Help with Germany itinerary

Hey all,

As I’ve posted in here already, I’m doing a big Europe trip from mid August to early December. Really struggling to map out my Germany itinerary, since I want to see a bunch of places all over the country.

These are the places I’ve jotted down as places I’d like to visit: Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Berchtesgaden, Leipzig, Rothenberg, Nuremberg, Dresden.

I know, it’s a lot. The plan is to be in Germany for roughly 2.5 weeks. Planning to spend a full week in Berlin, five days in Munich, and three in Hamburg. So that leaves only 3-4 days for the rest. So here’s what I want to know: Which places should I skip? Which are best for day trips, which should I spend a night in?

I’m excited for Berlin and Munich but I definitely want to see some smaller towns as well. Would be cool to get several different tastes of what Germany is like. My interests include seeing major sights, nightlife, trying new food, some museums, etc.

I will be coming from Paris in late September, so Cologne would likely be the first destination in Germany. BUT, I wouldn’t mind getting over to Munich quickly to experience a day of Oktoberfest. Might as well if I’m going to be in the country, right? After Germany I’ll be going to either Austria or Prague, depending what my final destination in Germany is.