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choosing our dates

Atlanta, Georgia
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choosing our dates

My husband and I are planning a trip to Europe between mid-August and mid-September 2013 and wonder what we should take into consideration when choosing our dates. Should we avoid August because Europeans tend to take vacation then causing higher prices and larger crowds? Or does that not matter? Are there any national holidays we need to plan for? Are places closed on Sundays or any other particular day of the week? We will be taking delivery of a BMW in Munich and then driving around Europe for about 2 weeks. We are thinking we will go to Zurich, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany with possible additions of Prague and Vienna.

Stuttgart, Germany
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1. Re: choosing our dates

August is peak holiday time due to the school vacations,these mostly finish around first week of Sept.

Frankfurt
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2. Re: choosing our dates

Summer vacation will be at different times in the various states in Germany. Here is a website that lists them.

http://www.holidays-info.com/

Lots of festivals going on this time of year, and you may run into some trade fairs that will raise hotel prices, especially in the Frankfurt area on the last weekend of Aug. Though this is also one of the best festivals around, the Museum Riverbank Fest. I believe this is one of the largest cultural fests in Europe.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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3. Re: choosing our dates

As to closings, stores in Germany are closed on Sundays. In smaller towns and villages, perhaps also on Saturday afternoons. Museums are usually closed on Mondays. I would avoid large cities where your car is a detriment and not an asset. There are plenty of enjoyable small towns and places to visit throughout the countryside where you can enjoy your new car.

Edited: 24 March 2013, 18:28
Chula Vista...
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4. Re: choosing our dates

Also remember that Oktoberfest in Munich where you'll pick up your BMW runs from 21 September to 6 October. Lodging will be difficult to find and quite expensive.

In my opinion, your trying to hit all of those cities/countries in two weeks is too ambitious. It's nearly 2,000 miles of driving which will leave little time to explore any one place for any period of time.

Honestly, I would recommend a trip something like this:

Munich - Salzburg - Salzkammergut region - Berchtesgaden and Königssee - Deutsche Alpenstraße to Lindau with stops at Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles - Lake Constance (on either the German or Swiss side) - Black Forest - Munich.

http://goo.gl/maps/OHdLg

That will allow for a much better pace where you'll have time to stop and see the sights, as well as the opportunity to drive your BMW on some mountain roads and Autobahns.

If you take your car into Austria and Switzerland, both countries require a toll vignette affixed to your car's windshield. You can buy a 10-day vignette for Austria for 8,30 €, but in Switzerland, you must buy a vignette that's valid for a year for 40 CHF.

http://www.asfinag.at/en/maut/vignette

…admin.ch/zollinfo_privat/…

Whenever I've rented a car in Europe, the contract prohibits some higher end makes and models, including BMWs, from entering the Czech Republic. While this is your own car, I would want to know why they have those restrictions. Is it because higher end cars are more likely to be stolen? I don't know, but something to investigate. (I'd hate to see your new car stolen in your first two weeks of owning it if that's the case.)

BTW, the weather in September in Bavaria is generally quite good in September. At least every time I've been there. Sunny with temps in the 60's and 70's during the day, cooler at night. Layers are appropriate.

Enjoy your planning.

Zed

Edited: 24 March 2013, 20:49
5. Re: choosing our dates

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