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My wife and I are going to spend our anniversary in Germany in May. We are flying into Berlin and out of Munich, and we have 5 days to get from one place to the other. What would be a good general route?

Important considerations:

  • We love to experience German culture more-or-less as a German would experience it, and we don't feel particularly inclined toward extremely touristy areas. That's not to say we'll completely shun them though.
  • We love the outdoors. Hikes are great.
  • We could potentially spend some time in the Austrian Alps just south of Munich. Are there any small towns that would be good to visit where we can go on hikes, etc?

And here's a twist: My wife will not know where we're going between Berlin and Munich. I will be giving her a reverse geocache box which will only tell her the general direction we need to travel in, to facilitate some meandering and exploring. She only knows we'll end up in Munich eventually.

EDIT:

The whole vacation will be longer; only the 5 days in the middle are unplanned. We'll have plenty of opportunity to see Berlin and Munich outside of those 5 days.

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Driving? Train? Some combination of the two? –  Gagravarr Mar 27 '13 at 13:00
    
@Gagravarr Depends on the route. I'm open to both. –  Phil Mar 27 '13 at 14:28
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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Being used to German ample vacation times, 5 days seems awfully short to really see much along such a long route, and I'd therefore avoid going the extra distance to the Alps, unless you require your hikes to include spectacular alpine vistas - but if you're staying in Munich for a while, that's a different story.

The most direct route from Berlin to Munich is the A9, which will lead you past Leipzig and Nürnberg, both of which are well worth a visit, but of course somewhat touristy.

I see two worthwhile detours, both of which give you opportunities for both sightseeing and hiking, but doing both is probably not possible in your timeframe:

  • Leave the A9 near Jena and use the A4, A7 and A3 to visit Weimar, Erfurt, Eisenach and Würzburg - oodles of historical sights (most importantly the Wartburg), quite beautiful landscapes and hiking opportunities in the Thuringian Forest and the Rhön Mountains.
  • Take the A13 from Berlin to Dresden, then the A14 to get to Leipzig. Dresden is famous for its sights, the route takes you through the Spreewald and there's ample hiking opportunities in Saxon Switzerland and the Ore Mountains.

If you decide to visit the Alps after all, I'd recommend the area around the Tegernsee or the Schliersee. It's all beautiful, so there's not much point in recommending any particular town.

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+1 Extremely helpful. Thanks. We've been to Dresden and Leipzig before, so the first route sounds a little more appealing. Though I am really intrigued by Saxon Switzerland. –  Phil Mar 27 '13 at 14:46
    
@Phil if this answer was helpful for you, you can accept it by clicking the checkmark next to the answer. –  Dirty-flow Apr 2 '13 at 7:33
    
@Dirty-flow I understand, thanks. I generally don't accept answers until I use them, which means I'll probably accept this after I've spend some more time planning the trip. Just haven't gotten a chance yet. –  Phil Apr 2 '13 at 14:14
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In the Alps you can find many to go on hikes like:

On the way from Berlin to Munich you can also visit Nuremberg, Leipzig or Dresden. Of course Munich and Berlin are also worth seeing and you will not have enough time to see all the cities so you have to decide which of them would be interesting for you.

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Leipzig and Dresden are obvious stops along this road. As you have already been there you might consider something different.

I suggest that you go to the Spreewald, and then to Nürnberg. This way you will be able to combine nature and a city. You love the outdoors, then Spreewald is interesting. It is a destination for summer and winter holidays. Each season has its charm. Nürnberg is a really interesting city, and outside the Christmas period it is not too touristic.

I think that in both these places there is ample room for geocaching and alike.

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