(Closed) Germany and Prague and….? Help me plan!

posted 6 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
Member
1252 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@CorgiTales:  I’ve heard Budapest is great for your 3rd destination!

I’ve never been to Prague but it is on my top 5 list of places I want to see.  I loved Germany, yummy food and beer 🙂  I think you could easily do 3 destinations in 12 days in Europe – have fun!

Post # 4
Member
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

1) What is the best stuff to do/see in Germany? What are the must-sees? http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g187275-Germany-Vacations.html  http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/germany/germ_menu.htm

2) Would adding a third destination be too much for 12 days? Should we just stick to Germany and Prague? Nope but keep it close by like Vienna.  Amsterdam or Switzerland/Northern Alps would also be nice to add.

3) If we do add a third destination, what are your suggestions? I think we are almost totally open to anywhere. I’m 100% okay with either going somewhere I’ve already been or going somewhere new because it will all be new to my husband… but I’m not sure where else would make sense in this itinerary.  See above recs.

4) Any other tips/tricks? Fly into one city and out of another, you can travel farther.  Maybe start in Berlin, go to Prague, then Vienna, then Munich, and finally fly out of Frankfurt or Zurich.

Post # 6
Member
746 posts
Busy bee

Admittedly, I didn’t read any of the PPs on this just because it’s late.  But this (Germany & Prague) is exactly what my husband & I did for our honeymoon.  While places may look close on a map, they aren’t.  For example, it was about a 6-hour trip between Munich & Prague.  PM me if you’d like to discuss specifics.  While I’m never one to turn down international travel (esp. Europe!), the whole reason we went was b/c it was my husband’s “dream” to go to Germany.  So we started at Oktoberfest & the rest just followed.  It was so much better than I’d ever imagined it would be.  Germany is a great country & we became spoiled very quickly!

 

Post # 7
Member
8438 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Make sure you check out the Sedlec Ossuary (Bone Church) just outside of Prague.

With only 12 days I would visit 3 cities tops. Maybe Berlin, Munich and Prague. You can do a day trip to Salzburg and a 1/2 day trip to Dachau from Munich. Dachau was an amazing place to visit and was really eye opening.

 

Post # 8
Member
2889 posts
Sugar bee

I think you will have a great trip. I live in Germany but previously, it would have never been on my radar to visit (in fact, I skipped it when I studied abroad and traveled Europe). That being said, it really is a great country to visit. Two aears ago, I went ot Prague for a long weekend and wrote this http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/think-you-cant-afford-a-honeymoon-in-europeconsider-prague It is not a terribly useful thread when I reread it but may be worth a quick scan, particuarly for hotels in Prague and cash. To your current questions,

Which brings me to my questions for you well-traveled bees: 

1) What is the best stuff to do/see in Germany? What are the must-sees? Germany has a lot to offer and this varries by area. By far, Berlin and Munich are the most appealing to tourists but they are not near to each other, in fact, I would look into flying between the 2. If you are looking to rent a car, this could be a really awesome trip. As long as one of you can drive a stick and is comfortable with city driving, Germany is not a scary place to drive. Munich was underwhelming for me but it really is home to all of the typical German things (Oktoberfest, pretzels, etc.). However, I LOVED Berlin and would highly recommend a walking tour and some time on museum island (check out the DDR museum) as well as going to the top of parliment. I would split a week between these two cities so as to have 4 days i Berlin and 3 in Munich. I would also consider a day trip from Munich to Salzburg and the Neuschwainstein Castle (go inside and really understand how amazing it was for its time). If you want to venture off the typical tourist path, look into the Rhein river areal. The wine street is great in the summer as there are lots of festivals. The Romantic Road is another one where you can see lots of castles. In fact, if you are looking for a relaxing part to your trip, this would be a nice drive through many small towns and several of the castles function as hotels. Alternatively, if you stay in northern Germany, you could hit up Denmark from Berlin rather easily (not Copenhagen but more of the coastal, summer vacation spots). Otherwise, there is the Boden See which is near to Munich and also boarders Switzerland and Austria. I would highly recommend driving through the Alps in the summer ifyou are looking to add soemething on to oyur trip. Again, I am recommending a drive but I think you mis somethign on teh train as you can’t get out and look around. If you will be taking the train on your trip in Germany and don’t buy a rail pass beforehand, look for a Bahn Card 25 summer option. Typically there is a 3-4 month version that only costs 25 EUR and saves you 25% off all of your tickets. Even if you just travel from Munich to berlin by train, this will pay off. 

2) Would adding a third destination be too much for 12 days? Should we just stick to Germany and Prague? If you are up for driving, I hear the drive from Germany to Prague is rather interesting. We flew but a good friend told me about a bus trip she did in high school and a more recent driving vacation with her Boyfriend or Best Friend. Aparently it’s eye opening to see the shift from western europe to eastern europe on this drive. You don’t notice it so much in downtown Prague but you certainly notice it on the way in.

  

3) If we do add a third destination, what are your suggestions? I think we are almost totally open to anywhere. I’m 100% okay with either going somewhere I’ve already been or going somewhere new because it will all be new to my husband… but I’m not sure where else would make sense in this itinerary. 

It may not seem like the obvious choice but Paris would be an easy destination to add onto your trip. From Berlin I know you can get an early morning flight on a low cost carrier and return the next day late in the evening, giving you 2 full days in Paris. The flight is like 45 minutes each way

4) Any other tips/tricks? 

Don’t assume trains are the cheapest and quickest way to get around Europe but don’T oerlook them either. In Germany, I find they are not the cheapest unless you book early and get a discounted fair or if you get a aday ticket or a weekend pass there are some great offers. Dare I say skip Munich and do Berlin, Paris, Dresden and Prague? I have not yet been to Dresden but have a trip planned there next month as I heard only good things and it is much closer to Berlin and Prague. Paris just seems like the perfect add on, especially if you are there in August when the locals leave the city. 

Post # 10
Member
1664 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I would start by getting a travel book from your library.  Lonely Planet is my favorite.  Germany is a huge country and there is a lot to see.  TripAdvisor is also a great resource.

The Rhine Valley has a lot of castles, wine, scenery.  If you go here, you will be close to Cologne Germany (Dom Cathedral).  You will also be close to the Moselle Valley and the cities of Trier (Roman ruins) and Aachen (Charlemagne’s capital, which borders Luxembourg and Belgium).  Parts of the Rhine are within striking distance of Amsterdam too.

Website for Upper Middle Rhine Valley:

http://www.welterbe-mittelrheintal.de/index.php?id=318&L=3

Then there is Munich.  You can take a sleeper train (I think) from Munich to Amsterdam, which would save travel time.  Also near Munich is the Alps.  There are some Alpine towns that look neat like Garmisch and Mittenwald. There are several cable cars in the area, including Zugzpitze. In this area, but not exactly around the corner, there is also Berchtesgarden and the Eagle’s Nest, which was Hitler’s vacation home given to him by Martin Borman (I think).  The pictures look spectacular.  I think a lot of people combine trips to Munich and the Alps with trips to Salzburg.

Further west, there is the Neuschwanstein castle (inspiration for Disney).  This is near Fuessen.  From here, you can hop on the Romantic Road but you’d probably need a car to do that effectively.  Rothenburg od der Tauber is popular with tourists b/c it is a medieval walled city.

Romantic Road

http://www.romanticroadgermany.com/

The Black Forest area, which I think is in the southwest portion of the country is also supposed to be nice.  I think there are a lot of spas there, and Heidelberg could be close, depening upon where you are.

Then of course there is Berlin, Hamburg, etc. 

Personally, I wouldn’t visit only cities.  I think you get a better feel by visiting some smaller towns and the countryside.  I would stick to Munich/Alps/Prague with possible trips to Austria or Rhine Valley and Cologne with possible trips to the Netherlands/Belgium/Luxembourg or Berlin with Pottsdam etc. 

Unless there is something you really want to see, I think you would maximize your time by concentrating on a particular region.  If you are set on going to Prague (which I hear is really cool) I would probably stick with Alps/Munich etc.  Just my 2 cents.

 

Post # 11
Member
2889 posts
Sugar bee

If you are not comfortable driving, you also won’t have a problem getting anywhere with trains. One thing to consider as an out of comfort zone issue is language. In Germany, you will have NO PROBLEM finding Englsih speakers. In Prague, this was really difficult. Make sure you have an idea of how to get to your hotel from the airport. I had been there for work before and took a taxi but it was like 45 EUR to get from the airport to the city so when I was there for a long weekend with Darling Husband, I told him we would just take the subway. This was super difficult due to the language gap and I am generally confident in foreign public transport but we didn’t find the stop for our hotel and I had not looked anything up ahead of time other than the name of the hotel stop. Needless to say we needed to switch lines, I approached a few people along the was who didn’t speak any English and eventually found an American student to help us get to the city center where we took a cab to the hotel. My point being, I know my mom is out of her comfort zone in foreign languages and she would have freaked out on me if I tried that with her. So, just prepare to not be understood and if you catch an English speaker it will be a bonus. 

@EleanorRigby:  did a good job articulating many of my suggestions much better than I. Füssen is a great little town. If you make it to the south west part of Germany, Heidelberg is a must. The castle is ancient and above the city but in the old town there is a shop called Schmeltz Punkt where they have fresh handmade Belgium waffels and homemade ice cream – it is a must stop IMO. There are also some nice bike paths by the river where you could easily rent a bike and go from Heidelberg to Ladenburg which is a true ancient city with buildings and the city wall dating to 900 AD if I recall correctly. This would be a great way to get off the beaten path, avoid driving and add a bit of calm adventure. If you are in the region, check out http://www.duerkheimer-wurstmarkt.de/duerkheimer-wurstmarkt.html?&L=1 or another wine fest. I think Germany’s wine region is so friendly and there are many events but mostly attended by locals. Any time I have summer guests we take them to one. 

Post # 13
Member
9550 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

GO TO BUDAPEST!!!!!!! Last summer my fiance and I did a little over 2 weeks in Europe and we did Budapest, Prague, Belgium and Netherlands. Budapest was our favorite. It’s beautiful and still has the feel of crumbling Eastern European splendor after communism. I read some thing that the people are more conservative so aren’t as warm but we met great people and everyone was very helpful. The public baths are amazing. We spent 3 days there and we’ll probably go back.

Prague is also a must do. It’s amazingly well preserved (basically because England and France decided to give the Czech Republic to Hitler early in the war so it was never bombed). And you can walk everywhere. And the food’s awesome.

Belgium (especially Brugge) was also really nice if you’re planning to be over on that side of Germany. Great beer, chocolate and frittes – what more could you want?

I’ve never been to Germany so I can’t help you there. But if you would like any more specific recommendations about Prague or Budapest, just PM me, I love to talk about travel!

Post # 15
Member
356 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Germany has so much to offer!!! Prague is by far my favorite city in Europe!  Definately visit Berlin.  There is so much to do there!  There are many World War 2 memorials, (Make sure to see the Brandenburg gate, and walk around the bricks layed in the ground that represented the Berlin Wall), There is also an Olympic stadium you can visit that Hitler gave one of his famous speaches at, so that should look familiar.  I would get a travel guide book! Also, make a side trip to Potsdam, as there is a beautiful palace there. (I think it’s Charlottenburg)

Prague is amazing!  It has the oldest Jewish neighborhood in Europe (Hitler was saving it as a memorial to an extinguished culture), so that is really cool.  There are some beautiful churches, and St. Charles Bridge.  Old Square has a lot of vendors. Make sure to buy Pashminas!! And visit a Blues club, and drink some Absynth (no it won’t make you loopy, as it no longer contains LSD :)).

Budpest is also very fun!  You can go caving there, and then go to one of the many spas the next day (Because you will be sore from caving).  It’s not a dangerous city, so you don’t need to be nervous going there.

Other citys you might want to look into -> Munich (Classic Bavarian Germany, Also make a side trip to see Neushwanstein), Dresden (East Germany, very beautiful and at the same time very sad because it is has not been built up again since WW2), Salzburg (Sound of Music, Wolfgang Mozart), Dochau (Concentration Camp), It also depends on when you are going?? In the winter there are many fun Christmas markets all over Europe that you should hit up.  If you are there in Sepetember time, you should make sure to got to an Oktoberfest, or maybe a smaller festival being held in a smaller city.

I love talking about Germany! (I spent a semester there and every weekend we would travel someplace new!)

Post # 16
Member
292 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I definitely recommend Amsterdam! I may be biased since I’m living in the area, but there is so much art and history in the city. It is also a city that can be done in 1-2 days if you are under a time crunch. If you end up going and want to see the Anne Frank House, RESERVE YOUR TICKETS ONLINE AND EARLY!!! During the summer, these online tickets sell out weeks or even months in advance. When you purchase your tickets online, you get assigned an entry time and can save you from standing in a 3-4 hour line. The house itself takes under 2 hours to walk through, so without the line it is totally a small time commitment. Another word to the wise visiting A’dam, pickpocketing is a serious problem. My Future Father-In-Law works in the city and always carries his wallet in his inner jacket pocket as opposed to his pack pocket. I always make sure I have a purse that I can hold in front. For travelers who are weary of language barriers, I would argue that the majority of people in Amsterdam prefer to speak to people in English. Americans are also really easy for them to spot and people will likely address you in English right away. Public transport is super easy, but the train ticket system is scheduled to be digitized in the next few years (think MetroCards but for all modes of public transportation). To get your “really traditional typical Dutch” fix, I would go to Zaanse Schaans (about 10 minutes from A’dam Centraal by train). They have windmills and you can watch people make cheese and wooden shoes and you can even walk through the very first grocery store in the country. And there is no entry fee!!! (The windmills do have old-fashioned workshops that hold demos inside, and these cost a few Euro each. I have never been inside one bc I am too cheap. lolz)

If you are beer drinkers, I would suggest going to Belgium. It is very much a beer lover’s mecca (even moreso than Germany). I’ve never been, so I don’t have specific suggestions, but if you love beer it’s definitely worth looking into

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