First Trip to Germany!

My brother and I are going to Germany for the first time during the first 2 weeks of April. We are in our mid 20s and enjoy good food, adult beverages, and experiencing German culture. We would like to stay in a few quaint old town cities. We also don't mind spending a decent amount for a better hotel experience. I've been researching things to do and places to stay, but thought I would put our itinerary on here since so many of you have such wonderful suggestions. Day 1- arrive in London at 1pm(already booked roundtrip tickets) staying at Royal Horseguards Day 2- fly to Dussledorf (We will be here on Easter) Day 3- train to Munster stay a night Day 4- train to Kohn stay a night We don't have to go up to Munster and then go back down to Kohn. Maybe we should just work our way down? Day 5-train to Boppard stay a night Day 6- train to Oberwessel (already booked a night in the Auf Schonburg castle) Day 7- train to Frankfurt, stay a couple nights (we have tickets to the Bayern munich vs Eintrcht Frankfurt game) Day 9- train to Munich, stay 2 nights
Day 11- flight back to London, stay 2 nights and depart

Posted by Kathy
Germany, Germany
800 posts

Your includes the time around Easter holiday when many of the schools in Germany have vacation time. The trains will be packed. You may be able to get a ticket during that time, but you'll pay a whole lot more if you wait to get your tickets later. The Premier Inns in London are a good bet. Try the one at Victoria station or County Hall for good locations and deals.

Posted by Russ
Paradise
1750 posts

As long as your Frankfurt-Munich train trip (Day 7) comes after April 7 (the final day of Easter school vacation) you shouldn't be impacted much by traveling kids and families. Still, that's a popular leg and you should buy that ticket asap to get the best price. Days 2-4: Both Münster and "Kohn" (is that "Köln", or Cologne?) could be daytrips from Düsseldorf. If night 2 is D'dorf, why not just stay there for 3 nights? Then you don't have to schlepp your bags around unnecessarily, pack, unpack, etc. Use a regional train daypass ("Länder Ticket") to make these trips. You need the "Schöner Tag Ticket" for D'dorf-Münster (2 hours by direct regional express train, 39.50€/day for 2-5 people with this daypass.) This trip would otherwise run over 100€ round trip for 2. Check under Nordrhein-Westfalen on this page: http://www.bahn.com/i/view/DEU/en/prices/germany/laender-ticket.shtml D'dorf to Cologne and back is a "price level 5" trip with the local transit authority (VRS.) A Day Ticket for 31.50€ covers 2-5 people on regional trains, better than the regular round trip fare of 43.60€ for 2 (based on the one-way fare of 10.80€ each): http://www.vrsinfo.de/englisch/tickets-and-tariffs/short-term-tickets/dayticket-5-people.html Get both types of daypass from a ticket machine at the D'dorf station. These tickets do not sell out. Find schedules for eligible trains by specifying "only local transport" under "means of transport" at the DB itinerary page: http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

Posted by Russ
Paradise
1750 posts

Düsseldorf (or Cologne) to Boppard: About 2 hours (or 1.5 from Cologne) by regional train. The "Quer Durchs Land" ticket (daypass) works on weekdays for this trip - 50€ for two - saves you only about 8€ over the normal price from D'dorf, but you can use it all day long after you arrive in Boppard for other daytrips. http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/prices/germany/quer-durchs-land-ticket.shtml On Sat or Sun, buy the cheaper "Happy Weekend" ticket - 42€ for 2-5 people, good at any hour: http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/prices/germany/happy_weekend_ticket.shtml Marksburg Castle (Braubach) and/or Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar would make for good outings on Day 5. For Marksburg: On your way south from Cologne, maybe get off the train in Koblenz, stow bags in a locker, and catch a train to Braubach (11 min.) Return to Koblenz for bags after your tour and continue to Boppard. This will save you 2 back-tracking trips between Boppard and Koblenz.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
2258 posts

If by adult beverages you mean beer, stop in to Papa Joe's Bier Salon in the Altstadt of Cologne. Cologne has its own unique beer called Koelsch, traditionally served in .25 l cylindrical glasses, although the .4 l glasses are gaining popularity. If local culture is your thing, the Tuenis and Schael musical robots fill the bill. If you are lucky, maybe Papa Joe's son will be doing his Otto Reuter tribute show, songs of the great German cabaret performer of the early 20th century. Papa Joe's Jazz Lokal is nearby for live jazz. I like the Hotel Lyskirchen, very modern inside (everything in Cologne is modern inside, check out the 1945 cityscape postcards for sale all over town).

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2685 posts

Hi, I would suggest as regards to spending time in a small town, how about Bonn? I liked Bonn. If you're staying the first night in Düsseldorf, then go to Münster/Westfalen the next day, (quite different from the Rhineland), then back to Köln the next day, it's doable....leave early in the morning. You'll arrive in Köln by noon.