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Salzburg, Berlin, or Munich for long weekend?

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Salzburg, Berlin, or Munich for long weekend?

Old Dec 7th, 2006, 10:52 AM
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Salzburg, Berlin, or Munich for long weekend?

I'm narrowing down my choices for my end of January birthday trip, and I think I've decided on one of these 3 places. I know precious little about any of them, and I don't really have time to read everything I can get my hands on about all of them; I kind of need to pick one and then dig in. The trip would be a "fly in Thursday and out on Monday" kind of thing

Here's what I'm envisioning the 3 offer

Berlin: vibrant, "new" feeling city, and if we don't feel like doing city stuff maybe we can take a train eastward and see some East Germany stuff?

Munich: see stuff in the city (sounds like there are some cool museums), day trip to Dachau, day trip to Neuschwanstein. OR fly into Munich, rent a car and do a Romantic Road drive?

Salzburg: wander, shop, visit some little snowy ski village, maybe a daytrip to a castle.

So I'm imagining that Salzburg would be a much quieter, laid back weekend, not so big on "sights," just more "atmosphere". definitely the cheapest as far as airfare goes but the flight times are really inconvenient.

Berlin is a big question mark; lots of people say it's the next big thing and it's fabulous, but that sounds a lot like what people say about Barcelona, which I didn't like at all other than the Gaudi buildings. Am I correct in thinking we could get on a train and go to some stuff in eastern Germany fairly easily from there?

Munich sounds really promising, just because there are so many different possiblities that sound appealing. Tough call.

Am I missing anything or totally mis-characterizing the feel of these places for a long weekend? Any votes?

Thanks
Carrie
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 11:56 AM
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All three cities are so different! Berlin is HUGE. Munich is big. Salzburg is large to medium large.

The old town part of Salzburg is relatively small and can be seen easily in a weekend.

Munich is much larger, but always to me it has more of a medium large feel to it. It has several interesting art museums, the Residenz of the former Wittelsbach monarchy, the German Museum of science and technology. The food is good there and there are also several interesting churches to visit.

Berlin has grown into a huge cities. Afterall, it is once again one of the major capital cities of the world.
Many of the buildings in Berlin are fairly new, and huge sections of it were constructed after the end of World War II. I saw it in 1956 and today it looks unlike anything I photographed in those days. I think my picture of the destroyed hulk of the Reichstag from that year compared with what it is today tells the whole story in one picture.

From ruin to a palatial building.
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 11:57 AM
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OOPS make that huge city.
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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Ive never been to Berlin but have been to Salzburg and Munich twice each.I enjoyed both of them and a weekend would be great in either.I am wondering why you would want to go so far north in January?
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 12:24 PM
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I would pick Munich. It has everything you want.

If you really want to see Salzburg, you could make a day-trip out of it from Munich. It is a smaller city, but would be packed with tourists. (Not as laid back as you are thinking.)

Berlin is vibrant and a great place to visit, but I think my first choice would be Munich. Save Berlin for your next visit.

Go tigers!
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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Re: why so far north, because the places on my "wish list" further south (namely Greece and Croatia) are expensive enough to get to that it's not really worth a short 3 day trip. I've already done Venice and Rome, I don't really like Spain, and stuff like Turkey etc. just isn't speaking to me.

My husband is concerned about driving if we did Romantic Road stuff or Bavaria/Tirol stuff. Would there be a problem with icy roads or do they keep on top of that pretty well?
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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You could encounter some icy-snowy roads in January. If you are from the south and not used to bad roads, you might want to stick to the city and not drive, or take the train.

Germany does a good job keeping the snow off the roads, but can only do so much.
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 02:22 PM
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I think that I would save Munich and Salzburg for a more clement time of year, as part of their attraction is being able to travel around that area.
Berlin, on the other hand, is ideal for winter, as it is jam-packed with well-heated museums, restaurants, bars, and shops, more than enough to fill a long weekend.
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 03:23 PM
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To me Salzburg is special in the winter because of all the baroque architecture are covered with snow. Unfortunately you'll be there after the christmas market is over. So perhaps you should consider a city that has the largest number of grand museums and that would be Berlin as anhig already mentioned. Berlin also has a lot more monuments and sights than Munich does.
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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Personally, I would go for Salzburg because even if there isn't a lot of snow in town itself, you are so close to mountain towns like Bad Reichenhallor Zell am See where snow is likely (we had snow flurries in Zell am See during our visit there in early June!). The postbus service is highly reliable even in snowy weather. Cheap too. And the scenery in and around Salzburg is just terrific.
Knowing what Brussels winters are like, I would definitely opt for a smaller city where you could get some more "fun" winter weather.
I agree that the Ryanair flight schedules are lousy. Any better flight options from Cologne or Eindhoven airport?
Salzburg is pretty laid back, but it has some surprisingly contemporary spots (like Hangar 7, as noted in my other post) and some nifty wine bars. It's definitely not all Sound of Music and Mozart.
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 04:58 PM
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I haven't been to Berlin, but would choose Salzburg over Munich. I liked Munich, but Salzburg was a lovely town with enough sights to occupy your time. From Salzburg you could easily visit a town in the Salzkammergut (Hallstatt or St. Gilgen, perhaps) or Berchtesgaden. And as mentioned above, Munich is a short train ride from Salzburg. You could probably do both if you wanted to.

Tracy
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 11:11 PM
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Just reread your original posting:
"Berlin...sounds a lot like what people say about Barcelona, which I didn't like at all other than the Gaudi buildings"

Berlin is nothing like Barcelona in anyway. In contrast to Barcelona, Berlin is a bigger & brighter/cleaner metropolis that has undergone extensive renovations & rebuildings in classic and modern architectures. Lots of new energy & nightlife; endless tourist attractions indoor & outdoor. The modern public transportation system makes it fast & inexpensive to access the entire western & eastern parts Berlin on a long weekend. You can also tour Berlin's castles/palaces: Sans Souci, New Palace, and Charlottenburg Palace.

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