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3 days in Stuttgart/Munich

Hello Everyone, I was wondering if anyone had some advice for me on an upcoming trip I am taking to southern Germany in December. I have booked a flight into Stuttgart Germany arriving at 10:30am on a Friday morning, and a flight out of Munich at 10am on Monday morning. This leaves me we close to 3 full days in the Blackforest/Bavaria area and I could really use some guidance to know if I am making the right choices here :) To make things even more difficult, I am hoping to complete this journey without spending more than $700 USD after flights... From my research a rental car with insurance will cost me somewhere around $300USD for the 3 full days that I have it... so that leaves $400 for food/gas/hotels/and touring... can it be done? lol If this information helps: I would love this trip to have a romantic flair, I am going with my girlfriend and we are both in our 20's. Heres my initial thoughts on the trip: Friday- 10:30-3pm arrive in Stuttgart and explore the city... Then head to Tubingen or a similar smaller city for the "Christmas Markets" We want to have a full experience with the christmas markets.. (any advice here).... Find a hotel in this area to stay for the night.. hopefully around $60USD.. Saturday: Tour part of the black forest and small towns within in the morning/early afternoon... then head to Neuschwanstein area for the evening... Find a hotel in this area (any suggestions for authentic fun experiences) Sunday: Tour Neuschwanstein castle in the morning... then head to Munich to spend the rest of sunday in the city, again hopefully experiencing a fun christmas market. Find a cheaper hotel that is still clean/has a good location in Munich. Monday morning: 10am Fly home Thank you in advance for all of your help!!! Sincerely,
William

Posted by
5669 posts

William, it's been a long time since I've been there, but I think Tubingen is a good choice. It's a university town and many many years ago I enjoyed seeing a Fasching parade in Tubingen. While you're there be sure to try the apple drink that they serve in crocks in the gasthofs. It's very dry and very alcoholic. Also, my favorite gasthof food was the wurst salad. I wish I could recommend that you stay in the little village we lived in when I was a student, but it's not so little anymore. The gasthof's still looked good, although they were all closed on Mondays which I was there. ; ( If you do find yourself driving through Eningen unter Achalm, which is just to the east of Reutlingen, you should look for Der Wolfe Gasthoff and have a Wurst Salad and the apple drink. Pam

Posted by
14 posts

I think it's great that you're adventurous eonough to take a long weekend in Germany. Having said that, I'd suggest that you try to minimize your driving times in order to allow you as much time to explore and enjoy the places you'll be visiting. Remember, too, that you'll be jet-lagged upon arrival and you really want to minimize your driving on your first day. Also, don't forget that you'll be visiting in December and daylight hours will be pretty short. Having said all of that, here's what I would suggest. Skip the exploration of Stuttgart and drive to Noerdlingen immediately after arrival. Noerdlingen is a walled city about 140km east of Stuttgart. In a lot of ways I find it more appealing than Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Find a hotel there and explore the town. I haven't checked, but I'm guessing that it has a Christmas Market. On the morning of your second day (Saturday) drive to Munich (also about a 140 km drive), find a convenient hotel and spend the day exploring some of the sites of the city. It may be smart to find a hotel near the airport and using public transportation to get into the city center. On Sunday morning get up bright and ugly and day-trip to either Neuschwanstein/Hohenschwangau or to Salzburg, Austria. Neuschwanstein is a little closer and you could make a stop in Oberammergau and visit Linderhof. Salzburg is about 1.5 hours from Munich but it's all on the autobahn, so goes quickly. My personal choice would be Salzburg but the Royal Castles are good too. I can't really advise you about hotels, since I tend to find apartments to rent whenever I go. I also think that you can probably find a car for a little less money.

Posted by
1356 posts

We visited the Christmas Market in Stuttgart and enjoyed it. It is one of the largest and most diverse that we have visited over the last two years, comparable to the one at Nürnberg. If you decide to stay in Stuttgart for a bit, you might try the Swedish Salmon in the Norwegian Christmas Market. We made some pictures: http://mcchelsea.smugmug.com/Christmas-Markets-2009/Stuttgart-2009/10728918_zGrFJ#747512372_SgXGL Stuttgart, Tubingen, Black Forest, Neuschwanstein and Munich would be too much for me. You might focus on the area around Stuttgart or the area around Munich, rather than trying to do too much. Another place near Stuttgart reachable by S-Bahn with a Medieval/Christmas Market is Esslingen: http://tourist.esslingen.de/servlet/PB/menu/1290650_l1/index.html Also an easy train ride from Stuttgart is the Ludwigsburg palace with a Baroque Christmas Market. http://www.ludwigsburg.de/servlet/PB/show/1278066/Weihnachtsmarkt-Flyer2010.pdf These places plus Tubingen would easily fill three days and can be reached by train/S-Bahn. You would not need a rental car.

Posted by
18302 posts

$400 for 2 people for 3 days, I could probably do that, but you can't. To start with, you don't need to spend $300 for three days fora car in Germany. Be smart. If you use regional trains in Baden-Württemburg you can travel for a day for €28, for both of you. As a "worst case scenerio" buy a Baden-Württemberg-Ticket, €28, the first day. It will cover all of your travel by regional trains or Stuttgart metro for Stuttgart or Tübingen or Herrenberg or wherever, that day. The next day, Saturday, a Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket, €37 will cover all of you travel by regional train in Germany, from Baden-Württemberg to Bayern, for the day. Sunday, a Bayern-Ticket ( €28) will cover your travel from Neuschwanstein to Munich and any travel in Munich. A Gesamtnetz Partner Tageskarte ( €18.80) will take you from anywhere in Munich to the airport. That's €112 for all your transportation. Maybe €588 will be enough for accommodations and meals for 3 days.

Posted by
12040 posts

Don't bother trying to explore the Black Forrest in December. You won't see much. As others pointed out, the sun comes up late, goes down early, and much of the morning is usually damp and foggy. Once the sun goes down in rural Germany, you can barely see anything except other cars' headlights- artificial illumination is kept very low. Stick to the cities, and you'll probably save money on transit costs if you pre-book your train tickets through Deutsche Bahn's website.

Posted by
813 posts

I live in Stuttgart. Go to the Stuttgart Christmas market. While Tubingen is a nice town, there's no reason go there when Stuttgart's market is fabulous. Stay at the SI Centrum or Millenium hotel. It's near the airport, on the main train lines, and probably has an airport shuttle. Or try the Pullman hotel in Vaihingen (area of Stuttgart), on the main train line, very nice little town. You can hop on the train into downtown in 15 minutes then. If you must go to Neuschwanstein, go FIRST thing in the morning, tickets for each English tour sell out quickly. We went a month ago, got in line at 11A for tickets and our tour was for 3p. The tour frankly isn't that great, it's only 20 min. I agree with PP that Ludwigsburg is better palace, has a cute Baroque christmas market and is on the main train line as well near Stuttgart. Here's my suggested schedule. Friday explore Stuttgart downtown market, Saturday head to Ludwigsburg for a REAL palace, Sat night or Sun morning train to Munich, explore Munich Sunday. Mon leave. Have fun!

Posted by
1986 posts

Neko makes sense. Save the Black Forest for a slightly longer weekend in late Spring or Summer when you can walk and enjoy the open air

Posted by
188 posts

We stay at a B&B about a 5 minute walk from the Castle ticket office Gastehaus Weiher about %% euros including breakfast. Your own Shower and W/c across the hall probably less distance then at home. Very nice with views of the castles. With Google earth you can zoom into the Schwangau area below the castles and see where the B& B is and web site. Ludwigsburg castle and grounds are really worth seeing. We used a car rental group called Gemut.com they are very helpful. Use a capital one card for the rental there foreign exch transaction fees are the most reasonable I have found. have a great trip.

Posted by
31471 posts

William, I definitely agree with Lee's suggestions to forget the rental car and use less expensive public transport. Your budget of $400 is only about €300, and it's going to be extremely challenging for two people to travel on that for three days for food, hotels and touring. The other replies have also been great. With only three days, don't try to fit too many places in. Each time you change places, it will cost money! Having a credit card for "unexpected expenses" would also be prudent. Were you planning to use ATM's to obtain travel cash or change to Euro's at a local Bank before leaving? Happy travels!

Posted by
2 posts

Hello Everyone, Thank you all so much for all of your help! I really appreciate it! I think all of you have a good point about taking the railway system instead of renting a car. I just thought it might be a better way to see some of the smaller bavarian towns. If everyone agrees, however, that using the train is the better way to go then I think that is what we will do. :) As far as currency conversion goes... I am going to be in London the week prior to Germany, so I was planning on converting USD to Pounds, and then the Pounds to Euros the last day I'm in London... I also do have credit cards incase I run into a situation in which I need them. Thanks!

Posted by
18302 posts

I guess I will disagree with those that say you can't see the Black Forest. The Black Forest is more than the southern part; it's more than Freiburg and Titisee. There is a northern part and it extends almost to Stuttgart. If you are looking for Christmas markets, there is one in Freudenstadt, sometimes called the capital of the Northern Black Forest. Freudenstadt is less than two hours from Stuttgart, usually with a change of trains in Eutingen im Gäu.

Posted by
18302 posts

As for a place to stay near Munich, considering a fairly early flight, I would stay in Freising. It's a 17 min, €2,30 trip from the Freising Bahnhof to the MAC, between terminals at MUC. The bus runs about every 20 min. If you're coming from the Füssen area, a Bayern-Ticket (€20 single, €28 2-5 P) will cover the train to Munich, unlimited travel in Munich, and the S-bahn to Freising. Freising has a pdf file in English, with a list of accommodations. Some people here have stayed at Hotel Zur Gred, and liked it. Last year I stayed at Kleines Gästehaus. It was simple and economical (EZ/F €45). Hmm. This posting is timestamped 12:00 PM. According to the Nat. Bureau of Standards, there is no such thing as 12:00 PM, nor is it 12:00 AM. IT'S NOON (and mid-night).

Posted by
12040 posts

"If you want to see what the scenery of the Black Forest looks like save yourself some cash and take a drive this weekend through Wyoming County." And to adjust for conditions for this time of year, smear some dirty mop water over the windshield. That's about what the visibility has been lately. I live about 5 km from the Odenwald mountains, and today after the snow storm moved on was the first time I could see them in about a week.

Posted by
1986 posts

Currency Conversion: it doesnt make sense to convert ddollars to pounds, and then Pounds to Euros- that way you pay double conversion charges on each euro. try and only convert enough dollars to pounds to cover your UJK part, and then when you get to Europe, convert the remianing dollars to Euros

Posted by
27718 posts

Only buy as much UK £pounds as you need. Then buy only as much €uros as you need. Plan to run out. You lose big every time you exchange money. To pay 3-20% in fees to buy £pounds then another 3-20% to buy €uros, then presumably another 3-20% to put 'em back into $dollars is wasting money. The only people who make money on currency deals are the currency dealers. FWIW