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chosebinne Feb 1st, 2016 02:28 PM

Second thoughts about pour Germany me !
Hi !

I've already booked a flight for my family (2 adults and 2 kids 4 and 8). We will arive in berly July 11 and leave from Luxembourg City August 4. The initial plan was to make a trip around Germany (Berlin, Nuremberg region, Salzbourg, Munich and the Rhein valley), Now i'm not sure that is gonna be really fun for us. I already know that Germany was severely damaged during WWII but I now think that I will find nit enough things too see from historical perspective (all is rebuilt and not original). Also, I'm affraid of my kids being bire by thé whole trip.

I've also stumble on post where people ask to choose between Germany and Italy and everyone choose the later option. At first i've leaved Italy (and Spain) out because of the heat, but now i've read that germany can be very hot too.

Can someone make a quick itiniary which could please our family (mix of history, good food, fun for kids) without being too expensive ? 2 friends of mine cant believe that we go In Europe to stay only in germany for whole 26 days. We already been to poland and Czech Republic 10 years ago.

help me, i'm in kind of desespair...And cancel our flight isn't possible !


suze Feb 1st, 2016 02:48 PM

A few days ago you were very excited about this trip. What happened?

I think you just need to get a map and one or two guidebooks for Germany and continue with your planning.

There is certainly plenty to see in 26 days within Germany.

But if you want to change your plans to include one more country nearby, certainly you could do that too.

Gary_Mc Feb 1st, 2016 03:01 PM

I lived in Germany for 6 years, plus I have been back a dozen times. I have never run out of new things to see. I like the Michelin Green Guide to lay out a trip. Virtual Tourist website is a good place for additional information.

BTW. I also love Italy. It is not a choice between good and bad. Both are great countries. As you are going to Germany, expect wonderful things.

Kandace_York Feb 1st, 2016 03:06 PM

Sounds like travel anxiety to me, but I've been to Germany three times now and I can tell you that I LOVE it. I love the culture. I love the crisp, efficient, well thought out approach to life. I love the rebuilding among the respect for history. AND THE BAKERIES! Omigosh the bakeries.

In 2014 I scheduled a long layover in Frankfurt with one of my daughters. She hadn't been to Frankfurt and I was a little concerned because Frankfurt isn't exactly known as a tourist hotspot, plus I knew that we'd both be arriving exhausted. Not to worry, though -- she loved it. So if we can have an absolute blast in a few exhausted hours in Frankfurt, I'm confident you'll have a great time. :-)

You've chosen some terrific places to visit. I've been to Salzburg and Munich, and each of those could easily be a week in my opinion. I haven't been to Berlin, but it's on my list to visit someday -- and we're going to the Middle Rhine later this year and can't wait!

Relax. Enjoy your trip. It will be fine (unless you decide beforehand that it won't be).

Fussgaenger Feb 1st, 2016 03:23 PM

"I already know that Germany was severely damaged during WWII but I now think that I will find nit enough things too see from historical perspective (all is rebuilt and not original)."

You just need to look in the right places, not in the places that were heavily bombed in WW II. There are towns in Germany where the buildings can trick you into thinking you've traveled back in time.

Regensburg and Bamberg are recognized by UNESCO with World Heritage status because they are so well preserved.

Most medieval castles were destroyed by French invaders. But Marksburg Castle and Burg Eltz Castles never had to be rebuilt.


Bernkastel wasn't important enough to get bombed in WW II, it's gorgeous:

If you want to go to Italy go ahead - you have time if you leave out Munich and the other large German cities.

nytraveler Feb 1st, 2016 04:36 PM

It's true that most of the large cities were substantially damaged in WWII - but many of the smaller towns didn't get that level of damage. Also, as mentioned you might spend some time in nearby countries: strasbourg/Colmar in France, Salzburg in Austria.

There is plenty to see and do. I can't help with amusement parks for kids that age but any guide book should have info. And they will love castles, boat rides and local parks in all areas. If you head to Strasbourg look into the Stork sanctuary on the way south to Colmar - it's fascinanting - and they are HUGE.

chosebinne Feb 1st, 2016 05:05 PM

Thanks to all of you for all those very informative answers. I still have a lot to read and think about for sure !
Russ suggest mw a way to do both Germany and Italy, my girlfriend is not very found of that idea. We've got a talk about all this at the dinner and she told me that she would find it exhausting to take all those flights to rush to many places in the same month and that our young kids swon't appreciated much either. I can't say that's completly wrong on this.
All you post point in one direction: There's many way to appreciate very much a trip into Germany, and the best way is too found what appeal us the most. I,ll continue to carefully read your answer before coming back to coment more (and ask more questions) !
After looking at photos i'm also affarid that i'll see the same thing (architecture) i've already seen. I've been in Alsace 15 years ago and 10 years ago my girlfrien and I made a one month trip in Poland and Czech Republic.

And by the way sorry for my very average english, it's not, obviously, my first language. !

chosebinne Feb 5th, 2016 05:53 PM

I can say that after more reading (including all your appreciated messages) i'm now very ok with a trip to Germany !

The problem we've got now is to plan our itinerary.

The only two things sure is our arival and our departure. Some questions about our plan

1) for now we have 8 days in the Moselle, Rhine valley, Trier and Luxembourg, maybe a day could be cut from there.

2) here's what we got for now

4 nights Berlin (one museum, the zoo for the kids). We still wondering if we should add a day to a daytrip to Potsdam
2 Nights Dresden
4 nights around Nuremberg (maybe we would sleep un Fürth). Daytrip (still have to chose between Rothenburg, Wurzburg, and Bamberg) 1 day at legoland . May be add a day in that stop (we'll have to chose between Berlin and here)
2 nights salzburg
4 nights Munich (daytrip to Zuspitze)
7-8 nights In Moselle-Rhine. (Cochem, Bacharach, Trier, maybe day trip to Köln, Luxembourg city)

What do you think ?

pja1 Feb 5th, 2016 07:00 PM


I think 7 to 8 nights is over the top for Mosel/Rhine. I would add at least 2 nights to Salzburg (take 1 from Rhine/Mosel and 1 from Munich), for 4 nights total, and that could still be extended. Besides Salzburg, include a day on the Wolfgangsee (bus to nearby St. Gilgen and get the lake ship to St. Wolfgang and Strobl), a day in Hallstatt and even a day for Berchtesgaden/Konigsee.


Kandace_York Feb 5th, 2016 07:33 PM

You might want to consider Tropical Islands near Berlin - if your kids like water, I'm thinking they'll love this place. It's one of the largest indoor water parks in Europe and is housed inside an old circa-WWII airplane hangar.

Either way, enjoy!

traveller1959 Feb 6th, 2016 12:35 AM

>>that I will find nit enough things too see from historical perspective (all is rebuilt and not original)<<

That's total nonsense. Regardless what a certain poster here on this forum writes, Germany is full of history and the vast majority of historical buildings is original. You will see with your own eyes and you will enjoy the architecture from different eras (Roman, medieval, renaissance, baroque, classicist, romantic, modern).

Your itinerary is very good IMO. Let's go a bit into detail:

>>4 nights Berlin (one museum, the zoo for the kids). We still wondering if we should add a day to a daytrip to Potsdam<<

Berlin is fantastic. Start with a tour on the public bus #100. It is dirt cheap, hop on and hop off and goes along Unter den Linden boulevard with all the splendid historical buildings. It is a double decker bus and from the upper deck you have good views. A quick, easy and inexpensive way to get a first impression of the city.

Visit historical Gendarmenmarkt and stop at Fassbender & Rausch for lunch. It is a chocolate store (impressive enough for kids and adults) and on the upper floor they serve meals which are prepared with tiny amounts of chocolate. Very tasty and inexpensive!

The Zoo is certainly a good idea, but also the museums. The Pergamonmuseum will impress you and the kids as well. Imagine, you will the the Gate of Babylon, decorated with lions and built 2,500 years ago! And an Arabian desert palace! And many more wonders of the world!

Also, the Egyptian collection in Neues Museum is worth a visit, especially Nefertiti's bust. Make sure to tell your kids stories (or buy them picture books) about life in ancient times. They will be impressed.

And there is, often overlooked by tourists, the Museum of Natural history with the world's largest dinosaur skeleton. You may have seen the Diplodocus in New York and found it gigantic. In Berlin, they also have a Diplodocus which is, however, dwarfed by the Brachiosaurus skeleton in the main hall.

You will find that your kids may enjoy museum visits!

Potsdam or not? Potsdam has two palaces and beautiful terraced gardens with sculptures and fountains. How interesting will it be for the kids? The S-Bahn ride takes about an hour. Also, they have film studios in Babelsberg which, however, might be a bit less interesting for Americans than Hollywood. I would simply say: Travel to Berlin, explore the city, and, after three days in Berlin, decide if you like to go to Potsdam or not.

2 Nights Dresden

So you have one day to admire the historical buildings (yes, here in Dresden, several of them have been rebuilt - but according to original plans). Do not miss the Green Vault - it is breathtaking!

4 nights around Nuremberg (maybe we would sleep un Fürth). Daytrip (still have to chose between Rothenburg, Wurzburg, and Bamberg) 1 day at legoland . May be add a day in that stop (we'll have to chose between Berlin and here)

I would not sleep in Fürth. The charming historical town is Nürnberg. What you should do when you are in the area:

- You say, one day is fixed for Legoland. Right.
- One day, you need for Rothenburg o.d.T. and maybe at least one other medieval town like Dinkelsbühl or Nördlingen.
- One day for a combination of Bamberg (picturesque town) and Würzburg (gorgeous palace).

This might be a bit tight and you might add another day for Franconia. Don't cut it from Berlin, but maybe from the Rhein/Mosel area.

>> 2 nights salzburg <<

Close to Salzburg there is Berchtesgaden with the Königssee - an extremely beautiful fjord-like glacer lake surrounded by high mountains. You can take a boat trip on the lake to the southern tip, leave the boat and walk along a beautiful creed to a second lake. On the way back, the boat stops at a traditional restaurant/beer garden. You might go there after leaving Salzburg, spend the better part of the day at the Königssee and drive to München in the afternoon. Or you add another night either in Salzburg or Berchtesgaden and cut it from the Rhein/Mosel.

>>4 nights Munich (daytrip to Zuspitze)<<

It is doable and maybe you have time and energy to visit a least one of the Ludwig castles in the afternoon before returning to München.

>>7-8 nights In Moselle-Rhine. (Cochem, Bacharach, Trier, maybe day trip to Köln, Luxembourg city)<<

Looks like you have already done a lot of research about this region.

The best (medieval) castle is the Marksburg in Braubauch near Koblenz, the second best Burg Eltz. Must-dos with the kids.

Besides, I strongly suggest spending a full day in Cologne. The Cathedral (with the shrine of the Three Magi - they show the skulls) and its Treasury are breathtaking - one of the few gothic cathedrals that had been finished. But there are other things that might be intriguing for the kids:
- There is the Romano-Germanic museum with excellent pieces from antiquity, especially the best Roman glassware at all.
- Under the medieval City Hall, there are the ruins of the ancient Roman palace. And a 2,000-year-old sewer, which is walkable for 200 yards. Might be fun for the little ones!
- Did I mention the Chocolate Museum?

South of Cologne, in Brühl, you find another theme park which might be a diversion for the kids, after so much history:

I am not sure if Luxembourg is worth a day. You have better destinations on your itinerary.

annhig Feb 6th, 2016 02:39 AM


chosebinne Feb 6th, 2016 12:01 PM

Traveller 1959 i have to give you a big thanks ! it,s wonderfull to see someone put such time to help a perfect stranger, it's very appreciated ! All the comments on this thread gave me a lot to think about !

swandav2000 Feb 6th, 2016 09:40 PM

Hi chosebinne,

I live in Garmisch, and this is what I always recommend for the Zugspitze day-trip here.

Take the train to Garmisch, and at the Garmisch train station, go downstairs and follow the tunnel to the Zugsptitzbahn, and take the train up to the Zugspitzplatt (Zugspitze glacier), 90 minutes. Enjoy the views from the glacier and seeing the skiers, have a bite to eat if you want, then take the cable car up to the summit (10 or 15 minutes). At the summit, have a meal or just take in the views and enjoy the sun terrace. Then take the cable car all the way down to the Eibsee (15 minutes), enjoying the stunning views over the lake. Walk around the Eibsee (90 minutes), then have cake and coffee at the lakeside restaurant. Take the Eibsee bus (runs about once an hour, and the trip takes 20 minutes) to the Marienplatz in Garmisch. Walk through town on the pedestrian path and then onward back to the train station.

This itinerary gives you some mountain, some countryside, and some town – a view of all Bavaria.

Please note that this is an all-day activity, and I wouldn't recommend adding on a visit to one of the Ludwig castes. If you'd like to do Neuschwanstein, it is about 2h from Munich and 2h from Garmisch as well, and there is a LOT to see and do in that area, making it also a full-day tour. There are two nearby lakes, and the village of Füssen is charming. I do think it would be a shame to rush by these sights!

Have fun as you plan!


chosebinne Feb 7th, 2016 08:04 AM

Thanks Swandav !

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