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German et al itinerary

We are planning a trip to Germany and other countries(Switzerland, Hungary, and Scandinavia). We plan for six weeks in Europe. Our trips have been ambitious. We are independent travelers and have a few trips under our belt. I know this is a bit much but here is our itinerary which we are happy with but it may need some refinement:
*= places previously visited

Day 1-2 Frankfurt 2 nights
Day 3 "Bopped 1 night
Burg Eltz
Day 4-6 Köln 2-3 nights
Dortmund pass through
Bremen pass through
Day 7-9 Hamburg 3 nights
Day 10-11 Hanover 2 nights
Day 12-13 Wernigerode 2 nights
Day 14 Kassel 1 night
Day 15-17 Erfurt 3nights
Day 18-20 Leipzig 3
Day 21-23 Görlitz 3 nights
Day 24-25 *Prague 2 nights
Day 26-28 Budapest 3 nights
Day 29-30 *Vienna 2 nights
Day 31-33 Nuremberg 3 nights
Day 34-36 Munich 3 nights
Day 37-38 Bern 2 nights
Day 39- 40 Basel 2 nights
Day 41-? Frankfurt 1 night return home
The *
Big Questions** are:
Most of our travel will be by car except Switzerland, maybe Czech Republic (train?) not sure what is best? Train or fly (car is still an option?)
Norway is no longer in our plan.

Posted by
3304 posts

So Vienna is a mere 1 day and Linz is part of that one day in Vienna or part of 3 days in Nuremberg? I assume Klon = Köln? Both Dortmund and Bremen are to be seen in the same day you leave Köln and arrive to sleep in Hamburg?

This itinerary is so whirlwind that I'm wondering if it even qualifies as that crazed bit of travel called 'bucket list' travel.

Posted by
12884 posts


Seeing this itinerary earmarked for six weeks, I would suggest dropping Kassel. From Köln to Hamburg, you could go straight, skipping Dortmand and Bremen. I've been to Bremen, first time stayed 2 nights, the second time 24 years later stayed also 2 nights; however, never stayed overnight in Dortmund, stayed Düsseldorf instead so as to make the day trip in Dortmund.

If you do decide to include Bremen and Dortmund, stay at least one night in each city, they're both worth it. From your schedule it looks as if Bremen is to be a day trip from Hamburg, and Dortmund a day trip from Köln....still doable.

Posted by
18 posts

Thanks for the replies,

We are "guilty as charged" for packing a lot(too much) into our travels. We go and hardly ever stop except to sleep.

I realize Budapest is a fair distance off the path but it is a place we'd like to visit. Vienna and Prague seemed like it would not be good to pass them by even though we've been to both places? Perhaps an overnight train to Budapest or fly?

The numbers refer to nights at the various locations.

We will hire a car but we would like to take a train or fly to some locations if it would help us be more efficient.
The challenge is how do we get to Norway? Perhaps this is unrealistic?

Thanks again,

Posted by
12884 posts

In the end result I leave it to the OP to decide whether Dortmund and/or Bremen is to be dropped. My reasons may not be his reasons for keeping those two places to be visited. I never visited/explored Dortmund's Innenstadt but I did with Bremen.

On Kassel I was there twice on day trips, once in 1987 and coincidentally, in 2007 (both when Dokumenta was featured), never stayed overnight in Kassel If you're referring to the convenience from going to Marburg from Kassel, that could be a logistical reason as they are both in Hessen.

I see going to Kassel based on esoteric interests, ie, seeing Dokumenta (well, the OP missed it, it was last year), or seeing Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, where Bismarck had Emperor Napoleon III after being taken prisoner, staying as his "guest" Obviously, he could not return to France.

Otherwise, if the OP did not have such esoteric interests, still wanting a city to visit in this general area, I would suggest Göttingen...only a suggestion, first since I've been there, spent 3 nights in 1987, and he could decide on his own reasons.

Posted by
12884 posts

I figured the number to the right of a city stood for the nights you intend to stay and that those w/o a number, eg. Linz is day trip. .

Posted by
2264 posts

25 locations in 42 days. That's a lot of time going from location to location. You may like this kind of trip, but it would drive me nuts. I would cut the stops to 10, and do the rest as day trips.

Posted by
18 posts

Yes Frank the numbers refer to the number of nights spent in one location.

We try to keep the number of 1 night stands to a minimum. Even so we still have four.

We have done similar trips, six weeks with multiple countries.

We will review and eliminate one night stands and the number of places visited.

Posted by
18 posts

Thank you,
For your very helpful feedback. Obviously we have to totally rework this plan. Admittedly our plans are too ambitious. I will be back with something new and hopefully better? Our focus will be on Germany alone. Your suggestions and insight are terrific I will try to incorporate your suggestions for a more meaningful itinerary.

Posted by
18 posts

Here is a summary of our trip, six weeks
We are back from Germany and this is our final itinerary:
LAX to Phil to Fra
Frankfurt to Bacharach 4 nights car
Baden Baden 2 nights car
Freiburg 3 nights car train to Murten
Murten Switz 1 night train
Munich 3 nights train
Nüremburg 5 nights side trip to Bamberg train
Dresden 2 nights train
Leipzig 3 nights train
Erfurt/Wiemar 4 nights car
Kassel 1 night car
Göslar/Wernigrode/ 2 nights car
Hamburg 3 nights train
Cologne 4 nights Train
Ellenz/Cochem 2 nights car
Kaiserslautern 1 night (we have friends in K town) back to Frankfurt by train
Frankfurt 1 night Fra to Lon to LAX

We consulted with RS via phone and RS re:train pass/car (10 day rail + 1 "free" day pass). We visited Berlin on a previous trip.
We visited multiple castles/cathedrals. Concentration Camps: Dachau, Buchenwald and two Documentation Centers (Munich and Nuremberg) as well as the Nazi Rally Grounds and the Nuremberg courtroom. The Rhine using RS audio guide. We used RS self guided tours if one was available for various towns. Leipzig has a very nice self guided "Music Tour". Too many sites to list everything here.
It was a wonderful trip. We walked over 200 miles, a ton of stairs. We stayed at mostly Air B&B's except Baden Baden, Dresden, Murten, Frankfurt and K town. Ellenz was a perfect place to end, quiet peaceful.
Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart, Furtwangen Clock Museum, and the outdoor Black Forest Folk Museum in the rain.
We usually fly economy but we paid extra for the exit seat coming home, Lon to LAX...worth it
Cars were economy, manual I have my own Navi system the last car was equipped with one.
Train was 2nd class...sometimes very crowded. My wife does very well navigating the schedules
When we had an apartment with a kitchen we prepared our own food but we had our share of restaurants too.
We loved it...there were a few rough spots...We were ignored at three restaurants, I'm confused as to why that was, we try our very best to be kind, respectful and never demanding? Anyone have insights on this?

Posted by
12884 posts


Great that you set aside 7 nights total for Erfurt, Weimar, and Leipzig. Weimar I have been to 3 times, two as day trips from Berlin or Dresden and the third time spending two nights there, stayed at the HI hostel. Another visit is in order. Weimar is a fabulous small town, the town of Goethe and Schiller, to get way from big places like Berlin and Leipzig, a lovely place known as according to the postcard, "Deutschlands Dichterstadt." (city of poets)

Posted by
12884 posts

In which cities/towns were you ignored at the three restaurants? You mean you waited more than 20-30 mins?

Posted by
18 posts

Your remarks helped us to decide on focusing on Germany alone.
The three restaurants were two in Göslar and one in Wernigerode. One restaurant I thanked the waiter and left. Waited 15-20 minutes. We really didn't visit Weimar except to get to Buchenwald.

Posted by
12884 posts


Well, I have as yet not been either to Goslar or Wernigerode, especially to see its famous Schloss. There have been times when waiting 20 mins I felt like walking out in Germany but never did.

I witness this sort of thing in the mid-1990s in Berlin at Bahnhof Zoo. There was a restaurant with inside and outside seating, a big spread. This guy sitting outside exasperated at not having been served, presumably for some time, barked out to waiter when he came out to serve some else, (this is when I happened to walk by), "Wird's draussen bedient?" (good effective expression using the passive voice). He was asking him basically, if out here was being served. Of course, the waiter said yes. I learned something from that scene.

Posted by
18 posts

At the restaurants in question I made no attempt to show my frustration. We saw others who came after us being served so we just left.