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dusseldorf to munich - suggestions needed

We arrive in Dusseldorf early (6:00 am) on Saturday March 31 and depart the afternoon of April 7. We like to move fast - staying one night in a town is often enough. We like somewhat happening places - bars restaurants museums historic sights .... Thinking about Dusseldorf, Cologne, Nurenberg(?), bertsegatrn (obviously spelled wrong - I am on train), and Munich. Looking to use train and perhaps car out to Eagle's Nest town (won't try spelling it again). We are two adults and a 12 year old. All seasoned travelers. Likes include wandering cities, visiting historic sights, really important that where ever we stay we are centrally located. Don't need fancy accommodations. Just made reservations today - super save first class frequent flier tickets and now I need to start thinking about logistics!

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19169 posts

"bertsegatrn"? Do you mean Berchtesgaden? Berchtesgaden is accessible by regional trains from Munich in just under 3 hours. A Bayern-Ticket, €29 for all three of you, will cover you on the regional trains to Berchtesgaden Hbf and on the bus from Berchtesgaden Hbf to the foot of the mountain below the Nest. From there you either pay for the bus up the private road or hike. The road is closed to private cars. Duesseldorf and Koeln are close together (about 30 min by regional train, 50 min by S-bahn). You might want to base in one or the other and commute. If you stay in Koeln, a VRS Preisstufe 5, 5 person Tagesticket for €30 is good for travel to/from Duesseldorf and inside Koeln for a day for all of you. I don't see anything similar for Duesseldorf. If you stay there, I think your best bet is a SchönerTagTicket, an all day pass for regional trains in the state (Land) of Nordrhein-Westfalen, €36 for all of you. It will cover all forms of transport (regional trains, S-Bahn, trams, and buses) in both Duesseldorf and Koeln. Since you'll have several days in Duesseldorf/Koeln and probably have accommodations booked, you should be able to commit to a specific train from Koeln to Munich (or bertsegatrn). If you book well in advance (ticket become available 92 days in advance, and the discount tickets sell out really fast for that connection) online from the Bahn website, you could get a Sparpreis fare as low as €49 for all of you.

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Before you plan a trip with a Koblenz to Mainz cruise, look at the boat schedule at www.k-d.de. There is only one boat per day leaving Koblenz for Mainz, and it leaves at 9 AM. It only goes as far as Rudesheim; to go all the way to Mainz, you'll need to change to one of two other boats. Note that these last boats don't run every day. And, if you like to move fast, the boat is not for you. From Koblenz to Mainz takes 9+ hours. Rather than a long day trip to Berchtesgaden, I would plan to spend a night there and take the boat on Königssee the day you arrive, and see the Eagles' Nest the second day. I spent an entire day at the Eagles' Nest, went up the mountain first thing in the morning, hiked around, had lunch there, then came down, spent the afternoon in the Dokumentation Center, and went into the remains of the Nazi bunkers there.

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818 posts

Thanks! Thinking about renting a car to go out to Berchtasgaden and stay one night. Would like to primarily travel by train and make sure we don't have to drive into any cities. Lee and James - Which would you choose: Heidelberg or Nurenberg?

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Thanks. Things to think about. If going to Berchtesgaden is too far for us to go - is there a Bavarian town closer to Munich you would suggest. "Working itinerary" is looking like: nights 1 and 2 - Dusseldorf and Cologne Night 3 - Heidelberg or Nurenberg Night 4 - Berchtesgaden or somewhere in Bavaria
Night 5 and 6 Munich So I have one extra night to.add in there somewhere and am thinking we can either do all train or train and rent a car for visiting Bavaria. Do these towns I have mentioned all have luggage storage.in the train station? How about smaller towns? Do we need to see both Dusseldorf and Cologne? Which has a better give. We are looking for cafes and a lively atmosphere, interesting architecture. One more idea - Tubingen?

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33314 posts

bronwen I know you have limited yourself to Lee and James, but if you decide you want input from others I have been several times to both Nuremberg and Heidelberg as well as throughout Bayern including up to what is referred to as the Eagles Nest and Salzburg. Just ask. BTW Nuremberg is in Bavaria.

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818 posts

Ok ... Thanks Nigel. Give me some ideas! Where do you suggest?

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19169 posts

I don't think Berchtesgaden is too far for an overnight stay. You said "staying one night in a town is often enough". It would be worth the trip. If you need someplace closer, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a couple of hours by rail from Munich. For me, it is too large and touristy, but others like it. It's also a short distance to Mittenwald. You could also go to Oberammergau. From there you can take the bus to Ludwig's Italian rococo (or is it baroque) villa at Linderhof. Just pay attention to the bus schedules so you get back to Oberammergau. For a taste of "real", untouristy (at least without Americans) Oberbayern, take BOB (Bayerishe Oberlandbahn) down to Schliersee, Bad Tölz, or Tegernsee. If you really want to see a great German Alpine town, albeit a bit non-American-touristy, go all the way to Oberstdorf, at the end of the Alps by Lindau. From there you can also go to the Austrian Alpine valley of Kleinwalsertal.

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33314 posts

OK, if it had me I probably would have plumped for Salzburg as I found it is magical. Berchtesgaden is quite a lot of work for a relatively small reward. We loved it, it was important to us on several levels including the chiseled fireplace mantel and walking on the mountain at the top, but it is hard to get to, tiring, and transport can be slow. Heidelberg is another place that we enjoy, and stay in or near as we drive towards Luxembourg on the way home. Very nice, several nice walks, but when balanced against Nuremburg I think it comes second. I'm probably a little biased as I have been going there for so long - first time as a wet-behind-the-ears teenager in the early 70's and stayed in the youth hostel in the stables of the castle (wow!!) - but I believe that there you can do so much. The walls, the nearby villages, the 3 small sausages (better in Regensburg and you can get there and Bamburg from there too), toy museum, so many things to see. So that's my vote. Confusing perhaps, but that's what I think. Good luck planning.... BTW - as early in the year as you will be going you may need to make contingency plans if you have bad weather or snow.

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19169 posts

Up to now, I really hadn't paid attention to your dates except to make sure that the K-D boats were running, but the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagles' Nest) does not usually open until the beginning of May. Go to Oberbayern, Mittenwald, or Oberstdorf instead.

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818 posts

Thanks guys - yes, we are restricted to one week for travel each year - kid's April vacation and further restricted by where we can go with our miles. Nigel - I think Nurnberg / Regensberg / Bamberg look up our alley ... Lee - Oberbayern, Mittenwald, or Oberstdorf ... I am going to researchh them!

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I keep reading about Tubingen - I love university towns and it sounds really nice. So possible to connect Dusseldorf, Heidelberg, Tubingen, Nurnberg (w/ Regensberg and Bamberg), and Munich. Seems like a wee bit out of the way to see Tubingen AND Nurnberg though .... Dusseldorf, Heidelberg, Nurmberg, Munich - train the whole way and do day trip to Tubingen (possible?), Regensberg and Bamberg?

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I think a day trip to Tübingen would be cumbersome from either Heidelberg or Nürnberg; you'd spend as much time or more getting there and back than in Tübingen. Stuttgart is kind of on the way between Heidelberg and Nürnberg; Stuttgart to Tübingen RT adds 3 hours plus time in Tübingen. If you are going to devote a whole day to going from Heidelberg to Nürnberg, then taking a side trip to Tübingen might be feasible. We stopped for a pleasant lunch at a nice restaurant on the bank of the Neckar in Tübingen on our way from Sigmaringen to Herrenberg, but it was directly on our way; we had to change trains in Tübingen, anyway.

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So - since we arrive so early (6:00 am and we'll have no checked luggage) maybe we skip Dusseldorf and/or Cologne and get right on a train elsewhere .... thoughts on elsewhere? It will be a Saturday. Places I am planning on visiting are: Heidelberg, Bamberg, Nurnberg, and Munich. The only place set in stone is Munich.

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So - the night in question is Saturday 31 March .... Would Boppard or St Goar be dead? Would we be better sleeping in Koblenz and just day tripping down to Boppard / St Goar? The next day I am thinking we'll head to Heidelberg, then Nurenberg, Bamberg, then Munich. Thoughts?

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ME AGAIN! How about this .... we arrive early - maybe we stop in Cologne and store our things and take a stroll, see the cathedral and then jump on a train to either Boppard or St Goar - drop things at hotel and see towns - maybe take train between towns, stay night. Next day take train to Mannheim and rent a car and drive to Tubingen (stay night) and then on to Oberbayern. Maybe drop off car and take train to Salzberg or keep car and explore the area ... then go to to Munich for last two nights. Can anyone help me fill in the gaps? I like small cities but they can't be (and this is my husband talking) depressing. He's not a fan of grim places - like clean and neat places. We don't need "night life" but we like a centrally located hotel / inn near pubs / restaurants. So - the above is choice one - choice two is - after Boppard / St. Goar to rent a car and drive to Rothenberg - stopping on the way, sleep there and then on to Nurnberg / Bamberg and then down to Munich. Feedback? dates: arrive Dusseldorf 6:00 am on Saturday 31 March and depart Munich following Saturday 7 April.