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Where to go in Germany for 3 days between Bern and Amsterdam

I wanted to get some ideas on where I (plus wife/teenagers) could spend three days while travelling from Bern to Amsterdam. I will be leaving Bern on a Friday morning and want to reach Amsterdam on Sunday night or Monday morning.

Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Thanks

Avtar

Posted by
334 posts

I'm assuming you would want to stay on the western side of Germany to conserve travel time. You might think of doing a day in Wurzburg, which is not too hard to get to from Switzerland and full of lots of things to see within 24 hours (overnight stay?). The town is very compact and full of German charm (even though much of the town was rebuilt after WWII). From there you could travel up the Rhein, stopping in Bacharach or St. Goar if you had time (maybe spending the night in one of the towns and seeing the other on the way up the river?). If you're headed towards Amsterdam through western Germany you have to at least get off the train in Cologne to see the cathedral, which is literally right next to the train station. I don't usually recommend getting off a train to see one sight and get right back on, but my first time through Germany I did exactly that in Cologne, and I don't regret it. I've had time to go back to Cologne since and spend more time there, but you can't pass up one of the greatest cathedrals in Germany if you're going right past it!!

Posted by
16941 posts

I can't help but think that spending Friday and Saturday night in St Goar is the sensible thing to do. You can take a Rhine cruise by riding the train up river to Bingen and then taking a K-D boat back down the river to St Goar. You can also take some time to visit one or two of the famous castles.

A short stopover in Cologne on the way to Amsterdam, as mentioned, would be fine too. You will have to change trains there no matter what, and they have a unique (to my mind) luggage locker at the main station.

Posted by
16 posts

Is it better to stay in st goar or Bacharach. I have seen on other posts that Bacharach is more charming to stay in. Also, regarding the stopover in Cologne, do you have to mention that you want to stopover when buying the train tickets.

Thanks for the recommendations

Posted by
16941 posts

Between the two, I have no opinion. Rick Steves, of course, features Bacharach in his guide books, thus more people who follow him also stay there and post there impressions. St Goar does not lack charm, as can be seen from their tourist website here. It is across the river from the famous Lorelei rock formation and home of the Rheinfels Castle. St Goar may have lower lodging prices than Bacharach due to the latter's popularity.

The best way for a stopover in Cologne (according to the current schedule) is to take the local MRB train to Koblenz (9:22 from Bacharach or 9:33 from St Goar) and change to an IC train to Cologne arriving 11:05. Then you would have 3 hours and 41 minutes there before the ICE train to Amsterdam arriving at 17:27.
You should specify a stopover as both the IC and ICE trains take reservations and you will all want to be sure to sit together. If you purchase Sparpreis advance purchase nonrefundable discount tickets, you will be required to be on the trains listed on your ticket. Schedules and prices [here](www.bahn.com) and you can buy tickets 3 months in advance.

Posted by
334 posts

Having been to both Bacharach and St. Goar I would recommend staying in Bacharach, not just because RS likes it more, but St. Goar (although lovely and charming) seems to be slightly more geared towards the tourism industry that it's castle on the hill draws. There's a trolley that goes through town throughout the day taking tourists (like myself) up the steep drive to the top of the hill. Bacharach certainly knows that it has its own draw of tourists, but somehow it still seems to retain a sense of down-to-earth Germanness (does that even make sense?). I just mean that you don't feel like every shop is trying to pull the tourist euros out of your pocket and you can just mingle with the locals (and the tourists) and pretend like you've lived there all your life.

Posted by
122 posts

If you like the idea of staying in an 800 yr old castle, try Burg Stahleck in Bacharach. It's a youth hostel and it is very popular.
You definitely need reservations. You'll get to meet travellers from all over the world and the view from the terrace is fantastic! https://www.hihostels.com/hostels/bacharach

Posted by
6801 posts

three days is a long time for Bacharach. You can walk from end to end in 15 minutes. As a base for seeing other places, I think St Goar has better travel links. However, my question would be, do you want small scenic towns or bigger towns with attractions? I think Heidelberg is a good stop on the way., or Köln.