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Germany in September - Need suggestions with my itinerary - Tom (and others) please help.

*I think we have nailed down our dates for Germany in September and we will miss Oktoberfest so that is no longer an issue.

I have come up with an idea of our itinerary but would be very grateful for any assistance you can give.

Sept 7 arrive in Amsterdam (this is not an option) spend two nights here.

Take train (is this an easy thing to do?) to Cologne for 2 nights?
Cologne (train) to Koblenz or Rudeshiem for 1 night (Is this enough time?) Would like to do a river cruise for a couple of hours can we do this in Cologne or from Cologne to next destination? Train to Munich.
Munich for one or two nights (been here so don't need more than that.) Want to stop in Dachau on the way to Salzburg if possible.
Salzburg - 3 nights (is that to many?) planning a day trip to Hallstatt, Salt Mine, Eagles Nest perhaps
Vienna - 3 nights and fly home from here.

We enjoy sight seeing but also just wandering and enjoying the culture. We also enjoy some nightlife and good restaurants. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated in order to fine tune and get reservations made.

Posted by
8977 posts

Taking the train is very easy to do from Amsterdam to Cologne. After leaving Cologne, my recommendation would be to take the train to Boppard, and stay there over night. Drop off your bags at your hotel, then train down to Bingen, get on the ship and ride it back to Boppard. This allows you to see all of the castles on a liesurely ride. Next day, take your train to Munich.

Posted by
12040 posts

I would recommend checking the duration of your rail trips on Deutsche Bahn, if you haven't already done so. If you have no problems with those lengths, then go for it.

Amsterdam to Köln is fairly easy. There's a direct ICE train, but it only runs a few times a day. Otherwise, you would need to string together several intercity trains.

If this was my trip, I would probably spend the balance of my nights somewhere along the Mittelrhein rather weighing more heavily on Köln. Your choice is a perfectly reasonable, though, especially if there's something more than a few things you really want to see in Köln. Without a car, one night on the Rhine is going to be tight. But if you're up for a little bit of live music and nightlife, Rüdesheim is a good choice.

From the Mittelrhein (or at least, from both of the places you've named), you don't need to return to Köln before heading to Munich. You would likely route through Frankfurt.

Dachau is a northern suburb of Munich, so it's not along the way to Salzburg. I don't see why you couldn't stop there first before heading east, but you'll probably have to backtrack through downtown Munich (unless Lee from Colorado can suggest something different).

3 nights would be too much alone for Salzburg, but since you're planning on daytrips, it should work fine.

Posted by
109 posts

Thank you for the replies. Those are very helpful.
We don't even have to go Koln. I don't have specific things to do there other than the Dom. I just thought it seemed to be part of the Rhine and a bit more lively. Is it worth skipping? Maybe we should focus more further down? I hate to move around to much as I find that stressful and I didn't want to be at places that are really quiet at night especially with an 19, 22 and 25 year old along. We like to have a few drinks at night and perhaps have some entertainment. Having said the a little pub or beer house would be great.
Good to know about Dachau I could tell it wasn't exactly along the way.

Is there somewhere else on the way to Salzburg you would recommend staying for a night or two if we were to shorten Salzburg and Vienna by one night each? So much planning! It sure helps to get real advice from people who have been there.

To give you an idea we loved places like Heidelberg but I have been so would rather see somewhere else.

Posted by
12040 posts

The scenic portion of the Rhine runs from around Wiesbaden to just south of Bonn. Everywhere else, it could be any river anywhere else in the world. There's nothing special about it all as it flows by Köln.

Places between Salzburg and Munich? How about Chiemsee or Tegernsee?

Posted by
109 posts

Ok great thank you. I think I might skip Koln and go Boppard instead. Still debating on Koblenz but three nights in Boppard as a home base might be better.

Posted by
3696 posts

With kids that age I would look for college towns as there is always something happening there... when I traveled with my daughter of that age I decided those were the best home bases. She also loved Munich as it had such a 'young vibe' with the Peruvian street bands, etc.

Posted by
388 posts

If you did Koln, you wouldn't need to stay longer than perhaps 3-4 hours to see the cathedral. Apart from that you may not have to spend 3 days (4 nights) on the Rhine. For most people 2 full days is plenty of time. We personally like towns like Bacharach, St. Goar, Boppard, and Koblenz. For Dachau, it is easy to do it as a daytrip from Munich. Three days is fine for Salzburg as long as you are doing perhaps one or two daytrips from there. Rick's guidebooks will give more information on places to stay as well as transportation and time management. I hope this helps some.