Which 3 bases for 3 weeks in Germany?

Old Feb 4th, 2021, 11:26 AM
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Which 3 bases for 3 weeks in Germany?

Here's hoping we'll all be able to travel in 2022. I'm afraid I'm losing hope for 2021. So, it's time to start planning a banner year of travel in 2022! I'm looking at 3 weeks in Germany, probably July. It may be a add-on to another trip or a stand alone. I would like to concentrate on southern Germany. I'm looking for suggestions for 2 (of 3) bases of a week +/- each. I'm a slow traveler, a fit senior who enjoys history, strolling, castles, nature and being outdoors, charming alte Städte. I also prefer to rent apartments when I'm spending at least a week somewhere.

I definitely will spend a week in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to enjoy the mountains. Then, I would like to spend a week (or more) somewhere in or in the area of Nuremberg. I have not traveled to this area before but have read a lot about the city and also Regensburg, Würzburg, etc. This area seems to have a wealth of places to visit. Would you recommend staying in Nuremberg or is there a smaller town or city with good train connections which would serve as a base? I would prefer not to have a car in this area.

The last area I wish to visit is Baden-Württemberg. I will rent a car in this area as I wish to visit two small towns where ancestors originated. One is just west of Worms, the other is northeast of Strasbourg. Besides Heidelberg, what other base would you suggest? I enjoyed Adelaidean's trip report with pictures of the positively charming Schwäbisch Hall. But, it may be a bit too far east. Is there another similarly charming town further west you would recommend as a base?

I thank you all for any and all help!


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Old Feb 4th, 2021, 01:22 PM
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Hi Dee_Dee,

Yes, I would probably go with Nuremberg, it's a good destination as well as central to all the other cities in the area that you might think to visit (Bamberg, Regensburg, Würzburg, and nowhere is really great for Rothenburg because the trains are a pain there).

For the last leg of the trip you might pick a rail hub in the area of Worms / Heidelberg like Mannheim, or you might pick a nice destination between Worms and Strasbourg like Baden-Baden, which is an elegant spa city with a casino, very popular in the 19th century. Mannheim is quite interesting. It is built on a grid and each section does not have street names but a letter of the alphabet.

Somewhere for you to start, anyway

Lavandula
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Old Feb 4th, 2021, 02:32 PM
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Freising really surprised me last year. I loved the Cathedral there and the food was amazing. Just north of Munich so you could do Regensburg also. Train is there for all three but less expensive to stay there than Munich. I love Nurenberg. You could easily visit for several days there. We stopped into Worms to see the Jewish cemetery. Very good stop. Speyer for the night. Speyer has a great pedestrian zone. I am not crazy about Stuggart. Garmisch is by far my favorite place. 2022 will be the Passion play. I was first surprised they cancelled till 2022 but they were spot on.
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Old Feb 4th, 2021, 07:40 PM
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For your third stop, Heidelberg would be a good choice. When we visited, we did a day trip to Bad Wimpfen, which you may wish to look into. It's small and very attractive, maybe too small for a week, although it is on a train line? You could consider staying in Strasbourg, which would also allow you easy access to travel the area south towards Colmar.
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Old Feb 4th, 2021, 09:16 PM
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Hi Dee_Dee,

I live in Garmisch, so I'm happy to help if I can. For apartments, have you already looked at the town's website at

www.gapa.de?

You can put in your dates (well... probably a bit early now) and your criteria, and they'll list all the available apartments. Be sure to check the addresses, as many say they are central, but I would not agree.

I personally dislike big cities, so I would probably opt to stay in Bamberg and take one or more trips out to Nuremberg. Also, I spent 4 nights in Regensburg a few years ago and adored the place.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Feb 5th, 2021, 02:53 AM
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Lavandula, thank you for your feedback. I will have a car for the last stay in Baden-Württemberg and am looking for a non big city base. Any thoughts?

Macross, thank you so much for letting me know about the Jewish cemetery in Worms! I will definitely add that to my itinerary. I did not know about the Passion Play. Will that make GP uncomfortably crowded in July?

dreamon, Bad Wimpfen looks wonderful! I will have a car for this portion of my trip. So, BW might work. I spent 8 nights in Colmar and Strasbourg in 2019 so I want to be further north on this trip.

swandav, thank you for the apartment website! Lots of choices! I dislike big cities too. So, thank you for recommending both Bamberg and Regensburg. Would one be better than the other for rail connections for visiting the whole area?
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Old Feb 5th, 2021, 05:02 AM
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I'd look at the area between th Black Forest, Koblenz and Bescancon (ok the last is in France but) ... it only really looks at two rivers, the Mosel and the Rhine (the pretty part) an area of small mountains, castles and wine.

Then look at Lake Constance and environs

Finally the Elbe to the east of Hamburg including Hanburg and the ex-hanseatic league towns near it

Three very different places and often overlooked by Americans who love the area around Munich ;-)
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Old Feb 5th, 2021, 05:37 AM
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Bilbo, we were going to Kiel this year on the Baltic so my husband could see this submarine. The Nato school brought us to the area south of Munich but we have been around other places in Germany.

I think the Passion play will see overflow into GP. We rented the best apartment in town last year if you want the link. I booked 11 months in advance for Christmas week.
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Old Feb 5th, 2021, 01:53 PM
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Hi Dee_Dee, you already have small cities in Worms, Speyer or Baden-Baden, I would pick one of those to base in. If you are looking for small towns to visit, Hirschhorn on the Neckar near Heidelberg is pretty (there is a castle with a vista over the river), but it's too far away from your destinations to base there. I will also mention little Freudenstadt as a base for the northern part of the Black Forest. It was flattened in WWII and rebuilt but it is / was 19th century and has a large square and interesting shopping arcades. However I think it is a bit out of the way for you given your planned destinations.

And if you want even further north, Idar-Oberstein is a very interesting stop because it is a centre of gemstone cutting and mining and jewellery-making. However I think it wouldn't make a good base because it's remote. Not many non-German tourists know about it, it's a bit out of the way from the usual Rhine tourism, but it might be in your general scope.

Lavandula

Last edited by lavandula; Feb 5th, 2021 at 01:59 PM.
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Old Feb 6th, 2021, 01:18 AM
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Hi again,

Well of course the best base depends on what you mean by "visiting the whole area." I would check the rail connections and see what the journeys look like. To me, the longest journey one-way for a day-trip is 2h; longer than that, and all I remember of the day is the train ride. You can check the journeys easily at

www.bahn.com

Be careful when you look at all the results, though. An IC or ICE train is a fast train, expensive, and may require reservations. You can get a good price for seats, but then you are locked into specific trains at specific times. So make sure you look at the IR, RE, or R (regional) trains, which are covered by the Bavaria Pass, but which may be slower.

The trip from Bamberg to Nuremburg is about an hour on regional trains (43 minutes or 1h02), with 0 changes; on the ICE the trip is 35 minutes.

The trip from Bamberg to Regensburg is 3h on regional trains, with 1 or 2 changes, and it is 2h on the ICE. So, to me, that is too far for a day-trip. If you will be in Munich for a day or two, you could see it from there -- that trip is about 1h30 with 1 or 0 changes.

The trip from Bamberg to Würzburg is about an hour, with 0 changes.

In contrast, the trip from Nuremberg to Regensburg is about an hour, with 1 or 0 changes, on regional trains. And the trip from Nuremberg to Würzburg is also about an hour. So if those quick connections are the priority for you, then Nuremburg would be the most convenient base.

I'll just add a note on the Passion Play in Oberammergau -- no, you won't notice the crowds in Garmisch. I was living here for the last one in 2010, and there was no noticeable increase in the number of tourists. But do be aware that there are a LOT of tourists here in July, August, & September. A few dozen or so more per day is not really noticeable. There may be more crowds than normal at Ettal Monastery or Linderhof, west of Oberammergau. Maybe you'll notice them in Füssen. But not so much in Garmisch.

Have fun!

s
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Old Feb 6th, 2021, 04:54 AM
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I would still not chance getting a nice accommodation. I don't think I can do an airbnb link on here. Look for an apartment by Heike and Roland. The views were amazing with balcony off the living room and bedroom. Laundry in basement. I did not mind the steps. I am 67. Great butcher shop on the corner with some good takeout and nice grocery within walking distance. They insisted on meeting us at the train station. Close to bus stop. The price was excellent.

Last edited by Macross; Feb 6th, 2021 at 05:13 AM.
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Old Feb 6th, 2021, 05:30 AM
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Hi Macross,

Garmish is really too far for folks to stay in when seeing the Passion Play. The Play takes five hours, and has a dinner break. Most folks do not want to drive down the mountain at that time of night after sitting for that long at the play. Some will, I'll grant you, but most will not. And in the past there wasn't reliable transportation between O'gau and Garmisch at that time of night, though what they'll offer in 2022 is anyone's guess.

But July is super high season anyway, and the OP really shouldn't wait until the last minute to get her apartment. I would say to get reservations nlt Dec 2021. Oct or Nov 2021 would be ok to reserve too.

Anyway, OP, have fun!

s
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Old Feb 6th, 2021, 05:38 AM
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bilboburgler, thank you for the suggestions. But, none are in the areas I plan to visit on this trip.

Macross, yes, I would like to know about the apartment you rented.

lavandula, thank you for all your suggestions of places to visit. I just used Google Images to check out Hirschhorn. That's the kind of place I'm looking for as a base! Positively charming and not at all too far away!

swandav, thank you for all the detailed information about travel times! I had been checking out the times on bahn.de but was questioning how what I'm seeing now will differ post pandemic. I do now think I will chose Nuremberg as a base. It's central location makes sense for all my day trips. Thank you for reminding me about the Bavaria Pass. I used that on a previous trip years ago. And thank you for the reassurance that GP won't be swarmed with crowds during the Passion Play. I'll take note to arrive early when visiting the places you listed which will be more crowded.
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Old Feb 6th, 2021, 01:09 PM
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Oh, well, if you like Hirschhorn you might also visit Michelstadt. LIke Hirschhorn it's also in Hessen, and close by to Hirschhorn. The Christmas market here is a big drawcard, but the town is pretty also.

Lavandula
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