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Last updated: August 2020
For decades now, Germany has been among the top ten most visited countries in the world, with more than 38 million visitors per year. Having more than 46 UNESCO World Heritage sites and more than 400 zoos and animal parks, it is pretty obvious why people have become curious about visiting the central-European country. Germany combines cultural richness with technological and industrial innovation. At the same time, the sixteen national parks spanning for miles, make Germany a travel destination that has the whole package. In this guide, we'll explore the most worth-visited places, attractions, and cities that every tourist has to see. Get ready to be overwhelmed by the loads of things you can do in Germany. Wherever you'll go in this country, there is something memorable to experience.
See world renowned landmarks up close
We have to agree that just one visit is not enough to see all the historical sites and attractions of the country. However, there are a few that every traveller has to go after. Most of them are in the biggest cities, like Berlin, Cologne, and Munich. For example, you can’t miss Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the Cathedral in Cologne, and Marienplatz in Munich. A must-visit is Neuschwanstein Castle, which is not only one of the most popular attractions in Germany, but in Europe. If you’re into museums, some top picks are Pergamon Museum in Berlin, known for its ancient civilizations’ exhibitions and collections. For modern art and architecture, the Vitra Design Museum will immerse you in the prevailing trends in design. If you’re travelling with children, treat them to a day visit to Europa Park, the second-largest theme park in Europe.
Get stunned by nature’s beauty and national parks
The diverse landscape of the country has created ecosystems beyond comparison. In the vast national parks, rare plant and animal species like the Eurasian lynx, wildcats, moose, and more find shelter. Should you find yourself fascinated by the German countryside, you have to visit the Bavarian Forest National Park, the Eifel National Park, or the alpine Berchtesgaden National Park. If you’re one of those people who believe that an outdoor adventure is incomplete without a tour in or around a lake, river, or sea, then you are in the right place. Saxon Switzerland National Park is home to the famous rocky Bastei Bridge, Königstein Fortress Festung, and numerous gorges, and lakes. Triberg Waterfalls, Lake Starnberg, and Jasmund National Park, known for the largest chalk cliffs in the country, are only a few of the most outstanding natural reserves in Germany.
Visit the cozy picturesque towns and villages
While scrolling down on your Instagram feed, you’ve probably encountered images of the beautiful fairytale towns and villages in Germany. There are several all over the country, some of them look alike, and some are different, depending on the era of construction. Here are our top four: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Meersburg, Quedlinburg, and Monschau. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the most representative example of Bavarian beauty with cobblestone streets and colorful medieval buildings and houses. During Christmas, the whole town looks like a post-card with a Christmas market that is among the most popular in Germany. If you can’t make it to Rothenburg, then Quedlinburg will reward you with the same medieval flair and the imposing castle that stands in the highest point of the village. Down south, the lakefront town of Meersburg in Constanze steals the show. Amphitheatrically built and surrounded by vineyards, Meersburg is part of the most significant tourist route in the country, the German Framework Road. Last but not least, Monschau, in the central-western part of the country, is another medieval resort town. Its location in the Eifel region makes it convenient for hiking in the Eifel National Park. Monschau gets crowded at weekends and the period leading up to Christmas when the town is overrun by Christmas market stalls.
Since Germany is such a huge country, it’s kind of tricky to mention only a few attractions and places that are worth visiting. Chances are that you’re planning to visit at least one of the following cities for a few days. Let’s have a sneak preview of the remarkable things that these three large cities have to offer to tourists.
We couldn’t help but begin with the capital city. Even if you only have one day to spend in Berlin, you’re lucky to find the most famous landmarks in the city center. The Brandenburg Gate is a neoclassical sight used to mark the start of the road between Berlin and Brandenburg an der Havel. Today, it’s a symbol of peace and unity for Germany and Europe in general. Berlin Wall Memorial, which is the last piece of the former Wall, reminisces the Berlin division that ended in 1989. Another sight of great historical significance is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, erected to honor the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. A visit to Berlin would be incomplete without a stroll in the worldwide known Alexander Platz, where the Berlin TV Tower oversees the city from 369 meters (1,207.45 ft). For street art lovers, the open-air East Side Gallery is the place. We can’t fail to mention the underground music scene of Berlin that has been and still is today a benchmark for electronic music. No wonder why Berlin is the prominent club city in Europe.
Leipzig is a fascinating and alternative city attracting creatives from across the country and is often known as the ‘New Berlin’. It has an artsy vibe with many fun events, workshops, galleries and world-class art museums to be explored. If that wasn’t enough of a draw the city has a rich history to be discovered with it being the focal point of the fall of the Berlin Wall with protests against the regime starting here. It is also a city with a fantastic musical heritage being the city of Bach, the world renowned Gewandhaus concert hall and the Thomanerchor choir established over 800 years ago. One of the best ways to experience the city is with a local guide and the Leipzig Free Tours are a great option. They provide tours in English, German and Spanish and the entertaining guides will open your eyes to the history and stories of the old centre of the city. Most tours include New Town Hall, St. Thomas Church, Bach Memorial, Mendlessohn Memorial, Museum “Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum”, Barthel’s Hof, Market Square, Old Scale, Old Exchange and much more! You will come away with brilliant insights into the city’s past and present, as well as tips on the best bars, restaurants and events in town.
The Bavarian capital has maintained its traditional architecture and cosmopolitan character throughout the ages. It’s no coincidence that the most renowned attractions carry a big piece of its history and culture. Marienplatz is the central square of the city and the busiest one. It has been the main square of Munich since 1158. Τhe statuesque New City Hall, on the north side of the square, and the Old City Hall on the east side, captivate visitors’ interest. A few blocks away is the oldest tavern and pub in Germany, dating back to the 16th century, where tourists are welcomed all year long. In the old city center is also situated the Viktualienmarkt, the historic open-air food market. There are more than 140 stalls that sell goods, from cheese, poultry, and fish to delicatessens. Throughout the year, many folkloric events take place here in the Viktualienmarkt square. A little north of the Old Town is the Munich Residence. It is the largest royal city palace in Germany, and it’s basically a complex of buildings. Tourists head there to see the ten courtyards, the decorations in over 130 rooms, and the Hall of Antiquities. Ther are also many beautiful lakes outside of the city that are worth visiting such as Walchensee, Tegernsee and Starnberg.
With a dynamic economic activity and hundreds of options for entertainment, Hamburg is definitely worth visiting. Although not all sights are in close distance to each other, you can make time for at least four in a day. Public transport in Hamburg is considered to be the best in the country. By purchasing a Hamburg Card, you're granted discounted access to attractions and public transport. Once you make it to the city center, Rathaus, the grand city hall, is the best way to start your touring. The Neo-Reannaiscance city hall, constructed in 1897, still keeps its role as a governmental building. Hamburg is also known for having the largest warehouse district in the world that goes by the name Speicherstadt. The tall red-brick buildings on the canals, flowing out from the port of Hamburg, are perhaps the most photographed industrial attraction in the country. Not very far from Speicherstadt, you’ll find yourself inside an architectural masterpiece, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, on the Grasbrook peninsula of the Elbe River. Visitors can enter the building without an admission ticket to take some pictures and admire the interior of the site. Your night would most probably end in Reeperbahn, where all the top bars and clubs are. This historic region has gained a significant reputation thanks to the Beatles, who performed there for many years.
Apparently, you’re checking flights and lodgings in Germany, having in mind the medieval castles, the gothic Cathedrals, the national parks, and the cozy villages, or the signature cultural and nightlife style of Berlin. The good news is that there is no such thing as the best time to visit Germany because all year round is perfect for a trip to Germany. We have to admit that we have a soft spot for Christmas in Germany because of the adorable thematic Christmas markets. The temperatures are a bit cold in the winter months. From March to October, they usually fluctuate from 10 to 25 °C (50 - 77 °F). An umbrella is always handy, as, during the day, the weather tends to change. April, May, and September are mild, with average temperatures of 18 - 20 °C (64 - 68 °F) during the day. Summer is relatively warm, but it’s not unusual to experience higher temperatures, such as 30 - 32 °C (86 - 90 °F), particularly in July and August.
Germany’s location in Central Europe matches its central position in the politics and economics of the continent and the whole world. The living standards are high in Europe’s most prosperous state, with social security, semi-statutory health insurance, tuition-free universities, and environmental awareness and protection. These amenities draw thousands, not to say millions, of immigrants to enter the country every year for a brighter future.
Germany is also the birthplace of philosophers, like Goethe, Kant, Karl Marx, and Nietzche, that changed history forever, as well as the most significant classical music composers, such as Bach, Beethoven, and Wagner.
We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest.