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How to do France/Germany Travel

I’m taking my wife to France and Germany this June for 23days. When I use to travel on my own I just used the rail…is that still a good way to go or is car rental a good option? Looking for advice…on this and itinerary.
Thanks,
Matthew

Posted by
1189 posts

Cars are good for exploring the countryside. Trains are good for going from city to city. We love taking the train. You could do a combo of both.

Posted by
26062 posts

France and Germany are both very large countries. Where in Germany and France? Where have you previously visited?

Posted by
2284 posts

In Germany trains will take you almost everywhere, there is a dense and frequent train network that covers most parts of the country. In France on the other hand, rail service is great in many areas but in other parts of the country the service is much more limited.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks everyone for all the insight. Nigel, I use to travel Europe in the summers, taking soccer teams around. We usually chartered buses. When I would travel on my own I only took public transportation. As far as where…most often Italy, Czech, Switzerland, Germany but also have been to Austria, Belgium, and France, one time each. By the way, thanks to Covid, I wasn't able to take my wife to Italy the last 2 summers and summer 2022 is France/Germany because I got a great deal on flights. Italy is now our target in 2023.

As far as sights…we’ll do the typical Paris stuff but my wife loves castles so I was thinking of doing our own French/German castle tour.

Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving to all

Posted by
538 posts

A lot depends on you actual itinerary. You don’t want a car in any big city, especially Paris. But you’ll need to narrow down where you want to visit and whether a car makes sense. If you pick up the car in one country and return in another, you could face a huge one-way fee.

We’ve rented in Germany for visits to the Rhine and Rothenburg and it worked well. Burg Eltz is a popular castle, and it’s about an hour drive from Boppard. It’s not super easy to get to by train. But there are lots of castles along the Rhine that ARE easy to get to by train.

I’m planning a trip for next summer and the car rental prices are insane right now - at least double what we’ve paid previously. That may be a factor for you. You could also do a big chunk of your travel by train, then rent a car for a couple days to explore more remote places. This would be a good option in a place like Salzburg, where there are tons of castles around but not easily accessible by train.

Posted by
884 posts

I spent about 2 months in France and Germany and only used a car in the Dordogne Valley. As mentioned, if you are looking to spend time in the countryside, you'll need a car, otherwise trains will get you to many cities and smaller towns, especially in Germany. Pick the places you want to see and map them out in order. Then check the train site https://www.bahn.com/en for access or use https://www.rome2rio.com/ for suggestions of different transportation.