We have 5 nights in Germany, coming from Amsterdam (by train) before heading to Italy (either by train or plane). We'd like to break it up into two base stays--I think we're leaning towards spending the last 3 nights in Munich to explore the city and do some day trips. I'd like some advice on the first 2 nights. We were considering Rothenburg, Bacharach, or the Mosel Valley/River area. We're mid-20s, mostly interested in history and culture--cities as well as rural areas, scenic strolls, museums/historic sites--and I was thinking that a more relaxed spot in between Amsterdam to Munich may be a welcome respite. Any suggestions, keeping in mind we won't have a car? We're going this month.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is full of colorful buildings, towers, walls, restaurants, shopping, etc. I thought it deserved a 1-day visit, but 2 days might be overkill. On the other hand, you could easily fill 2 days exploring the Rhine/Mosel Valleys, and public transportation will get you to the majority of sites.
I'd vote for the Rhine or Mosel, too. I like spending some days in more rural spots between big cities. For a good scenic stroll, the one up to Burg Eltz is quite nice.
My vote would be the Rhine/Mosel area. I agree with previous poster that the stroll to Burg Eltz is very nice and the castle is amazing.
Two days on the Rhine would be great, but I think that I would prefer St Goar to Bacharach though Bacharach is a bit more attractive. St Goar has a little less expensive train connections to Burg Eltz and points down river on the Rhine. (Mini Group ticket). St Goar is a little more accessible to the river, which I find fascinating.
You might also a couple towns along the way. Würzburg and Regensburg are good possibilties, Bamberg is a little off track but not bad. Any of these towns is worth 2 days w/o side trip. Würzburg has a fortress (Festung) and a bishop's Residenz. Both Bamberg and Regensburg are UNESCO world heritage sites for their medieval buildings. All three are university towns which promotes restaurants and some night life.
Rothenburg is good for two days for us. It is not such a good day-trip base as train connections are limited.
You have lots of good options. It is just a matter of which appeals to you.
Thank you all so much for the input! We're definitely going to stick with the Rhine/Mosel area this time. I see now that St Goar would fit our needs better than Bacharach--and, like Gary, I love to be accessible to waterways. We're also going to try to squeeze 3 nights in rather than 2. Trier is on my list of places I'd like to go. Is this a doable day trip from St Goar? I'm wondering if we would be better off spending 2 nights in St Goar and one night closer to (or in) Trier, OR spending all three nights somewhere more central, like Cochem or Koblenz?
We made the trip St Goar to Trier in May. It is over two hours each way, so that would be a long day trip for me. You can make the trip using the Rheinland-Pfalz card - 27 euros for 2-5 people. Use this link. Change the "Means of transportation" to "only local transport" for better fares.
I might stop in Trier first if you are going to overnight in both.
We stayed at the Hotel am Markt in St. Goar. Its restaurant had a good view of the river. We stayed at the Hotel Pieper in Trier, fairly near the train station. Both places were nice and not too expensive.