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Germany Have you ever traveled to Germany alone?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by cu29, Apr 22, 2013.

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  1. cu29

    cu29 Initiate (144) Sep 26, 2005 Wisconsin

    Has anyone ever visited Germany solo? I am considering a future trip there with just myself, maybe 7 or 8 days. I love checking out new towns and breweries, and beer gardens and festivals......but I have never done it alone. I am concerned I might get bored with myself!:stuck_out_tongue:
    Any advice or tales to tell?
  2. whatsgoody

    whatsgoody Disciple (308) Nov 16, 2012 Vermont

    I lived in Germany for four months this past fall, and though I wasn't alone on a daily basis (I lived with a homestay family), I did a ton of train travel alone. If you've been before, you know what to expect with breweries and biergardens, etc. I hit all of the major cities in search of great beer, and some of my favorite experiences were days when I was all on my own. People know English, and whether you sit down and talk to some one for 5 minutes or find some one to spend the rest of the day with, you'll never really be alone. I loved Bamberg, where I hit 5 breweries in a day, all on my own. Then again, I loved Dusseldorf, where I met another American who was seeking out great Alt, and we ended up hitting all of the breweries together. And sitting in the Weisses Brauhaus in Munich with two old Germans, slurring my way through conversation and plenty of Tap 6, that was pretty awesome too.

    Sharing the German beer experience with friends is a ton of fun, but traveling alone can be incredibly rewarding if you throw yourself out there. Just prepare well and don't get too drunk that you can't find your way back to your hotel. Let me know if you want more details about traveling alone/great trips to take.
  3. itsthepleats

    itsthepleats Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2012 Ohio

    Been through Western Europe (including Germany) three times now traveling solo. One of the most eye-opening, rewarding ways to travel imo. As mentioned above, English is spoken everywhere and you'll often end up with people you meet...especially when beer is involved. One of the best things about going it alone is not being held back by others. You'll be free to hit up multiple attractions/breweries in a day without all the disagreeing about itinerary. Just have a skeleton plan and go with the flow. You'll be surprised where you end up and the people you meet.

    One thing I always do when traveling to new cities is find a nice tall church tower or hill overlooking the city. Climb up to the top and enjoy the view. Even better, enjoy it with a brew in hand:slight_smile: Good luck!
    Gutes_Bier and whatsgoody like this.
  4. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (390) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    I can only echo what's already been said, Germany is pretty easily traveled from an American perspective. The farther away from the tourist sites you go the more you may need at least a little German, but if you stick to the main areas you shouldn't have a hard time finding someone who can speak English. Menus in tourist areas will almost always have an English translation. The Deutsche Bahn website (bahn.de, long distance trains) has an English-language option, and nowadays I believe will even send a bar code to your smart phone which can be scanned by the conductor. Most places you would want to go will be either easily walkable or well connected by public transit (or both), and if you're traveling alone you can probably keep accommodation costs reasonable by staying in a hostel or in a bare-bones hotel.

    I live here but have would venture off on my own sometimes before my boy was born, most notably to Düsseldorf, which was great. I went to Füchschen, where the waiter was super friendly and chatted with me all about America (it wasn't very crowded, YMMV). Then I went to Uerige and had a much less friendly waiter but had just as great a time. As others have said, do a little preparation, have a plan but keep it flexible, don't get too drunk, and most of all enjoy the trip! I'd love to hear where you ended up when you're done.
  5. nloetz

    nloetz Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2005 Austria

    I've done a lot of solo travel, and I've met a lot of interesting people along the way. If you stay in hostels, you will meet people there. Everyone is open and friendly regardless of age. Check out hostelworld.com. Try to find small hostels as you'll just get lost in a crowd in the larger ones. (especially avoid HI hostels and those official German ones which I've now forgotten the name of) A lot of solo travelers hang out in the kitchen and common areas kind of waiting for people to talk to. Another option would be couchsurfing.org. I've done this a lot as a host and a surfer. If you don't want to actually stay at someone's place, you could post something on one of the forums saying you're just looking to hang out or you can individually message people to ask if they would like to go out for a beer.
    And if you're just alone and you don't meet anyone, take a book! It's not that big of a deal!
    einhorn likes this.
  6. nloetz

    nloetz Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2005 Austria

    ...and I'm sure there are a lot of people on here who live in Germany and would go out and have a beer with you.
    Erzengel and SammyJ like this.
  7. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    I have but as a German in Germany you are just another fish in the pond and nowbody gives a F*** about you. Play the tourist card and you'll receive a lot more positive attention :slight_smile:
    digita7693 likes this.
  8. DoubleJ

    DoubleJ Poo-Bah (5,353) Oct 13, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    Just a month ago I was travelling solo in Germany. What I liked most about it I could decide what breweries and bars I wanted to visit, anywhere, anytime. Visit Weisses Brauhaus before 10am? Take a spontaneous day trip to Nurnburg? It's up to you and only you. Sometimes I was wishing I had a companion to drink with, but on the other hand what if your companion had a different game plan, or felt a completely different manner than you after drinking a maß or two?

    I had never even been to Europe before last month, let alone Germany. I was able to travel solo with few problems. If you have been to Europe before, you should have the advantage of already knowing certain customs, a few foreign phrases, and a feel for everyday life. I had to learn much of this as my trip progressed.
    jcb7472 likes this.
  9. watermelonman

    watermelonman Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2004 California

    Solo travel is a way of life, man. Forget beer, you are discovering yourself and the world. Having some fantastic brew along the way does not hurt, but keep it in perspective.
    herrburgess likes this.
  10. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,229) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Like others have mentioned, Germany is pretty easy to travel. Munich has the best public transport system I’ve ever encountered. You can go from the airport to some pretty distant regional communities for a flat fee each day.
    Depending on where you buy tickets, the machines are even in English. Ditto with maps. For more distant locales, the DB site is easy to use for regional trains and the phone service people at Rail Europe are some of the best customer service employees I’ve ever talked to as well.
    While not everyone speaks English, you’ll find a good chunk of Germans, or at least Bavarians, do. They’re friendly folks that seem intrigued that an American would fly over there for beer, too. Half the time just speaking English will help you make a new friend in minutes. I have been over there 5 times and have found a drinking buddy or buddies without trying on every single trip. In Bamberg, thanks to the Army and tourism, English might as well be a second language. Hell, sometimes you’ll run into other Americans or foreign travelers doing the same thing you are. Knowing enough German to order food and beers will make life a bit easier, though.
    Anyway – you should do it if you can. My first trip was on a whim back in the mid 2000’s and now I’m hooked and have to go back whenever I can.
  11. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (4,238) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    I've been to Germany about 30 times, and I'd say about 1/2 of those were solo.... I have always found something to keep me going, whether it be a biergarten or some WWII site, or something medieval, or.... I doubt you'd be bored!!

  12. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (192) Feb 25, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I'd just say, if you are travelling Europe or anywhere within, knowing the public transportation, whether thats buses, underground, trains, whatever........is absolutely crucial. And many localities, cities, regions, and countries have peculiarities that aren't obvious or apparent to travelers. I admire someone who wants to wing it in a foreign area, but to get the most of a new place, in terms of minimizing cost, maximizing your time there, and just seeing the things you should see whether you knew about them beforehand or not, usually requires someone who has been there before or who has lived there.
  13. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,229) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    It always sounds like a shameless plug, but in Munich, the Beer Drinker's Guide to Munich takes a lot of the work out of the public transportation system. It has everything from S and U Bahn maps, schedules, walking maps, and a general usage guide. I actually felt like an old pro after a couple days just because of how helpful that book is.
    steveh likes this.
  14. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,302) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I agree.
  15. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (4,238) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    BDGM is a great book, indeed! I have what I believe is the latest, which is a few years old. Keep in mind that the MVV sometimes renumbers the S-Bahn lines, so it may not match what's in the book.... same direction, etc...

  16. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poo-Bah (7,227) Aug 15, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Germany is best alone! I backpacked it without speaking any German and had a great time.
  17. digita7693

    digita7693 Disciple (394) Jan 19, 2010 Germany
    Beer Trader

    Having lived in Germany for 8 years, I completely agree. Living in Germany nobody really cares... as a tourist in Germany??? you can get away with all kinds of shit:wink:
  18. foles

    foles Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2007 Australia

    Germans are friendly. Go for it. Great place to wander aimlessly - a wonderland
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