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Itinerary help: Nuremberg (from Prague), Rothenberg, Bamburg

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Itinerary help: Nuremberg (from Prague), Rothenberg, Bamburg

(note: also posted in Nuremberg forum). In late September, our family of 3 adults will be arriving from Prague by bus on a Sunday, leaving for Frankfurt on Thursday, so will have 3 1/2 days for sight-seeing in the northern Bavaria area. (Nazi rally grounds and museum, beer gardens, a castle or Residenz in Wurzburg, etc.). I've narrowed our potential visits to Nuremberg, Bamberg, Rothenberg and Wurzburg, but know that we need to eliminate at least one if not two of those towns in this short time. We had been planning to rent a car, either when leaving Prague or in Nuremberg, with a drop-off in Frankfurt, but am now thinking that just taking the bus from Prague and then using the trains might be a better option. I'd very much appreciate input on 1) suggested itinerary for those 3 1/2 days 2) where to make our base for those 4 nights. We would be ok (and might even prefer) two locales, each for 2 nights 3) should we rent a car or use public transport. Complicating my thinking is a desire to make a stop in Dettelbach, a small village outside of Wurzburg and the birthplace of my great grandmother. It would be a thrill just to stroll the streets for an hour. I'm assuming I'd need a car to get there but perhaps could take a taxi.

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1. Re: Itinerary help: Nuremberg (from Prague), Rothenberg, Bamburg

"1) suggested itinerary for those 3 1/2 days"

I would choose 1 base to stay for the 4 nights and then day trip from there. This will save you time having to move, which even with the most efficient travelers will result in a loss of sightseeing time. With 3.5 days, I would spend 1.5 days in the town where you are staying and then take 2 days for day trips.

"2) where to make our base for those 4 nights. We would be ok (and might even prefer) two locales, each for 2 nights "

I would choose Nuremburg, Bamberg, or Wurzburg. Rothenburg is at the end of a spur line on the railroad, so it doesn't make a good base for visits to other places. They are all good towns, just different.

Nuremburg is very convenient - it is a hub for the train system, so it makes a good base for sightseeing by train. Also, the bus from Prague stops there. The Altstadt is adjacent to the train station, so you can stay in the Altstadt and easily take trains from there. Nuremburg has some good sites and because it is larger, it has more going on at night than the other towns. Some people don't care for it as much though because the Altstadt isn't as quaint as other towns - there is a mix of modern and old buildings, and especially close to the train station, most of the buildings are post-WWII. I actually like this mix - it seems like the Nuremburg Altstadt is a place for visitors and residents rather than a slice in time reserved for visitors alone - Rothenburg feels that way, that it is not really a living town, but rather a preserved place for visitors.

Bamberg is actually my favorite town in the region though - for the wonderful Rauchbeir and that the town is quite picturesque. It was spared during WWII, so it's Altstadt really is filled with old buildings - half-timbered places that lean this way and that. Bamberg manages to preserve its old town yet still appears to be a place for the residents - strikes a nice balance. We didn't find as many people who spoke English well there though, so if you don't have at least a little German, it could be a challenge.

I don't have a feel for Wurzburg, so I can't really comment on it - we just saw it very quickly. Someone else can probably give you some good info though.

Rothenburg is also a nice town, but as I mentioned earlier, it is a bit out of the way so I wouldn't stay there. And actually, even though I enjoyed our visit there very much, this would be the town I would drop from the itinerary.

"3) should we rent a car or use public transport."

Trains is an excellent option, especially since all of the towns on your list are well-served by trains. IMO, the train is much preferable to having a car. The car is good if you want to stop enroute at little towns along the way or go places that aren't well-served by trains. But as it is, you have a pretty full itinerary, and trains are cheap and fast. You can all travel on the Bayern Ticket, for 30 euro/day.

http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml

bahn.com/i/…bavaria-ticket.shtml

"Complicating my thinking is a desire to make a stop in Dettelbach, a small village outside of Wurzburg and the birthplace of my great grandmother. It would be a thrill just to stroll the streets for an hour. I'm assuming I'd need a car to get there but perhaps could take a taxi."

This isn't a complicating factor at all. Dettelbach has a train station - right on the line from Nuremburg to Wuerzburg. If you are travelling between the two and take regional train rather than an ICE train, it will stop there. You can get off and continue on with a later train.

2. Re: Itinerary help: Nuremberg (from Prague), Rothenberg, Bamburg

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