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Old Nov 3, 17, 4:14 pm #1
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9 days in Germany

Hello all,

Hoping to have some help in formulating a German itinerary for our trip later this month.

Myself and my wife love museums and walking through cities and the older the better. I have never been to Germany and she has been there just once several years ago. We travel internationally several times a year and usually wing it (except for TPAC/TATL plane tickets) but I have been trying to do better. I am hoping to see Christmas markets as well.

We arrive in Vienna, in the evening, at the end of November and leave 9 days later. The current plan is to head to Munich directly (we have been to Vienna before) but I am yet to decide on what next.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Nov 3, 17, 11:02 pm #2

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Originally Posted by levistrauss View Post
We arrive in Vienna, in the evening, at the end of November and leave 9 days later. The current plan is to head to Munich directly (we have been to Vienna before) but I am yet to decide on what next.
Or visit Salzburg before continuing on to Munich.

If you enjoy museums, I suggest building Frankfurt (Staedel/Museumsufer/etc.), Cologne (Museum Ludwig, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Dom, etc.), and, most importantly, Berlin (Museumsinsel etc.) into your trip.

As for candidates for the place to visit right after Munich: How about Wuerzburg?
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Old Nov 4, 17, 3:04 pm #3
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Thanks for the suggestions 1flyer. Salzburg looks amazing.

Our flight to Vienna gets in at 5.30PM, do you recommend a train to Salzburg or can we rent a car? And I presume 2 days in Salzburg would be optimal considering our schedule? Any specific Chrsitmas markets that you would recommend?
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Old Nov 5, 17, 10:23 am #4

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After Munich you should go to Regensburg and visit the old Town. For a specific christmas market I would suggest the most famous one in Nürnberg. Instead of Würzburg go to Rothenburg ob der Tauber (one of the few cities where the whole medieval city wall is still intact). An alternative to Frankfurt which is great for museums is Wiesbaden and Mainz. In Wiesbaden you can visit a very nice christmas market (opens on November 28th). In Mainz you can visit the Gutenberg Museum (the inventor of modern book printing and see one of the first printed bibles). Since you have only 9 days you should be careful not to pack too much into the trip otherwise you will have only a day and a half in every place.
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Old Nov 5, 17, 10:30 am #5

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Wing it.
While all the places mentioned are worth seeing, my best experiences in Germany have been in small towns or cities. They will all have Christmas Markets and fewer tourists will make the experience better and prices less.
A car would be very handy if going to smaller places.
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Old Nov 5, 17, 2:58 pm #6
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Originally Posted by flyingfkb View Post
After Munich you should go to Regensburg and visit the old Town. For a specific christmas market I would suggest the most famous one in Nürnberg. Instead of Würzburg go to Rothenburg ob der Tauber (one of the few cities where the whole medieval city wall is still intact). An alternative to Frankfurt which is great for museums is Wiesbaden and Mainz. In Wiesbaden you can visit a very nice christmas market (opens on November 28th). In Mainz you can visit the Gutenberg Museum (the inventor of modern book printing and see one of the first printed bibles). Since you have only 9 days you should be careful not to pack too much into the trip otherwise you will have only a day and a half in every place.
Yes, 9 days is quite short and I might have to miss a lot. Wiesbaden Christmas market appealed to my wife as well. I will try to have a basic plan that includes that city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wxman22 View Post
Wing it.
While all the places mentioned are worth seeing, my best experiences in Germany have been in small towns or cities. They will all have Christmas Markets and fewer tourists will make the experience better and prices less.
A car would be very handy if going to smaller places.
Apart from driving in the snow, are there any winter specific items to worry about regarding renting a car in Germany? Special insurance, chain requirements etc?
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Old Nov 5, 17, 8:29 pm #7

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the older the better and noone said 'Augsburg' yet?
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Old Nov 6, 17, 4:23 am #8
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Originally Posted by PAX_fips View Post
the older the better and noone said 'Augsburg' yet?
Also nice option
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Old Nov 6, 17, 4:25 am #9
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Originally Posted by levistrauss View Post
Apart from driving in the snow, are there any winter specific items to worry about regarding renting a car in Germany? Special insurance, chain requirements etc?
You should have winter tyres but this is no problem with proper rentalcompanies. No special insurance required, would always recommend full insurance without liability.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:44 am #10

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Originally Posted by levistrauss View Post
Our flight to Vienna gets in at 5.30PM, do you recommend a train to Salzburg or can we rent a car? And I presume 2 days in Salzburg would be optimal considering our schedule? Any specific Chrsitmas markets that you would recommend?
I think it's well worth it for two days. Lots of stuff to do. You can visit the Hohensalzberg castle, the Moenchsberg mountain, and the historic city center (including many worthwhile churches such as the cathedral).

I don't know the answer to your other questions--I'm not into Christmas markets and I've also never done a one-way rental in Austria (from my location in Germany, it's just more convenient to drive with my own car).
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Old Nov 6, 17, 7:16 am #11

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Originally Posted by levistrauss View Post
Apart from driving in the snow, are there any winter specific items to worry about regarding renting a car in Germany? Special insurance, chain requirements etc?
It is very unlikely that you will encounter snow unless you drive up the alps above 1000m (3000feet). There you might need chains on certain roads but based on your itinerary I doubt you will hit any of these roads. Real winter with snow and ice starts normally not before end of December / January. November and December are mostly grey and rainy. When renting a car just make sure the car has winter or all-season tires which are enough for a the typical middle European winter. Just as a reminder. In winter it gets dark really early. It will be dark already by 4:30pm. You might not used to that if you are from a more southern state in the US.

There is also a direct train service from Vienna Airport to Salzburg making it very convenient. For example there is a train leaving at 7:03pm arriving at 9:52pm in Salzburg. For the timetable go here ÖBB Train. You can also take the train from Salzburg to Munich. So you do not need a car until you want to leave Munich.

Last edited by flyingfkb; Nov 6, 17 at 7:21 am
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Old Nov 6, 17, 10:43 pm #12

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If you have an interest in beer, Bamberg (a bit north of Nürnberg) is worth a visit. Lovely old medieval city (UNESCO World Heritage site) with a bunch of old churches -- and the only place north of the Alps with the tomb of a Pope. Oh, and 10 breweries...

I'm not a fan of the Nürnberg Christmas Market -- too big, too much repetition and too much mass produced crap. I much more enjoy the ones in smaller cities and larger towns.

If you don't want to drive there are some decently priced German rail passes that will get you to most places. And Salzburg is considered "Germany" for rail passes.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 12:01 am #13

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Originally Posted by levistrauss View Post
.... Wiesbaden Christmas market appealed to my wife as well. I will try to have a basic plan that includes that city.

If you go to Wiesbaden then it is worth a trip out to Ruedesheim on the Rhein. A very touristy place, but they have an international Christmas market which is a bit different to most.



Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingfkb View Post
It is very unlikely that you will encounter snow unless you drive up the alps above 1000m (3000feet). ....
I don't agree with this. It is possible to get a snow storm anytime before.
Where I live we are at 380m, and in the beginning of October 2016 we had a snow storm that left 5cm+ of snow on the ground. While this is very rare to get so much snow so early at this level, such a storm is always possible. On the flip side a few years ago we had 12c in December!


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadBrewer View Post
If you have an interest in beer, Bamberg (a bit north of Nürnberg) is worth a visit. Lovely old medieval city (UNESCO World Heritage site) with a bunch of old churches -- and the only place north of the Alps with the tomb of a Pope. Oh, and 10 breweries...

.....
Bamberg is lovely and well worth a trip, but the beer is very special smokey beer which I personally don't like much. So I wouldn't go there just for the beer unless you are sure you will like this.


Michelstadt, in the Oldenwald south of Frankfurt also has a nice Christmas market which is a bit different.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 5:55 am #14

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Here is a nice itinerary from Munich to Frankfurt, which should give you plenty to see and do:
i
  • You start in Munich, which has a nice christmas market and lots of great museums. But you need to tell us in what direction you want to go (arts, science, ...) with the museums.
  • You drive to Regensburg, which has a really nice old town and a nice christmas market.
  • Then you go to Nuremberg, which has the most famous christmas market in Germany. In terms of museums, I would recommend the "Germanisches Nationalmuseum" (Germanic national museum).
  • Then try Bamberg, which has lots of good beer, is one of the few cities that didn't get bombed during the WW2 and is definitely worth a visit.
  • On your way to Würzburg (which has a christmas market, too), where you should visit the residence and the castle, please make a stop in Königsberg, which has a really nice old town with lots of half-timbered buildings, but is not nearly as touristy as the likes of Ruedesheim or Rothenburg ob der Tauber, that you hear a lot from.
  • Then in Frankfurt, try the christmas market and then head over to the Museum of Modern Art (5 minute walk from the main christmas market) or head over the Main river to the museum riverside, which offers lots of great options. I personally like the Staedel museum (lots of classic and modern art), the Liebighaus (sculpture museum) and the German Architecture museum.

I would recommend staying in Munich, Nuremberg, Bamberg and Frankfurt, but the route is flexible and you can leave stops out or just stay a few hours here and there and then drive on.
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Old Today, 8:13 am #15
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Salzburg is beautiful, but completely overrun with tourists usually. Most of these cozy towns are, but Salzburg is particularly bad.
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