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2 week itinerary to Germany in April 2020

Hi all,

I am writing down a plan here of the places we wish to visit. However, depending on the season and other factors, you please suggest how should we go about it.

I haven’t yet dug deep into the details of what to do in each city but surfed through some main attractions.

We plan to travel from the evening (catch flight) on 3rd April (Friday) and reach Berlin on 4th April (Saturday)

Leg 1: BERLIN (spend 3 Nights)- 4,5 & 6 April
- Berlin Wall
-Walking tours
-Museums
.
. 5 hours in Train to Munich
.

Leg 2: MUNICH (spend 6 Nights) 7,8,9,10,11,12 April
- visit churches and museums
- Day trip to Neuschwastein Castle (book a guided tour)
- Day trip to Andechs Monastery
- Lake district tour or Eagle's Nest Tour (through some travel agency)
.
. Munich to Koblenz 5 hours in Train
.
.
Leg 3: Rhine and Moselle River Valley (4 Nights) 13,14,15,16 April
- Eltz Castle
- Geierlay Bridge
- River Cruise
We definitely want to cover these two places in this region. However, I am confused which area to stay in? I was thinking of Koblenz but I couldn’t find a way to travel directly to these two sites from there. Do you suggest staying at Koblenz or any other area to best explore this region and visit these 2 sites?
.
.
. Koblenz to Frankfurt in 2 hours by train on 17th Morning
.
Fly Back from FRANKFURT airport on 17th April (Friday) morning

Posted by
15573 posts

Leg 3: Try staying at Boppard.

  1. That time of year, you'll have to hike from Moselkern station to Burg Eltz. Its about a 2 hour hike, first half on roads, second half on forest trail. Do this only in nice weather and not after a rain. Even so, with the spring thaw, it could still could be muddy.

  2. You can get to Geierlay Visitor Center with a couple of buses taking about 1 1/2 hours. Current bus schedule only goes to December 14, so you'll have to wait a bit to get the schedule after that date.

  3. The K-D Rhine boats stop and start in Boppard. You can either take the boat upstream to Ruedesheim (slower), then take a train back to Filsen and then the ferry across the Rhine to Boppard, or take a local train to Bingen Stadtbahnhof, then ride the boat back to Boppard. https://www.kdrhine.com/rhineschedule.htm

You can get bus and train schedules at https://www.vrminfo.de/en/timetable/. There are cheap day passes available from the local transit network, the VRM (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Mosel). Boppard may also give you a free local pass when you stay at a hotel there.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks a lot Sam for this very useful reply. I did not have an idea that visiting Burg Eltz requires a 2 hour hike! I am a fairly non - adventurous person and kind of avoid hiking wherever I can. This information is very helpful now for I might not visit Burg Eltz.

Can one visit the bridge though from Koblenz via buses? I read in some forum that it is a better place to stay for people who do not know German. I would like to know your opinion on the same.

Thanks.

Posted by
15573 posts

Boppard is more tourist friendly town and I would expect people in the tourist business to be very conversant in English. That has been my experience at any rate. It has a beautiful water front area with hotels and restaurants. Like I said, you now get a VRM pass (Guest Card) when you check into a hotel for the length of your stay.
https://www.boppard-tourismus.de/1-1-Home.html

Koblenz is a city, and while not particularly tourist "unfriendly", it is a city, focused more on business. It is only 15 minutes from Boppard by frequent regional trains that run twice an hour, and that you can use freely with your Boppard Guest Card. There is the Deutches Eck monument to Kaiser Wilhem right where the Mosel joins the Rhine. Also a cable car that crosses the Rhine going up to Festung Ehrenbreitstein on the bluffs above the city.
https://www.seilbahn-koblenz.de/homepage.html

Posted by
1378 posts

Just want to mention that in Berlin on Apr 5 there will be half-marathon. No big issue but do not plan bus tours on that day and always use the official journey planner for public transport to find your best way. Google Maps does not show these impacts.

Special event on this weekend back in Berlin from Apr 3-5: During the European Craft Days, craftsmen and designers present their work and open their studios for workshops, fashion shows and lectures throughout Berlin.

VisitBerlin website provides a lot of great tips.

Posted by
1917 posts

Welcome to the forum!

I think your itinerary looks good. I personally am a bigger fan of Berlin than Munich, so I would add a day or two there, but it all depends on your interests, of course.

Of note, Eagle's Nest does not open until May, but the Obersalzberg Documentation Center is open year round.

I had never heard of the Geierlay Bridge, but it looks great! Unfortunately, it looks like public transportation to get there isn't so great. You can play with bahn.de for the time you will be there to see the limited public transportation options.

The Burg Eltz website indicates that it is a 90-minute walk from the Moselkern train station to Burg Eltz; I feel like it took a friend and I less than that. I rather enjoyed the walk. Part of it is through the small town; the other part is wooded and goes up a gentle incline. There are a good number of steps to get to the castle's entrance after arriving at the castle.

Happy planning!

Posted by
4968 posts

"Day trip to Andechs Monastery"

This trip involves a bus ride as well and takes about an hour each way from Munich. Probably closer to a half-day trip. Don't follow Rick's walking route from Herrsching if you don't enjoy hiking.

"Day trip to Neuschwastein Castle (book a guided tour)"

IMHO...6 nights is too much time in Munich. I would not spend all 6 there just to include a lengthy bus trip like this one to N'stein. (You already had another long bus tour outing to Berchtesgaden, right?) The N'stein tour takes just 30 minutes and is probably not worth the time and expense if that's your only objective. (Also - be sure to ask about how much WALKING you will have to do on such a tour. I suspect it's still a lot.) But... if you STAY a night in Füssen instead of day-tripping, you will have a better opportunity to enjoy yourselves more fully in a more relaxed way in this very attractive place. And you could get there and back using inexpensive public transport like the Bayern Ticket.

Some Füssen town highlights.

"Do you suggest staying at Koblenz or any other area to best explore this region and visit these 2 sites?"

I almost never suggest staying in Koblenz. The atmosphere in smaller town like Boppard (which Sam suggested) is much better, and your river cruise is much easier to do as well; just take the train to Bingen, and the cruise back to Boppard. You can step off the train on your way to Bingen in St. Goar (Rheinfels Castle) or in the towns of Oberwesel or Bacharach for sightseeing - then take an afternoon boat (14:30 or 16:30) back to Boppard.

And instead of Burg Eltz, consider visiting these castles, all of which are easier to reach:

Marksburg (across the river from Boppard and north in the town of Braubach.)
Rheinfels (St. Goar.)
Reichsburg (Cochem) on the Mosel River:
https://www.german-way.com/travel-and-tourism/germany-for-tourists/castles-and-palaces/cochem-castle/

Do you plan to visit Trier? It's a very worthwhile destination on the Mosel River. If so, I suggest that you split your time - 2 nights in Boppard (Rhine,) 2 nights in Cochem (Mosel.) Trier is a long day trip from the Rhine towns. Or better yet, 2 nights / 3 nights if you can steal a night or two from Munich.

"Fly Back from FRANKFURT airport on 17th April (Friday) morning"

Make sure that your last night is spent closer to FRA if you must leave in the morning! Mainz is a good place - 25 minutes from the airport. From Boppard it will take you a minimum of 1.25 hours (direct train) or closer to two hours (connecting trains.) Of course you will probably need to be at the airport 2.5+ hours prior to your flight. So maybe if you have a late morning flight, like 11 am, you could leave Boppard at around 7 am. But that's pretty early for most people and makes for a very long travel day.

Posted by
4654 posts

Yes, I would suggest moving at least one day from Munich to Berlin. It seems you are interested in museums and there are more of them in Berlin than Munich.

I don't think it's necessary to take an organised tour of lakes from Munich. All the major lakes - Chiemsee, Tegernsee, Ammersee and Starnberger See have direct trains from Munich to towns on their shores. I would just get a Bayern Ticket and plan yourself out an itinerary, or just go to one and look at it in depth. Rather than Neuschwanstein, which is a longer trip from Munich than many think, there's another palace of the era on an island in the middle of Chiemsee, so you could combine both.

Posted by
16757 posts

Your plan gives you only two full days, plus some jetlagged/sleep-deprived hours, in Berlin. I found six days wasn't long enough and I wasn't dealing with jetlag. Berlin's museums are many, huge and spread out. You'll spend a good bit of time just moving from place to place. And if you are also interested in 20th-century historical sites, you could spend a lot of days on those as well.

Posted by
2860 posts

I agree with everyone who said that you are not allotting enough time to Berlin. The city oozes history and boasts some of the finest art collections in the world. I was surprised that I didn’t see the Reichstag on your list of things to do there. You need to get advance reservations for the tour, but I think I’m remembering correctly that it is free.

When we were there a few years ago, we just walked up and bought our entries to the Pergamon Museum; but I think you can now reserve ahead.

Posted by
17 posts

That time of year, you'll have to hike from Moselkern station to Burg Eltz. Its about a 2 hour hike, first half on roads, second half on forest trail.

I'm not sure that's right - but I suppose it depends on your transportation options. We visited Burg Eltz in April 2017 with a car. We drove directly to the parking area. The shuttle tram was running (though I suppose that would depend on the weather and state of the spring thaw). We did the short trail-walk downhill (20 minutes, max), and opted to spend the 0.50Euro/each for the tram back to the car lot at the top (in deference to our older party-members).

If you're determined to avoid renting a car, a quick google search indicates several taxi companies in/around Moselkern.