Germany itineray travel by train

Hi, We are planning a trip to Germany and are thinking about the following itinerary – we will be traveling via train. Please let me know if if sounds like a good plan. Fly in to Frankfurt 2 nights in Barcharch 2 nights in Cochem 2 nights in Freiburg 2 nights in Fussen or Garmish Partenkirchen 2 nights in Salzburg or Berchtesgarden
3 nights in Munich We would also like to stay at a castle hotel for a night. We are more interested in hiking and natural scenery than big cities. Thanks for any advice or ideas you can give me

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12535 posts

Your itinerary look workable. Just remember that those legs between towns take a while, so you might only have 1½ days in each town. Assuming you are arriving in FRA on the first morning, FRA to Cochem would not be too long (I did FRA to Treis-Karden the first day in 2008). Then you only have to go from Bacharch to Freiburg instead of from Cochem to Freiburg. As for a "castle" hotel, I know of two, Schönburg in Oberwesel and Stahleck (a hostel) in Bacharach. Neither is really an authentic castle, but a modern hotel built over the ruins of a former castle. If you are looking for an authentic experience, you could be disappointed.

Posted by Russ
Paradise
2136 posts

"We would also like to stay at a castle hotel for a night." I don't think Auf Schönburg would disappoint you. It's a stunning place. Plan on a taxi to come and go, as it's high on the cliffs above Oberwesel. "We are more interested in hiking and natural scenery than big cities." You'd do well to skip Freiburg, in that case, which isn't in the Black Forest at all and is a fairly large place. Try Hinterzarten or Titisee east of Freiburg instead; both are hiking meccas. The train rides from Freiburg to Titisee and throughout the Black Forest provide some exquisite scenery. Ticks are a problem if hiking, so dress properly. I took a short hike between Neustadt and Titisee a couple of years ago that included a stop at top of the Hochfirst, a peak with a lookout tower: http://www.freiburg-schwarzwald.de/hochfirst.htm Staying in either Titisee or Hinterzarten means that you'll receive a free "Konus" pass for use of the Black Forest trains and buses during your stay and on your day of departure: http://www.blackforest-tourism.com/konus

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5571 posts

Lake Titisee is in a beautiful area. In addition to hiking you can rent a paddle boat or canoe and spend some time on the water. Freiburg is not a place to go if you want to hike.

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
3150 posts

It has been a while, but I rather liked Freiburg im Breisgau. It is a university town and felt distinctively non-touristy. I just thought it was a very pleasant place to stay and go out for an evening meal. We also used it as a base for taking a day trip to Lake Titisee which was less than an hour by train. While I thought Titisee was lovely, the main area had that tourist resort feel to me so I was happy that we had chosen to stay in Freiburg rather than Titisee. However, I tend to prefer cities so this might not be your choice; I agree if your main objective is to hike then a town in the Black Forest would be a better choice.

Posted by Brenda
St. Petersburg, fl
5 posts

Thanks everyone - Great ideas - I wasn't thing about the travel time and we want time it enjoy each place. What do you think about changing our plan to: Fly into Frankfurt in AM 2 nights in Cochem 3 night in Barcharch 3 nights in Fussen (maybe a daytrip to Partnachklamm) 2 nights in Salzburg
3 nights in Munich (or should we do 5 nights with day trips to Salzburg) One more question, I'm a bit confused about the rail pass. Is it better to get a German pass or get point to point tickets based on the locations we are looking at?

Posted by Michael
Griffith, IN, USA
444 posts

Since your asking I would keep Barcharch the first 2 nights. Less drive from Frankfurt. Then 2 night in Cochem and 1 night in Friedburg. Nice place but IMO not worth 2 nights. Then off to Wurzburg or Rothenburg) which is about 3 to 4 hours and spend the night. Next Fussen for 2 nights, Garmish Area for 2 nights, finish in Munich for 3 nights. Barcharch 2 nights Cochem 2 nights Freiburg 1 night Wurzburg or Rothenburg 1 night (about half way to Fussen) Fussen 2 nights Garmish 2 nights
Munich 3 nights Lots of hiking in the Garmish area

Posted by Brenda
St. Petersburg, fl
5 posts

Thanks Michael, I like the idea of less train travel between stops.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
5248 posts

You might want to check the spellings of these towns before you enter them into the Deutsche Bahn website. So far, I have seen you going to Freiburg and Friedburg. These are 2 very different places in 2 very different spots. Make sure you know which one is the one you want. Barcharch is Bacharach, like the singer. I didn't want to be picky about this, but don't want you to end up with train tickets and hotel reservations to the wrong place,

Posted by Brenda
St. Petersburg, fl
5 posts

Thanks - that would be awful to end up in the wrong place. We are now looking at the following itinerary/hotels: Fly in to Frankfurt (2:14 hrs train to Cochem) Cochem 3 nights at Weingut Rademacher 1:31 hrs train to Bacharach 2 nights at Im Malerwinkel 6:28 hrs train to Fussen 3 nights at Hotel zum Hechten 4:04 hrs train to Salzburg 2 nights at Goldene Ente
1:28 hrs train to Munich 3 nights We would get a 5 day Germany train pass, which I belive is good for travel to/fm Salzburg. So far we only booked our air so please let me know if anyone thinks we are make any mistakes with the above itineray.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12535 posts

You should seriously consider just using Länder tickets for most of your travel. Of course, Länder tickets are only valid for regional trains, but a lot of your travel is on lines with only regional trains or where regional trains are only slightly slower. For instance you can use local (RMV) tickets from FRA to Mainz @ €3,90 per adult and a €24 (for two) Rheinland-Pfalz ticket to Cochem. Cochem back to Bacharach can also be done with a Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket. Füssen to Munich is only by regional trains, and regional trains to Salzburg only take about ½ hr longer. Either Füssen to Salzburg or Salzburg to Munich can be do with a €29 Bayern-Ticket. When you are looking for schedules on the German Rail web page, regional trains are usually RE or RB. Selekt "only local transport" to eliminate non-qualifying trains. So, for a little over €100, total, you could cover four of the five days of travel. Since the day from Bacharach to Füssen is going to be long anyway and longer with regional trains, you might want to consider using express trains with a Sparpreis ticket, for as little as €49 for both of you. It requires advance purchase from the Bahn website and is train specific (like an airline ticket).

Posted by Brenda
St. Petersburg, fl
5 posts

Lee,
For the Länder tickets is it better to buy them on line or can we buy them from the DB-ticket automats the day we want to travel? We don't speak German and weren't sure if the DB-ticket automats were easy to use. Thanks for the cost savings idea!!!

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12535 posts

For Sparpreis tickets, you must buy them online in advance. For Länder-Tickets there is no advantage to advance purchase. They are always available from automats at that price, even just before your travel. Some stations might have one of the new, touch screen Bahn machines. These machine should display in English and would be pretty self-explanatory. Most stations will also have an older Nahverkehr automat, like I show at the bottom of the page on my webpage. They have two column of buttons on the right side. One will say "Bayern-Ticket", in Bavaria, RL-P-Ticket in Rheinland-Pfalz. I think you can only buy tickets from these machines for the Land you are in. Press the button for Bayern-Ticket and it will probably show you 1. Bayern Ticket Single 2. Bayern Ticket and 3. Bayern Ticket Nacht (don't worry about that ticket). Somewhere in the process for RL-P it will ask you for how many people (2-5). Then it will show you a calendar, because the Länder tickets are valid for one day, which is printed on the ticket. When you have made all of your selections, then it will show you a price and you can put in your money, if it accepts cash, or a credit card if it accepts that. Just know that if you use a CC it will first print the CC receipt, then the ticket. Don't leave the machine before getting both printings.