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Seeking advice for 12 days in Germany

Hello,

My wife and I have flights booked landing in Berlin on July 11 and departing Munich July 22. I am seeking some ideas on how to best divide up my time.

Two itineraries are currently leading the way for us:
Option 1 -
- Berlin 4 nights (potential day trip to Potsdam)
- Prague 3 Nights
- Munich 4 Nights (Day trips to Neuschwanstein & Salzberg)

Option 2 -
- Berlin 4 Nights (Day trip to Potsdam)
- Nuremberg 3 Nights (Day trip to Bamberg and maybe Iphofen)
- Munich 4 Nights (Day trips to Neuschwanstein & Salzberg)

Thoughts? Attempting to not be jumping around too many places. Our last few vacations have packed a lot in and it was hard to stop and smell the roses. I'd love to see Baden-Baden and work in a trip to Europa but I don't think it's feasible. Our main mode of transport would be train of course.

Thanks!

Posted by
6755 posts

"Thoughts? Attempting to not be jumping around too many places."

Well, both plans do that to some extent.

  • You should have 5 nights for Berlin if you have a day trip to Potsdam - Day 1 will probably not yield much sightseeing if you've just flow in from North America (or some other distant place) and are drowsy or jet-lagged.

  • With option #2, I would consider routing yourselves via Bamberg and making a stopover there for 6-7 hours on the way to Nuremberg. Leave Berlin around 8 am and get into Nuremberg at around 7 or 8 pm. Bamberg's station has lockers for your bags. This will save you an extra daytrip from Nuremberg.

  • Iphofen is small and shouldn't require more than 5 hours or so including lunch and transportation altogether - you should have a little time in Nuremberg on that day as well.

  • N'stein IMO is not a good day trip - transport there and back to Munich takes nearly 5 hours plus about an hour to walk up to N'stein and back... And it's all for a 30-minute tour (sometimes in heavily accented, unintelligible English) of a late 19th-century palace (where nothing ever happened to speak of,) after which you must leave the building. If you aren't staying overnight in Füssen to do other things, then it's better IMO not to waste a full day on this place and to instead visit Nymphenburg Palace and gardens (and porcelain museum and carriage museum and...) which is the birthplace of Ludwig II and is right in Munich; there's so much more there to see, and it's so much quicker and easier to get to.

  • Salzburg is 4 hours round trip by train from Munich, so to maximize your time there, plan to leave early and return late.

Posted by
18 posts

Thanks Russ! I appreciate the insight.

While I understand this is a "Germany" forum, does anyone have thoughts on how to better spend our time between traveling through central Germany (Bamberg, Nuremberg, Iphofen etc) to doing 3 days in Prague? I think the chances of heading back to central Europe will be limited.

Are there any other ideas on how to split our time?

Posted by
4620 posts

Re lockers at Bamberg: You will need exact change and the snack bar there will not give it to you, 3.50 for the large size locker and 2.50 for the small one.

For 11 days I would not leave Germany but of course you could. I did not find Munich to be a particularly interesting European city, however that opinion is not the norm.

Posted by
609 posts

I like option #1. Munich gives you good options for day trips.

Posted by
18 posts

After looking through these boards a bit today I am growing interested in Garmisch and Mittenwald but I'm not entirely sure how to build a trip that requires flying into Berlin and out of Munich (this part is mandatory). I also really want to visit Bamberg the more I think about it and do additional research. I was thinking something now along the lines of

Berlin - 4 nights
Bamberg - 1 night
Garmisch/Mittenwald region - 3 nights
Munich - 3 nights

Is the above itinerary feasible? Would 3 nights in Garmisch/Mittenwald be overkill? I think I'd very much like to take in the region, hike and see the castles.

What does a 4 day itinerary for Berlin look like?

Posted by
12040 posts
  • Would 3 nights in Garmisch/Mittenwald be overkill? I think I'd very much like to take in the region, hike and see the castles*

If your goal is to take a meaningful hike, see Mittenwald/GaP and see the castles, two full days is probably not enough time. Allot at least a day for hiking and keep your schedule flexible in case of bad weather. By public transportation, a daytrip to the castles in Schwangau will consume the better part of an entire day. Might be easier if you took an organized tour from GaP.

Posted by
2921 posts

I don't think 3 nights in either Garmisch or Mittenwald is overkill at all.

Paul

Posted by
18 posts

Just thought I'd let everyone know that I appreciate your input and we booked our trip!

Itinerary:

Berlin (4):

  • 7/11 - 6:25 PM arrival
  • 7/12 - WWII Walking tour and time to explore
  • 7/13 - Explore on our own, perhaps some museums
  • 7/14 - Explore some more, perhaps TV tower or maybe a Potsdam day trip depending how we feel
  • 7/15 - Fly to Nuremberg (it was actually cheaper to fly by about $200 when we booked, I fully intended on taking a train)

Nuremberg (3):

  • 7/15 - Arrival in Nuremberg early afternoon. Check-in to hotel and explore a bit
  • 7/16 - Day trip to Rothenberg
  • 7/17 - Day trip to Bamberg
  • 7/18 - Train to Munich in AM.

Munich (4):

  • 7/18 - Arrive in Munich before lunch. Check-in and explore
  • 7/19 - Castles tour (yes we know it's a long day but this is on my bucket list! :) )
  • 7/20 - Day trip to Salzburg including afternoon mine tour. Probably have a nice dinner and take the train back later in the evening.
  • 7/21 - Relax day before our departure, still debating if I want to book a Dachau tour, leaning towards the tour in the AM and relaxing in the afternoon.
  • 7/22 - 6 AM flight home!

Thanks again everyone!

Posted by
9011 posts

Regarding your thoughts about visiting Dachau, you might also want to consider a visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp instead, during your stay in Berlin. I found the exhibits there to be better done than those in Dachau, plus there are many original buildings there since the Soviets used Sachsenhausen after the war. Additionally, there is Ravensbruck near Berlin too. Not visited by tourists near as often, the exhibits here are excellent and the place is an eye opener to nazi cruelty as this camp was made for women.

Posted by
18 posts

That's a good idea Ms. Jo. It seems we are a bit more flexible in Berlin and I think it may really behoove us to casually explore on our last day in Munich rather than rush around for a tour. Thanks!

Posted by
2467 posts

I am curious as to your savings flying to Nuremburg since I see a train savings fare of 38 Euro for the two of you

Posted by
672 posts

If your flight arrives fairly early on the morning of 11 July, you can cover a lot of ground that day if you wish and are able. One of the best ways to overcome jet lag is to keep active. For example, during my last visit to Berlin in March 2014 (leading a group of undergraduates on a Study Tour), our flight from Newark arrived at Tegel around 8:00 am. After a short taxi ride to our hotel on Anhalterstrasse (one block south of the 'Topography of Terror' (TOT) exhibit in Central Berlin), we checked in, freshened up, and proceeded to walk to the TOT exhibit. After spending about an hour there, we walked to Checkpoint Charlie and then had lunch at the Augustiner restaurant (very good) near Gendarmenmarkt. After lunch, we proceeded down Charlottenstrasse and stopped into the amazing Fassbender & Rausch Chocolate shop. We then split into two groups, with one going to the Berlin Zoo and the other group going to the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauerstrasse. (I chose the latter.) After that, our group walked to the Prater Biergarten in Prenzlauer Berg, where the other group met us for dinner. Following dinner, we all took taxis back to our hotel and hit the sack. Admittedly, this was a very ambitious and busy itinerary, and sleeping was not a problem that night - or for the rest of the trip - as this pretty well set our biological clocks on European time. I will add that we only had the arrival day and part of the next day in Berlin, so our itinerary was admittedly ambitious but we did see a lot. The point I am trying to make is that you showed nothing in your itinerary for 11 July, and I wanted to point out that you can get out and start exploring Berlin that day.

Posted by
18 posts

We are leaving from Los Angeles on the 10th and arriving at 6:25PM in Berlin on the 11th so that day is pretty much a wash. I will cherry pick some of the things you did though. Thank you!

Posted by
672 posts

Sorry, I didn't know you were travelling from the West Coast. In addition to what I described for our first day in Berlin, I would also highly recommend taking a tour of the Reichstag. It lasts about 90 minutes and is very interesting. It is free and also includes admission to the dome with an audioguide. You can book it here.

Posted by
14580 posts

Hi,

Not sure if I missed it or not, since you're going direct from LAX to Berlin, is that with Air Berlin? From Calif the direct connection to Berlin is out of LAX

Posted by
18 posts

Actually we're not flying direct. We used points with AA so we have a few connections.

  • We are flying AA to London (LHR) and British Airways to Berlin (TXL).
  • The return journey is unfortunately two connections. AirBerlin out of Munich (MUC) to Dusseldorf (DUS). AirBerlin DUS to Miami (MIA). And AA MIA to LAX (17 hours of fun).