17 Best Places to Visit in Germany
Located in the heart of Europe, Germany today maintains the continent’s most powerful economy. However it is probably best known for its World War II history and the country’s even more recent times when it was split into East and West; everybody knows about the Berlin Wall, which came down less than 30 years ago. There’s a load of culture, natural beauty, and much older history to discover in this large European nation.
You’ll find much of this in Bavaria, southern Germany, where you can soak up the Bavarian Alps, explore some truly charming medieval towns, and get involved in the infamous Oktoberfest. In the north, you can explore beaches and old port towns from the Hanseatic period. Berlin wows with its famous clubs and huge museums, as does Frankfurt with its skyscraper-laden cityscape. Plan your trip to this fantastic European travel destination with our list of the best places to visit in Germany.
17. Regensburg [SEE MAP]
© Dmitry Chulov / Dreamstime
Lying at the spot where the Danube, Naab and Regen rivers meet, Regensburg in Bavaria is one of the oldest towns in the whole of Germany and a very popular tourist destination. Founded by the Romans in 179 AD, it boasts almost two thousand years of history, with its remarkably well-preserved medieval old town the star of the show.
Here you’ll find loads of fine architecture and important historical landmarks, with countless churches, chapels and monasteries dotted about its ancient streets. Of its many tourist attractions, the gorgeous Gothic cathedral and impressive 12th century Stone Bridge should not be missed out on; they represent the best of the area’s art, architecture and engineering.
Renowned for its historical and architectural treasures, Regensburg also has a laidback, youthful feel, as well as a lively cafe and bar culture. It is this easy-going atmosphere that has regularly seen it referred to as the ‘northernmost city of Italy.’
16. Hamburg [SEE MAP]
Located on the banks of the Elbe River, just a hundred kilometers from the North Sea, Hamburg has long been one of Europe’s busiest and most important ports. Once part of the Hanseatic League, it is now Germany’s second-largest city and is noted for its maritime identity and pulsating nightlife.
Much of life in the city and its history, culture, and heritage is linked to the canals and waterways that weave through town. Next to the harbor, for instance, you can find the strikingly modern Elbphilarmonie concert hall and old brick warehouses. One of the city’s main landmarks is its beautiful Neo-Renaissance Rathaus.
Hamburg is also famed for its seedy red-light district, where you can find live music venues, cool cocktail bars, and trendy clubs. It is actually here on the Reeperbahn that The Beatles got their big break and forever changed the world of music.
15. Rugen Island [SEE MAP]
Doktor Jones / Flickr
Favored for its remarkable landscapes and romantic seaside resorts, Rugen Island has flourished as a popular tourist destination since the 18th century. Located in the Baltic Sea as part of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Rugen Island is the largest island in Germany, connected to the mainland by the Rugen Bridge and Rugen Causeway.
Charming villas, historic old towns and beautiful beaches all draw tourists to Rugen Island, but the star attraction is the Jasmund National Park, famous for its unique chalk cliffs rising 161 meters over the sea. Of these majestic cliffs, the largest is known as Konigsstuhl, or King’s Chair. Legend has it that in ancient times, a newly crowned king would climb to the top of this cliff and sit in a chair to demonstrate his power.
Another notable feature of Rugen Island is Cape Arkona, East Germany’s northernmost tip, where tourists can visit an old lighthouse, remnants of a Slavic castle and a picturesque fishing village.
Among the island’s many seaside resorts, a few most popular include Binz, Sellin, Gohren and Sassnitz. Tourists will find a wide variety of recreation here ranging from golf to horse riding, cycling, windsurfing and hot air balloon trips.
Rugen Island can be reached by car across Germany’s longest bridge, by train and ferry service. Within the island, buses run between all major towns. Many of the main attractions are car-free, so walking and cycling are good alternatives. A great way to explore Rugen Island is by its steam-powered train, called Racing Roland.
14. Lake Constance [SEE MAP]
Ashwin KC / Flickr
The third-largest lake in Central Europe, Lake Constance is nestled in the foothills of the Alps straddling the German, Austrian and Swiss borders. It is made up of three main parts, with the Obersee – or ‘Upper Lake’ – connected to the Untersee (Lower Lake) by Seerhein – a small section of the Rhine River.
Long a popular place to go, Lake Constance is blessed with crystal clear waters and a mild and sunny climate, as well as lots of gorgeous scenery. This makes it ideal for swimming, sunbathing and sailing. Cycling along its serene shores and hiking in the surrounding vineyards and orchards are popular pastimes.
Besides the ample recreational activities, the lake is also noted for the picturesque towns and villages hugging its shores. On the German side, visitors can delight in exploring the lively and historic university city of Konstanz and the idyllic island town of Lindau. On the Swiss side, phenomenal views of the lake can be enjoyed from atop the 2,500 meter high Santis Mountain. Bregenz, in Austria, is famed for its floating stage that hosts concerts and operas in the summer.
13. Bamberg [SEE MAP]
Tamcgath / Wikipedia
Widely considered one of Bavaria and Germany’s most attractive towns, Bamberg is built over seven hills, with various canals and the Regnitz river running through it. It was once the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bamberg, and, for a brief period, the center of the Holy Roman Empire, so wealth poured into its streets, with architectural marvels erected around town.
As such, history and heritage can be found wherever you go. The narrow medieval streets of Altstadt are particularly enthralling to explore. Here you’ll find an impressive Romanesque cathedral and centuries-old Rathaus. The twin spires of Michaelsberg Abbey and the turrets of Altenburg Castle can be spied nearby.
Nowadays, Bamberg is a very pretty and pleasant place to visit and is home to an abundance of pavement cafes, bars and restaurants. Many of these serve its famous smoked beer, which can also be sampled in the numerous breweries scattered around town.
12. Cologne [SEE MAP]
It may have been nearly destroyed from heavy bombing during World War II, but Cologne today is one of the largest cities in Germany and a major European metropolis. Situated on the Rhine River in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne offers several interesting tourist attractions, a buzzing nightlife and a stellar arts and culture scene.
The city’s informal symbol, the Cologne Cathedral, a stunning Gothic church that claims to contain the gifts of the Magi mentioned in the Bible is must visit. Moreover, the Twelve Romanesque Churches are magnificent examples of medieval architecture.
As a leading culture center in the Rhineland area, Cologne boasts an outstanding collection museums. Two of the most important include the Wallraf-Richartz Musem for its fine medieval art, and the Farina Fragrance Museum, which details the history and production of the city’s famous perfume, Eau de Cologne.
Every year, Cologne hosts one of Europe’s largest Carnival festivals, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors, and filling the streets and pubs with costumed people, music and dancing. However, even outside of festivals, tourists will find no shortage of nightlife choices in this city of many pubs, bars and clubs. Cologne is known for its unique beer, called Kolsch, which is served cold and fresh in every bar in town.
11. Leipzig [SEE MAP]
The largest city in Germany’s federal state of Saxony, Leipzig is often called the City of Heroes for its leading role in the 1989 democratic revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Leipzig is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene shaped by famous music composers like Bach, Richard Wagner and Felix Mendelssohn. Tourists today can enjoy performances of Bach’s music at the St. Thomas Church where Bach once served as choir leader and is now buried.
In addition to numerous museums and historic sites like the Old Town Hall, the city boasts several of Germany’s oldest and most impressive structures such as the Napoleonic Monument to the Battle of the Nations and Reichsgericht, the former high court of the Reich. One of Europe’s largest town squares, the Augustusplatz, is situated at the central campus of the city’s university, which is the second-oldest university in Germany. What’s more, Leipzig is home to Germany’s oldest botanical garden and one of the country’s largest zoos.
Leipzig is host to a number of annual festivals such as the Bach Festival, the world’s largest Goth festival and an international balloon festival. For nightlife, tourists will find a variety of pubs, bars and dance clubs within the city, especially along the street of Karl-Leibknecht-Strasse, nicknamed “Karli.”
10. Nuremberg [SEE MAP]
© Anna Duda / Dreamstime
Once the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire and home of several German kings, Nuremberg is now the second-largest city in Bavaria and acts as an important economic, cultural and social center.
Due to its wealth and prestige, arts, architecture and culture have long flourished in the city. Marvelous museums, gorgeous Gothic churches, and an impressive imperial castle can be found dotted about its medieval old town. Much of its historic center was rebuilt and restored following the heavy bombing campaigns that destroyed most of Nuremberg in WWII.
Many people now associate the city with the infamous Nuremberg Trials; however, its rich art and cultural scene, interesting historical sights, and fantastic cuisine and nightlife make it a popular place to visit. It also hosts the largest Christmas Market in Germany, where visitors can buy gingerbread and local handicrafts and sample traditional sweets and gluhwein.
9. Black Forest [SEE MAP]
Rafa Win / Flickr
Named after the dark, dense woods that cover its valleys, hills, and mountains, the Black Forest is nestled in the southwest corner of Germany. One of the most picturesque and popular places to visit in Germany, it is home to lots of natural sights and charming towns and villages.
Tucked away amidst its confines are gushing rivers, sparkling lakes, and flower-filled meadows, as well as a myriad of lovely hiking trails and cycling paths that take you past stunning scenery. The sunniest and warmest part of the country lends itself perfectly to outdoor activities, with skiing and snowboarding available in the winter months.
The forested mountain range also has its fair share of historic towns. Freiburg – the ‘Jewel of the Black Forest’ – and the spa town of Baden-Baden attract the lion’s share of visitors. In addition, centuries-old abbeys and monasteries can be found here and there, as well as scenic vineyards, fairytale castles, and modern ski resorts.
8. Lubeck [SEE MAP]
As one of the largest Baltic seaports in Germany, Lubeck is located in the country’s northern-most state, Schleswig-Holstein. Founded in 1143, Lubeck served for several centuries as the capital seat of the Hanseatic League. Although it was the first German city to be bombed and damaged during World War II, Lubeck still retains much of its medieval architecture, making it a popular tourist destination.
Dominated by seven Gothic churches, the city’s Old Town presents an attractive setting of romantic medieval architecture intertwined with modern day infrastructure. A walk through the old, narrow streets offers views of historic sites like the stunning cathedral, the 12th century Town Hall, the famous Holstentor (the old city gate) and the house of Thomas Mann, the 1929 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The bustling streets of Huxstrasse and Fleischhauerstrasse are lined with restaurants, art galleries, book stores and souvenir shops. A stroll along the city’s harbor allows tours of old Hanseatic warehouses and old shipping vessels now fashioned into museums.
Lubeck is well known for its production of the confection, marzipan. Local legend says that marzipan originated in Lubeck during a time of famine when almonds and sugar were the only available staples. The city also boasts its own wine specialty called Rotspon, which can be found in every shop of Lubeck.
7. Romantic Rhine [SEE MAP]
Stretching between the cities of Bingen and Bonn, Germany, the Middle Rhine flows through a dramatic geological formation called the Rhine Gorge. This region features a spectacular landscape dotted with medieval castles, picturesque villages and terraced vineyards. Tourism flourished here after aristocrat travelers brought much attention to the area during the Romanticism period of the 19th century and the area became known as the Romantic Rhine. The inspiration behind poems, painting, operas and legends, the Romantic Rhine today is a major tourist destination in Germany.
A journey through the Romantic Rhine presents splendid views of medieval castles perched on nearly every hillside. Built between the 12th and 14th centuries, these castles range from ruins to fortresses and majestic palaces. One of the most well-preserved is the Marksburg Castle while other significant ones include Stolzenfels, Pfalzgrafenstein, the Electoral Palace and the Stahleck Castle, which offers overnight accommodation.
Bathed in color and history, the charming villages along the Rhine Gorge provide excellent sightseeing opportunities as well as cafes, shops and hotels. The town of Bacharach is particularly beautiful in its setting of half-timbered buildings, cobblestone streets and terraced vineyards.
The region’s most famous natural attraction is the Lorelei, the deepest and most narrow section of the Rhine Gorge, which features a large, treacherous rock that caused several boating accidents prior to the 19th century. Because of its unique echo, the rock inspired a legend that claims a beautiful siren sat upon the summit, luring sailors to their deaths.
The best way to experience the Romantic Rhine is by a riverboat cruise. However, there are also highways and trains that run along both sides of the river. Additionally, tourists can explore the beautiful region by scenic walking trails and cycling routes.
6. Dresden [SEE MAP]
Before it was severely damaged from World War II bombings, Dresden was known as the Jewel Box because of its lavish collection of stunning art and architecture. After many years, the city has restored much of its former glory. The capital of the federal state of Saxony, Dresden is one of the largest urban districts in Germany, serving as an important center of government and culture.
Dresden offers several interesting landmarks such as the beautiful plaza of Bruehl’s Terrace and the magnificent palace complex known as the Zwinger. The Old Town also contains a number of historic sites like the stunning Frauenkirche cathedral. Impressive art galleries and museums abound in the city, particularly the Green Vault, which houses thousands of exquisite precious gems, jewelry pieces and fine art works.
An important culture center, Dresden boasts many cultural institutions of which the Semper Opera is most widely esteemed. The city plays host to several annual events that include Europe’s largest Jazz festival, the Dixieland Festival.
Amid the bustling city, open green spaces like the Big Garden offer outdoor leisure activities and relaxation while the River Banks presents summer sports, barbecues, concerts and outdoor cinema. Getting around the city center is easy by walking, cycling and bike taxis.
5. Rothenburg ob der Tauber [SEE MAP]
Luftphilia / Flickr
Renowned for its magnificent medieval old town, its well-preserved architecture, and charming cobbled streets, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the most popular stops along Germany’s Romantic Road. Rothenburg is also famous for the stores that carry Christmas items all year round and for having an outstanding Christmas market each December.
Overlooking the banks of the Tauber River, the Franconian town looks very much as if it has just emerged out of a fairytale. Beautiful old buildings can be found within its ancient walls. Be sure to visit the Town Hall, the seat of city government since medieval times. Climb the steps of the 13th-century hall’s tower for stunning views of the city.
Remarkably, it was actually Rothenburg ob der Tauber’s outstanding beauty that spared much of the town from being destroyed in WWII. The US Secretary of War called off bombing raids to protect and preserve its history and heritage.
Nowadays, however, its picture-perfect nature means that Rothenburg ob der Tauber can get quite crowded. It is well worth staying the night, as when evening falls, most tourists depart, and peace and romance returns to its lovely lamplit streets.
4. Heidelberg [SEE MAP]
With historic treasures like the medieval Old Bridge, the Heidelberg Castle, the Church of the Holy Spirit and the Knight St. George House, it is no wonder that Heidelberg is a popular tourist attraction. The city center’s main street, Haupstrasse, is packed with pubs, restaurants, open-air cafes, shops and markets selling the likes of beer steins, cuckoo clocks and German sausages.
Not far from the Old Town is Thingstatte, an outdoor amphitheater, originally constructed by the Nazi regime to promote propaganda events. Today, this intriguing site is the scene of concerts, celebrations and other special events.
Home to Germany’s oldest university, Heidelberg’s long academic history can be retraced along the Philosopher’s Walk, a scenic footpath often walked by many earlier philosophers and professors. Likewise, the city’s arts and history can be experienced in its many theaters, galleries and museums that include the Carl Bosch Museum, Palatinate Museum and Bonsai Museum.
The city hosts several lively annual festivals and cultural events such as the Ball of the Vampires, Carnival, Classic Music Festival, International Easter Egg Market and Christmas Market.
3. Fussen [SEE MAP]
mcdri86 / Flickr
Set in a scenic spot at the foot of the Alps, Fussen is the last stop on the Romantic Road and can be found right in the south of Bavaria, just a kilometer from the Austrian border. While the enchanting town is well worth exploring in itself, most people visit for the three fairytale castles that lie nearby.
Although Hohenschwangau and Hohes Schloss look impressive with their prominent hilltop positions, arresting architecture, and imposing turrets and towers, the real showstopper is Neuschwanstein Castle. Commissioned by King Ludwig II, the one-time royal retreat looks so magical that Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle was modelled on it.
Fussen has a quaint, well-preserved old town that is home to pretty, pastel-colored buildings and the 9th century St. Mang’s Abbey. The nearby hills and mountains also have countless nature trails for visitors to explore, which boast breathtaking views.
2. Munich [SEE MAP]
Best known as the origin of the world famous Oktoberfest, Munich is a major international hub for research and technology. The capital of the state of Bavaria, Munich is Germany’s most prosperous city, boasting research universities, global companies like BMW and state-of-the-art science museums such as the Deutsches Museum.
However, Munich is not all business. This vibrant city offers one of Germany’s best culture scenes, presenting several sophisticated opera houses and theaters like the National Theater. The city center is an attractive blend of classic and modern architecture, teeming in historic churches, medieval walls and royal palaces as well as bustling shopping centers and art galleries.
Munich also offers its share of lush green spaces, which include the English Garden, one of the world’s largest public parks. Munich is home to sports teams consisting of basketball, ice hockey and a championship football club.
Munich’s Oktoberfest began in 1810 with a royal wedding celebration. Today, this famous beer festival draws millions of visitors every year to take part in the revelry that involves several gigantic beer tents, delicious Bavarian food, fun competitions and millions of liters of beer. No matter what time of year tourists visit, they can experience Munich’s beer gardens and beautiful beer halls.
1. Berlin [SEE MAP]
Axel Mauruszat / Wikipedia
A federal state and the capital city of Germany, Berlin is widely associated with its World War II history and former division of East and West Germany by the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. Since the fall of the historic wall in 1989, Berlin today is now a vast, unified city diverse in ethnic groups and abundant in sightseeing attractions, culture and nightlife.
Many tourists are drawn to Berlin’s famous historic structures, which include the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag and the Holocaust Memorial. Although most of the Berlin Wall was demolished, there are some portions still standing near Checkpoint Charlie and the Reichstag.
Berlin is respected for its high concentration of museums, namely Museum Island, which comprises a collection of museums that house impressive relics, temples and even reconstructed villages from many of the world’s ancient civilizations.
However, Berlin is not all about history. With two zoos, swimming lakes, public parks and dozens of nightlife venues, Berlin offers plenty for everyone in the family. The city also hosts annual festivals such as the Long Night of the Museums, Carnival of Cultures and the glamorous Berlin Film Festival.
Map of Germany
© OpenStreetMap © MapTiler © Touropia
Top 21 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Germany
A country of contrasts, Germany is a mix of age-old traditions and forward-thinking ideals. It’s also a land blessed with acres of impossibly beautiful countryside dotted with chocolate-box-pretty villages, thick moody forests, romantic river valleys, vast expanses of vineyards, perfectly preserved half-timbered towns and of course not forgetting the stunning splendor of the Alps.
From our many trips to this charming European country over the years, and Berlin aside here is our collective choice for 20 of the best and most beautiful places to visit in Germany…
1. Rothenburg ob der Tauber and the Romantic Road – a beautiful historic city known for its half-timbered houses and cobblestone lanes
Follow the cobbled streets through the fairytale-esque gate embedded within the city walls and step back into a medieval Europe.
This is one of the most beautiful towns located along the famous ‘Romantic Road’ in Bavaria, an attraction that also deserves a place on this list. The road is a picturesque 350km route through the forests and mountains of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.
Rothenburg, although small, is packed with interesting sites; the Market Square flanked by 14th-century buildings, the tall Town Hall Tower which has 241 steps leading to one of the most beautiful views over the city and the interesting Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum. When night falls don’t miss the amusing Night Watchman’s Tour!
Beautiful Rothenburg ob der Tauber captured on film…
2. The Black Forest – dense evergreen forests and picturesque villages and a famous beauty spot in Germany
A land of cuckoo clocks and cherry gâteaux, this place is so beautiful and magical it even inspired some of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales.
It covers a large area within which you’ll find the spa town of Baden-Baden (otherwise known as the “Jewel of the Black Forest”), Freiburg (a vibrant university city) and Offenburg (the capital of the wine region) as well as many other pretty quaint German villages.
However, the most attractive part of this area can be seen by driving or hiking along the Schwarzwaldhochstraße – a fantastic high road where you can journey through the rolling hills and valleys, thick forests of black fir trees and mist-covered lakes.
One of the most beautiful lakes in the area is Titisee, try catching the Zapfle-Bahnle train alone the scenic route around the lake or follow the lake road where you can take in the beauty of the tranquil water.
3. Neuschwanstein Castle – the fairytale castle which is one of the most famous places to visit in Germany
This stunning iconic image of Germany is, in fact, the former 19th century home of the late Ludwig II of Bavaria (otherwise known as the mad king),
The gorgeous Romanesque building is so fairy-tale esque it inspired the famous Disney castle. Although it’s often overrun with tourists this doesn’t detract from the awe-inspiring beauty of this castle both inside and out.
The most picturesque view of the magnificent structure is from Mary’s Bridge, a stop halfway up the hill towards the castle. Make sure you also pay a visit to the lovely Hohenschwangau Castle which is located nearby.
4. Lake Königssee – one of Germany’s most beautiful lakes and one of the best places to explore in the country
Located in the southeastern portion of Germany and on the border of Austria, is the stunning Lake Königssee – Germany’s deepest and cleanest lake.
It’s also often hailed as Germany’s most beautiful Alpine Lake, which given the competition is quite an accolade!
Bavaria is a particularly scenic place to visit in Germany and this corner of the region has been used for outdoor recreation for centuries – both Bavarian royalty and the local rulers of Berchtesgaden and Salzburg once hunted here.
In keeping with its pure and natural surroundings, only electric-powered passenger ships, rowing, and pedal boats have been permitted on the lake since 1909.
5. Regensburg – a Bavarian city on the Danube River known for its well-preserved medieval architecture
UNESCO world heritage sites are remarkably rare yet Regensburg, Germany has managed to gain the organization’s attention.
In 2006 Regensburg became a UNESCO world heritage site to the delight of its 150,000 residence. Strolling through the streets of this beautiful city will bring you face-to-face with some of the most spectacular architecture in the world.
If you are attracted to water, you will love Regensburg as the city is perched along the Danube, Regen, and Naab rivers. This alone would have many clamouring to get to the city for a holiday, but it is the enchantment of Regensburg that brings visitors back again and again.
6. Sanssouci Castle – its stunning park and grounds are UNESCO World Heritage and a must-see sight in Germany
Located near Potsdam in East Germany, this grand summer palace sits on a large hill. Created for Fredrick the Great of Prussia, it is said to resemble the Palace of Versailles mostly because of the exquisite terraced gardens planted so they cascade beautifully down the slope of the hill.
Within the gardens are secluded temples and gazebos and the palace itself is embellished with golden Rococo detail and period 18th-century furnishings.
7. Bamberg – a picturesque town sometimes called ‘the Rome of Germany’
Located in Bavaria, close to the river Main, is the fine historic city of Bamberg.
Its historic city centre is so overflowing with important architecture it has earned itself a UNESCO world heritage site status.
Explore the narrow cobbled lanes of the Old Town, the elegant 13th-century cathedral and the town hall which is located on a bridge over the river Regnitz. Wander alongside the meandering streams and then stop for a glass of the local beer in one of the many outdoor beer gardens.
8. The Rhine Valley – a stunning wide glacial Alpine valley which is one of the most stunning places to explore in Germany
The Rhine Valley is easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Germany.
The stunning River Rhine cuts through the Rhenish slate mountains, meandering between hillside castles, sloping fields of wine-producing grapes, Gothic churches, forested hillsides, craggy cliffs and idyllic villages filled with half-timber villages.
Hike through the valley trail for spectacular views of mountains, castles, mineral springs and small country inns. The area from Bingen to Koblenz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a staggering forty castles and stately homes.
9. Bremen – a picturesque city known for its striking Hanseatic buildings
Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. It sits nestled along the River Weser and the small compact city is one of the oldest in Germany, dating back 1200 years.
As well as the stunning historic architecture and it’s also famous for inspiring the Grimm’s folklore story of the Musicians of Bremen.
In the older part of the city (the Schnoor-Viertel area) make sure you explore the delightful winding cobbled alleyways which are flanked by a series of charming medieval houses that come with wooden beamed facades.
The surrounding countryside and farmland are also worth exploring especially along the edge of the river Wümme.
10. Sylt – a breathtaking tranquil island in the Frisian archipelago
Often forgotten by foreign travellers, the Island of Sylt (part of the German Frisian Islands) is connected to the mainland by the Hindenburgdamm causeway.
With several lovely resorts, 40km of sandy beaches, an unusual shoreline, and plenty of breathtaking nature, Sylt is well worth a visit and because it’s separated from the mainland it has remained relatively untouched.
The houses on the island are built in the delightful Fristian-style and the cliffs lining the coast are slowly eroding which has created an unusual and unique pattern.
Fields of flowers, colourful lighthouses, and sparsely populated villages have made this an exclusive hidden gem and playground for the rich and famous.
11. The Harz National Park – a forested reserve to explore known for its nature, myths and legends
The Harz National Park is a lovely nature reserve located in the German federal states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.
It’s a mountainous region shrouded in mist (or brightly lit by the sun) and filled with lakes, woodland, tales of folklore and plenty of opportunities to be at one with nature.
Popular for both walking and skiing, the park also offers botanical gardens, hiking trails and rare flora and fauna. The area is blessed with many species of butterflies and small creatures unique to this area.
Make sure you pay a visit to Brocken, the highest mountain in northern Germany which is located in the park. Take a gauge train to the summit to get the most stunning view of the park below.
12. Eibsee – a crystal clear, deep blue lake in Bavaria which is a wonderful beauty spot in Germany
Eibsee, is a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Those that are looking to relax on the water enjoy visiting Eibsee Lake.
Summers here give visitors the opportunity to enjoy kayaking, or swimming a the crystal clear waters the Eibsee Lake and the quaint town located at the eastern shores of the lake draw in visitors year after year.
Located in Bavaria, Germany, the lake boasts 177.4 hectares of pristine waters. If you intend on visiting Eibsee, be sure to bring along your camera, however, the pictures will not do justice to the bright blues depicted in real life.
13. Hohenschwangau – a 19th-century palace surrounded by spectacular scenery
History buffs will love Hohenschwangau castle, Germany, it was the childhood home of King Ludwig II in Bavaria, built by Kink Maximilian, Ludwig’s father. Even though the castle may draw visitors in, it is the town of Hohenschwangau, that makes the most impact.
This town features worlds of natural beauty with parks such as Poellatschlucht. Strolling through this Bavarian town brings visitors back to a simpler time before technology came about.
If you want to get away from it all and enjoy natural beauty and classic architecture, Hohenschwangau is the place to visit.
14. Wurxburg Residence – one of the most important and magnificent baroque palaces to visit in Europe
Palaces the world over have drawn in visitors in search of a glimpse into how the highest of society have lived for centuries. At Wurxburg Residence, you will see it all.
The final construction of the palace was completed in 1744, but construction had been going on since 1720.
The work was commissioned by Prince Bishof of Wurzburg Johann Phillip Franz Von Schonborn and Friedrich Carl Von Schonbron, his brother. The architecture depicts the classic French style with over-the-top grandeur at every turn.
15. Bavarian Forest National Park – the first and oldest National Parks to visit in Germany
Easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Germany, the Bavarian Forest National Park is truly one of a kind. This park maintains its natural beauty as park officials refused to repair the damage done by a severe 1983 storm.
Even though today, it might seem odd for officials to make such a decision, it actually paid off for the park making it among the more rugged and naturally wild parks on earth.
Apart from being a wild dream of sorts, Bavarian Forest National Park also features some uncommon animals including the pygmy owl and three-toed woodpecker.
Wildlife enclosures are found throughout the park to give the animals a sense of safety while providing humans an up-close view of the animals in their natural habitat.
16. Gorlitz – the beautiful film location for the Grand Budapest Hotel
Gorlitz has served as a wonderful backdrop for a number of films including the Grand Budapest Hotel, the Reader, the Last Command and the Inglorious Bastards.
As well as being a stunning location for many a movie, few places, even in such a historic country as Germany, hold as much history as Gorlitz.
The town, although modernized, traces its roots back to 1071 where it was originally a slave settlement. Today’s Gorlitz still maintains the markings of the passed in rich historic buildings and architecture, but most visitors visit for the Neisse River.
The river flows through the city providing a means of transportation, fishing avenue, and tourist attraction for the town. Gorlitz is known for being a hidden gem in Germany as it is not near most of the country’s major attractions.
Still, people flock to this part of the country for its serene setting and calm atmosphere. If you want to get away from it all and see a few familiar buildings, Gorlitz is the place to do it!
17. The Moselle Valley – picturesque wine villages, steep vineyards and traditional taverns
Germany is not always known as a country of romance, but the Moselle Valley is certainly an exception to that notion.
This area has been home to a variety of cultures for over 2000 years and therefore, it has various cultural influences. The Moselle Valley houses many vineyards adding to the romantic atmosphere of the area.
Rieslings made here are known to be among the best in the world and the picturesque castles and quaint villages of the Moselle Valley keep visitors coming back again and again to this breathtaking part of Germany.
18. Lichtenstein Castle – the fairy tale castle of Württemberg which is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Germany
Fairytales may be merely a fantasy, but when visiting Lichtenstein Castle in southern Germany, you will begin to believe you are in one.
This castle is open to the public, but keep in mind it is a privately owned structure. The castle, built in the Gothic Revival style was crafted between 1840 and 1842.
Restoration of the historic castle was completed in 2002 through non-profit organization support. If you want to live out your fairytale fantasies, Lichtenstein Castle is the place to do it.
19. Ramsau – a small but perfectly formed village to explore in the Bavarian Alps
Ramsau is certainly not the largest town in Germany, with a population of around 1,800, but it is known to be among the most beautiful for its quaint, picturesque setting.
Those venturing to Ramsau are not heading to the area for a variety of attractions, but rather a chance to enjoy the great outdoors.
Apart from being completely breathtaking, the area boasts the third highest mountain in Germany, Waltzmann. Lake Hintersee and the local church in the village are famous attractions as well.
20. Quedlinburg – a northern German town known for its medieval streets lined with half-timbered houses
A charming town where you can appreciate German landscapes. Sites and attractions throughout Quedlinburg are along the Romanesque Road and this area is another place known for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With a population of just 24,000 the town maintains much of its small-town feel without being an overwhelming metropolis.
Visitors enjoy strolling through Quedlinburg and taking in the rich history. The city was named as the first capital of Germany in 919 AD and has an illustrious history to boast about.
Of course, it’s impossible to mention all the beautiful places in Germany in a Top 20 list. Still want more? Then head for the elegant city Munich which is home to the famous annual Oktoberfest, the striking resort town of Monschau, the fine baroque university city of Heidelberg, Lübeck the city renowned for its Brick Gothic architecture and the spectacular scenery of the Rems Valley.
21. Mittenwald – a pretty German town that has been considered one of the most colorful in the country
Mittenwald is in the middle of the Bavarian alpine peaks, located in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen along the Austrian border.
This attractive town is home to enchanting houses with mural arts (Lüftlmalerei) and exquisite cobbled stone lanes. Furthermore, you won’t be disappointed with the views that blend picturesque mountains and a serene vista.
This is the perfect place to visit in Germany if you are an art and violin aficionado, as it’s known for the manufacture of violins and cellos. Mittenwald Violin Crafting Museum is one of the most famous attractions that was founded in 1930.
If you prefer to see the mural arts, a place that is a must is the old town where you can appreciate painted buildings, lovely churches and a pleasant atmosphere.
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My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my rescued Greek street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Laos, California and the surreally beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.
The 10 Most Visited Cities In Germany
Tourists explore the tents of Oktoberfest in Munich. Editorial credit: Takashi Images / Shutterstock.com.
Germany, with its rich culture and heritage, is one of the most visited countries in Europe. The country has many historical sites and cultural and natural landmarks that attract tourists from across the globe. Here is a list of the most visited German cities:
Editorial credit: ilolab / Shutterstock.com.
Berlin, the capital of Germany, is the most visited city in the country. Berlin is associated with a rich history and culture that attracts tourists from across the globe. 138 museums and over 400 art galleries are present in the city. Nearly one-third of the area of Berlin is covered by parks, gardens, and forests. Tourism has steadily risen in the city. The city recorded 31.1 million overnight stays in 2016. Some of the most visited places here include the Potsdamer Platz, the Berlin wall, Museumsinsel, Französischer Dom, etc. A large number of foreign visitors also visit the city for attending international conferences, academic events, and business meetings. According to a report, in 2015 Berlin hosted 195 international meetings.
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Germany’s second most visited city, Munich is based on the banks of the Isar River in Bavaria. Like Berlin, Munich is also a city with a rich history and culture. It is regarded as one of the major cultural centers in Europe. Munich hosts many museums and art galleries. The Oktoberfest (a beer festival and traveling funfair) is one of the main attractions of this city. Millions of people from different parts of the world arrive in Munich every September to participate in the two-week fest.
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The second largest city in Germany is the nation’s third most visited city. In 2016, it received 13.3 million overnight stays. Hamburg has a thriving tourism sector that employs over 175,000 people. The tourism industry here is one of the fastest growing ones in the country. The city hall, St. Michaelis church, harbor promenade, and the old warehouse district are the most visited destinations here. Hamburg’s Reeperbahn area also hosts Europe’s largest red light district.
Frankfurt am Main
Located in the state of Hesse, Frankfurt is Germany’s fifth biggest city. It served as one of the most important cities of the Holy Roman Empire for nearly 500 years. Today, the city is one of the leading tourist destinations. It has a well-developed tourist infrastructure including excellent transport systems. Frankfurt also has a vibrant cultural scene. There are tourist attractions both within an near the city. Some examples of these attractions are the Taunus mountain range, Rhine Valley, River Rhine, Eberbach Monastery, Vortex Garden, and many more.
The city of Cologne in the North Rhine-Westphalia state is the fifth most visited German city. The city spreads out on both sides of the Rhine river. It has the most pubs per capita in the country. Several historical and cultural landmarks in Cologne attract tourists to the city. The Cologne Cathedral, Twelve Romanesque churches, Medieval houses and city gates of Cologne, and other historical attractions take tourists back in time to Medieval era Europe.
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A beautiful city on the banks of the Rhine RIver, Düsseldorf attracts a large number of visitors each year. This German city is also located in the North Rhine-Westphalia. The city serves as a business and financial center of international repute. Numerous trade and fashion fairs are held in this city all year round. Düsseldorf is also renowned for its academy of fine arts, musical scene, and the annual Rhenish Carnival.
This German city is part of the Free State of Saxony. Located on the banks of the River Elbe, Dresden is one of Europe’s greenest cities. 63% of the city area here is covered by forests, gardens, and parks. Dresden also has a long and rich history since it served as the capital and royal residence for the Kings of Saxony and the Electors. The splendid palaces, churches, and other architectural marvels created by them enhance the beauty and attraction of this German city.
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The largest and capital city of Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart is the eighth most visited city in Germany. It is located on the banks of the Neckar river and serves as the gateway to the Black Forest and the Swabian Jura nature areas. Within the city, there are several historical and cultural attractions like the Stiftskirche church, the Old Castle, the New Castle, the Wilhelm Palais, and more. Numerous gardens and parks also enhance the beauty of the city.
The Bavarian city of Nuremberg is located on the banks of the river Pegnitz. It served as an ancient hub of humanism, printing, and science. The city also played an important role in promoting astronomical studies. Some of the most visited attractions in this city include the Nuremberg Castle, Heilig-Geist-Spital, the St. Laurence church, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, and more.
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The 10th most visited city of Leipzig is located in the German state of Saxony. The historic central area of the city features Renaissance-style buildings like the marketplace and city hall. Many buildings of the historicist style are found here.