Germany Itinerary Advice needed

Hi. I have kind of honed in our itinerary for next June after we get off a cruise with our family of 5 (me, DH, & sons ages 19, 17 & 7). However, it is still looking like it would take 9 days & I have already cut off the Swiss Alps! I would like to get it down to like 6 days. I need to buy airfare in the next few days so have NOT comitted to beginning or ending cities yet (other than Barcelona). What do you think we could streamline or trim from this? I am not a fan of 1 night stays, but am not sure where I could change: M-depart ship in Barcelona, fly to Munich (direct 2 1/2 hrs.), arrive ~3 p.m. Tu-sightsee in Munich, marieplantz, Hauffbrau Haus, Dauchau? W-depart early, train to Salzburg (2 hrs.) or Berchtesgaden, tour Eagle's Nest, bus back to Salzburg, sleep in Salzburg, maybe see (drive past some) Sound of Music sights Th-sightsee, train to Fussen (4 hrs.), stay in Fussen Fr-taxi or bus to Neushwanstein Castle & back, then train from Fussen to Rothenburg (5 hrs.); stay in Rothenburg, do Night Watchmen tour Sat-sightsee Rothenburg, train to Koblenz (via Steinach); river cruise on Rhine Koblenz, St. Goar, Bacharach Sun--Bacharach to Eisenanch by train, see Wartburg Castle, then train to Erfurt; sleep in Erfurt M-train to Wittenburg, sightsee, then train to Berlin Tu-sightsee Berlin (? suggestions? The Brandenburg gate is all that comes to mind right now) W- fly home Is this crazy? Seems a bit so to me, & I came up with it! What could we skip? THANK YOU, travel vets & experts!!!

Posted by Joanne
Birmingham
11 posts

Wow, I'm exhausted after reading your itinerary...that is a LOT to pack in! If you want to get it down to 6 days, you really only have time to do one or perhaps two regions well. We spent 6 days just in Munich and Bavaria last year and felt as though we only scratched the surface. In that short a timeframe, I think you'd be best off choosing either the Rhineland or the Bavarian Alps to pair with Munich. Either fly into Frankfurt and fly home from Munich, or do the reverse. Spend Monday-Wednesday in Munich and the rest of the time in your other location of choice.

Posted by Anita
Philadelphia, PA, USA
331 posts

Jen, I agree that you will have a better trip if you limit yourself to one region of Germany. After your cruise, I think you would enjoy staying in fewer places long enough to really explore them. Your itinerary requires an awful lot of transportation. You might visit Munich and one or two towns in Bavaria, OR fly into Frankfurt or Cologne and explore several of the towns along the Rhine, OR fly into Berlin and do day trips to Wittenberg and perhaps Dresden and Leipzig. All of the destinations you list are interesting, but are too spread out to be visited in less than a week. Just a few comments about some of your proposed destinations: If you visit Wartburg Castle, you may only enter the buildings with a guided tour so be sure to catch the English language tour at 1:30. I'd also suggest spending a bit of time in the town of Eisenach to see the buildings where Bach and Luther once lived. Two of the major historic sites in Wittenberg are the church where Luther frequently preached, and the church where he posted his 95 Theses and where he is buried. The interior of the church where he preached is currently being renovated. The church where he posted the 95 Theses will be completely inaccessible for several years as it is being restored. Let us know how you adjust your itinerary.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4764 posts

* Tues. you do not have time to go to Dachau as well as sightsee in Munich. Your 7 yr. old is way too young to go visit a concentration camp anyway. * Rather than sleep in Salzburg, go ahead and train back to Munich, so you don't have to pack, and repack. The train ride isn't that long. * Drop Fussen, stay in Munich and visit Neuschwanstein as a day trip. * Taking the train to Koblenz from Rothenburg will eat up lots of hours. Train to Mainz perhaps, and boat down the river to Boppard. Train back to overnight in Bacharach. * One day for Berlin? Why even go all that way to a city that you don't know anything about other than it contains the Brandenburg Gate? What made you pick Berlin if it doesn't have anything that interests you? Suggestion is 1.) get a RS guide book. 2.) drop the trips to Fussen, Erfurt, Wittenburg, and Berlin. Stay several days in Munich, doing day trips, do your day & night in Rothenburg, go up towards the Rhine, doing day trips. Fly home from Frankfurt.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9108 posts

My head is spinning... The travel times you have quoted are unrealistic, because you aren't considering the time to to get from your hotel to the train station and back, you aren't allowing for the inevitable train delay (it WILL happen at some point) and for driving times, you aren't allowing for something they have in Germany called a "Stau". Some of the days don't even seem physically possible to accomplish, such as Saturday and Sunday. This plan just needs one little thing to go wrong, and it will all come crashing down.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2688 posts

Hi, If you really do have such a short time for Berlin, then I would pick the Brandenburg Gate to see. On the eastern side of the Gate you're at Pariser Platz, walk eastwards onto Unter den Linden in the direction of the Adlon Hotel, that famous and historical site. The original was wrecked in the war. Take a bus tour unless there is a specific site to visit. Continue east to the three Doms. As much as I would refrain from skipping any site, it would alleviate the time pressure if you skipped Lutherstadt Wittenberg or Erfurt...maybe both. Or, skip some of the Middle Rhine sites. You have too much on the plate. I would suggest from Bacharach (the historical plaque, a Gedenkstein is there) take the train to Berlin via Frankfurt.