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My 11 day Southern Germany itinerary ?

My Husband and I will be traveling to Germany for our anniversary this may for the first time. I was wondering what is your opinion/advice on this itinerary. Is it realistic to do all of this? I think I'll be renting a car for most of the trip but should I use the train instead? Any advice will be much appreciated. :)

DAY 1- Flight arrival into Dusseldorf at 7:45 am (take train to Cologne) See the Cathedral, Eau de Cologne 4711, maybe chocalate museum) rent a car drive to Bacharach to sleep.

DAY 2- Drive to Oberwessel a few minutes away and spend the day in the Rhine. Stay in the Auf Schoenburg Castle and enjoy the castle the rest of the evening and following morning.

DAY 3- Drive up 2 hours to Alsfed and see the fairytale house and explore the area. Then drive up to Sababurg see the sleeping beauty castle and spent the night there.

DAY 4- Drive to Kassel in the morning and see the Brother Grimm Museum. Then drive towards Saalfeld and see the Dragon Canyon in between. Sleep in Saalfeld that night.

DAY 5- Go see the Saalfeld Grotto in the morning. then drive down to Holr in route of the romantic road to see the snow white castle. Next towards Rothenburg for the night watchman tour and spend the night there.

DAY 6- In the early morning drive to Triberg to see the Black forest, Cuckoo Clocks and the waterfall. Sleep in Triberg.

DAY 7- Drive to Fussen to see the Famous Castles have lunch and then drive to Salzburg.

DAY 8- Tour of eagles nest in the morning and then Sound of Music tour. Sleep in Salzburg.

DAY 9- Go see Hallstat in the morning along with salt mine tour and Mozart dinner concert at night. Sleep in Salzburg.

DAY 10- Drive to Munich in the morning explore the city and sleep there that night.

DAY 11- Flight back to US in the morning.

Is this a good idea or not really?

Posted by
6307 posts

Wow, that's a whole lot of fantasy-indulgence.

I just think it's a lot of driving around, and that your sightseeing goals are all remarkably similar. You're driving Rothenburg to Triberg on Day 6 for one night, then heading to Füssen the next morning, thinking you've seen the Black Forest - and that afternoon proceeding to Salzburg for Night #7? That's good for the oil companies but it seems like you're really just driving past a lot of stuff after giving it a quick glance.

No, I don't think it's a great plan. I think it's fine to included a few visits to Disnyesque places that you might be familiar with from books and the media, but if you've never been to Germany before, it might also be good to set your dreamy visions of the place aside for a few days and visit some less-super-touristy places to get a feel for how real Germans live their lives.

Posted by
2854 posts


I can only comment on the few days for places we've been recently.

Why stay a night in Bacharach and then stay a night in Oberwesel 20 minutes away? That's... I don't know what that is.

Drive from Triberg to Fuessen, see the castles, lunch, drive to Salzburg. That's a 7 hour drive non stop. Visiting the castle's takes about 2 to 3 hours (probably longer without reserved tickets, as Neuschwanstein is very popular/crowded) and then lunch? Figure on leaving Triburg at 9am and arriving in Salzburg around 8 or 9pm. Then find your new place to stay in Salzburg.

The first 7 nights your staying in 7 different places. That kills a lot of time. Finding the new place, checking in, finding places you want to see, getting up, checking out, driving to a new place, repeat. All time consuming.

I will say that Day 9 seems fine to me.

Just my opinion, with 11 nights total, I'd pick 4 places to overnight at and experience the places more. One nighters are time consuming and can be tiring.


Posted by
2224 posts

Very busy schedule. If you do it, then I would use a car. Even though I always use the train.

I like to stay at least 2 nights in each location.

I would skip the detour to the Black Forest (which I really like, spending a week there last fall) and would also skip Fussen (which I also like, visiting 3 times). but these really add a lot of driving.

Salt mine - lots of fun

Posted by
12040 posts

It looks like you have two or three different trips that you're trying to pound into one. I tip my hat to you that you're checking out some of the less-explored regions of central German (looks like you're following part of the Fairy Tale Road), but you're not doing any of these regions justice with the pace you designated. Now, some specific comments.

You haven't accounted for jetlag on your first day. You're arriving in one of the most densely populated regions of Europe, and you'll have to immediately dive into some pretty awful traffic. That's a pretty full day, and by the time you're driving along the Rhine to Bacharach, your reaction time will be similar to that of a drunk.

I agree with the others, it makes no sense to sleep in both Oberwesel and Bacharach. Choose one or the other, but not both.

On your way to Alsfeld, you're passing through some amazing scenic territory. Consider stop-offs at Braunfels, Wetzlar and/or Marburg.

On the way to Sababurg (which I found OK... it didn't blow me away), make sure you stop in Fritzlar. It's a well-preserved walled town, and I think it's also on the Fairytale Road. After visiting Fritzlar, you might find Rothenburg odT redundant, other than all the tour buses and trinket shops you see at the latter. Nearby Felsburg is one of the better preserved castles you'll find in Germany. The outer walls have partially crumbled, but the inner keep and tower are completely intact.

If you really want to see the Grimm Brother's musuem in Kassel, go for it. But Kassel is not a particuarly attractive city. It got hammered in the war and quickly rebuilt in a very functional style.

I don't know "the Dragon Canyon". Can you elaborate?

Your proposed outing to Triberg is a very far outlier. After having driven through the uplands of northern Hessen and Thüringen, the Schwarzwald will seem like more of the same, and pales in comparison to the Alps. Skip it.

Day 8 and 9 are much too busy.

Only a few hours for Munich?

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you all so much for your advise!!! I really appreciate it!

Ok I'm going to gather your advice and change this itinerary.
I'm breaking my head trying to figure out what I should remove and were should I spent the most time. I'm guessing it will be best to skip the black forest and alsfed/fairytale road since it should probably look similar to Rothenburg? Not sure never been there?

Is the Grotto in saalfeld really worth to see?

My must do's are staying in the castle in the Rhine, seeing Neuschwanstein castle, the salzburg salt mine and hallstat maybe. (as you can see I fell in love with the idea of traveling to Germany because of all the whimsical looking place there is and ofcoarse the history and romance)

Maybe I could do:

2 nights in Rhine ( Sleep in Auf Schoenburg Castle) through romantic road...
1 night Rothenburg ( punishment museum and night tour)
1 night Fussen ( Castles and leisure day. Is the Black forest extended this way to at least have the privilege of saying I saw the famous black forest? ;)
2 nights Vienna ( this is just an idea I can delete this and add days to the rest of the places or maybe see something better or Berlin )
2 nights Salzburg ( salt mine, sound of music tour, hallstat and eagles nest on the way back to munich maybe)
2 nights Munich ( I have no idea what to do here but every one has told me there is plenty to do here)

I'm from Miami so I rather see places with character instead of more modern city's. Even though I might just love the city's in Germany instead :) so confused.

I do have my flight booked so I have to work with arriving into Dusseldorf at 7:45 am and returning from Munich at 9:45 am on day 11.
My problem is what to do in between :) so many wonderful places to see I wish I had a month...

Thanks again!!!

Posted by
2854 posts

Vienna is out of the way for your trip in my opinion. Add a night each to Fuessen and Salzburg.

From Fuessen, maybe do the Zugspitze from nearby Ehrwald, Austria, visit the Wieskirche, Ludwig's Linderhof palace, ride the Tegelberg luge (Sommerrodelbahn), etc. Fuessen itself is a charming old town. These are in addition to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles.

With a few nights in Salzburg you could include Berchtesgaden, the beautiful Konigsee, Hallstatt, even a day out on the Wolfgangsee (incl. St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang, Strobl), drive the Rossfeld Panorama Road by Berchtesgaden, etc. Berchtesgaden and Salzburg are less than 30 min. apart by car.

On the way to Munich, stop and visit Ludwig's amazing Herrenchiemsee palace. It's basically midway between Salzburg/Berchtesgaden and Munich.

Just some ideas.


Posted by
12040 posts

More comments.

The scenery along the Romantic Road isn't particularly interesting. It's just a normal secondary road. The intent is that it links together a string of attractive towns, not that it provides a stunning drive. See any towns along the way that interest you, but don't waste your tight time driving the whole thing just for the sake of it. Take the A7 Autobahn. If you want a scenic drive, you'll get it further south near the Alps. Or, the areas you originally included in northern Hessen and Thüringen make some very enjoyable drives. Rothenburg gets more attention than it merits, but it's along your route, so go for it (if you were headed north from the Rhine instead of south, for example, it wouldn't be worth the detour). Don't miss Dinkelsbühl, though. I haven't seen another town in Germany that looks similar.

You don't have time for the Black Forest, it's too far out of your way. And please, read this Wikipedia article to put it in the proper perspective. Your route has you passing through several of these forrested mountain ranges. The Black Forest will seem like more of the same.

Posted by
12040 posts

Wait, I thought of a way you could incorporate the Black Forest... sort of, but it would involve dropping Rothenburg.

As you leave the Mittelrhein area, instead of heading southeast on A3 towards Würzburg and Munich, head directly south on A5 towards Karlsruhe and Basel. At Karlsruhe, take A8 towards Stuttgart and Munich. You'll cross through some low mountains that look no different from the Odenwald that you passed between Darmstadt and Heidelberg, the Taunus mountains you passed around Wiesbaden and Frankfurt, the Hunsrück or the Westerwald you saw around the Mittelrhein or the Schwäbische Alb that you'll drive through after getting battered by Stuttgart traffic. Those low mountains around Karlsruhe represent the northern extension of the Black Forest. There it is, you can now saw you were in the Black Forest, if that's what you really want. From here you can make towards Ulm, and hit A7 heading towards Füssen. Around Memmingen, the majestic Bavarian Alps will suddenly appear on the horizon (if the weather is clear), and you'll completely forget about the Black Forest or wonder why you ever really wanted to go out of your way to see it in the first place.

Posted by
2224 posts

Vienna is quite a ways out of the way - lots of driving for just a little time. I like the idea to add a day in Fussen and Salzburg. In Salzbug you might want to add the ice caves at nearby Werfen.