I am starting over, my post from yesterday was lost in the new forum? Well anyway, my post yesterday with my trip itinerary was met with lots of not feasibles. . . So will begin again. We are planning a 10 day/8 night first time trip to Germany, Austria and Prague in May. Will fly into Munich. I am open for suggestions on where to spend the 8 nights and what to do. Seeing 1-2 castles is fine with us. What is most worthwhile and feasible to do in these 8 days (2 days of travel). We would like to spend some time in Munich and Prague for sure with a trip to Rothenburg. Suggestions and ideas please.
It's a shame you have such a short time to stay. Both Munich and Prague are worthy of at least 4 days to hit the travel highlights.
You should consider flying open jaw--into Munich and home from Prague. You can take the train between the cities.
Rothenburg is quite a distance north of Munich, and is not in the direction of Prague. If you must visit another interesting city, Salzburg is much easier to get to via train from Munich.
Or, go east on the train to Linz, Austria and north to Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic. It's a very popular original middle age city.
If at all possible, I would avoid Prague during a weekend...it was very crowded. But if you are fine with this and cannot plan it differently...just be prepared I guess. It is a lovely city and lots is doable by foot.
I enjoyed walking to the Castle from the center and the museum of communism was very interesting (depends of your interests).
Where are you flying out of?
I would ask exactly what you're looking to see in Rothenburg. It's famous and attractive, but not unique at all (despite what a certain travel author claims). There's likely plenty of good alternatives easier to reach from Munich. Except perhaps if you wanted to see a lot of Fachwerk, as this style of building is uncommon in southern Bavaria.
Fear not. Your original post is still there on "To the West", but as long as your doing a reboot, you might as well be one of the first people to post on this new forum.
A civilized pace for 10 night stay would be first 5 nights in Munich, 2 nights in Rothenburg, 3 nights in Prague.
Day 1. arrive Munich and jet lag recovery
Day 2. explore Munich
Day 3. explore Munich
Day 4. day trip to Fuessen to see Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohe Schwangau
Day 5. day trip to Salzburg
Day 6. travel to Rothenburg, do the night watchmen tour
Day 7. explore Rothenburg
Day 8. travel to Prague via rail to Nuremberg and bus to Prague.
day 9. explore Prague
Day 10. explore Prague
Day 11. fly home from Prague
I don't know if your 10 days includes the overnight flight from the States, and day to fly home. If so, trim one day off Rothenburg and one off Munich.
You will see a lot of stuff and not be pulling up stakes everyday. Neuschwanstein is something every first time visitor has on their list and should be done. As Tom points out, Rothenburg is not the only fish in the sea, but is really is a pleasant town and an iconic RS stop. You could also spend some time in Nuremberg, but an itinerary like this will make it a fun vacation and not a death march. It'll whet the appetite for future trips.
Jill: with 8 nights, your new plan is an improvement, but still, it covers a LOT of ground. Your first day in Europe will probably involve very little sightseeing time (transport, jet lag, etc.) so you actually have about 7 days to see stuff, as I see it. It would be smart to try to keep yourselves mostly on a route between Munich and Prague, your two priorities. Detours to N'stein, as Sam suggests (5 hours of travel time for a 30-minute tour?) and to Rothenburg (5-7 hours for Munich-R'burg-Munich) not only put you in the most touristy of touristy places but are going to eat up your days VERY quickly.
Any outings from Munich should be more doable than those (Salzburg is doable on an overnight trip or in one long day - it's 1.5-2 hours each way. Salzburg has a castle - Hohensalzburg.) Herrenchiemsee Palace (courtesy of Ludwig II, the same monarch who built N'stein Palace) is located in Prien on the same rail line that takes you to Salzburg (1 hour from Munich.)
It's on an island in Chiemsee Lake (see photo.)
The most efficient route from Munich to Prague takes you there via Nuremberg. You can do Munich-Nuremberg-Prague all by bus, or Munich-N'berg by train (just over 1 hour) and N'berg-Prague by bus. So if Munich, Prague, and Salzburg really can't fill your 7-8 days, I would advise you to look into Nuremberg - you have to go there anyway, pretty much - or other towns on or near this route as possible stops on your way to or back from Prague. Nuremberg has a very handsome old town section and a castle (Kaiserburg.) You'll get to see some Fachwerk buildings (similar to Rothenburg's) if you go there:
So in a very rushed trip, I could see...
3 nights Munich
1 night Salzburg at some point (w/stop at Herrenchiemsee, possibly)
1 night Nuremberg
3 nights Prague
Ideally, you fly out of Prague at the end to avoid the return trip.
Jill, traveling is fun no matter when you go. Just be prepared to laugh through the glitches.
First when you arrive in Munich do not rest. Even if your group is close to keeling over keep going the first day. Eat an early dinner, then rest.If you are spending three days in Munich get the Munich City Pass for a partner all four zones and see if it offers you the deals you might want. It covers all transport from the airport to all four rings or zones for three full days-any place any time. In Munich look up the Munich Walks tour service. With the pass you will save money and get some neat tours in English around the city. The day we arrive (7:30 AM) we'll be getting our pass there in the airport and catching the S-8 from the center-below the Zempinski Hotel- between the two terminals. Then we check in very early to our hotel in Munich City, leave our bags with the concierge and go to look for the glockenspiel on the Marienplatz. At 10:45 we take our first tour of the city with the person in the yellow shirt (no sign up/don't be late and pay then). Some of their tours are 20% off with MCC. They offer several tours, but look for the days each tour will be given. Day four you might want to shelve for another trip. Take two days in Salzburg. Look up the Bayern pass from Munich to Salzburg(choose local trains).Europe is very family or couples friendly for passes.
Leave your luggage at the station in a locker at Salzburg and go straight to the Hallein salt mines (special pass through Austrian or German railways at Salzburg station also getting a discount with your Bayern pass. (Take the local train to Hallein, bus #41-note return time, go on the mine tour 70 minutes, get back on bus, train and into Salzburg. Don't forget your luggage. If offered a pass for the city at the train station-check out full price and the station pass price, take it. In Salzburg their passes allow you to visit once many attractions for one low price. A lot to see in just two days-but plan it out. If you have seen the movie Where Eagles Dare-that is the fortress-pass covers this. Untersberg Mountain cable car is also part of the pass and awesome if weather permits. Now to continue your travels look into the triangle pass or OBB passes for train travel. The trains take you right into the city centers and if you look up and plan what you want to do it is far more convenient. The city transportation passes cover getting to and from your hotel, no security check, customs or immigration as we aren't EU people. Have you considered going into Vienna instead of Rothenburg? They too have a pass Vienna card, transportation included and discounts on local attractions. As far as palaces go a trip to the Schonbrunn is awesome-the Grand Tour if called a day ahead can be arranged in English. Look up when the horses exercise (don't need expensive tickets to see the full show). Get on a local bus and see the Ringstrasse-get off at the Opera House and take a tour in English, but set it up first. This palace tour is 70 minutes, the Neuschwanstein tour may only be thirty minutes and your taking a precious day way out of your way. Prague may have to be next year for me as I meet up with a Rick Steve's tour after doing this and more. I hope I've given you a little more ideas for thought.