We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Travelling with family of five

Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
29 posts
6 reviews
Save Topic
Travelling with family of five

Our family is planning a short trip through Germany in August. We will be in Amsterdam for two nights, departing on a Sunday for Germany. We need to be up in Copenhagen by the following Thursday night, not leaving much time to explore.

Our current thoughts are:

-train to Cologne from Amsterdam and spend part of the day there (luggage storage at the station) and then continue on to Cochem for the overnight.

-Monday - Burg Eltz and back on the train up to Eisenach for the overnight

-Tuesday explore Eisenach and then train to Berlin

Overnight in Berlin for two nights departing Thursday for Copenhagen by train. We will have time with family friends in Denmark at a slower pace, and then down to Hamburg for a wedding party to finish our European trip.

Since we are travelling with children (ages 7, 10, 12) their wish list includes "castles" so that's why we have chosen these places. We also want to ensure we see either Sachsenhausen or Dachau.

Will this be too rushed? Is either Cochem or Eisenach our best option? We are thinking we will use a rail pass and then book in advance if that's the cheapest option.

Thanks for the advice! Coming from where we live in Canada where we make 7 hour drives to and fro in the same long weekend these places seem close enough together that we can fit it in :)

Thanks!

Mentioned in this post
Germany
Germany
Europe
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
North Holland Province, The Netherlands
Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Zealand, Denmark
Cologne
Cologne
North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Berlin
Berlin
Germany
Denmark
Denmark
Europe
Hamburg
Hamburg
Germany
Bundesbank-Bunker Cochem
Specialty Museums, Historic Sites, Mysterious Sites
Rathaus
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Hanau, Germany
Level Contributor
2,420 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Travelling with family of five

I think it's to rushed, sure you drive 7 hours one way in Canada for a weekend, but how much is there to see on the drive? In Germany there is something around every curve you take.

Dachau is close to Munich so way out of your way, you could consider Buchenwald close to Eisenach http://www.buchenwald.de/en/69/.

I would stick to a more direct route between Amsterdam and Copenhagen, but if you want to go that way think about including Erfurt www.erfurt.de/ef/en/sightseeing/index.html and don't go to Cochem it's a rather big detour.

No matter which way you go you will find one of the 30000 castles here in Germany.

Mentioned in this post
Germany
Germany
Europe
Munich
Munich
Upper Bavaria, Germany
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
North Holland Province, The Netherlands
Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Zealand, Denmark
Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
29 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Travelling with family of five

Thanks, Uta! That's definitely good advice. It's hard to find the balance between the big cities and unique experiences of a smaller centre in Germany. We will investigate an alternate route from Amsterdam to Copenhagen and see which makes the most sense. Our goal is to see countryside that is very different from our prairies here at home.

I know there are so many castles to choose from it's hard to narrow down the two or three that our children will find most interesting. I will definitely check out those links! Any other suggestions are welcome :)

Mentioned in this post
Germany
Germany
Europe
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
North Holland Province, The Netherlands
Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Zealand, Denmark
Paradise, California
Destination Expert
for Rhineland-Palatinate
Level Contributor
6,875 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Travelling with family of five

It's a long, long detour to Berlin (where most visitors spend 4 nights just to see the place) so I suggest you visit Cochem and Cologne and then head to Copenhagen. You may not be aware that these places offer much of what you seek - fantastic scenery, dozens and dozens of castles, lessons on WW II and Nazi terror, and good museums - and that there's so much to see and do that with 4 nights, you still won't have time to do it all.

COLOGNE:

Cologne Cathedral (next to station)

Gestapo Prison / National Socialism Documentation Center: www.koelntourismus.de/index.php?id=202&L=1

Other museums: www.museenkoeln.de/home/default.aspx?s=802

Chocolate Museum, anyone? - tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187371-d1…

REMAGEN (south of Cologne):

WW II Museum in the supports of the former Bridge at Remagen: www.bruecke-remagen.de

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g642105-d2…

COCHEM: Burg Eltz is just the beginning.

Reichsburg Castle: tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g198637-d1…

Castle photo: …tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/bb/bf/63/v…

Cochem's old town: …wordpress.com/2012/10/img_2592.jpg

Falconry show photos at Reichsburg: falknerei-reichsburg-cochem.de/flugvorfuhrun…

Cochem's chair lift ride: http://cochemer-sesselbahn.de/en/index.htm

Cochem's waterpark: rhein-eifel.tv/freizeitbad/moselbad-hallenba…

You can take a train ride to enjoy the Mosel River scenery from Cochem over to the Rhine or west to Trier (Germany's oldest city, Roman roots.) Daypasses are very cheap in this area for family travel - your family would ride for 27€:

vrminfo.de/en/…

Or try a river cruise from Cochem:

http://www.moselrundfahrten.de/en/index.php

Mentioned in this post
Berlin
Berlin
Germany
Cologne
Cologne
North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Zealand, Denmark
Remagen
Remagen
Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Trier
Trier
Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
29 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Travelling with family of five

Thanks, Russ. I am so glad you posted. I have followed a number of your threads as I have been researching our proposed itinerary and appreciate you taking the time to respond to my query. The Cologne/Cochem area does seem to have so much of what we're looking for (I didn't know about the water park so thanks for that link) and I think the children will really enjoy the area. I think now we will narrow down the destination from Cologne - either Cochem or the Eisenach area. We have some time to decide but I know we are limited in hotels/BandB's with our three children. Our children have never been on a train let alone seen anything like a castle... so this will be a great adventure for them!

This advice is very helpful. Thanks again!

Mentioned in this post
Cologne
Cologne
North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
29 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Travelling with family of five

So now having checked out train distances between Cochem and Copenhagen we can't do that stretch all in one day with the kids. We definitely have to break it up as 11 hours lost to travel in one day isn't great. The area of Ernst seems so great as well, but also a bit 'out of the way' between Amsterdam and Copenhagen. The Lower Saxony area has some nice little towns- I will keep digging to see if there are castles worth seeing and close to public transport. Perhaps a Celle - Lubeck route is going to give us what we are after. We finish our trip in Hamburg for the wedding party so can skip that on the way up.

Thanks again for the great advice, Uta and Russ. It's much appreciated!!

Mentioned in this post
Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Zealand, Denmark
Ernst
Ernst
Cochem, Germany
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
North Holland Province, The Netherlands
Hamburg
Hamburg
Germany
Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
29 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Travelling with family of five

So now having checked out train distances between Cochem and Copenhagen we can't do that stretch all in one day with the kids. We definitely have to break it up as 11 hours lost to travel in one day isn't great. The area of Ernst seems so great as well, but also a bit 'out of the way' between Amsterdam and Copenhagen. The Lower Saxony area has some nice little towns- I will keep digging to see if there are castles worth seeing and close to public transport. Perhaps a Celle - Lubeck route is going to give us what we are after. We finish our trip in Hamburg for the wedding party so can skip that on the way up.

Thanks again for the great advice, Uta and Russ. It's much appreciated!!

Mentioned in this post
Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Zealand, Denmark
Ernst
Ernst
Cochem, Germany
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
North Holland Province, The Netherlands
Hamburg
Hamburg
Germany
Paradise, California
Destination Expert
for Rhineland-Palatinate
Level Contributor
6,875 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Travelling with family of five

Lower Saxony: I think you might like the Rinteln - Hameln area. Bückeburg Palace is nearby. Daytrip to Celle and Hildesheim from there.

www.hameln.com/tourism/sights/oldpart.htm

www.rinteln.de/marktplatz-ratskeller-2/

faszination-schloesser.de/bueckeburgpalace.h…

You are going to want an apartment. Try Home Away and local tourism websites.

hameln.com/tourism/…index.htm

Mentioned in this post
Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
29 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Travelling with family of five

Thanks for these links as well. We had great luck with airbnb.com when booking in Amsterdam.

I appreciate the insights. Since my husband and children have never been to Europe we want something great for them and not only a repeat of where I've been lucky enough to see.

Planning with children in mind is a different exercise than with only adults.

Thanks again!

Mentioned in this post
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
North Holland Province, The Netherlands
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
30 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Travelling with family of five

It seems you may not be having a car, based on what you wrote in your posts. I am not sure if you're still thinking about going to Burg Eltz, but unless your kids are avid hikers, I wouldn't recommend it. It's a nice hike, and not too strenuous, but those involved must be up for walking quite a while. The castle in Cochem was really cool, and the tour guide was amazing in terms of her ability to speak multiple languages and make sure everyone understood the content of the tour. Cochem's castle required a mini-hike. If your kids have trouble with that at all, I wouldn't recommend Burg Eltz by train.

Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
29 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Travelling with family of five

Thanks for the insight. We aren't renting a car so will rely on public transport for everything. I think we will have to skip Cochem at this point as it's just too far when we have to be up at Copenhagen afterwards.

We think Amsterdam to Cologne, then to Berlin for three nights (two full days sightseeing), then Copenhagen. We will have the chance to see other smaller centres in Denmark when we are on Jutland.

Not enough time or money to see it all :)

Mentioned in this post
Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Zealand, Denmark
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
North Holland Province, The Netherlands
Cologne
Cologne
North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Berlin
Berlin
Germany
Denmark
Denmark
Europe
Jutland
Jutland
Denmark
Get answers to your questions about Cochem