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20 days around Germany (Sep 2014)

We're planning on visiting Germany this September and was hoping to get some help with where we should visit. We'll be entering Germany from Utrecht on September 12th and will be traveling around the country via train rather than car (likely to get the 8 days within 1 month Interrail pass).

This is our plan so far: DAY 1: Utrecht/Dortmund - DAY 2: Dortmund - DAY 3: Dortmund/Frankfurt - DAY 4: Frankfurt - DAY 5: Frankfurt/Heidelberg - DAY 6: Heidelberg/Stuttgart - DAY 7: Stuttgart - DAY 8: Stuttgart/Triberg - DAY 9: Triberg.

Ideally we would like to see Fussen, Munich, Dresden, and maybe finish off with a couple of days in Berlin (we've already been to Berlin so its not essential, we just really like the city). The main issue is connecting Triberg to Fussen as we're only going for 20 days and connecting these two would nearly consume a whole day on trains, so not sure if there is somewhere in the middle to stop off for a day and then head to Fussen. The other issue is we would be getting into Munich during Oktoberfest which would be amazing however it seems impossible to get affordable accommodation. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by
5607 posts

I don't exactly how you came upon this itinerary or what your priorities are, but it appears that aside from Munich, Dresden and (maybe) Füssen, you wish to explore Germany's less interesting destinations. I would seriously reconsider the pace of travel AND your destinations. While there are some very charming old-world areas of Germany you might visit, about 90% of your plan takes you to major post-war-reconstructed urban centers; Triberg and Füssen are the exceptions but the tourist horde there will be heavier than normal (as you might guess, one or two other Oktoberfest folks might target Füssen as well) and there are better places.

Alps: If you'll be in the Black Forest (many fine towns here instead of Triberg!) who needs Füssen, which lies hours and hours away? You are already very close to the best alpine scenery in Switzerland. From Rottweil or even from Stuttgart you are only 3-4 hours by train from Luzern - and a DB savings fare there can be had for €19 each. Spend 2 nights there.

Dortmund-Frankfurt: You are bypassing the Rhine and Mosel Valleys? Wine festivals take place here every weekend in September, and you can see a real castle like BURG ELTZ (800+ years of history there) or Marksburg in Braubach. (Füssen's Neuschwanstein is a late 19th-century palace - not a castle at all.) OBERWESEL and other area villages like COCHEM and BACHARACH are full of attractive buildings with old town squares like Cochem's

Stuttgart: It's the area near Stuttgart that is generally more interesting. Visit Bad Wimpfen on the Neckar River to the north. Esslingen and Tübingen are very attractive cities. Bad Canstatt has it's own October VOLKSFEST - so who needs Oktoberfest?

Triberg: Just OK. You'd likely prefer other more scenic and interesting places:
Old walled town of GENGENBACH
The BLACK FOREST RAILWAY cuts across the region from Offenburg to Donaueschingen through Gengenbach and several other nice villages. Train travel around the area is free with the KONUS card you get from hosts in the smaller towns.

I think you'd be wise to lop off the trip to Munich and southern Bavaria entirely this time because of the crowds and the costs. There's so much you're not seeing in Bavaria that it will be worth another trip - you'll be back. If you DO go, look into staying in Augsburg and doing a daytrip into Munich by train for O'fest. (Augsburg might also be a good base town for a daytrip to Harburg and to Nördlingen (very nice Romantic Road town.)

You may want to consider a GERMAN RAIL pass for this trip - an Interrail pass is another animal entirely.

Posted by
12040 posts

Let me guess. Does your trip to Dortmund have anything to do with Borussia Dortmund?

If you're looking for an alternative to Munich's Oktoberfest, and if you shift your trip a bit later, you can catch Stuttgart's fun but much less insanely crowded beer festival, the Cannstatter Volksfest. Or, alter your timing a little bit, and you can try Bad Dükheim's (near Heidelberg) very popular Wurstmarkt. Imagine a less fratboy-infested version of Oktoberfest but with more wine than beer.

Posted by
12993 posts


Like Munich Dortmund has a varied and good selection of beers, Dortmund beers are well known. I didn't get around to seeing the large Dormund area until the mid '80s. It should have been done on my second trip in 1973. . If you're into history, the large history monument up on a hill with its view (a more modest version of the original since that one was damaged in the war) is in the Dortmund suburbs, the one beyond Reichsmark. It's accessible by public transportation, U-Bahn and bus.

Posted by
252 posts

I'd go with Russ's suggestions. We've been to many of the places he mentions and he's right on.

Posted by
16883 posts

Hopefully you've had some advice you can use. Your original plan included some backtracking, which was part of the reason for a 5 - 6 -hour trip between Triberg and Fuessen. The German Rail Pass is sold at train stations there, but is only for people who have resided outside of Europe for at least the past 6 months. If you reside in Europe, then you would investigate the Interrail one-country pass.