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Stralsund to Koblenz, via Greifswald, Wernigerode (Harz), Miltenberg..... need thoughts/help

I really could use some input as I'm thinking/planning another trip. The following are some places I'd like to see (and why) but I have some questions that I'm hoping somebody can help with. All travel by train (or bus, if needed).

  1. Arrive Amsterdam, bus to Haarlem (in my comfort zone for recuperating from jet lag)....is there maybe an alternative small Dutch town nearby that I should try?
  2. Binz for 5 nights -- bike, hike, train to Goehren and Sellin, walking on beach (pretty much non-negotiable)
  3. Stralsund -- walk around the Altstadt, maybe see a museum and a church or so. -- should I go to Stralsund as a day trip from Binz or plan to stay overnight in Stralsund? (hotel rec?) before heading to...
  4. Greifswald -- walk around, see the museum that has Caspar David Friedrich works. Stay overnight. Suggestions for hotel? (criteria would be moderate price, not more than 10-15 min walking distance from train station) Another stop somewhere? before going on to...
  5. Wernigerode (Harz) -- Brocken, hike down? -- hotel/pension suggestions?
    Another stop somewhere? before going to...
  6. Miltenberg -- is supposed to be a really nice little town to visit...walk around, eat, etc... hotel rec?
  7. Koblenz -- visit friend.
  8. Either back to AMS, or train to Luxembourg and fly home from there... any suggestions for one or two things to see/do in Luxembourg City?

Any thoughts on the above are welcome. Thanks!

Posted by
12040 posts

I'll only comment on what I know.

I've never been to Griefswald, but the Friedrich work you probably want to see is in Hamburg.

In the Hartz region, I stayed at this Schlosshotel, which was surprisingly inexpensive. It's in Quedlinburg, not Wernigerode, though. The first is a little more scenic, but the latter gives you easier access to Brocken. Either going up or down, Brocken provides a pretty easy hike, although if you take the shortest route, you have to walk through some very rough, uneven terrain. Take one of the longer routes if you don't plan to bring hiking boots.

Yes, Miltenberg is quite scenic, but it doesn't take long to see. If you're going to stay there, try to find a hiking map of the area. There's some pretty good hikes you can take up through the low mountains behind the town. The Roman Limes passed through this area at one time, and there's lots of ruins scattered throughout the woods above the town. I wouldn't say any of these are world class historical sites (there's not much left of most, primarily just stone foundations, and some unused quarried pillars), but it's kind of interesting to look at the lay of the land imagine how the Romans defended the border. There's plenty of informational plaques (with English translations) to explain.

If traveling by rail to Miltenberg, you'll probably pass through Aschaffenburg, both coming and going. Probably worth your time for a quick visit.

Posted by
12739 posts

Hi,

A good itinerary that includes Greifswald and Stralsund. The two museums I would recommend if you are interested in seeing one in each place are the Pomerania Museum (a regional history museum) in Greifswald since the city lies in Vorpommern and in Stralsund is the Marinemuseum if you're interested in naval history.

Posted by
868 posts
  1. you can do Stralsund as a day trip from Binz. Make sure to visit the main church behind the town hall. The entrance is at one of the houses to the left of the town hall. There are three good museums. The German Maritime Museum in a former monastery, the new Ozeaneum at the harbor, and the Cultural History Museum beside the Maritime Museum. The first one is probably the most interesting, the second offers great modern architecture, and the third one is one of those old-school, provincial museums without interaction or audio guides. And there's also the Gorch Fock, a former school ship of the Reichsmarine.
  2. Greifswald is a small town. ~1/3 of the old town was moreover destroyed by the Commies. I don't think Greifswald offers enough for a full day, as long as you aren't really interested in Pomerania and Caspar David Friedrich and spend a long time in the Pomeranian state museum. There are some additional sights like the ruin of Eldena abbey or a cute village called Wieck, but AFAIK they aren't accessible by public transport. How about spending the day in Schwerin instead?
  3. Wernigerode is a cute town and perfect to explore the Harz mountains, but try to see Quedlinburg too, which is a World Heritage Site and IMHO one of the highlights of Germany.
Posted by
527 posts

Thank you, Tom, Fred and Martin! I'm checking into doing my jetlag recuperating in Bremen, then on to Hamburg to see the CDFriedrich works. I haven't found how far the train station is from the Kunsthalle. Will have to do some more research. Anybody know?

It looks like I could go to Quedlinburg as a day trip if I stay in Wernigerode, and also stop in Aschaffenburg after leaving Miltenberg.
The maritime museum in Stralsund sounds good, also the church behind the town hall. I'm thinking it could be a day trip to Stralsund from Binz, and another day trip to Greifswald. I don't think I could do Stralsund and Greifswald in one day......or maybe a long day? I'll have to check the train schedules..
Thanks again. I appreciate the info, especially since these are not well-known-to-Americans destinations. :)

Posted by
527 posts

OMG -- in the video of Miltenberg, I think the fountain is the one in an old photo of my dad's from the 30's! And, there's a bicycle with the figure-8 handlebars that I have!
And thanks for the info about hiking in the area; I like Roman ruins!

Posted by
527 posts

Just enlarged the map of Hamburg and saw that the Kunsthalle is just down the street from the Hauptbahnhof. Yay!!

Posted by
12040 posts

Here's the book I've used for recommended hikes around Miltenberg. The book has two or three suggested routes in the vicinity of Miltenberg. I've completed about 30-some of the recommended 50 hiking routes in the book and they have all been invariably scenic, if some are quite long. Note, however, that I don't find the maps within the book sufficiently detailed to avoid getting lost. I use the book to pick the overall route, and this series of maps as the actual guide while walking. The map you want is #7. You can probably find the maps and book for sale at any bookstore. The TI in Miltenberg may also have some material available.

As I mentioned earlier, don't expect anything world-class in terms of ruins. Consider it more of an opportunity to take a nice hike that just happens to offer a few scraps of ancient history, rather than a hike primarily intended to deeply explore part of Roman civilization.

Posted by
527 posts

Thank you so much, Tom. If the weather is nice, I'll definitely try a hike or two. I would think the TI has some relevant maps. Do you have a hotel recommendation? Something not too far from the train station?

Posted by
527 posts

Tom -- I just found map #7 on amazon.de. I think I'll order it!
Oh, and Hotel zum Riesen looks like it would be interesting....oldest in Germany. Are you familiar with it?

Posted by
12040 posts

No, I've never spent the night in Miltenberg, so I don't know any of the hotels.

I should probably mention a few logistics. I don't think you'll need hiking boots, as the trails are relatively smooth, but definitely bring a decent pair of walking shoes that you don't mind getting a little dirty. There's quite a bit of uphill walking, and although it isn't particularly steep, it can be pretty sustained. Make sure you're in decent physical shape. And make sure you're carrying enough water to last for several hours, because there's no opportunity to refill along most of the routes (unless you know how to politely knock on someone's door and ask for a refill...).

Posted by
527 posts

It actually sounds nice! And, yes, I'll bring water, but, LOL, I can politely ask for water at a door, too.
I really appreciate the information. Thanks!

Posted by
18226 posts

How long do you plan on staying in Wernigerode? There is a castle in Wernigerode that you can visit. The trip up the Brocken will probably take all day. Same for a day trip to Quedlinburg.

BTW, stay in Wernigerode, not Quedlinburg. A trip up to the Brocken is a lot longer from Quedlinburg than from Wernigerode. You can take the narrow gauge steam train from Wernigerode to the top of the Brocken with one change (?) at Drei Anna Hohne, then hike down to Schierke, which is on the train line, and take the trains back to Wernigerode. I think hiking all the way back to Wernigerode would be a bit far (11-12 mi, 4 hr).

Posted by
527 posts

I could stay 3 nights, which would give me the day for Quedlinburg and the day for steam train to (the) Brocken. Good idea to hike partway down and then train the rest of the way. Might have time for the castle, too. Thanks, Lee! (It would be first half of September, so I supposed weather could be iffy?)

Posted by
18226 posts

I was there in November, and the weather wasn't iffy, it was positively terrible. I arrived at the top of the Brocken and immediately went to the top of the observation tower, from which I could see Wernigerode. After a while I went to a nearby building with the museum about the Brocken. When I came out the fog (clouds) was so bad I couldn't see the observation building a few yard away. I haven't been in the Harz in September, but I've been in Bavaria in September (even October) numerous times and the weather has always been great.

Posted by
12040 posts

"(It would be first half of September, so I supposed weather could be iffy?)" For outdoor non-winter activities, September is usually the single best month in Germany. Not that it couldn't rain, but you've maximized chances by planning to visit in September.

Now that being said, Brocken does have this weird microclimate where it's snow covered for several months a year (it may be northern Germany's highest mountain, but it isn't THAT high...). But it should be fine in September, if a little colder than you might expect on the summit.