Travel

Germany in summer - where to visit

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 30th, 2017 10:08 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 12, 2012
511 posts
69 upvotes
Richmond Hill

Germany in summer - where to visit

The wife and I are leaving the kids at home at heading east for a friend's wedding in Germany in July. Total of 10 days: 3 nights in Iceland, 6 nights in Germany. Our itinerary for Iceland is pretty well set, so no worries there. Looking for suggestions on places to stay and see before and after the wedding.

We land in Frankfurt the day before the rehearsal wedding. The wedding stuff all takes place 20 mins outside Frankfurt, so I don't want to travel too far on day 1. We have about 24 hours to kill though, should we stay in Frankfurt, Mainz, Weisbaden...?

After the wedding, we're planning to rent a car and book an Airbnb as a home base for a few days. We're into the old cultural stuff, medeival cities, castles, museums, and want to hit some great cafes, bakeries and restaurants.

RIght now considering 2 options: Staying around Bonn or Koblenz, lots of great spots on the Rhine, and plenty of castles in that area. Or going east and staying in Bamberg or Wurzberg and visiting the old towns in that area (including Rothenburg). Or are there other options I should consider?
14 replies
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
15962 posts
1855 upvotes
I was in the same area last year and people on RFD recommended that I visit Heidelberg and Cologne.

Heidelberg is a pretty nice town south of Frankfurt and worth spending a couple days there. Cologne was on the list mostly because I had to business in Aachen and it was on the way - nevertheless a good city with lots to see.

Also, I'm not sure if you need a car rental - train + taxi is very convenient in Germany and saves you the hassle of driving/parking.
Deal Addict
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Mar 16, 2004
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Bern, Switzerland / …
Königswinter is a nice day trip. Castle at the top has a nice view of the Rhine valley.
Köln to get some delicious Kölsch.
Bonn has a nice old centre.
Düsseldorf's riverside promenade makes for a nice afternoon stroll.
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
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is there any remnants of the world wars when you visit germany now, or is mainly all rebuilt?
Sr. Member
Mar 27, 2015
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Thornhill, ON
Frankfurt is boring as its just a big new city and there's not much left that's pre-war. Heidelberg is lovely, so its worth it. If you want the typical German town with beamed ceilings and timber houses and leiderhosen, go to Rothenberg ob der Tauber, Bern, Garmish-Partinkirchen, Celle, Swabish Halle. Any of these fit the bill but if your time is limited I'd pick Garmish and Rothenberg. They are kitchy and touristy but really nice. Rothenberg is especially so, and very well preserved as they get a ton of tourists. Trier is the oldest city in Germany and is also worth it - lots of old buildings if that's your thing. If you don't have your hotels booked yet, I strongly suggest you do so. I've been caught scrambling in the past and wouldn't make that mistake again, as its too stressful for me, so just a word of warning, they fill up fast in the summer months.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 12, 2012
511 posts
69 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Thanks for all the suggestions! Anyone have opinions on spending a day in Nuremberg?

I visited Rothenburg about 25 years ago and would love to go back. Since our time there will be over a weekend, should we expect tons of crowds?
Sr. Member
Mar 27, 2015
731 posts
171 upvotes
Thornhill, ON
Yup, its going to be busy. Tourism runs the economy in Rothenberg so if you plan on spending the night, book now.
Newbie
Aug 22, 2016
18 posts
7 upvotes
If you do rent a car, I would also recommend visiting Baden Baden and Black Forest. If memory serves, Baden Baden is about a 2 hour drive south of Frankfurt and the Black Forest is 1 hour drive south of Baden Baden.

I also drove down to Interlaken in Switzerland from Baden Baden, breath taking scenery once you get close to Interlaken.

Enjoy your trip!
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 12, 2012
511 posts
69 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Thanks again for the suggestions! We've booked an apartment in the centre of Bamberg for a couple nights, and we'll do day trips to Nuremberg and other small towns. We've decided against Rothenburg because of the touristy crowds, and instead we'll hit Budingen on our way back to Frankfurt.

I'm sure we could just do the train for this trip, but I like the freedom of renting a car and being able to make stops along the way whenever we see something cool. Also the train doesn't look like a super cheap option. 2 return tickets between Bamberg and Nuremberg will run about 85Euros. That's about the cost of renting a car, and we'll be tied to the train's schedule. I know gas is crazy expensive there, so that's an additional cost, but for the added freedom I'm leaning towards renting.
Newbie
Jan 17, 2017
67 posts
36 upvotes
Car is definitely flexible if you go that way. Easy to drive there.

FYI, for cheaper train travel look into the regional offers on bahn.de. For the journey you are mentioning, you could use the Bayern ticket, which is 31 euros for 2 adults (children free). Other German states offer something similiar.

http://www.munich-touristinfo.de/Bavaria-Ticket.htm
https://www.bahn.com/en/view/offers/reg ... CKETS_LZ01
Deal Addict
Dec 8, 2008
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bamberg to nuremberg takes less than 1 hour by regional train (31 euro ticket for 2 that the above poster mentioned), which does not tie you to the train's schedule. you can use your ticket the whole day, so it is good especially if you are doing a day trip as your return trip is also covered. the only caveat is that on weekdays you can only use this ticket from 9am. no restrictions on weekends. they have this regional ticket for pretty much every state in germany. slower but you can get on any train.

For nuremberg: if you are a WWII fan then you can visit the dokumentationszentrum in nuremberg. if the holy roman empire (what germany was called back then) interests you more then i recommend you visit the Kaiserburg - i believe there is also a tour in english. i also did a tour given by the city that takes you to the old underground torture chambers but i think this one is only available in german.

if you were based in nuremberg instead of bamberg i would have also recommended you go to.. REGENSBURG! it is located a bit south of nuremberg, so i am not sure if you'd find it too far of a day trip from bamberg. whereas bamberg is baroque regensburg is medieval... i have a bit of a soft spot for this city so i may be a bit biased. but both cities are really interesting and there is much to see. on a side note i personally think rauchbier (smoked beer, a bamberg specialty) is disgusting but you can be the judge of that. :D another nearby city worth visiting, if you have time, is Würzburg. all these places can be reached with the bayern ticket.


having said all that.. have you then decided against heading in the direction of mainz/wiesbaden?? because if you do end up going that area i have a whole other full itinerary for you ;-)
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Dec 8, 2008
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Frank311 wrote:
Mar 12th, 2017 10:43 pm
We land in Frankfurt the day before the rehearsal wedding. The wedding stuff all takes place 20 mins outside Frankfurt, so I don't want to travel too far on day 1. We have about 24 hours to kill though, should we stay in Frankfurt, Mainz, Weisbaden...?
Actually I just read this part of your post... So if you have 24 hrs to kill and you are near Frankfurt I recommend you go to Rüdesheim (the start of the most scenic part of the rhine river). The journey takes only about an hour by regional train, so you just have to purchase a regional ticket for 2 for hessen (same concept as the bayernticket) and it covers the both of you for the whole day, should be around 30 euros or less. no pre purchase required, you always buy such tickets at the train station (counter or machine). if you had more time to spend in the rhine region of course i would suggest you actually sleep at rüdesheim or any other towns nearby (e.g. bacharach, st. goar, etc.), do the whole K-D cruise along the rhine and go see some castles (e.g. marksburg), but if you have just 24 hrs then i think you should just take the regional train to rüdesheim and do the following "Ring tour":

http://www.seilbahn-ruedesheim.de/en/se ... /ringtour/

i think this is very doable for a day trip and once you have finished the ring tour you can spend some remaining time in the heart of rüdesheim - after which you can take any regional train back to frankfurt. and yes some will say rüdesheim is as kitschig and touristy as rothenburg o.d.t., but i beg to differ (esp if you opt for the ring tour!!).
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 12, 2012
511 posts
69 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Soty613 wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 3:03 pm
Car is definitely flexible if you go that way. Easy to drive there.

FYI, for cheaper train travel look into the regional offers on bahn.de. For the journey you are mentioning, you could use the Bayern ticket, which is 31 euros for 2 adults (children free). Other German states offer something similiar.

http://www.munich-touristinfo.de/Bavaria-Ticket.htm
https://www.bahn.com/en/view/offers/reg ... CKETS_LZ01
Thanks! I wasn't aware of these regional tickets, this could be a game changer. Renting a car works out to about 50+ euros a day (plus gas), so 31euros could be enough of a savings to give up a bit of travelling freedom. The challenge with the train is that some days we'll have all of our luggage with us, so a car would be ideal for trunk storage.

leoben wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 8:35 pm
bamberg to nuremberg takes less than 1 hour by regional train (31 euro ticket for 2 that the above poster mentioned), which does not tie you to the train's schedule. you can use your ticket the whole day, so it is good especially if you are doing a day trip as your return trip is also covered. the only caveat is that on weekdays you can only use this ticket from 9am. no restrictions on weekends. they have this regional ticket for pretty much every state in germany. slower but you can get on any train.

For nuremberg: if you are a WWII fan then you can visit the dokumentationszentrum in nuremberg. if the holy roman empire (what germany was called back then) interests you more then i recommend you visit the Kaiserburg - i believe there is also a tour in english. i also did a tour given by the city that takes you to the old underground torture chambers but i think this one is only available in german.

if you were based in nuremberg instead of bamberg i would have also recommended you go to.. REGENSBURG! it is located a bit south of nuremberg, so i am not sure if you'd find it too far of a day trip from bamberg. whereas bamberg is baroque regensburg is medieval... i have a bit of a soft spot for this city so i may be a bit biased. but both cities are really interesting and there is much to see. on a side note i personally think rauchbier (smoked beer, a bamberg specialty) is disgusting but you can be the judge of that. :D another nearby city worth visiting, if you have time, is Würzburg. all these places can be reached with the bayern ticket.

having said all that.. have you then decided against heading in the direction of mainz/wiesbaden?? because if you do end up going that area i have a whole other full itinerary for you ;-)
Thanks for all the great info! Nuremberg is definitely on the list, interested in WWII and Roman Empire stuff, so it looks like this city has a lot to offer.

Regensburg looks beautiful, but a little too far for this trip. We're still looking at mainz/wiesbaden for our first night, but then you mentioned Ruedesheim, so that's another option to consider. Not sure what to expect for food in Iceland, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to want a hearty German feast & beer on our first night in the country. What do you recommend for mainz/wiesbaden?

Thanks again!
Newbie
Jan 17, 2017
67 posts
36 upvotes
Can't recommend a place to eat, but food wise vs Iceland, Germany is much cheaper... especially for beer. Expect around 3-4E a pint (not much tip required), so it's cheaper than here. Iceland was expensive for beers (unless you go to a happy hour). Iceland was around 10 CAD for a beer, and not as good beer options.

Food wise, I found Germany to be cheaper and comparable to a dinner out in Canada, but I typically order more "pub" style foods like a schnitzel, chicken, etc. Iceland was alot more expensive. Trying to get a meat/fish + side was around 40-60 CAD. I found myself eating cheap meals in Iceland because of the costs (burgers, pizza, etc). For Iceland, definitely try the lamb, and meat (lamb) soup.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 12, 2012
511 posts
69 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Soty613 wrote:
Mar 30th, 2017 7:53 am
Can't recommend a place to eat, but food wise vs Iceland, Germany is much cheaper... especially for beer. Expect around 3-4E a pint (not much tip required), so it's cheaper than here. Iceland was expensive for beers (unless you go to a happy hour). Iceland was around 10 CAD for a beer, and not as good beer options.

Food wise, I found Germany to be cheaper and comparable to a dinner out in Canada, but I typically order more "pub" style foods like a schnitzel, chicken, etc. Iceland was alot more expensive. Trying to get a meat/fish + side was around 40-60 CAD. I found myself eating cheap meals in Iceland because of the costs (burgers, pizza, etc). For Iceland, definitely try the lamb, and meat (lamb) soup.
For Iceland, we made sure to get an apartment with a kitchen so we can make our own meals. I'm sure groceries are expensive as well, but should at least save us a bit if we aren't eating out 3x a day. We'll mostly be doing day trips, so we'll likely be packing sandwiches and eating on the road. I still want to experience some Icelandic cuisine, so we'll probably hit up a restaurant or bar at least once, but otherwise we'll be living off hot dogs, sandwiches and frozen pizza.

As for Germany, I'll probably be like you and get more pub fare. Looking forward to some authentic schnitzel, sausage, pretzels, pastries and plenty of beer!

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