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4 days in southern Germany?

Never been to Germany. Traveling up from Italy by train. Need to end in Frankfurt on the 5TH night. Have 4 nights in southern Germany. Thinking of Salzburg, Munich and Rothenburg. Are these good choices? How would you experienced people divide up the nights? Would you do 2 nights in in Salzburg and 2 in Rothenburg and just make day visits to Munich or stay in Munich and visit Salsburg.

Posted by
203 posts

Well, it depends..... I've been to all 3 places more than once. Is your trip to Italy hectic, and you're looking for some relaxation at the end of your trip? Or will you have been relaxing on the Cinque Terre, and now you're looking for some activity? 4 nights in three places sounds like a lot to me, especially since you could happily spend 4 nights in Munich. The touristy part of Salzburg is a zoo in the summer, but gorgeous nevertheless. Munich has a lot going on, and Rothenburg is kitschy, touristy & wonderful. Assuming that you'll be coming in from northern Italy, I would spend the 1st night in Salzburg. Early the next morning I would take the train to Munich and spend 2 full days there. The 4th night would be spent in Rothenburg. The next afternoon I would take the train to Mainz and spend my last night there (perhaps 20 minutes from the Frankfurt airport by train).

Posted by
4355 posts

My suggestion would be one night in Salzburg, two in Munich, and one in Rothenburg.When going from R'burg to F'furt, you'll probably have to change trains in Wuerzburg. While there, take a couple of hours and see the Prince Bishop's Residence--especially the church on the right side (Hof Kirche ?).

Posted by
18941 posts
  1. Are you arriving the first morning in Munich on an overnight train from Venice?

  2. Are you only interested in collecting decals for your suitcase rather than spending some quality time at each stop?

Unless you answered yes to one of those questions, skip Salzburg.

If you arrive by day train from Venice, your first day is more than half over. If you spend 3 nights in Munich, you will only have 2 full days, barely enough to see the highlights.

Leave Munich early morning after the third night and go to Rothenburg for one night (4th), then leave in the afternoon for Frankfurt (5th night). That barely gives you enough time for Rothenburg.

Posted by
17 posts

Wow, this is a great service and thank you for your responses.

To answer a few questions,
1. We are total neophytes in traveling to Europe so we are trying avoid the temptation to see everything. Hopefully we will be back!
2. Yes we will be arriving in Germany after 1 week in Italy so rest may be a concern.
3. I like the question whether we are "interested in collecting decals for your suitcase". That is a good thought and no we are not.

We just didn't know how to evaluate the 3 cities and how to prioritize. All of your comments really help.
Maybe we should plan more relaxation?

Posted by
203 posts

You asked if you should plan more relaxation....Again, that's individual. What kind of vacations do you like? I ask because when we went to the Cinque Terre, my husband got crabby from too much sun, food, scenery & relaxation. Somehow he had a better time on our trip to Poland in March '06. Italy, as in Rome, Florence & Venice can be intense. You might want some down time. Forgetting about Munich and spending several days in the Lake District near Salzburg might hit the spot. But then you might not. Also, do you plan to go back soon? If not, you might save your relaxation for somewhere south of St. Louis--also a good vacation destination and lots cheaper than Austria!

Posted by
408 posts

You can't go wrong with any of the towns you picked. I have been to all of them also and would stay in Munich and do day trips to the Ludwig castles, Wies church, luge, a gondola ride like the Zugspitza and the concentration camp. You could hit Rothenburg on your way to Frankfurt. If you spend the night see the night watchman tour. Have a great trip.

Posted by
25 posts

I would recommend staying in Salzburg 2 nights, Munich 1 night and Rothenburg 1 night. Salzburg and Rothenburg are much better for atmosphere and peace (although both have tons of stuff to do). Rothenburg is too cute and fun to miss, but you can see the main sights in an afternoon/overnight/early morning. We found the sights of Munich interesting, but it wasn't our favorite German city (unless you are there for Oktoberfest!). I second the suggestion to stop in Wurzburg. I liked the Residenz better than Versailles.