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First time Germany trip... Tips?


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We are planning a trip to Germany next May-ish for about 10-14 days. Of course on the itinerary is Europa, Holiday Park, Phantasialand & Heide Park for now at least. Will actually be our first international trip (outside of Canada... Which hardly counts).

 

We will be renting a car for this trip. Likely also be driving all over Germany as we are also hitting up a lot of the breweries as well... So because of all we want to do, what parks are must go-to's and which could be skipped if need be? Europa and Phantasialand I assume are must-do's... And with Expedition GeForce on my coaster "bucket list" I am sure we will be going to Holiday Park. Any other places we should look into?

 

My main question for now... How is it to just drive everywhere? Will we have much issue? Most people recommend taking bus/train everywhere, but that is what is also said about going to places like San Francisco, LAX, Boston, etc... When you look online, yet we had no issues at all driving in those cities.

 

Just in the rough planning stage for now, so looking for any input/tips/suggestions you can spare.

 

Thanks!

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Driving in Germany is fine. I much prefer it to using public transport, at least for the majority of places you'll be going. The road and motorway system is very similar to our interstate system. Off the top of my head I would consider adding Hansa Park in northern Germany as it's a pretty cool park. Also, I don't know if you're dead set in staying in Germany, but very close by you'll find Toverland, Walibi World, etc.

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Driving in Germany is not an issue at all, you'll be fine. I can also second what Elissa said about considering adding Hansa Park to your list if you're in that area. I visited the park for the first time a couple of weeks ago (full trip report coming out very soon), and I had a great time. It's only about an hour and a half from Heide Park.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Like you two said, driving shouldn´t be such a problem in germany. If you want to you can also take the train in Germany, but their pricing system is quite confusing, so in the end it would probably be cheaper by car.

I would try to hit Efteling in the netherlands as well, next to Toverland and Walibi Holland.

And May should be a pretty good time to visit those parks, since almost everywhere there aren´t any school holidays. But keep an eye open on the opening times, some parks stay closed during weekdays. And be careful with one-day-holidays like Christi Himmelfahrt (Th 05/10/2018) and the day between this day and the weekend, because on those days almost every german park is crowded like hell!

I wish you a great trip next year

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Like you two said, driving shouldn´t be such a problem in germany. If you want to you can also take the train in Germany, but their pricing system is quite confusing, so in the end it would probably be cheaper by car.

I would try to hit Efteling in the netherlands as well, next to Toverland and Walibi Holland.

And May should be a pretty good time to visit those parks, since almost everywhere there aren´t any school holidays. But keep an eye open on the opening times, some parks stay closed during weekdays. And be careful with one-day-holidays like Christi Himmelfahrt (Th 05/10/2018) and the day between this day and the weekend, because on those days almost every german park is crowded like hell!

I wish you a great trip next year

 

Appreciate all the information so far everyone!

 

I was just looking at a map and wondering about Efteling and Toverland/Walibi... We will have to prioritize some places over others, as we won't have all the time to do every park with our other plans in place, but as of right now...

 

For sure:

Europa

Phantasialand

Holiday Park

 

The "maybes":

Movie Park

Toverland

Walibi

Efteling

Hansa Park

Heide Park

 

At this time, I think we may skip on the northern-most parks like Heide Park and Hansa Park due to time. But that is still subject to change, of course.

 

We will be getting a car for sure... But in cases it makes sense to do train instead we can always do that. But I would prefer to drive and enjoy all the sights. We will for sure at least get one train ride to/from the Czech Republic for a day. So we will get that "experience" lol

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
The big thing I would suggest is to spend at least 2 days at Europa. It's a huge park and definitely not a park you want to rush through. Plus they have some amazing hotels with great bars! Last year we spent 3 days there and that felt about right.

 

Quoted for truth and consideration. Have fun! Germany is probably one of the best places for theme parks. And the beer and pretzels are awesome.

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  • 1 year later...

As a follow-up, we just booked our flight to Frankfurt in June for two weeks. We will have 13 full days to pack things into, once flight and travel days are removed.

 

Once we land (morning), we will be headed to Cologne for the day (beer!) and then hit up Phantasialand the next day… Then we do plan to head into the Netherlands, at least for Toverland and Efteling… Debating on Walibi Holland at this point… Aside from Goliath, is it really worth it?

 

Then of course headed south to Holiday Park (which looks tiny, I assume just need a few hours to ride Expedition Ge Force until my hearts content… Bucket list coaster right there), Then head down to Europa. We do plan (2) days at Europa. Then we will be cutting over to Switzerland and to Munich for a few days (beer!) and up to Bamberg (more beer!) before finishing our loop to Frankfurt to fly back home some two weeks later.

 

So our final park itinerary will be:

 

Phantasialand

Toverland

Efteling

Holiday Park

Europa Park (2 Day)

 

Possibly Walibi Holland.

 

It appears Holiday park can be a short visit… How about Toverland and Efteling? Are those full-day parks or just a few hours? Mind you, we of course want to enjoy the park and ride the important stuff, but we also have plenty of non-park stuff to do so we want to best utilize our time.

 

Appreciated, once again!

 

For a visual, here is our tentative route with some placeholder locations for now... But the general idea.

 

route.jpg

 

If anywhere else we must go in this general routing, please let me know!

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It appears Holiday park can be a short visit… How about Toverland and Efteling? Are those full-day parks or just a few hours?

Here's some notes....

 

Holiday Park - If you're only going to spend a few hours at that park and your schedule allows for it, GeForce really does warm up later in the day. I've had some pretty "meh" rides on it earlier in the day and some HOLYFUCKINGSHIT rides on it later in that same day.

 

Toverland - Great park! Lots of fun. You probably only need a few hours though. Depends on how many re-rides you like to get on coasters.

 

Efteling - Has a lot of attractions. Many of which I find decent, but totally overrated. However the park can get VERY busy and I don't believer they have rolled out their front of the line pass very widely. A handful of rides do have single rider lines. This is probably a full day park simply because there just isn't a way to get through many of their attractions that quickly.

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It appears Holiday park can be a short visit… How about Toverland and Efteling? Are those full-day parks or just a few hours?

Here's some notes....

 

Holiday Park - If you're only going to spend a few hours at that park and your schedule allows for it, GeForce really does warm up later in the day. I've had some pretty "meh" rides on it earlier in the day and some HOLYFUCKINGSHIT rides on it later in that same day.

 

Toverland - Great park! Lots of fun. You probably only need a few hours though. Depends on how many re-rides you like to get on coasters.

 

Efteling - Has a lot of attractions. Many of which I find decent, but totally overrated. However the park can get VERY busy and I don't believer they have rolled out their front of the line pass very widely. A handful of rides do have single rider lines. This is probably a full day park simply because there just isn't a way to get through many of their attractions that quickly.

 

Great info, thanks. I will be sure to try and push our stop at Holiday Park a bit later in the day. Toverland does look like a lot of fun, we are excited for that one. As far as re-rides, unless something is crazy off-the-walls, a ride or two will likely be just fine and I/we need.

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Bummer, be about two weeks too early!

 

I think we have decided to skip Walibi to gain a full day back to fit in other stuff... Maybe next time! Still planning on Efteling and Toverland, though.

 

Now the classic, annoying question... How are crowds at these parks early June? Most of these parks we will be at between June 3-8th (Mon-Fri), including Europa which now is Thur/Fri (6/7th). Holiday Park will be on Saturday as of now, mid afternoon to evening per Robb's recommendation.

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Just curious about the side trip to Switzerland. looks like a specific stop but I don't recognize the town name for any historical significance, as it seems to add hours to your route. I don't see beer as the reason for this side trip.

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Bummer, be about two weeks too early!

 

I think we have decided to skip Walibi to gain a full day back to fit in other stuff... Maybe next time! Still planning on Efteling and Toverland, though.

 

Now the classic, annoying question... How are crowds at these parks early June? Most of these parks we will be at between June 3-8th (Mon-Fri), including Europa which now is Thur/Fri (6/7th). Holiday Park will be on Saturday as of now, mid afternoon to evening per Robb's recommendation.

Crowds shouldn't be too terrible. The closer you get to July the more busy the parks get. Expect "light to moderate crowds" depending on the days of the week you are there.

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Just curious about the side trip to Switzerland. looks like a specific stop but I don't recognize the town name for any historical significance, as it seems to add hours to your route. I don't see beer as the reason for this side trip.

 

No specific spot in Switzerland, as of yet... Just a placeholder in the routing. Perhaps something like a cable car up into the alps to an overlook or something of the sort. Just depends what we find! If we do go, we plan to stick near the German border and not venture to deep into the country (to save on driving and such). So basically, details TBD!

 

Crowds shouldn't be too terrible. The closer you get to July the more busy the parks get. Expect "light to moderate crowds" depending on the days of the week you are there.

 

I was hoping that would be the case. We will plan to get any express/fastlane options if need be wherever they are offered, but not too worried about it. Appreciate the heads up!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm glad you started this thread, because it can also help me a lot! I've been wanting to go to Germany for some time and my significant other and I are seriously considering it for this summer after I graduate grad school. Neither of us have ever been to Europe. We've gotten almost nowhere as far as dates and plans go, so I don't have many specific questions yet.

 

Ironically, theme parks are not my #1 plan guider right now. I've been a fan of this German band for over 10 years and it has been my dream to see them live. I'm waiting to find out more of their tour dates before I solidify a time and place window for our trip. I think we'd definitely hit some of the same theme parks you mentioned around the concert, so your guys' suggestions are still helpful to me!

 

I'm also glad to hear that driving is a suitable option for transport. I heard many rental cars in Europe are manual. I kinda know how to drive stick. Has this been any of your guys' experiences? Like would I have to get a lot more comfortable driving manual if I intend to rent a car in Germany?

 

Also, any tips for booking flights (like which airports are cheapest to fly into and best times to book) and lodging (I've heard hostels are a big thing?) are helpful!

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  • 4 weeks later...
It appears Holiday park can be a short visit… How about Toverland and Efteling? Are those full-day parks or just a few hours?

Here's some notes....

 

Holiday Park - If you're only going to spend a few hours at that park and your schedule allows for it, GeForce really does warm up later in the day. I've had some pretty "meh" rides on it earlier in the day and some HOLYFUCKINGSHIT rides on it later in that same day.

 

Toverland - Great park! Lots of fun. You probably only need a few hours though. Depends on how many re-rides you like to get on coasters.

 

Efteling - Has a lot of attractions. Many of which I find decent, but totally overrated. However the park can get VERY busy and I don't believer they have rolled out their front of the line pass very widely. A handful of rides do have single rider lines. This is probably a full day park simply because there just isn't a way to get through many of their attractions that quickly.

 

Great info, thanks. I will be sure to try and push our stop at Holiday Park a bit later in the day. Toverland does look like a lot of fun, we are excited for that one. As far as re-rides, unless something is crazy off-the-walls, a ride or two will likely be just fine and I/we need.

 

If you like to meet up with some German members, we live only 45 minutes away from Holiday Park and plan to have season tickets this year. We're also in Europa Park after Easter. Just PM me. Perhaps we may make it happen!

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  • 2 months later...

If you like to meet up with some German members, we live only 45 minutes away from Holiday Park and plan to have season tickets this year. We're also in Europa Park after Easter. Just PM me. Perhaps we may make it happen!

 

Awesome, will keep in mind once we firm up some things!

 

Another side question for those in/around Germany... As far as navigation goes, is using phone navigation such as Waze good enough to get around the country? Or is it worth me buying the dedicated GPS maps for Europe for my Garmin? Debating on if I really need to or not, seeing how awesome the Waze app is for navigation (here in the US at least!).

 

Also, we may or may not add in Tripsdrill after Holiday Park on the way to Munich. Looks like a quirky little park. Any thoughts?

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I'm also glad to hear that driving is a suitable option for transport. I heard many rental cars in Europe are manual. I kinda know how to drive stick. Has this been any of your guys' experiences? Like would I have to get a lot more comfortable driving manual if I intend to rent a car in Germany?

You can easily get an automatic if you request that while booking. It may be an additional fee, though.

 

 

If you like to meet up with some German members, we live only 45 minutes away from Holiday Park and plan to have season tickets this year. We're also in Europa Park after Easter. Just PM me. Perhaps we may make it happen!

 

Awesome, will keep in mind once we firm up some things!

 

Another side question for those in/around Germany... As far as navigation goes, is using phone navigation such as Waze good enough to get around the country? Or is it worth me buying the dedicated GPS maps for Europe for my Garmin? Debating on if I really need to or not, seeing how awesome the Waze app is for navigation (here in the US at least!).

As far as I know I can recommend Google Maps. It's free of charge and will be working perfectly for your purposes.

 

Also, we may or may not add in Tripsdrill after Holiday Park on the way to Munich. Looks like a quirky little park. Any thoughts?

Go there! It's well worth it's price an the detour you will have to take. You only need a couple of hours to reride everything you want if you can hit it on a weekday. Even oh the weekend or a holiday a full day is good enough.

G'sengte Sau is the first ever Gerstlauer Coaster. Mammut is the first wooden coaster to be completely planned and built by germany companies. Karacho is a great Gerstlauer. Rasender Tausendfüßler is a nice Zierer. And there's a Sky Fly with a revoluion counter. Also, food is affordable and yummy and Parking is free!

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Tripsdrill also has (had?) a really nice little wine tasting building,

with a Souvenir glass after you've tasted your wine(s).

H_05Vinarium_Tripsdrill.jpg.f1873132fb45b8731fd85509981137b2.jpg

Me and Tripsdrill's VINARIUM. And my glass. TPR 2008 Europe tour.

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