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Rhineland and Germany itinerary, Help please!

New Castle, Indiana
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Rhineland and Germany itinerary, Help please!

My wife and I are going to Europe this summer (for 15 days) We're going all over and I have most of the trip figured out except Germany. We start in Germany at Cologne where we'll be visiting a friend on July 19th. On Sunday the 20th, in the afternoon, we'd like to head down to the "Romantic Rhine" between Koblenz and Rudesheim and stay the night in one of the villages. We'd like to tour this area on Monday the 21st (including a short river cruise) and stay another night in the area. On Tuesday we'd like to go to Rothenburg and go on the night watchman tour, everyone is recommending. On Wednesday we'd like to be in Munich for dinner and stay there that night. Thursday morning we plan on leaving by train to Venice. (I should also say that this isn't my first trip to Europe or Germany, but it is my first trip to the Rhine valley and central Germany, I've been to Cologne and Munich before.)

Keeping in mind that we are generally heading south across Germany does it make sense to start our Rhine valley tour in Rudesheim and go north in order to go downstream as many posts have suggested?

Which villages would you suggest staying in? I've been told that Rudesheim is nice and read that Bobbard is too.

We're open to the idea of renting a car in Germany, but from reading posts it doesn't seem like one would be needed for the Rhine valley part of the trip, that it could be done with trains and ferries, is this correct? We could just take a train down from Cologne.

I was thinking a car might be handy when we leave the Rhine valley and go to Rothenburg, it might allow us to see more, and maybe if time allows check out some of the Romantic road on the way to Munich, is this a good idea?

Is it better to rent a car ahead of time or rent in Germany?

Any additional tip on things to see or avoid in our short time in Germany would be much appreciated!

Loreley Linie
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Mainz, Germany
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1. Re: Rhineland and Germany itinerary, Help please!

You don't need a car in the Rhine river valley but it does not bother too much, either. Getting to Rothenburg is imho much easier by car than by train and it would come handy for the Romantic Road as well. If I was you I'd go for it. Don't know whether renting it beforehand is more economical. We always book our rentals in the US from Germany since all important insurances are included already then, but I don't know the other way around. I'm sure somebody can come with advise here.

Rüdesheim would be a convenient base, it is very touristy, though. Of course, other places like Bacharach, Oberwesel or St Goar live off tourism as well, but are generally quieter and very romantic indeed. Boppard is larger than the others mentioned. From each one you can travel up and down the river by train, car or boat. It does not really make a difference in possible activities (or in scenery) which one you'd stay in.

Be aware that train tracks run through all the towns on both sides of the Rhine, so try to keep some distance to the tracks when looking for accomodations - or make sure to have air-con (not that customary in Germany) so you can keep the windows shut at night.

Edited: 08 April 2014, 14:46
Hanau, Germany
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2. Re: Rhineland and Germany itinerary, Help please!

For car rental check this http://www.gemut.com/ your fellow country men seem very satisfied with the service they offer, I don't have any personal experience with them.

New Castle, Indiana
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3. Re: Rhineland and Germany itinerary, Help please!

Thank you for your response. I think we'll take the train from Cologne to Bacharach and stay the night there and the next day take a ferry down river to Braubach. From reading other posts this seems to be the most scenic stretch of river. Can we get off of the ferry and tour Oberwesel and St Goar?

Will we miss much skipping the part of the river south of Bacharach?

Where would be best to spend the night on the north end? Bobbard, Braubach, or Koblenz.

Also keep in mind that I think the next day is when we should pick up a rental car in order to drive to Rothenburg. Where is best to find a rental car?

Hanau, Germany
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4. Re: Rhineland and Germany itinerary, Help please!

You can check where Avis, Sixt and such have rental stations, read the fine print about one way fees which could apply, you can always ask on the above link for a quote.

Don't assume that your Visa or MasterCard insurance is valid, ask the rental company if they accept it before you rent, or what they want to honor it, otherwise what seems to be a cheap rental car could be an expensive surprise, just search here on TA for Dollar/Thrifty/Terstappen.

Mainz, Germany
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5. Re: Rhineland and Germany itinerary, Help please!

No need to split your stay on the Rhine, you can stay in the same place for both nights instead of having the hassle of packing, moving the baggage to another hotel etc. You would not save but actually waste time.

Check the KD schedule for the river cruise - https:/…c572 . If you start at Bacharach you may get off at Oberwesel or St Goar on the way up north but note that you could be stuck in one place for quite a while until the next boat comes around.

You will miss a couple castles south of Bacharach but who cares if you see a dozen others anyway.

I don't really know about rental car offices in those smaller towns. Most major companies have stations in Koblenz and Mainz, a short train ride away from wherever you stay along the Rhine.

New Castle, Indiana
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6. Re: Rhineland and Germany itinerary, Help please!

If we see all the castles along the Rhine is it worth driving over to the west to Burg Eltz Castle? or would our time be better spent heading to Rothenburg.

By car what route would you recommend for driving to Rothenburg?

If we were looking for a scenic route would you recommend we go down through Worms and Heidelburg and take some of the castle road?

Boppard, Germany
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7. Re: Rhineland and Germany itinerary, Help please!

Burg Eltz is less than an hour's drive from the Middle Rhine valley. From Boppard you could do a nice day tour that includes Burg Eltz, Cochem and Beilstein.

Rothenburg is of course in a different part of Germany. I would not consider the route through Worms and Heidelberg scenic, in fact you would drive on the autobahn first. Only on the Neckar east of Heidelberg the scenery gets better.

For another scenic route you could take the autobahn to the Aschaffenburg area, east of Frankfurt, and then drive through Miltenberg, Wertheim, Bad Mergentheim and Creglingen.

Edited: 09 April 2014, 16:06
8. Re: Rhineland and Germany itinerary, Help please!

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