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To drive or use the train?

Greeley, Colorado
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To drive or use the train?

In September I plan to go to Germany for 9 or 10 days. I want to explore the Black Forest area then go up to Koblenz and see the Rhine. Then go down to Strasborg for few days. I guess my real question is can this be done by train or is a car the way to go?

Freiburg im...
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1. Re: To drive or use the train?

Re exploring the Black-Forest I'd recommend to do this by car. You could rent a car in e.g. Baden-Baden, cross the Black Forest and drop it off in Freiburg or Loerrach, or vice versa. You could easily combine the Black Forest with Strasbourg and the Alsace, by the way. There are direct EC trains to Koblenz from Basel Bad Bf, Freiburg and Baden-Baden.

In Koblenz and Strasbourg a car would be more of a hindrance and the Middle Rhine Valley can best be enjoyed by boat.

Edited: 21 July 2014, 09:21
greeley, CO
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2. Re: To drive or use the train?

Easy to use the train if you don't want to drive in a foreign country. If you are traveling solo, then also probably much cheaper. See some trip reports at www.bensbauernhof.com for several ideas.

Hanau, Germany
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3. Re: To drive or use the train?

I would rethink the initerary, why do you want to go up to Koblenz and then back to Strassburg which is at the door step of the Black Forrest, if you for instance stay in Lahr in the Black Forrest it's not even an hour drive to reach Strassburg, going to Koblenz from there takes 3 hours and then you have to drive the 3 hours back to Strassburg.

Also if you want to see the best part of the Rhine go to Bingen or Ruedesheim and get on a K-D cruise there, you can get off at St.Goar and take the train to Koblenz from there.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg
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4. Re: To drive or use the train?

If all you're going to use the car for is driving to places that are accessible by train where most of the other tourists go, then use the train yourself. However, if you want to experience excellent things away from the tourist hordes, then definitely drive. The most important thing is to purchase a good large scale(at least 1:150000) map of the area in which you'll be driving. Such a good map will show ALL rural roads, scenic drives, and hundreds or thousands of places that are of interest to tourists of all types. These sights should also be rated into three categories: unrated (which still can be excellent): better; and best. Then it's an easy thing to pick a few of those more highly rated places to be the basis for that day's trip and also add in other places along the way or near by. This is how I've spent all of my best sight-seeing days in Germany. Those "hidden gems" aren't really hidden, they're clearly shown on the map and you may be the only tourists there in places that are the equal or better of where most tourists congregate.

However, do not use a car to get about urban areas as public transportation is excellent there and you don't have to worry about possibly expensive parking, finding a parking spot, and navigating through a strange city.

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5. Re: To drive or use the train?

My husband and I will be spending 12 nights in Germany this October. We'll be traveling between Coburg and Munich. The map you mention sounds like a great idea. Can I purchase one of these large scale maps online?

6. Re: To drive or use the train?

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