two weeks in germany

Nov 7th, 2011, 01:42 PM
  #1  
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two weeks in germany

Have traveled frequently, but never to Germany. Any advice on best experiences and cities would be appreciated. Thinking of Frankfurt, Munich, and Berlin with side trips. Many people seem to like Rothenburg/Garmish so I am thinking of there also. Train and/or car advice also. Thanks, ken
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Nov 7th, 2011, 01:53 PM
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You don't need a car in Munich or Berlin. Train travel might be the best. Rothenburg is very reachable by train.
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Nov 7th, 2011, 02:27 PM
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Agree with Michael -- if you're interested in the major cities, train is best. We love Munich and Berlin -- lots to see. Rothenburg is nice but very touristy and for us, one day there is plenty. We also enjoyed Nuremberg, an easy train trip from Munich. Lots of Nazi history there. Urge you to buy or read some guidebooks to narrow down your interests.
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Nov 7th, 2011, 02:30 PM
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How about Berlin and Bavaria? Berlin is essential (Frankfurt is not; Rothenburg is kind of Disney-ish). Munich is fun I guess, but in Bavaria the real delights are the smaller towns. Passau, Regensburg, Bamberg - - continuing on to Nurnberg, Wurzburg all are in an easy stretch done by train - - these places have great centers and the real atmosphere (not to mention the substantial food) that you think of when you think of Germany. Have a look at the Michelin Green guide for Germany, which gives star ratings to places - - it really does highlight the best of Germany, including the hidden gems. Another great guidebook for Germany is actually the Rough Guide - - marvelous insights.
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Nov 7th, 2011, 02:56 PM
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When are you going?
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Nov 7th, 2011, 05:05 PM
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We always do Germany by car - but then we are typically visiting one city and then doing a lot of smaller towns and countryside - for which car is much more convenient. PLus Germany is a great place to drive, many parts of the autobahn have no limit and drivers are, in general, much more skillful than in the US so driving can be a lot of fun. (Note: this is not for you if you are a timid driver - you need to be skilled and assertive.)
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Nov 8th, 2011, 02:04 PM
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I covered some of the main tourist areas of Germany in my coach tour last year. My trip report below has some photos to give an idea on what you can see (alas, not completed yet) along the way. The Rhine Valley is good for small, pleasant towns and castles, Berlin is a must for how well they have integrated a once divided city, Rothenburg is nice but touristy. Actually what you want to see depends a lot on your interests and personal preferences. Enjoy Germany.

Ronald
http://germanyholiday.blogspot.com/
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Nov 8th, 2011, 02:12 PM
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Thank you all for the input, it seems I have more reasearch to do. Mabey I should limit to Munich and Berlin with side trips. It looks like Aug/Sept. is good time to go. I did not see Bavaria on the limited map I have, but sounds interesting. Thanks again, ken
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Nov 8th, 2011, 03:19 PM
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I agree with nytraveler, I love driving in Germany and, while August is the peak of the German vacation period, it is still very driveable.

To me, the beauty of Germany is not in the large cities, but in the villages and countryside up close. Several years ago, I drove the Romantic Road from Bod Soden (near Frankfurt)to Wurzburg to Rothenburg to Nordlingen to Dachau to Munich to Konigsee to Salzburg to Innsbruck to Garmish-Partenkirchen to Oberammergau to Fussen to Zurich to Freiburg to Achern to Baden-Baden to Karlsruhe to Heidelberg and back to Bad Soden and stopped at a lot of small places along the way.

BTW, Bavaria is the German state in the southeastern corner of the country.
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Nov 8th, 2011, 05:13 PM
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You really have to decide between big cities or smaller countryside villages.

Or you have to decide on one region, like Bavaria, and leave the rest of Germany for another trip. For example, you could choose Munich/Berlin as a base and do side trips to the surrounding villages and sites.

What is more important to you? Museums or classic small villages like Rothenburg? Music or food or both? You'll have to give us some idea of what your interests are, otherwise, all we can do is to give you generalizations about different cities/regions of Germany.

You didn't say how long you plan to travel in Germany. That, too, would make a difference in our suggestions.
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Nov 8th, 2011, 05:49 PM
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I am leaning towards Munich/Berlin and hoping for a classic village or two by day trip. We like history and art and would like as much of a "German experience" as can be accomplished in two weeks. Will check out some more guide books as suggested. Would June/July be less crowded? Thanks again, ken
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Nov 8th, 2011, 06:41 PM
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Oops, sorry, just saw you had "two weeks" in your title.

Berlin is about Germany. Munich is about Bavaria.

Munich is Catholic. Berlin is not. Munich is conservative. Berlin is "hip".

Berlin has a fantastic Museum Island with several museums where you could spend several days. Away from Museum Island is the equally fantastic Gemaldegalerie, the art museum filled with paintings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_Island

http://www.smb.museum/smb/standorte/index.php

http://www.smb.museum/smb/home/index.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gem%C3%...alerie,_Berlin

If you choose Berlin, you will be spending the good part of your time in Berlin, with possibly visits to Potsdam and Dresden.

If you choose Munich, you will be spending less time in Munich and more in the surrounding countryside or going as far as Salzburg. you'll probably definitely want to go to Neuschwanstein and one other small town, such as Bamburg depending on your interests.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Nov 10th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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we will be flying from paris to germany for an 11 day stay in germany. this will be our tird trip. we will end up in berlin but dont know how many days we should be there. are thinking of potsdam. have been to the rhine, mosel some of the fairly tale road,badenbaden, strasbourg, munich for a couple of days( although not too impressed)and rothenberg.our last trip was at least 10-15 yrs ago. we can fly into any city from paris but will return home from berlin. this will be in june 2012
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Nov 10th, 2011, 10:26 AM
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realtorseena: you might want to repost this as a separate thread of your own. You'll get a lot more responses.
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Nov 10th, 2011, 12:57 PM
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thanks again easy traveler for the input and web sites. kenc
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Nov 10th, 2011, 01:05 PM
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You're welcome, kenc.

Hope that's what you were looking for. If not, do come back and someone can provide you with the correct information.

Happy travels!
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Nov 10th, 2011, 01:10 PM
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Driving in Germany is definitely fun - and taking trains there is very nice too. Our rule of thumb is public transport in cities and then consider a car for smaller towns, depending on our itinerary.

On one trip, we used public transportation for Munich, Nuremburg, and Rothenburg. Then we picked up a car in Nuremburg for our drive along the Romantik Road to Fuessen/Hohenschwangau/Oberamergau/Etc. We liked having a car in the Alps because we could poke around the smaller places more easily.

On another trip, we picked a car up in Frankfurt and had it for Bamberg and Aufess, then turned the car in at Munich and were on public transport for Munich, Prague, Nuremburg, and back to Frankfurt. The car wasn't useful for Bamberg, but it was a must for Aufsess.
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Nov 10th, 2011, 01:13 PM
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You really have to decide between big cities or smaller countryside villages.>>

not really, easy. if you start [and end?] in Berlin, you can have both! you could do a lovely trip starting in Berlin, driving down to Dresden and the saechsiches Schweiz to its south - east,then west to Leipzig, Halle, Weimar, and back up to Berlin via Potsdam. or go further west to the Harz and fly home from Frankfurt.

so many lovely and interesting places to see!
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Nov 10th, 2011, 03:38 PM
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annhig: I agree.

I was just going on the basis of the OP's original post saying that he wanted to do Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich AND Rothenburg/Garmisch - within two weeks. That's when I thought he should narrow it down to either big cities or countryside, because I can't imagine doing three big cities in only two weeks and still have time left over for the countryside.

Of course, segmenting it the way you and November_Moon have is another option. Do one big city with surrounding countryside or at most two big cities.

so many lovely and interesting places to see!

Absolutely!
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Nov 11th, 2011, 10:34 AM
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easy - We have found that segmenting the trip like that with large cities and smaller towns works well for us. We thoroughly enjoy cities, boonies, and everything in between, so we try to work in a variety.

I do think it would be fun from a compare and contrast perspective to spent 2-3 weeks and visit 4 major cities. Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin (or something along those lines).
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