Hello. A brief trip report for our 10 day trip from U.S. to Germany and Italy.
Day 1: Flew into Frankfurt (8am local time arrival). Picked up rental car (Hertz) and drove 1 hour to Rhein area. We stayed in Bacharach at Hotel Pension Im Malerwinkel. Nice hotel, great location, nice hosts, and for $75e, no complaints. Breakfast was included. We rented bikes from the hotel and rode along the Rhein from Bacharach to St Goar to tour Reinfels Castle. You can take the ferry back with the bikes if you don’t feel like peddling back.
Day 2: Drove to Wurzburg, had lunch, and toured the Residence. Recommend the self-guide tour. We then continued on the Rothenburg where we stayed at Hotel Gasthof Goldener Greifen ($85e, included breakfast). For dinner we ate at Eiscafe-Pizzeria Italia which was very good and a nice change from german cuisine. We did not do the Night Watchman tour because it was cold that night although there was probably 30-40 people in the group.
Day 3: Drove to Garmisch and stayed 2 nights at an AirBNB. (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3187197) Very nice place that is part of Staudacherhof Hotel so you get all the amenties (Spa, pool, hot tub, etc) We attempted to do the Hoellentalklamm Hike but the gorge was closed (heard very positive reviews of this). Instead we went to the Monastery in Ettal (Ettal Abbey) and walked around Garmisch. For breakfast-Café Kneitinger has great pastries, coffee, and the prices are cheap.
Day 4: Drove to Neuschwanstein Castle and had the early reservation for 8:45am to beat the other tourist crowds (highly recommend). *Don’t forget to make reservations 2 days in advance. Plus, there was no traffic on the road and it made for a very scenic and enjoyable drive. We packed a lunch and ate it after our tour of the castle. Then drove to Linderhof Palace for the tour. (See note below about Bavarian Pass) On the way we stopped at Wies Church which was very neat to see. We ate at the Fraundorfer for dinner in Garmisch-A good place for traditional German food, live music, and beer.
Day 5: Drove to Munich. First stop was Dachau. Second stop was Nymphenburg Palace (Bavarian Pass). We dropped our luggage off at our hotel (Hotel Torbrau) and then returned our rental car at the central train station, and had a nice walk from the train station to Hofbrauhaus for dinner and drinks. We got a good deal on Hotel Torbrau ($150e) and really enjoyed our stay. The hotel is very nice, awesome location, great breakfast, room clean, TV, and they stored our bags the next day.
Day 6: Did the Munich City Walk from Rick Steves’ book, which included a visit to the Vikteilenmarkt, Residence and Mareinplatz. This took up most of our day and it is a great way to see everything in the city.
To get to Rome, we took the OBB NightJet from Munich central train station to Rome central train station. The train left Munich at 8pm and was scheduled to arrive in Rome at 9am. See more below for OBB NightJet.
Day 7: Night train arrived in Rome in the morning. We stopped at a booth in the Rome train station to purchase the 3-day Roma Pass (worth the price). Visited the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill. We stayed at an AirBNB in Trestevere. I would highly recommend this area for easy access to all parts of rome, shopping, and eating.
Day 8: Visited Borghese Gallery first and then did the Risk Steves’ Rome Walk in reverse order. This was a great way to see the city. Note: You must make reservations over the phone for the Borghese Gallery. They said you must purchase your Roma Pass before you call to make reservations, however they never asked for our Roma Pass card until we arrived the day of. I would call at least a week in advance to get your time reserved.