Germany 2013 Guidebook
Best ways to improve this book:
Include the Circus Hotel in Berlin, assuming it meets your standards.
J. Warres in Baltimore, MD USA 11/09/2013
we loved the old books!!!! we swore by all the "Ricky" book, but the Germany one was a big dissapoinment. short, to the point, hand drawn maps. were what mde it simple to use... really americans do not have time to everything...so keep it simple like the old days... now the book has so much information... just like all the other ones...also... it is hard to read now. there is a way too much info... fodor's color fonts and highlights are better formatted
foley in redondo beach, ca 90277, ca USA 10/04/2013
just keep doing what you're doing.
Cathy L. in Salem, WI USA 09/30/2013
Provide tables of current local transportation costs online, for easy printing before you go or during your trip.
Gordon Kramer in Seattle, WA USA 09/28/2013
The chapter on Salzburg needs to include the specific stop name to use when getting off the tram rather than just a vague description of over the bridge. The stop is Rathaus. Also it would be very helpful to describe how to get to the start of the self guided walking tour from the tram stop. We wasted about a half hour trying to figure it out before we finally stumbled upon it. At least state which direction to turn (right).
Patricia Maddens in Troy, Mi USA 09/23/2013
maybe give a more comprehensive list of more and less expensive hotels - including large chains
Shikha Merchia in North Easton, Ma USA 09/09/2013
A couple resources for car travelers: Visit the excellent Brian's Guide to Getting Around Germany for a 1/2 hour lesson on driving: (http://www.gettingaroundgermany.info/zeichen.shtml), and download US Army Europe Poster 190-34-12 to take with you as a resource: (www.hqusareur.army.mil/rmv/drivers_handbook/1903412.doc). Driving here is a little different. Minimize your stress level by doing your homework. Unlike me!
Graf Hilgenhurst in Nashville, TN USA 08/06/2013
A little more friendly for car travellers. Get a GPS (mine is a Garmin)! Learn to use it. Get Euro-maps. It will cost you no more than renting a GPS with your car. It will eliminate the need for a full time navigator. A word of caution. Garbage in, garbage out. Need to make directions clearer for car travellers. There is a Rothenberg (northeast of Frankfurt), and a Rothenburg (southwest of Frankfurt). Ask me how I know that. The southwest is the Ob der Tauber that I wanted, but my GPS didn't know that. Also, there are 2 Staufens. You want the Staufen Im Bresleau.
Graf Hilgenhurst in Nashville, TN USA 07/23/2013
What about northern Germany? We took the night train from Munich to Hamburg. We *really* missed the Rick Steves guide there as we tried to make our way around a city that has lots of German tourists by not much set up for English speakers. We did fall in love with Lubeck, which was another hour by train, and on our way to the Scandinavian part of the trip (for which we also used a RS guidebook). Anyway, I'd highly recommend adding Lubeck and explaining why to skip Hamburg. In Lubeck we stayed at Hotel Alte Stadtmauer, and it was great. Gorgeous room, good breakfast, lovely garden breakfast dining area, and a nice price.
Tara M. in York, PA USA 07/03/2013
Totally missed, not even a notation on a very vital and beautiful area of Germany. I have used Rick Steve's publications multiple times previously. The Germany book was a bust unless you really want to see all the "typical" Germany areas. If feasible, I would request a refund. The publication did not remotely meet my needs and missed such a beautiful, historical and thriving region of Germany.
Sheila Smith in Williamston, MI USA 07/02/2013
You number hotels, restaurants, and sights on your maps. Why not number those same hotels, restaurants, and sights in the text? That'd make it easier to find those descriptions when referring from your fine maps.
In descriptions of restaurants and sights, perhaps indicate which venues accept only cash. You could do this with a simple icon.
I think your explanation of PIN #s lacks clarity. My 8-digit ATM PIN failed me in Salzburg and Vienna. It took repeated calls to my bank before someone suggested I change my PIN to four digits. Do you cover this?
Robert Sweibel in Richmond, CA USA 06/04/2013
Give a default street address in each town - rental car GPS insists on an address. Also, they have multiple choices for the same city - with other related words (perhaps the state/county, etc.?). I had to guess which one I needed.
Darrick Coles in Lake Forest, CA USA 05/19/2013
I had the Berlin snapshot book & I thought it was wonderful. I ate in a number of restaurants: Hasir, Gugelhof & Augustiner - all had good food. I was not thrilled with the restroom policy in Augustiner of 1€ to use it...I also enjoyed Restaurant Lubitsch on Bleibtruestrasse & there was a wonderful Chinese buffet at Sonne de China on Leipzigstrasse right next to the Dali Museum. I stayed in Hotel Amelie on Reichardstrasse and would recommend it.
My main advice for the Snapshot is to replace the Gorlitz section with a section on Potsdam. It is much closer and more familiar to your audience. Potsdam was wonderful. I enjoyed the San Souci Park, the old town and was thrilled to see the Einsteintraum although it was hard to find.
Martin Oppenheim in Forest Hills, NY USA 04/27/2013
Will provide more feedback when my trip concludes- I am here for 9 weeks, traveling 2 full weeks and weekends for all the others. Have 3 of Rick's books at my disposal! LOVING them!!!
Morgan Scheppler in Ames, IA USA 04/10/2013
-Please change the self-guided walk through Frankfurt. Remove the red light district information. -Add information about Höchst and the Justinus Church.
Add information about Mainz and please stop telling people to avoid it. Mainz especially, has one of the older and impressive cathedrals in Germany, as well as interesting Roman ruins, including a temple to Isis.
Visit Büdingen, the best preserved, walled, medieval town in Germany that has never been bombed or burned down. Also check out Bad Homburg, Idstein, Kronberg, Gelnhausen, Marburg, and Worms.
Please research the history of Rothenburg. Frankfurt was already electing kings and Holy Roman Emperors and holding trade fairs before Rothenburg was ever founded. It was not just a wide spot in road. Thanks!
Jo in Frankfurt am Main, Germany 01/06/2013
The book was invaluable. It saved us lots of money and steered us to places we wouldn't have normally considered. My only suggestion is more info on how to buy public transit tickets using the machines. Trying to buy the Bayern-Ticket was not very intuitive.
Mike in East Windsor, NJ USA 12/31/2012
A map of Potsdam. After Sansoucci and walking around the Park, I didn't get good directions on how to get back to the station. I would going in the opposite station and taking a tram back, but it was a nice view.
Ben in detroit, MI USA 10/21/2012
Don't just cover Southern Germany, mention the rest of the country too. The medieval towns of the Harz mountains are as beautiful and romantic as the one in Bavaria, and they still feel authentic. Quedlinburg, Wernigerode, Goslar, Celle, Einbeck, Stolberg, Wolfenbuttel... the list is endless. And no Baltic coast? This region is one of the best in Germany! Lubeck, Wismar and Stralsund are World Heritage Sites and very beautiful. The castle in Schwerin is the Neuschwanstein of the north, the islands are wonderful (especially Hiddensee and Darss) and the spa towns are unique.
Steve in Berlin, USA + Germany 10/08/2012
There is nothing we could add to improve Ricks books. We recommend them to anyone we know who are planning to travel. He did not fail us at all.
Linda Workman in Decatur, IL USA 10/05/2012
I noticed that Hannover was not mentioned in the book. There was a lot to see and do in Hannover - including Herrenhäuser Gärten and Hameln. The countryside of Lower Saxony was very pretty.
Matthew in Brentwood, TN USA 09/11/2012
You need to include more information on arriving and getting around via a car. We had limited time (4 days) in Germany and most involved genealogy research so we had to have a car. We wanted to see some of your suggested towns whenever we could but you rarely included arriving by car. Munich was especially hard to figure out where to go/park.
Diane Henry in Collierville, TN USA 09/08/2012
I offer another hotel choice in Munich. We have stayed at Litty's hotel in the past. This time I picked the Lux--staff was excellent! I highly recommend this hotel because of location and value for the service and location. Made the long walk back to the hotel easier at night since we were in the middle of everything.
Jackie Johnson in Somerset, WI USA 09/03/2012
Mention this great oasis: stone park under trees with water running through it, 100 ft west of the two tower entrance to frauenkirche in munich. I have a couple pictures I can send you.
Cathy Theys in Oak Park, IL USA 08/30/2012
Please give a little more love to Koblenz.
Jay Nelson in Clayton, CA USA 08/22/2012
Do not so blatantly put down certain towns such as Heidelberg and Rudesheim. It boggles my mind to think you would deny viewers the pleasure by not mentioning anything good about these cities/towns. I am glad I ignored your advice as these were two of my favorite experiences. Heidelberg Castle is amazing as is the old bridge. I had the good fortune of attending a good friends weddign at the castle. My German friends were lucky to advise us to take a Rhine River cruise from Rudesheim. In two hours we were captivated by the vineyards and the castles and cable car rides.
Also not mentioned in this book is how not family friendly Baden Baden is and if you do go there not to miss Alte Schloss in the black forest -the ruins of an 1100 castle with the most amazing restaurant with the most spectacular views.
My advice to anyone taking your book with them would be to do the opposite of what you suggest.
Joyce Klapheke in Harwinton, CT USA 08/14/2012
Give more of a shout-out to staying in Fussen.
Lynda Lamb in Birmingham, AL USA 07/11/2012
Add Goslar as a destination!
Dale in Fairfield, OH USA 06/23/2012
I think Schloss Moritzberg deserves a mention as a side trip from Dresden.
Sam in Philadelphia, PA USA 06/19/2012
I have used your guidebooks for Paris and Venice and found them to be invaluable. Frankly I found Snapshot Berlin a bit disappointing and I think it needs to be updated. In Getting Around Berlin you devote only a tiny paragraph to bike rental. Bikes are surely the best way of getting around - easy to hire, also by the day, and the fantastic Tiergarten park provides a wonderful traffic-free link across town. The guidebook does not mention that in order to visit the Reichstag (a must to visit, according to your book), it is now necessary to book online, at least two days in advance. We were disappointed we were unable to visit. I would like to add that the Brandenburg-Tor station has now been painted and modernized.
Helen Glave in Florence, Italy 06/11/2012
Add the Burg Hotel in Rothenburg. Add the Cafe Rustica in Bacharach (Astrid says you promised)!
Alan Reed in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA USA 04/29/2012
I used the Berlin snapshot guide 2012. It needs a map of the region (Berlin, Dresden, Gorlitz, so I can know where I am on the train) and a Berlin transit map (but I understand why it's not there, with the changing airports). It is also missing information on a Potsdam day-trip (made me regret buying the snapshot and not the full Germany book, which has a few pages on Potsdam) and more on Sachsenhausen.
Kyla Gurganus in Ypsilanti, MI USA 04/10/2012
I have not been to Germany yet but the book is a great way to get familiar with the country!
Matthew Toennies in Brentwood, TN USA 04/04/2012
Add in some more small German towns to the mix. For the trip to Salzburg provide some information about how to catch the bus into the old town - we found it quite confusing and were surprised the book did not include any tidbits around that (the buses arrive on various sides and not overly intuitive).
Alison OMaley in Newton, MA USA 01/13/2012
I buy most of your books every year wonderful job
Richard Schultz in Absarokee, MT USA 11/27/2011
Berlin: For each recommended hotel (and even restaurant): Add brief directions from the nearest U-Bahn or tram stop. Your hand-drawn maps lack detail and aren't really to scale, so it's difficult to figure out how to get to your recommended hotels, even with them labeled on the map.
Stacey Oziel in Santa Monica, CA USA 11/25/2011
Do NOT recommend Bob's Special Tours in Salzburg - I cannot stress enough how offended we were and felt we were cheated out of a great experience.
Kathy & Rick Taylor in Placentia, CA USA 11/03/2011
Please consider including more information on former East Germany. We spent a week exploring the small communities from Bad Staben to the Saale River in the Frankenwald and Thuringia forest areas. These are beautiful national forests, with hiking and biking trails and picturesque lanes that connect the many small towns. We were the first Americans that most of these towns have seen. The beauty of the area is tempered by the footprint of the former Soviet empire. While most of these hamlets were largely untouched by WW2 (other than the tragedy of losing many, many young men to war), several of them have now abandoned Soviet missle bunkers squatting in the pastureland on the edge of town as a chronic reminder of the not so distant past. Though no one spoke English most of these towns, we found everyone we met to be very warm and welcoming, and good at charades. We felt that we were truly having a "back door" opportunity, exploring and experiencing a beautiful part of the world that has yet to experience western tourists.
David Poretti in Minneapolis, MN USA 10/28/2011
Maybe just include to suggest to the reader to check for any updates on your website.
Helen Kluck in Gloucester, MA USA 10/10/2011
I just bought your Germany book to plan my May/June 2012 trip. I contacted the Hotel Rhein in Bacharach and they are already fully booked! Nowhere does it say to make reservations this early so you might want to alert people....I'm just getting started and I'm already disappointed. I guess I'd better make all my trip plans now!
Paul in Novato, CA USA 10/10/2011
Provide exact addresses. We travel with a GPS and found the general locations provided in the Hallstatt area (to the luge runs for example) were not sufficient to allow us to use the GPS.
Carole in Edmonton, Canada 09/07/2011
Include more about the very ancient Jewish history in Europe (dating to Roman times), and the many monuments in cities, for which we had to go digging.
Randall in Portland, OR USA 08/31/2011
We promised Mrs. Pohler of the Romantik Krone in Lecaschau, Austria that we would put in a good word with you. We had your book with us, and she ran out to our car and said she was sad that Reutte hotels were included but not Lechaschau. The Romantik Krone is charming. It is spotlessly clean, the food is wonderful, and the Pohler family really took us under their wing as non-German speakers. The views from the balconies are beautiful. You might want to stop by on your next trip through Reutte/Lechaschau! :)
Jean Breeding in Knoxville, TN USA 08/14/2011
I recognize that the book is aimed at people who are doing 2-3 weeks in Germany, so my suggestion is unlikely to change anything, but I am frustrated that so many worthwhile sites (like anything in Baden-Wurttemburg outside of the Black Forest) are left out. As someone who lives in Germany but travels all over it, I find myself suffering from "multiple-guidebook-syndrome" - using Rick's guides for the opinionated, quality direction I like, but supplementing with other guides that include the places I actually travel to on a regular basis. Frustrating! I know Stuttgart may not be an international travel destination, but Esslingen and Tubingen are as appealing as Rothenburg and far less touristy! It makes me wonder what is really so "back door" about this guide when it seems to focus primarily on the big tourist stuff.
Sarah in Stuttgart, Germany 07/11/2011
Cover northern Germany, too! Lubeck, Quedlinburg, Hamburg, Bremen are all very interesting places with more to do/see than some of your recommended places (i.e. Frankfurt, Wurzburg)
Michael Boerm in Waco, TX USA 06/11/2011
Please be specific about availability of car parking for ALL of your accomodation suggestions & the cost, if any. If parking is not available at a facility, Please indicate the nearest available, reasonably priced parking place. This information would be very helpful for all Rick Steves guidebooks such as those for France, Italy, etc. We agree with Rick that cars are a useless burden in large cities but I am sure we are not his only fans that enjoy the freedom a car allows for getting out into the coun tryside & small villages & enjoy meeting the locals at our own pace. The downside of this type of travel is arriving at a town or site covered in Rick's guidebooks & needing some place to park the car. I know other guidebooks do not cover this problem but Rick's guidebooks should be the first & best.
Leslie & Bill Nix in Palatine, IL USA 05/01/2011
Without looking, I bought your Germany book only to discover there was no information on Heidelberg where I was going! I would have appreciated hotel and restaurant direction.
Janet Hughes in Sebastopol, CA USA 03/19/2011
I plan on buying the Bavarian Castle Pass at the TI. If I reserve tickets for Neuschwanstein online, how do they know I don't have to pay for them since I have the pass? Or do you pay for them when you pick them up? May I pick them up a day ahead of time?
Kay Gilbert in Wauwatosa, WI USA 03/17/2011
The "Shapshot of Berlin" guidebook needs more details. I bought it for a week I was spending in the city on work but other than small blurbs about this building or that site, I thought it really lacked in detail on restaurants and their pricing and it glossed over really cool sites such as the Topographie of Terror which we thought were cooler than other recommended sites (Neues Museum, for instance). I'd never been to Germany and really would have appreciated a small pronunciation guide or phrases to use to get around the city. Even though most people speak some English, I wanted to use their language, too! There is virtually no information on public transportation and I had to rely on getting in trouble by the DeutcheBahn personnel to learn how the system works! True, it was more fun that way, but a little guidance, or even an up-to-date map of the system would have helped! I am sure that someone who is using the book as a supplement to the overall Germany Guidebook found it a worthwhile purchase, but I thought "Snapshot of Berlin" was quite useless as a guidebook for someone who wasn't going anywhere but Berlin!
Eric in Burlington, VT USA 02/21/2011
Since we're military and have often lived in Germany (including right now) I have always looked at your travel guides to help plan trips. Florence & Tuscany guide book was outstanding!! Unfortunately, the track record with Germany falls short in comparison. I have no idea why it took years to separate Germany into its own volume. I still feel as if the country is given short shrift in your research and selected mentioned locations. There is so much to Germany. It's a pity that so much space is taken up by the Salzkammergut region, which isn't even within its borders. Regensburg, Passau, Eastern Bavaria, Bodensee + Mainau Island, Stuttgart, Nurembourg, Kassel, Goslar, Hamburg, are just a few of the neglected cities not even mentioned in the 2010 German guidebook. Yet they are very popular and contain famous sights to see. Many daytrips are out in the country at relatively easy reach from those spots. Heck, the map cuts off the entire northern part of Germany -- Schleswig-Holstein where there's lots of Viking history just waiting to be discovered. It's very disapointing and I hope there's better ALL OVER Germany travel scheduled for future volumes. It's a larger country than France with regional flavors. Give the country its full due. :)
Sara in Spangdahlem AFB, Germany 02/05/2011
Your book is darn near perfection. We just had to get used to the fact that it was NOT the same as a Michelen book that lists everything--YOU only list the good stuff.
Caroline and Jack Meyer in George West, TX USA 01/04/2011