12 days to see Germany, Czech. Rep., Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia!!!

Help!! I have only 12 days to see the best of these 5 countries! I am interested in WWII history and experiencing the culture of these places. Any suggestions of where my time would be best spent or how to divide my time??

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
1838 posts

I do not know if the 12 days include travel to and from the US or not but, you will loose most of 4 days checking out from one country and checking in at another country. That leaves 8 days (if the 12 does not include travel to and from the US and if it does that only leaves 6 days) to see one heck of a lot of Europe. Unless there is an underlying reason that you know of that restricts you ever from returning to Europe,
I would spend 8 days (or 6) in only 2 countries to give yourself a worthwhile exposure to them. One or two days in any of your 5 picks is not very practical. I certainly hope you will be able to return to Europe in the future.

Posted by Anna
Iowa City
4 posts

Luckily, I am currently living in Spain (and have a visa) so I will not have to spend very much time traveling or checking in and out of the countries. Do you have experience in these countries/any recommendations??

Posted by john
columbus, nc
282 posts

I would suggest Berlin and Nurnburg. Plenty of Nazi and WWII history to see.

Posted by Paul
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
214 posts

That/s a lot of countries. I'd cut down the itinerary and actually see something. Last summer, we did 20 days in Vienna, Budapest, Split, Ljubljana and Austrian countryside. Vienna is very nice. Budapest is cheaper, and more interesting in some ways. Croatia was a lot of fun. Plitvice Lakes not to be missed. Also we should have spent more time in Zagreb and Ljubljana. In retrospect, Split was not that great - we could have saved a lot of driving by spending 1 day in Zagreb and 2 in Ljubljana. Less traveling the better. Try to focus your trip, and post some interests. Germany alone is 4-6 weeks.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2687 posts

Anna, I assume you'll be in Berlin at least 4 days. In seeing the WW II history specifically, I would suggest the Holocaust Memorial, Berlin-Karlshorst, (the site of surrender of the Germans to the Soviets), Treptow (the huge Soviet military cemetery), the Resistance Museum on Stauffenberg Straße not far from the DJH hostel, the Anti-War Museum in the Wedding district (appropriately located). On Unter den Linden not far from the Brandenburg Gate is the large German History Museum, part of which focuses on the war. If you want to see more military sites, go to Seelow, which can be accesssed by train from Berlin, the site of the start of battle. The memorial site includes a museum of the battle. Not far from Berlin Hbf (main train station) is the Invalidenfriedhof, one of the oldest Prussian military cemeteries in the city. Against the backwall is the area devoted to WW II. There also the military museum in Prague.

Posted by Anna
Iowa City
4 posts

Thank you all for your replies/advice!! I am planning on starting in Prague and spending 2 days there, then going to Munich for 2.5 days, Salzberg for 1.5 days, Vienna for 1.5 days, Slovenia for 1.5 days, and Croatia for 3 days. These are all only approximate times but from your experiences does this look like a good itinerary?? I hope through this buffet of a trip I´ll get a first glance into the beauty of Eastern Europe! Thanks for all of your help.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2687 posts

Hi, With the time constraint you have, I would consider skipping Slovenia, saving the time for Vienna. For the WW II history in Vienna, see the Army/Military Museum (Heeresgeschichtlichesmuseum) near the torn down Südbahnhof (South Train Station).

Posted by David
Bellevue, WA, USA
740 posts

you're trying to do too much with limited time. transportation takes a lot of time, and don't forget you'll have to pack/unpack, check in/out, etc. i think 12 days are good for 2 countries, no more than 3.

Posted by Lawrence
New York, NY, USA
258 posts

Another to join the "you-are-trying-to-see-too-much-in-1-trip" chorus! I'm super-energetic and do certainly get a lot in on each trip.....but not to the point where I am running myself ragged! Remember, 1 of Rick's mantras is "Assume you WILL return!" It's his way of saying, in other words, don't try to cram too much in on 1 trip, IF you have little time. This, of course, is totally subjective, but my personal recommendation would be to leave Slovenia and Croatia for another time. Fact is, you could spend 12 days JUST in Germany or Austria alone, but, if you are energetic, organized, and do a lot of planning ahead of time, then I think Germany and Austria, with a side-trip to Prague, IS certainly "do-able." And even then, of course, you still have to narrow down the areas to visit. With 12 days, and careful planning (and even this would be considered "getting a lot in on 1 trip!), you could do something like; Vienna (3 nights), Salzburg (1 night), Munich (2 nights) (Munich and Salzburg are very close, around 1.5 hr by train), Berlin (3 nights) and Prague (2 nights). Note that Munich to Prague by train is around 5+ hrs, Berlin to Prague is also around 5 hrs, and Munich to Berlin is around 6+ hrs (and, depending on train you take, can be close to 8 hrs).

Posted by Jim
New Berlin, WI, US
156 posts

Too much, too much, too much, too much! At a minimum I'd suggest dropping Slovenia and Croatia. Maybe even save Austria for a another trip. You could spend the entire 12 days in Germany visiting various sites along the Rhine, stopping in Rothenburg enroute to Munich, then Dresden, Berlin and Potsdam. Do your homework and select the sites you really want to see, then map out a route and make sure you get the most out of your trip. Constantly on the move will guarantee that your visit will be superficial.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17745 posts

Anna, I definitely agree with the others - visiting five countries in a 12-day time frame is simply too much! That's an average of 2.4 days in each location with no allowances for travel times! A trip like this won't allow much time to "experience the culture of these places". The fact that you're living in Spain will help to some extent, but you'll still need to allow for realistic travel times between each location. Each change of location will generally require at least half a day, and sometimes more. To begin with, unless you can increase your time, I would recommend skipping Slovenia and Croatia, as the transportation there can be more "challenging" than the other places you listed, so travel times will be longer. If the primary focus of this trip is WW-II history, you could consider: > Munich - Dachau, Third Reich Walking Tour, etc. > Berchtesgaden - Dokumentation Centre & Bunkers, Eagle's Nest > Austria - Salzburg, Matthausen? > Prague (in addition to trains, there's a direct Bus, travel time 4H:39M) - Operation Anthropoid sites including the Saints Cyril & Methodius Church (it's a bit of an "eery" feeling to visit the Crypt under the Church where the Czech partisans made their last stand). There's also a Walking Tour which covers the events of the Operation. Good luck and happy travels!

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10868 posts

Go for it, Anna. Your are asking the question but not istening to the answers. I think nearly everyone has one trip like you are suggesting. I know we did. Your available time in most of those cities will be in the range of 6 -10 hours. But if you are comfortable with that, then do it.

Posted by Paul
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
214 posts

Spend 4-5 days in 2 cities. You will see nothing but highways. Your gas prices will be higher than any other expense.

Posted by Anna
Iowa City
4 posts

Thank you everyone for your replies! I had already purchased my train pass before making this post and was just looking for some suggestions. Unfortunately, I cannot change the amount of countries I paid for with my pass so I'm going to make the best of my trip and plan on returning! Let me know if there are any must-sees that you think I should include in my busy itinerary! Happy travels!

Posted by Arnold
Denver, CO, USA
1000 posts

I'm with Frank - go for it. You actually see a lot of a country and its people when you are on the move and the very nature of traveling will put you in contact with with quite a few people. It is your money and your vacation so go do what you want.