What to do with 6 days in Germany?

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Jan 13th, 2009, 05:38 PM
  #1
LH
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What to do with 6 days in Germany?

We're planning a trip (w/two teenage daughters) this June to France & Germany. We leave Paris on a Saturday morning, and fly home from Munich the next Friday morning. Planning an itinerary has become overwhelming because there are so many great places (and so little time!) I made the "mistake" of asking the other family members what they would love to do/see in Germany and here is their "dream list"...

Burg Eltz
A night at a castle..like Schoenburg
Rheinfels castle
A stop in Bacharach
Rothenburg..inc. Night Watchman Tour
Dachau
Munich..probably one day is enough
Neuschwanstein Castle
Zupitse
Weiskirche
Luge ride near castle or Zupitse

I have also heard about the Berchtesgadener area but don't know how close that is to the Zupitse?

I think/know I have WAY too much. But what to cut? We'd like to definitely spend a couple of days in beautiful scenery, maybe at the end of the trip, so I see us ending south of Munich...can one town (Fussen/Mittenwald/Reutte (opinions?) be a home base for those southern sights..then we can drive back to a Munich airport hotel Thursday evening?

I am grateful for all ideas/suggestions. Any idea how we can do this all?

We'll probably take a train from Paris..to maybe Saarbrucken? (opinions?)..then drive, but we have to be at a car rental desk by noon on a Saturday when they all seem to close)...though we are open to the train for whenever it is logical!

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Jan 13th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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The Zugspitze is fun to visit, but it can be time consuming; so you'll need to factor that into your plans. The gondola ride to and from the mountain's peak can take up to two hours, depending on how many people are waiting in line for the cars--and of course you'll want to spend some time walking around once you're there.

I think a day in Munich is really not enough--there is so much to see and enjoy.

Your dream list is pretty ambitious, and I think you'll need to set some priorities.
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Jan 13th, 2009, 07:41 PM
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I visited most of the above as a teenager - all are good choices - I would submit that Dachau is the one place that is a "must." There will always be an effort by society to minimalize the brutality of the Holocaust and the memory of my visit there in 1968 will be forever etched in my mind.

According to RailEurope, a TGV goes from Paris Est at 7:24 and arrives in Karlruhe at 10:30. Karlsruhe would be your best bet as the Autobahn goes straight east from there to Munich and the Train from Paris goes straight to Karlsruhe with a stop in Strassburg, which, by the way is a nice 1/2 day stop. Actually, you could spend one night in Strassburg, rent some bikes and bike around the Alsacian wine country . . . but I disgress.

Slightly out of the way is Brugge, Belgium, also a nice overnight stop. We went to paris three years ago w/wife and three teenage daughters, for a week and spent one day in Brugge. Loved, loved Paris, but the daughters said they liked the day in Brugge the most. Think Rothenburg with the world's coolest mall hidden inside of it. (not to mention Belgian beer for dad.)

Yet, another idea - (I think this is what I'd really do, if I were you) would be to train from Paris to Munich, spending all day Sunday visiting Munich via public transportation, then rent the car first thing Monday AM and drive until "flugenzeit"

On looking at your ideas, one note -after two fantastic castles, you'll notice the long drive to the third castle more than the castle itself.
Suggest just planning on Dauchau, Rothenburg, Neuschwanstein, any one other castle, then play it by ear when you are there.

Finally, for something different, about an hour east of Munich is an old palace on Lake Chiemsee. Many Munichers like that as a day trip in the summertime.
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Jan 14th, 2009, 04:19 AM
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6 Days - not much.

Regarding Dachau, which for me was very moving and very important, I don't think it's necessary to visit the place on such a short trip. It's simply so moving that it really requires some downtime afterward - which you don't have. You can't just leave the place and then go on an alpine toboggan ride (or do other such touristy stuff.)

Anyway, I agree that you don't have time for Munich or points south. What you probably do have time for is the area between Saarbrücken and MUC. Burg Eltz is excellent. Stay in nearby Cochem for two nights - the scenery and the town itself are gorgeous - before moving on to the Rhine and Auf Schoenburg, also excellent (you'd be wise to reserve NOW - it's quite popular.) You can see Rheinfels on the way to Auf Schoenburg - it's only a few miles away.

I'd then head for Rothenburg. Spend two nights there and include an outing to at least one other town nearby. Weikersheim's Palace and Würzburg's Residenz are both worth seeing. Well-preserved and beautiful Bamberg isn't too far away. Nuremberg is very nice too.

Then on Thursday drive through some other Romantic Road towns on your way to some town near the airport (Freising?) for your last night.

I don't think this more realistic plan will disappoint. The whole trip involves lovely towns and gorgeous scenery that you won't forget.





The four of you can travel more inexpensively through Germany by train.
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Jan 14th, 2009, 05:34 AM
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It's all a matter of personal preference, but since you're leaving from Munich and have only 6 days, I'd head there directly. There's plenty to see and do in central and southern Bavaria for 6 days.

Rothenburg is not my favorite town in Germany--just too, too, too touristy. The entire Altstadt is nothing but a tourist enclave, but it is very photogenic and worth a visit for the great photo ops. So, if you must, there is a very good castle hotel a short drive to the east of town--Burg Colmberg http://www.burg-colmberg.de/ Double rooms with bath vary from 79 euros to 185 euros including VAT, breakfast and parking.

Depending on your driving style, road conditions, etc.,
7-8 hours on the road driving time Paris to Munich. 6 hours or so Paris to Rothenburg. Bit under 2 hours Hohenschwangau/Neuschwanstein castles to Munich.

But other options wouldn't be bad either--it just seems to me that it would be easier to head right to Munich since you're flying out of there, and there's plenty of interest in the area.
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Jan 14th, 2009, 05:34 AM
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Oh, and just to avoid possible confusion, it's the Wieskirche, not the Weiskirche.
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Jan 14th, 2009, 05:47 AM
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I would start up the Mosel Valley from Trier, visit the Roman ruins around Trier then take the train up to tour Burg Eltz. Be sure to walk the trail to the Castle. It's a great walk through a forrest by a stream. I found the trail head by asking local kids who walked me to the trail from the station.

After the Burg a night in Cochem then up to the Rhine. There is a castle hostel there, Burg Stahleck, that is great. It's well run, clean and quiet but usually full so get reservations on line as soon as you know your dates.

Tour Rheinfels ruins and take a boat ride from Bacharach to St. Goar (about an hour) and take a train back to your starting point. If there is daylight left, maybe see Marksburg.

Head for the Romantic Road in the morning. Start in Wurtzburg and end the day in Rhotenburg. Get there before dark. Spend a night there and do the nightwatchmans tour.

The next morning you can do more of the Romantic Road visiting one or two cute towns. You will save time by visiting the Tourist Information centers so you know what is worth seeing in the towns rather than wandering around aimlessly.

Then on to Neuschwanstein area. Spend the night, see the castles first thing in the morning then do a Luge ride and head toward Munich seeing Weiskirche on the way.

So far we're at four nights of a fairly hectic pace. There is plenty to do in Munich to keep you occupied but if not you should also check out Salzburg, one of the most beautiful cities anywhere and the salt mine or Eagle's nest at Berchtesgaden (which is close to Salzburg).

I have no idea how to also squeeze in Zugspitze and Dachau.

I would definitely rent a car. It's cheaper than four train tickets and you can travel on your schedule which saves time. Be sure to take a GPS with you that you have practiced using and has European maps (mine is a TomTom 920).
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Jan 14th, 2009, 05:49 AM
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Sorry, I started out thinking train but then suggested car. By the time you get to the Romantic Road you lose to much time on the train. Trains will work fine through the Rhine.
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Jan 14th, 2009, 09:18 AM
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We did a similar trip to what bdtjbenson is suggesting although over ten days.

We drove from Bruge to Trier where we spent the day touring the Roman ruins.

Then we drove on to Beilstein where we stayed at Haus Lippman for three nights. From there we did daytrips to Burg Eltz and a Rhine boat trip from St Goar to Bacharach (used Rick Steves shortcut drive to St Goar from Beilstein or vice versa) where a German men's chorus group sang me Happy Birthday at my husband's request - it was my 50th.

On leaving Beilstein, we drove to Munich (long 6 hour drive) and stayed two nights. From Munich we took the train to Salzburg for one day which I'm not sure I would recommend as it took one of our days from Munich and only having one day in Salzburg was not enough.

From Munich we went to Fussen to tour the castles for two nights. Then drove to Rothenburg for two nights and were there for their annual festival (June)and of course took the Nightwatchman's tour.

Overall we enjoyed the trip very much although the weather that year was not with us - rained every single day and even snowed in Fussen in June (2006). Also not sure I would stay in Fussen again as we did not find it particularly charming.
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Jan 15th, 2009, 09:34 AM
  #10
LH
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Wow, thanks for the great replies. It is so useful to hear opinions from people who have already been there! I was playing around with MANY different possible itineraries last night and I came up with this one that actually fits in all of my "wish list" destinations. My concern is that it is way too rushed, however...I am having a problem determining how much time to allow for each site, so therefore it is difficult to know how much time to allow. Anyway here it is for your review.

Saturday..early morning train from Paris to Saarbrucken (1 hour 45 min) Rent car and drive to Burg Eltz (another 1 hour 40 min) Tour, then drive to Schoenburg CAstle (near Bacharach/St. Goar).

Sunday Tour Rheinfels Castle in morning then drive to Rothenburg, arriving early-mid afternoon. Explore the town a bit, do the Night Watchman's Tour, and spend the night.

Monday...drive from Rothenburg to Fussen area for two-night stay, arriving mid-day. Hopefully see Wieskirche along the way. Tour Neuschwantstein Castle in afternoon. Overnight in Fussen.

Tuesday...ride to top of Zupitse from Austria side, do a luge ride, maybe go and see Mittenwald. 2nd night in Fussen.

Wednesday....leave Fussen and drive to Dachau, (1 hour, 40 minute drive) arriving late morning or early afternoon (depending on when we leave Fussen) Tour Dachau. Return car and take train to Munich, arriving late afternoon. Get acclimated to Munich. One night hotel stay in Munich.

Thursday..tour Munich all day. After dinner, transport to hotel by the airport for flight home to US early Friday.

Okay, opinions?
Thanks to you all..you are great.

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Jan 15th, 2009, 10:34 AM
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With 6 days (not counting travel time) I would base in Munich. I woud skip Rothenburg and the Rhine/Mosel area this time.

Spend a couple of days in Munich then take a car to Neuschwanstein. While in the area go to Wiesekirche, Linderhof, Oberammergau and Ettal Monastary and then stop for a night in Mittenwald (we like the Aloenrose Hotel in the middle of town).

Then on to Salzburg. Depending on the time of your flight you can drive from Salzburg to the Munich airport in a couple of hours, drop the car and jump on the plane.
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Jan 15th, 2009, 12:36 PM
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Comments? Just the same ones as before. It's too rushed - nearly every poster has said the same thing. You're including everything on your original list, adding Mittenwald, and covering a crazy amount of ground, so when you say, "I think/know I have WAY too much. But what to cut?", you're just being disingenuous; your plan ignores the previous advice, so why ask for more?

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Jan 15th, 2009, 01:53 PM
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Since you seem to be determined to go on that whirlwind trip, I would only question the very last part of your trip:
The suburban train from downtown Munich to the airport needs 40-45 minutes, so I cannot see any need to pack/unpack for another change of hotels just to be a bit closer to the airport. I would spend the last 2 nights in the same hotel in Munich.
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Jan 15th, 2009, 02:04 PM
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When I was planning our trip to Germany I was also overwhelmed with so much to see and do so I cut out some things that I wanted to do like the zugspite (as so dependent on the weather), the luge, Eagle's nest, Hallstat and a tour of Dachau. I did not want to be too exhausted from running around that I would not be able to enjoy the sights. Even so, our trip of 10 days to the sights you want to see was a bit more rushed than I like and you have only 8 days.
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Jan 16th, 2009, 07:03 PM
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The observation about the need to decompress after Dauchau is a sound suggestion - if you are trying to pack in a lot of visits to alot of different stuff, then this is something to consider. I also concur with the suggesiton about dropping Rothenburg. It's a nice palce to visit, but if something must go, and I suggest that your trip is too packed up and something should go, then Rothenburg really has consistly underwhelmed those who felt they "had" to include it on an itinerary such as yours.
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