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Pls help plan 9 days in Germany, flying in/out of Frankfurt

Pls help plan 9 days in Germany, flying in/out of Frankfurt

Jul 11th, 2018, 06:18 PM
  #1  
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Pls help plan 9 days in Germany, flying in/out of Frankfurt

Have a last-minute opportunity to visit Germany and have done zero planning. Flying in and out of Frankfurt. Husband and myself, no kids; we are experienced travelers but I have never been to Germany (husband has been half dozen times but only for work, has done no sightseeing). We like the same things everyone likes: food, culture, nature, museums, monuments, spas, scenic hikes, markets...Please help suggest an itinerary as though this is our first and last trip to Germany. Would also appreciate hotel recommendations; we like luxury hotels, high tech modern hotels as much as charming rustic b&bs. Budget $400USD per night. THANK YOU!
flatfeet2 is offline  
Jul 11th, 2018, 06:19 PM
  #2  
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Forgot to mention this trip is happening in 10 days! So end of July season. Thanks!
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Jul 11th, 2018, 07:28 PM
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Could you narrow it down to areas that interest you? At this point I suppose your decision will be based upon where you can find lodging. You could explore the Rhein and Mosel but you'll need to find places to stay asap. You don't mention if you'll have a car. That also makes a difference.
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Jul 12th, 2018, 05:12 AM
  #4  
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We can rent a car if that works better. Is driving a pain or fun for visitors? Did some research last night (just found out yesterday about this trip), tentatively planning this:
Fly into Frankfurt (return flight in/out of FRA already booked)
Heidelberg: 2 nights (longer to nurse jetlag, relax and slower pace on first couple days), Hotel der Europaische Hof
Freiburg: 2 nights, Hotel Colombi
Fussen/Neuschwanstein: 2 nights
Munich: 2 nights
Frankfurt: 1 night
Depart

Please comment, thanks!
flatfeet2 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2018, 05:37 AM
  #5  
 
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You certainly do not need a car for those places and mainly cities look at trains which yes go to all those places. Even into Black Forest from Freiburg and to Neuschwanstein- anyway for lots about German trains check www.bahn.de/en - German Railways web site; www.seat61.com; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 12th, 2018, 09:17 AM
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by flatfeet2 View Post
We can rent a car if that works better. Is driving a pain or fun for visitors? Did some research last night (just found out yesterday about this trip), tentatively planning this:
Fly into Frankfurt (return flight in/out of FRA already booked)
Heidelberg: 2 nights (longer to nurse jetlag, relax and slower pace on first couple days), Hotel der Europaische Hof
Freiburg: 2 nights, Hotel Colombi
Fussen/Neuschwanstein: 2 nights
Munich: 2 nights
Frankfurt: 1 night
Depart
Please comment, thanks!
That gives you 1 full day in each location. Personally, that's not my preferred way to travel but if that time frame fits what you plan to see then you're good to go. Book your Neuschwanstein tickets in advance online. Enjoy your trip!
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Jul 12th, 2018, 11:31 AM
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Have you considered doing the Rhine gorge - I'd consider in lieu of Freiburg - could end up there and easily take train to Frankfurt Airport instead of staying in Frankfurt itself - you can take K-D (k-d.com) boats thru the finest part of the Rhine between Rudesheim/Bingen and Koblenz.
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Jul 12th, 2018, 12:25 PM
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That's pretty much the usual rallye style and it is so incredibly hard to make Americans understand that this is a pointless approach for Europe. You are just ticking off cliches and don't have enough time for anything. Also please don't drive after a transatlantic flight. For your above itinerary it would be pointless anyway except maybe for the Füssen part.

With your proposed itinerary it seems you have 8 full days plus the remains of your travel days, correct? Think in regions and base towns for these regions and don't choose more than two with four days for each. Especially good base towns are Frankfurt and Nuremberg, but Erfurt, Stuttgart and Munich are fine, too. Freiburg would be doable if you want to see the Alsace with Colmar and Strasbourg.
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Jul 12th, 2018, 04:01 PM
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<<so incredibly hard to make Americans understand that this is a pointless approach for Europe>>

Some Americans. Please don't paint us all with the same brush.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2018, 04:29 PM
  #10  
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I appreciate ALL comments above and points well taken. Which towns should I skip? We live in a big city with lots of museums (understanding every museum and every city is unique), should we skip Munich this time? I agree we don't want to just check off tourist highlights, I just want to enjoy and appreciate Germany. I'm not looking for Facebook/Instagram fillers. Some additional context: it's a first extended trip in a LONG time without the kids and we don't want it to be too hectic, want to have time to enjoy a long meal and not feel like it's hard work or stressful. Thanks!
flatfeet2 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2018, 04:35 PM
  #11  
 
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That far-flung itinerary isn't such a smart plan. Too much road time, too little boots-on-the-ground time.

I would split the time between the Mosel / Middle Rhine (or "The Romantic Rhine" - the "Rhine Gorge" is part of that) region for one base, and then go with Lubitsch's suggestion of Nuremberg as a base town for that region (Franconia.) You'll have a great castle experience on the Rhine (Marksburg, Rheinfels, and Burg Eltz over near the Mosel River actually.) Fly into and out of FRA.

Rhine towns of interest: Most of the small old-world towns lie between Koblenz (a city of some size) and Bingen (or Rüdesheim on the opposite bank.)
Mosel towns of interest: https://www.mosel-reisefuehrer.de/17...ights-englisch
Franconia towns of interest: Nuremberg, Bamberg, Würzburg, Iphofen, Bad Windsheim (Freilandmuseum) (and more.)

Trains will work fine if you wish for both regions. But a top-end stay like Auf Schönburg Castle in Oberwesel (high on a clifftop) or other less accessible lodging will require taxi service.

Melnq8: "Some Americans. Please don't paint us all with the same brush."

Welcome to Lubitsch, Melnq8.

Last edited by Fussgaenger; Jul 12th, 2018 at 04:39 PM.
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Jul 12th, 2018, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Melnq8 View Post
<<so incredibly hard to make Americans understand that this is a pointless approach for Europe>>

Some Americans. Please don't paint us all with the same brush.
What Melnq8 said, adding the idea that people are free to experience for themselves what does and does not work so well for their own situations.

OP: I think Fussgaenger hit the nail on the head. Geographically, the Rhine/Mosel or Nürnberg makes the most sense. However, if you've always dreamed of traveling to Bavaria and seeing all the castles you'll have to make some decisions to possibly skip Heidelberg and Freiburg.

Whatever you decide, I know you'll have a great time. You can pretty much throw a dart blindfolded at the map of Germany and find something special to do/see/experience in or about that area.

Last edited by Trophywife007; Jul 12th, 2018 at 05:40 PM.
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Jul 13th, 2018, 12:50 AM
  #13  
 
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I think Berlin is a must for anybody visiting Germany, due to its history. However, it is in the other direction of all the places you were looking....
montannito is offline  
Jul 13th, 2018, 06:43 AM
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Nine days not much - Berlin is great but way up northeast from Frankfurt-Munich area which has so much to offer - don't try to do too much.

I'd suggest Rhine/Mosel and Bavaria would make a really nice combo - natural beauty and castles and Munich itself worth
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Jul 13th, 2018, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Melnq8 View Post
<<so incredibly hard to make Americans understand that this is a pointless approach for Europe>>

Some Americans. Please don't paint us all with the same brush.
That's not what I did, please read carefully. I just said that American posters usually are not willing to adjust their American travel style which might be suited for the USA to the different situation in Europe. That is an experience I've made and read many times again and again on different travel forums hence my frustration. Seems however that OP doesn't want to make the same mistake.

Originally Posted by Trophywife007 View Post
You can pretty much throw a dart blindfolded at the map of Germany and find something special to do/see/experience in or about that area.
That's slightly exaggerating it. There are some spots which would be rather dull ... and obviously some base towns are better than others.

Originally Posted by montannito View Post
I think Berlin is a must for anybody visiting Germany, due to its history.
Berlin is arguably the least historic city in Germany if it's about how far back it reaches and what you can experience of earlier centuries. And it totally is not a must. Not on your first, not on your fifth visit. Germany is not a country where the capital is the ultimate center of interest.

Originally Posted by flatfeet2 View Post
Which towns should I skip? We live in a big city with lots of museums (understanding every museum and every city is unique), should we skip Munich this time? I agree we don't want to just check off tourist highlights, I just want to enjoy and appreciate Germany. I'm not looking for Facebook/Instagram fillers. Some additional context: it's a first extended trip in a LONG time without the kids and we don't want it to be too hectic, want to have time to enjoy a long meal and not feel like it's hard work or stressful. Thanks!
We totally can not and should take this decision from you, but relax: you won't make a bad choice whatever you pick. If you are totally averse to larger cities then Rhine/Mosel might do it for you. Russ will be happy to fill in from here though you should be aware that Cochem is just a transport hub and not a particlarily noteworthy town whatever he says and that Rüdesheim has its major sights but most tourists stupidly stampede the Drosselgasse which is a totally worthless tourist trap.
Personally I prefer a larger place which is well connected to the train network and gives multiple options. Nuremberg is arguably unbeatable in this regard because you can visit Bamberg, Bayreuth, Rothenburg, Würzburg, Ansbach, Coburg and Regensburg from there. That would fill your whole vacation.
Most people who come to Germany land in Frankfurt and for no compellingly good reason immediately leave instead of using it as a transport hub. With Mainz, Wiesbaden, Limburg, Wetzlar, Marburg, Fulda, Aschaffenburg, Darmstadt plus lots of smaller places like Gelnhausen and Büdingen it offers what tourists are usually seeking.

As for your ideas:
Heidelberg works just fine though like most Americans you are overrating the town (not the castle) a bit. It offers however multiple of nice day trip options. The Neckar river has its castles and pretty towns like the Rhine has, Speyer and Worms with their cathedrals are nearby as are Mannheim and Bruchsal with their palaces. Lots of other small places nearby. So it will do nicely for 4 nights.
Freiburg beyond itself is a good place for visiting the Alsace. Also there's Basel southwards. Not necessarily that great for the Black Forest though there are some options. I am rather sceptical towards the southern part of the Black Forest though others might find the nature pretty and generally don't think that this most south-western corner of the country is the most thrilling part.
Füssen is not just Neuschwanstein and to the east Ettal, Linderhof palace and the Wieskirche are worth another trip. That's the one area where a car would be nice to have
Munich for two days is just somehow tacked on. Either go there, see it which takes a few days and visit places like Ingolstadt, Landshut, Augsburg, Regensburg or Landsberg nearby which would take up your whole vacation or drop it. But as it is with two nights this is clearly the worst idea in your plan.
Lubitsch is offline  
Jul 19th, 2018, 05:19 AM
  #16  
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Hi thank you to everyone who offered great advice. I'm still mostly clueless but have time to do more research today. Will read up on the areas, planning to focus on 2 regions: 4 days Rhine and 4 days Bavaria. Planning to skip all the big cities: no Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich this time. Crazy or sensible?

Any great hotels you would recommend? We are traveling childless for the first time and want to treat ourselves to some nice hotels, maybe what they call "relaxed luxury". Will be celebrating a wedding anniversary.

Thank you again! Flatfeet
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Jul 19th, 2018, 06:15 AM
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Of course no need to visit big cities - rural areas area a whole different trip and in many ways much more relaxing - though perhaps boring to some, like me who like to base in a bit city like Munich and take day trips into more rural areas.
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Jul 19th, 2018, 06:22 AM
  #18  
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PS, we don't particularly love castles. Husband and I don't love trips where you take lots of pictures of temples and castles and cathedrals, but we do love stunning natural scenery. Some of our favorite trips include safaris, hiking the great wall of china (far from the touristy sections and into the real strenuous parts), walking around local markets and sampling unfamiliar snacks. Does it change anything with where we should go in the Germany?
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Jul 19th, 2018, 06:27 AM
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No area you list above are great for that.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 19th, 2018, 08:19 AM
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Meant to say: No, areas you list above are great for that what you like.
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