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10-12 days in Munich/Bavaria in Sept 2022

Wife and I are looking to spend 3 months in Europe from Sept 2022 to Jan 2023

Our plan is to land in Frankfurt with the goal of going to (hopefully) Oktoberfest but on the way our itinerary is open.

What I've kind of put together thus far

Frankfurt - Rothenburg/Dinkelsbuhl (Stay for first night or 2 after flight

Then from there I kind of see two different branches, Going down to Stuttgart, Baden Baden, The Black Forest, Lake Constance Then to Munich

OR, another Romantic Road Town, Augsberg? and then to Munich earlier

After Oktoberfest, we then plan to most likely rent a car and go to Berchets gaden/Eagles Nest - Neuschwanstein castle and Garmisch and perhaps Lake Constance, Zugspitze and probably take 2-3 days doing that.

I guess what im asking is, is it worthwhile to include the Stuttgart, Baden Baden, Black Forest and commit at least a few extras days for this area?

Any other input on that basic overview is appreciated as well. We are open to any method of travel including car rental etc. and are very flexible. We like high quality museums but dont really care for churches or religious sites. This is going to be a long trip and we are going to attempt to slow down compared to our usual pace (5 euro trips 3-4 weeks each in the last 10 years) so we just want to eat well, be comfortable, people watch, and pay reasonable prices

Posted by
5507 posts

"I guess what im asking is, is it worthwhile to include the Stuttgart, Baden Baden, Black Forest... we just want to eat well, be comfortable, people watch, and pay reasonable prices..."

If you see Baden-Württemberg (where those places are) as the "extra" part, then you'd want to leave those out with just 10-12 days. The more miles you are in transit, the less you will have time for those activities you enumerated.

I will just point out that your destinations in Bavaria seem heavily slanted toward Bavarian beehives for buzzing tourists. That's sort of what Rick Steves tends to specialize in when it comes to Germany, so if Rick has been your ONLY source of destination information, I will toss you a few more sights and places in Bavaria to consider before you finalize your itinerary...

If you only visit Rothenburg/Dinkelsbühl to the north, you are bypassing DOZENS of fantastic destinations in FRANCONIA - which is not a state like Bavaria is - it's a region that actually lies mostly within Bavaria... but Franconia has its own state of mind and its own way with beer, wine, cuisine, and culture. 10 days in Franconia would go too quickly, even without setting foot in Rothenburg.

Other places...

Regensburg

Burghausen

Weltenburg Monastery

Mittenwald (page also has info on Garmisch, the Zugspitze, Berchtesgaden...)

Posted by
38 posts

Amazing, thanks, I will look into all of that.

Yea most of my ideas thus far are from Rick, watching youtubers, and then researching day trips from those places etc.

I will add one more thing, leaving Germany we will likely be taking the train into France to Colmar/Beaune So we will be passing through that western edge of Bavaria if there is anything that's a must see on the way out, we could definitely spend a day or two there

Posted by
27476 posts

Hi Tyler underscore,

I see you have been around us for many years so I expect that you will have seen discussions about the Schengen laws on time you are allowed to remain in the Schengen Zone.

You don't mention going outside the Schengen Zone in your three months so I'll remind you that you are permitted not more than 90 days, including travel days, in any 180 days (counting backwards) or you will be overstaying. It isn't 3 months.

I agree with Russ that so far you've listed the traditional Rick Steves routes and cities - there is a huuuuge amount of fantastic Germany not covered by Rick Steves that some of us here can help you find. Is it just the 2 of you? Any mobility issues? Any difficulties with tunnels, driving, trains, claustrophobia, etc?

I'd have thought that with nearly 3 months a trip into the southwest of Germany, particularly as you are heading to Alsace would be both easy and good.

We've got about a year to help you so let's do it!!

Posted by
5507 posts

we will likely be taking the train into France to Colmar/Beaune So we
will be passing through that western edge of Bavaria if there is
anything that's a must see on the way out, we could definitely spend a
day or two there

OK, that's helpful information.

There are many places in Germany including those you mentioned previously that you might visit both before and after leaving Bavaria.

For general reference here's a map of the German states (Länder)

You could probably spend 1-2 weeks in Baden-Württemberg too. But let's assume maybe 1-3 days, as you have indicated. Below is a strategy to create an intelligent train itinerary between Bavaria and Colmar but still see a place or two on the way.

German Railways (DB) will offer a variety of routes to Colmar depending on where you are when you leave Bavaria. Some via Switzerland, Austria, and France, some just via Germany and France (which is what you are looking for, right?) Here's the itinerary search page:

https://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

Let's say you're in Füssen (easily reached from Munich by train) at the end of a dead-end railway in the German Alps (or in Garmisch just to the east - it's also easily reached from Munich and on a railway to Innsbruck.) Let's say you have Mercedes on your mind and Stuttgart is a must-do. To find your routing, your "from" is Füssen, your "to" is Colmar... you click on "add intermediate stops" under "stopovers" in order to enter Stuttgart Hbf in the Via 1 box (no stopover time is required just to get your routing.) Once that is done, your resulting itineraries will ALL make a stop in Stuttgart.

Now, click on "show details" and find "map view" near the end. Click that on to see the routing and the stops (big circles.)

You mentioned the Black Forest...Let's say you also want 1-2 days there. But oh... the above routing sends you directly to Strasbourg in France and bypasses the Black Forest :( No problem. Just click on "change" near the top of the page and enter a second stopover in the Black Forest town that interests you. Then you'll have a routing to that town as well as a routing from that town to Colmar.

Try Gengenbach. It's an extra-nice old walled town with good access to the Black Forest near Offenburg and Strasbourg. Enter it as a Via 2 stopover. Then go to map view and you can see the routing for your whole trip.

Besides Gengenbach's own appeal, Gengenbach lies on the scenic Black Forest Railway and provides access to other Black Forest towns at higher elevation (including Schiltach, Triberg, Villingen-Schwenningen, Donaueschingen, Haslach, and Gutach, home of the Vogtsbauernhof open-air museum.) But other towns can be good too. Note that Gengenbach and other KONUS towns hand out free guest cards good for free train travel around the Black Forest.

Now, once you have your destinations towns and routing you can plan your time in these places and figure out later how you will ticket your trips day by day (or figure out what sort of multi-day pass you will buy.)

Posted by
6539 posts

Well I've been to all those places you list (except Stuttgart) at least once, and I would always prefer the Middle Rhine area as being more interesting to visit, especially from Frankfurt.

I think the "Romantic Road" thing is oversold, as its just a bunch of several nice towns (that kind of look alike), and not a particularly scenic drive, IMO.

All the places you list can be reached stress-free by rail.

Posted by
38 posts

Once again the Rick Steves travel forum proves to be invaluable with actual helpful, friendly information compared to some of the alternatives cough cough Trip Advisor Cough lol..

As to your question Nigel, no mobility issues, both of us are in our mid 30's, healthy and fairly active lol.. Generally on our euro trips we are walking 10-15,000 steps a day, and some days we can even push 20+ depending on where we are. We prefer to walk when we can over busses or other forms of public transit but are fine using/figuring out almost any method.

In 2017 we went on a 3 week trip from Budapest to Amsterdam where we spent time in Munich and a short stop in Dresden. I understand a lot of people (not so much on this forum but elsehwhere) have this attitude that if you can't spend X amount of time in a certain area/region ThEN WhY EvEn Go?!?!? but we are perfectly fine in hitting a lot of different sites quickly even this deep into our European experience, we enjoy this.

To provide a little further context to this trip, this will be the beginning of the 3 months, after Germany, as I mentioned, we will be crossing into France and then going to Beaune/Dijon for Wine touring, then to Lyon for a bit longer time visiting Chamonix etc. From there we are pretty open with our eyes set on Portugal and gradually making our way over there.

The Schengen zone restrictions are definitely on mind, my wife recently got her Portuguese citizenship. However, as far as I know, that does little for me. A rough look at the timeline for the 90 days kind of looks something like Sept 17th to December 15th or so approx.

We have a wedding to go to in Dublin at some point, which won't count towards the 90 (although the travel days obviously will) and we are also open to going to Croatia at some point which would not count towards the 90 either and extend out opportunity elsewhere. Sorry for the long additional post, just some further background to this trip.

Thanks everyone again

Posted by
1742 posts

I would not recommend traveling to Rothenburg on the day of your arrival. It will require at least 3 train segments. You mightr want to just go to Wurzburg where you can probably rent a car if you decide to drive. I would not recommend getting a car at FRA and driving from there after a transatlantic flight. ( although I will admit to having done so twice at London!) .

I think the Romantic Road is best seen by car ( actually by bicycle if possible ). If you are o.k. with the expense of renting a car, then you might use that rather than train. Look at the lease programs that are available. Then you can also drive in France without having to end the German rental and get a new one in France.

As far as the Black Forrest is concerned, I am a fan of Gengenbach ( not covered by Rick Steves ! ). I have stayed twice for 10 days and hope that I will be able to get there next summer.

Some smaller, excellent museums that I like are the Crime and Punishment Museum in Rothenburg ( even if you are not into churches, go into St. James to see the wood carvings), the Narren Museum in Gengenbach ( wednesdays and weekends only), the already mentioned Voghtsbauernhof ( there is an alpine coaster a couple of hundred yards away that is fun), the town museum in Shiltach is one of the best designed museums I have every been to, and the Black Forest Museum in Triberg. In Colmar, the Unterlinden Museum is fantastic. Bartholdi's house is also interesting.