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How many days in Kaiserslautern, Black Forest, Nuremberg and Berlin

My husband and I are visiting our nephew and family he is stationed at Ramstein. We will be there for 16 days, Nov 24-Dec 10th. We are looking to spend time in the Kaiserslautern area, Black Forest, Nuremberg/Herzogenaurauch and Berlin maybe Dresden. Any recommendations on how long to stay and what to see in each area? Also which Christmas markets do you recommend? I am trying to make reservations now for the hotels since it seems to be a busy time to visit. Thank you for any suggestions.

Posted by
7575 posts

We were in Berlin and Dresden last October.

Let me just say that Berlin wasn't our favorite major European city, however it would be worth 3-4 days visit. We didn't even find the museums on Museum Island on par with the other great museums in Europe.

However, we loved visiting Dresden and will return to visit the entire Saxony region. Dresden may have once been the most beautiful city in Europe, and the museums there are great. We stayed on the big plaza within eyesight of the huge Lutheran church, and there were very decent German restaurants close by. (In Berlin, we found fast food and Vietnamese restaurants mainly.)

We have been through the Black Forest a couple of times, and it's rolling hills like where I was raised. But with the incredible mountains of Bavaria and Austria so close, that's where I prefer to spend my mountain times. They are far more beautiful than the Black Forest.

Posted by
4959 posts

So many places to visit. From Kaiserslautern you could take day trips to Strasbourg, FR, Heidelberg, Trier, and Wiesbaden/Frankfurt/Mainz. Further away is Burg Eltz (2 hours). From Nuremberg you could day trip to Wurzburg and Regensburg. Nuremberg is worth a full day by itself. Keep in mind that it gets dark early, 4pm or so that time of year, so you need to figure that in when planning any day trips. Weather can also be a factor. I remember when we went to visit our son who was stationed in Brunssum, NL about the same time of year as your trip. When we left his apartment the weather was clear. We drove to Trier and by the time we got back to his place I was driving in a blizzard.

Posted by
652 posts

Kaiserslautern has a good Christmas market, and as it's open in the evening you can max your time there. If you want to go to Trier which has the Porta Nigra, small coliseum, and Roman bath ruins you can also hit their market. It's smaller than K-town but it's in the main square and by the church, I forget the name (edit, the Truer Cathedral, duh lol), and it's really beautiful at night. All that would be an all day trip. Double check that they're open, I seem to remember some were closed a night during the week. If you're there on the weekend the smaller towns around Ramstein have their markets, which are small but fun. Even if you don't buy anything you can get some glüwein in a souvenir cup and food. I always liked going to Heidelberg Castle, and by Ramstein if you want a nice hike there's Hohenecken Castle and of course K. Castle. Depending on what you want to do and how busy you want to be I think 3 days is plenty, but remember if you're going there first you'll probably be jet-lagged. I would just drive through the Black Forest as it's not really that exciting and go to Garmisch instead, which is about an hour from Munich. I didn't spend much time in Munich but I'm sure their market is pretty big, and if you want to see a concentration camp Dachau is right there, which will take at least 3 hours. Also, you'll need to take into account driving time, and the fact that traffic on the weekends is heavy, not to mention unpredictable weather. If you're driving from Southern Germany back towards K-town on a Sunday you'll be driving with skiers going back also. You might want to consider tightening up your distances a bit.