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9 Days in Germany

My daughter and I just returned from Germany. We started in Hamburg, went on to Berlin and Dresden, and finished up in Munich. I wanted to share our experiences in hopes of helping someone.

Flight- if you are flying Lufthansa, the premium economy tickets are well worth the price. Be warned that if you upgrade at the airport in Frankfurt, you will be sent upstairs to buy the new ticket. Then you will go back down stairs to check your luggage. If your luggage weighs too much, you will go back upstairs to pay for the extra weight. We were relieved that our luggage weight was ok. As it was, we got there two hours before our flight, and barely got on board in time. The security checkpoint moved slowly because of the large numbers of people. So if you need to do anything special, add an extra hour to your arrival time.

Train- We bought a flex pass. Our travel agent bought us special tickets for two of our ICE train trips. NO ONE EVER EVEN LOOKED AT THEM. Rick says you need them too, but I don't think so. We got on other ICE trains without any extra fees. We took an EC train (Czech Republic) between Berlin and Dresden. You pretty much have to have a reserved seat for them. We spent the entire trip in the dining car. Also, look not only at the schedule for your track number, but also look at the picture of the train layout. It will be at the arrival/departure track. We found it easier to stow our luggage at the back of the car. Once we figured that out we got on the back entrance when boarding the train.

Hamburg was great. Not many tourists, but lots to see and do. Everyone was friendly and most spoke English. We stayed in the Soffitel, and it was perfect.

Berlin- We loved Berlin. So much to see, and history to experience. We stayed at the Arcotel J F, and it was nice. We took a taxi from the Hauptbanhof.

Dresden- Our hotel - the Steinenberger- was near the castle and Frauen Kirche. Perfect location. They didn't have wash cloths in the bathroom, but the room was nice. We loved Dresden. It was a quick trip on the way to Munich, and we wished we had more time.

Munich- We stayed at the Hotel Eden Wolf. Also a nice hotel. It was conveniently located across the street from the Hauptbahnhof and down the street from Marienplatz. Munich was our least favorite city. It was more crowded and felt touristy. We took a tour to Lindenhof, Oberammergau, and Neuschwanstein. Lindenhof was a beautiful palace, and well worth the trip. We had about 20 minutes to shop in Oberammergau, which wasn't near enough time. Neuachwanstein was beautiful, but the climb was a killer. If you aren't fit, do yourself a favor and take the bus up. I consider myself reasonably fit, but it was a long uphill climb. Follow Rick's advice about tickets and entry.

We took the train from Munich to Frankfurt for the flight home. We spent the night at the Steinenberger Airport. If you spend the night in Frankfurt before your flight, go for the Sheraton. The Steinenberger was beautiful (no washcloths again), but the Sheraton is attached to the airport which gives you more time to get through customs, etc before your flight.

If I had to do it all again I would limit myself to two major cities to reduce the time spent on the train.

Posted by
8105 posts

Thank you for the nice long trip report.

Just to ease your mind about washcloths and the quality of hotel you are in. They aren't used in Germany and you shouldn't ever expect them in a hotel here. Not sure about other countries either, but I think it may be the same.

Did you get to come into Frankfurt at all?

Posted by
3 posts

I just wanted folks to know they should pack wash cloths. We were in Frankfurt only long enough to arrive and leave to and from the airport. The area we saw seemed to be business buildings.

Posted by
7 posts

Connie,

Can you tell me how much more legroom was available on the premium economy seats on Lufthansa? My In-laws purchased that class in hopes of more leg room as she is prone to leg problems on long flights.

Thank you, Pam

Posted by
3681 posts

I carry a washcloth in a Ziplock bag and more often than not in European hotels I am glad to have it.
Regarding ticket inspection on trains, the procedure varies from system to system. But if a SWAT squad of conductors descends on your train, the "gosh I'm a dumb tourist" routine will win no sympathy.

Posted by
3 posts

I am short, but they have foot rests that adjust. I didn't notice anyone wiggling around to get comfortable. The seats are wider with only 8 across the plane rather than the usual 10 to 12.

As far as the train tickets, when we showed the extra ticket in addition to the flexi pass, the conductor said she didn't need it. Our flexi passes were viewed every time we rode the train. We rode the train 5 times in 8 days.

Posted by
8 posts

Every hotel we stayed at (Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, Tasch, St. Blaise, and Reykjavic) this year didn't have face cloths either. When we were at a mall in Salzburg we found a type of Bed, Bath & Beyond place where we purchased a couple of facecloths. If you rent a car then multiple cities would be a viable option. That is how we got around. Glad you had an enjoyable trip.

Posted by
12882 posts

Hi,

I never found washcloths in any accommodations in Germany, whether I was paying 38 Euro or 115 Euro for a single, be it in a Pension or a 4 star hotel. Just don't expect it. The same goes for France.

Posted by
8105 posts

The reason why hotels don't have them here is because even though many of you are calling them facecloths, that isn't what they are always used for. Having worked in the laundry room a few times at a hotel, I would never, ever use a washcloth in a hotel. Bring your own if you need to have one, either here or in the US.

Posted by
8 posts

I pack "daily facial towelettes" that can be purchased at Costco. They are lightweight and have soap when you wet them. Moist towelettes are also very handy for planes and trains.