Help with Itinerary- Germany

Hi. My girlfriend and I are traveling to Germany and Austria for 12-13 days (including flights to and from Europe) in July. If anyone can give advice on itinerary and trains, etc... I would very much appreciate it. What we are thinking right now: Fly into Frankfurt.
Visit Rhine Valley (river cruise?, Rothenburg, Bavaria, Tirol, Munich, Salzburg. We'd also like to fit in Berlin, if possible. I'd very much like to do an overnight train maybe from Salzburg to Berlin? I think maybe we'd need a rail pass. And I've read that we'd just need one country- Germany as Salzburg is included in German rail pass. And fly out of either Frankfurt or Berlin. Although I think we'd have to get another overnight train back from Berlin to Frankfurt and I'm not sure that would be worth the time or cost. Thanks in advance for any advice. mary

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11274 posts

I don't think any of us who have seen Reutte were very impressed. I think Rick features it because it is near Füssen, and there is a place outside of Reutte that accommodates his bus groups. I much prefer Pfronten, which is in Germany, a few minutes up the rail line (Ausserfernbahn) that goes from Kempten to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Both Pfronten and Reutte are accessible by bus from Füssen. And, it might help you to find the town on a map if you spell it Rothenburg. The ticket to which I refer are NOT on RailEurope. You can find them on the Bahn website.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

With your limited time, I'd suggest flying directly into Munich and spend a few days touring the city, including Nymphenburg Palace, the incredible downtown palace and Dachau. And don't forget the beer halls. Then catch a train over to Salzburg for a couple of days. You can take a train down to Innsbruck for the incredible mountain scenery. My favorite day trip is to rent a car in Innsbruck, go a little east to Zel-am-Zee and drive south over the Grossglockner Alpine Highway (the second highest mountains in Europe) to the town of Lienz. Then, turn west going thru the Dolomites and Cortina in Northern Italy. You come back north thru the Brenner Pass to Innsbruck. You could also visit Vienna by train, and tour their fabulous city. And fly home from there. If at all possible, take two full weeks and the weekends on both ends for this vacation. Most travelers use point to point tickets for train travel rather than Eurail Passes.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11274 posts

The Bahn doesn't show any night train from Salzburg to Berlin. There is one from Munich to Berlin or one from Mannheim to Berlin, so I would arrange your trip to go first to Salzburg, then to Munich, and take the night train from there to Berlin. As for Berlin to Frankfurt, the trip by direct ICE only takes about 4 hrs. With advance purchase, you can get tickets for both of you for under 100€. If you are willing to spend an extra hour, you could get a 1 change ticket for 69€ or less. Germany has a lot of good deals on point-point tickets (Sparpreis for express train with advance purchase and regional passes such as the Bayern-Ticket). You might do better with these than with a rail pass.

Posted by mary
asheville, North Caro, United States
3 posts

Thanks Lee, What do you think of this itinerary? Fly into Frankfurt in morning- Frankfurt and Rhine Valley for 2 days. Then 1 day in Rottenburg. Train over to Salzburg for 2 nights. Train to Fussen. Rent a car and spend 2 nights in Reutte exploring Bavaria and Tirol. Train to Munich and 2 nights in Munich checking out Augburg and Dachau also. Overnight train to Berlin and 2 nights in Berlin. Fly out of Berlin. Am I trying to fit too much in ^ with that? Anything that could be cut out? I'll have to check out the tickets you're talking about. Are they on raileurope.com? Thank you,
mary

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8756 posts

Hi Mary, I'm wondering what the reason you have for wanting the overnight train? It may be none of my business but there has been quite a lot of discussion here over the years about overnight trains. Some people do it because it is romantic; some do it because they can save an overnight in a hotel; some because they love trains; and some because they want to try something different. Many find that they have great trouble sleeping, or at least getting decent sleep because of the strange noises, banging, clanging, shouting outside when the train stops, being uncomfortable on the small narrow planks. If you use couchette 4 or couchette 6 your party may share the compartment with strangers who make up the numbers. If you are in a double sleeper that won't be the case but the beds are still bunks one above the other. You may really enjoy it, and I hope you do. Please accept my information as the summary of many posts here by others and my personal experience. You may do better with point to point tickets after you price it all out and have a look at the discounts available. Lee's your man for German railfares and there are several of us here with quite detailed knowledge of German railways.

Posted by mary
asheville, North Caro, United States
3 posts

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to share such great information! I've always wanted to go on an overnight train... it just sounds really cool. It's okay if it's not the best night's sleep- I think it'll still be worth experiencing. :) Flying into Munich and skipping Frankfurt is a great idea. Thanks- that's the new plan. I'm going to spend some time sorting through your suggestions-- then I'm sure I'll be posting again with more questions. Thanks again-
mary

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

My one bit of advice would be to supplement your trip research with another guidebook besides Mr. Steves', which it appears you are using (Reutte is usually the give-away). The reason is because he simply skips over far to much of the country, and makes certain destinations seem more unique than they actually are (ie, Rothenburg, Romantic Road).