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7 days in Germnay. Need advice

First trip for my wife and I to Europe. 7 days in Germany followed by 7 days in Italy. Please give us advice on this itinerary. I can see the benefits of both driving and going by rail. Our style is to be more free and exploring off road attractions, so I think we are going to rent a car for most of our Germany travels. I found a 5 day rental for only $157. I know the gas will be high on top of that, however. Please let me know what you think about this itinerary. (trying to do too much like most first timers)
Day1-Land in Berlin at noon. Fat tire bike tour or walking tour.
Day 2-Berlin-public transportation to see other Berlin sights mentioned in reply by Petra F.
Day 3-Finish Berlin sightseeing by noon and rent car in the afternoon and drive to Rothenberg.(5 hours unless we stop here and there?)Ideas? Nuremberg....?
Day 4-Rothenberg(maybe drive to Augsburg to stay this night)
Day 5-Leave early-go down Romantic road/Ideas?(2-3 hours) to Dachu for (2-3 hours) visit and spend night OR drive onto Garmisch.(2 hours).
Day 6-Castle tours/Mittenwald. other ideas?
Day 7-Drive to Germany border to drop off car and take shuttle to Salzburg.
Day 8-Salzburg-Sound of Music, old town etc..ideas? .take later day train to Halstatt (2 hours?)
Day 9 -Day 16- Take train to Venice for 6 days in Italy. (Florence and Rome) will plan later.
I am leaving out Munich this time and am worried about only 24 hours in Salzburg. Should I stay another day there and forget Halstatt? is it easy to take train from Halstatt to Venice?

Posted by
16059 posts

Seems exhausting. One initial comment on your statement: "I am leaving out Munich this time and am worried about only 24 hours in Salzburg. Should I stay another day there and forget Halstatt? is it easy to take train from Halstatt to Venice?"
Halstatt is almost 10 hours by train to Venice. It's only a relatively short distance as the crow flies, but trains run on rails and the rail connections stink. Cut this one and do it another trip when you have more time.

Posted by
12040 posts

Ech. Let's put Rothenburg odT and the Romantic Road in the proper perspectives. Rothenburg is an attractive town, sure. But Germany, particularly the central area of the country, is chocked full historic towns. It's worth a visit if you're driving by anway, but it isn't worth moving across the entire country to see. You're practically driving right by the amazing old towns of the Hartz Region, then right by Erfurt and Eisenach, and you would be missing all of these and more just to see something similar but filled with trinket shops.

Next, the Romantic Road. It links together some interesting towns, but the drive itself isn't particularly scenic. And it's only one of about a hundred themed tourist routes throughout the country. Drive the portions that connect the towns that interest you, but overall, it's a very slow method of traveling on an already very tight itinerary. The lack of payoff in scenery just doesn't justify it. Use the Autobahn instead.

Also, more than a few of your things on the wishlist depend on good weather and moderate traffic to see. You can't count on either for 8 straight days.

Posted by
2700 posts

I'll give this a try...

Spend night 3 in Rothenburg.
Drive to Dachau (skip the Romantic Road, it's not) and then to Salzburg/Berchtesgaden area.
Stay in Salzburg/Berchtesgaden area.
Stay in Salzburg/Berchtesgaden area.
Drive to and stay in Garmisch or Mittenwald.
Stay in Garmisch or Mittenwald.
Return car in Garmisch and train to Venice via Innsbruck, Bolzano, etc.


Posted by
3696 posts

I would add more time to Salzburg and you can easily drive there instead of getting rid of the car as long as you drive back to Germany to drop off your car (Munich?) I have been to Rothenberg a number of times because of the people I traveled with had never been or the time of year (Xmas markets) and I have always enjoyed it. Yes, it is touristy, but it's easy for people to tell you to skip it...but they went. I also like some quiet time just driving and talking to who I am traveling with so the drive on the RR is a time for that. I really like Dinkelsbuhl and usually spend the night there. I had really low expectations the first time I drove it, so maybe that is why I was not disappointed. I did not expect the road to be romantic:)) I loved seeing the countryside and farms and little villages along the way. Also, those bright yellow fields (I think it's canola) were really pretty. Also on one trip in Nov. all the trees were covered in ice and it is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. My grandson and I just spent time standing outside of the car and enjoying the beauty of it all.