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Southern Germany in July - Itinerary help!

Southern Germany in July - Itinerary help!

Jun 17th, 2015, 11:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 6
Southern Germany in July - Itinerary help!

My husband and I are traveling to Germany for the first time in mid July and need help planning our itinerary. We are not really interested too much in the big cities and plan to focus on the southern region – Bavaria. We live in Texas where it is flat and hot so the mountains are a must. This is a last minute trip so we do not have much time to plan so I am reaching out to all of you for some great suggestions. We did a trip to Ireland about 6 years ago and Fodors forums was such a great resource! We like a somewhat loose or flexible itinerary. We love road trips and exploring but know we need to have some sort of a plan. We fly in to Frankfurt and have a hotel booked for one night so we can rest and catch our breath. We have a car rented and plan to hit the road and head south towards Munich. We have 8 full days to explore. I’m really looking for towns and sites not to miss, suggestions on good places to stay overnight, places to eat. Do’s and don’t’s. Anything! Thanks so much in advance!
puglover72 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2015, 12:55 PM
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What do you like to do and see. Munich itself is a big city but has a lot to offer plus it is a great hub for Salzburg, Fussen, Oberammergau, Dachau, and even Nuremburg and Rothenburg although those are a little further out. You might look at the map on viamichelin.com for a stop in Rothemburg on the way to Munich. You can easily day trip to Salzburg by train out of Munich on the Bavaria ticket. The loop from Munich toward Garmish ( and Mittenwald) then toward Ettal Monastary, Linderhof, Oberammergau, Wieskirche and Fussen for Neuschwanstein is a great trip for 2-3 days.
AisleSeat is offline  
Jun 17th, 2015, 01:30 PM
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From Garmisch there are many charming towns to visit and you might want to take the cog train (or I think they have a cable car now) to the top of the Zugspitze which is the highest point in the German alps.

From there, you can drive to Innsbruck, Berchtesgaden, Salzburg... to name a few places, but there are also a number of smaller towns along or beside that route that are lovely to see.

You might get a couple of guide books to narrow down places that interest you most.
Trophywife007 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2015, 01:32 PM
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If mountains are must, the place to go, at least in Germany, is way South near the Austrian border. Look at the google map and turn on the "terrain" from the search box. You can easily see where the high mountains are located. The previous poster mentioned many places in this area. I was just there last year, but since I already live in a place in the US with mountains over 10,000 ft, if I want to see "mountains", I would not go to Germany. I would go to Switzerland, Northern Italy, or the French Alps.

Depending on when you are arriving in FRA, you can train to another location near you real destinations upon arrival. Munich is 3:40 by ICE train. You can overnight in Munich and rent a car from there.

Are you returning back from FRA? If this is the case, I presume you have to overnight near enough to FRA for your return flight? In this case, do you really want stay hear FRA twice? Is overnighting in Frankfurt a destination for you or something you are forced to include into your itinerary?

I know you are already boxed into using FRA. unless "Germany" was the destination, I would have flown to ZRH and started the trip to "mountains" from there.
greg is offline  
Jun 17th, 2015, 01:50 PM
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Greg has a point -- depending on what time you land and how jet lagged you are, (assuming you're committed to Frankfurt) you might want to get your car and stay your first night in a smaller town on your way (sort of) to Munich such as Bamberg or Rothenburg Ob der Tauber or Würzburg.
Trophywife007 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2015, 01:55 PM
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Garmisch is our favorite place in Bavaria. A lot to do, great hiking, mountains,lakes. Zugspitze is just beautiful, partnach gorge not to be missed. It is a good base and easy to reach Innsbruck for the day. Oberammergau and Ettal are nice day trips. Great food, nice lodging that isn't over priced. Beer is great. Mur

We fly into Frankfurt a lot and this May we stayed at Wertheim the first night since our flight did not arrive till 6 pm. It was a great little village and we walked to the castle in the morning before taking off for the day. It you re renting a car be sure to save last receipt for filling up or they will charge you ten euro if avis/budget. First time for everything...


Nuremberg is also a good stop before Munich. I have a thing for walled cities.


Murnau is in between Munich and Garmisch and we like it. Great little brewery and restaurant
flpab is offline  
Jun 17th, 2015, 02:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Southern Germany and Austria are a great choice for stunning mountain landscapes without the high cost of Switzerland. The towns are beautiful in July with overflowing flowerboxes and the green is incredible. There are many fabulous walks of varying intensity and somehow there is a beer garden with hot lunch options and cake just when you need one.
Salzburg - beautiful compact city, nearby lakes, Hallstatt
Berchtesgaden - Konigsee boat ride, walk around second lake to a beer garden, Mt Jenner cablecar
Fuessen - worthy of a few nights, lakes, lovely town, castles, mountains, great walk from Tegelberg cablecar summit station around to Neuschwanstein castle
Garmisch Partenkirchen - Zugspitze a must (I've been 3x and only had a clear day once, but snow is a novelty), get the 3 peak pass and do some walks Alpspitze and Kreuzeck, walk the Partnachklamm
Mittenwald - tiny town, stunning location, cablecar, walks, Leutaschklamm
It is a gorgeous part of the world. I have never had a car, though, so missed many of the places you will have access to.
Adelaidean is offline  
Jun 18th, 2015, 01:35 AM
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Agree that staying in Frankfurt wastes your time at the beginning and that driving right after a transatlantic flight is NOT a sensible alternative. From FRA you can reach Bavaria very quickly and easily by train that first day. But don't spend nearly 4 hours traveling all the way to Munich - you want to avoid big cities anyway, right? At FRA walk to the FRA "Fernbahnhof" train station and catch a direct train to Würzburg (Main River town in northern Bavaria on the "Romantic Road") - it takes just 90 minutes - and settle in there instead. Pick up your car the next morning after you've rested. Würzburg is only around 100,000 population (vs. 700,000 for Frankfurt) and it's easy to cover on foot if you want to stretch your legs.

Würzburg's market square: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...-Wuerzburg.jpg

Old town and bridge over the Main River: http://www.blaek.de/_images/baet/A_M...ecke-05.07.jpg

You can pick up a car in Würzburg at the train station or wherever the next morning, then begin your drive to the German Alps. However, I'd visit these places on the way south:

Marktbreit (also on the Main River): https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...breit_BW_9.jpg

Ochsenfurt (near Marktbreit, also on the Main): http://www.wasi-online.de/Bilder/Pos...erkhaeuser.JPG

Fantastic open-air museum in Bad Windsheim:

Bad Windsheim itself: http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/36159948.jpg
Fussgaenger is offline  
Jun 18th, 2015, 02:11 AM
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Frankfurt in, Munich out but want to see area around Munich.....

I'd slow down and go see a bit of Germany on the way to Munich so stop in say Cochem, Bad Durkheim, Wurzburg, Bamburg
bilboburgler is offline  
Jun 18th, 2015, 03:09 AM
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"I'd slow down and go see a bit of Germany on the way to Munich so stop in say Cochem, Bad Durkheim, Wurzburg, Bamburg"

Cochem involves a major detour from a FRA - Munich routing... it's not remotely "on the way." But the other options might work.
Fussgaenger is offline  
Jun 18th, 2015, 03:55 AM
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Yeah I understand your thinking about direction but it's not a long haul and offers a real change to Texas.
bilboburgler is offline  
Jun 18th, 2015, 04:13 AM
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We did Cochem but not that impressed. Castle nice but that dang city closes up when the boats leave. It is in the opposite direction they are going why I suggested Wertheim the first night. It was an easy drive but if arriving early am I would be going much farther.
flpab is offline  
Jun 18th, 2015, 05:30 AM
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I am always puzzled-- why do so many North Americans go to Europe to see mountains? There are far, far more snowy peaks close at hand and you are likely to find them in a more pristine and less crowded state than in Europe.

As you have fixed your arrival and departure as Frankfurt, why not explore places closer, drive less, and skip the German alps?

All of Germany will be cooler than Texas.
tom_mn is offline  
Jun 18th, 2015, 06:19 AM
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Why do so many Europeans come to the USA to see cities?
Dukey1 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2015, 07:29 AM
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Dukey, I thought they came here to see the Grand Canyon... although I see quite a number of them in Carmel which is somewhat perplexing... why come here to see a fake, albeit cute, touristy Euro-style village?
Trophywife007 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2015, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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On all our trips to Europe, we rent a car and take off from the airport that day. Our flights usually land in the early morning. The last 2, we have flown into Frankfurt and spent the night in Rothenburg, Last summer with just me and my granddaughter, we did stop on the way at Wursburg. I love the Romantic Road and used the green guide (Michelin??) on the first time into Frankfurt. The second time used my TomTom and wound up on Autobahn more. Wished I had gone the route in the guide--much prettier drive. From Rothenburg, drove to other 2 walled cities, spent the night in a nice guest house, Next day stopped in Augsburg on the way to Munich. From there drove to Sazburg, back into Germany to Venice. We did drive back to Germany to Fussen area and spent night at hotel at Linderhof. (Stayed there also on the other trip too) Love the grounds at Linderhof. This last trip in 2014 we had 12 days on road and dropped off car in Karlruhe (sp?) to take train to Paris. Before the trip with my granddaughter, I did reserve rooms through Munich. After that I would use booking.com to reserve rooms depending on where we planned to be. With my husband, we just drove and stopped wherever with no set schedule--exploring. Of course, we had a route but didn't set in stone where we would be each day. Our way of traveling is not the norm but is a fun adventure. I know you will love Germany.
PatW47 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2015, 09:52 AM
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>>Why do so many Europeans come to the USA to see cities?

A city is at least a cultural experience and every one is different. A mountain is like a train track or farm field-- not much variation globally.
tom_mn is offline  
Jun 18th, 2015, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Dec 2014
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"On all our trips to Europe, we rent a car and take off from the airport that day."

I hope your own experience is not intended to support the notion that others should do as you do. Jet-lag is a very real phenomenon - and individuals respond to it very differently. Jet-lag may not impact you for whatever reason, but for many, it can result in impaired driving in an unfamiliar driving environment.

If you fly from the east coast (as you do) the impact is perhaps less than if you fly from other parts of the country - perhaps that plays a partial role in your good luck. Your experience would likely be different if you were flying across 8 or 9 time zones. And maybe you are the sort of person who can get a great sleep in an airplane seat, and you wake up in Europe just as refreshed and capable of driving as you would at home. But I suspect most of us are not. Some companies whose employees routinely fly across the pond actually forbid driving upon arrival, and they do this for a good reason.

puglover72: If you've reserved a car in advance but then don't get the sleep you need, you are unlikely to cancel the car and will probably drive when it's unsafe. Much wiser IMO to stay in Frankfurt or to plan on a train ride on Day 1.
Fussgaenger is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,198
Off down the bunny trail ............ When I read this forum and others about world travel I often wonder what people from other parts of the world put on their itinerary for a trip to the USA. Are NY and LA the must see's or is it Vegas, Texas or Miami. I guess it is just whatever floats your boat like Europe. Are you looking for Salzburg, Amsterdam or Paris? or is it San Francisco, Denver or Philadelphia.
AisleSeat is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 109
Will everyone who has ever had a traffic accident due to jet lag please raise your hand. I don't see any hands. How about, raise your hand if you personally know someone who had a traffic accident due to jet lag. Still no hands. If jet lag is such a problem for drivers, I wonder why car rental companies are located at airports.
sumrcr is offline  
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