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12 Day Itinerary - Munich/Rothernburg/Fussen/Prague

Dear All, I'm in the midst of planning the first leg of our 22 day trip this December, and am hoping to get some opinions on my itinerary. This leg will cover the Germany (specifically Bavaria only) and Prague leg, and last 12 days. We will be traveling exclusively on public transport and are most interested in architecture and scenery. We are mostly on a budget, however we aren't keen on shared dormitories or places with shared bathroom facilities (ensuite rooms in hostels are fine). For really picturesque towns, we don't mind splurging a bit and getting a nice hotel to really take in the experience, however the first 2 options for that - Villa Jaegerhaus and Hotel Mueller in Hohenschwangau- are fully booked out for the proposed dates that we're in the area, so we might have to stay in Fussen instead. Here is the itinerary thus far: 19-21 Dec: Arrive in Munich, stay in Munich for the next few nights 22 Dec: Travel to Rothenburg, stay for the next few nights 23: Rothenburg 24: Travel to Fussen, stay for the next few nights 25-26: Fussen, Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau (hiking, if possible) 27 Dec: Travel to Prague, stay for the next few nights 28-29 Dec: Prague 30 Dec: Fly to Paris My questions are as follows: 1. Is this itinerary too packed? Should we cut one place off our list? 2. Are we leaving too little time for Munich? 3. Is it too much to squeeze a day trip from Fussen to nearby surrounding towns aside from Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau? 4. Will we have trouble with getting around on public transport over the holidays?
I'd appreciate any comments/opinions you have, thanks heaps.

Posted by
12040 posts

In the summer, staying in the Füssen area for a few days might be a good idea to enjoy some hiking through the region. But in the winter, the trails are snowed under. There's not much to do except visit the castles, which you can accomplish easily as a daytrip from Munich. You can't even walk up to the Marienbrücke, because they block off access once the snow starts to accumulate.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks for your input. Would it be snowing that early in winter though? I was in germany and france 2 years ago at the same time in the year and it didnt snow at all. I generally assumed unless its a spate of bad weather as it was in december 2010 with the snowstorms,there's usually no snow til later in winter? Should i cut the fussen stay to 1 night then and stay longer in either munich or prague? I appreciate your input:-)

Posted by
6950 posts

Fran: Munich is a great city with many tourist sights. You might want another day there. When I travel into an area, I try to go in a straight line for efficiency. Fussen is about 75 miles southwest of Munich. Rothenburg is northwest of Munich about 130 miles. The train takes about 5 hours and 3 to 4 transfers to get between the two areas; That's a full day of travel. I've been to Neuschwanstein and the area, and really found it to be over rated as a destination. I prefer to spend my mountain time a short distance south of there in the Austrian Alps (Innsbruck area.)
Have you considered taking the easy 2 hr. train east to Salzburg area? It's a great alternative to Rothenburg and Fussen, and would be a path of less resistance. And you could easily get to Prague from there.

Posted by
12040 posts

Southern Bavaria is the coldest region of Germany, and it's pretty consistently snow covered in the winter. Snow starts accumulating at high elevations as early as mid-October, and by December, there's usually a good base of snow all the way to the base of the mountains and out beyond to the Alpine hinterlands further north.

Posted by
4 posts

Hmm, would you recommend culling Rothenburg Or Fussen off the list For Salzburg? I agree that efficiency in travelling is pretty low, should i do both of them. That was one of my main concerns. It'll be my sister's first trip to europe and we wont mind doing the super touristy stuff. Rothernburg and Neuschwanstain seems like they're on top of that list. Plus Seeing a castle covered in snow would be pretty magical, none of that where we're from!

Posted by
12040 posts

Here's my thoughts on Rothenburg- while it definately is pretty, it just isn't anywhere near as unique as all the tourist literature makes it out to seem. There's well-preserved historic towns everywhere in Germany. If you need to travel far to reach Rothenburg, you've probably passed any number of alternatives along the way. But I will admit, you won't find many other towns with such a high per capita ratio of Christmas shops. Neuschwanstein seems to provoke passionate opinions, but I think it's one of a kind. It's simply a beautiful structure that sits in a stunning location. It doesn't matter to me that it isn't a real medieval castle (duh!)... that's not the point of visiting. It is, however, a real ROMANTIC era castle, and with that in mind, it provides a fascinating look into the weird mind of one of Europe's most enigmatic monarchs. Particularly if you know anything about German legends and the operas of Richard Wagner- imagine if Obama redecorated the White House in Star Wars motifs, to get an idea. So, if I had to choose between trips from Munich to Rothenburg odT or the castles at Schwangau... hands down, the castles win.

Posted by
4 posts

I went and read up more on Salzburg, and whilst I appreciate that its steeped in history and culture, it doesn't seem to offer the kind of sights that we're interested in. Neither my sister and I are massive musos, and one of the highlights in Salzburg is clearly being the birthplace of Mozart (amongst other things). I'm pretty convinced by your arguments for Fussen, Tom, and I think we might stick with that plan of staying there. I understand from reading about the area that I can probably cover it in a day, but we don't mind leisurely walks and just enjoying the atmosphere there. If we go over Christmas, it should be very quiet there, which is a big change of pace for us, since we grew up in a very busy city before settling where we are now. I might however, cut it short to 1 night instead of 2, and spend the extra night in either Munich or Prague. Would you have any suggestions for alternatives to Rothenburg that are nearer to Munich?