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Revised: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Rick Steves 22 days

Thanks Tom, Leigh, David, Paul and Kathy for replies. Reading your posts and others made me realize our itinerary is too busy. Unfortunately, we have made our airline reservations to and from Frankfurt.
Here are the revisions to our June 5-June 28 trip.
Day 1 Arrive Frankfurt from California at 11:00. Train to Rhine Valley. Sleep 3 nights. Visit Rhine and Mosel Valleys.
Day 4 Return train to Frankfurt Airport for non-stop flight 1.5 hour to Vienna on Niki Air. Sleep 4 nights in Vienna
Day 8 Pick up rental car in Vienna. Drive to Salzburg. Sleep 3 nights in Salzburg. Take day trip to Hallstatt
Day 11 To Munich. Sleep 3 nights
Day 14 To Bavaria Sleep 3 nights, Ruette area
Day 17 To Berner Oberland , Sleep 3 nights
Day 20 To Luzern. Sleep 2 nights
Day 22 To Zurich, drop off rental car, take train to Frankfurt. Sleep in Frankfurt 1 night
Day 23 Fly home to California
I welcome any ideas in fine tuning our itinerary.
Thanks, Yeman

Posted by
12040 posts

Better. Much better. The only thing I would change... Mr. Steves proudly boasts that most guidebooks don't include Reutte, but there's a good reason why. It would be like a New York guidebook recommending you sleep in Newark, and not mentioning anything about Manhattan (Garmisch-Partenkirchen in this case). Suggest you stay in Füssen, Mittenwald, Nesselwang, Oberstdorf, GaP, Erhwald, Lermoos, Innsbruck... ANYWHERE but Reutte.

And oh, just so you're aware, you'll pay a considerable fee to pick up the car in Austria and drop it off in Switzerland. It's not as fearsome as some posters make it seem, but it isn't negligible either.

And remember to buy and properly attach your Swiss vignette at the border. If you rent the car in Austria, it will come with the appropriate sticker for that country.

Posted by
2936 posts


Sounds much better. I agree with the posting about Reutte. I don't get it as a place to base. We do love Fuessen though. One other thought, maybe train to Salzburg or even better, to nearby Freilassing, Germany and get the car there. Very close to Salzburg. Then return it before crossing over the border to Switzerland. My opinion, you won't need the car at all in Switzerland and you plan on training back to Frankfurt anyway. Can't hurt to check the costs of this way against the plan you now have.


Posted by
6811 posts

"Day 1 Arrive Frankfurt from California at 11:00. Train to Rhine Valley. Sleep 3 nights. Visit Rhine and Mosel Valleys."

Not a ton of time, but enough to see a few places. I assume you want a single base town. First day will be mostly shot by the time you reach your base. Rick and everyone else will suggest Bacharach. Instead, I strongly suggest Boppard, which will have better train connections to the Mosel and the best dining/lodging options of all the Rhine villages. It also has lots of fine half-timbered buildings, a nice river promenade, and a cool chairlift ride to a lookout over the river.

Half-timbered building
River promenade
Views from Gedeonseck cafe at top of lift:
View 1
View 2

From FRA you can reach Boppard in 1.25 hours by DIRECT train - about 10 or 15 minutes less than Bacharach (which requires a train connection) even though Bacharach is geographically closer. Normal fare to Boppard on the regional trains is €20.10 each; buy ticket from a ticket machine at FRA's Regionalbahnhof station.

In Boppard you'll be closer to Cochem and the Mosel Valley than in Bacharach (staying in Bacharach will add as many as 40 minutes to any round-trip journey to Cochem not only because Bacharach is more distant but because Bacharach is served only by the milk-run MRB trains; Bopppard has those AND regional express trains every couple hours.) Boppard-Cochem one way is 70 minutes on the RE trains vs. 90 minutes from Bacharach.

Bacharach is an excellent place to visit and easy to reach from Boppard (maybe in combination with a river cruise.)

From Boppard, the Mosel trip to Cochem or Burg Eltz stop Moselkern is possible with the VRM daypass/mini-group ticket - €21.80/day for 2-5 persons:
VRM mini-group ticket

From Bacharach (not in the VRM network) a trip to the Mosel would require the Rheinland-Pfalz daypass, €27 for two.

Posted by
994 posts

I would also check into the costs of dropping off the rental car in a different country than you picked it up in to see if it is worth it to you or not. I think your new plan is a much better plan, and sounds like a great trip!

Posted by
26 posts

Thanks again for your helpful suggestions.

  • Tom, Paul- We've change our plans to stay in either Fussen or Garmisch-Partenkirchen area
  • Russ- Like your suggestion to stay in Boppard as a base for 3 days in the Mosel/Rhine area. Can you recommend accommodation?
  • Tom, Paul, Leigh- Have decided to drop car off in Innsbruck and take Austrian Railways, RailJet to Zurich and complete our travels in Switzerland by train.

thanks, Yeman