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help with Germany

Carbondale, Il
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help with Germany

I am 53 and my wife is 52.We are both professionals and only speak english. We like to drink,but rarely stay out late into the night. We have been on a mediterranean cruise in 2011. We are planning our next Europe trip for 2013. It should be ideally 12 days, but could go a bit over. Germany is my main problem,but here is the general plan. London 3 days, Amsterdam 2 days, Germany 5 days, Prague 2 days. I realize that we could spend 3 weeks just in London, but we prefer to see a lot. In Germany we want to see the Black Forest, Neuschwanstein Castle, a concentration camp, and spend some time at a great spa(we are fine with nudity), I want to do some of this by driving.

We mostly want to tour during the day and have relaxing nights.

Questions"

1. Is this do able?

2. Where should I base myself in Germany? I thought about splitting my time between Baden-Baden and Munich,but then read some things that made me think Baden-Baden would not be what I want. Ideally at night we would like a place with good restaurants, a good place for a drink, and interesting walking areas.

3. Do you need to show a passport every time you cross a border into another country once you are in Europe?

thanks,

4. What is a great spa in the Area?

Rich

Frankfurt, Germany
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1. Re: help with Germany

3.

There are no passport controls at borders within the Schengen Area (most of EU incl. Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, excl. UK+IRL) You need to carry your passport though, at all times, just in case. They will check your passports when entering the Schengen Area from the UK. At the Schengen borders there are only signs indicating the country limit.

As for the other questions, I can't help you with this locations, sorry. But I'm sure somebody else will be able to help you out there.

Portland, Oregon USA
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2. Re: help with Germany

1) I would cut out London and the Black Forest. Fly into Amsterdam and out of Munich.

I'd do... Amsterdam 2 days

Cologne 1 day

Berlin 3 days

Prague 2 days

Munich 3 days

You can do Neuschwanstein Castle as a daytrip from Munich.

You can do Dachau as a daytrip from Munich.

Spas are all over in Germany. Find a good one near any of the above cities and add one day there for the spa.

You could easily do this trip by rail and avoid having the deal with a car in the big cities. You can check the German Rail website www.bahn.de if you want to check out the train option. German Rail runs an express bus between Prague and Munich which is a decent alternative to the train.

3) No. Often you won't even notice that you've crossed a border.

4) Sorry, no idea about spas.

Hamburg, Germany
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3. Re: help with Germany

If you want to visit Berlin I'd also drop the day in Cologne and take a direct train from Amsterdam to Berlin. You can really use more than three days in Berlin. At least limit the visit to Cologne to just a few hours and get of the train to see the cathedral.

Another option sticking more to the original plan would be heading south from Cologne along the Middle Rhine Valley (either train or drive along B9 or B42) and off to Baden-Baden after that. You could drive trough the Black Forest from Baden-Baden to Munich, but have at least three days in Munich if you want to take trips to Dachau and Neuschwanstein as both can fill a day.

Carbondale, Il
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4. Re: help with Germany

Thank you all. This information is very helpful.Not sure that I can cut out London and the Black Forest . Those are the wife's top thing she wants to do.

I don't know much about Cologne, but if it is churches and/or castles probably not interested.

Why is Berlin a "must see" place? I have read that many people prefer Berlin to Munich but haven't read why.

How about London 3 days, Amsterdam 2 days, Berlin 2 days, Prague 2 days, Munich 3 days. I might be able to talk the wife into 2 days in London and 3 in Berlin or just add a day or 2. I would do most of this by train or bus. Could I take a train outside of Munich (to a small town) and rent a car and drive some of the Black Forest?

Gambrills, MD
Destination Expert
for Fussen
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5. Re: help with Germany

Maybe you could show your wife some videos of the Black Forest and then compare them with videos of Bavaria and the Alps. We were disappointed in the Black Forest but Bavaria, with its mountains and little houses with flowers in the window boxes, is wonderful.

Speaking only English should be no problem unless you get seriously off the beaten path, and even then you'll probably manage just fine. Learn a few basic phrases to ease your way if you wish.

Here's the website for the spa in Erding, which is a ten-minute taxi ride from the Munich airport. Part of this spa is "textile free" as they say. Erding is a nice little town too, scenic and walkable, and also famous for its beer. therme-erding.de/de/…english.html

Edited: 9:30 pm, July 16, 2012
Carbondale, Il
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6. Re: help with Germany

thank you all. This all was very helpful. It points me in the right direction for more research.

Rich

München
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7. Re: help with Germany

Hi,

if you look for a nice spa hotel you should go to Schloss Elmau in between Mittenwald and Garmisch. From here you can easily visit the castles and even drive to Dachau. It is surrounded by mountains has a very nice spa area.

www.schloss-elmau.de/english/index.html

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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8. Re: help with Germany

After visiting the cities you might just need some rest and relaxation and as Susi P has written Schloss Elmau has an extensive Spa area,the Hotel can also arrange an English speaking guide to show you around Neuschwanstein and Munich as there´s not much point in driving yourself and not be able to enjoy the wonderfull views as concentration is a must on German roads.

Schloss Elmau is also very close to Innsbruck and I would rather go there than Munich!

Have a great time in Europe,

Chris Edwards

Edited: 1:27 pm, July 20, 2012
Bautzen, Germany
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9. Re: help with Germany

> Why is Berlin a "must see" place? I have read that many people prefer Berlin to Munich but haven't read why.

I don't know if Berlin is a "must see", but many people like Berlin because it's so dynamic, huge, diverse and surprising. There is a famous quote about the city from around 1900, which is still true: "Berlin is a city condemned forever to becoming and never to being." New buildings everywhere, but also new reconstructions, entire quarters get gentrified, people move in, people move out, shops open up, clubs move, there are great museums in the city centre, but also beautiful neo-classical palaces and garden 10km away from the centre, there is the busy Friedrichstraße, and the sleepy little Friedrichshagen on the shore of a big lake, politicians and business leaders sit next to a poor Russian artists in a Turkish neighbourhood, a Arab sells falafels next to a gallery of a Jew from Israel... or to say it with Jean Paul: "Berlin is rather a part of the world than a city".

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Negril
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10. Re: help with Germany

<but many people like Berlin because it's so dynamic, huge, diverse and surprising. There is a famous quote about the city from around 1900, which is still true: "Berlin is a city condemned forever to becoming and never to being." >

Great comment and we find Berlin to be all of those things and more. 6 visits so far with another planned for this winter and a city that never ceases to surprise us and one that we find fascinating.

We enjoy Munich (have been there a half dozen times at least) but LOVE Berlin. It is one of our favorite destinations in Europe and beats out Paris and London by a wide margin for us.