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Zurich to Dusseldorf/Cologne

Hello all,

My partner has a conference in Zurich in late May. We had originally planned and booked a 9 night trip starting in Zurich after the conference, with 2 nights on the Rhine in Germany and then 5 nights in Belgium. However, our flight back from Brussels through Atlanta on Delta appears now to be cancelled, and there is a great deal of uncertainty over what flights will be running out of Brussels Airport. We are concerned about how this will all play out, so we are considering preemptively switching to a Germany based itinerary, and switching to fly out of Dusseldorf instead of Brussels. We are early 30's; enjoy scenery, historic cities, castles, wine/beer, bike riding, local culture. I do like to pack a lot in, but my partner prefers it to not be too hectic. Here are my current thoughts. I've never been to Germany/Switzerland, and would appreciate any suggestions!

Day 1- I fly into Zurich in the morning, meet my partner, who will have already been at the conference for several days. Spend day in Zurich

Day 2- Day trip from Zurich to Liechtenstein, ride boat on Lake Zurich on way back, night in Zurich

Day 3-Train to Freiburg, spend day in Freiburg, ride the cable car outside Freiburg, night in Freiburg.

Day 4-Rent car for day out of Freiburg for Black Forest excursion, cuckoo clock museum in Furtwangen, Triberg, Toboggan ride. at Gutach. Is this the best of the Southern Black Forest? night in Freiburg

Day 5-take train/bus to Colmar, France. Explore Colmar; bike ride to Eguisheim; wineries; night back in Freiburg

Day 6-Train to my partner's ancestral hometown of Weinheim. I realize this is not on the usual path, but we really want to spend some time there; go into Heidelberg for dinner/exploration; night in Weinheim

Day 7-Train to Oberwesel on Middle Rhine. Picking this specifically for the Castle Hotel Schoenburg, Boat ride on Rhine; night in Oberwesel

Day 8- Day trip to Mosel for bike riding; wine; castles. Up for suggestions here; night in Oberwesel.

Day 9-morning for perhaps another Rhine castle; then train to Cologne for cathedral, nightlife. Does Cologne offer more than Dusseldorf? We could perhaps do either one.

Day 10-fly out of Dusseldorf airport back to the States.

Thank you so much. We had already had our itinerary set, and now we need to scramble to assemble a new one!

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18022 posts

In my opinion, one of the best things in the Southern Black Forest is to take the Schwarzwaldbahn, a scenic train that hugs the side of the Gutach valley between Triberg (or Donaueschingen) and Hausach. At Hausach, there is an hourly train (3 minutes) to the Gutach Freilichtmuseum (outdoor museum), or a footpath you can walk (2½ km, 30 min). Depending on where you are staying, you can get a Konus card, which gives you unllimited free use of the trains and buses in the Schwarzwald.