We may have a few extra days to spend seeing someplace new in Europe on our upcoming trip. We will be departing from Amsterdam and can fly or take the train. We are considering spending a few days in Germany. I am looking for a place(s) with a nice Marriott so we could possibly use points. Do you have any recommendations?
While I'm not a great fan of Cologne, you could base there for a couple of nights at the Marriott, which is very nice. I did enjoy the cathedral and the cafes along the waterfront.
From Cologne, you could take a train down to Rudesheim, a cute wine town, and tour around there having lunch, etc. Then you could take the river boat down the Rhine (although it is really heading north, they call it down river) to see the castles along the middle Rhine. Get off in St. Goar and visit the castle ruins there. Or visit Bacharach. Or visit the Marksburg Castle. Or some combination. When your finished, take the train from whatever town you wind up in back to Cologne.
Another day, you might want to visit Burg Eltz and some charming towns along that area.
Good morning Rbf,
A short note to:
1. Endorse Nhm's suggestion (Cologne), mention that the ICE train time from Amsterdam is 2 hrs 40 mins, and add to his list the possibility of a visit to Aachen (only 45 mins by train from Cologne) and a very historic European centre;
2. Throw in as further options Hannover and Bremen in northern Germany. Each has a CY (though I've used neither), and there is a direct train link from Amsterdam to the former - though it is a 4 hour + journey. Both Hannover and Bremen were major trading centres during the 17-19th centuries and retain much of that heritage. Lastly - and given that I'm writing from the UK - I'd have to mention that Hannover was the origin of the current UK monarchical dynasty. When Queen Anne died without a male heir in 1714 (I think), the British (protestant) establishment was terrified by the possibility of a Catholic monarch: they/it cast about for an alternative and eventually - after rejecting 57 other candidates - invited the Elector of Hannover to become (our) George I. Such is the stuff of history
3. Mention that, if you're serious about the "flying" option, then Berlin and Munich are within 75 minutes (in the air, that is) and, I feel, much more interesting venues for a short stay - and each has a good (very good in the case of Berlin) Marriott. Amsterdam Airport is very accessible from the city and well served by all the main airlines.
PS If you decide to widen the range of your selection, then "new" Marriott's (the Autograph Collection brand) have opened recently in northern France - at Lille and Rouen
That sounds a great idea. It is very easy to get from Amsterdam to Lille by (direct) hi-speed train - journey time around150 mins. From Lille to Rouen - which is itself a fascinating historical and gastronomic centre - wouldn't be difficult either. I've not checked this year's T de Fr route, but it's quite likely that that there will be a couple of stages in those areas.
I would just like to chime in that a Rhine river cruise between St. Goar and Bacharach was a lot of fun and only took a couple of hours. The scenery was wonderful. Or you could start up in Koblenz or Boppard. There is a train that will take you back as well. Another place that I absolutely loved was the university town of Heidelberg. It has a nice marktplatz, some beautiful churches, Neckar River, bridges, and the Heidelberg castle (but the Famous Heidelberg Baby isn't there anymore). The Marriott in Heidelberg is fantastic. I have some photo albums on here of Heidelberg and the Romantic Rhine, if you're interested. I've never been to Cologne, but it sounds nice. I think you could visit Cologne, then cruise down (I know, up!) the Rhine to St. Goar, plus visit Heidelberg in a few days.
Thanks for the wonderful suggestions, pluto. I've started doing some research on the area and I know we would enjoy each of the cities you suggest. If only we had a few more days and a lot more money I think it would be great to do a 7-12 day river cruise from Amsterdam through Germany. I will have to highlight this type of trip on our bucket list. We were recently invited by our travel agent to a wonderful presentation on river cruises presented by a representative of one of the premier river cruise lines. I was interested in the trip because I've always wanted to go to the Christmas markets and thought that a river cruise would be a perfect way to visit several markets. I guess we'll have to wait for my husband to retire to take this trip.
I like Arkwright's #3, Berlin or Munich!
You will be "Overwhelmed" at all there is to do in Berlin. Great CY (Near CheckPoint Charlie), and The Marriott is in a wonderful location. Shopping and dining are great. So much to see, and transportation is very easy!
Munich, is a more "Laid back", but plenty to see as well! If you go to Munich, consider a short trip to Bavaria, as well!
When you decide, let us know so we all can help with suggestions!
Whatever you do, don't try to do too much! That usually spells "Disaster"!
I have take the train from Amsterdam to Paris as well, and that was a lot of fun!
You are really in great shape to have a wonderful time!
Good luck on making a choice that will be a wonderful experience!
Jerry, you are so right about not trying to do too much. I've had to scale down our activities as we get a little older and the arthiritis gets a little worse . We used to go from sun-up to sun-down, but just can't handle that anymore.
We've taken the train from Amsterdam to Paris a couple of times and enjoyed that trip; however, the next time I go to Paris it is not going to be in the summer. We've been in July for the end of the Tour de France and don't need to do that again.
I just found a Rick Steves Germany guidebook that I'd forgotten about. It's a couple of years old, but could still give me some good basic information. I drive my husband crazy when I start branching out on our already planned trips. I can change my mind several times in just a few hours, but it seems like everything works out.
I forgot your trip is in July, I too would avoid Paris then as well!
If I am not mistaken you are river cruising from Basel to Amsterdam. Have you ever been to Basel? Would you like for me to share some places to visit in Basel? It's a pretty "Industrial" town, but full of nice quaint places to shop and dine. It's an easy place to get around!
Good luck on deciding where to go from Amsterdam. For me it is a "Two night, three day, kind of town, and then I am ready to leave!
No, we are not river cruising from Basel to Amsterdam (but I bet we would enjoy it). We are actually riding our bicycles from Brugges to Amsterdam as part of a bike and boat. We spend the night on the boat, then it travels through the canals while we are cycling. We've done 2 other trips with the same company, but never this particular trip.
I just got an e-mail with that theme, so this seems to be the perfect place to post.
I'm glad you had such a great trip, too.