Germany 2013 Guidebook
Favorite discoveries or tips:
B! Apartments is great. They are available through Expedia but you get a random apartment situated downtown. We were minutes from everything but had a kitchen, a lovely children's park next door, and a real flavor of the city.
Kris Martin in Modjeska Canyon, Ca USA 06/12/2013
Staufen was one of our favorite travel discoveries ever. Great recommendation! Some of the friendliest and most helpful people on the planet!
Bill Honker in Carrollton, TX USA 06/07/2013
It would be cool if your audio tours (I listened to two, in Vienna) invited listeners to click for further information on certain sights. To go deeper. This is a feature offered by many of the better museum audio tours. Antenna Group is a leading audiotour provider.
Robert Sweibel in Richmond, CA USA 06/04/2013
Lots of construction in Munich along the self-guided walking tour route. All of the sights/stops are accessible, but many streets are dug up and noise from construction is incredibly loud.
Amy Marotto in Landstuhl, USA 04/21/2013
Had a great visit to Germany last summer using your guidebook. One suggestion I would like to make is regarding visiting the Eagles Nest. The guidebook did not mention, but there was a nice (crowded and overpriced, but worth it for the view) café at the top. Had we known that we could get something to eat and drink up there, we would have planned to stay longer. But before you get to the top, you have to select a return time to ensure a spot on the bus back down. We had a few minutes to stop in the café, and service was very quick, but had we known about the café, we would have planned a longer visit and a later return bus. So my suggestion would be to mention the café at the top, and even suggesting a longer stay to enjoy a drink.
Stewart Agreen in McKees Rocks, PA USA 03/31/2013
My wife and I went to Germany - Switzerland - Austria during our honeymoon in September 2012. While we were on our way out of the Lauterbrunnen valley in Switzerland, we were pleasantly surprised to find local cattle/dairy farmers having a sort of cow parade where they dress up their cows with flowers and huge cow bells and have a parade through town. They celebrate bringing their cows from the high Alp meadows for the autumn and winter. The locals also dress themselves up in traditional garb during the parade. We were especially surprised to see it again in the little town near the castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein near Fussen, Bavaria the next day! This was a fun and seemingly authentic and local tradition and I would recommend it to anyone who happens to be in that part of Switzerland and/or Bavaria in mid-September.
Nick in St. Louis, MO USA 01/24/2013
Karmeliter Cloister in Frankfurt - The extensive wall paintings done by Joerg Ratgeb from 1513-1521 are a true gem in Frankfurt. Entrance is free, but an audio guide is well worth the 3 euro.
Museums in Frankfurt - the Städel, the Film Museum, Museum of Modern Art, the Leather Museum, Liebieg Haus, the Bible House
Jo in Frankfurt am Main, Germany 01/06/2013
We went to Munich and Koln the first week of December and had the benefit of the smaller crowds, the Christmas markets, and light snow, which made everything very festive and beautiful. It was cold (mid 30s), but we dressed appropriately and it never bothered us.
One tip in Munich: to buy the Bayern-Ticket for train/bus trips to Bavaria, you can use the ticket machines in the train station. But if you use the English language screens, you have to find the section for "Bavaria' (Bayern = Bavaria). It took us a while to figure that out.
Mike in East Windsor, NJ USA 12/31/2012
the Zionskirche with its memorial to Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, only half a block from our RS tour hotel, the Kastanienhof, on Kastanienalle. For many travellers, Bonhoeffer's life and death would give a fascinating look into the anti-Nazi resistance movement of the native German population, and the (largely doomed) efforts of Christian resistance to keep the Nazis from co-opting their faith to suit the dictatorship's goals. His struggle to hear the word of God as he faced evil, is truly moving and heroic. Besides a mention in the guidebook, please!! have your guides mention him since the church is only half a block away from the hotel.
Carolyn Gerrans in Novato, CA USA 12/06/2012
Fussen....Giovanni's Wine Bar near the river by the monastery
Pete Hall in Haddonfield, NJ USA 11/12/2012
Giovannis Wine bar near the river in front of the monastery
Pete Hall in Haddonfield, NJ USA 11/12/2012
Although your book said to skip Heidelberg, my Dad was stationed there for 2 years in 1946-1948, and I wanted to walk where he walked. It was a wonderfully preserved town with a truly interesting castle. I think it should definitely be a day stop for everyone!
Nelda Bell in Tulsa, OK USA 11/06/2012
On the way to Potsdam on the S1, Wannsee was closed, I had to change one station earlier at Nicholasee to the S7. On the way to Oranienburg, after Bornholmer Str, it went towards Pankow and made a triangle around, not like it shows on the subway map. I'm not sure why but it seems like they had signs for construction. I liked the cafe at the top of Reichstag for dinner.
Ben in detroit, MI USA 10/21/2012
The greatest discovery was how the Rick Steves books did not let us down in any part of our trip. We planned our whole trip (16 days) to Germany, Switzerland and Austria using his book completely. We were pleasantly greeted by all the Pensions where we stayed, traveled the Romantic Road and autobahn with no trouble and enjoyed all the venues we could at Rick's suggestions. We loved it!
Linda Workman in Decatur, IL USA 10/05/2012
1. Castle of Colmberg-Burg Hotel Great location for dinner. When the weather is nice the patio area is perfect. Beautiful grounds. 2. Friese Shop in Rothenburg. Nice shop for souviners. Owners are so friendly and shop is not too commercial.
Shannon in Mankato, MN USA 09/12/2012
There is an ATM withdrawl limit of €200-250 - not sure why but we were trying to withdraw €500 and it was declined.
Matthew in Brentwood, TN USA 09/11/2012
2nd time using guidebook to Germany. Took advantage of Castle Pass. Saved a lot of money this time. This time we went to Bamberg for beer. This city is not covered in Rick's book, however you can find plenty of info if you follow the beer traveling websites. Very lovely city but know this city has very little in English. Might be frustrating for 1st time travelers to Germany.
Jackie Johnson in Somerset, WI USA 09/03/2012
Cathy Theys in Oak Park, IL USA 08/30/2012
Nightlife in Koblenz was surprisingly active, varied, and tasty. Though it is quite a different city from the rest of the towns on Rick's "Romantic Rhine," it has it's own brand of romance. Ehrenbreitstein Castle is a beautifully-lit backdrop to the Rhine on a warm summer evening spent sipping a libation in one of the very good restaurants at river's edge. The city entertainment area, near the tip of the Deutsche Eck but behind the riverfront restaurants, is alive and thriving until the wee hours nightly. There are countless--well, I couldn't count them all--eateries, nightclubs, and pubs there.
It's a college town, home of the University of Koblenz-Landau, so one would expect the type of vitality that's there. Our party spent two nights in Koblenz and thoroughly enjoyed. It was a highlight of my visit to Germany.
Jay Nelson in Clayton, CA USA 08/22/2012
Kurpfalzische Munze is a newish restraunt in Bacharach. It's in the same building as the Old Mint and has an "old world" look and feel. We were attracted, however, by the sound of jazz being played. It's wasn't live music, but it was welcome to our jazz-loving ears. One of the three owners, Lutz, said you were visiting his restaurant at the end of July. I hope you did; the food was fabulous as was the wine. Lutz and his partners all are chefs with international experience. We did not try the local venison but the regionale wine Lutz suggested was supurb. We hope you check it out.
Margaret Bradford in Grants Pass, OR USA 08/19/2012
Yes, add Bremen. My son and I just returned from a whirlwind 10 day trip to Germany, which included Bremen. My son stayed in Bremen for a couple of weeks in 1988 on a high school exchange, and had good memories. The first sight of the Bremen old city center simply knocks you out, it is so cool. And the Weser River promenade is marvelous (we rate "promenades" we have visited world wide and would rate Bremen right up ere.)
Bob Kaster in Yreka, CA USA 08/17/2012
Alte Schloss outside of Baden Baden
Joyce Klapheke in Harwinton, CT USA 08/14/2012
Tip: My husband & I recently returned from a 4-week trip in Germany. We travelled with our 7 & 10 year old daughters. We discovered that frequently hotel rooms are not big enough to sleep four people. Occasionally, you can find a "family room" listed on a website. However, we generally had to reserve two hotel rooms. We found that most hotels rooms, especially in smaller cities, can only accommodate up to 3 people per room.
Len Schulze in Poway, CA USA 08/08/2012
My tip to American travellers is to bring a warm jacket to Germany, even in the summer. My husband is German, & I've travelled there many times. However, I'm always surprised at how cold it can be there in July. We recently returned from a 4-week trip visiting relatives. I was happy on numerous days to have warm clothes in my suitcase.
Len Schulze in Poway, CA USA 08/08/2012
Fussen is a must see-so picturesque and museum was very informative.
Lynda Lamb in Birmingham, AL USA 07/11/2012
Pension Kaubler - Dresden http://www.pension-kaeubler.de/english/home.htm
This Lovely, reasonable, and art-filled B&B has been in the Petra and Lutz's family for over 100 years. Their great-grandfather was a famous German painter and his art is displayed throughout the house. The rooms are large and beautifully decorated and they provide one of the best breakfasts (on antique china) we had on our trip.
They are located near the University (he is a retired Physicist and Professor), an easy bus ride up from the train station. You really need to add this place to your guide book!
Tracy Baker in San Leandro, Ca USA 07/05/2012
Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop (from Rothenburg ob der Tauber) is in Berlin near the K'damm U stop. It does not have a museum like the one in Rothenburg.
Dale in Fairfield, OH USA 07/04/2012
Where is Goslar in your book?! It is a wonderful place, well worth a day with an overnight visit. Very old streets untouched by the world wars, old city defense towers still standing, some museums similar to those in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, good restaurants around the Marktplatz - Die Butterhanne has good food with regional specialties (with game from adjacent Harz Mtns) at good prices. The Marktplatz has its own entertaining clock, playing up the local mining history on the hour. Some streets are very narrow (reminded me of York), some pedestrian friendly around the Marktplatz. The old Siemens homestead is here. Nearby Harz Mtns provides other activities. It is German holiday destination, and I heard no other American voice the 3 days I was there; I had several friendly waitresses who did not speak English but made it work. One can walk to see the sites, which include the original imperial palace from Goslar's days as an Imperial city. A great place, better than Goerlitz in my opinion.
Dale in Fairfield, OH USA 06/23/2012
I would call it a frustrating discovery, not favorite. I am still planning our upcoming trip. Of the 6 planned hotel stays, only one town, not just hotes, seem not to respond to email inquiries and that is Cochem. I have 2 email inquiries that have not been responded to, one almost 2 weeks old. I sent an email to a 3rd hotel, not in Rick's books, and they haven't responded either. I got tired of waiting and have rearranged our nights in Bacharach, added a night in Rothenburg and added a night in Munich to make up for the two nights we had planned to stay in Cochem. I sent the requests for reservation modifications to Pension Im Marewinkel in Bacharach, Hotel Hornburg in Rothenburg and Hotel Europalscher in Munich at 8:00A EST and I'm writing this at 10:53A EST. I've already heard back from Rothenburg and Munich. I guess the economy is so good in Cochem that they don't need my business. We might not see the Mosel, but everything else for the trip is in place thanks to Rick's Germany Guidebook.
Keith Miland in The Villages, Fl, FL USA 04/23/2012
DB Lander-Tickets in Saxony seem to be valid on trams and buses in Gorlitz and Bautzen (but not Dresden). I am a fan of the Etap (soon to be called Ibis Budget) brand of hotels--stayed in them in Berlin and Dresden in April 2012.
Kyla Gurganus in Ypsilanti, MI USA 04/10/2012
In Salzburg near Salzburg Sud is a Hostel on Aigner st, you can park your car and take the number 7 bus into old town.
Nancy in Salt Lake City, Ut USA 04/07/2012
The best investment we made for driving around Germany was the purchase of a detailed road atlas at a local petrol station. The maps we had purchased in the U.S. didn't provide enough minor road detail to get us to some of our small-town destinations expediently.
Marlys in Mahomet, IL USA 01/11/2012
Hotel Floster-Stuble-In the Old Town - Rottenberg, hotel was lovely and we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom for 3 adults. Breakfast was Great and Erika even took my bos to the Post for us. Wonderful, next time we will stay longer than 1 night on December 6, 2011.
Jean Franks in Trevose, PA USA 01/05/2012
The best eating place in Bacharach is not the Rhine Hotel, it is the Park Hotel, not listed in your book, if your looking for class this is the place. owned and Chef Rick and Wife Ellen has the best food in town followed by the Kranenturn My wife and I , we have been in Bacharach so many times we know some people and like this village very much
Richard Schultz in Absarokee, MT USA 11/27/2011
Germany 2011 tips:
Aachen: Your book barely includes a paragraph about this awesome town. Aachen is the new and trendy alternative to Baden Baden (which is reputedly for older folks). It has amazing thermal baths. You MUST check out Carolus Thermen: http://www.carolus-thermen.de/go/bad_aachen/english.html.
If you do include this in your next edition, which I think you should, please advise your readers that you must wear a swimsuit in the "Thermal World" portion (sort of like an upscale adult water park), but may NOT wear a swimsuit in the inside "Sauna World" section. Also, you can't go to "Sauna World" without buying a ticket to "Thermal World," but you can only buy a "Thermal World" ticket without paying the premium for "Sauna World." Another tip: The Meditteraneo restaurant is accessible for free by anybody. The staff says that it's better than the two inside restaurants anyway (you must pay an entrance fee to the spas before you can eat at the other two).
Also, Aachen has a locally renowned Christmas market (Weinnacht Markt or something). This year, it started on Nov. 18th. I was there on opening day, and it was packed. I am surprised that this information was omitted from the Germany 2011 guidebook.
Stacey Oziel in Santa Monica, CA USA 11/25/2011
Tip for Fussen. Fabulous place as base for the area with one exception, there are NO laundromat facilities anywhere near the city. The closest is 40 kilometers away (confirmed twice at TI). So come with clean clothes. Tip for Munich: You can get a week long transit pass, good on U, S, bus and tram, for 12 euros for 2 zones. Heck of a deal if the timing is right (Sunday to Sunday). Tip for Romantic Road drivers. The road signs assume you are going North the South and can be misleading otherwise. Check all signage against a map, don't just follow them. We loved Stauffen, good recomendation as alternative to Freiberg.
Mary Schroeder in Seattle, WA USA 11/11/2011
The self guided walk was great. We did it with two boys 8 and 11 and it allowed for a great orientation and a little exercise. The Nightwatchman's tour was great and entertaining. He doesn't charge for kids.
Great tip with kids .... Eat dinner around 6:45 at Gasthof Goldener Greifen; walk to town square for the 8 pm Meistertrunk Show; and go on the Nightwatchman's tour. The kids will be dead and might sleep all the way to 7:30 the next morning. Plus they and you will enjoy the tour.
Also we went the first week of November and found no crowds and good prices.
Our hotel in Fussen booked the kings castle's tour for us and saved us the wait in the lines.
In Rothenburg Ob der tauter ... Hotel Spitzweg is great for families and Her Hocher is a great host. He genuinely likes to get to know his visitors from around the globe.
If you plan to buy souvenirs, just go to Anneliese Friese in Rothenburg. They have the best prices and service. The Rick Steves guidebook pays for itself with the 10 pct discount. Again, they do the little extras to make you happy.
Brian Gray in Brussels , belgium 11/05/2011
The book I actually had was Rick Steves' Snapshot - Munich, Bavaria & Salzburg. We did almost all that you suggested within this book over two weeks and had a WONDERFUL time.
Kathy & Rick Taylor in Placentia, CA USA 11/03/2011
Gerrmany, 2011, The EurAide office in the Munich train station has moved into the main DB office.
David Poretti in Minneapolis, MN USA 10/28/2011
We stayed at Arcotel John F in Berlin and were very pleased with the room , price and staff. The location was very central.
Helen Kluck in Gloucester, MA USA 10/10/2011
Gil at the St Goar Rhein Hotel (Germany 2011 p 399) made this suggestion to us for a day trip (which we did) and I think it would be a great addition to Rick's book. Catch the first river boat of the day upriver (past all the best sights of the "Romantic" Rhine) and get off at Assmannshausen. Take the chair lift from the center of town up the hill and hike the well marked road/trail about 30 minutes to the Neiderwald Monument. From there, you can take a cable car (or hike) down to Rudesheim. Spend time in town or catch the riverboat downstream, getting off in Bacharach or continuing on back to St Goar. Great views of vineyards and overlooks of the Rhine. Tickets for the whole experience can be bought at the K-D kiosk.
Joseph White in Temple, TX USA 10/01/2011
We went to the "Amphitheater" in Trier, Germany. In Rick's books it is decribed as "unexceptional". However we have been to several Amphiteaters in Rome and Pompeii and this was the only Amphiteater that you would walk under and see what it was like under the floor. It could use a little more information, such as an english guide. Over all I would say it was good if you are into Roman history and want to see the inner workings of an Amphitheater.
Lisa in Nashville, TN USA 09/24/2011
Da Papa Italian restaurant down the street from Hecker's Hotel toward Ku'damm was great. As was La Piazza at the Savignyplatz train stop.
Carole in Edmonton, Canada 09/07/2011
Steve Atkins in Anaheim , CA USA 08/28/2011
The walking tour of Munich was absolutely fantastic! I enjoyed all of the sights it included and the layout was quite easy to follow.
Sonja in Ann arbor, MI USA 08/21/2011
Hi Mr. Steves, I am 13 years old and my dad and I are in Munich as part of our vacation. We both love reading your books and find your tips and advice extremely helpful. We also like your free audio tour app in which we used in Rome and Venice, and will do so in Paris. We have a tip of our own which you might want to share with your readers for the Deutch Museum. If you are coming to the museum from the old town, when you walk across the bridge we saw a huge, long line for tickets. However, instead of joining that line, we walked into the courtyard by the Museum Entrance and saw two other lines, one almost as long as the first one, and the other fairly short. It turns out that there were three lines to buy tickets and you could join any line. The line inside the courtyard (line #1) saved us at least an hour of waiting in those two other long lines (Lines #2 and #3). The tip is, to walk through the courtyard past the two much longer lines (Lines #2 and #3), and join the short one, which is not visible from the street. The mistake many visitors will make is they will see the long line stretching out onto the street, and will just get in that and wait. I hope that you find this helpful.
Mike Edwards in Victoria, BC Canada 08/15/2011
The road from Reutte heading south and west toward Salzburg (I believe it is 179) was BEAUTIFUL -- winding through mountains and beside clear blue lakes. If you are not in a hurry, that is a wonderful drive.
Jean Breeding in Knoxville, TN USA 08/14/2011
Holyfield restaurant in Berlin was very good. On Unter der Linden. Reasonable, very clean, good food. You order at computerized kiosk as you enter, pick up your drinks, sit inside or out, meal delivered to your table. It was fresh and good. Quiet too. Pay as you leave.
Sharon Armann in Phoenix, AZ USA 07/18/2011
OK, this is not Germany, but if you like the Mosel, you will also like the Luxembourg castle village of Vianden. It is right on the German border, 40 miles northwest of Trier and is definitely worth a daytrip or overnight stay. I have pictures of the village, along with some of Trier, posted at http://www.flickr.com/photos/37015584@N04/sets/72157626678453303/
Roy in Auburn, AL 07/15/2011
Stay in St. Goar instead of Baccarach to see the rhine. The town was alive, the restaurants better, and you can take the same boat rides.
Art and Debbie Corsano in Atlantic Beach, FL USA 06/27/2011
The Grosser Garten in Dresden. This is a fanstic park with open field, wooded areas, paved and unpaved paths, fountains and, of course, gardens. It even has a miniature train line that you can ride around the Garten in. It is great for having a picnick, strolling around, or letting kids loose to run around.
Dan in Johnstown, NY USA 06/20/2011
Wittenberg, Aachen, and Lubeck (in that order)!
Michael Boerm in Waco, TX USA 06/11/2011
The Hotel St. Annen in Hamburg (www.hotelstannen.de) is a great hotel in a vibrant neighborhood, walking distance to the harbor or the U bahn. St. Pauli district has a range of restaurants and a nightlife (but rooms on the courtyard are very quiet). A good breakfast and a leafy patio in the summer, combined with a helpful and professional staff, make this a great choice.
Marian in Wiesbaden, DE 06/07/2011
Just returned from Berlin. Used your guidebook and very helpful. I bought a year membership for the museums for 40 euros and found that the best deal. Reiterate to get entrance ticket for Pergamon or timed ticket for Neues Museum get it at one of the other less crowded museums so you do not have to stand in line. I really enjoyed the 3.5 hr Reederei boat tour on the Spree. Got to see more of the city with lots of architecture. Starting point is Hallesches Tor but can get on numerous places. Note they only tell you about the very low bridges and how you must stayed seated on upper deck at the beginning of the guided tour so if you get on elsewhere take note. English audio guide with German on the boat speakers.
mary ann henderson in Seattle, WA USA 05/31/2011
I just wanted to comment that I am glad I read the recommendation to shop at Anneliese Friese's shop in Rothenburg. I was there in September. She was excited that I was a Rick Steve's fan and showed me all of the photos that she has of Rick and his family from over the years. She was fun to interact with. Very nice lady.
Joy in Manchester, MO USA 04/25/2011
Hotel Moselkern was an excellent location for a visit to Berg Eltz. The staff speaks very good English; English is not ubiquitous in the Mosel valley. I used “Hotel Moselkern” as a base for bike touring of the north end of the Mosel valley. The hotel staff gave me a brochure that was most useful “Wandern und Radfahren im Moselland”. It is written in German but the maps and pictures make it useable with little or no proficiency of German. If you want to distance yourself from the crowds of Cochem, Moselkern makes an excellent base and the “Hotel Moselkern” is the place to stay. It is possible to arrange in advance for bike rentals by calling the hotel several days in advance. There are several large supermarkets in Treis-Karten; six Km down river. Train service in the valley runs about once per hour. Getting to Burg Eltz is easy and fast with a bike. Ride to the trail (2.5 KM well marked route) lock your bike up and walk 2.5 Km on an easy trail. This trip takes only 30 to 40 minutes each way.
Thomas Thrasher in Bremerton, WA USA 04/14/2011
Suggest reason why not to include the Fairy Tale Road. For example, Mainz and Weisbaden were both mentioned as low-lights, not worth it.
linda in Albuquerque, NM USA 03/10/2011
I was in Berlin for little over a week and bought your Snapshot of Berlin guidebook. One of the coolest things we found was the museum and research center at Topography of Terror, yet your guidebook barely gives mention to the site and definitely does not even hint that there is a museum there!
Eric in Burlington, VT USA 02/21/2011
We visited Germany from 20 Nov to 30 Nov. We had also visited Germany in July, 2008. Both trips were fantastic, especially because of your great guide. In this most recent trip, we had two extra special places for our sleeping accomodations. First was St. Goar and 2 apartments rented by Frau Ilse Kurz. We had our kids and grandkids along, so we needed 2 apartments. They were located on the street right along the Rhine River. We could see the Rhine from the windows in both apartments. The smaller one that my husband and I used was basic with one room as living room, bedroom, and kitchen. All of these were very nice and comfortable, and Frau Kurz had added lots of personal "homey" touches. The bathroom was modern and beautiful--with towels, hairdryer, etc. The other larger apartment across the doorway had two bedrooms, living room, bath, and kitchen. It also was modern yet comfortable with the "homey" touches. Frau Kurz goes to so much trouble to make you feel welcome. She even puts bottles of local wines on the kitchen counter for you to taste. (you pay for them if you use them). She also invited our whole family to her house for "tea" one afternoon. She cooked gooseberry cake for us. We stayed 5 days and made day trips from there to castles, Koln cathedral, etc. It was a wonderful 5 days. The second place we really enjoyed was Fussen. Of course we loved Neuschwanstein, but our accomodations were straight out of a storybook! We stayed at the vacation apartment building (old house) called Mein Lieber Schwan. Herr Blatschacher was an exceptional host. He had thought of our needs ahead of time. We marveled at all the beautiful period pieces of furniture, the amazing walls from a castle on the first floor, and the glass-enclosed dining room where we ate meals and watched the snow falling outside. Everything was so elegant, we almost felt that we should tip-toe around and whisper. We were amazed at our accomodations for such a reasonable price. We would never have found these 2 places if they had not been listed in your guidebook. Also, the fact that you give the email addresses helped greatly. We were able to contact both places months ahead and work our all our arrangements ahead of time. Thank you so much for helping us have a fairy-tale experience and thanks for recommending these two places. They were exceptional!!! Jack and Caroline Meyer firstname.lastname@example.org
Caroline and Jack Meyer in George West, TX USA 01/04/2011