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First trip to Germany - 9 days

My husband and I will be taking our first trip to Germany the end of September. We will be flying into/out of Frankfurt and plan to rent a car. We tend to prefer the smaller, older towns, and are more interested in the countryside and the people, castles and churches . . . less interest in museums and big cities. We also hope to do a Rhine River cruise next year from Basel to Amsterdam, so that area is not so much a priority for this year's road trip. Any suggestions for an itinerary would be greatly appreciated, since we obviously want to see everything - but know that's not possible! At this point, I'm thinking Frankfurt to Wurzburg - then take the Romantic Road to Fussen - then to Salzburg - then to Munich. From there, we'd like to drive to Berlin before heading back to Frankfurt. Is this too ambitious? Any suggestions would be very welcomed!

Posted by
6664 posts

"At this point, I'm thinking Frankfurt to Wurzburg - then take the Romantic Road to Fussen - then to Salzburg - then to Munich. From there, we'd like to drive to Berlin before heading back to Frankfurt. Is this too ambitious?"

For 9 days, yes.

With one exception, the only specific places you mention have 100,000+ inhabitants. Yet you "prefer the smaller, older towns, more interested in the countryside and the people, castles and churches . . . less interest in museums and big cities."

I suggest you do some more research into the sorts of places you are referring to. Have a look at the smaller towns on...

the Burgenstrasse or Castle Road
the Fachwerkstrasse or German Half-timbered House Road
the Bergstrasse (towns are listed at this page in German)
the Deutsche Weinstrasse or German Wine Route

You could also look into the Main River and Neckar River driving routes - there are many nice smaller places there, like Miltenberg and Sommerhausen and Bad Wimpfen and Hirschhorn

Most of these places are within a reasonable distance of FRA airport.

It would make sense to turn in your car after about 4-5 days and to take the train to Berlin for 3-4 days after that.

Posted by
3051 posts

Well, 9 days is good, but not a lot of time. How much time in Berlin have you planned? Frankfurt is a good base for a lot of places - Heidelberg, the Romantic Rhine. Really, I'd drop the trip to the south. Instead, I'd go to Leipzig on the way to Berlin. Huge war memorial, Bach's grave. I'd do 3 nights in Frankfurt, 2 in Leipzig, 4 in Berlin, or something like that. Salzburg is pretty far from Frankfurt.

Posted by
348 posts

Give yourself the time to enjoy unexpected discoveries. On my first trip to Europe I over scheduled (wanting to see it all) . It was tiring and dictated by train schedules and hotel reservations. I just had to promise myself I would return....and I have, 19 times! Each successive trip I cover less territory and pack lighter.
I would whittle some sites off your itinerary...and promise yourself that you will return!

Posted by
2356 posts

Yes, too ambitious. Berlin needs 3 full days - even without visiting only one museum. Car makes no sense here and also not for transport to Frankfurt; better use train (check rail & fly option of your airline).

From Füssen to Salzburg nobody mentioned German Alpine Road so far.

If you want to rent a car have an IDP or any valid driving permission - not driver's license only.

Posted by
7688 posts

The Romantic Road has several great towns and small cities.https://www.romanticroadgermany.com

The three medieval walled towns of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen are great. The last two usually have few tourists.

Augsburg is worth a visit, we lived there for four years and loved the over 2000 year old city.

Posted by
76 posts

I think it's too ambitious. You won't get to enjoy the places you're in. Flying into and out of Frankfurt will limit you.

Here are a couple ideas:
Fly into Munich
Day 1 Munich (not much fun when you're zapped from travel)
Day 2 Munich
Day 3 Day trip to Salzberg (I might skip it for the sake of enjoying my second day in Rothenberg on the end and not hurrying to the airport.)
Day 4 Fussen
Day 5 Fussen
Day 6 Oberammergau
Day 7 Oberammergau
Day 8 Rothenberg
Day 9 Rothenberg
Fly out of Frankfurt

OR!

Fly into Frankfurt
Day 1 Trier
Day 2 Trier
Day 3 Cologne
Day 4 Cologne
Day 5 Cochem
Day 6 Cochem
Day 7 Bacharach
Day 8 Bacharach/St. Goar
Day 9 Flex for travel
Fly back out of Frankfurt

We travel by train and even though it's been 4 hours JUST to get to Baden-Baden, we've gone each time. It's so, so worth it.

I think you'd probably enjoy the first itinerary most, but it requires you to fly from two different airports.