 1 week. Only you can decide if the convenience and flexibility of having a car for the first week (rental cost, Swiss sticker, gas costs) is worth the savings offered by train transportation. One major advantage in renting the car in Freiburg is that it should not include all of those pesky airport fees that you will incur by renting at FRA and should therefore be less expensive.

Have a good trip!!!
Travelforbeer is offline  
Jun 11th, 2013, 12:45 PM
  #7  
 
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"7. We are skipping Salzburg. Is this sacrilege? We will not be attending concerts and are mostly interested in scenic beauty.">

Salzburg to me is one of the most scenic or beautiful cities in Europe - a pastel Baroque fantasy land of architecture.

And yes as Russ says the Salzburg area is really sweet - especially the Lake District to its east - St Wolfgang on Lake Wolfgang - a nice way to drive east of Salzburg and then head for Hallstatt for even more awesome beauty!
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 12th, 2013, 12:40 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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We have been to Salzburg numerous times and only attended a couple of concerts

However, we have soaked in the ambience of one of the most beautiful small cities of Europe.

Go there, you won't be disappointed.
yodababe is offline  
Jun 12th, 2013, 12:47 PM
  #9  
 
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As usual, Russ has some excellent suggestions. You could go directly from Bacharach to Lauterbrunnen by train. Then return to Freiburg from Lauterbrunnen, overnight in Freiburg and pick up the car there>

Check out the Swiss Card for a two longish journeys coming and going - idea for that if a Swiss Pass is not better - Swiss Card offers everything a Half-Fare Card does and two trips going to any spot in Switzerland from any border station or airport and then back out to any border station or airport - can be cheaper overall than the Half-Fare Card.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 12th, 2013, 01:34 PM
  #10  
 
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Hi gensuki,

Just a few comments.

2. Should I stay in Lauterbrunnen vs. Wengen?
Answer: Wengen!

Problem with 4 nights in Wengen is that most any other scenery you see afterwards will pale in comparison. That's not a bad thing, it's just that the scenery in the Berner Oberland is simply that spectacular.

Hallstatt... long way to drive from Fuessen and then to Munich for a short time in Hallstatt. Just an opinion. We spent the better part of a day in Hallstatt and that was enough for us though.

Concerning Salzburg, we visited many times and never tire of salzburg. Never been to a concert there. We just love the old town. We've never stayed IN Salzburg, but in the Berchtesgaden area for our visits that included Salzburg. We also visited Hallstatt while based in the Berchtesgaden area.

Paul
pja1 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2013, 04:07 PM
  #11  
 
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2. Should I stay in Lauterbrunnen vs. Wengen?
Answer: Wengen!>

If 50 or over somnolent Wengen for sure if 35 or under probably Lauterbrunnen for sure - lots of pubs for younger folk many young folk here from Contiki Tours base camp, etc. Not all for everyone revolves around views - and the view from Lauterbrunnen is awesome in its own way - I could say it is more dramatic even than Wengen - you have a roaring waterfall right at Lauterbrunnen - you cannot go wrong in this area - Grindelwald to me have as awesome views as any - views to me better than even Wengen - a whole amphitheater of awe-inspiring views - nearly 360 degrees - of glaciers, valleys, waterfalls, etc.

Chose your base on things other than views IMO - all place above Interlaken have awesome views.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 12th, 2013, 05:28 PM
  #12  
 
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Wengen is simply my opinion. No need to down talk it. My wife and I were in our early 30's when we stayed and loved every minute of it. We visited Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald during our stay. In our opinion, Wengen was perfect.

People don't travel to the Swiss Alps for views and scenery anymore? I take it this forum isn't open to all opinions anymore either, or are some opinions just more important/more correct than others?

Have a great trip gensuki!

Back to the experts...
pja1 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 01:15 PM
  #13  
 
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pja1 - I guess my only problem with Wengen really is that everyone who stays there says it has the best view in the Alps and I just do not agree on that - views are different but just as awesome from any other base up from Interlaken. I was in error to talk down Wengen as it is spectacular and can be appreciated by any age - but again very young active adults may enjoy night life and there is very little of that in Wengen I think - not sure I've been thru there several times and walked around - does not seem like much. But any age can enjoy quiet and solitude that I agree with and Wengen for any age can make a perfect base - one of several perfect bases with views no better IMO than any other - all are awesome.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 02:28 PM
  #14  
 
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Hi PalenQ,

Thanks for the post. On our trip, after St. Moritz and Zermatt, the quiet in the evenings in Wengen were just what we were looking for. It was what we called magical, actually. One night just before sunset, we walked from Wengen a bit "deeper" into the valley along the ridge, found a bench with killer views (oops, sorry!) and sat there surrounded by the setting sun coloring the alps orange and yellow, with the valley floor below in view, in absolute total silence, except for the sound of a few distant cowbells. The best evening of our entire trip.

I do agree with you that anywhere in this area is a great place to base. We all have our favorites for various reasons though.

Paul
pja1 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2013, 06:24 AM
  #15  
 
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I've stayed in Gimmelwald, Grindelwald, Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen but never in Wengen - your descriptions of your experiences there are great - I often recommend Wengen because so so many people rave about it. But as you say you cannot go wrong in any base - even Lauterbrunnen, deep in a valley has spectacular views - kind of like Yosemite - the canyon walls in sunset with the ice-bound Jungfrau Massif looming high above end end of the narrow valley - the high waterfall, etc.

Cheers
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 01:37 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Since you'll have to leave your car in Lauterbrunnen in the multi-storey car park if you go to Wengen, you're wasting four days hire. Another reason to travel by train in Switzerland!
Grindeldoo is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 04:47 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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St. Wolfgang is a wonderful town in a good location that allows you to visit others such as Hallstatt.
NancyAnn is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 08:55 AM
  #18  
 
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My choice is for Lauterbrunnen. DW & I were there a couple of years ago and loved staying at Hotel Staubbach. Great views from our room, with balcony, of the water falls and mountains. Nice hike to the Trummelbach falls, and then on to the cable car that takes you to Gimmelwald. From there you can hike down to Murren. At Murren you have a couple of options. 1) take the cable car to the Schilthorn, 2) walk down to Lauterbrunnen, or 3) take the cable car from Grutschelp to Lauterbrunnen.
rags7 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 08:06 AM
  #19  
 
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Since you'll have to leave your car in Lauterbrunnen in the multi-storey car park if you go to Wengen>

and also pay a princely sum to park it each day.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 20th, 2013, 03:59 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Great discussion on this thanks for sharing.
ramanakumar569 is offline  

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