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First Trip to Munich and Germany June 25 to July 12

Please post places that my teen-agers and myself "must see" as we travel Germany for approximately 3 weeks. Kids are tired of staying at hostels, so please suggest other alternatives. Would like to stay in countryside, near castles, visit urban and rural. We leave from Hamburg to Dublin on July 12, 2012 so we need to travel from Munich to Hamburg. Do you suggest the train passes? We would like advise on sights and hotels, home? for rent, and travel by bus?, car? train? what kind of train?

Posted by
2788 posts

Do you have a copy of RS Germany Guide Book yet? If so, great. If not, I would suggest that you get one soon as it is full of very useful information that we are using for our upcoming trip to Germany in September.

Posted by
1631 posts

In order to help, we need more info. Where are you flying into? How many people are travelling? You say you don't want to stay in hostels, have you been to Germany before? What are the ages of your teens? Have you driven in Europe before? We're here to help, just need info.

Posted by
33 posts

Leaving dfw to Munich on June 24 Until July 12th. Then leaving to Dublin for two weeks ( need help dor there as well). Teens are 17 years male and female. Past experience with hostels have been their curfew, lack of privacy, too expensive for cramped quarters... Otherwise their location and their staff were fantastic....

Posted by
33 posts

Have not been to Germany before with kids. Traveled with husband 10 years ago on short business trip to Berlin...otherwise no other travel to Germany. Traveling: 3. Other travel with kids have been to Japan, Paris, and London. They are very interested in this trip, however.

Posted by
31522 posts

sil, To begin with, I agree with Charlie that the Germany 2012 or Munich Snapshot Guides would be an excellent resource to pack along, as they have a wealth of information on sightseeing, transportation and Hotels. These are also available as E-books in a variety of formats. It's difficult to suggest "must sees" as those vary to some extent according to individual preferences and interests. Some of the usual sites in that people like to see in that area: > Neuschwanstein Castle - you can either make the trip and tour reservations on your own, or go with Radius Tours. > Dachau - it's not for everyone, but many people want to visit the Memorial. > Munich city - there's LOTS to see! Hofbrauhaus, Walking Tours, Deutsches Museum (16 kM of exhibits), Marienplatz, etc. More listed in the Guidebook. > Day trip / side trip to Salzburg. > Day trip to Berchtesgaden. Tour the Eagle's Nest, Dokumentation Centre or a Salt Mine. > Day trip / side trip to Rothenburg. If you're there in the evening, be sure to take the Night Watchman's tour. If you're tired of Hostels, use one of the budget Hotels listed in the Guidebooks. For travel at that time of year, I'd suggest getting something booked SOON! It appears that you have about 16 days in that area, and there should be lots to keep you busy. Are you flying from Hamburg to Dublin? Will you have to spend one night in Hamburg prior to the flight? Could you provide some further details on your trip to Dublin. For example, how long will you be there, what are you interested in seeing, etc. Happy travels!

Posted by
31522 posts

sil, Could you clarify one other point.... Hamburg is some distance from your starting point, so I'm curious on the reasons you chose that destination? The flight options from Hamburg to Dublin are not as "plentiful" as from other airports in Germany. Aer Lingus appears to be the only option, and they have flights currently listed at €100.99 PP. Although I hesitate to suggest this, if you take the train to Berlin and travel from there, you could may be able to use RyanAir flights from either Brandenburg or Schönefeld. I didn't check the prices, but I'm sure they would be cheap. If you decide to fly with RyanAir, BE SURE to read the "Terms & Conditions" carefully, pack light and plan to only carry ONE carry-on bag each. Also be prepared to pay numerous extra fees, which will bump up the price of the cheap tickets. Cheers!

Posted by
837 posts

Sil, sounds like the kids are instrumental in this trip. Why not give them the book and ask them to, between themselves, list about 10 places they want to see? Then see how you can connect them, or a reduced number to make an itinerary that flows, then come back.

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you for that information. I will start with a guide. I will give it to my teenager children. I will set a budget And let them help with that itinerary. We will be traveling throughout europe not only munich to berlin and hamburg. Any suggestions? We will be in dublin 2 weeks. We will fly from hamburg to dublin. Any suggestions?
You have been very helpful up to no.w. Many thanks

Posted by
33 posts

The flight from Hamburg to Dublin is paid for already. We wanted to make sure we traveled through major cities in Germany beginning from south to north. ' not sure it was the best of plans, but may still work..

Posted by
12998 posts

Sil, Good that you'll be in Hamburg, a very interesting big city, the cultural capital of North Germany. If you're interested in a day trip from there, I recommend Lübeck and Schwerin, used to be the capital of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. As such I think all of you would find the Schloss fabulous. I like Lübeck too, my first city upon arriving in Germany. The unique architecture is one of the sights. For such a short time in Germany, in this case, I don't recommend a train Pass. If you had three more weeks beyond July 12, then I would.

Posted by
813 posts

We use booking.com with good results each time. As others have said, you should book quickly, your trip is close. Apartments are found through homeaway.com We have good luck with them as well. With that many days in Munich, you could take an overnight in Salzburg by train, it's a great city. Besides the usual sights around Munich you'll find in the tour guides, the BMW tour/museum is very interesting, even if you're not really in to cars.

Posted by
20 posts

You have a wide open question. You should definitely get RS Germany book and divide the trip for the kids to help plan. Traveling means is determined by your preference. Myself, I prefer trains in Germany and if traveling alot would consider a railpass. Driving the autobahn can be fun but negotiating unfamiliar cities sometimes can be challenging even with a GPS! You didn't mention budget so hotels are hard to recommend but covered well in RS book and I tend to stay in the pricier places he mentions for more comfort. In general you really want to stay 2-5 nights in places to get a feel and not spend all your time traveling. So I would break down areas into segments and research each area and decide what you want to see and how to make it work logistically. Definitely Munich-Dachau-Fussen. If visiting Neuschwanstein in fussen you have to do a tour and to get an english tour of both castles it is best to buy tickets ahead of time off their website (hohenschwangau.de). Consider going to Salzburg, Austria with side trip to Berchtesgarden. Beautiful train ride. Also consider traveling Romantic road with a stop in Rothenburg for a couple of nights. We love staying at the Hotel Kloster-Stuble. We love travelling along the Rhine Valley with all the small towns and a day trip boat ride is highly recommended. We have stayed at St.Goar and Baccharach and preferred the Schlosshotel Rheinfels in St. Goar. The Mosul River is close by with a visit to Burg Eltz required. A visit to Berlin if possible is a must. Though much of it was destroyed in WW2 there is alot to see and do in this city and requires 3-4 days by itself. Hamburg is a great city to end in and has alot to offer. I didn't give you an exact itinerary but just some ideas to get you started. Pick areas you would like to see, then figure how many days each area requires and have fun.

Posted by
12040 posts

BTW, going against the crowd here, I am not a huge fan of Rick Steves' Germany guide, for many reasons that I won't go into here. I wouldn't go so far as to say don't use it, but use it as a supplement, not your primary source, and take some of the things he says with a grain of salt. But, Hamburg is my absolute favorite city in Germany, by far. It combines all the best of old and modern Germany, and churns it into something that is at once exemplifies all the best of this country, but is unique in and of itself. If the teenagers are closer to 10 than 20, they will probably enjoy Miniatur Wunderland and the Maritime Museum. If they are closer to 20, they will probably beg for you to let them explore the infamous Reeperbahn by themselves. But if you don't think they're ready for that, you can probably safely let them loose in the shopping area around the Binnenalster unchaperoned.

Posted by
1980 posts

Definitely Dachau and the castle at Newchwanstein (terrible spelling). You also say two weeks in Dublin. Hope you are not planning on the two weeks there and are planning on rest of Ireland.

Posted by
33 posts

We are flying into Dublin for two weeks and want to see Ireland's "must see" attractions......

Posted by
12998 posts

Sil, I agree that Hamburg itself has plenty to keep your curiousity picqued and occupied so that you won't want to do any day trips. If so, skip Hannover, unless it's the Herrenhäuser Gärten you want to see. I would bet that both Bremen and Schwerin ger more visitors than Hannover. Even Germans don't go there. Logistically, Bremen is a better day trip than Schwerin.

Posted by
403 posts

Teen ideas: Deutsches Museum (Munich) is super-a bit like a German Smithsonian. Tour of the roof of the Olympic stadium in Munich. Some tours include "flying fox" zipline or rapelling at the end. Not for the faint of heart! BMW factory and museum (near the Olympic stadium). Salt mine tour outside of Salzburgnot to be missed. I went at 19 and again at 21, and it was no less awesome! Take the cable car up the Zugspitzea long day from Munich, but doable. My kids loved it. Watch for/ask around for "Sommerrodelbahn" anywhere in southern Germany and Austria. This is the famed summer luge track. Sometimes they are hard to find and not well advertised, but there are many. Caution: after one run, your kids may not want to do anything else. I agree with the person who said to give them some free time once in awhilelet them explore and see what they find. (Remember they will be legal drinking age in Germany.)
For bigger adventure, you can find a Klettersteig: hiking trail outiftted with cables, ladders, etc. for the more difficult sections. Try www.via-ferrata.de. (site is all in German) for many in Bavaria.

Posted by
192 posts

One place that RS misses in his book is the Chiemsee Castle which is a replica of Versailles. I have been there 3 times and think it is a must see. The first time I went at 16 my exchange parents took me and I loved it! I in turn took my children there and it was there favorite even over Neuschwanstein. It is really opulent inside!

Posted by
1795 posts

Get another book besides RS. He is great for what he covers but he is very limited. It's like coming to the US and having knowledge only of the east coast. If you stay anywhere for 3 days or so, consider getting an apartment (ferienwohnung - fewo for short). Also consider small hotels/b&b's. Look at Bavaria Ben's website - www.bensbauernhof.com and read some of the trip reports to get an idea about how these accommodations stack up. Depending on how/where you actually go, the inexpensive passes - Länder, Schönes-Wochenende, and Quer-Durchs-Land tickets can give low cost fares for short to moderate legs of your journey. Since they are only for regional trains and not the high speed trains, they are probably too slow for the longest journeys.