1.5 Weeks in Germany/Austria/Switzerland

My wife and I are going to this area in June this summer. We're both young and fit. She will actually be ending a trip with a friend in Barcelona, so that is our jumping off point. My idea was to overnight train it to Geneva and hit Gimmelwald, then I'm not sure where to go. Up towards Baden-Baden, over towards Munich, etc. I've been to Gimmelwald and Munich before but my wife has not been to any of these places. I'd really like to emphasize culture, beer, and food. Thanks for the help!
John

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Ten days is not much time for three countries, especially if the linking journeys have long legs. Gimmelwald to Vienna is more than 10 hours, so not a good use of time. Even Salzburg is 8 hours. Innsbruck is 6 hours but at least it is on the way to Munich. There is hiking right from town, or you could stay in one of the nearby mountain villages. Your night train will arrive in Geneva at 5:45 am. I agree with the suggestion to continue straight on to Gimmelwald (or other village). You could be there by 10 am.

Posted by John
Kewanee, IL
26 posts

All, Thanks for the replies. I was definitely planning on going straight to Gimmelwald and maybe only stopping in Geneva long enough to have breakfast. As for our departure point, I'm fairly flexible. I've thought of the majors of Munich and Frankfurt. But I could also do Vienna or Prague. Whatever makes sense. John

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2012 posts

I'd go to Munich as opposed to Baden-Baden. The town itself is OK but not nearly as interesting as Munich, particularly for the culture/beer/food part (unless for culture you like Russian tourists and overpriced luxury stores!) If you want culture and great food and wine Vienna is an obvious choice for a few days. Austria doesn't have as big a reputation for wine as Germany does but I actually prefer Austrian wines in general. There's some great wine bars in Vienna with knowledgeable staff and you'll get to taste a plethora of diverse wines. Then maybe Munich and the surrounding area? 3 stops (Grimmelwald, Vienna, and Munich) would be pretty good for a 1.5 week trip.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

Agree that Baden-Baden is the outlier here... and baths are found throughout Germany. Any town that has the word "Bad" somewhere in it, ie Bad Homburg, Bad Kreutznacht, Bad Mergentheim, Bad Brükenau, Wiesbaden, Bad Königshofen, etc., either currently has, or at one time, was known for its mineral baths. Baden-Baden just seems to be the locale of choice for Russian oligarchs and Americans who carry a certain little blue book... My usual advice for the Alps is to budget at least 3 nights. Weather is usually pretty volatile, and it would be a shame if the only day you budgeted for Alpine excursions was rained out.

Posted by Denise
Lake Forest, CA, USA
1391 posts

John, are you stopping for the day to explore Geneva. If not, I would go all the way from Barcelona to Gimmelwald. Then on to Munich. Like the previous poster said, Vienna is nice. However, Salzburg isn't as far and is also a great place to explore and have a beer or two. Where are you flying out of? Then we can really help you plan your itinerary.

Posted by Sasha
Bainbridge Island
1590 posts

For this June, since you are undecided as to final city for flying out, why not check ticket prices for an open jaw ticket into Barcelona and out of different cities ( Munich, Frankfurt, Prague, maybe Zurich. There may be enough difference that will decide it for you.

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
1841 posts

You might want to check out RS G/A/S tour to see where it goes to get a feeling for what his folks deem important. I took that 14-day tour last summer and certainly enjoyed all of the stops.