My husband and I will be in Germany in August to visit friends. We are flying into Frankfurt and staying with them for a few days in Stuttgart. We have a 3 more days we can visit more of Germany or other countries but need to fly back out of Frankfurt. Any suggestions for a quick trip via train for 3 days? We've been to Switzerland a couple times (which I love) but think we should visit someplace else. Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Brussels?
if in Stuttgart go take train from there across the French border to visit Alsace the route de vins
though it may be out of the way
Bamberg. If you are interested I can tell you about three nights we were there in September.
I agree with the suggestion for Bamberg. Also Mainz, Speyer, Worms. I based in Speyer for three days and visited Mainz and Worms as daytrips, but any of the three are good as a base.
Great get-away and very close to Frankfurt: the Black Forest! Very popular destination with Germans - lots of small towns, nature, good food. The REAL Germany. Base yourself in one of the smaller towns, and do day trips from there. 2 days to explore the Black Forest south&north, and 1 day to explore Alsace in France. If you don't care about France you can also head to the Rhine Falls for a day tour from your location in the Black Forest.
All of Germany is the REAL Germany. People here aren't stuck in some time machine to look like they live in an old movie. Germany has dynamic cities as well as little villages, but it is all German and it is all real.
"Any suggestions for a quick trip via train for 3 days?"
Goodness... you don't need to leave Germany, that's for certain. The Black Forest is a sound idea if you want to see places where modern life has been less intrusive, where families stay on for generations, and where traditions tend to persist. (The Black Forest isn't the only such place, but it might be the closest one to your Stuttgart stay.) I suspect that Simone uses "REAL" to impart this aspect of the Black Forest - that's often how the word is used - as a synonym for "quintessential."
Schiltach... Haslach... Gengenbach... Villages like these dot the countryside and many are easily accessible by train. The Black Forest Railway is one of Germany's most scenic train rides - it runs southeast from Offenburg - see MAP. And if you stay in the right town(s), you can travel all around the Black Forest for free by train (and bus) - read about the KONUS guest card here. Note that Freiburg and Baden-Baden do NOT offer this card - and that Gengenbach makes a really good travel base for the BF Railway and for a day trip to Freiburg.
GUTACH (near Hausach) is an excellent day trip destination on the BF Railway.
You can cross the country on a direct train to Berlin or Hamburg in 5.5 hours. Vienna and Prague need at least another hour and a train connection. Brussels Nord station takes 4 hours with a connection at Frankfurt. In all of these examples, the most direct trains run just a few times per day while other connections take longer, so you'd want to plan around those schedules, if venturing so far. German Wings has cheap flights from Stuttgart to Vienna; maybe 3x/day.
Thank you all for the great suggestions!
For three extra days I suggest staying in Germany, go to Leipzig, Berlin or Hamburg, all connected on the ICE trains, choose from these three.