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Road Trip - Germany/Italy/France - Advice Needed!

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Road Trip - Germany/Italy/France - Advice Needed!

My girlfriend and I are planning on going to Ulm in Germany for a wedding, which will be on 21st June. We would like to do some travelling while we are there, and plan on arriving in Ulm on 17th June by car. Here we will be staying with her parents. We intend to return to the UK on the 28th June.

I think we have a plan for Germany, as the places we want to visit - Munich, Stuttgart, Nuremburg, Lake Constance, Black Forest - are all within a two hour drive.

The problem we have is that we would like to visit northern Italy - Milan, Venice and south France - Nice, Marseille. This is where we would really appreciate any advice from people who have experience of these areas. I'm thinking that the distances are too far apart to do both Italy and France - but I would love to be wrong!

Any info on fuel costs, road tax/tolls as well as accommodation and general logistics would be greatly appreciated, and if I haven't coverered anything then please let me know.

Thank you!

Stewart and Denise :)

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1. Re: Road Trip - Germany/Italy/France - Advice Needed!

We could really need some help and ideas so it would be great if someone could answer - thanks! :)

Park City, Utah
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2. Re: Road Trip - Germany/Italy/France - Advice Needed!

Welcome to the forum. A few guiding questions to help you solicit more succinct feedback. When were you thinking of doing the German sidetrips? While you're in Ulm or after? When do you plan to leave Ulm for northern Italy/France? Knowing that will help others provide you with more detailed feedback. You have a lot on your list for the time period if some of that time will be used for the wedding.

Of your list of possible German destinations, Munich would be at the top of my list. And it would be worthwhile to spend at least one or two days there, not just a day trip. Stuttgart and Nuremburg are nice, but IMO less interesting.

Split Ulm to Venice with an overnight, maybe in Innsbruck. Visit Fuessen, Neuschweinstein, Garmisch en route to Innsbruck. Brixen is another interesting stop between Innsbruck and Venice. Spend two nights in Venice.

Venice to Milan is a one-day drive. Spend one night. From there it's also an easy drive to Nice for a night then on to Marseille. You'll want to split the Marseille back to UK. Paris would be a natural stop.

If you add this up you will see that you have a pretty cramped time schedule as you only have six nights and seven days after the wedding to do the entire trip, and that's not really enough.

Regarding tolls, Germany is free, Austria requires a vignette (readily available), Italy and France are tolls. In terms of fuel costs, here's a guide:

http://www.fuel-prices-europe.info/

Have fun.

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3. Re: Road Trip - Germany/Italy/France - Advice Needed!

Hi Tumbleweed,

Thanks very much for the reply and your advice.

Just to clear up - we are going to do a few German side trips before the wedding on the 21st, and I think we may do a few towards the end of our stay too.

I should have said, we are leaving from Edinburgh to Harwich, then getting the ferry to Den Haag, and on to Ulm from there. We will be going back the same way, so travelling back through France isn't an option, and based on our thoughts and your advice on time, I think we have decided to give France a miss this time.

We plan on leaving Ulm for Italy after the wedding (22nd or 23rd). So, does this sound more realistic? Ulm to Venice, then Milan, then back to Ulm? Obviously with stops in between - the German towns you mentioned look stunning! With regards to the trip back from Milan, are there any places in Switzerland you could recommend en route?

Thank you.

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Road Trip - Germany/Italy/France - Advice Needed!

Think the ferry goes to Hoek van Holland, not Den Haag but it's close...

For roadtripping use www.viamichelin.com and you also need a vignette for Switserland. It's still a long drive/trainride between Hoek van Holland and Ulm.

Lewes, United...
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5. Re: Road Trip - Germany/Italy/France - Advice Needed!

Hi

Your route seems to be a bit confused and without more date info for time available to visit Italy, it's hard to make suggestions. Why do you have to go back to Ulm after Italy, and on what date? Otherwise, you could drive south from Ulm towards Italy and then head back to a Channel port in France by driving through France - provided, of course, you have enough time to make this worth doing. Do you have a return ferry crossing booked on 28th already? If some from what ferry port?

As well as the toll/vignette info provided above, do understand that all Italian cities have effectively no entry zones called ZTLs that it's important to avoid or you will be fined again and again. Just google this to understand which cities and how it works. Venice has no roads! Car parking can be expensive and hard to find in high summer at the parking structures that are most convenient to the waterbus services to get to where most tourists wish to visit, do some research on this too.

SWT

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6. Re: Road Trip - Germany/Italy/France - Advice Needed!

Hi Tet14 - Thanks, we will be using viamichelin as it has been recommended a lot.

Sussex - Thanks for your input. Why do you think the route is confused? We will travel from Ulm to Venice, via Innsbruck, then on to Milan and back to Ulm maybe via Zurich.

We have to return to Ulm to visit my girlfriend's family and pick up her belongings that we will bring back to Scotland. We feel that we will not have enough time to visit France and we have looked into the road tax and tolls and it is very expensive.

Thanks for the input regarding parking in the cities, this is something we will have to look at in more depth.

How does accommodation cost compare with that in the UK? (B&B or very cheap hotel)

Thank you.

Edited: 25 April 2014, 18:53
Lewes, United...
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7. Re: Road Trip - Germany/Italy/France - Advice Needed!

Hi

I was confused as to why you had to return to Ulm as it seemed you had already spent a large portion of your trip there already. Had you not needed to return there, then you could have added France. Italy has tolls, too, FYI!

To cross through both Switzerland and Austria you need 2 different vignettes, so you have already added to your costs.

Generally we find accommodation prices in Europe to the lower than UK for similar levels of hotels. However, B&Bs are all independent and variable. Basic ones can be cheap, luxurious ones may cost as much as 5 star hotels! See the hotel review section of TripAdvisor for B&B reviews. For cheap, basic but clean accommodation, the Accor chain has hotels in most European countries, see their website. German and Austrian hotels seem more expensive on paper, but they almost always include a very good breakfast in the price.

SWT

8. Re: Road Trip - Germany/Italy/France - Advice Needed!

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