Please sign in to post.

Need help planning Germany trip

Hello! My friend and I will be arriving in Munich on Oct.28th. We have eight days but unsure of the itinerary. We originally talked about renting a car and driving the "Romantic Road" but now thinking of other areas. Can anyone give me advice on the best way to visit all of the following placesor add better ideas! : Munich( want to see Marienplatz,Hofbrau Haus, Neuschwanstein Castle) Zurich Dachau Concentration Camp
Rothenberg Please advise if these is doable and how much time is needed for each. I'm so unsure of what days I will be in each city therefore unable to book hotels. Any help is greatly appreciated!! P.S. Also considering quick jaunt into Austria or Leichenstein

Posted by
12040 posts

The odd man out here is Zurich. Is there something in particular you want to see here? If not, you don't have all that much time, and although I think it's a nice city, I think your time would be better spent in Bavaria. Neuschwanstein you can see as an easy daytrip from Munich. Dachau is a suburb of Munich, so that as well you can easily visit. If you want to see part of Austria, the easiest excursion would be to shoot over to Salzburg. The mountain scenery around Innsbruck is better but less convenient from Munich. The only reason to see Liechtenstein at all is if you're passing by anyway. The experience of driving the Romantic Road is nothing special. It could be any rural secondary road, but for all the tourist traffic. Drive the parts of it near towns you would like to visit, but don't go out of your way to drive it if you expect particularly unique scenery. I find Rothenburg overrated and overly touristy, but others may disagree. It is pretty, I'll give it that, though. Other ideas for daytrips from Munich- Regensburg, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Zugspitze, Oberamergau, Nürnburg, Mittenwald, Burghausen and Passau.

Posted by
32227 posts

Vicki, With only eight days, I'm not sure you'll have time to see all of the locations on your list. I'd suggest skipping Zürich and focusing on Germany this time, as that will make the Itinerary so much easier. Have you booked flights yet, and if so which airport(s)? Are you using open-jaw flights? Does your eight day time frame include your two flight days? A few comments on the locations you mentioned...... > Munich - this makes an excellent "home base" for visiting many of the places on your list. Munich is very walkable and depending on where you're staying you can walk to Marienplatz and the Hofbrauhaus in a few minutes. > Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau - you can either travel to Füssen on your own by train and then take the Bus to the Castles. In that case, you'll have to book an appointment time for the official tour in the Castle, as that's the only way you can get in. You could also take a tour with Radius Tours, and they'll make all the arrangements including transportation. You'll still be going by train and Bus. > Dachau - same as the Castles. Either travel to the town of Dachau on your own (S-Bahn as I recall) and then the Bus to the Memorial. Radius Tours also offers a tour there. > Rothenburg - the travel time from Munich is as short as 2H:30M with a minimum of 2 changes, so you could do that as a day trip (although it wouldn't leave much time for touring). However, I'd suggest spending at least one night there, especially to see the Night Watchman's Tour. > Other day trips - you could also visit Salzburg, Berchtesgaden or other nearby places. A car rental isn't really necessary, as the public transit in that area is excellent. Happy travels!

Posted by
6664 posts

"With only eight days... I'd suggest skipping Zürich and focusing on Germany this time..." Agree. "I find Rothenburg overrated and overly touristy, but others may disagree." Agree. But still worthwhile for a few hours if you're in the area. "Munich( want to see... Neuschwanstein Castle)" Again, overrated, overly touristy. Not a real castle but a private residence mocked up to simulate a castle. 5 hours round trip by train + bus for a 30-min. tour. "Other day trips - you could also visit Salzburg" Great suggestion. Takes 2 hours by train each way from Munich. Plan on a long day - or overnight. Salzburg castles, etc. So... I'd suggest half your time in Munich with daytrips to Dachau and Salzburg. I'd spend the other half in and near Rothenburg. Tom suggested Nuremberg - vibrant city, excellent suggestion, great train connections for seeing Rothenburg and nearby. Bamberg is fabulous - and only 45 minutes from N'berg by direct train. Go to ALL the above destinations by train using the BAYERN TICKET - just 26€/day for this daypass for 2. For daytrips between Nuremberg and Rothenburg or Bamberg, use the Tagesticket Plus daypass - only 16.80€/day for 2: www.vgn.de/tickets/?Edition=en&p=1 Have a great time.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for the quick replies. In response to your questions, yes, I have already booked our flights. We will land in Munich early Monday morning, Oct.28th. We have 8 full days then return home on Tuesday, Nov.5th. We are thinking of scratching the rental car idea and just using the trains. Still planning...thanks again for the suggestions. I may post again after I get my itinerary and ask for a stamp of approval! :)

Posted by
1488 posts

We all have our preferences, that may or may not match yours. I think that it is helpful to consult a travel guide that is fairly comprehensive, like Michelin Green Guide, to see what fires your imagination. We like Rothenburg and it does have a real history. Plus,I like that part of Germany with its rolling countryside and river valleys, including the Tauber Valley below Rothenburg. Hotel and meal prices are usually reasonable in Rothenburg for all its tourism pressure. One of our favorite places in Germany is Regensburg mentioned above. It is handy to Munich by train. The widipedia description of its sights is quite good. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We tend to dawdle so I will refrain from mentioning times.

Posted by
4 posts

Well,I'm still perplexed! Thinking now we want to definitely see Munich, Rothenburg, Salzburg and possibly Nuremburg. (That's a lot of burgs!) Confused about what the best route would be, how many days to stay at each location and whether or not to drive or take the trains. Seems like a lot of hassle messing with luggage which makes me lean towards renting a car again. Is it difficult to drive in this area? I am concerned about the mountainous roads and possible snow(?). Any suggestions on how many days you think would be needed for each location and any advice on what towns I should book hotels is greatly appreciated...thanks again!!!

Posted by
20280 posts

You are unlikely to encounter snow the first week of November, at least anything significant. Also, there are no "mountainous" roads on your route, unless you make a purposeful detour through the mountains on the way to/from Salzburg. You may need an Austrian vignette to drive to Salzburg, check with the rental car agency. Besides that, the route is also easily done by rail. You shouldn't need more than a carry-on size roller bag for 8 days, and you can travel exclusively using the Bayern Ticket.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks Sam! I will have to encourage my friend to pack lighter, she intends to pack like she's moving instead of vacationing!:)I do like the idea of the trains better than the worry of driving but I'm glad to know the roads won't be bad.

Posted by
103 posts

Hi My daughter and I are coming into Frankfurt and our itinery is similar with the exception of Zurich and a couple of additions closer to frankfurt. I too had thought that a car rental would make it possible to see as much as possible along this route. It seems though that the general thought is that rail travel is execptional and convienient and car rental would not really make things that much easier. Am i correct in this
thanks

Posted by
3696 posts

I almost always rent a car...especially in Germany as it is easy to drive there and a fun way to see the countryside and small villages on your own schedule without worrying about train schedules. I like the flexibility and spontaneity of my own car, but some people think its too much trouble. I very often travel without an exact agenda and a car is the perfect transportation for me...if I find a town does not meet my expectations I just move on. Plenty of time to stop at a variety of locations even if only for an hour or so. Drive to Salzburg is beautiful and also easy if you decide to hop over there.

Posted by
252 posts

We also always rent a car and find Germany no more challenging that you would find driving at home on the Interstate. But you are the only one who can judge what your comfort level would be. Many people freeze at the idea of driving anywhere in Europe. If you do decide to rent a car, I would do it as you leave Munich since probably wouldn't want to drive in such a large city on your first trip. We visited Nuremburg in May and I didn't find it particularly appealing myself but absolutely loved Regensburg. I think Salzburg is one of the lovliest cities in Austria and would include it as well. Considering your desire to visit Rothenburg, my suggested itinerary would be Munich for 2-3 days, stop and visit Dachau on the way to Salzburg spending 2 days, drive to Regensburg stay 2 days then to Rothenburg for 1 day and return to Munich. This would entail only 10 hours or so of driving and would allow you to see some of the best scenery and towns in the area IMO.

Posted by
1878 posts

<<Thinking now we want to definitely see Munich, Rothenburg, Salzburg and possibly Nuremburg.>>
Good plan, my wife and I visited all of those places on our 2006 trip to Germany. We got a car for some of the other parts of the trip, but on our next trip to Germany we will do it all on the train. In November, tourist crowds are not going to be a big issue. We were there in May and did not find it overrun. We did not find Rothenburg to be over-commercialized or inauthentic, if that is what touristy means. You may be short a day or two for all of those stops, you might want to do one by day trip. We drive the Romantic Road and did not think it was that special. Neuschwanstein is worthwhile, even if it is a 19th century folly rather than a real castle. But I would not plan a whole trip around that. We only did Nurerburg as a day trip, would like to stay overnight next time. The German cultural museum was a real gem.

Posted by
19118 posts

"Munich, Rothenburg, Salzburg and possibly Nuremburg. (That's a lot of burgs!) " Rothenburg and Salzburg are Burgs (pr Bourk), meaning a castle, although, in the case of Rothenburg, the castle is no longer there. Nürnberg, in German, is named for the castle, which is actually on a hill (Berg, pr bairk). "I very often travel without an exact agenda and a car is the perfect transportation for me" I guess I am not willing to leave a fullfilling trip to chance. After spending over $1000 on airfare and staying up all night, I want to know I have a complete plan, so as not to waste my time hoping something interesting comes up, but I am flexible and can change if I see something worth deviating from my plans. Planning a trip around public transportation is not difficult. On most lines, there are trains every hour. I'm currently on my 10th trip to Germany since 2000 - all by public transportation. I've never found anything worth seeing that I couldn't get to by train or bus, and I've saved thousand of dollars by not renting a car.