Germany Place To Visit – Experience Germany’s breathtaking scenery, beautiful big cities, romantic palaces and half-timbered towns, and get ready for a roller-coaster ride of feasts, treats and temptations.
You’ll find stories of cities whose streets were landscaped long before Columbus set sail, and castles towering over ancient villages with flower boxes full of crimson geraniums. Great cities such as Berlin, Munich and Hamburg will dazzle you with a kaleidoscope of culture that spans the spectrum from art museums, high operas, naughty cabarets and underground clubs. Wherever you go, Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque classics rub shoulders with architectural works by modern masters.
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Berlin’s other strengths, its exciting food scene, its expressive history, and its urban charm never fail to impress or enchant. More than a quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German capital has grown without abandoning its passion for indie thinking and creative improvisation. There’s top-notch food in former breweries, all-night partying in power stations, and world-class art in WWII bunkers. Visit historic sites such as the Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor, and Checkpoint Charlie, then enjoy a cultural disaster feast at one of the many museums.
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If you’re looking for Alpine style, Munich has them all in one sleek, compact package. But the Bavarian capital often has an unexpected array of trumpets under a bright blue sky. Here, folklore and ancient traditions coexist with beautiful BMWs, designer boutiques and high-performance factories. The city’s museums display everything from masterpieces of art to technological treasures and the history of Oktoberfest, while the music and cultural attractions are second only to those found in Berlin.
Admire the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein, which inspired Walt Disney © Andreas Zerndl / Shutterstock
Schloss Neuschwanstein, Bavaria’s most famous (and eccentric) king of the 19th century, rises from a mysterious Alpine forest and is designed like a picture from a bedtime storybook. Inside, the abstraction continues with rooms and halls that display Ludwig’s obsession with the legendary Teutonic past and the delicacy of the composer Wagner, which puts even the most glittering oligarchs’ palaces in the shade. This sugary silliness is said to have inspired Walt Disney World’s Castle; Now it inspires tourists to make pilgrimages along the Romantic Road, which ends at its gates.
Misty, snowy, sparkling, deep dark, the Black Forest is truly beautiful. If you want to get back to nature, this sylvan slice of southwestern Germany is the place to stay. Each valley reveals new surprises: half-timbered villages, thundering waterfalls, house-sized cuckoo clocks that look like fairytale fantasy in every inch. Breathe in the fresh air, take a rollercoaster ride to the interstellar lakes, eat a slice of the famous Black Forest cake, walk the gorgeous tree-lined paths, then hide away in a lush-thatched farmhouse. Hear it? Silence. How wonderful.
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Germany’s Rhine Valley is lined with charming seaside villages © Westend61 / Getty Images
As the mighty Rhine flows from Rüdesheim to Koblenz, the unique landscape between rock and water is wild (whirlwinds and dramatic cliffs), agricultural (vertical vineyards), medieval (top castles, half-timbered villages) and environmental. period (in the 19th century sense: ship, ship, passenger ship, train) in the Rhine Valley. From each riverside village, the trails take you back to a romantic evening spent sipping local wine, passing through vineyards and forests to panoramic views and massive stone castles.
19th-century romantics found Germany’s oldest university town, Heidelberg, awe-inspiring beauty and spiritual inspiration, and so did Mark Twain, who was seduced by the hillside castle ruins. Generations of students sit in lectures, beers in hand, sing catchy tunes, carve their names into tavern tables, and occasionally get sent to student prisons. All of this has left its mark on a modern city with a long tradition of world-class research, innovative cultural events, and a sometimes raucous nightlife scene.
Dresden recovers its history after being bombed in World War II © Eduard Ibrahimov / EyeEm / Getty Images
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The apocalypse occurred on a cold night in February 1945, when hours of carpet bombing burned Dresden, Germany’s “Florence on the Elbe,” to the ground. The return of the dead Dresden is a miracle. Restored architectural jewels are combined with an impressive art collection that justifies the city’s place in the pantheon of European cultural capitals. Add to that an infectiously vibrant pub district, Daniel Libeskind’s radically revamped Museum of Military History and a tiara of townhouses and palaces along the river, and you’ve got one interesting set of discoveries.
There was a time when Trier was the capital of Western Europe. Well, that time was 2,000 years ago, when Emperor Constantine ruled over the fading Roman Empire. With its ancient amphitheater, baths, and Porta Nigra, UNESCO has noted that nowhere else in Germany can the Roman heritage be preserved like this charming city, and it has been registered as one of nine World Heritage Sites. Today, Germany’s oldest city sits on the banks of the Moselle River, amidst some of the country’s finest and steepest vineyards.
An independent region until 1806, Nuremberg, the capital of the Franconia, may conjure up Nazi demonstrations and the horrors of war, but there is much more to this vibrant city. German painter Albrecht Dürer hailed from Altstadt, and his house is now a museum. Germany’s first railway runs from here to neighboring Fürth, leaving behind a legacy of trains. There’s plenty for kids to enjoy in Germany’s toy capital. After you’ve finished sightseeing, the local beer is as dark as coffee, perfect for chasing down a delicious finger-sized beer from Nuremberg.
At a moment’s notice, you can see it: Cologne Cathedral, the twin towers of the city, the view of the city, the eternal flow of the Rhine. Inside, illuminated by glass and filled with artwork, you can feel the echoes of time passing by. Led by its famous cathedral, Cologne offers a number of attractions. The city’s museum landscape is particularly strong on art, but there’s also something for chocolate, sports and even Roman history buffs. Cologne is like a living textbook of history and architecture: wandering around the city, you will stumble upon ancient Roman walls, medieval churches, simple post-war buildings, avant-garde structures, and the new postmodern quarter west of the Rhine.
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Isn’t nature amazing? That’s the thought that comes to mind when you slap your eyes on the sandstone wonderland of Saxon Switzerland, just south of Dresden. A favorite natural park of 19th-century romantic artists, the strange rock landscape with pinnacles, buttresses, spiers and spiers is truly beautiful. Some say its beauty is best appreciated by hitting one of the many hiking trails that lead deep into thick forests or to the ruins of a medieval castle. Free climbers are in their element at these uneven heights.
We can guarantee that your camera will fall in love with Potsdam’s magnificent palaces and gardens, stunning views, inspiring architecture and Cold War-era sights. Just across the ‘spy bridge’ from Berlin to Glienik, the state capital of Brandenburg was made famous by King Frederick the Great. His magnificent Rococo Palace of Sanssouci is the crowning glory of this UNESCO-recognized cultural tapestry, bringing together artistic trends from across 18th-century Europe in a single masterpiece. A day spent here will surely enchant and enlighten you.
Hamburg is one of the best cities in Germany © reach-art / Getty Images
Anyone who thinks Germany doesn’t have dessert after hours has never been to Hamburg. The once wealthy city on the Elbe has its roots in the Hanseatic League, a confederation of cities and towns founded in the 12th century and beyond. During the day, you can explore its beautiful harbor, explore the history of its restored neighborhoods, and explore shops selling goods you might not have thought were sold. At night, the best music clubs in Europe attract visitors, and there is a wide variety of performances for almost all tastes. Then another day in Hamburg begins.
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Beautiful Bamberg should not be overlooked by travelers to Bavaria © Sina Ettmer / EyeEm / Getty Images
Off the beaten track, but actually one of Germany’s most charming cities, Bamberg is a medieval and baroque masterpiece full of UNESCO-listed townhouses spared the ravages of World War II. Half of Altstadt’s beauty lies in its location on two waterways: the Regnitz River and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. Away from the city’s sweets, down-home fun is provided by Bamberg’s many brewpubs, which make the city’s signature Rauchbier (smoked beer), which some say tastes like bacon.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber has carefully maintained half-timbered houses enclosed by sturdy ramparts and a cute medieval look. If the deluge of day-trippers is any indication, it’s just too cute. The trick is to experience this historic wonderland in its most magical way: early in the morning or late at night, when the last bus leaves.
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