Germany – the home of the famed Autobahn, the Neuschwanstein Castle, the majestic Black Forest and more, is one of the top tourist destinations in the whole of Europe.
The country has been through its fair share of ups and downs, had been the ground zero of the dark history of the twentieth century and home of one of the greatest and most hated dictators the world has ever seen.
Despite everything, the country has, since antiquity, walked a path where culture, history, innovation, science – everything copulated over time to create the grandeur of Germany that we see today.
So, for those who think Germany has very little to offer, it is nothing but an illusion in their minds. On the contrary, there are numerous places to visit in Germany that will ultimately leave people awestruck with rich culture, incredible history and of course, world-class beer!
Before browsing through some of the best places in Germany, a quick look at some fun and fascinating facts about the country won’t hurt:
- German Shepherd is the USA’s second-most favorite dog.
- Beer is not alcohol in Bavaria. It is a staple food just like bread. Yes, beer has been declared as staple food!
- Most of the taxis that are found in Germany are Mercedes.
- Reutlingen boasts the world’s narrowest street. The street is called Spreuerhofstraße. The road is just 31 centimeters wide at the point where it becomes narrowest.
- Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften is the longest word that Germans use as of now.
- Autobahn is the oldest network of motorways in the entire world. It is also the longest and densest system in the whole world. The roadways measure 12,000 km or 7,456 miles.
- Ulm, Germany has the tallest cathedral in the world.
- Beethoven was German. His full name was Ludwig van Beethoven. He lost his hearing entirely in 1819. It is after the hearing loss that he composed the Ninth Symphony.
- Pillows in Germany are “passive weapons.”
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Here’s the list of the top places to visit in Germany
Berlin – the capital city of Germany, is one of the acknowledged and top capital holiday destinations in the whole of Europe. Berlin is the screaming epitome of Germany’s cutting-edge and bespoke sophistication.
It is a playground of culture and history. While a host of attractions await the global tourists, Berlin, in all its glory, presents the Museum Island that stores moments stolen from time – some good, some dark.
Classical antiquities that can be traced all the way back to Troy and Babylon coexist with some dark moments of the early 20th century that still manages to instill a graphic, spine-chilling horror story in our minds as if, it only happened yesterday.
Berlin has something or the other for everyone from the history buff to food crusaders, from nature lovers to lazy folks. One can consider visiting the futuristic spas at Liquidrom or head straight for the Stasi Museum singing the saga of the terrifying secret police. Berlin is not going to disappoint anyone.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Berlin, Germany
While in Berlin, it is just imperative that a tourist visits the Berlin Wall, or whatever remains of it today. Not the best option for sightseeing in Germany, the remains of the Berlin Wall with scores of graffiti stand as a stark reminder of 70 deaths that took place because people only wanted to escape to the east.
Berlin Wall remains a manifestation of the mentality Germans had during the Cold War and persisted well after the end of World War II. The wall was erected back in 1961, and it continued to grow until it reached the length of a staggering 155 kilometers. It was torn down in 1990.
Of whatever remains of the wall today, the most infamous stretch is the Checkpoint Charlie. Another stretch is right opposite to the Reichstag Building in Humboldthafen. Travel to Germany is just incomplete without a visit to the Berlin Wall.
Arguably the most famous fairytale castle in the whole of Europe, the Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most revered places to visit in Germany. Standing tall right on German Alps’ dizzy ridges, the castle rests right above Hohenschwangau town – a small but charming town.
The pointed turrets, the squeaky drawbridges – everything about the castle reminds why J. K. Rowling and Walt Disney drew inspiration from this castle. Inside the castle, the sumptuous interior, Singer’s Hall and of course, the Throne Room are some of the most prominent attractions of this royal castle that was built between 1869 and 1886 by the most famous monarch of Bavaria – King Ludwig II.
→ Best Tours for this attraction: Enjoy this day trip visit to the fairytale Neuschwanstein castle.
The Black Forest
Germany travel makes no sense if one misses the enigmatic Black Forest. Germans call it the Schwarzwald. It is not black or a place of black magic. It is just so dense that sunlight often fails to penetrate. So, what one encounters inside the forest is an ethereal twilight world.
With scores of pine trees and magical groves breaking out into blissful farmlands and vast lakes, the Black Forest is a hikers’ paradise and one of the best places in Germany. There’s no accommodation inside the forest but those who prefer to stay nearby in a setting that matches the vibe of the wood, Freiburg serves as the perfect base that hosts some of the most beautiful pieces of Gothic architecture one can think of.
Read also: Top 10 Easter Holiday Destinations in Europe
Dresden – The Art Paradise
Germans are artsy, and so, artsy travelers have all the excuse they need to be in Dresden. The Dresden Art Collection, which the Germans refer to as Staatliche Kunstsammlungen is something worth looking at.
Even those who don’t nurture a very artistic soul should consider putting this on the list of top things to do in Germany. There isn’t just a single gallery. There are several – spread across the city of Dresden, giving all the more reasons for a tourist to roam around and capture some picture-perfect landmarks that aren’t camera shy.
The most famous galleries in Dresden include the famous Museum of Decorative Arts, the Royal Palace, and the New Masters Gallery, all of which have some priceless and timeless art pieces privately collected by German aristocrats during the 16th century.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Dresden, Germany
Of the most famous cities in Germany, Munich is a class of its own, just like the capital Berlin. Germans here are just different from the rest of Germany, and the best that could be said to explain what awaits in Munich is to say – Visit Germany!
Munich is to experience. The land of beer-crazy and leather-crazy people, Munich is Bavaria’s regional capital. Of the several things that can excite a tourist, the best part is always the frothy weissbier. It’s not ordinary. It follows a recipe of ancient Bavaria.
And yes… the smoky bratwurst is something to die. If beer and sausage are not what one seeks, Munich won’t make a tourist regret his or her travel to Germany. Munich is a compilation of green parks, gorgeous baroque, medieval memories.
To wind up things in the most memorable fashion, Munich has to offer the Frauenkirche, Marienplatz and Englischer Garten.
→ Best Tours for this attraction: Beer and food tour in Munich
Read the full blog posts: Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Munich
Clinging to Rhine River’s serpentine channels are the deep-cut mythic valleys that the world knows as the Rhineland. Home to some of Germany’s most magnificent cultural landscapes and of course, fairytale castles, the Rhineland has a lot to offer who decide to ink Germany travel as their to-do list of holidays.
The Eltz Castle, the 2,000-year-old city of Koblenz, Loreley – the legendary rocks, Boppard – the town where history is preserved – are some of the most famous Germany tourist attractions of Rhineland that one cannot afford to miss.
And yes, if there is something that Rhineland does best in the whole of Germany, then it is none other than wine! The Spatburgunder and Riesling vineyards that sweep from hilltops to Rhine and Mosel riverbanks are known for producing Europe’s some of the exquisite red wines and sweet whites. Robbing oneself of the opportunities to taste those wines will mean an unforgivable mistake.
Read also: Top 15 Medieval Castles in Europe
Rhineland and the Black Forest aren’t the only mythical places that the country has to offer to those who travel to Germany. Berchtesgaden has emerged as one of the top places to see in Germany that distinguishes itself as a destination for seekers of tranquility.
Nestled in Bavarian mountain plateaus, Berchtesgaden sits right next to the Austrian border. It is an Alpine enclave that is just as beautiful with human presence as without the same.
Houses – half-timbered with wooden balconies covered with cascades of bougainvillea, facades frescoed to perfection and the shimmering mirror-akin waters of Konigssee – it is more like an abode for the enlightened hermits.
Just in case a traveler seeks some historical connections, he or she can take a peek into the dark past by heading up top to the Eagle’s Nest – a mountain retreat that Adolf Hitler used just once. From the Eagle’s Nest, one can get a sweeping view of southern Bavaria and Watzmann.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Berchtesgaden, Germany
Very much capable of giving Munich a run for its money, Nuremberg is one of the most famous and best places in Germany. Nuremberg has earned quite some fame (or shame, whatever suits a traveler’s mind) for being Nazi Germany’s hub and the spot for the infamous and of course, discriminatory Nuremberg trials post World War II.
Prior to the rise of Hitler and 3rd Reich, Nuremberg once became the epicenter of the Holy Roman Empire. The formidable Nuremberg Castle, the half-timbered houses, and country-famous beer put Nuremberg on the top of Germany travel itinerary.
→ Best Tours for this attraction: Explore the Old Town and the unique history of Nuremberg on a sightseeing train tour.