We will be spending 7 nights in Paris in late September. Would like to spend four nights following Paris in a single town (or area) in Germany and fly home to the US fro that German town or area. What do you suggest and Why? Thanks Todd
Which city in Germany do you want to see the most? Which one has the history that attracts you, or the museums, or other sites that get you excited? This is a rather personal opinion, and everyone is going to tell you something different, and at the end, you will still need to decide on your own. You are paying 1000's of dollars to come to Europe, so pick out the city that YOU want, cause if I tell you to come to Frankfurt, as it is a perfect hub as well as being a wonderfully historic city, I will get bashed. Someone else will say Munich is the best, then will come Berlin, someone else will say Rothenburg, or perhaps Heidelberg, etc. etc.
See what I mean?
I just got back from two weeks in Germany and I'd suggest Berlin. Although I didn't really love the city itself (and have no big desire to return in the way I want to go back to Paris), Berlin's unbelievable 20th century history alone makes it an essential visit at some point on any itinerary. It was certainly the highlight of my trip, though I'm a history buff.
If you have those constraints, I would heartily recommend Berlin, all things being equal, ie basically, just one city in Germany. Berlin, die dufte Stadt, for numerous reasons. You can fly direct back, such as Berlin Tegel to Los Angeles (LAX) or change in Frankfurt or London.
As someone else mentioned, which city to choose will depend a lot on what you want to see and do while there. Could you elaborate on what prompted your desire to visit Germany?
My favourite city to visit is Munich, for a variety of reasons. I like the character of the city, and there's not only lots to see in the city but also lots of good day trip possibilities. While that may also be true with other cities, there's just something about Munich that I like.
Good luck with your decision!
Stay on the Rhine and fly back from Frankfurt
Last summer I had time for only one city in Germany and I chose Berlin. Loved the museums, the last century of history is very important, and I took one daytrip to Lutherstadt-Wittenberg. Next year I'll be able to spend more time in
Germany, and I will definitely return to Berlin.
I'm the someone else who will say Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
The deciding factor for me would be cost - which city is cheapest for you to fly out of? Once you know that you can settle on exactly where you want to visit/day trips, etc.
I'm with Ken. Munich is my favorite city in Germany. Day trips can be made to several places of interest and the city itself has a lot to offer. Hitler called it the spiritual heart of the third reich, so if that history interests you, there are many of the historical buildings and places to see. I've been twice and will go again.
Berlin would be my pick if you have to pick just one.
Munich is just kind of a meh for me. (1st time I have ever used that word) Nice enough city, but that's it.
Really it depends on your interests. If it was me and it had to be a city that I could fly out of, I would pick Munich. I have been to Munich a couple of times and would go back. There is a lot to see and do, and there are a lot of day trips you can take from there (Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, the castles..) I find Munich very easy to get around. it is a larger city that doesn't feel like a big city to me. My other choice would be to stay in Cochem and explore the Mosel valley area, but it is farther to get to an airport for the flight home from there.
Modern Germany and 20th century history: Berlin
Old Germany and cliches: Munich and/or Middle Rhine
Touristy Fairy Tale Germany: Romantic Road + Franconia (Frankfurt)
Untouristy Fairy Tale Germany: Harz mountains (Berlin)
Unknown Modern Germany: Hamburg
Unknown Fairy Tale Germany: Baltic Coast (Berlin)
For me it's Berlin, hands down. But as you can see, everyone has a different take.
So, try this: If someone said they had 4 days to spend in one American city, which one would you choose and why? If you can articulate an answer that works for you (not someone else's reasons, but yours), then you can apply this reasoning to Germany. If, on the other hand, you can't pick one so easily, you'll see the problem. In that case, I agree with picking the one that has the best/cheapest/easiest return to the US (you have to start somewhere, and while I feel logistics and money should never be the only reason to see a place, they are good tie-breakers).
Much as I like going to Munich and Frankfurt too, at least connecting at their Hbf., both cities are culturally provincial. Berlin is the one big metroplis in Germany. In that sense, it's apt to say Berlin is über alles. It's interesting to see how much of the tourist/visitor industry in Hamburg, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt is done by Americans compared to other nationalities visiting, ie. what's the percentage of Americans visiting Berlin when contrasted with other nationalities? Or, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne for that matter?
Todd, you also didn't say how you plan to get from Paris to the town (?? did you mean "rural"?) in Germany. Although I also think Berlin is the overwhelmingly obvious choice, Cologne is slightly more accessible by rail from Paris. And I got a "free" add-on from United ex-USA going to Cologne on Lufthansa. Four days is not very long, but any of the big cities in Germany is good for four days. Frankfurt is maybe the least worthwhile among those with big air travel hubs. But it wouldn't be a "mistake".
Of course, flying from Paris to Berlin can be easy and cheap as well. At the end of a trip last week, I flew from Berlin to Paris for $69 one-way on Air France - surely not more expensive than a train ticket to Cologne. If you don't mind flying to/from Orly in Paris, you have even more options on the budget airlines.
Berlin would be my choice, hands down. I visited both sides of Berlin when the wall was still up, and have visited several times since. As years have passed I've settled into spending my vacation every year in Berlin, about 5 years now, and I've barely scratched the surface. The amazing thing about Berlin is that is got something for everyone—more art than you could see in a lifetime, history everywhere you turn, great shopping, fabulous food from all over the world, lots of parks and green space, interesting foreign neighborhoods.
I've had great experiences renting apartments in Berlin. If you want more info, just post and I'll get in touch with you.
I have to vote for Munich/Bavaria for all the reasons given above (lots to see and do, great side trips, nice architecture/churches, good vibe albeit touristy at times). It's beautiful and the side trips throughout Bavaria really give one a feel for the cultural center.
For a good all around feel of Germany I would go with Munich. It has many different things to see and do and short day trips if you want to check out Germany's highest peak, only 1 hour away or visit a concentration camp, about 1/2 hour out of town. Also its a short trip into Austria if you felt like it.