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First Time in Germany

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Singapore, Singapore
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First Time in Germany

Will be in Germany 28 May first time. Plan 2 visit Munich, Cologne, Dusseldort. Will be in Germany 28 May - 4 Jun. Can advise what is the best itinerary. Currently we plan arrive frankfurt we put luggage at Holiday Inn Express City Hauptbahnhof, Then hop on train to connect to Munich (28 -30 May) stay at TOP Carmen. Then 30 May we take train Munich to Cologne (can recomend hotel at Cologne. Want to visit the chocolate factory. Take train Cologne to Dusseldorf (sort of like a day trip) try to take overnight train from Dusseldorf to Frankfurt (arr Frankfurt on 2 Jun) and visit places of interest, shopping, market streets before dep for Singapore flight is 2200 hours on 4 Jun

Edmond, Oklahoma
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1. Re: First Time in Germany

I can speak to Munich. Make sure you hit the Marienplatz and the Viktulienmarkt. Both are great places to just be a tourist. Sandemann's Free tour is also a great way to learn some history. Meets everyday at the Marienplatz @1045. Look for guides in red shirts. Enjoy the sites and if you have any more specific questions feel free to ask.

New York
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2. Re: First Time in Germany

Overnight train from Dusseldorf to Frankfurt? The German summer nights are short, but not THAT short. You can make it from Cologne to Frankfurt in an hour. Dusseldorf is only a little farther.

Ottawa
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3. Re: First Time in Germany

If you go to Munich then to Cologne, you are back tracking. As I've said to you before, Munich is south of Frankfurt and Cologne is north. As much as possible, try to go in a straight line.

Why not fly into Munich, then take the train to Cologne and Dusseldorf, then take a short train ride to Frankfurt, visit the city, then fly out of Frankfurt. This way you don't go back and forth for a long train ride.

New York
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4. Re: First Time in Germany

Regarding shopping in Frankfurt, the jewelry store Friedrich in Goethe Strasse has a window devoted to very high end, reasonably priced 2nd hand items. Only hitch, no VAT refund on departure. In Offenbach across the river is the Goldpfeil factory store. Reasonable prices on high end women's handbags, good luggage and briefcases. Munich and Dusseldorf are probably better than Frankfurt for big international brand shopping. Mainz is an easy train ride to the airport. It has more charm than Frankfurt, a great cathedral, the Guttenberg Museum, a view of the Rhine, good food and wine at reasonable prices. And good, creative jewelry stores at reasonable prices. For a more "German" experience, stay in Mainz, not Frankfurt. (I lived in Frankfurt for a year and like it, but it is more an international banking and legal center.) Mainz is frequently overlooked.

Frankfurt
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5. Re: First Time in Germany

The 2nd of June is a Thursday, so head over to the huge Farmers Market on the Konstablerwache. This is located at one end of the shopping street called the Zeil. On Friday, this market will be on the Schiller Strasse next to the Stock Exchange. For a great indoor market, visit the Klein Markt Halle.

Frankfurt is just as German as any other city. What an odd statement! So what if it has some skyscrapers and lots of banks? It also has tons of museums, lots of parks, tons of festivals, and a very long and rich history where it has been a major player in Germany. Frankfurt was a free Imperial city for 100's of years, the location for the election and coronation of the German Kings and Emperors. Visit some of our medieval churches, or even the Carolingan church, St. Justinus in the neighborhood of Höchst. Built in 850, it is one of the oldest churches in Germany.

The residential neighbohoods that surround the city center are beautiful, filled with turn of the century architecture, lots of sidewalk cafes, and unique little stores - Bornheim, Sachsenhausen, Nordend, and Westend, and of course Höchst.

I like Mainz a lot, and what it offers, but there isn't near as much to do there as in Frankfurt.

New York
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6. Re: First Time in Germany

I agree about Frankfurt. It's a terrific city with lots to do. But it is not as typically German as Mainz. When we lived there and drove into camping sites with our Frankfurt license plates, the locals made this clear. For long term living, Frankfurt. For a short tourist stay, I pick Mainz. Perhaps 2 days IS long for Mainz. For one day, Mainz is perfect. I think your Frankfurt suggestions are 1st rate. The small market hall is always on my list. Also Palmen Garten, Goethe Haus, Stadel, Roman ruins. Of course Mainz is a wine town. Frankfurt is Apfelwein.

Hannover, Germany
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7. Re: First Time in Germany

Better to not try to visit too many cities, otherwise you will spend your times in trains and train stations, packing and unpacking and trying to get oriented in ever new cities. Spend two nights in each! Munich is absolutely overrated. Leave it out and there's nothing to regret.

New York
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8. Re: First Time in Germany

Munich IS overrated. But it is still worth 3-4 days. 2 will make you want to come back. As others have pointed out, you're spending a LOT of time on the train. You would have more time for the sites if you got a flight from Frankfurt to Munich (there are lots of cheap ones available) and then come back to Frankfurt (or Mainz) by train by way of Nuernberg and Wuerzburg - both charming cities with excellent museums and old town sections. Munich to Nuernberg is only about an hour. Or Frankfurt to Stuttgart. Then Stuttgart - Munich - Nuernberg - Frankfurt. Munich-Cologne is a long way. Of course none of us has any idea what really interests you. It's a mistake to discuss a trip to Germany without a trip to a concentration camp, sobering as it is. Dachau is a suburb of Munich. .

Singapore, Singapore
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9. Re: First Time in Germany

Hi, thank you so much for the comments and recommendations. Will need to re-plan our itinerary after reading all the comments and advice.

Does Frankfurt airport has a hotel nearby ? If so can someone enlightened me on name, booking and etc.

Frankfurt
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10. Re: First Time in Germany

Unless you plan on staying at the Sheraton at the airport, it will take you longer to get to all the other "airport" hotels than it would to take the train and stay in the city. The S-bahn only takes 11 min. to get to the Frankfurt main train station.

The Holiday Inn Express near the train station is a nice, very new hotel. Just checked it out this past week when friends from out of town were staying there. Decent sized rooms and bathrooms and the location is great. You are near to the center of the city with all of the stores, historical sites and lots of restaurants.

I disagree about the flying to Munich or Nuremburg, By the time you figure in a cushion of time between arrival and the flight, security, etc. you have spent just as much time as a train would have taken, and also missed the scenery between the towns.

If you want to visit Cologne from Frankfurt, the ICE takes all of 55 minutes to get there. The ride is not very scenic though. Recommended is to take the Regional, slower trains, which will take a bit over 2 hours, as they run right along the Rhine. This way you get to see all the castles and vineyards.

Please do spend some time deciding what it is you want to see in the various cities on your list. If you want to visit them, then just go. This shouldn't be a contest on this forum about which city is better or more worthy of your time. If you let us know a bit more about your interests though, then we could point out the cities that best match those interests.