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Drive through Germany

Hey Rick,
I along with my friends am driving through Germany for 8days in May 2019 . Could you please suggest me which cities and places to cover ? Any ideas n suggestions are most welcome. Awaiting for your favourable reply.

Posted by
713 posts

Hi,

this is a forum in which other travelers as Rick (maybe also him) share their ideas and feedbacks.

From your question I suggest that you make yourself familiar with the RS basic recommendations about Germany: https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/germany

What might also help you is the official tourism website of Germany. There you can find top 100 of other travelers as well as a map which you can filter by adding your interests and other critera.

Have a good start.

Posted by
1158 posts

Get a Michelin Green Guide for Germany. Since it is put out by a tire company, it has information on driving routes.

Where are you entering/exiting Germany?

Posted by
7952 posts

Lucky you! May is asparagus season in Germany! We drove one year from Paris to eastern Germany, on the border of Poland in the month of May and asparagus was on the menu in every restaurant every day. In fact, some restaurants had a "spargel menu" separate from the main menu. Of course, if you don't like asparagus this is useless information.

Posted by
403 posts

Ooooh Norma!! Tell me more about this asparagus!!! Spargel?????

Posted by
713 posts

Spargel is as mentioned a delicious spring meal in Germany. In Berlin famous is Beelitzer Spargel. As starter it is either served as a cream soup or just the heads with a dry-cured ham. Main dishes are Spargel with a Sauce Hollandaise (or just hot butter), special potatoes and choice wise Schnitzel, ham or Filet Mignon.

Of course there are a few dozen different dishes and German lady mags are full of recipes (example).

Posted by
403 posts

Must. Have. The. Spargel. Lol. It looks good!!!

Posted by
11348 posts

Generally you have a month or a bit longer for Spargelsaison. In Brandenburg it begins ca mid-May to mid-June. It's in the lower Rhine area too. You could expect to see in menus a page listing those Spargel dishes under "Spargelspezialitäten ."

Posted by
403 posts

That looks similar to something that I make, only not white. Sometimes I top it with a little panko breadcrumbs and broil for a minute. But I have heard that breadcrumbs are not easily found in the grocery stores? Any truth to that??

Posted by
713 posts

Different kinds of breadcrumbs are easy to find in German supermarkets - hope that we write about the same.

Indeed I forgot to mention green asparagaus but it is much less popular. White asparagus is thicker and different in taste.

Around Berlin in May / June it is also popular to drink Berliner Weisse mit Schuss in green or red (a type of sweetened beer).

Posted by
403 posts

Thank you MarkK. I had heard that you could find breadcrumbs but not necessarily where you would expect them to be. Which I always thought was crazy, since Germany has such great bread!!

Posted by
11 posts

We are older (in our 60s) and avoid the large cities as they are old were not designed for a lot of traffic, and parking is often a challenge too. Also, we are not interested in the noise and fast pace that is unavoidable in large cities. So we stay in rural areas, which are actually much more authentic and than modern cities. Last year we drove to Bavaria and really enjoyed our time there. I would recommend travel along the "Deutsche Alpenstrasse", to Berchdesgarden. It is a small city, and easy to travel through, and has a lot of history and an abundance of natural beauty. .

Posted by
11348 posts

Hi,

Any particular region or specific towns/cities you prefer to see on this eight day driving tour? If not, then I would suggest two options, #1. driving in North Germany and into the eastern Germany focusing on towns, avoiding big cities. Which towns? Soest/Westfalen, Hameln, Minden, Celle, Lüneburg, Meissen, Halle, Weimar, Naumburg an der Saale. Only a few choices listed here to choose from

2nd option: big cities and towns, eg, Hamburg (stay in Lübeck or Lüneburg, or even Bremen, don't take the car into Hamburg), Kiel, Eutin/Holstein. Schleswig, Flensburg, Schwerin, Ludwigslust, Husum/Schleswig, etc, etc.

Bottom line...numerous, numerous choices in eastern and North Germany on choosing which towns to visit. The hard part is to decide.

Posted by
2613 posts

My two favorite areas of Germany are the Rhineland and Bavaria.

Rhineland/Mosel
Heidelberg, Mainz, Rudesheim, Trier, Cologne

Bavaria
Munich, The Romantic Road, Garmisch/Fussen, Berchtesgaden (Salzburg)

Posted by
84 posts

I agree with the previous poster. Love the Rhine and Mosel river valleys, particular Bacharach on the Rhine and Cochem and Beilstein on the Mosel. There are scenic boat rides on both of them. The boat between Cochem and Beilstein goes through locks. Biking along those rivers is very fun. Bavaria is good also.

Posted by
21625 posts

I take it that our poster is a drive-by with either no interest in the answers or no real interest in the question they asked. With no detail to the question it is surprising they got so many answers.

Posted by
11348 posts

Hi,

I would suggest going to a book shop in a German train station to get pertinent German road maps. They are dark blue.

Where are you starting from? From Frankfurt? Three basic choices...1. go southeast towards Munich, 2, go east towards Dresden and to Berlin, or 3. go straight north to Hamburg to Flensburg.

My preferences would be #2 and # 3.

Posted by
7217 posts

You will never see green asparagus on a menu in Germany during Spargel season. It is always white asparagus and this is country wide, not just in certain regions. Yes, many places have a Spargel menu.

Bread crumbs are available in every grocery store and most bakeries sell them too. It is called "Paniermehl".

I beg to differ with the poster who feels that only small towns are "authentic". Big cities are just as authentic. Germans live everywhere and are as authentic in a big city as they are in a small town. Why wouldn't they be? Many big cities are made up of unique neighborhoods that look and feel like a village. Once you leave the inner city, you will discover them. I could take you to neighborhoods in Frankfurt where they even speak a different dialect from other neighborhoods, and they have unique histories, festivals and traditions.

Posted by
7952 posts

Yes, Ms Jo, the only time we saw green asparagus in Germany was at an outdoor market in Frankfurt/Oder and it was much more expensive than the white. It is the opposite where I live.

Posted by
2648 posts

Hi all,

I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but do people really travel to Germany due to it being white asparagus season? Germans look forward to white asparagus season? Again, not trying to offend anyone, but I can't imagine travling for white asparagus. Oh, I do like asparagus.

Posted by
21625 posts

I go crazy for both green Evesham Valley asparagus here in England - buy it from the farmer when it is cut within 2 hours and use it before the sun goes down; and then hightail it to Germany (Pfalz) and Switzerland for the local speciality. There are Spargelfests everywhere, and the stuff is fabulous. Doesn't come out of a jar, either.

Posted by
11348 posts

Yes, but of course, you want to be in Germany during Spargelsaison, where you see them (white) conspicuously displayed, maybe with the sign, "Nicht anfassen." (don't touch). As pointed out above, in Brandenburg it's the Beelitzer (near Potsdam) Spargel that is most desired. and famous. Yes, Germans do look forward to the white Spargelsaison, ....quite easy to imagine that.

Posted by
713 posts

Germans look forward to white asparagus season?

Yes, some people do but only from special regions. Therefore 1-3 day bustours are organised in that season (example) in hwich asparagus have a central role.

And of course green asparagus is served also, especially if you want to combine it with fish like pike-perch filet (Zanderfilet).

And hey: people travel to Germany to visit Oktoberfest ... so, why not for asparagus freshly made by good and experienced cooks?

Posted by
2648 posts

I have to think an asparagus festival isn’t on par with Oktoberfest. Not knocking it, but it is asparagus.

Posted by
11348 posts

One of the best times to be in Berlin is the beginning of June. Chances are that weather is not yet hot, ie oppressively but still warm enough to be without a light jacket daytime. The days are getting longer...another plus. An additional advantage: you're right in the middle of Spargelsaison where restaurants may offer the white Beelitzer on separate sheets as "Spargelspezialitäten" added to the standard menu By the end of June it's over with.

Two other areas where Spargelsaison is emphasized: in the Munich area and the lower Rhine, in the area of Düsseldorf based on what I have observed.

Posted by
11348 posts

@ OP...The road maps I referred to above are put out by ADAC...quite recommended for driving in Germany.

Posted by
21625 posts

Fields and fields of the stuff in the vicinity of Speyer, and because the white is valued they have special machines which cover and uncover the rows with dark plastic.

Posted by
713 posts

I have to think an asparagus festival isn’t on par with Oktoberfest.
Not knocking it, but it is asparagus.

:-) I agree but the other way around - asparagus festivals are often combined with classical music or exhibitions; so definitely on a higher cultural level than Oktoberfest. But I like more quality than quantity. And even quantity wise the Wiesn is only on eye level with Hamburg port anniversary festival or Kieler Woche.

My personal open opinion on Oktoberfest: Nowadays it is just a totally overpriced funfair without any meaning or culture at all. EUR 11,50 for a Maß Bier is close to scam (500% supermarket prices, 200-300% of gastro prices) but as long people come and pay the tourist trap ... fair enough. Personally I just cannot understand people's motivation who go there - and I am not alone with that opinion. Ask also Bavarians. That Adabeis and Insta-Snap-Nobodies see that different is clear to me. In these cases even pseudo-relevant things pimp a non-relevant personality. It is a level of "Party on, Wayne".

For visitors with serious cultural interest I suggest to avoid it. It has nothing to do with any culture, especially not German culture.

For party and beer lovers: join open-street Berlin Bier Festival at first August weekend. More different party stages and much more choices of different beer sorts from different countries for much lower prices.

Posted by
11348 posts

Yes, Kieler Woche....very well known. I have timed two of my trips to be in Kiel or be able to reach Kiel for at least a day trip during Kieler Woche. All in all, great mood and very enjoyable, even if you're not into the myriad of ships, still a great time to be amongst the festivities.