Germany is a country with plenty to offer, from the world-class museums and nightlife in Berlin to the quaint villages and stunning mountain ranges in the Bavarian Alps.
Those who enjoy culture, history and architecture should make sure to check out Germany’s incredible cities. And, if you’re a beer lover, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Germany’s best breweries!
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Berlin, Germany’s capital city, is a fascinating mix of old and new. The mix includes bits and pieces of WWII history, beautiful squares to wander through and great restaurants to try out.
For a unique look at Berlin’s history, take the time to visit the Deutsches Historische Museum. It’s a place where you can learn about the city from its foundation to its present day in a way that is easy to understand.
You can also visit the Reichstag Building, which has a glass dome that gives you an excellent 360-degree view of the city. You can also see the Berlin Wall Memorial, which is a monument to those who died trying to cross the wall during World War II.
Another must-visit attraction is Berlin’s Grosser Tiergarten (literally, the “large animal garden”), a massive 210-hectare park that’s often seen as a symbol of the city. It’s a popular spot for walking, biking, kayaking and boating.
Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is a place that’s full of history, culture, art galleries and museums. It’s also famous for its huge festivals, such as the Oktoberfest which draws more than six million people to Munich each year.
A great way to explore the city is by foot. Most of the main sights and attractions are in Munich’s historic center, which is easily walkable.
In the Old Town, you’ll find plenty of cobbled streets to stroll and shop in, as well as an excellent selection of museums. One of the best is the Alte Pinakothek, an impressive collection of ancient art.
Another popular attraction is the Deutches Museum, which is packed with world-class art and exhibits from across the globe. The museum is located to the north of the Old Town, and it’s easy to reach on foot, by bike or via a metro.
Another fun thing to do in Munich is cycle around the Englischer Garten or English Garden, which was laid out on the orders of elector Carl Theodor in 1789. The park is a huge green space in the heart of the city, and it’s a great activity at any time of the year.
With its towers, turrets, frescoes, and throne hall, Schloss Neuschwanstein (or, in English, the “Castle New Swan Stone”) is one of those fairy-tale castles that looks like it was plucked straight from a storybook. But the story behind this over-the-top palace nestled in the Bavarian Alps is less idyllic than it first appears.
King Ludwig II of Bavaria commissioned the elaborate cliffside castle in 1868, just two years after Prussia had reclaimed Austria and Bavaria during the Austro-Prussian War. The palace quickly became the centerpiece of his imagined kingdom, where he could live out his dream of being a true, sovereign king.
The Throne Room and Tristan and Isolde-inspired bedroom at Neuschwanstein are a must see, as well as the castle’s Singer’s Hall. But the best way to see the castle is on a guided tour, as the tour guide can take you around the entire castle without you having to stand in long lines.
If you’re lucky enough to get a sunny day, the views from the castle are nothing short of breathtaking. There are also plenty of wooded trails that wind around the rocky ledges surrounding Neuschwanstein, providing opportunities for hiking, biking, or just enjoying the scenery.
The Black Forest is a place where fairytales come to life. With deep carved valleys, thick woodlands, stout timber farmhouses and wispy waterfalls, this region of Germany is a feast for the senses.
It’s home to a rich and diverse culture, bucketloads of history and a beer heritage that’s legendary. It also boasts some of Europe’s most dramatic landscapes.
There are plenty of things to do in the Black Forest, from exploring medieval towns and villages to hiking through wild gorges. But if you’re not much of a hiker, there are also several mountain resorts with skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports opportunities to try.
In addition to all that, the Black Forest also boasts a National Park with plenty of hiking trails. Take a break at the park center in the Villa Klumpp at Ruhestein, or head on a guided tour to learn more about the forest’s history and nature.
And to make the most of your time in the Black Forest, it’s a good idea to hire a local guide who can show you all the best sights and attractions. They’ll help you plan your itinerary and take care of any reservations you may need.
The Rhine Valley, one of the most popular and heavily visited parts of Germany, is dotted with charming towns, magnificent castles and beautiful nature-filled vistas. It’s also home to some of the best vineyards in Europe and some great tours that will see you sampling some local wine at some of the best places.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply enjoy great wine, the Rhine Valley is the perfect place to relax, take in some culture and explore a bit of the German countryside. The UNESCO-protected area is a stunning region that is full of amazing castles, picturesque German towns and some of the finest vineyards in the world.
You can explore the area on a day trip by train and a cruise boat or you could make it into your own self-drive adventure. But if you want to get the most out of your time in this beautiful corner of Germany, then it’s best to plan your trip around the peak seasons.
To get a taste of the romantic side of the Rhine Valley, visit Braubach and climb up to Marksburg Castle, one of the most imposing medieval castles in all of Germany. It presides high above the town, perched on a slate hill. It’s a short, but steep climb, but the views across the Rhine Valley and river are worth it.
Heidelberg is one of Germany’s most beautiful cities, and it has so much to offer. This picturesque town is full of cobblestone alleyways and historical buildings that make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.
The best way to explore the city is by taking a stroll along the Hauptstrasse, which has a reputation as one of the longest pedestrian zones in Europe. This street is lined with pastel-coloured facades and a mix of shops, cafes and restaurants.
Another great area to visit is Altstadt, the old quarter of Heidelberg, which has plenty of historic landmarks and pretty plazas. It’s also home to some of the city’s most impressive churches and museums.
You’ll also find the Old Bridge of Heidelberg, which is a wonderful place to take in the view of the castle and the Neckar River. It’s also worth strolling across the bridge at sunset when it’s lit up.
Other popular things to do in the city include visiting the university and checking out its infamous student jail, or “Studentenkarzer”. This was in use from 1778 to 1914 and saw students locked up for various minor offenses. You can still see some of the graffiti that was written by students during that time period.
The historic baroque city of Dresden is a treasure chest of art and architecture. Despite suffering a double blow of destruction in World War II and 45 years of Soviet neglect, it has risen again to be one of the best places to visit in Germany.
There are a huge number of things to see and do in Dresden, including a vast array of museums. It’s also home to the Old Masters Picture Gallery, a collection of paintings by the Italian Renaissance and Baroque masters.
Another must-see is Bruhl’s Terrace, which takes you up on the fortress walls to get a birds-eye view of the city and its river. The panorama is so detailed that it took artist Bruhl decades to put together.
For a different perspective, take to the river and go rowing or canoeing. Or take a tour on the famous paddle steamers.
Trier, Germany’s most Roman city, is a must-see for any serious historical buff. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s home to the Porta Nigra (“black gate”), thermal baths where aristocrats took to relax, an amphitheater, and more.
If you want to know more about the city’s Roman past, you must visit the Trier Museum (Rheinisches Landesmuseum). With its collections of artifacts and coins, it’s the most extensive in the country, and it’s a must-see for any history buff.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the High Cathedral of Saint Peter is one of Trier’s most impressive landmarks. It has sections from both Roman and medieval times, so it’s a great place to start your sightseeing.
After touring the main sights, head over to Market Square, where you’ll find a number of markets selling produce and goods. You can also walk through Brotstrasse, a pedestrian shopping street where you’ll find boutique shops, many of them with a local flair.