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Time to Spend in Cologne-Amsterdam-Berlin-Dresden-Nuremburg

Time to Spend in Cologne-Amsterdam-Berlin-Dresden-Nuremburg

Nov 7th, 2010, 09:35 AM
  #1  
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Time to Spend in Cologne-Amsterdam-Berlin-Dresden-Nuremburg

My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe in September, 2011 and will have about 15 days to visit Cologne, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dresden, and Nuremburg before moving on to Slovenia/Croatia for 2 more weeks. This will be our first time in these cities. We are flying in and out of FRA and travelling via train.
Looking for ideas on how much time to spend in each city within the 15 days we have allowed for this portion of our trip.
Vanman is offline  
Nov 7th, 2010, 01:35 PM
  #2  
 
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I guess I'd do something as

Cologne: 2 days
Amsterdam: 4 days
Berlin: 4 days
Dresden: 2 days
Nuremburg: 3 days
Hans is offline  
Nov 7th, 2010, 01:43 PM
  #3  
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Thanks Hans. Curious why you suggest 3 days in Nuremburg? Perhaps there is more to see than I first thought?
Vanman is offline  
Nov 7th, 2010, 02:09 PM
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I'd include a day-trip to Bamberg. I suppose I'd also like some relaxation before the long trip to Slovenia.
Or if you fly from Frankfurt to Slovenia, I#d include a day in Wuerzburg.
Cheers, Hans
Hans is offline  
Nov 7th, 2010, 03:52 PM
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You can easily do day trips to Bamberg and perhaps Wurzberg and Nurnberg itself is definitely worth a full day depending upon your interests which you have not yet mentioned
Dukey1 is offline  
Nov 7th, 2010, 05:13 PM
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There is a lot to see in Berlin. If you can, spend more time in that fascinating city.
danon is offline  
Nov 7th, 2010, 06:15 PM
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We have been to Bamburg and Wurzburg so perhaps one day/night in Nurembrg would allow us more time in Berlin. From Nuremburg we plan on taking the train to Munich (been there before)overnight there then an early AM train to Ljubljana. We will fly back to FRA from Dubrovnick and fly home the next day. We enjoy historical sites, art museums, churches, local culture, and of course great local cusine.
Again thanks for your thoughts, we use this site eplanning for every trip we take to Europe and the advise is very helpful. Still open to addtional ideas including must-sees in each city.
Vanman is offline  
Nov 8th, 2010, 02:04 AM
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What time do you arrive in FRA?

You can get the train straight to Cologne, and depending on what time you arrive still have some time to look around before jet lag hits.
I'd then suggest getting a late afternoon ICE to Amsterdam the following day, to maximise your time in both cities.

The train journey from Amsterdam to Berlin by ICE is about 6 hours (a lot longer on non ICE trains!) so will be a whole day effectively.

Book your ICE tickets online as soon as you can to make them as cheap as possible. You can also reserve seats on them.
1st class is only a little more expensive than 2nd and definitely worth it imho.
Do visit the carriages at either end of the train too for a good view.

I would say three full days (so 5 nights) in Amsterdam, a travel day, and 5 in Berlin. Divide the remaining days up between the other 2 cities.
hetismij is offline  
Nov 8th, 2010, 02:43 AM
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Just a walk around in the "old" town in Nurnberg is great (where are you staying, BTW?) and if you are interested in any of the pre-WWII Nazi era stuff the museum devoted to that is exceptionally well-done.
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Nov 8th, 2010, 06:39 AM
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Based on our travels this is what I'd do:

Cologne: at least 1 full day (with jetlag I'd do 1.5-2)
Amsterdam: 3 full days, more if you want daytrips
Berlin: 4 full days, more if you want daytrips
Dresden: haven't been
Nuremberg: at least 1.5 days, the Nazi Rally Party Grounds and museum took us almost a whole day
lindy27 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2010, 07:56 PM
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You definitely should spend more time in Dresden than in Nuremberg or Cologne. Dresden offers several great museums, like the Old Gemaeldegalerie, both Green Vaults, the armory and the new Turkish chamber + the partly reconstructed old town with the Frauenkirche and the Zwinger. On day two you could do a day trip on the Elbe river with a paddle steamer either to Meissen or Saxon Switzerland. And you should definitely visit Goerlitz, a town two hours to the east of Dresden. Goerlitz is Germany's biggest conservation area with 4.000 historical monuments and probably the best preserved town in the country. If you are interested in architecture this is a must.
Karasek is offline  
Nov 9th, 2010, 06:48 PM
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Thanks to you all for your ideas. I looks like, at this point, our flight (too far out to book now) from SEA would arrive in FRA around 0900. I'm thinking we might want to o'nite in Cologne then head off to AMS the next day. Sounds like 2 or 3 days in Dresden is necessary. Karasek you have terrific ideas for Dresden that we haven't considered till now. Nuremburg, the Rally Grounds, museum, and alstadt seems to merit at least 1.5 days.
This is great info!! I'll post again to ask for hotel & site recommendations for these cities.
Vanman is offline  
Nov 10th, 2010, 12:02 AM
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Nurnberg: hotel Victoria....inside the old city walls and within sight of the main rail station. Smaller and a lot better IMO than the nearby LeMeridien
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Nov 10th, 2010, 12:11 AM
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If you can somehow make it three nights in Dresden this would help a lot. There is so much to see in Dresden proper and also in the nearby surrounding that you won't have time for Görlitz, sorry.

I'd recommend against a steamer trip all the way to Saxon Switzerland with only three nights as it is really a looong trip. Better do the steamer trip only as far as Pillnitz palace where you can wander around the gardens and see the exhibits in the palace (decorative arts). Back by bus #63 to Körnerplatz where you can take either funicular or suspension railway up to a hill for great views.

Meißen is definitely worth an excursion. See the castle Albrechtsburg, the cathedral, stroll through the old town and tour the porcelain manufacture.

Looking forward to your questions on accommodation.
Ingo is offline  
Nov 10th, 2010, 01:29 AM
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Much as I like Dresden (and I like it a lot), I have to disagree with Ingo about Meissen. It was hands-down the most disappointing part of my trips to the region. The shops are full of hard-eyed, disdainful merchants flogging at high prices whatever used bits of Meissen they could get their hands on (and I like Meissen, own a nice collection of vintage and antique pieces). I really disliked Albrechtsburg castle; out of all the castles I've visited in Europe, I found this among the least appealing. It had a stone-cold, completely empty vibe, IMO. I couldn't wait to get out of it. The best part was the view of the town as you walked back down.

I did not get the see the porcelain manufacture - that would be the only reason I'd go back there. Ok, that and the Venezia cafe with its terrific gelato and hot chocolate.

Dresden was fabulous, I'd love to make another trip there. But Meissen...a disappointment.
MLF611 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2010, 02:31 AM
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That's interesting, MLF611.

Please note I didn't mention to SHOP for Meissen porcelain in Meissen.

Even more confusing to me is that you disliked Albrechtsburg castle. Why? Its architecture is outstanding, it is actually the earliest "castle" in Germany that was built as residence, for representation and not as a fortified place. It stands at the end of the Gothic architecture, right at the turn to Renaissance. The staircase is a masterpiece, rivals that of Chambord. Of course you won't find a lot of old furniture there as it was used for the porcelain manufacture in previous centuries. But what did you think about the 19th century decorations of the halls? They depict much of the history of Saxony, you just need to have a closer look.

I gather you didn't see the cathedral next to the castle. Too bad. But then again you probably would say "stone-cold" and "empty" again. (It is not, it is a fine example for Gothic architecture and has quite some pieces of art inside.)

Another evidence that personal taste/interests and circumstances of the day can have a huge impact on one's impression of a city/town/sight. See also the current VERY negative reports on Berlin on Tripadvisor.

I.
Ingo is offline  
Nov 10th, 2010, 03:33 AM
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Hi Ingo,

Yes, I did go to the cathedral. Again, the impression was negative. Everything felt completely empty, just abandoned - especially in comparison with the amazing spirit and life in Dresden's Frauenkirche and the Kreuz church (which is very plain, this isn't about how ornate the decor is).

I've been in many castles (including ones as old as Albrechtsburg and older) that were not being actively used, but none felt as lifeless as Albrechtsburg.

These are just my impressions. I would like to see the Meissen porcelain manufacturing center and have a snack at Venezia, but that's all.
MLF611 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2010, 06:38 AM
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Meissen is a quiet, provincial town. Great for someone interested in history and architecture, but probably boring for others. The comparison of the cathedral to Dresdens Frauenkirche however is interesting. To me the Frauenkirche is well worth seeing, but because of the sheer number of tourists it doesn't feel like a church anymore but more like a train station. That's why I prefer Meissens cathedral, which is, btw., architecturally equally important.

@Vanman
Don't expect to much from Nuremberg. The Germanische Nationalmuseum and the Nazi stuff are interesting, the old town however is not... at least not for someone who knows how Nuremberg looked before the destruction. IMHO it's a bad attempt to mimic the former structures and no altstadt (*old* town) anymore. A collection of mainly cheap buildings from the 50s and 60s. Bamberg, just 60km away, is much, much more rewarding. How about staying in Bamberg, maybe in a small, old hotel in the picturesque old town? You could still visit Nuremberg and absorb the atmosphere of one of the most beautiful German towns afterwards.
Karasek is offline  
Nov 10th, 2010, 07:06 AM
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"Meissen is a quiet, provincial town. Great for someone interested in history and architecture, but probably boring for others."

Karasek, that's jumping to an unjustified conclusion. I have a great deal of interest in history and architecture - a dislike for one specific place does not warrant such a sweeping generalization.

Moreover, as for Frauenkirche, I have been there several times when it was NOT packed with tourists and when I attended services there, the LAST thing it felt like was a train station.
MLF611 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2010, 08:21 AM
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"Moreover, as for Frauenkirche, I have been there several times when it was NOT packed with tourists"

While visiting the church and the Opera, I could not get it out of my mind that they are ( perfect) replicas of what was once there.
I found 45 hours in Dresden more than enough time.( no side trips)
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