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Germany Honeymoon Itinerary Debate

My partner and I (late 20s)are planning on going to Germany in Mid-September next year (2024) and potentially going to nearby countries as well. So far I have created two different itineraries and am having trouble deciding between the two and knowing if they are reasonable. Nothing has been booked, so we're completely open to recommendations. Also, the trip duration has not been set but we're aiming for 9-13 days in Germany.

Some info about us, I've been to Switzerland before but more so the south-western region and neither of us have been to Germany. I love hiking and the mountains, potentially interested in paragliding. I enjoy walking around scenic towns, window shopping, thrifting, and want to go to at least one house/techno club. I do enjoy wine and beer. My partner said he wants to see castles (any period I suppose, he hasn't specified) and he likes trains so a scenic train ride would be nice. He is not as outdoorsy as I am, and definitely will not be paragliding or doing a Via Ferrata. He doesn't really drink, if so it would be a cocktail. Neither of us are interested in WWII history or churches. Museums are okay, I prefer art museums but don't mind history museums. I am vegan, so far it doesn't seem like it will be an issue but I'm also okay eating from the grocery store in more remote regions.

For transportation, I've planned to rent a car for most of the trip or public transport if convenient.

Option One
1. Arrive in Munich
2. Spend Day In Munich
3. Drive to Hallstatt
4. Spend Day in Hallstatt
5. Drive to Garmish-Partenkirchen
6. Stay in Garmish-Partenkirchen
7. Visit Fussen (see the castles) then Drive to Aescher Guesthouse in Switzerland
8. Morning Hike then Drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber
9. Drive to Frankfurt
10. Leave Frankfurt

Option Two
1. Arrive in Munich and go to Garmish-Partenkirchen
2. Stay in Garmisch
3. Stay in Garmisch (Day trip to Fussen)
4. Drive to Munich
5. Stay in Munich
6. Drive through Nurmberg (visit for ~2hrs), Stay in Bamberg
7. Drive through Wurzburg (visit for ~2hrs), Stay in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
8. Drive to Oberwesel (Stay in a Castle hotel)
9. Day Trip to Trier, Cochem, and Etlz Castle
10. Boat Trip on the Rhine then Drive to Frankfurt
11. Leave Frankfurt

I'm curious if I'm giving some places too much or too little time. Since we'll have a car I plan on finding places to stop along our route too. I'm also iffy on visiting the Rhine valley. I don't find the pictures of it to be very pretty, but since there are so many castles I feel obliged to go. I did intentionally leave Berlin out of this trip. While I think I will love it, I believe it should be left for a later trip where I can spend many days in the city.

Posted by
6636 posts

I'm curious if I'm giving some places too much or too little time.

Option 2:

Days 1-3: I would without hesitation drop Füssen for a day in Mittenwald. Neuschwanstein = tourist trap.

The Day 9 outing from Oberwesel is WAY overpacked.

Since we'll have a car I plan on finding places to stop along our route too.

You should have time for some nice stops on Day 8. The other days probably don't lend themselves well to stops unless you shortchange Munich.

6. Drive through Nurmberg (visit for ~2hrs), Stay in Bamberg
7. Drive through Wurzburg (visit for ~2hrs),

This plan greatly shortchanges Bamberg and Würzburg.

"He is not as outdoorsy as I am, and definitely will not be paragliding or doing a Via Ferrata."

Assuming you will do one, there's one north of Oberwesel in Boppard:

https://img2.oastatic.com/img2/4619082/max/am-mittelrhein-klettersteig-boppard.jpg

The Middle Rhine hiking options are pretty spectacular. No time for those, as I see it, however.

The MOSEL is more bucolic than the Rhine, perhaps more what you are looking for. My suggested revision:

Days 1-2: In Munich.

Days 3-5: in G-P

Day 6: Rothenburg (not because it's better than Bamberg, Nuremberg or Würzburg but just because no newbie to Germany ever chooses to drop it, IME.)

Day 7: Drive to Oberwesel with stops; do late afternoon cruise.

Day 8: Drive to Burg Eltz for tour; drive to Cochem for 2 nights.

Day 9: Day trip to Trier.

Day 10: Drive to MAINZ for a final night, making stops on the way in places that might interest you.... via ferrata in Boppard? Marksburg Castle in Braubach?

Day 11: short trip to FRA from Mainz for flight back.

Posted by
2903 posts

Hi,

To me, it seems you’ll likely spend more time driving than really having time to enjoy where you are on either tentative trip. Expect your driving times to be quite a bit longer than what is posted on the likes of google maps.

While Fuessen seems like a good choice to see the “castles”, the large crowds and short tours don’t seem worth the detour, especially when you’ll be passing some terrific, “real”castles. Such as Hohensalzburg and Hohenwerfen in your Option 1 and in particular Marksburg Castle in Option 2.

I will say that Burg Eltz was the highlight of our trip to the Rhine and Mosel. We certainly preferred the Mosel over the Rhine.

For instance, from our base for 4 nights in Cochem (which we loved) we did a trip to Trier and Bernkastel that pretty much took a full day.

For one that loves hiking and the mountains, neither trip seems to include much of this. From Munich to Hallstatt you’ll be passing right by the Berchtesgaden area and the Wolfgangsee (Salzkammergut) which would fit both your likes.

Aside from what I wrote already, not sure if I can be of much help.

Paul

Posted by
4690 posts

Just a few random thoughts -
First, plan for the maximum number of days that's possible. You lose a day for arrival and departure, so I'd recommend at least 14 days. Additionally, transition days and moving around takes a lot more time than you've allotted. And about mid trip, you'll need a slow down day. I'm glad you're considering open jaw flights.

I agree, Fussen is a tourist trap, crowded, and IMHO, not worth all the effort of standing in lines and waiting.

If you're in Munich, pls consider going to charming Salzburg and scenic Berchtesgaden (lakes, Mountains, hikes, and spectacular scenery.)
Munich itself didn't charm me as much as other destinations, but you may want to experience the beer hall.

I love Rothenburg, having visited three times, and will return. I find the town magical, especially in the mornings and evenings.

The Rhine area is rich with castles, but you won't have the spectacular scenery that you have with mountains and lakes. Berg Eltz Castle is worth a visit, and noteworthy since that the same family has lived in it for hundred years.

You have so much time for planning, enjoy the process, I'm sure this trip will evolve , and I hope you'll share the changes with us.
Safe Travels!

Posted by
8942 posts

I would go with option 1, though honestly, it is an awful lot of driving and I don't think your sightseeing plans of 2 hours here, 2 hours there will work out.
If you have time to do some sightseeing in Frankfurt, then take advantage of it. Stick with your plan of going there. We have a lot of festivals in Sept and it would be a shame to miss one of the historic, older cities of Germany.
The Techno museum in Frankfurt might be one to visit since Techno began here.
Vegan is popular in Germany, so you should have no problem dining here.
Not on your list, but Ronneburg Castle near Gelnhausen and Büdingen is a lovely, Staufen castle that also offers paragliding. Both of those towns are original, medieval towns. We could add to your list, but your time is too short.

Posted by
3045 posts

Munich to Hallstatt is a pretty long drive. Plus Hallstatt is really really small. If you want Austria, I'd pick Salzburg over Hallstatt.

Lots of places in Germany for mountain hikes. Driving to Switzerland for a hike is a lot of driving.

I'd do option 2

What might help you is to look at Rome2rio. Some say that it's not always accurate. But it can give you driving times from A to B. For instance, Munich to Hallstatt is 2H8M in a car. Still a lot of driving. I'd lay out the trip, and then see about travel times.

US tourists routinely say "I'll be hiring a car". In Germany, that's not really necessary usually. Cars are expensive. Gas is expensive. Parking is expensive. Rules about driving in Europe are different than in the US. You may be better off on trains or busses.

Posted by
1289 posts

House/techno club. I think that would be a late night in a major city. Maybe wait for Berlin. Vegan, again major cities. There are salads and most breads. Might be hard to find something without Butterschmaltz and animal products. Vegetables are easy to find. Maybe Radi, Brot and a Bier in a München Biergarten? I would ask at restaurants. Some will cook/server for you. Worth some research as Bavaria is not exactly Vegan country. There are Vegan restaurants though. I've got family that did it for a while, but they lived in Nürnberg during that time. They moved to Australia and became omnivore again. I see you want to hit the tourist sites, but maybe a more relaxed Itinerary in Salzkammergut, Bayern and Baden-Württemberg? Maybe stretch it to the 13 days. Pick a few nice tourist towns, but not crazy touristic and find a few nice 3-4-star hotels. Maybe with half board and wellness? There are many in these regions. They would cater to your needs. One close to a mountain lift that is running for hiking and paragliding.

Posted by
8438 posts

craev96, you wanted opinions, right? I'll agree with others in pointing out that it's not that you're trying to do too much, but that you are underestimating the amount of time it takes to cover all that ground in either itinerary. Leaving you less time to actually see and do the things you want to do.

You only have a short time. Each time you go from one place to another will take up 1/2 to 1 whole day of travel time (including looking for parking), so little time for stopping and exploring, if at all. For example, driving to Nuremberg for 2 hours, is just about enough time for lunch, and not much else. IMO.

So even with youthful energy, it's a whirlwind either agenda for 9-11 days, IMO. And yes, everywhere you mentioned can be reached easily by train, no parking or fueling issues. Whatever you decide it will be fun.

Posted by
6299 posts

More random thoughts here. First, max out your time in Germany - if you have 13 days available, take them. You will want them once you are there. I agree that you are spending a lot of time driving. Germany has such great train service that cars are really not needed unless you are staying in some obscure villages.

Russ's itinerary is actually a pretty good one, and I would consider it if I were you. Burg Eltz is incredible and your fiance will love it. That route covers a lot - Bavaria (Munich), GP (Alps - scenery), Rothenburg o.d.T. (quintessential half-timbered houses), Oberwesel (Rhine area), Burg Eltz (wonderful castle), Cochem (charming Mosel town), Trier (history and beauty) and last minute sightseeing

One thing I would probably change, though, is to substitute Salzburg for Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It's a very easy train ride from Munich and is absolutely gorgeous! I went there first in 2010 and did not expect to find such beauty and charm . It is really a must-see destination. You do not need a car and could easily spend days there. I highly recommend a visit.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you everyone for the insightful feed back! I was definitely relying on the travel times according to google but I can see how that may lead me too little time for actual exploring. I also can see how I'm allotting little time per city. I just wasn't sure how long we would actually need since we likely won't be visiting all the usual historical sites or tourist attractions. I'm thinking it may be better to follow a lot of advice I've seen with having a longer term home base and day trips from there. Time to continue editing the itineraries (:

Posted by
2393 posts

You might consider trains instead of driving. My husband and I have done many car trips in US and Europe but he as the primary driver loved the trains. Very relaxing and he could actually enjoy the scenery from the train. Glad uou are rethinking your plan. I know it is very tempting to squeeze as much in as you can but yiu end up m8sdinf so much mire. Slow down a bit, spend time in a place, wander, find those small cafes away from the main drag...that is when and where the magic happens! Plan for the max time you can take...in 12 days I'd pick 4 locations. It is possible to stop along the way even from the train. You can check all the stops on your route and book A to B to C with a few hours in B.

Posted by
2399 posts

Day 7 & 8 in option 1 make no sense to me.

Option 2 is not too bad.

Have you looked for paragliding anywhere ? I think they do it near Fussen, but I wonder about ‘walk up’ business

If you can extend to 13 days, do it.