15 days around Germany

14 replies

Snail

Member since 16 Jan 2018

Total posts 19

Well.. long time lurker first time poster as many have mentioned.


So me and my better half is travelling from Shanghai to Frankfurt via Hong Kong on Cathay. It will be our first time in Europe and I don't want to experience it like a tour group.

I have a friend kind enough to give us his car, so I guess we will be driving. I wanted to just focus in Germany and drive around the country so we could experience it all, but the better half was wondering if we could visit Czech or Austria or Vienna along the way.

We only have 15 days to leave Europe as she needed to apply for a visa and it only allows her to stay for 15... So, has anyone spent half a month in Germany? What is your route like if you don't mind sharing?

And... Any suggestions on how to drive on the other side of the road? I have never be in a car with the wheels on the left hand side...

Last.. being an OW emerald member, could someone suggest a lounge in Hong Kong or Frankfurt?

Thanks in advance

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

I did an anti clockwise circle from Frankfurt; Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Munich, Ingolstadt, Nuremberg, Berlin, Wolfsburg, Cologne, Bonn, Frankfurt. We did extensive tours of the 5 big German Car makers, seeing your driving and if you like motoring and cars, you will love it. Highly recommended is the Autostadt in Wolfsburg.
PS. only the steering wheel is on the 'other' side. Should you decide to sit back and relax and go by DB train, you can easily visit everyone of these locations within your time frame.

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

I did an anti clockwise circle from Frankfurt; Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Munich, Ingolstadt, Nuremberg, Berlin, Wolfsburg, Cologne, Bonn, Frankfurt. We did extensive tours of the 5 big German Car makers, seeing your driving and if you like motoring and cars, you will love it. Highly recommended is the Autostadt in Wolfsburg.
PS. only the steering wheel is on the 'other' side. Should you decide to sit back and relax and go by DB train, you can easily visit everyone of these locations within your time frame.

ooops, forgot Hanover, that's where Continental AG make tires. Great City.

Longtoo

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Jun 2017

Total posts 29

Your friend is very kind but may i suggest that you consider to leave the car behind. Germany has a super train network. Unless you want to explore the country side, you will end up spending more time and money for parking and potentially parking ticket. Germany is a wonderful country but you can also spend a few days in Vienna. It is a walk-able city and if you like to admire architectural wonders, you will go from surprise to surprise.


As for lounge in Hk, try the Pier.

good one

Member since 17 Jan 2018

Total posts 3

We have done a 16 day road trip in Aug 2016 - must sees are Berlin, Munich, Schwangau, Baden Baden, Boppard (thank me later), Bonn, Cologne, Stuttgart (apart from Mercedes Benz free factory tour - keep moving). Combo of train and cars. Agree with Longtoo, the parking rates can be high in the big cities. Best collect any rental car from Munich airport then drive anti clockwise. We preceeded with a train trip through Poland - cheap AF and apart from Krakow not touristy. Austria is a project on its own and not a cheap destination. Safe travels.

Rufus1

Member since 04 Dec 2013

Total posts 65

Nothing particularly special in terms of lounges in FRA. Cathay has its own (combined J/F) lounge - JAL has a small and discretely marked F section but you'd be best sticking with the CX lounge on your departure.

LondonAussie

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 12 Jul 2014

Total posts 79

Couple of Questions:

What time of Year are you visiting, as that will very much influence whether driving or leaving the car is a good idea. if its soon, best to leave the car, Winter driving is very difficult if not properly prepared / experienced.

Also, why only a 15 day Schengen Visa? Did she apply for longer? If the trip isnt soon, I'd be looking for longer.

maramara

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 22 Jun 2017

Total posts 4

I agree with driving in Germany which we did a few years ago as that way you will be able to stop at the small towns that typify the cute, charming side of Germany. We started in Strassbourg (and while you are there, visit Colmar nearby in France - possibly the most gorgeous town in that country). We loved Bremen (be sure to walk through Schnoor), Hamburg, Hameln (Hamelin), Dresden, Nuremburg, Rothenburg, Bamburg, to name a few places but when you drive, you some across so many unexpectedly interesting places. Driving is not that bad since a lot of roads are dual carriage. Just keep your wits about you at all times and it slowly becomes natural.

Copernicus

Member since 22 Jul 2017

Total posts 3

Some thoughts on driving in Germany/ on the right hand side of the road:
- be careful re-joining a normal highway from a break particularly if you have pulled over to a car park on the left side of the road, it's quite possible to set off on the left hand side despite the positioning of the wheel.
- on autobahns where in some sections very high speeds are permitted be aware that a car behind may be closing on you much faster than you think, so it's a good idea to be a little more watchful pulling out into the "fast" lane and wise to blend back to the "slow" lane promptly.
- make sure the car's documentation covers you and that you borrow your friend's car roadside assistance card (I hope you won't need it).
- finally weather changes can be very quick in winter so allow enough time if the forecast is problematic.
Enjoy your trip!


Pointsman

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 18 Jan 2017

Total posts 8

Ok like a very quick trip snail, and yes, you can drive right into Czechoslovakia.

I would suggest and auto car for use over there, more time to concentrate on the road etc. Google the German road rules/ signs they can be quite different to or own. The 'give way to the right' rule needs to be learnt well. Also, be sure you have a very good insurance policy, accidents can be very expensive, and there used to be a minimum amount to be insured for (DM 1 million).
Not sure what the visa you mention is for, we were in Europe for 6 weeks and NO visa was necessary for travel through schengen countries, you were granted a few months automatically, maybe that changed recently.
As previously mentioned, be very aware on the autobahn, we had a Porsche load us doing at least 250kph in the outside lane. Even worse are trucks, German plated ones usually reliable, but, the former eastern block knees just pull out and don't give a hoot who's coming or how fast.
Good luck with it all have fun and enjoy the experience

Snail

Member since 16 Jan 2018

Total posts 19

Thanks guys for all the suggestions.

Missus doesn't hold Australian passport, hence the weird length of days she could stay.
We have decided to take the train in between cities, and we are travelling next month.
We gonna start with 1 night in Frankfurt, take the train to Cologne for another night. Followed by 2 nights in Berlin, 1 in Dresden, 2 in Prague, 2 in Vienna, 1 in Salzburg, 3 in Munich and one last back in Frankfurt so we can be on the 12pm flight towards HK.
Any suggestions on whether to increase or decrease certain days at certain location?
We are mainly there to enjoy the view I guess, not particularly into anything specific.

Thanks again for everyone that's helping me, this is indeed a great community.

Frank

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 Sep 2013

Total posts 93

Thanks guys for all the suggestions.
Missus doesn't hold Australian passport, hence the weird length of days she could stay.
We have decided to take the train in between cities, and we are travelling next month.
We gonna start with 1 night in Frankfurt, take the train to Cologne for another night. Followed by 2 nights in Berlin, 1 in Dresden, 2 in Prague, 2 in Vienna, 1 in Salzburg, 3 in Munich and one last back in Frankfurt so we can be on the 12pm flight towards HK.
Any suggestions on whether to increase or decrease certain days at certain location?
We are mainly there to enjoy the view I guess, not particularly into anything specific.

Thanks again for everyone that's helping me, this is indeed a great community.

Good decision I reckon. You will certainly enjoy the views. Have spent time in Munich and Salzburg, both nice. Salzburg worth two nights. Prague ten years ago was dodgy with tourists being preyed upon, particularly on their public transport, not sure about now. That said, last year in Bologna, Verona, and Munich we found we were being watched by some of the refugee groups who would suddenly appear behind us with offers to help get our luggage onboard, then put the hand out for some Euros. I suspect it was our mature age that we attracted their attention. If you stick with the plan, have a good read of the web site 'The Man in Seat 61'. If you are flexible with your train schedules (ie; leave a little later in the day) you will find first class fares are almost as cheap as economy, and worth the little extra. Enjoy it.

Pointsman

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 18 Jan 2017

Total posts 8

Can I suggest when in berlin, if you have an interest in aircraft, you get out to the former RAF Gatow which is now a wonderful museum of cold war and earlier aircraft. Well worth a visit.

Then there is the bombed out church, worth a visit while in the city.
Dresden is beautiful, you'll need to move very fast to see much of it in one day.
One thing is for sure, you are in for the trip of a lifetime, enjoy.

h15t0r1an

Member since 29 Jan 2015

Total posts 9

1 night in Frankfurt, take the train to Cologne for another night. Followed by 2 nights in Berlin, 1 in Dresden, 2 in Prague, 2 in Vienna, 1 in Salzburg, 3 in Munich and one last back in Frankfurt


I'd give Frankfurt a miss if you can. Not even one night. Cologne can be missed too. Berlin 2 nights OK, suggest at least 2 in Dresden. Keep your wits about you in Prague. Hmm Vienna personally 1 night if you are into art galleries etc, want to eat Sachertorte, visit a couple of the famous cafes.. Salzburg... if you must say you've been to the place where the Sound of Music film... Otherwise there's not much there. Munich interesting. Dusseldorf modern and interesting. Hannover, Bremen, Hamburg maybe a bit too far North. If you were in a car you could cover easily in less than 2 days, perhaps you don't have the time for these this trip. Why Garmisch-Partenkirchen (snow and Passion Plays), Linderhof (a jewel of a small castle),Neuschwanstein castle and if you're there, Hohenschwangau castle? Personally I'd spend a lot of time in Bavaria (Bayern), do Dresden, Prague, Berlin.... and not sure about the rest. Depends on your own interests, of course.

outthere1000

Air Canada - Aeroplan

Member since 28 Feb 2015

Total posts 9

Rather than deal with 200 km/h Autobahns, I'd look into a First Class Eurailpass. There's a big range of them - short/long duration, one country or 2+ adjoining countries (as Germany, Austria and Czechia are) and they give maximum flexibility - hop on any train, any time, and you both get to see the scenery, not just the car passenger. German trains are fast, frequent and comfortable, and definitely beat dealing with finding soewhere to park. By the way, though this doesn't apply to you with a borrowed car, rental car companies in Europe generally don't allow one to take their car across a national border.

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