Southern Germany itinerary - first cut

Old Sep 16th, 2005, 02:46 PM
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Southern Germany itinerary - first cut

I have been reading guide books, surfing the web and checking train schedules in anticipation of our trip to Germany next summer and have come up with a first cut itenerary. I thought I would throw it out there for you all to critique. We have decided on 4 locations to visit: Munich, Garmish area, Nuremberg, and the Rhine Valley.

Day 1 (Sun) - Arrive in Munich in the morning, check into the hotel, have lunch, and maybe wander around a bit.

Days 2-4 (M-W) - In Munich, exploring the old city, Deutches Museum, Englischer Garten, Freising and other places if we have time - another museum or 2, wander some neighborhoods, etc.

Days 5-7 (Thu-Sat) - Garmish area with a rental car, staying in Garmish, Mittenwald, or other nearby town. Explore towns, visit Nueschwanstein and/or Hohenschwangau (sp?)castle, gondola or similar to one of the peaks, some light hiking.

Day 8 (Sun) - Return car to Munich, train to Nuremberg.

Days 9-11 (Mon-Wed) - In and around Nurmemberg, train to Ansbach one day and possibly another nearby town.

Day 12 (Thu) - Train to Koblenz

Day 13 (Fri) - Rhine river cruise, possibly tour a castle or 2

Day 14 (Sat) - Return to Munich by train and catch our flight home

So that's the itinerary I have come up with so far. It seems to me like a reasonable one - allows us to see a fair amount without much backtracking and without being too rushed. What do you all think?
J_Correa is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2005, 03:06 PM
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My only suggestion and one you will probably hear from others is to consider an open jaw ticket flying into Munich and flying out of Frankfurt. It doesn't make sense to go all the way from Koblenz back to Munich when you are so close to Frankfurt.
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Old Sep 16th, 2005, 05:28 PM
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I agree with Betty. Try to change to open jaw. You should also try to include a day on the Mosel River with a visit to Burg Eltz. Much more charming than the Rhine.

MY
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Old Sep 16th, 2005, 07:08 PM
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I would suggest a side 1/2 day trip out of Munich to Dachau concentration camp. It's maybe a 20 minute train ride. Check a recent guide book to catch the intoductory movie in English. You won't regret this experience.
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Old Sep 17th, 2005, 03:51 AM
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Sounds like a great trip.

I wouldn't drive back into Munich just to drop the car - not worth the traffic hassles. There are probably a dozen other places you could drop near there, then catch a train, or drive to Nuremberg that day instead and drop there.

Andechs Monastery (great beer, food, monk-baked breads) is a special place - try to get there while in Munich (it's south of the city.)

You can probably get a reasonable deal on advance-purchase train tickets through www.bahn.de if you'll be returning to Munich. It doesn't take much time to zip between Frankfurt or Koblenz and Munich anymore - man those trains are fast.

Koblenz is just okay. I'd stay in nearby Boppard or a smaller Rhine town like Braubach, or St. Goar, where there is an abundance of charm and scenic beauty. Braubach is the home of Marksburg Castle - a great place to tour and a good substitute for above-mentioned Burg Eltz if you can't make it to Eltz (which you probably can't on your itin without another day.) If you're tight on time here, I would tour Marksburg rather than take a cruise, or just squeeze in a SHORT cruise, like between Oberwesel and Boppard or Braubach, which takes you through the most scenic stretch, past the Lorelei and many castles and vineyards.
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Old Sep 17th, 2005, 05:45 AM
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Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles are within a stone's throw of one another. And you can make reservations in advance on the internet so you don't have to wait in line for tickets. Visit Linderhof on the way from Garmisch to the village of Hohenschwangau.
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Old Sep 17th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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A couple of comments: Don't miss the Victualienmarkt in Munich. It's just off the Marienplatz and a good place to buy a wurst and bier from one of the stands to enjoy under the trees. Pick up your car at a city office instead of the train station, which will save a 19% additional fee on your entire rental. Check out renting from Andy Bestor at gemut.com, a broker who uses AutoEurope at even better rates.
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Old Sep 17th, 2005, 06:19 AM
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Such great advice, topping for my future reference. Thanks
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Old Sep 18th, 2005, 05:18 AM
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Just a few thoughts:
In Munich, take in either the Residenz and/or Nymphenburg Palace. Good, reasonably priced german restaurants include Donisl and Hacherhaus.

When heading toward Garmisch, stop by the Weiskirche

Why not return car to Nuremburg, rather than drop in Munich and incur train costs? Perhaps it's a pick-up/return timing issue??

I concur with Russ' suggestion to stay in a smaller, more quaint twon/city on the Rhein. We liked Sankt Goar, but the others he mentioned look cool too.

If you can do an open jaw by flying out of Frankfurt, by all means do it. You save half a day of travel. You could train or river cruise to Mainz, stay there the night before flying home and hop a train to the airport that will only take 30 minutes or so.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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Thanks for all the advice.

We originally wanted to do an open jaw ticket, but we are flying on FF miles so we didn't have a lot of choice. Tickets to and from Munich were availible from our home airport with good departure and arrival times so we took them.

I like the idea of not driving back into Munich proper to drop the car off. It makes total sense to drop it off in another town and then take the train to Nuremberg or drive to Nuremberg to drop it. I also appreciate the advice to rent from an office away from the main train station in Munich to avoid higher taxes and fees.

For train tickets, I have been looking into short term passes for Germany only. There are companion passes for 2 people travelling together in which one pass is full price and the other is half price. I think you can buy from 5-10 day passes and they don't have to be consecutive. This looks like a pretty good deal, so I am not really worried about train fare.

I have been thinking about a visit to Dachau. I think it is important to go. On the other hand, for obvious reasons, I am reluctant. I think it will be a game time decision.

I really appreciate the specific advice for restaurants and sights and specific towns along the Rhine. I am copy and pasting them for future reference.





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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 04:52 PM
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Hi, If you are looking for good restaurants along the Rhein, I have two suggestions. In Bacharach, the Altes Haus just off the main square is a very old, quaint place with very good wine and food.

In Sankt Goar, the Hotel Landsknecht, about a mile north of the town center, and right on the river, has an excellent restaurant. The food is wonderful, the view of Burg Maus is cool and they make their own wine, which is excellent. The proprieter, Frau Nickenig, was once named the MiddleRhein wine queen and, if memory serves, the German white wine queen. So, you'll be served by royalty!

The hotel has rooms with great river and castle views (#8 is where we stayed and 5 is nice too) with an excellent breakfast at reasonable rates (http://www.hotel-landsknecht.de/go.t...ow/en.html)The only downside if you are without car is that you have to either take a cab to the hotel or hoof it.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 05:38 PM
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I'd skip the Rhine on this trip. It's out of the way, and there are other places in the Munich area we liked much better, especially Bamberg.
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 08:21 AM
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So many choices, so many possibilities. My husband was laughing at me for thinking about the itinerary so early (trip isn't for 10 months) - but it takes awhile for all the possibilities to percolate.

I was thinking about cutting out the Rhine on this trip in favor of more time in Bavaria. My gosh, there is so much to see in Germany and I want to see it ALL - LOL! I know we will go back again. We haven't even touched northern or eastern Germany. We had originally thought of going to Amsterdam for a couple days during this trip, but gave up that idea pretty quickly because it would make our trip too rushed.

Lots of decisions to make. Lots of things to think about. I really appreciate everyone's comments. They are really helpful.
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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J Correa -

Most museums and sites will be closed on Monday including Dachua. The Deutches Museum is open on Monday so you might want to schedule that for Monday. Don't miss the Old and New Pinakothek.

A day trip to Regensburg would be worthwhile.
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 10:32 AM
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As long as your mostly going to be in Bavaria and as far north as Nuernberg, I would second the recommendation of Bamberg--about 40 miles north of Nuernberg.

Bamberg is a very charming small city with a well-preserved Altstadt that was never damaged in the war. The Altstadt is not a tourist contrivance, but a working part of the city. It is not overwhelmed with tourists, but it gets enough that all the conveniences you'd want are there; e.g., merchants used dealing with non-Germans, discount card for sights/museums, etc. A couple of days in Bamberg would be well worthwhile.

It is a UNESCO world heritage site with quite a lot of history--both a Pope and an Emperor are buried there. The Regnitz River runs right through the Altstadt, and they even have a "Little Venice" (Klein-Venedig). There's a castle, a nice cathedral, a former Benedictine monastery. And it is one of the biggest beer consuming parts of the world--still has a bunch of independent breweries, and is famous for its Rauchbier (smoke beer).

We enjoyed staying at Hotel Brudermuehle right on the Regnitz within a stone's throw of the well-known Rathaus (city hall).
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