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14 days May 2014 - Berlin (4) Dresden (1) Prague (2) Frickenhoechstadt(1)

A 50 ish couple heading to Germany end of May 2014. Never visited Germany before.

  • Trying to decide after above itinerary, if we should head South to Rothenburg, Fussen and Munich area or head West to Frankfurt and possibly St Goar area of the Rhine for last 6 days. Prefer nature to shopping!
  • Can't do both, which to chose?
  • Thanks so much for any input:)
Posted by
13930 posts

This probably isn't the answer you are looking for, but consider how much time you really have to sightsee and how much time you will expend on travel. For example, it's a couple of hours by train to Dresden, but it's also going to take time to pack your bags and get to the train station, then get from the station to your hotel and check in, before you can start enjoying. If you are staying one night in Dresden, you will have maybe 2 half-days there. For each new city, you have to allow a little time to get oriented, learn how to use public transportation, and also relax and smell the roses. 4 full days in Berlin means 5 nights,
Since that's your starting point, you may find that your first full day is not very effective, after a long flight and accompanying jetlag. If you want to spend a few days along the Rhine, maybe you need to drop Dresden and Prague. The Deutschebahn website shows only bus transport (3.25 hours) from Prague to Germany - at least to Nuremberg. I'm not familiar with Frickenhoechstadt, but google maps shows it as a few miles farther.

Where are you leaving Germany from? Are you flying open-jaw? You will probably need to spend your last night in whichever city you are flying home from.

Posted by
865 posts

I fully agree with Chani. You try to see too much. I don't know from where you're leaving Germany, but if you travel slower you see much more of the country (not just train stations) and get a much better feel for the country. To give you an idea what you're missing:

Berlin
The city offers enough world-class museums for at least 3 full days (Museum Island, DHM, Kulturforum). You should do at least one day trip to Potsdam, which is wonderful in late May. Potsdam offers not just Sanssouci, which already requires a full day if you want to see the whole park, but several other royal parks. Like Babelsberg (pic), the New Garden with Cecilienhof (pic), Peacock Island (pic) or structures like the Bevedere (pic) for example. Since you like nature you could also do a day trip to Spreewald, where the Spree meanders in thousands of small waterways through meadows and forests (many pics). Or visit Luthers house and many other places related to the Protestant Reformation in Wittenberg (pic of town square). or see Schwerin, one of the most beautiful German cities, with the Neuschwanstein of the north (pic of the castle).

Dresden
If you spend only one day in Dresden you most probably visit one or two museums and see the old town. That's good, but you miss the best part, because the inner city was completely destroyed in WW2 and only partly rebuilt, while everything in the surroundings survived. You don't do a day trip with the fleet of nostalgic paddle steamers (pic) to sights nearby, like Pillnitz castle (pic), Saxon Switzerland (many pics) or Königstein fortress (pic). You also miss the beautiful towns in the surroundings, like Meißen, Freiberg (gallery of both towns), Bautzen or Görlitz (gallery, which includes both towns). Dresden is surrounded by vineyards (pic) with cozy villages (pic) and castles (pic), and two hours away is Germanys Christmas country, where you can shop all year (pic of shop).

Prague
While Rick Steves 6 days are too much, 2 days are definitely not enough. Stay 3 days to see the city, and add one or two days for day trips to Kutna Hora or Karlstejn.

Posted by
8 posts

You guys are so right, and it is what i needed to hear:) We do enjoy rambling much more and are not as concerned with the "must see" sights. Your pics say it all!
I think we do want to see Prague, and visit our friends in their small town, so we will need to take a bus.

I will slow down and add a night in Berlin, another in Dresden and another in Prague.
Then we just have 3 days after our stop with friends, we could head south to Munich, but Frankfurt would be closer? Any thoughts.
We are going open jaw, and have not booked any flights yet.
Since we are in Berlin for so long, any thoughts on lodging? The Mitte area looked interesting and central.

Thanks guys for the wake up call! Lori

Posted by
2025 posts

Don't know if this helps have a reservation for a studio apartment with Berlin Habitat this summer. We've not been there yet but price and location (their apartments are in the Mitte) are great and reviews excellent on both their site (berlinhabitat.com) and Tripadvisor. If you are looking for advice on flight plans, you need to post up where you are coming from in the US.

Posted by
13930 posts

Hi Lori, I am so glad our advice helped. I quite enjoyed Frankfurt, there is a lot to see in the city and the historic center was what I expected to see (I was disappointed in other towns). Frankfurt suffered much less destruction in WWII than most of Germany. It is also easy to take day trips to places like Mainz, with its wonderful cathedral, or the almost unknown (to tourists) town of Buedingen and its medieval charm.

Posted by
13930 posts

Hotels.

There's a current thread about hotels in Dresden near the train station. I would not recommend the one I stayed at (not in that area). It is very easy to get around the city by tram, so that may be a good location.

I got a great deal by bidding on priceline.com for the Hilton in Prague. It was easy enough to commute by metro to the center and I didn't mind staying away from the noise and crowds.

In Berlin, I stayed at the Mercure Checkpoint Charlie and was very happy. That area was cheaper than Mitte and was close enough to walk, though I generally used the metro to save time.

I've stayed twice in Frankfurt, both times at the Ibis Centrum. It's walkable to the historic center, but faster to take the nearby tram. It's about a 10 minute walk to the train station. It's basic, the rooms are a bit small for two, but if you are counting pennies, consider it.

Posted by
40 posts

I agree with George that the Savignyplatz area is a great place to stay in Berlin. Plenty of restaurants (try Lubitsch on Bleibtreustrasse, as well as restaurants around the platz). We stay at Pension Peters (http://www.pension-peters-berlin.de/en/index.php), a modest and friendly pension.