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12 days "city free" germany

Hello!
I am hoping some of you awesome and knowledgeable travelers would give me your opinions whether the schedule I am planning for a trip to Germany. I get ambitious to see the beauty of the countryside and beautiful old-world charm, but need your opinion if this itinerary is too ambitious..... and I have a few questions at the end.

Day 1. Fly into Frankfurt and just stroll the old town near my hotel. Maybe take in 1-2 sites

Day 2. Train from Frankfurt to Braubach, St. Goar and back. See Marksburg castle, Rheinfels, Lorelei rock, Stroll St. Goar
I may have done the search wrong but the train tickets for this day would be $132 for 2. Seems VERY high

Day 3. Am Train to Oberwesel and Bacharach. Walk old town, walls, towers. See church. Stroll Bacharach. Train back.
Same issue with the projected cost of train fare.

Day 4. Train from Frankfurt to Nuremburg ($68 for 2 “rail Europe) to see Nuremburg Castle and Albrect Duhrer House
Spend night in Nuremburg

Day 5. Nuremburg to see Nazi Doc center and rally grounds. -Take train to Munich for the night

Day 6. Munich to see BMW museum, Marienplatz, English Garten Park

Day 7. Day trip to Dachau

Day 8. Rent a car and see Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles, and the town of Fusson
Drive to Zugspitze for night

Day 9. All day at Zugspitze and do some hiking (though the website says it will be closed for maintenance some days in May)
Drive to Salzburg for the night.

Day 10. Salzburg for Freulein Maria’s Bicycle Tour and Concert of Mozart

Day 11. Day trip to Berchtesgaden for Eagles nest and hiking. Drive back to Munich

Day 12. Fly out of Munich

Questions:

Have I given myself enough time?

I open the trip with day trips to the Rheine Valley. Rather than go back and forth to Frankfurt, should I just rent a car and stay the night in St. Goar and Oberwesel before heading to Nuremburg? A car is cheaper if I'm checking the train fare accurately.
Is there difficulty navigating and parking in the small towns by car? Also it is difficult to store luggage in these small towns from what I've read.

Without adding new towns to the itinerary. are any of these noteworthy for hiking besides Berchtesgaden and Zugspitze

Are there recommendations for private guides for any of these days. The internet is so vague whether it would be useful or not. Especially for places that limit english speaking tours to twice a day.

I heard the rhine cruise is worthwhile but not sure doable if we want to spend enough time in the 4 towns chosen.

Posted by
8369 posts

What are the dates for your trip? With all the local trains that you will be taking, a Deutschland or "D" ticket could be a great money saver for you. It is sold on a monthly basis so 49 euros (current price) would cover all the regional and local trains, trams, buses in Germany for one calendar month per person. It won't cover high speed intercity trains, but I don't see a lot of those on your itinerary. Even if your trip stretches over two calendar months you are still talking about less than 200 euros for almost all of your transportation for two people. That is hard to beat.

I can give you specific step by step directions for this if you like. Send me a PM for more "how to" info.

Posted by
6636 posts

Daytripping from and back to Frankfurt on both Days 2 & 3 does not make much sense. Suggest you stay in St. Goar on those nights. On Day 4, travel by train from St. Goar to Nuremberg.

Actually, if you only have a couple of things to see in Frankfurt on Day 1, see them on the day you arrive. Frankfurt's main station has lockers for your bags. Then head to St. Goar in the late afternoon for a 3-night hotel stay. No need to make a hotel switch this way... And there will be no need to store your bags on the Rhine anywhere except in your hotel room.

If you are only seeing things in Frankfurt because staying in Frankfurt makes sense to you for some reason, keep in mind that going to Frankfurt only takes you eastward, further away from the Rhine in the first place... You could in fact just catch a westbound train to St Goar from FRA airport for less train travel. Mainz is on the way to St. Goar and you could get there quickly from FRA airport for Day 1 if the train trip to St Goar seems too long for some reason. The map below shows the geography well enough. St. Goar isn't shown but is 10 minutes further downstream from Bacharach:

https://www.rhine.apartment-listings.com/bilder-fotos/map/lageplan-bacharach-600-7.gif

Views from the Hotel Rheinfels and Rheinhotel St. Goar are near the train station, the cruise boat docks, and the town center, and the views from there look like this:

https://r-ec.bstatic.com/images/hotel/840x460/900/9002574.jpg

I would not expect to have this sort of scenery outside a Frankfurt hotel room.

You are way off on the train costs for the Rhine trip. You can get a day pass for regional trains for two that costs less than €60 and make all the trips you like that same day.

Posted by
8438 posts

Don't use the RailEurope site to estimate fares. Go to the source, Deutsche Bahn, in English at Bahn.com. You'll see more trains and options.

The thing about the cruise on the Rhine, is that it gives the best views of the towns.

Posted by
4823 posts

Slightly off you original questions, but on day five you plan to visit the Nazi Doc. Center and the rally grounds. Depending on your level of interest in WWII locations, you might want to check a site named thirdreichruins.com. It shows many photos taken just after the war, and later photos of the same places. Several of the places you plan to visit are covered.