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Cities & towns to spend some time in

Allen, Texas
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Cities & towns to spend some time in

First, thanks to all who responded to my other Black Forest post!

I see the ICE train from Frankfurt stops in Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Offenburg and then Freiburg.

I have found nice info on Freiburg and am starting to wonder if I should skip Heidelburg and spend time in Freiburg and maybe another town along this train route instead.

When we went to Italy, our fondest memories are often of the smaller towns that most never heard of.

Thoughts, opinions, and recommendations on Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Offenburg, & Freiburg anyone?

Note- due to wide-varying ages of our group, we are looking to stay on the major train routes.

-Doug

Germany
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1. Re: Cities & towns to spend some time in

Here are a few links to get you started:

http://www.mannheim.de/ (German, couldn't find anything in English)

karlsruhe.de/Tourismus/index.php…

www.offenburg.de/html/touristinfo373.html

http://www.freiburg.de/6/6/600/index.php

How long are you staying in the area? Do you have time to visit all places or just one or two? What are your interests: shopping, hiking, history, culture ...?

> When we went to Italy, our fondest memories are often of the smaller towns that most never heard of.

I agree with you. Every tourist travels to Munich and Berlin, Rome and Venice, but there are so many other interesting places to see, sometimes better than the well known sights.

Day trips: Ask for places where the locals go and that are not overrun with tourists (reception of your hotel, tourist information).

Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg
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2. Re: Cities & towns to spend some time in

There is no need to take more expensive ICE trains if you want to do multiple stops, and these trains usually stop only at major destinations. I think that the best places you could stop along (near) this way would be Heidelberg, Baden Baden, and Freiburg. You could easily spend a half day in any of them, and probably would enjoy much longer.

I think that the most enjoyable places you see on a vacation are nice ones that you stumble upon by accident. You won't find these on ICE trains, but by more local trains and by car. I always recommend, and enjoy repeatedly visiting, the old college town (like Heidelberg and Freiburg) of Tuebingen on the Neckar River. It's a ways off your route, and if using a car the excellently preserved Bebenhausen Monastery is just north of it, there are two fairy tale-like castles just south of it among the nice cliff side scenery of the Schwaebische Alb (Hohenzollern-Hechingen, Lichtenstein), and by Lichtenstein Castle are the interesting to visit state stables at Marbach (highly enjoyable and something most people wouldn't ever think about doing). Although you may have never heard of them, all are excellent to visit and you will usually find not too many German tourists there, and only a very few non-German ones. Something like what you say you enjoy.

Allen, Texas
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3. Re: Cities & towns to spend some time in

Thanks for the replies.

The reason we are looking at the ICE trains are twofold...one, they are included on the German Rail Pass we are intending to use, and two they are the quickest way to get the farthest.

We are definitely having to be somewhat hasty in trying to see alot of the country in 10-12 days, and rather than packing & unpacking and checking in & out of hotels, we are planning on spending a few nights in Frankfurt and day-tripping from there. The ICE will pas some wonderful places, I'm sure, but it will also get us all the way to Freiburg in 2 hours.

I mostly wondered if any of the closer stops on that route were as appealing as the further ones.

Germany
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4. Re: Cities & towns to spend some time in

Heidelberg is 12-18 min by train from Mannheim Hbf.

http://www.cvb-heidelberg.de

(of course not small and the opposite of never heard of)

Gengenbach is 8 min by train from Offenburg

http://www.stadt-gengenbach.de/

Some ICEs stop also in Baden-Baden instead of Offenburg.

http://www.baden-baden.de/

The station is however in Baden-Baden-Oos, 6 min. by bus to the Alter Bahnhof (old railway station) of Baden-Baden.

In Karlsruhe and Freiburg the city centres are also 2-3 stops by tram from the station. Of course also walkable distances.

You can store your luggage in luggage lockers at the bigger stations before you start your side trip / city tour.

Freiburg im...
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5. Re: Cities & towns to spend some time in

Offenburg, Karlsruhe and Mannheim are more business-like and not essential on a short trip. Even though you not want to do "the Baden-Baden spa type of thing", you shouldn't miss the opportunity to visit the city. It is one of the greatest beauties in this area.

Consider Heidelberg-Baden-Baden-Freiburg