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17 days Germany

Hi,
My husband and I will be going to Germany Sept. 2010 for 17 days. I have already taken off for our days of travel to and from the US. I have read several guide books and looked over other travel forums. I think I have a travel itinerary set but would like your opinions please. We will be flying open jaw. Idealy we would like to fly into Berlin and out of either Munich or Frankfurt.

Berlin 4 days
Nuremburg 4 days
Salsburg 3 days
Stuttgardt 3 days
Rhine (St Goar) 3 days

Does this sound doable? What route would you suggest we take? We plan on starting in Berlin.

Any help suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Wendy

Posted by
190 posts

Hi Steve,
Thanks for responding, there will be just me and my husband and we plan on traveling by train. We are open to the Bavarian Alps but want to avoid Munich with Oktoberfest going on and the Passion Play. So we choose Salsburg.

I am thinking of possibly staying a night in Rothenburg, but thought that Nuremburg would be a good choice for a day trip to there.

Do you think we should spend less time in Stuttgart? There is a palace we want to see there and a nearby town/towns (the names slip my memory right now.) Should we add a day on to a different city? Berlin perhaps?

Wendy

Posted by
18374 posts

I have a lot more to suggest, but it will take me some time to think about it. In the mean time, let me just say that I was in So. Bavaria in Aug/Sept 2000, during the time of the Passion Play. I stayed in the upper Allgäu region (near Oberstdorf), in Munich, and just outside of Salzburg. I also visited Berchtesgaden. I saw no effect, either on availability of accommodations in that area, or on tourism in general, of the Passion Play.

During that time I don't think I would expect to get accommodations in Oberammergau, and I might try to avoid staying Garmisch, Mittenwald, or Füssen, but, with allowance for greater crowds, I don't think I would avoid the castles althogether.

Posted by
5605 posts

I'm not a huge Stuttgart fan so I'd say your time there depends on your specific goals for the area.

Nuremberg is a good base for trips to Rothenburg and to Bamberg as well, a very nicely preserved, less touristy city that you might look into.

From Salzburg you might enjoy an outing to Hallstatt or to Berchtesgaden.

The Rhine has lots of wine festivals on weekends in September in several of the towns. These usually include some spectacular fireworks displays, food and wine booths, and street music and are lots of fun and well-attended; book in advance.

I think I'd be tempted to cut Stuttgart and add a day to Salzburg and to the Rhine so that you could check out the festivals and the Mosel River as well (Burg Eltz, Cochem, and Trier are all worthwhile but require some time.)

Posted by
190 posts

Thanks Lee, and Russ,

Would this work better?

Rhine 4 days
Berlin 5 days
Nuremburg 4 days
Salzburg 4 days

Then what cities would you recomend flying into and out of?

Posted by
18374 posts

Just for the record, the city where the war crimes trials were held is Nürnberg (also called Nuernberg), the Austrian city is Salzburg, the capital of Schwaben is Stuttgart.

The Rhein is kind of out of place with the others. It's interesting, but so are a lot of places in Bavaria. If you insist on doing the Rhein, I would suggest Stuttgart, then the Rhein and last fly out of Frankfurt.

Anyway you do it, Nuernberg/Salzburg is going to be awkward, but I think Salzburg to Nuernberg works best.

Consider some time in Berchtesgaden, with the Eagle's Nest and Koenigssee, which is very close to Salzburg.

I think 4 days in Nuernberg and 3 days in Stuttgart are a bit much, unless you have already identified something of particlular interest in those places. I saw an awful lot of Nuernberg in one day; two days would have been enough. Consider a side trip to Bamberg.

As for Stuttgart, consider Tübingen (Tuebingen) and the king's castle at Hechingen.

You might want to spend more time on the Rhein.

Posted by
190 posts

Hi Lee,
This is our first time to Germany and I wanted to avoid moving around as much as possible. I chose the cities based on other things we want to do/see in the immediate area thought they would make good bases for train travel ect..

We both selected cities that was a must see for us and expanded from there. My husband wants to see Berlin and I really wanted to go to Salzburg. So I was trying to figure out where to go inbetween.

Thanks so much for your help, please any more information would much appreciated.

Wendy

Posted by
18374 posts

If you would like to see the Alps, but want to avoid the area around Oberammergau, consider the Illertal of the Oberallgäu, in the SE corner of Bavaria next to Baden-Württemberg, around Oberstdorf. The Kleinwalsertal is a little bit of the Austrian Tirol, totally isolated from Austria by the mountains, but accessible from Oberstdorf. From the Illertal you can easily get by train to Lindau and the Bodensee as well as by bus to Füssen and the castles. This area is very scenic but virtually unknown to Americans. On several occasions I have based myself here for a week at a time and visited the surrounding area.

The village of Baad, in Kleinwalsertal.

Berchtesgaden is also a good place to experience the Alps without being too close to the Passion Play.

Posted by
190 posts

What a beautiful picture! Thanks for sharing.

It's funny because Berchtesgaden is on our places to visit. I thought staying in Salzburg would be the easist place base ourselves at.

Any other suggestions?

Posted by
11973 posts

So much is personal taste. I think your schedule is doable. Be sure to account for the travel time between your destinations.

There are many nice places on the Romantic Road. I'm a big fan of Wurtzburg. IMO it has grander sights than most of RR towns. The nightwatchman's tour in Rhotenburg was enjoyed by everyone in our family. I might make Nuremburg only two days and add another intermediate destination along your route.

I stayed at Gasthof zum Shluxen. It's a nice place but we were disappointed.

The rooms and service were very good. It may have been the priciest place we stayed so it was a splurge for the trip.

The disappointment was in the "working farm" label that I think I got from Rick's book. I picked it specifically as a treat for my youngest daughter because I knew she would like the animals.

There were Raindeer across the street in a chainlink fence enclosure that we enjoyed hand feeding but the owners seemed to get extremely perturbed if the kids went anywhere near any of the other animals (a row of cages in the yard).

Overall nice hotel in the country, but go elsewhere if you're looking for a farm experience.

One of my favorite places to stay on the Rhine is Burg Stahleck above Bacharach. It's a converted castle and is very well run. It's always full so reservations are usually necessary. It's a hostel but they have an assortment of room sizes to choose from.

http://www.hostelz.com/hostel/12718-HI---Bacharach---Jugendherberge-Burg-Stahleck,-Jugendg%E4stehaus-Bacharach-Hostel

If you start in Berlin, only Salzburg is out of the way but it's really worth seeing. IMO one of the most beautiful cities anywhere.

Avoiding Munich isn't a bad idea. The place is packed then and the prices go up. The fest is a unique experience but crowded with drunks. If you're not into that, you may not enjoy it.

September is a great time for wine. The "new wine" tastes like fresh squeezed grape juice and is only available that time of the year.

Posted by
18374 posts

I've been to both Berchtesgaden and Salzburg. My wife and I did Salzburg as a day trip from Munich. We left a little after 9 AM (because we were using a Bayern-Ticket) and arrived a little after 11. We walked from the Hbf to the old town, which took us right past Mirabell Palace (do-re-mi steps, troll garden, arbor). After looking around the old town a bit, we had lunch, then went up to the Hohensalzburg fortress. After that we walked around to the Convent where Maria taught. After some more time in the old town, we returned by train to Munich for a late dinner. I felt I had seen about everything worth seeing. I don't think I will go back. I didn't take the SOM tour, and after watching Robt. Weiss's commentary on the movie and knowing what scenes are authentic and what are not, I never will.

Berchtesgaden was, for me, far more interesting. We spent two whole days (three nights) there. The first morning we took the bus out to Wimbachklamm (a glacial ravine) and hiked. We came back and went out to Königssee, where we went all the way up to Obersee at the end of the lake. The second day we went to Kehlsteinhaus (Eagles' Nest), had lunch there, then toured the Dokumentation Center at the bottom.

I'm really not a city person. I feel there is a lot more to see and do in Berchtesgaden, so I would base there. It's easy to go to Salzburg for the day. RVO runs a bus, the Watzmann Express, from the Berchtesgaden Hbf to the Salzburg Hbf. The trip takes about 45 min one way and you can do the round trip for €9 pP (2009 price) with an RVO Tagesticket (day pass). The train also goes to Salzburg via Freilassing. That trip takes just over an hour each way. For two people, a €28 Bayern-Ticket would cover the round trip.

Posted by
582 posts

I personally think it would be a shame to be in Salzburg for one day. It is a fairly small place, but still so much to see, and to enjoy the beauty. I suggest maybe at least two days. Berlin is still my favorite city in Europe so far! I'm so glad to know many people here love Berlin! This will be a trip of a lifetime for you!!!

Posted by
18374 posts

The bus from Berchtesgaden, the Watzmann Express, also stops in Salzburg at Theatergasse and Mirabellplatz on it's way to the Hbf.

Posted by
190 posts

Wow, thank you for all your replies.
I chose Nürnberg because not only do we want to see the Nazi documentation center there are other day trips we would like to do.

Possiblities would be Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Regensburg, Bamberg, Dachau. I really want to go to, Kelheim to see the Weltenberg Monastery. (doesn't mean we will see all this, just ideas)

So I don't want to spend 4 days total in Nürnberg itself I really want to make it a jumping point to other places to visit.

I don't want to feel rushed in our vacation. I would like to spend time in the areas we chose so we can explore the area a little. Do you still think 4 days is to much still for all the places we want to visit?

Posted by
5605 posts

"Rhine 4 days Berlin 5 days Nuremburg 4 days Salzburg 4 days"

That sounds pretty ideal to me.

It would make sense to do things in that order or in the reverse order. If using trains, I'd fly into Munich on Day 1 and ride the train to Salzburg that day. Flying out of FRA: a night in Mainz the night before makes for a very short (20 min.) S-Bahn journey straight to the airport and allows you to do a little shopping and ambling around the town's attractive pedestrian zone and old town area.

Like Lee, I enjoyed Salzburg - for a day. It's not a bad base for trips but accommodations tend to be pricey. Berchtesgaden or thereabouts would make for a nice base too. You might be interested in an outing to Schloss Herrenchiemsee, roughly midway between Munich and Salzburg:

www.herrenchiemsee.de/englisch/n_palace/index.htm

On the Rhine, St. Goar is a good base - there's a ferry to cross over there and use the trains on the opposite bank for trips to Marksburg. Boppard is nice too and a bit larger. I'd avoid the castle/hotel/hostels in Bacharach and Oberwesel unless you have a car - they tend to be perched high above town and have great views, but coming and going on foot is a lot of trouble. I think it's 500 steep stone staircase steps up to the Bacharach castle-hostel (Burg Stahleck.)