Suggested itinerary with kids in Bavaria, Munuch and Black Forest

Hi all, We are flying into Dusseldorf in August with our two children (6 and 9) and plan to spend 7 nights in the Bavaria, Munich and Black Forest area. We plan to rent a car. After reading so many different guide books, it made me more confused! We are all good walkers (our kids can do 3-5 miles a day) and we love the outdoors so we want to do a lot of nature sight seeing, yet we like City fixes too! What would you recommend? Here is my ever-growing wishlist, I know it is a long list so I plan to cross out a lot. - Munich - Garmisch-Partenkirchen area - Berchtesgaden - Black Forest - Salzburg - Drive on B500 from Baden-Baden to somewhere South - Kind Ludwig's castles - Frauenchiemsee (sounds like a lovely island) - Cologne/Bonn - Heidelberg - Bamberg The list is long and I am sure I'd probably missed out a lot. I would appreciate if someone can give me some suggestion. Thanks!!!
Vinnie

Posted by Betty
Missouri City
201 posts

Germany is too beautiful to see it all in just one trip! With just 7 days, I suggest you limit yourself to Munich and the surrounding area, which would allow you to spend time in Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the lovely Mittenwald.

Posted by VINCENT
PHIlADELPHIA
5 posts

Thanks for the tip. I agree with you. Since we are arriving at Dusseldorf (dumb flight EWR-MUN-DUS) and want to go to Munich, I think it might be tough on everyone to drive to Munich on one trip. So I am thinking somewhere to stay in between, do you have any suggestions? Heidelberg? Würzburg? Rothenburg?
Thanks so much!

Posted by Christopher
Munich, Germany
77 posts

You're trying to do a lot. Garmisch and Berchtesgaden are both beautiful alpine areas, but maybe pick one. Heidelberg and Bamberg are both awesome medieval towns, pick one. You could spend a whole trip just seeing all of Ludwig's castles, try to limit it to the ones you find most interesting. Since you're flying into Dusseldorf, maybe drive down the Rhein, see some castles, and spend the night in Rudesheim or Bingen. Then continue on to Bavaria the next morning.

Posted by Betty
Missouri City
201 posts

Since you will be coming from Dusseldorf after an overseas flight, I wouldn't plan on driving too far the first day. While I haven't stayed there myself (yet), Limburg looks like a lovely place to spend your first night in Germany. It's about a 90 min drive while Rothenburg would be close to 4 hrs. Check out Limburg on Google images and see what you think. Lots of lovely faschwerk buildings, etc. If you feel you can drive a bit further, then Wurzburg would also make a nice overnight stop.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9114 posts

I wouldn't drive at all on your first day after the flight. You will be jet-lagged and your route of travel along the A3 Autobahn is extremely congested. Not a safe driving scenario, especially if you've never driven in Germany before. I would recommend either spending the night in Düsseldorf, or take a train somewhere to spend the night, then pick up the rental car the next day. I drive by Limburg all the time, but have never visited. However, it lies along the main rail axis between the north and south of the country, so it would be easy to reach by train. Other possibilities would be Bonn, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Würzburg or Heidelberg.

Posted by AB
Nashville, TN, USA
31 posts

Wow, you do have a lot of places on your list. The children may enjoy seeing Ludwig's castles, since Neuschwanstein inspired Walt Disney. If you visit Ludwig's castles, I strongly recommend you follow Rick's plan in the book on how to get from one castle to the other and taking in the view from the bridge on your way to the second castle. We followed the advice and enjoyed our visit, even with the weather (it was raining). We saw many travelers who appeared completely worn out walking to the bridge after their visit to Neuschwanstein (2nd castle). There appeared to be ample parking below the castles on the day we were there (in the summer).

Posted by Jane
Orlando, FL, USA
1 posts

I haven't done it in years...but few things change that much in Europe. See if they are still doing salt mine tours (near Salzburg I think). The kids will love it. One of the most kid friendly outings in Germany.

Posted by VINCENT
PHIlADELPHIA
5 posts

Great tip on the traffic congestion situation, I might just take a train on the first day or just stay in Dusseldorf. Is driving in Germany a lot different that then US? I am used to driving between Philadelphia and New York City but every country is different so I wonder. Thanks to all of you for the valuable information!

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9114 posts

"Is driving in Germany a lot different that then US? I am used to driving between Philadelphia and New York City but every country is different so I wonder." YES! Although drivers tend to behave a little more predictably in Germany, there is at least one major difference. You are probably aware that some stretches of the Autobahn network have no speed limits. Although in theory that sounds fun, because the roads are so congested, what that amounts to is short stretches of incredible speed followed by slamming on the breaks and coming to a screaming halt for no apparent reason. That's the main reason you don't want to drive jet-lagged. You need good reaction times, and lack of sleep can have much the same effect as alcohol. Oh, and nobody mentioned this, but for the kids, here's three amusement parks that lie near your wish lists of destinations- Phantasialand near Köln/Bonn, Europark near the southern Black Forest, and Legoland near Ulm.

Posted by VINCENT
PHIlADELPHIA
5 posts

Thanks so much for the advice on car driving.
Did you say Legoland!!!! We are in! Thanks again!