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Help me plan a trip for next fall in Northern Germany
Old 11-03-2015, 07:48 PM   #1
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Help me plan a trip for next fall in Northern Germany

We are looking at a trip next September flying Icelandair. While my first choice is always Munich, I do not want to go to Oktoberfest so we will choose different cities. Icelandair also flies into Frankfurt and Hamburg.

I have always wanted to go to Luebeck so I was thinking of flying into Hamburg, and spending some time in Luebeck and then maybe a couple of other cities/towns before ending up in Copenhagen for 2 or 3 nights and flying home. DH really wants to go to Copenhagen and we want to go on "The Bridge" from the Danish TV show.

Does anyone have suggestions for places to visit around Hamburg and on the way to Denmark? Is Hamburg worth a couple of nights stay? We are looking at a 2 week trip or so and will likely stay 2 to 3 nights in each place. We travel very lightly and will be taking trains. Places I was pondering are Wismar, Lueneburg, maybe even Bremen although it is heading the wrong direction. Does anyone have any favorite places up there? I would love some feedback. Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:08 PM   #2
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If you are flying icelandair I would take advantage of a couple day stopover in Reykjavik which icelandair allows with no xtra fees.


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Old 11-04-2015, 06:46 AM   #3
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If you are flying icelandair I would take advantage of a couple day stopover in Reykjavik which icelandair allows with no xtra fees.
+1
This is absolutely the thing to do.

Not familiar with Hamburg, but my favorite city in northern Germany is Köln, well worth a couple of days.

Only one visit to Copenhagen, a long time ago, but I loved it. A delightful place. Walkable, like Köln.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:29 AM   #4
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I am watching this thread, as we have a r/t booked on Norwegian next June, but no real itinerary yet (I always figure something out).

SWMBO thinks we are going to Norway, but I'm not so sure yet. I am more inclined to putt around in Denmark or Northern Germany.

I wonder if Peenemunde is worth seeing (V1/V2 launch site). Anyone been there?
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I had to google Peenemunde! For those who recommend a stop in Reykjavik - would 2 days be enough? I would just want to stay in the city. Maybe try to see hotel from the Icelandic mystery "Voices".
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:41 PM   #6
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Spent a week in Muenster, Germany this past summer. Really liked the town - not too big, pretty compact central core, some fairly big universities there, great bicycle culture. Rented an apartment via Air BnB for a week. Had a great time.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I had to google Peenemunde! For those who recommend a stop in Reykjavik - would 2 days be enough? I would just want to stay in the city. Maybe try to see hotel from the Icelandic mystery "Voices".

If you stay in Reykjavik 2 or 3 days is enough. There are quite a few day trips you can take from Reykjavik ( Google golden circle Iceland for example ) by bus that are great that are worth adding an additional day or two . E.g. , There is an all day trip to the glacial lagoon

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jökulsárlón

That is fantastic (imo) .



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Old 11-05-2015, 06:45 AM   #8
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If staying in Reykjavik, I would recommend two days at the minimum. That will probably guarantee that you'll make plans to come back and see more next time. Add two more days for a couple of excursions to places not far from the city.

OTOH, if you never plan to visit Iceland again, then a week to ten days would be the minimum. Just my opinion.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:15 AM   #9
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Spent a week in Muenster, Germany this past summer. Really liked the town - not too big, pretty compact central core, some fairly big universities there, great bicycle culture. Rented an apartment via Air BnB for a week. Had a great time.
Thanks for the suggestion. Muenster does look beautiful and a manageable size.
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:43 PM   #10
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Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg - Modellbau Modelleisenbahn Hamburg in Hamburg.
Incredible series of model railroads. I think they have 8 different large rooms, each with it's own setting. Try to go while kids are in school so that you can take more time and see the detail without all the crowds. Even if you aren't model RR fans this is still very worthwhile to see, IMO. Check out the videos on the website.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:15 PM   #11
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We returned 6 weeks ago from a Scandinavian cruise out of Copenhagen. We flew Orlando-Copenhagen and from Bergen (Norway) to Orlando on Norwegian Air for about $750 round trip.

The NCL cruise to Warnemunde (Germany), Tallin (Estonia), St. Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm (Sweden) and back to Copenhagen was just over $1K each. We flew over to Oslo, Norway and took the Norway in a Nutshell train/ferry trip through the fjords to Bergen.

This was truly a trip of a lifetime and a cruise is the best way to see the entire region. Distances are great in the far north, and every country is deadly expensive in every way. The cruises are a very, very strong bargain.
I would not suggest a September trip to Scandinavia and Copenhagen as it rains 2/3 of the month. I have found Northern Germany to be flat (like Arkansas) and not as interesting as the Rhine River Valley and Bavaria.

If you fly into Hamburg, I would suggest you head toward Berlin, Dresden and Prague--all fabulous cities. Scandinavia is best if traveled from June through August.

Next up for us: 4/2016 3 days in Rome, 12 day cruise thru Greek Isles and Turkey--ending up for 2 days in Venice.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:45 PM   #12
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Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg - Modellbau Modelleisenbahn Hamburg in Hamburg.
Incredible series of model railroads. I think they have 8 different large rooms, each with it's own setting. Try to go while kids are in school so that you can take more time and see the detail without all the crowds. Even if you aren't model RR fans this is still very worthwhile to see, IMO. Check out the videos on the website.
Wow, thanks so much for that link! I remember seeing a show about this on TV and then I must have forgotten about it. The video is really cool. Yes, I would consider that a must see.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:57 PM   #13
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We returned 6 weeks ago from a Scandinavian cruise out of Copenhagen. We flew Orlando-Copenhagen and from Bergen (Norway) to Orlando on Norwegian Air for about $750 round trip.

The NCL cruise to Warnemunde (Germany), Tallin (Estonia), St. Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm (Sweden) and back to Copenhagen was just over $1K each. We flew over to Oslo, Norway and took the Norway in a Nutshell train/ferry trip through the fjords to Bergen.

This was truly a trip of a lifetime and a cruise is the best way to see the entire region. Distances are great in the far north, and every country is deadly expensive in every way. The cruises are a very, very strong bargain.
I would not suggest a September trip to Scandinavia and Copenhagen as it rains 2/3 of the month. I have found Northern Germany to be flat (like Arkansas) and not as interesting as the Rhine River Valley and Bavaria.

If you fly into Hamburg, I would suggest you head toward Berlin, Dresden and Prague--all fabulous cities. Scandinavia is best if traveled from June through August.

Next up for us: 4/2016 3 days in Rome, 12 day cruise thru Greek Isles and Turkey--ending up for 2 days in Venice.
Thanks for your post, that is some good information. I had just assumed everyone's weather is great in September, like it is here in Seattle!

Both your airfare and the cruises sound like great deals. I took a Silja overnight boat from Stockholm to Tallinn back in the 90's. Your cruise does sound like a perfect way to get to a bunch of neat but far from each other places.

The reason we were thinking of Hamburg-Copenhagen is because of where Icelandair flies. I don't know why they don't fly to Berlin. We are actually going to be spending a week in Berlin next April, and also a week in London with a short flight in between. I am definitely partial to Bavaria, Baden-Wurttenburg, and Rheinland-Pfaltz.

We may indeed end up pitching the idea and doing a fly into Berlin, see Weimar, Leipzig, and Erfurt, take the train to Dresden and on to Prague trip.

Or we may fly Icelandair roundtrip to Frankfurt and do a loop around there. So many possible trips, so little time.....
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:09 PM   #14
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Did Icleand over a weekend a few years ago and returned again this year for a week - did a knitting hiking tour (which ended up being more hiking) - also spent a few days in Reykjavik - there is a free hot pot just south of the hotel near the Reykjavik airport (Scandic hotel) (not Keflavik)....also, walked around Keflavik and it is worth a couple of hours, especially along the coast. Reykjavik has some great restaurants with great food (especially very fresh seafood). The cathedral is nice and the Leif Erickson statue which we gave them is great in front of the cathedral is nice, too. There is also a free sculpture garden right next to the cathedral which has sculptures that are of an Art Deco style - wonderful.

Golden circle is beautiful - the water falls and geysers as well as just he scenery. Out hike this time was through the area of where the volcano blew and between two glaciers on the south ide of the island - absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous scenery although one of the more challenging hikes I've done (didn't help that guide got lost and we couldn't find hut in fog and snow....)

Germany - lots of things to do there - have done Hamburg, Luebeck, Koln (amazing cathedral and the museum with the Roman glass as well as the art museum across the walkplatz from there are some of the best I've seen. Aachen is fairly near there and another great place with lots of history - Christmas or December in Germany is great with all of the Christmas markets (Weinachtmarkts) - gluhwein, regional food and decorations in the town centers...each one is different in each town.

Of course Rheinland Pfalz has great hiking along the German-French border with lots of castle ruins....the Deutsche weinstrasse and Route du Vin in France are great places to visit....also the Mosel wineries and a nice little river cruise form Bern Kastel...one of the famous bishoprics of the Roman Empire is on the Rhein river as well - wonderful cathedral and palace area there. One of the best fests ever is the Bad Durheim Wurst fest which is actually also a wine fest - think of it as more civilized Oktoberfest (which is worth seeing at least once just for its size and all the different tents).

Bavaria has the Alps and Munchen and then the passes through to Austria and Switzerland - the Eagle's Nest, etc. Schwabia has Stuttgart and the Porsche museum as well as the Black Forest - it is also a big horse area (Pferde) so you can see lots of horse farms...plus there are fall and squash fests....

I so do miss Germany - lots of great things to do.... sorry rambled so much...
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Old 11-11-2015, 04:52 PM   #15
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Did Icleand over a weekend a few years ago and returned again this year for a week - did a knitting hiking tour (which ended up being more hiking) - also spent a few days in Reykjavik - there is a free hot pot just south of the hotel near the Reykjavik airport (Scandic hotel) (not Keflavik)....also, walked around Keflavik and it is worth a couple of hours, especially along the coast. Reykjavik has some great restaurants with great food (especially very fresh seafood). The cathedral is nice and the Leif Erickson statue which we gave them is great in front of the cathedral is nice, too. There is also a free sculpture garden right next to the cathedral which has sculptures that are of an Art Deco style - wonderful.

Golden circle is beautiful - the water falls and geysers as well as just he scenery. Out hike this time was through the area of where the volcano blew and between two glaciers on the south ide of the island - absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous scenery although one of the more challenging hikes I've done (didn't help that guide got lost and we couldn't find hut in fog and snow....)

Germany - lots of things to do there - have done Hamburg, Luebeck, Koln (amazing cathedral and the museum with the Roman glass as well as the art museum across the walkplatz from there are some of the best I've seen. Aachen is fairly near there and another great place with lots of history - Christmas or December in Germany is great with all of the Christmas markets (Weinachtmarkts) - gluhwein, regional food and decorations in the town centers...each one is different in each town.

Of course Rheinland Pfalz has great hiking along the German-French border with lots of castle ruins....the Deutsche weinstrasse and Route du Vin in France are great places to visit....also the Mosel wineries and a nice little river cruise form Bern Kastel...one of the famous bishoprics of the Roman Empire is on the Rhein river as well - wonderful cathedral and palace area there. One of the best fests ever is the Bad Durheim Wurst fest which is actually also a wine fest - think of it as more civilized Oktoberfest (which is worth seeing at least once just for its size and all the different tents).

Bavaria has the Alps and Munchen and then the passes through to Austria and Switzerland - the Eagle's Nest, etc. Schwabia has Stuttgart and the Porsche museum as well as the Black Forest - it is also a big horse area (Pferde) so you can see lots of horse farms...plus there are fall and squash fests....

I so do miss Germany - lots of great things to do.... sorry rambled so much...
Thank you for your post. I love Germany and really miss it too. I was stationed at Bitburg AB for 2 years in the late 90's so lived about 20min from Trier. I loved Bernkastel and went to the wine fest one year. The Mosel is a great area, I loved being able to hang out and have a leisurely lunch, maybe take a short boat trip on a day off. Cochem is also a cute town, and if I felt like traveling a little further a day off in Rudesheim on the Rhein was really nice. Because I was in the far west part of Germany it was easier to travel to Luxemburg (hugely underrated in my opinion), Belgium and Holland than to many places in Germany. Paris was 5 hours away, but Berlin was about 12hours away. So, I never made it to Berlin, but will go for the first time next spring.

While I think everyone should see the Cologne cathedral, I'm not crazy about the city, a little too gritty. Aachen was maybe a 2 hour drive or so, so I made it up there a few times. That has a really neat cathedral.

This past spring I went to Stuttgart and was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it is. I was expecting it to be a little dull, but thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Of course Munich, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Wurzburg are my favorite cities.

One of the challenges with planning this trip is how far north Hamburg is. Luebeck is close nearby, but otherwise there aren't so many sites up in Schleswig Holstein except for the coast. I generally like to stay 2 to 3 days in one city then travel by train to the next, but I prefer shorter train trips maybe 4 hours max, rather than a whole day on the train. How many days would you recommend each for Hamburg and Luebeck? Thanks for listening to my rambling.....
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:39 AM   #16
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I liked Lubeck more than Hamburg, but it depends on what you like - Lubeck had the castle and small town area and was nice to walk around - Hambrug was definitely more modern. We did take a tour or Hambug and it included a 'cruise of sorts where we saw the port and there were some very interesting facts that came out of that with regard to how much cargo went through there and how it was impossible to stop all smuggling just due to the scale of the operations. Plus Hamburg is defnitely a port town - I belive they had the Reaper Bahn which was basically their oldest street which catered to sailors in port.

I'd give Lubeck day and Hamburg day - if you're the typical neurotic American (like I am at times) - you might be able to do both in day...

I'd go back to Trier at Christmas-time in a heart beat over Lubeck or Hamburgg, though. My other favorite city near there is Strasbourg - their Christmas market is amazing plus the cathedral and different areas and restaurants....all within a walkable area. Very nice.

Nice is gorgeous - wander around the streets - get out to Vence and St Paul de Vence in the hills just southwest of Nice. I foolishly did not go to the musuems of Matisse and Chagall - if I go back they will be on top of the list. You can also take some nice drives at different levels to Monaco and beyond - there's one at the water level and one that goes along the ridge of the mountains. As for Monaco - it's interesting - lots of money and the gardens, etc are nice. It will cost you to just walk into the casino - it's still looks like what was depicted in the Bond and other movies. - probably can't get a bad meal there. Provence is really a lot about the food (a lot of France is). My other desire is to be there when the lavender fields are in bloom and just stand in themiddle of it (for a picture and to be enveloped in the smell).

Do look for that Day Trips in Germany book as it has many itineraries that are reflective of your desires regarding travel nd proximity - there is also a Day Trips in France book.

Have fun!
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:23 AM   #17
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Aachen and Cologne are good for about a day per city, while the Mosel Valley might be good for 2. Generally the North is a bit flat, and probably not as exciting as Bavaria. I live in Germany, on the Dutch border, about an hour west of Cologne, and less than 2 from Amsterdam. We have travelled more towards NL and France than in Germany. Luckily we have many months left here (followed by FI & ER!).
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:32 PM   #18
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Aachen and Cologne are good for about a day per city, while the Mosel Valley might be good for 2. Generally the North is a bit flat, and probably not as exciting as Bavaria. I live in Germany, on the Dutch border, about an hour west of Cologne, and less than 2 from Amsterdam. We have travelled more towards NL and France than in Germany. Luckily we have many months left here (followed by FI & ER!).
Thanks for your post! I also once had an APO AE address, I was stationed at Bitburg. Enjoy your time there, it sounds like you must be fairly close to where I lived. One of my favorite places was Luxembourg, both Luxembourg City and especially the cute town of Echternach on the German border. I loved being so close to several different countries.
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Old 11-19-2015, 12:32 AM   #19
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Spent a week in Muenster, Germany this past summer. Really liked the town - not too big, pretty compact central core, some fairly big universities there, great bicycle culture. Rented an apartment via Air BnB for a week. Had a great time.
I spent six months there in 1974-5 during college. As a college student we didn't eat at nice restaurants, but great brats and fries on the street, and a very nice Saturday morning market in the town center (Prinzipalmarkt, as I remember). While Germans have great beer I remember a German friend taking me to a bar where they had his fav, and it was a Czech beer, Pilsner Urquel, I think, on tap.

Definitely not on the main tourist itineraries.
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In Germany and Denmark
Old 11-19-2015, 10:40 AM   #20
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In Germany and Denmark

You might regret missing Oktoberfest in Munich. It's something to do before you can't.
From Copenhagen, take a nice, short, cheap train ride to Roskilde to visit Viking Ship Museum and outdoor village.
Lots of nice stuff in No. Germany. Fairy Tale Route anywhere from Frankfurt to Hamburg takes you through great towns and castles, including Hamelin.
Another lovely medieval town is Celle, between Hamburg and Hanover.
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