Tips for 10 days in Germany

 
Published8/30/2008 11:13 PM

Q: Two friends and I are going to Europe in October, and would like to see as much as we can without hurrying too much. We plan to be gone about 10 days to Germany and the Czech Republic, flying into Frankfurt and returning from Zurich, Switzerland. Could you provide some sort of itinerary that we can consider?

A: Consider this: Take the train from the Frankfurt airport to Cologne, which takes a little over two hours, get a hotel and rest up for the rest of your journey. Trains run every hour. The Cologne Cathedral is well worth seeing and is located not far from the train station, so you could spend a few hours there and be on your way to Berlin.

 

An alternative could be a riverboat on the Rhine from Frankfurt past the famous Lorelei Rock to Cologne. It's a nice trip but requires half a day or more.

Trains to Berlin from Cologne run every hour and take about four and a half hours. In Berlin you might want to stroll along the Kurfurstendamm, a great boulevard, see Unter den Linden, another great street that was in East Berlin, and visit the Brandenburg Gate, the Checkpoint Charlie Museum and the Reichstag, Germany's seat of government.

From Berlin you could go on to Prague, a train trip of about five hours. You'll find a lot to see there, mainly in the Old City and up the hill to the Prague Castle. From Prague be sure to take in Munich, one of my favorite European cities. You probably will need to change trains in Nuremberg (usually just across the platform). The trip requires about seven hours.

In Munich you will want to see the Marienplatz and the famous glockenspiel in the Rathouse (city hall) there. A block or so off the Marienplatz is the world-famous Hofbrauhaus where the food is excellent, the oomp-pah band is great and the beer comes in one-liter mugs.

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Munich is in the heart of Bavaria and you should rent a car and drive through the Black Forest, perhaps spending a night in one of the quaint villages you'll find along the way. Take a side trip to Dachau, a short distance northwest of Munich, to see the Nazi concentration camp there. Get a good map and you probably will find much more to see and do.

From Munich you can head home (if you really must), taking the train to Zurich. There are six or so trains a day and the trip takes about four hours. More information is available at www.cometogermany.com or call (800) 651-7010, the German Tourist Office.


Send your questions at least sixweeks prior to travel to Madelyn Merwin in care of
Travel,Daily Herald, P.O.Box 280, Arlington Heights, IL 60006, or e-mail
dpmerwin@sbcglobal.net.

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