Which German cities to visit?

Aug 20th, 2009, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Hi R,

March 2008 I took my parents to Europe for their first overseas trip. We flew into Prague for four days and one day we took a bus to Terezin to see the concentration camp there. It was my first visit to a concentration camp and I'll never forget it. It was, however, a not so great trip to the bus station and then a not so great bus ride to the camp and then we had to wait for a train to get back. Not sure I would recommend that just because transportation to/from is a pain.

We had a private driver take us from Prague to Munich (which ended up being cheaper than the train if you can believe that) and spent 3.5 days in Munich. It was a quick 3-4 hour drive. Once in Munich, we saw the castles, explored Munich (very fun city), and took a day trip to Dachau. In our collective opinion, Dachau was more moving than anything we'd ever seen. It was also incredible the amount of information provided there. My dad made a very long detailed powerpoint from the pictures he took there and it really captured what we saw and felt that day. We then took the train to Venice for the last three days of our trip, but you could head to another German city from there. I highly recommend Munich and Dachau.

overplanner is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 10:44 AM
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I have not read all the posts but can report on the Dresden-Prague-combo: It's easy and an easy drive (we did not buy a stamp for the Autobahn as there was no station to do so, and did not get caught ;-) ): 1,5 hrs.We travelled last July.
I particularly LOVE Dresden and have visited 3 times and might go back a forth.
Prague is also wonderful - but be prepared to share it with LOADS of visitors (June - Sep/Weekends).

Happy Travels!

spassvogel is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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Okay, your friend changes everything. Forget Dresden and Berlin.

Go to Regensburg (a very pretty city - and hometown of Pope Benedict) and proceed to München, Dachau, Rothenburg, Dinkelsbühl, Nördlingen, Nürnberg... You will enjoy historic towns in Bavaria. Everything will be very convenient from Prague.
traveller1959 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 05:45 PM
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Regensburg i once read has more historic old buildings in its city center than any city in Germany - obviously not blitzed in war as much as most cities like Dresden (which has been wondrously pieced back together)
Palenque is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 06:08 PM
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Rajen, this is a difficult decision for you but I would strongly recommend Munich as traveller 1959 above suggests. It is a fascinating city with many museums, hearty food, and accessibility to the castles and, of course, Dachau. Bavaria is a beautiful and historic part of Germany.
latedaytraveler is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 06:32 PM
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If we go to Munich, would you suggest going during Oktoberfest or avoiding it? The price of hotel rooms is not so much of a factor as availability and whether it's better to see the city in it's usual state as opposed to during a big festival. Our travel dates are now set...September 29 (arriving in Europe on September 30) and leaving Europe on October 9.

Overplanner....how nice that you were able to make that trip with your parents...a lifetime memory! Do you still have the name of the driver who you hired to take you from Prague to Munich?
Rajen is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 08:59 PM
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Off topic: Palenque, that's not correct. Görlitz has the most historic buildings in Germany. Almost 4,000 I think.
Ingo is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 09:10 AM
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Did not see this answered above but Dachau is an easy trip from Munich, reached via short train ride than a bus. Also from Munich it is a nice trip to Linderfhof castle which we very much enjoyed and fits your criteria of small over huge.

We have made several trips to Munich and find it an excellent base. We have visited Garmisch and plan next to visit Mittenwald. Nuremberg is an hour away by train.

I would recommend John's Bavarian Tours in Munich; we booked him for a full day last December and very much enjoyed it.

In Berlin, Jeremy Minsberg [[email protected]] comes highly recommended and we have booked with him for our trip this November. We plan on Dresden as a day trip from Berlin.
kfusto is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 10:25 AM
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Personally I love the Bavarian cities. Munich , Mittenwald, Garmish-Part., Oberammergau, Regensburg, Nuremburg, Rothenburg are all exceptionally beautiful. The Alps and Black Forest are simply awesome!

Wiht only nine days and 4 being spent in Prague I would opt out of going to different German cities and simply stay in Munich. You can do day trips from there. You will need at least serveral days just to see Munich

I've seen all of Ludwigs castles and I think Linderhoff is my favorite.

Enjoy the food,beer,museums,beer,music,beer, sites. You get the picture. October in Munich?? Hmmm....anything going on there?
pauljagman is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 11:25 AM
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As to your specific question whether to go when Oktoberfest is on (and I assume you know it actually starts in Sept), that really depends on whether you want to see a big festival with the expected crowds or see Munich when it's a little less hectic. We've done both and prefer Munich at other times - though it is some amazing festival. [BTW - like many big events, it really helps if you know someone locally who can show you the "inside"].
dfr4848 is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 01:01 PM
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Ingo - gotta do Gorlitz - really do not know much about it but i now know enough to want to see it

I think my Regensburg reference was probably pre German reunification = and Gorlitz is in the former DDR, right>

thanks for the correction.
Palenque is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Regensburg is a beautiful city even if it does not have the most historic buildings in Germany. I would go there and see your friend, then to Munich
Vttraveler is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 05:22 PM
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Okay...these are the final two choices for itineraries. We will leave the US on September 29, arriving in Europe on September 30, and leave on October 9.

CHOICE #1: Fly into Berlin from US, stay 2 or 3 nights, train or private car to Prague (private car costs 259 Euros, does anyone know how that compares to train for 2?), possibly stopping in Regensburg on the way;

Prague 4 nights leaving time for 2 day trips, possibly one to Ragensburg;

Fly to Budapest for 2 or 3 nights, leave for US from Budapest.

CHOICE #2: Fly into Budapest from US for 2 or 3 nights, fly to Prague;

Prague 4 nights, train or private car to Munich (281Euro), either stopping in Regensburg or taking a day trip to Regensburg from Munich;

2 or 3 nights in Munich including surrounding areas, fly from Munich to US.

The reason for the reverse direction on the second itinerary is that we have decided to avoid Munich during Oktoberfest. The second itinerary would have us traveling to Munich on the last day of Oktoberfest. Both itineraries would allow for day trips to concentration camps. We would have tour guides in Budapest and Berlin, in order to see as much as possible in the short time we have. The choice of 2 or 3 days in Berlin/Budapest/Munch depends on travel schedules.

Rajen is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 05:37 PM
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Fly into Berlin from US, stay 2 or 3 nights, train or private car to Prague (private car costs 259 Euros, does anyone know how that compares to train for 2?)

You can check for schedule and prices here:

Picking october 3 as your travel date, the CHEAPEST option FOR TWO is:

Advance purchase tickets, 2nd class for €58
Advance purchase tickets, 1st class for €98

Standard fare, ie, refundable tickets FOR TWO is:
€120,40 in 2nd class
€189,60 in 1st class

Therefore, even if you buy fully refundable 1st class tickets for Berlin -> Prague, you will still be saving a bundle over private car. And if you buy advance non-refundable 2nd class tickets, you'll be saving €200.
yk is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 06:06 PM
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Hi Rajen,

Hmm, looks like you've got a really tight schedule...
Do you think you could skip Budapest?

Sept. 30 - arrive in Berlin, rest and relax for rest of the day
Oct. 1 - Berlin
Oct. 2 - Berlin
Oct. 3 - Berlin
Oct. 4 - Leipzig or Dresden
Oct. 5 - Leipzig or Dresden
Oct. 6 - Leipzig or Dresden
Oct. 7 - Prague
Oct. 8 - Prague
Oct 9 - fly out from Prague

Remember that the first and last day of flight travel is basically a 'wasted day' since you have either jet-lag or need to check-in at the airport early.

Also, the days of train travel and/or check-in and out of hotels really wastes another half a day, so you don't really get the whole day to do any full-day guided tours, etc.

Just my two cents
nancicita is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 06:10 PM
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Oh, and given your tight schedule, I wouldn't take the train from Munich-Prague because that train takes at least 6.5 hours and it is possible that the train is late and will stop in the middle of an inconvenient place. Three weeks ago I took a train from Prague to Munich, and the train was late 30 minutes and then in the middle of Swandorf (Germany), the train conductor just stopped the train and told everybody to get off. We were re-directed to another train from Swandorf to Nuremberg and then from Nuremberg to Munich. It really wasted a lot of time.
nancicita is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2009, 11:21 AM
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On the second day of one of my Germany travels I had my first wursts at a small restaurant situated in Regensberg. The restaurant was on the banks of the Danube at the end of a bridge. The kitchen was in an outside building and in addition to the restaurant they had a small beer garden with picnic tables. It was a Sunday after church and the picnic tables were full so we ended up eating inside.

We were served 6 small but tasty bratwurst (little finger size) with the best kraut I've ever eaten. Bread was sitting on the table but you were charged extra if you ate any. The beer was cold and yummy too! I don't remember the cost but very reasonable.

Visit St Peters church if you get a chance. It's very old and charming. You can't miss the steeple.

Yes, Regensberg is a good choice.
pauljagman is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2009, 03:04 PM
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The "sixpack" of small sausages is the usual serving size and kind when you order "Rostbratwürstel".
A plate of 6 Rostbratwürstel with Sauerkraut should be around €6-8. If they ask for more, it's a tourist trap.

Just never ever order "brats" - the only thing which is phonetically similar to that in German would be a Brezn (or big pretzel)

P.S. Not trying to lecture you, paul, but you have been in Regensburg, not -berg. The reason the locals here sometimes get anal about the proper suffixes is that -berg and -burg are extremely common. And if you use GPS in your rental car or print online tickets for train travel, you may end up in either Regensberg, North of Nuremberg, or Regensberg near Zurich/Switzerland.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2009, 05:03 PM
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Thanks cowboy, yes it was Regensburg. The 'frau' leading us called them brats. Perhaps she knew we would understand what the were better if she called them brats. And yes if I remember correctly the cost was about 6E.
pauljagman is offline  
Aug 24th, 2009, 12:52 PM
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burg - castle
berg - town

or do i have it the opposite
Palenque is offline  

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