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trip to Germany

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Apr 2nd, 2009, 11:43 AM
  #1
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trip to Germany

Hubby and I are travelling for around 18 days in Germany (business cum pleasure). Frankfurt/Hamburg/Tubingen & Munich are a must as we have customers to visit in these places. The rest are for pleasure only. Shall arrive in Frankfurt and depart from Munich. Tentative itinerary -

Frankfurt 3 days
Hamburg 3 days
Cologne 3 days (Plan to visit Aachen - worth it?)
Stuttgart 2 days
Tubingen 2 days
Black Forest 2 days (driving around with a german friend)
Munich 3 days

Any suggestions would be most welcome. We plan to buy a 8-10 day German Rail Pass which is 440 Euros for a twin pass. Will that work out cheaper ? and can we use it for travel in the cities also?

Thanks
mesh is offline  
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Apr 2nd, 2009, 06:19 PM
  #2
 
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Have you checked out this website yet? It has a lot of helpful information about places to see and how to get around. I found it useful when I planned my trip to Germany. http://www.bensbauernhof.com/
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Apr 2nd, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Mesh, I would spend less time in Frankfurt and Cologne with more time in Munich and environs.

Just my opinion - enjoy!
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Apr 2nd, 2009, 09:12 PM
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Much as I love Frankfurt and Cologne and think you can certainly have an enjoyable time in both cities, you might want to cut a day off here and there and spend a few days in Berlin. Especially since you will be up near Hamburg anyway.
Since you said part of your trip was business, I was not sure if your days in each city were kind of set.

Aachen is interesting if you are fans of Charlemagne or want to see where the emperors were crowned up until 1562 when the venue was changed to Frankfurt. I think I would find it interesting, but I am a history buff.
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Apr 3rd, 2009, 06:26 AM
  #5
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Thanks a lot for your replies.

Have to keep a day each in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Tubingen and Munich for business meetings. As for Berlin, shall keep it for another time as I do not want it to be just a day trip - would like to spend two to three days. What about Bonn worth a day trip from Cologne?

What are the best areas to stay in these places - around 100/120 Euros(absolute upper limit) is our budget.
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Apr 3rd, 2009, 08:05 AM
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For lots of German trains and railpasses: www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id9.html

You can order German Railpasses direct from bahn.de or for about the same price thru U.S. agents - actually last time i check a few days ago you would save a few bucks thru U.S. agents if you factor in the 3% credit card fee - and if you have to refund a pass, etc. it will be easier dealing with U.S. agent.
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Apr 3rd, 2009, 09:39 AM
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You should certainly be able to find hotels under that budget unless you are hitting any of those cities when a trade fair or other huge event is going on. I find really lovely hotels for under 100 € for a double by using www.hrs.com.

For Frankfurt, you might look at Westend, Bornheim or Sachsenhausen or even near the train station. I know some people are put off by the nearness of the red-light district, but I have never been bothered by it.

I think I would rather spend another day in Frankfurt than a day in Bonn. There are such lovely neighborhoods here, and so many things to see and places to visit. If you need suggestions, just ask! Frankfurt is such a historic city, though it tends to get a bit ignored.
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Apr 3rd, 2009, 10:57 AM
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You can use your German Railpass on S-Bahns - commuter railways that often run thru cities - sometimes sharing tracks with the U-Bahn (metro) on which passes are not valid

However unless you have used a day on your pass to get to your city it would be foolish to use a day simply to take S-Bahns in cities like Frankfurt, munich and Berlin and hamburg where they can be very useful - rather either just buy local tickets or buy the very inexpensive day passes - on weekends you often can ride all weekend for the cost of a one-day pass.

But if arriving in a city after using your railpass then yes ride the S-Bahns free with it until midnight. In Berlin an S-Bahn elevated line runs thru the heart of the Mitte - the old middle town center and by many sights - Reichstag - Brandenburg Gate area - Museum Island - Alexanderplatz - a great way to orient yourself to Berlin.
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Apr 3rd, 2009, 11:31 AM
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I think you're planning too many days for Frankfurt, Cologne, and Hamburg. They're all big cities and not as interesting (at least to me) as smaller places.
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Apr 3rd, 2009, 12:34 PM
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I agree with Peg - but OP says business concerns demand those days

But even from Frankfurt - one of the most modern boring cities IMO in Europe (save for museums) you can easily hop by train for the day or a half day to Heidelberg, one of the finest cities in Germany and the rare one not destroyed in WWII - the castle of your dreams sticks out of it.

Or hop from Frankfurt to the Rhine Gorge, about an hour away by train and hop on the K-D boats thru the gorge (best part Rudesheim to Koblenz IMO) (www. k-d.com) - perhaps getting off to trek up to some ruined castle - and railpasses are fully valid on these boats - just flash your pass when boarding - always get on.
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Apr 3rd, 2009, 01:58 PM
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From Hamburg there are a couple of neat towns that are nearby - like Goslar and Celle - each with good train service.

From cologne you can also do the K-D boats

Aachen to me is one of the worst dreariest cities i've ever seen for tourists - yet if Charlemagne's church - cathedral is of interest that may make it worthwhile but there really IMO is not much 'there' there otherwise - except stinky water you can drink.
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Apr 3rd, 2009, 02:17 PM
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In Cologne we loved Ludwig museum (art museum) with many art objects by Picasso and Dali.
From Cologne we made a half day trip to Bruhl, to see the Augustusberg castle. We go there by train (15 min. ride).
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Apr 6th, 2009, 08:22 AM
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Also not far south of Cologne at Remagen are the remains of the famous Remagen Bridge - that played a crucial role in the final assault on Berlin until it collapsed - the heroic events on the bridge were depicted in the 1969 hit film The Bridge at Remagen - today the bridge itself is gone but its two huge block towers on the eastern bank of the Rhine remain and house a museum about the railway bridge.

You can take a train to Remagen, a cute enough riverside town or you can hop a K-D boat (free with railpasses) there from Cologne and then hop the train back - you could easily include a look at Koblenz - just a few miles on by train or boat from Remagen - this city at the confluence of the Mother Mosel and Father Rhine rivers is a nice large city with a nice Rhine promenade - and at the confluence of the two rivers the monumental equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm (i believe) and is famous in German as a monument to Germany Unity of the late 1800s that led to the Prussian rise and domination of modern Germany that led up to WWI.

Just after the war ended American troops camped on the site of today's campground on the other side of the Mosel from the statue and an American GI simply blasted the horse statue to bits - the massive plinth remained and the state has been restored and is still popular with Germans.

Opposite the Deutsches Eck statue is a monumental fortress of Ehrenberg (sp?) that dominates the Rhine and Mosel confluence - you can walk up there or take an aerial cable way to visit the military museum and capture fine sights for miles up and down the two rivers. A pedestrian and cycle ferry scoots across the river from the Deutsches Eck area frequently.

Ludendorff Bridge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Ludendorff Bridge (in World War II, frequently called the Bridge at Remagen) was a railway bridge across the Rhine in Germany, connecting the villages ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludendorff_Bridge -


Bridge at Remagen - World War II Bridge at Remagen
The Bridge at Remagen was the first Allied bridgehead over the Rhine River in the closing days of World War II. Known as the Ludendorff Bridge, the bridge ...
militaryhistory.about.com/od/worldwarii/p/remagen.htm
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Apr 15th, 2009, 09:52 AM
  #14
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As it turns out we have 20 days in Germany -
Frankfurt 2 nights (business meeting moved to Munich)
Hamburg 3 nights(Nordestedt for a meeting - also hope to do Luebeck)
Cologne 2 nights
Koblenz 2 nights (not yet decided on where to stay - any suggestions?)
Frankfurt 1 night (as we plan to leave most of the luggage at the hotel for the Hamburg/Cologne/Koblenz sector)
Tubingen 3 nights (business meeting + pleasure)
Stuttgart 2 nights
2 nights - aren't too sure - a friend stays in Rheinfelden should we visit him by train or have him drive down?
Munich 3 days

Does this itinerary seem better? Would love suggestions for hotels in Munich.

Thanks
mesh is offline  
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Apr 15th, 2009, 10:42 AM
  #15
 
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Itinerary seems fine

as for train or drive to rheinfelden - i think friends would always rather have guests arrive in their town rather than having to drive to get them - unless a best friend or so.
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Apr 15th, 2009, 11:43 AM
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With the exception of Tübingen and Lübeck, all your itinerary consists of are big cities which have been heavily affected by World War II bombings. Another small town with authentic historical architecture would make a nice change. Rheinfelden is a pretty little town on the river - in fact, it is two different towns with the same name, one on the Swiss and one on the German side, connected by a bridge. I'd say go for it. Swiss Rheinfelden is a little jewel!!! Like most cities and towns in Switzerland, in fact, because they have not had any wars for centuries.

I'm even inclined to suggest cutting out Stuttgart altogether and spending more time in small towns instead, for example along Bodensee / Lake of Constance.
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Apr 15th, 2009, 11:52 AM
  #17
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The friend had offered to drive down to Stuttgart and then take us round for two days in the Black Forest. But I think we shall go to Rheinfelden as we get to see his pretty town which is divided by the river. Thanks for your prompt replies
mesh is offline  
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Apr 15th, 2009, 12:06 PM
  #18
 
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If your business meeting has been moved from Frankfurt, you might consider only spending your first night there, if that.
It's not an incredible place. Go up the Rhine on your way to Koln and spend a night or two.

I would spend 2 nights in Stuttgart with no problem. The Mercedes Benz museum and the Staatsgalerie and enjoying Stuttgart.
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Apr 15th, 2009, 12:26 PM
  #19
 
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I spent 10 days in the Stuttgart area a few years ago and our favorite side trips were:

* Neckar Valley (you don't have anything there and its so gorgeous). We only had one night and didn't have time to go to Heildelberg so we took the train to Hirschorn and stayed in the castle hotel overnight. Excellent restaurant in the castle on the ramparts, amazing room with view of river, quaint medieval town to explore. Our favorite part of the trip.

* We loved Tubingin and spent 2 days there. Market day in the medieval square was fun. The Wertenberg hunting lodge in area worth the visit for serenity of the cloisters and wonderful tour. Excellent meal in small village cafe.

*Stuttgart itself didn't hold much appeal. We enjoyed the Baraoque Ludwigsburg Palace, an easy day trip.

Per the trains: If you are a family group, you can travel together very inexpensively within a given state. I believe when we were there it was approx. $20 Euros for a family day pass of unlimited travel. We had family living there who turned us on to these passes, as none of our travel sources mentioned them, and we were going to buy much more expensive tickets from the states. They are available from all train ticket machines.
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Apr 15th, 2009, 12:33 PM
  #20
 
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Here is the info on the Wurttenberg monastary/hunting lodge in Bebenshausen, a short way from Tubingin:

http://www.travelgermanyinenglish.com/bebenhausen.html
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