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Itinerary Comments Please - Germany/Austria 14 Days

Any comments, suggestions, changes to the schedule below would be much appreciated. I've tried to incorporate as much of RS and everyone's comments from this board as possible. Going there mid May 2010 and will be renting a car (2 people).

Day 1 Land in Frankfurt in AM - drive to Rhine, sleep in Oberwesel (Bacharach visit at lunch Haus, rest at hotel & dinner)

Day 2 Rhine Valley, sleep in Oberwesel (River cruise northern direction to Lorelei rock, St. Goar and castle Rheinfels. Lunch at castle Rheinfels. Dinner at hotel.)

Day 3 Rhine Valley, sleep in Oberwesel (Burg Eltz/Mosel visit.)

Day 4 To Baden Baden, sleep in Baden Baden (Visit Baden Baden; Caracalla Spa; Dinner in Baden Baden)

Day 5 To Triberg through Black Forest, sleep in Triberg (Black Forest, Waterfalls, Black Forest Museum, Cake!!!)

Day 6 To the Tirol, sleep in Reutte (Visit Fussen, have lunch; Dinner in Garmisch Fraundorfer Inn )

Day 7 Bavaria and castles, sleep in Reutte (Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castle via RS Tour)

Day 8 To Berchtesgaden via Innsbrook, sleep in Berchtesgaden (Visit Innsbrook and Berchtesgaden)

Day 9 Visit Salzburg, sleep in Berchtesgaden (SOM Tour, Salzburg area visit)

Day 10 Berchtesgaden & area, sleep in Berchtesgaden (Lake Konigsee, Eagles Nest)

Day 11 To Munich, sleep in Munich (Visit Munich sites)

Day 12 Munich, sleep in Munich (Visit Munich sites)

Day 13 To Rothenburg, sleep in Rothenburg (Visit Rothenburg, Night Watchmen's tour)

Day 14 To Frankfurt, sleep in Frankfurt (Visit Frankfurt sites)

Day 15 Fly - Frankfurt to Toronto

Posted by
12040 posts

No rooms available at the Fraundorfer? If so, I have to stop promoting that place, so that I can get a room next time I visit! There's no reason to stay in Reutte unless you're on a Rick Steve's tour. Even if the Fraundorfer is booked solid, there's plenty of other similar guesthouses in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

I wouldn't plan on spending too much time in Innsbruck. The historic core of the city is nice (but you'll see better in Salzburg), and the scenery is spectacular, but most of the city is kind of industrial. You may even consider just a drive-by.

Overall, your trip looks a little busy, but doable.

Posted by
12040 posts

... Oh, and one more point about the Fraundorfer. Although there is parking for visitors staying in the guesthouse, there is no parking at all in the immediate area if you only visit the restaurant.

Posted by
354 posts

We are going to Germany this fall and will be visiting a lot of the same places. However, after a few years of traveling we have learned that staying in fewer places for longer periods of time works best for us.
Each time you change sleeping places you spend a good portion of the day just making the switch and somewhat "lose" a day. I realize that staying in fewer places necessitates not going every place you would like, but we end up with much more enjoyment of the trip.
You might want to at least think about staying in 3 -4 places rather than 8 -9 and then doing day trips from the places you sleep.
I realize this is not really the RS philosophy, but it works better for us.

Posted by
13 posts

I will look into staying at the Fraundorfer...the only reason I didn't choose it is that I really wanted to be closer to the castles so I don't have to get up to early and rush breakfast...Reutte allows me to be closer than Garmish. But I could be wrong and will look at it for sure!!

Posted by
12040 posts

For comparison, in late April, I've driven from GaP to Schwangau, arrived around lunch time, stood in the ticket queue, and was inside the first castle within the hour.

Posted by
934 posts

One suggestion is to stay one night on the Mosel when visiting Burg Eltz Castle.Then you wouldnt have to backtrack and the Mosel is a very nice place to stay.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks for the suggestion on Mosel. I will look around to find places and see if works in with our final plans!

Posted by
13 posts

I think I may actually drop Triberg/Black Forest as it is a little back tracking and add an extra day in Fussen.

Posted by
121 posts

Everyone has there preferences as to lengthy stays versus quick stops. Last year over the holidays I did a 12 day/8 city trip all via trains. We stayed 2 nights at 3 stops and 1 night in all the rest. While a bit hectic it worked well since we hit all of the major stops we wanted and found the train rides to be relaxing.
We did a Frankfurt-Rothenburg(2 nights)-Fussen-Zurich-Zermatt(2)-Grindelwald-Bern-Baden(2)-Heidelburg-Frankfurt trip. Obviously if we had more time we may have stayed in some places (such as Bern) longer.
Staying a couple of nights at the first destination is a good idea to help with the jet lag since the first 24hrs you might just be a walking zombie.
BTW, the Nightwatchmen's tour was nice. A little bit of history for a fairly low expense. We stayed at the Hotel Gotisches (http://www.romanticroad.com/gotisches-haus/) and it was nice and the gentleman running it was very nice. It was in a good location and close to the shops and sights.
Rich

Posted by
59 posts

Looks like a great trip, Im jealous cuz I cant go back until 2010. My only suggestions are that in my opinion Feussen and Salzburg are much more beautiful and fun than the Black Forest. Salzburg after dark is magical with beautiful lights for walking in the old city area and has great classical music concerts if you like that kind of thing. The Linderhof castle near Ruette and Weiskirche are alot more fun than anything in the Black Forest I saw but again some will think Im nuts so its all a matter of preference. Have a great trip.

Posted by
357 posts

I have not been to many of the places you have listed. But we just returned from Europe, and Salzburg was the surprise hit of the trip. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend, if possible, two full days. You may wish to consider Salzburg, with a half-day trip one day to the Salzkammergut lakes and another half-day trip to Bertesgaden and the Eagle's Nest. I hope to go back to Germany and Austria, but frankly the emphasis was on southern Germany.

Posted by
8174 posts

James, you are too sweet! Please let me know when you are coming to town, and I will be sure to arrange something special for your lovely wife!

(pssst, should we tell folks that I am the unofficial Rick Steves greeter here?)

Posted by
30 posts

People may fight me on this, but don't bother seeing Frankfurt. It's a business city and most of the people live in suburbs outside the city. It's not that it's devoid of things to see, just that it's really not geared towards tourism, and you could just as easily stay in Mainz, which has stuff like the Gutenberg museum, a nice park along the Rhein, funky cafes, and a lot less people. It's also the same distance from the Frankfurt airport as Frankfurt itself is, with frequent trains going to the airport, and doesn't have the "oh sorry there's a trade fair this weekend everything is booked/higher priced" problem. Hotel Königshof is where I stayed, it's right by the train station, clean, and while it's a bit pricey, the staff are amazingly awesome. I collect keychains from places I've been and since we were there on a holiday a lot of the stores were closed, and the front desk guy actually WENT OUT LOOKING for a keychain for me. They also have an amazing breakfast spread.

Whew sorry about all that text.

Also I hope you spend some time in Innsbruck, it's a very cool town and my favorite place in Austria (though as a snowboarder I may be biased). If you have time check out the Alpenzoo and/or the bell museum, and the best hot chocolate EVER can be found at Cafe Katzung, in the Altstadt.

Posted by
8174 posts

Yes, Alex, I will strongly disagree with you about Frankfurt. May I ask where you got your information from that everyone lives in the suburbs? That is so not correct. 680,000 people live in the city! Frankfurt is a lovely, lively, fun city. Sure, it has some skyscrapers, but so does almost every big city in America. Would you tell people not to go to New York or Chicago or San Francisco? Of course you wouldn't.

How much time did you spend here Alex? What did you go see? Did you visit any of the many museums or galleries? Did you go to any of the churches built in the 1200's? Did you go to the Holocaust Memorial Wall or the Medieval Jewish Cemetery? Did you go to any of the 48 parks, including the one that completely surrounds the city center? Did you go visit the Alte Oper, one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world? Did you go to any of the many festivals here? Did you walk around any of the lovely, older neighborhoods? Perhaps sit at a cafe in Bornheim, just a 20 min. walk from the downtown area? Did you stroll through the Klein Markt Halle, sampling cheeses or have a glass of wine upstairs at the wine bar? I am guessing you did not see any of those things or you wouldn't tell people not to visit here.

ok. all done with my Frankfurt praise of the day!

Posted by
30 posts

Jo - I spent a couple months working in Ingelheim, and I went to Frankfurt for the weekend a lot to hang out with a friend of mine there. Admittedly I didn't go to the museums (you have a different kind of budget when you live/work in a place) but I found the nightlife to be pretty meh, the park along the Main to be beautiful but not more so than other places, and also there was the whole thing where we walked by homeless people and people using drugs in the metro stations, as well as discarded hypodermic needles lying around in places.

I did go to a few nice pubs and to the zoo, which was fun, but my experiences in Frankfurt paled to pretty much every other place I've ever been in Germany. I'm not trying to trash-talk it but that's just the Frankfurt I experienced.

Posted by
8174 posts

Hm, considering that Frankfurt is supposed to have the 2nd largest music and club scene after Berlin, odd that you found it otherwise. Perhaps you went out too early in the evening and thought the clubs were dead. No one goes out before 10 or 11 at night!

Most of the places I mentioned to go to see were free, so easy on the budget. A museum card for 1 or 2 days is cheaply purchased for the price of a few beers, so your decision to go to pubs and clubs instead of museums, etc. is then priority based and not budget based IMHO.

Yeah, there are homeless here and junkies. Every city has them, nothing unusual there. Pretty much every train station in Europe has this problem. Just heard the other day that L.A. has 60,000 homeless. How many of those are addicts do you think? Should I not visit there cause of that?

So, I feel we have high-jacked poor Andys thread, but it is hard for me to respond to some ones statement that a place is "not worth seeing". It goes into the same category of posts where people ask, "should I go here, is it worth it?" Every place is worth it, and at the end of the day, there is no way that you will know what will interest me and what I will find worthwhile, so it is nice when people stay away from those kind of generalizations.

Sorry Andy!

Posted by
13 posts

No problem Jo! Thanks for the comments and feedback. I completely understand that there will be people on each side of the fence. I still plan to stay in Frankfurt on my last night, and I plan on taking one of your suggestions on another page about staying at Hotel Ibis Centrum.