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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for feedback on the bones of our draft itinerary - 15 nights Arriving Munich & Departing Frankfurt.

Thanks in advance to everyone that makes the forum such a great resource (and an addictive read!)

Some Background & Considerations:

  • 30yr old couple - no children. My 1st European trip, Wife visited 2x while in college
  • We want to use some of our many Hilton Points to mitigate cost, but still find some smaller or unique hotels when possible/affordable. Room availability has made it a bit tricky though.
  • Originally planned to stay in more cities, but thought it might be better to spend a couple of nights in each location to allow for more day trips and flexibility without having to spend so much time checking in and out.
  • Want to get a good tour of the region, but can defer some destinations until future ED trips in next few years.
  • Driver has good sense of direction, but car will have navigation just in case
Itinerary

8/23 Munich Noon Arrival - Rolf Pickup to hotel & Factory Tour PM
8/24 Munich - Pickup car in AM - Dachau or other day trip. Stay in the night in Munich
8/25 Salzburg - Renaissance via Priceline?
8/26 Salzburg
8/27 Lindau/Fussen - Spend day in Innsbruk while en route
8/28 Lindau
8/29 Switzerland - Need to choose town for lodging, destinations
8/30 Switzerland
8/31 Stuttgart Hilton Garden - Day trips
9/01 Stuttgart Hilton Garden - Day trips
9/02 Strasbourg Hilton
9/03 Luxembourg Hilton
9/04 Luxembourg Hilton
9/05 Mainz Hilton - Cochem and river towns on the way
9/06 Mainz Hilton - Drop Car in Frankfurt
9/07 Leave Frankfurt AM

Questions

Any advice or thoughts?

Since we are largely staying in cities, we want to be sure to set aside plenty of time to visit smaller towns along the way. I don't yet have a good sense of where to stay or what to visit in Switzerland, but am more interested in traditional villages and historic areas than the bigger cities. Lucerne sounds like a likely stop.

Is Stuttgart a good home base for a couple of days worth of exploration? My guess was that it is within easy reach of Rothenburg, Romantic Road stops, Black Forest etc and that we could visit the Porsche and/or MB museums if time permits or weather dictates.

I figure we can spend 2 days in Strasbourg, arriving in Luxembourg late in the day on 8/23. I haven't read much about Luxembourg, but thought we could depart in the early morning and explore Cochem & surrounding river towns on the way to Mainz.

Any obvious omissions? Are my assumptions on the right track?

Thanks!!
 

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Hmmm, it's certainly doable, but seems to me that you're driving more than visiting. If as you say some destinations can be put off until later; I would cut down on the number of places (ie. drop Luxembourg, and Strasbourg) and spend more time in Germany and Switzerland, preferably spending more nights in the same hotel. Unfortunately, your Hilton points won't help you much in Switzerland. If possible, another night in Munich would be nice. You'll be wiped on the first day, leaving you only the next day to visit. Small villages are charming, but the large cities also have much to offer. My $.02, worth exactly what you paid for it.....nothing! :D

Erik
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks - balancing driving time with walking time has been a concern.

While the route I drafted calls for pretty short transfers (in terms of miles) I assume that we will end up stopping so much along the way that the 135mi average city-to-city distance will effectively be much longer.

Does anyone have feedback on this issue? Were your ED trips too rushed with city-to-city moves? What about in the context of these cities being relatively close together?

thanks!
 

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Zürich is very touristy, stop there for few hours and spend night in Lucerne.
 

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Bayerische Motoren Werke
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Try and get to Rothenburg when youre headed over to the Mainz. I know its become touristy as of late but its still a great place to visit if youve never been.

I might also stay an extra day in the Salzburg area. Drive the Grossglockner or head over to Berchtesgaden, eagles nest, lake konigssee etc. We could have spent the whole week in the Salzburg/Berchtesgaden area, it is truly beautiful country.

Maybe cut out Switzerland, not sure what youre doing there for so short a time, and spend the time longer in other areas.
 

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Oberbayer
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Hmmm, it's certainly doable, but seems to me that you're driving more than visiting.
+1. Don't pack too much into your trip.

Why not extend your stay at the Bodensee and stay one or 2 nights in beautiful old picturesque city of Meersburg



take a few ship cruises.

There's a combined ship/mountain excursion. Go by boat from Lindau an then up to the Säntis mountain.

Beautiful view over lake Constance and Swiss mountains.
 

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CarSwami
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The Renaissance Hotel in Salzburg is a decent place and comes at a very reasonable price (my bid for $65/room/night was accepted on Priceline), but it is a little distance away from the town center. You'll either have to catch a bus at the bus terminal across from the train station, or take a cab to go into town. I stayed at the Renaissance during my ED in May, and if I had to do it over again, I'd try to find a hotel closer to "the action"! But there is nothing inherently bad about the Renaissance.

CarSwami
 

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Since we are largely staying in cities, we want to be sure to set aside plenty of time to visit smaller towns along the way. I don***8217;t yet have a good sense of where to stay or what to visit in Switzerland, but am more interested in traditional villages and historic areas than the bigger cities. Lucerne sounds like a likely stop.
Luzern is a good base for exploring CH, but you only have a couple of days there...:( Take a look at this site: http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/index.html

http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/guide/lucerne/index.html

You can get information on specific areas by browsing the tourist guide section on the left.

Good luck! :bigpimp:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks All! I've made some changes to the itinerary, but now I'm having a hard time finding a place to stay in Lindau - it appears that everything is sold out August 28-30. Any ideas for nearby lodging? Am I wrong in assuming that I should be able to see an accurate indication of availability on the booking engines? (I've sent some inquiries directly to the the hotels just in case)

Also, I can stay in Basel Switzerland at no cost (Hilton points). Is this a reasonable 'home base' from which to explore more scenic areas by day, or would it be more of a hassle than its worth? This being our first trip, I'm betting that even with less than perfect destinations we'll still have the time of our lives.

Lastly, is Cochem a good overnight destination? Saw it featured on a travel show we Tivo'd and thought it looked like fun.

Assuming I can find lodging, I'm now working with the following:

8/23 Munich - Noon Arrival - Rolf Pickup & Factory Tour PM
8/24 Munich
8/25 Salzburg
8/26 Salzburg
8/27 Innsbruck - Maybe Hallstatt instead or add a day
8/28 Lindau - Need Lodging
8/29 Lindau - Need Lodging - Possible Cruise with Mountain Excursion - Santis Schwebebahn
8/30 Basel Switzerland - Day Trips
8/31 Basel Switzerland - Day Trips
9/01 Stuttgart - Day trips
9/02 Stuttgart - Day trips
9/03 Luxembourg
9/04 Cochem - Need Lodging
9/05 Meinz
9/06 Meinz
9/07 Leave Frankfurt AM

Thanks for your feedback!
 

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Thanks All! I've made some changes to the itinerary, but now I'm having a hard time finding a place to stay in Lindau - it appears that everything is sold out August 28-30. Any ideas for nearby lodging?
Thanks for your feedback!
There are plenty of options all around Bodensee. Friedrichshafen might be a good bet, or Bregenz.
 

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There are plenty of options all around Bodensee. Friedrichshafen might be a good bet, or Bregenz.
+1 on Bregenz. Nice little town.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Wow - looks like it is really going to be tough to find a place on Lake Constance. Should have booked long ago I guess. I'm shooting for Meersburg, and have come up with the Gasthof zum Baren after searching Bimmerfest and trip advisor.

Any ideas if this doesn't work out? Any other nice little hotels on the North (or South) side of of the lake?

Found some of Jonathan's advisory posts from long ago that should help too - this ED board might be better than any travel-specific site out there!

My wife and I had agreed to keep our trip to 17 days total - now I'm looking for a way to extend it...
 

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Oberbayer
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There are plenty of options all around Bodensee. Friedrichshafen might be a good bet, or Bregenz.
+1 on Bregenz. Nice little town.
:rolleyes:

Disagree with both.

There are many pretty towns on the Bodensee, e.g. Lindau, Nonnenhorn, Wasserburg, Langenargen (or, most beautiful of all: Meersburg) . Bregenz and Friedrichshafen are not among them.

Bregenz is suffering from the heavy traffic and not very pretty, and Friedrichshafen is an industrial city with almost no charme.

In Friedrichshafen you could take a factory tour of ZF transmissions which you have in your BMWs or visit the Zeppelin museum.

Wow - looks like it is really going to be tough to find a place on Lake Constance. Should have booked long ago I guess. I'm shooting for Meersburg,
Great idea! :thumbup::thumbup:

Try this: 3 Stuben. I stayed there. Romantic, resonable and quiet.

Excellent gourmet cuisine here:

Romantik Hotel Residenz am See
 

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Also, I can stay in Basel Switzerland at no cost (Hilton points). Is this a reasonable 'home base' from which to explore more scenic areas by day, or would it be more of a hassle than its worth?
Assuming you're referring to lakes and mountains by 'more scenic areas', central Switzerland areas like i.e. Luzern or Interlaken are much better suited for your needs.
Basel basically adds 1-2 h driving time each way through lots of freeway construction areas just south of it. It's a good home base for the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) or southern Alsace/Vosges area, but not for the 'typical Switzerland', whatever that might be.
 

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Itinerary

Highly recommend Lindau. Also you may want to drive into Ravensburg - about 20 minutes from Lindau. Not sure of the road, but there is a massive, by US standards, BMW dealership in Lindau. You can stop by and have a beer should you find it. Remember you are over the pond while most europeans are also on vacation so
traffic and lodging are tricky. Also be aware that the Swiss are serious about their speed limits, so as you're leaving Germany take your foot off the pedal.

Biggest advice I would give you is to get off the autobahns and take back routes as much as you schedule will permit. Driving is much more fun as are the views.
 

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Both :thumbup::thumbup:
They're both nice, agreed, just... located on the wrong side of the lake :neener: :D

Seriously - if heading to Switzerland after that, drive west and don't miss a stroll in Stein am Rhein located at the western end of the lake with its decorated medieval buildings:



Edit: Found the following funny article about those Stein am Rhein wall paintings while searching for the pic above: CLICK
 

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meersburg hotel

We recently stayed in Meersburg, and would highly recommend it. There was a hotel next to the Baeren, the Loewen, which looked nice. Meersburg was a great location for doing day trips, to Stein am Rhein, Lindau, and Vorarlberg area. Depending on your interests, there a boat trips available on the Bodensee or from Stein am Rhein, and it seems there were a lot of bicyclists in Stein am Rhein. In Vorarlberg area of Austria, we stopped at a Jewish museum in Hohenems, which was very moving.
 

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Oberbayer
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They're both nice, agreed, just... located on the wrong side of the lake :neener: :D
The German side of the Bodensee is the best point to have a perfect view of beautiful Switzerland on the other side of the lake. :p

Seriously: Stein am Rhein is a must. Good reccomendation.

We recently stayed in Meersburg, and would highly recommend it.
Me too.
+1 :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Great advice! I lucked out and got a room at the Baren in Meersburg. It ends up that there are still some rooms available at the Bayerischer Hof in Lindau, but at this point each night would cost more than a BMW payment.... at MSRP. Also got a note that the hotel Garni-Brugger in Lindau has a room, but my impression is that Meersburg might be the better lodging option anyway.

I really appreciate the heads up on Stein am Rhein - its on the route for sure!

Regarding Swiss day trips - is staying in Basel a terrible idea? Would the Zurich Aiport Hilton be a better option (slightly closer)? Is a hotel airport in Europe as un-appealing as those in the US? We want to see Lucerne, but would prefer to use the hotel points. I guess I could always save the points for the next trip, but I'll always have the same tradeoff.

Any local hotels I should look at that offer good value closer to the tourist must-sees? Perhaps we trade Stuttgart in favor of Basel/Zurich (as a home base for exploring the Black Forest) and add a day or two in Lucerne?

We value the experience of driving and seeing the sites from behind the windshield, but that being said, don't want to spend the entire trip driving.

Still trying to find something in Salzburg. From the looks of things the Rennaisance isn't going to be available via Priceline.

We'll be back pretty soon as I need to order a car for myself (this trip is for my wife's 528)

thanks for all the help!
 
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