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Rhine Valley or Lake Constance?

I am traveling to Germany/Austria at the end of June. My plan is to go either to the Rhine Valley and take a cruise up the Rhine and a train ride back down by the river. Or I will travel to Lake Constance and see the lake and go to the island of flowers. Which would the experienced travelers in Germany suggest would be better? Other parts of my trip will include a four day stay in Munich a three-day stay in Salzburg, a three-day stay in Vienna as well as the stay in Berlin.

If I were to do the Rhine Valley, I will be coming from Berlin and want to travel 1 way on the river by the k_d boats and the other way by train. I was thinking of traveling from Berlin to Mainz and then taking the boat or train north to somewhere around St Gore or Koblenz and then coming back to Mainz. Does this sound doable? And does anyone know where I can buy the train ticket? Cant find it on the dbahn site.

If I do lake constance I will travel from berlin to meersburg and stay on the lake. Getting a ferry out to the islands seems pretty straightforward.

Sorry for all the questions, but i really appreciate the help. Kelly

Posted by
12040 posts

How much time have you alloted for the Rhine? What you have described will take, at most, maybe a few hours. If you have a day or more, you can do far more. Consider going all the way to Bonn.

For rail tickets, just buy them at the station. Although some of the slower intercity trains go through the Rhine, it's mostly just commuter trains.

As to which option to choose... well, that's all in what you would prefer. If it's particularly warm, I would probably go with the Bodensee and have myself a refreshing swim. But that's just me.

Posted by
19 posts

Thanks Tom.. I am planning a day in the Rhine Valley but also want to visit a couple of the towns and maybe the Castle at St Gore. My plan is to travel to Mainz from Berlin leave my luggage at the train station and then use the combination of trains and boats to see the Rhine Valley ending back at Mainz at the end of the day to travel to Munich. Kelly

Posted by
6692 posts

Kelly: if you are going to try Berlin-Mainz-Rhine Cruise-Mainz in one day, overnight in Mainz, then leave the next morning for Munich or Salzburg...I would advise against this idea altogether. It's not worth the gigantic detour just for a quick boat ride on the Rhine - you should plan to enjoy Mainz and the Rhine landscape, villages and castles a little longer than that, or look into options along the Berlin-Munich route instead. (I'd say the same about Lake Constance.) If you have a day for the trip to Mainz and a second day for the Rhine Valley, I'll provide some specific tips for how to do this.

Posted by
19 posts

Thank you, Russ. How would you recommend I do that if I could rearrange things to be in the area little bit longer. Alternatively would you recommend something different on the Berlin to Munich route?

Posted by
6692 posts

"How would you recommend I do that if I could rearrange things to be in the area little bit longer."

I don't think you've said how long you have planned to be in Berlin. With 7 days just for Munich and Salzburg, squeezing out one day from those two looks logical.

"Alternatively would you recommend something different on the Berlin to Munich route?"

Bamberg pops to mind - beautiful old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's on the main route for direct trains between Berlin and Munich.

Berlin and Munich are nice enough cities but if you only see these two places in Germany, you really will miss out on some very attractive and interesting old-world places that retain the character of centuries of German history in a way that cities like Berlin and Munich, both heavy bombing targets in WW II and heavily rebuilt, never will.

Rhine towns:

Linz (north of Koblenz)
Bacharach (south of Koblenz
Marksburg Castle (south of Koblenz in Braubach, never destroyed, best Rhine castle for a tour)
Oberwesel and Schoenburg Castle