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12/20-1/4 in Germany suggestions appreciated

Hello-

My husband and I will be arriving Frankfurt on 12/20. His father lives in Bad Homburg, and we will be spending Christmas eve and day and New Year's eve and day there for sure. In our free time, we were considering a 3-4 day (car/hotel or airbnb) trip visiting the following:
Rothenburg ob der Tauber,
Nurembeurg
Heidelburg
Strasbourg
(Stuttgart?)
Bad Homburg

What to exchange, add or skip?
Any input greatly appreciated!

Posted by
2213 posts

You are planning a visit of 6 cities in 3-4 days? Geez, will there be a bathroom break in all that car travel?

Have you ever been to Germany? I assume that your husband is from there. What does he want to do?

1) Get a map and lay out the trip. I don't know where Bad Homburg is. I'd try to keep the driving to a couple hours.
2) I'd pick 1 or maybe 2 of those.
3) Read up on the towns. Find out what you want to do.

Really, it's not practical or fun to do 6 towns.

Posted by
51 posts

I'd have to agree with Paul that three-to-four days isn't enough time for visiting five or six cities. As Rick says, it's a good idea to "minimize one-night stands" (https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/trip-planning/itinerary-tips). I'd eliminate Stuttgart as it is the lowest sightseeing priority on the list. Combining Heidelberg and Strasbourg or Nürnberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber makes sense geographically. If you have four nights and really are set on visiting three cities for a packed schedule, then it might make sense to combine Nürnberg, Rothenburg, and Heidelberg. If you like using Rick's guidebooks when you travel, it's good to know that Nürnberg and Rothenburg are covered in Rick's Germany guidebook, but Heidelberg and Bad Homburg are not. Strasbourg is covered in Rick's France guidebook. Happy travels!

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you.

My husband grew up in Frankfurt (Bad Homburg is basically a suburb of Frankfurt), but moved to the states as a teen. His brother lived there relatively recently, and suggested the itinerary.

Without Stuttgart, it’s a little over 9 hours total driving time.

We were considering the same combinations of cities you suggested, possibly ditching Nuremberg.

Bad Homburg is only there as a start and end point.

Thanks again!

Posted by
5508 posts

"Suggestions appreciated"

Seems to me you have at least 12 nights in Germany (12/20 - 1/1) and possibly more after 1/1. With 3-4 nights elsewhere, does that mean staying put for 8-9+ nights in Bad Homburg?

I would absolutely go with Nuremberg over Heidelberg. Much more to see and do there. And on the way to/from N'berg and Rothenburg, I would get off the Autobahn and stop for a look at some other really nice places... There are several good options:

Michelstadt
Miltenberg
Day trip guide to Miltenberg: http://hastingshouse.typepad.com/hastings_house_us/2008/05/miltenberg-germ.html
(These first two don't require much time... the next one will require more...)
Würzburg

If more travel days are available, then Heidelberg and Strasbourg might be doable together.

Posted by
655 posts

It shouldn't be that hard. Bad Homburg to Nuremberg is only 2h30m & N'berg to Rothenburg about 1h10m. You could take a few hours in N'berg & overnight in Rothenburg, then back late the next day to Bad Homburg.
Same for Bad Homburg to Heidelburg (60min. to 90min.) & Heidelberg to Strasbourg (90m to 160m). I would consider more than one night in Strasbourg.

Don't neglect the sights around Bad Homburg. It's a fairly affluent area. Your relatives should be able to provide ideas that would appeal to you.

Posted by
8064 posts

There are many beautiful towns near Bad Homburg that are easier for you to visit. Take a look at Büdingen or Gelnhausen, or Limburg or Marburg. If you have a car, visit Ronneburg Castle near Büdingen.

Hessen Park Open Air Museum is cool as is the Saalburg Roman Fort and both are located right outside of Bad Homburg.

Posted by
12794 posts

How about Bad Nauheim? Marburg, as suggested, is well worth it.

Posted by
5 posts

There are some family obligations, so we’re scheduling around them. We will do day trips to towns close to Bad Homburg the first week, then the car trip south in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and more day trips or a one- nighter somewhere (possibly visit step-sister in Hamburg?) between 1/1 and 1/4. We fly in/out of Frankfurt.

Thanks again!

Posted by
2 posts

Since you will already be north of Frankfurt, you may want to consider a trip north. Koblenz, Cologne, Dusseldorf are all interesting and the Christmas Market in Dusseldorf is wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the small Medieval town of Limburg and Castle Eltz.

Posted by
1 posts

My husband and I did a trip to Germany this past Dec-Jan like you’re doing and LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT! The Christmas markets and general gemutlichkeit all around was 💯!

This isn’t itinerary-related, but I’ll warn you that I wore sweaters and threw a couple away there. Even though I’m from south Alabama and usually freezing, I was too warm inside because every place had fireplaces roaring or heat cranking out 1,000 degrees. So layering with my puffy jacket would have been better (and less bulky in my bag too). But my wool socks, waterproof boots, and fingerless glove/mittens were worth their weight in gold!

You’re going to have so much fun!