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Itinerary Help= Bavaria

First time to Germany but instead of trying to cram a lot into a short amount of time- prefer to see Historic sights, Castles- smaller towns, scenic views etc, local eats but not at break-neck speed.
So here is my first rough draft-
Fly into Frankfurt from USA =spend 2 nights-
rent car at Airport.
Day 3 drive to Cologne- spend 2 nights so we can take a short cruise on Rhine-either day trip or few hours ?? See some nearby castles- need to research a bit more or open to suggestions.
Day 5- Cologne to Stuttgart - 1 night
Day 6 Stuttgart to Konstanz on Lake Bodensee- spend 1 night
Day 7-Konstanz to Fussen - spend 2 nights - need a full day to see 2 of Ludwigs Castles.
Day 9 drive to Munich- stop at Eagles Nest on way- over night in Munich? day trip out to Dachau
Day 11- Munich to Nuremberg- 2 nights so we can see again small towns in area-- Regensberg or should we stay elsewhere?
Day 13- drive to Frankfurt-turn in car-stay near Airport for flight out on Day 14 -
suggestions- thoughts - not interested in large crowds such as Oktoberfest events, also can skip museums. should I cut out one of the larger Cities so I have more time in smaller towns.. which is what I want to spend time ?
Thank you to anyone who can give me suggestions!

Posted by
18301 posts

Day 7-Konstanz to Fussen - spend 2 nights - need a full day to see 2
of Ludwigs Castles. Day 9 drive to Munich- stop at Eagles Nest on way

The Eagles Nest is hardly "one the way" from Füssen to Munich

Posted by
1760 posts

instead of trying to cram a lot into a short amount of time

I'm afraid you are going to do exactly that.

Day 3: Staying in Cologne for a Rhine cruise and visiting castles isn't a good idea, since the scenic Middle Rhine Valley is far more to the south. I'd stay rather in the Bingen / Bacharach / St Goar area (see the recent "Rhine River day cruise" thread).

Day 5: What's your reason for going to Stuttgart? It's an industrial city, heavily destroyed in WWII and rather dull.

Day 6: Instead of Konstanz I'd suggest staying in pittoresque Lindau at the eastern end of the lake; you may want to stop by at the Zeppelin museum in Friedrichshafen before.

Day 9: Eagles nest - no way (see Lees post). If you drive from Füssen to Munich in the morning and go to Dachau same day you will have just one day for Munich, which is very little time for such a big city.

Day 11: Regensburg is not exactly a small city, but it has a beautiful historical center and it's not much of a detour on your way to Nuremberg. However, if you do that, you will have just one day in Nuremberg and no time for other small towns in that area. Instead of Regensburg you might prefer doing a day trip from Nürnberg to Bamberg, which has more to offer in terms of historical architecture and landscape (and beer).

BTW, you could do that itinerary by train easily. A car in Cologne, Stuttgart and Munich will be useless and parking fees can be steep.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you so much Lee and sla019 for your feedback-
I apologize I have a poor map I am working off of today- so next thing I need to buy a better map to even do my planning from.
Stuttgart- only chosen based on a very rough idea of drive time-distance- Baden-Baden may be a better choice-thinking of trying to go to some Waterfalls at Triberg -

Might eliminate Munich altogether since some large cities I truly think you need to go spend a week alone in to cover them- is there lodging etc in the area of the Eagles Nest area?

My travel companion has an interest in some WW2 sights so I believe Dachau and Nuremberg may need to stay on the list- but again generally large historic cities are short on parking etc= so staying somewhere else I welcome suggestions!

Is the road along the Mosel a full day or possibly 2 days- start in Koblenz and stay 1 night in Trier and then head SouthEast toward Baden-Baden?

I will be looking into staying in small inns, bed/breakfast type lodgings except possibly the first and last nights in/out of the Frankfurt Airport

Any ideas on how late into October Eagles Nest is open? not finding any definite dates listed anywhere-

THANKS !

Posted by
5555 posts

About days 1-6:

Frankfurt's anything but a small, scenic town with a castle... Are there specific historic sights that you want to see in Frankfurt? If not, just go to the Rhine. If so, then you could probably see them on Day 1 and maybe part of Day 2. But on Day 2, if you're headed next to the Rhine Valley towns, I would just go there in the afternoon or evening. It's only about one hour from Frankfurt to Bingen, the gateway to the Rhine, and only a little further to St. Goar, or Boppard. I would pick one of these last 2 towns and spend nights 2-4 there. You need 2 days there if you hope to get around to the castles, villages, and chairlifts, and to take a short cruise (Bingen to St. Goar is just right IMO.) It might also be possible to take a half-day trip to Cologne, if that's in your sights.

Then head south from the Rhine Valley toward the Black Forest on the morning of Day 5 as you planned to do before. For a small, attractive town, try Gengenbach instead of Baden-Baden (which is more oriented toward spas, casinos, and shopping - not very black foresty.) If you were taking the train for this trip (as I would do) I would give you details on the free KONUS card that permits free train travel throughout the Black Forest region.

Gengenbach is ON the Black Forest Railway - the route to Bodensee - and from there it's easy to reach Triberg (waterfall, Black Forest Museum) but also Gutach (even closer) where the Vogtsbauernhof open-air museum is.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you Russ so much for the feedback-
Have you stayed near Eagles Nest- is there a place or town that is preferable=
Definitely was planning separate days for Eagles Nest and Dachau- and Munich not really time to explore so maybe just avoid by staying elsewhere=
Have you visited the waterfalls at Triberg? Is it worth the time spent for someone interested in nature?
Favorite small towns in Bavaria area?

thanks again to all answers!

Posted by
12040 posts

Have you stayed near Eagles Nest- is there a place or town that is preferable Yes, the obvious choice is Berchtesgaden.

Favorite small towns in Bavaria area? Yes, but what part of Bavaria do you mean? It's the single largest state in the country.

Posted by
5555 posts

"Have you stayed near Eagles Nest- is there a place or town that is preferable" Berchtesgaden. But sorry, no recent experience or rec's.

"Have you visited the waterfalls at Triberg? Is it worth the time spent for someone interested in nature?" Yes and maybe. It's just OK, but then I've made several visits to Yosemite. Germans seem to like it. I don't see you having very much time for nature here with just one night and considering you're waking up in Cologne/the Rhine on Day 5, then getting to Konstanz on Day 6. So maybe the fall is a good idea as it is a quick one-and-done.

Posted by
5 posts

Based on suggestions and time- I guess it is about 45minutes from Frankfurt airport to Rhine area-stay along the Rhine giving me more nights for the types of small towns and experiences I am looking for during fall.

Revising it a bit=
Fly into Frankfurt- first night maybe Boppard

Night 2 = along the Rhine

Would like to fit in a drive along the Mosel between Koblenz and Trier= not sure there is time unless I cut again something else.
Not planning to really see Munich on this trip so can cut that but still need a full day at Dachau and a full day at Berchtesgaden.
Also someone mentioned that Lake Bodensee may need to be cut but I feel like moving south from Mosel river area- there is a lot of ground before Fussen...

YES- need some help since I don't want a bus tour want to drive it-
Suggestions welcome= willing to cut all large cities like Munich and Frankfurt (just using that for best Airport) and see those more in depth on another visit.

THANKS for all the help RickSteves readers and forum users = most appreciated!

Posted by
1760 posts

but still need a full day at Dachau

I'd participate in a guided tour for individual visitors. It's much more informative than wandering around on your own. English tours start at 11am and 1pm every day (and, btw, they ar IME better than those expensive commercial tours). So, half a day will do and you could do a quick tour in the inner city of Munich as well.

https://www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de/tours_single_visitors.html

Posted by
5555 posts

"Suggestions welcome= willing to cut all large cities like Munich and Frankfurt..."

This itin. will keep you in mostly small towns.

Day 1: Arrive FRA, travel to St. Goar for 3 nights; not sure when you arrive but I assume you'll have time to see Rheinfels castle (in town.)
Day 2: Visit Bacharach and Oberwesel in the am. Use one of the Rhine ferries to drive to Marksburg Castle (tour) and enjoy Braubach
Day 3: Drive to the Mosel and back: good options include Winningen, Cochem, Burg Eltz castle. Visit Boppard on way back to St. Goar.

Day 4, 5: Drive to Gengenbach for 2 nights. Day trips might include Freiburg, Gutach's Vogtsbauernhof, Schiltach, Triberg, Strasbourg (FR.) Note that you COULD leave your car parked and do all these trips for free by train (Strasbourg would cost a few Euros.)
http://www.dreisamtal.de/en/service/konus.php?lang=en
Gengenbach is right on the Black Forest Railway, which like the Rhine River Railway is one of Germany's top scenic train routes:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4d/Verlaufskarte_Schwarzwaldbahn_(Baden).png
https://www.black-forest-travel.com/places-of-interest/black-forest-railway.html

Day 6, 7: Drive to Bodensee for 2 nights. I agree with the previous suggestion of LINDAU over Konstanz. Visit Meersburg Castle?

Day 8: Drive to Füssen - see the 2 palaces there. Drive to Dachau for overnight.
Day 9, 10: Visit Dachau KZ early. Drive in afternoon to Berchtesgaden for 2 nights.
Day 11-12: Drive to Bad Windsheim for 2 nights. See the Franconian Open Land Museum; nearby day trip options include lovely Iphofen, the Main River threesome Marktbreit, Sommerhausen, Ochsenfurt, and Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Day 13: See whatever you missed in this area on Days 11-12 - OR - drive to BAMBERG (pop. 80,000, so a city of some size, but worth seeing.) Then drive to your FRA airport hotel.

This itin. is a little too aggressive for my tastes and includes some places I don't recommend necessarily (Dachau - I'm already convinced the holocaust was one of mankind's most gruesome atrocities and already well informed; Neuschwanstein.) Also, it's just a ton of driving, which compared with riding the trains around Germany is an enormous amount of work, hassle, and expense, IME. If a car were my only choice, I'd lobby myself to cut something.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you Russ! printing this and getting to work on your suggestions which looks like a really good plan- but as you said maybe park the car in a few places and take train- which is fine too=

THANKS !! Very excited to look this over in detail today!

Posted by
171 posts

Day 7-Konstanz to Fussen - spend 2 nights - need a full day to see 2 of Ludwigs Castles.

The best, easily available, view of Neuschwanstein is from the Marienbrucke - beautiful view of the castle and the lake beyond. You can catch a bus to the bridge from Fussen.

Day 9 drive to Munich- stop at Eagles Nest on way- over night in Munich? day trip out to Dachau

Although the Eagle's Nest is not on the direct route to Munich from Fussen the Alpenstrasse is a particularily beautiful drive - well worth the diversion.

The Eagle's Nest is reached by bus from the Documentation Center in/near Berchtesgaden. There are many choices of hotels in the area. We prefer to stay in a BandB in Marktschellenberg but it has a minimum stay of three nights which would not fit your plans. I think the closure date of the Eagle's Nest is left open because it is hard to predict when winter will arrive.

Day 11- Munich to Nuremberg- 2 nights so we can see again small towns in area-- Regensberg or should we stay elsewhere?

Nuremberg has many WWII and Nazi connections. The Rally grounds, Documentation Center, Court where Nazi Bigwigs were tried and the town itself are all worth a visit.

Posted by
444 posts

Why so much driving? Most people here love the train, it is normally cheaper. It is easy, just sit back and relax. You dont have to worry about parking or speeding tickets. Most of your itinerary can be accomplished by train.

We stayed in Bacharach after a direct flight from the states. It was easy and quick to get here by train. It was a lovely little place with a grocery store. We stayed at Pension Lettie and had a wonderful time. She was a great hostess. There was no noise from the street or trains. When we return, we will stay with her again. We took the cruise to St. Goar for Rhinefels and then returned. The train is at one end of town and the boat dock is about a half mile away. A nice pleasant walk. You can take the river North which is down stream and the train back. There are trains on both sides of the river to connect the towns which make transportation easy.

You may need a car to get to Lindhof and to Fussen. Dachau can be visited as a day trip from Munich, so can Bertchesgarden. After that you may need a car.