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I need a best of Germany trip plan

Traveling in August (looking at early to mid, might be able to do last week in August) with 90yo mom, 24 yo son and my husband and I. Will have about 7-10 days to see the most scenic and beautiful parts of Germany. Getting overwhelmed by all that I am reading and feel like I need a year to see it all! If anyone can help condense things for me I would appreicate it. Looking to fly into Frankfurt, maybe Munich. Would like to end up in Berlin. Looking at renting a car but if I can do it without that is a plus.
I have looked at the Fairytale trail, to the Baltic, and have look at the alps.
Love history and art, food, wine, beer, architecture, the older the building the better!
Thank you in advance

Posted by
2670 posts

Welcome to the forum.

We can be helpful with specific questions about assembling your own itinerary or about things to do. Or, it can be helpful to present your own draft and ask for feedback. You can also search this forum for itineraries e. g. "10 days Germany" and consider the RS recommended itinerary for Germany. If you're hoping for someone to make an itinerary for you, you might consider a travel agency.

The top 100 sights and attractions in Germany list - voted by visitors - can help you as well to start.

the older the building the better

Not seldomly buildings were rebuilt or massively repaired. The center of the imo over-glorified Rothenburg of der Tauber was destroyed between 40 and 50%; other cities over 90%. So a "looking old" building is not necessarily old. They also look very differently by region (e. g. Brick Gothic in the North) and by epoche.

Directly located at train connection between Berlin and Munich is Bamberg with World Heritage old town. Try also Franconian kitchen and smoked beer there.

Posted by
877 posts

Assume 10 days which means Day 1 is "near" where you arrive (Mom will thank you) and day 9 will be near where you depart so Day 10 departure is as stress free as possible. BUT, remember the "older the building the better" is very hard in Germany due to the war. Everything can look lovely but it was rebuilt to look that way with more modern plumbing and electrical outlets. Trains are the way to go since you can't drive into most cities anyway.

I would suggest flying into Frankfort and taking a train the the Rhine Valley for the rest of Day 1 and all of day 2 and Day 3. Rhine cruise, castles, lunches on the river, etc. Most hotels have bikes to use on the paths along the river. There are many favorite towns for Forum commenters, Bacharach (my favorite) St. Goar, etc. Use local train travel. Day 4 take the train to either Nuremberg or Munich (check Bahn. com for train times and costs) but again both cities are heavily rebuilt. New construction sites still dig up dud bombs from the war. Day 4, 5 and 6 explore. Rothenberg ob Der Tauber a Rick favorite is reachable by either train. or local bus from the Nuremberg area in about 60-90 minutes. Wurzburg and Bamberg are easy stops on the way or day trips from Nuremberg. Lots of beautiful small towns and larger ones around Nuremberg and outside Munich. One can go to the Alps from Munich but you will spend most of a day getting there and back. Day 7 train to Berlin and spend day 7 in the afternoon plus 8 and 9 in the Berlin area. Fly out of Berlin.

For a first visit don't try to check too many boxes. Have fun.

Some websites:

Posted by
2915 posts

Welcome to the forum. To start, what are the “A” list sight and “B” list sight that each of you want to see? Everyone will have their must-do’s. You can’t see everything in 7 to 10 days. Narrow it down to a small area.

Have you traveled to Europe before? I’m answering your post as if you haven’t.

Which brings up another issue. How mobile is your 90 y/o mom? Can she walk up steps? Board a city bus/tram? Can she board a train to go from one town to another? How far can she walk to sight see? So going back to your 7 to 10 days, maybe base is two, at most three, towns.

If your plan is to rent a car, you need to research renting a car in Germany. Driving rules are often not the same as the US, nor are car sizes that fit four adults plus luggage. Which brings up another subject — pack light! One carry size suitcase and a personal item each. It’s less for you to move and manage.
EDIT: forgot to add that each driver will need an International Driver’s Permit.

If you’re talking about this August, you need to lay out your itinerary ASAP. Post your specific ideas so we can critique and offer ideas.. Get your hotels booked and your flights. You’re running short of time.

Some sights need timed entry. Example: last year I toured the Bundestag in Berlin. Tickets were available 60 days in advance and times were booked full within two days.

Keep asking questions.

Posted by
1837 posts

You say you want "to see the most scenic and beautiful parts of Germany," and you only have 7-10 days.

Generally, Bavaria is considered to be the most scenic and beautiful area in Germany, and you could spend your entire 7-10 days there.

Also found this website:

So go through and figure out what you'd like to see most and how many days each location will take. Then figure out if that's feasible in 7-10 days, and start whittling down your itinerary til it make sense to you.

Then bring it by here and post it and ask for feedback.

MarkK is right. We're not travel agents. Just some of us have been to the places you want to go and can offer suggestions. But it's really up to you to do the research and figure out what your priorities are.

Posted by
159 posts

With 90y old mom a car would be better option for travelling but I wouldnt do to much driving and choose only 2-3 spots from where you could excursions

Posted by
6798 posts

Will have about 7-10 days to see the most scenic and beautiful parts of Germany... Looking to fly into Frankfurt, maybe Munich. Would like to end up in Berlin.

That's not a lot of time. Please don't try to see the entire country.

To see Berlin at all will require about 3 nights. It is not the most scenic and beautiful part of Germany at all. I suggest you leave Berlin out of the picture.

If flying into FRA, you will find "fairytale" towns nearby. Some are on the "Fairytale Route" you refer to, but many are not. You will also find great scenery - and some really old buildings - in several of the nearby river valleys. You probably will want a car, which will likely make daytrips much easier for Mom and will open up a greater number of accommodations for your group of 3 as finding places near the train station that suit you is going to be somewhat difficult during peak travel season. The car will not be helpful in major cities, most of which were badly bombed in the War and might not be what you're looking for anyway. Besides, Mom will surely find that whatever walking she undertakes, she will better handle smaller towns than major urban centers with wide thoroughfares and lots of traffic

  • Main River Valley: (Can be combined with a visit to Rothenburg.)

Miltenberg - and nearby Michelstadt - Würzburg - and the Fairytale Road towns of Ochsenfurt, Marktbreit, and Bad Windsheim. Bad Windsheim's Freilandmuseum (open-air museum) is an excellent way to explore local history. Brewery onsite too!

I suggest 2-3 nights in each valley, finding somewhere that suits you and is well located for doing short day trips to the other towns and sights that interest you. You could fly into AND out of FRA for this trip.

Posted by
2483 posts

I think Russ’ suggestion is a good one. However if you are from the flatlands of the U.S., you might be more interested in seeing some mountains and so In that case I’d focus on south of Munich.

Posted by
510 posts

With such a short amount of time, I would simply focus on "picturesque" Germany and not even attempt Berlin.
Fly in to Frankfurt. Visit the Rhine River Valley, do a boat tour.
Head towards one or more of the Fachwerk communities. Rothenberg AB has been very popular. There are many others. Don't get caught up in originality discussions. You will never know the difference. Head to Munich. Visit there and some surrounding sites.
Your trip is done. That's how quickly 7 to 10 days pass.
Your mother will be left with very classic German images for her memories. You will check of a few places that you can avoid when you eventually return and spend at least 5 days in Berlin.
Your son and husband will enjoy the beers, schnapps and Schlacht Platte wherever you are. Let them drive.
Keep it simple.

Posted by
74 posts

Okay, I'm 76 years old and while we fly in and out of Frankfurt airport annually, there's quite a bit of walking to do to arrive or depart from the airport. Munich is much easier to navigate for an older person. Take this for what its worth. Just looking at it from an older persons point of view.

Posted by
1102 posts

We were in Germany a couple weeks ago and did Rothenburg ODT and Fussen + surrounding areas at the end of a Paris trip. Loved it, wish we had more time in southern Germany. Very, very easy to rent a car and drive there - the best maintained highways I’ve ever seen!

Posted by
2017 posts

With a 90 year old mom, I'd stay in one or two places. I traveled with my almost 80 year old parents to Spain and I noticed they needed a nap during the day and were tired if we spent to long in museums or other places. With her alone and only about a week, I'd say the area in an around Munich is your best bet. Very scenic, tons of parks and mountains you can go up by cable car. Plus more tradition food, drinks and architecture then most of Germany

Or you could do the Munich to Berlin ICE train and stay 4 days in Munich an 4 days in Berlin. Although honestly I think Berlin would be too much for your mom. As scenic and beautiful aren't what I'd use with Berlin. Though Potsdam is a lovely place but again, a lot of walking. Munich still has the cute rebuilt town centre, old churches and pedestrian walkways.

But I will add there are multiple areas of Germany that are considered beautiful. I'd stick to one area.

Posted by
1338 posts

My Father will turn 93 in August. He would really like to travel again, but for him I think flying and public transportation is now beyond his ability. Also long walks especially on cobbled streets. I would recommend a car, but then you have to plan the logistics and parking. I'm partial to Bavaria and the Alps. There is plenty to see here, just sit down and take it all in. Late July to early September is school Summer vacation in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, so high season. Hope I'm still getting around in my 90s! Have a good trip.

Posted by
7016 posts

All the advice above is good. Here are my thoughts: First, I love the Rhine area, but I think that Bavaria is the quintessential image most people have of Germany, and you can't go wrong starting off there. And if you head south of there, the mountains are just gorgeous.

If you have 10 days, you could conceivably start off in Munich, and spend 5-6 days in Bavaria, taking some trips to some of the quaint towns nearby or even Salzburg. Then take the train to Berlin, spend your last 4 days in Berlin and fly out of that city.

If you only have 7 days, then just stick with Munich and Bavaria.

Normally I would advocate for train travel as there are trains all over and the system is easy to use. But trains do involve some exertion as you have to walk to the station, and smaller stations may not have elevators so you would have to do some stair climbing. Obviously you know your mother best, so you would be the best judge of whether she can handle that. That said, if you do decide to go to Munich and Berlin, drop your car off in Munich and take the train to Berlin as that would be much easier than driving.

Posted by
4475 posts

My experience with German trains(more than a decade ago) was that we had very little time to get on and off with our luggage at some stops.