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 Message Boards » » traveling to Germany!! Page [1] 2, Next  
Jammngurl16
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So, I know there are a few threads out there on Germany but the latest one is over a year old so I decided to post my own. I'm traveling to Germany/leaving the states for the first time ever! My dad and I were supposed to go back in April but that damn volcano just happened to erupt same the day we were set to leave. Anywho, it worked out for the better because we are now going over for Oktoberfest!!! Any traveling tips, site-seeing/hotel recommendations, etc. that you can offer would be great! Muenchen here I come!!

8/10/2010 9:19:19 AM

NyM410
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I have nothing to add, but I'm jealous.

My dream vacation (that I haven't taken yet) is Munich in the winter and then drive down to Austria to go skiing.

8/10/2010 9:35:00 AM

Jeepin4x4
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sprechen Sie Englisch?

i've never been but one of my best friends went last year and had a great time but he did say the language barrier was somewhat overwhelming at first. I wouldn't let that bother you though. He said everyone was quite friendly, people would stroll the streets enjoying a beer and pretzel in the middle of the day, and it was very very clean.

He stayed in Munich and visited the surrounding areas. It's definitely a country on my list to visit.


also, try searching for an Oktoberfest thread. I'm almost positive there is one with a good discussion regarding travelling to the official Oktoberfest.

nm, i found it for you...

message_topic.aspx?topic=594586

[Edited on August 10, 2010 at 9:40 AM. Reason : link]

8/10/2010 9:37:47 AM

dharney
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lived there for about 5 years. Enjoy all the beer and food your tummy can handle. it's delicious!

8/10/2010 9:38:31 AM

sparky
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8/10/2010 9:44:32 AM

quagmire02
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only spent time in northern germany, between bremen and berlin...flew out of frankfurt

can't say anything about the south

8/10/2010 9:49:09 AM

wlb420
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bavaria was by far my favorite area out of all the places I visited in europe...a great mix of cities and small towns to explore. and if you're gonna be in munich for the oktoberfest it should be even more of a blast.

I didn't really have an itenerary, just sort of went with the flow and it turned out great. Seeing the site of the '36 winter olympics was pretty cool, but just meandering around the small towns was my favorite part.

if you end up going to the olympic site in garmisch, you'll be right under the tallest mtn in Germany if you're up for a hike.





[Edited on August 10, 2010 at 9:57 AM. Reason : pic]

8/10/2010 9:50:49 AM

The Cricket
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Quote :
"the language barrier was somewhat overwhelming at first."


I wouldn't worry too much about this. Unless whoever you're conversing with is extremely old or has never been in the German school system. English is a required course for all students in Germany from fourth grade all the way to high school.

Get one of these and you should be golden.



[Edited on August 10, 2010 at 9:55 AM. Reason : dead link]

8/10/2010 9:54:12 AM

wolfpackgrrr
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One of the best things I did while in Germany was rent a car and drive down the Rhine and Mosel River valleys. No idea if you'll have enough time for that though.
Quote :
"English is a required course for all students in Germany from fourth grade all the way to high school."


As an ESL instructor, that doesn't mean shit But that said, the only time I had trouble with people not speaking English while I was in Germany was in the small, rural areas.


[Edited on August 10, 2010 at 10:01 AM. Reason : a]

8/10/2010 9:59:04 AM

SkiSalomon
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To reiterate what others have said, don't worry about the language barrier. Most of the people that you will encounter will have at least a good enough knowledge of english to get by. Oktoberfest will be a blast but it will be insanely crowded in the city so you really should try to get out to some of the other towns in the region.

Regarding hotels, you really should go ahead and book them. If you wait much longer your choices will be limited and the prices will be insane (if this isn't already the case).

After Oktoberfest you should catch a cheap flight and party with us in Finland and cheer on the Carolina Hurricanes in their season opener.

8/10/2010 10:11:01 AM

Wadhead1
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LOCK SUSPEND USE MY THREAD PLZ.

8/10/2010 10:12:17 AM

Slave Famous
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Don't go to Frankfurt. I've been there half a dozen times and it's like Europe's Detroit.

8/10/2010 10:13:18 AM

Toms House
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^
Agreed. I flew into Frankfurt and my tour guide didn't bother showing me any of the city.

8/10/2010 10:16:17 AM

SkiSalomon
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^^ thirded. frankfurt really has nothing to offer. Some of the small towns in the surrounding area are pretty nice but I couldn't get over the fact that I felt like I was in the fayettville of europe with all the joes running around.

8/10/2010 10:20:35 AM

DeltaBeta
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Quote :
"To reiterate what others have said, don't worry about the language barrier. Most of the people that you will encounter will have at least a good enough knowledge of english to get by."


While this is true, I found in my travels throughout Europe that people will appreciate you making the effort to speak to them in their language, rather than walking up and both assuming they know English and immediately expecting them to converse with you in it. In short duration, people will switch to English so that you are more comfortable and to be nice.

The French are notorious assholes if you just start yammering in English to them. Germans weren't so bad, but all appreciate some effort on your part. Get one of those phrasebooks and try to get some of the pleasantries down.

8/10/2010 10:40:53 AM

SkiSalomon
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Yeah, I forgot to mention that and you are absolutely correct. This cannot be emphasized enough. Even if you only speak a few words of the local language, it comes across as a sign of respect.

8/10/2010 11:03:06 AM

Jeepin4x4
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right, and the language barrier isn't just verbal. It's symbols, signage, menus and all types of things so a phrase book/translator is a good idea.



oh and btw, DO Want

8/10/2010 11:03:38 AM

NCSUWolfy
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everyone dresses up for oktoberfest, i love it!

8/10/2010 12:39:06 PM

DeltaBeta
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Oh yeah it's awesome. It's like a tit parade.

8/10/2010 1:50:06 PM

CassTheSass
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Quote :
"sprechen Sie Englisch?

i've never been but one of my best friends went last year and had a great time but he did say the language barrier was somewhat overwhelming at first. I wouldn't let that bother you though. He said everyone was quite friendly, people would stroll the streets enjoying a beer and pretzel in the middle of the day, and it was very very clean. "


I went to Vienna in May (I was also supposed to go in April but the volcano put a damper on that) and they speak German but everything is pretty much in English as well and everyone there spoke English so I wouldn't worry too much.

Germany is supposed to be awesome. I'm very jealous!

8/10/2010 2:17:58 PM

Jammngurl16
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thanks for everything! keep it coming

i guess i should have specified, but we are going to be there a week. i have a list of places i want to see, some of which are in the country-side and i am really looking forward to seeing the rural parts of bavaria. i wish we were staying longer but i have a feeling that once i get there i'm going to catch the travel bug and plan another excursion for next year.

so really, tourists dress up for oktoberfest?

8/10/2010 2:29:44 PM

dannydigtl
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paging agentlion.

I've been a couple times, Munich is a really great city.

8/10/2010 6:10:03 PM

JeffreyBSG
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Quote :
"Enjoy all the beer and food your tummy can handle."


fuck yes

German food is the shit

it's kinda like American food, in the same way that dank is kinda like shwag

8/10/2010 9:13:55 PM

hooksaw
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Food: Just about any wurst you can find will be good. The little stands often serve great street food--ask for curry wurst or bratwurst or even gyros.

Ask for jaeger schnitzel mit pommes frites (breaded fried pork with French fries). And Germans often put ketchup and mayo on the fries. Try it--it's not bad.

Many Italian places are run by real Italians. Check 'em out.

Beer: My favorite was hefe viesen--but try as many as you can. Since it's a beer festival, you may be able to try doppelbock, too.

A few words that might prove useful:

speisenkarte = menu
inhaber = proprietor (sometimes you might hear uber or Herr Uber referring to the owner)
kase = cheese
knoblauch = garlic
schinken = ham
zweibel = onion
brochen = bread

gross = large
klein = small
cola = soft drink
eis = (usually ice cream--not ice cubes, unless they're used to Americans)

taxidienst = tax-served (a taxi will pick up riders there)
untergrundbahn (or usually ubahn) = subway
bahnstation (or usually just bahnhof) = train station or station
krankenhaus = hospital
polizei = police
bitte = please

The Marienplatz:



If you're going to Oktoberfest, you can't miss it.

[Edited on August 11, 2010 at 5:09 AM. Reason : That's all I can think of for now. Hope you have a safe trip.]

8/11/2010 5:07:56 AM

tl
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ß (beta) is pronounced "ss"
maß is "mass" (big)
straße is "strasse" (street)
otherwise you look like Chevy Chase in Vacation.

agentlion lived there for a year and often wrote about it in his blog:
http://joelion.com/page/3/
start at the bottom, work your way back.

8/11/2010 10:40:47 AM

dharney
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Quote :
"jaeger schnitzel mit pommes frites"


i prefer classic wiener schnitzel over jaeger schnitzel, other than that sounds good

8/11/2010 11:01:00 AM

hooksaw
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^^ Yep. I should've posted that.

^ Fair enough.

BTW, I meant. . .

Quote :
"taxidienst = taxi-served (a taxi will pick up riders there)"

8/11/2010 3:42:57 PM

hydro290
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It's very touristy, but my girlfriend and I had alot of fun in Rothenburg ob der tauber, which is only 2 hours away from Munchen. Neuschwanstein and Berchtesgaden are also nearby.

8/11/2010 4:21:17 PM

TallyHo
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If you're going during Oktoberfest, you will be in a huge crowd of non-Germans in German surroundings. Like Epcot.

8/11/2010 5:43:32 PM

beethead
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Quote :
"Beer: My favorite was hefe viesen--"


hefeweizen, which literally means "yeast" + "wheat". might also be refered to as weissbier (white beer) or weizenbier (wheat beer)

weihenstephaner, paulaner, and schneider-weisse are all excellent examples

8/11/2010 5:59:12 PM

Lionheart
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Bavaria is not a part of Germany. (Work with a bunch of North Germans and they give this response totally straight-faced).


But really the North Germans hate on the Bavarians hardcore because the weather and scenery are better and the women are hotter.

8/11/2010 9:22:38 PM

joepeshi
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I hear Basel which is in Switzerland, but borders Germany and France is a cool city.

8/12/2010 1:11:26 AM

m52ncsu
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Quote :
"Beer: My favorite was hefe viesen--but try as many as you can. "

haha, this made me laugh. "did you know they had more than one kind of beer in germany?!?"

8/12/2010 1:59:17 AM

DoubleDown
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I went to Oktoberfest in '03, had a great time. Be sure to find a place to stay early. Yes, tourists dress up - everyone there is a tourist. Don't wait until it closes each night (10pm I think) before leaving, the drunks come out of the beer houses and start fights.

8/12/2010 9:14:34 AM

Jammngurl16
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well, turns out we are no longer going for Oktoberfest because hotels are the $$$ of texas so we are now thinking of going a week or two after the festivities or maybe even around Christmas which would be amazing. yeah i'm bummed i won't be there for the 200th celebration but i'm still going to germany and leaving the country for the first time ever!

hooksaw & tl thanks for the useful german-english translations. and really, i had no idea how the Beta is pronounced so I've been reading a few books I have on Munich and trying to figure that out. definitely NOT trying to look like Clark W. Griswold, Jr.

i'm a huge fan of German-style beer so I can't wait to try it all over there.

has anyone ventured outside the box in terms of food? or is it best just to stick with wursts, schnitzels, obatzda (which btw sounds SO dank), pommes, etc?

8/12/2010 9:38:44 AM

Lionheart
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Theres a huge turkish immigrant population in germany so you can find turkish restaurants/stands everywhere if you want to switch up from the german fare.

Best meal I had over there was a schweinefillet (pork steak) that was in a thin sauce and with like a hash brown mix that was more sautéed than fried. Its a big meat and potatoes sort of diet over there so don't feel like you're not getting the local experience if you try something that sounds like you could get it in america because it will probably be good and a different take on something you wouldn't expect.

8/12/2010 11:36:17 AM

roberta
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the german christmas markets are pretty cool -- i think they pretty much last the whole month of december, make sure to drink some glühwein (warm spiced wine)

8/12/2010 11:45:18 AM

Toms House
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I was in Munich on Dec 28 several years ago. Be sure to get your sightseeing done during the day because the days are very short over there that time of year.

8/12/2010 1:54:08 PM

hooksaw
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^^^^ You're welcome. If you're going at Christmas, you can definitely get doppelbock.

8/12/2010 5:42:55 PM

DoubleDown
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Quote :
"well, turns out we are no longer going for Oktoberfest"


worst mistake of your life. rent a car and stay outside of munich if you have to - 10million people flood the city for a reason, its an amazing event you should not miss!

we camped at a campground for $free

8/12/2010 5:49:33 PM

jataylor
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do notttt miss Oktoberfest. i went last year and had an awesome time

8/12/2010 5:57:07 PM

Hawthorne
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Wenn Sie in Bayern reisen, sollten Sie keine Angst vor der Sprachschranke haben. Sie sind sehr freundlich,solange Sie anstößig nicht sind.

My advice, if you go - don't try to go to every city you can shake a stick at. You end up stressed, missing a lot of cool stuff, and wasting time travelling that you could be using to see things. Pick a couple of towns / cities and enjoy them.

8/17/2010 12:04:26 PM

Byrn Stuff
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The wife and I are looking to spend about a week between Germany and France in January. On the German side of things, we're trying to think of the best place to spend about three days if we can only really visit that place. We're considering Berlin and Munich, but she also has family living in the Black Forest that would love to see her. What would y'all do?

6/14/2016 12:24:04 PM

The E Man
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berlin and munich are great. i'd go to berlin for the partying and hipness but you should go to black forest and will definitely be able to get a "german" experience there. the towns along the rhine are great. strasbourg is also worth visiting.

6/14/2016 12:33:52 PM

synapse
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Would this family in Germany be willing to host? If so, do that 100%. Also with only a single week I'd consider spending the while time in one country unless your flight plans don't allow that.

I'd rank those options as: local experience with hosts >> Munich >> Berlin

[Edited on June 14, 2016 at 12:43 PM. Reason : ]

6/14/2016 12:35:33 PM

Byrn Stuff
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Ya, I was leaning more toward Black Forest since we could get more of a local experience through the aunt there. Having never been to Europe, I feel like hitting Berlin or larger cities would be more just because that's what you do. I don't know much about the country itself, so I have little anticipation about must-see things, if that makes sense?

I'm still open to suggestions in larger towns though. We're still a ways out from deciding.

And yes, they're willing to host, which definitely influences our decision

[Edited on June 14, 2016 at 12:48 PM. Reason : .]

6/14/2016 12:37:39 PM

synapse
play so hard
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Black Forest is close to Munich. Just do 3-4 days in/around each and call it a trip

I spent 10 weeks backpacking through Europe and most of my favorite experiences were when I was staying with hosts. Definitely do that.

6/14/2016 1:04:16 PM

AC Slater
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Go to Dachau. First concentration camp in Germany and also one of the deadliest. About a 30 min train ride north of Munich.

Very sombering experience

Also Nuremberg is really cool. City center is an old castle.

[Edited on June 14, 2016 at 8:05 PM. Reason : Engrish ]

6/14/2016 8:03:37 PM

smoothcrim
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berlin has good landmarks and cool stuff to see (like the wall) but you don't get a very german experience there. it's very much an international business city and a high population of non-germans. it's going to be FREEZING in that time so a lot of the outdoor stuff won't really be appealing.

paris was ok, but a single night self guided walking tour took me through most of the stuff i found interesting, the lourve being the exception. save an entire day for the lourve. i found french food bland and flavored with fat rather than seasoning and spices.

I would plan on taking the train every other day or so and checking out something new to get the most out of it. the trains are cheap and fast and no customs/security slow down bullshit at borders

[Edited on June 15, 2016 at 12:19 AM. Reason : also, everything in paris closes at 5 or 6 because people don't work and take 3 hour dinners]

6/15/2016 12:01:43 AM

The E Man
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Trains have random passport checks now. I got delayed 3 hours because of it. They are cracking down

6/15/2016 1:19:17 AM

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