If you are searching for a place that is rich with remnants of the past, but glows with a bright future, then Germany’s the place for you. There are many places to visit in Germany to keep you busy. As you might know, Germany was a key player in the previous world wars. Therefore, it filled Germany with monuments to the stories of our grandfathers about times long past, but never forgotten. There’s something to do and things to see in Germany for everyone, whether your interest lies in art, architecture, shopping, or the outdoors.
1. Berlin Wall
There’s no other place in Germany that is more suffused with charged up emotions than the Berlin Wall. You can only imagine the tears and the blood shed over this very wall, as more than 70 people died trying to escape from East Berlin. The Berlin Wall was built in 1961. The Wall extended about 96 miles by the time it was town down in 1990.
Today, the remains of the wall are covered in graffiti. There are several preserved sections of the wall, including Checkpoint Charlie, and a section at Humboldthafen. It is here, opposite the Reichstag Building, on which the victims of the wall are listed. The Berlin Wall used to be a symbol of division, but stands today as one of the greatest monuments to democracy known to man – a sign that freedom will always come out victorious.
You can catch several tours and exhibitions related to the Berlin Wall, including the Berlin Wall Exhibition and the Berlin Wall Memorial. Despite its history, the Berlin Wall ranks high as one of our places to visit in Germany.
Europa-Park is Germany’s largest amusement park, and definitely ranks high on the list of places to visit in Germany, especially if you’re an amusement park junkie. It has recently unseated Neuschwanstein Castle as Germany’s most-visited site. Though it may not be as romantic or charming as the castle, it does have thrilling rides, and areas modeled after different countries in Europe.
Some popular attractions in the park are the 4D Magic Cinema, the African Queen Boat trip, Atlantis Adventure, and numerous rides and roller coasters. Themed areas in the park are modelled after places such as Greece, England, Iceland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Italy. The park a multitude of shows and events, as well as numerous places to eat or drink. You can even book accommodation directly from the park’s website.
You can go to the Europa-Park website to plan your visit.
Passing throughout the Romantic Road will lead you to Augsburg, a town founded by the Ancient Roman Legions in the 15th century BC and named after the esteemed Ancient Roman emperor, Augustus. This picturesque town contains such historical places as St. Anne’s Church, the place where Martin Luther took refuge, and Dom, a very unusual Cathedral.
Augsburg is one of the largest and oldest cities in Bavaria. It has been at the heart of European trade ever since its founding, and its diverse architecture tells the story of the city’s importance throughout history. You also find here the Renaissance Golden Room, a sight which will make you squint with its shine. The city holds numerous medieval guild houses, the beautiful St. Mary’s Cathedral, and the ornate Sankt Ulrich und Afra abbey. The city is a mecca of art and culture, teeming with old palaces, churches, and museums.
Charming Augsburg certainly deserves its place on our list as one of the best places to visit in Germany.
Even if you can’t name a single German landmark, chances are you’ve heard of Oktoberfest. Held since 1810, the festival takes place over 16 days in Munich, and is the largest Bolksfest in the world. The festival starts at the end of September and goes until the first week of October.
While beer is the most famous attraction, you can sample authentic German fare such as Hendl, Schweinebraten, Würstl, and Knödel. Experience authentic German beer in 14 different beer tents. The festival also offers great entertainment, such as alphorn players and yodelers. During the festival, you can also pop over to one of the smaller festivals happening in the country, as there are several all over the country in different towns.
While you’re in Munich, treat yourself to some of Munich’s fine dining, shopping, and entertainment. There are many popular attractions in the city, such as Marienplatz, the German Museum, Holfbrauhaus Brewery, and the English Garden. Breathe in Munich’s culture as you inhale their beer.
5. The Castles of Füssen
Like most of Europe, several castles litter the German countryside. The small town of Füssen has several castles to explore, plus the town itself is quite charming. These castles, and the town itself, are great places to visit in Germany if you’re looking for small-town charm and gorgeous architecture.
Walt Disney used a castle found in Germany as his inspiration for the castle of Sleeping Beauty. Those alabaster walls and those high towers and wide parapets were all based on the Neuschwanstein Castle, which is considered the most photographed building in Germany. Now hailed as probably the most famous tourist spot in Germany, the castle is a must see for all those families who’re traveling through Germany. Neuschwanstein Castle literally looks like it is been torn out of a storybook.
King Ludwig of Bavaria built the castle from 1869 to 1886. If you would like to take a tour, there are several options available. Instead of hiring an architect, King Ludwig hired a flamboyant set designer to bring his vision to life. Explore the regal Throne Room, imagine the old operas in the Singers’ Hall, and take in the spectacular forest views outside the castle walls. The castle is surrounded by gorgeous scenery, including sweeping valleys, towering mountains, and beautiful lakes.
Also explore Hohenschwangau castle, King Ludwig of Bavaria’s childhood home. Designed and rebuilt by King Ludwig’s father, the castle replaced an ancient ruin at the site. Several of the castle’s room feature the original interior. The Hall of Heroes and Knights is the caste’s largest room. You can even see the king and queen’s bedrooms. The queen’s bedroom is done up in Oriental style. The king’s bedroom is painted with themes from Torquato Tasso’s poem Jerusalem Delivered.
Unfortunately, you can’t take pictures inside the castle, but you can still take fascinating guided tours. The tours are available in several different languages.
6. Lake Constance
Lake Constance is both a tourist destination and an essential source of life for the Germans. Several areas within the country rely on this very lake for their drinking water, and this large lake is also a fantastic place to swim and go bird watching. Indeed, if you are one for beautiful natural scenery, then Lake Constance can’t be ignored.
Floating in the lake, a small garden island named Mainau is another popular tourist attraction. Nicknamed ‘Flower Island’ for its parks and gardens, Mainau covers about 110 acres of land. The island boasts many varieties of colorful flowers and over 500 species of trees, accentuated by picturesque statues and fountains. The island’s Italian rose garden is home to 500 varieties of roses. The greenhouse is home to tropical and semitropical vegetation, as well as thousands of butterflies.
The beautiful Lake Constance is certainly high on the list of places to visit in Germany.
7. The Black Forest
The Black Forest sounds like a place where evil witches live and cursed trees grow, but do not let that deter you. If anything, the Black Forest can hardly be related to its name as it is a sunny forest with tall and sturdy firs. A beautiful forest with dark, densely-wooded hills, the Black Forest is one of the most visited upland regions in not only Germany, but all of Europe. As a cultural and fairytale landmark, the Black Forest easily ranks high on our list of places to visit in Germany.
The eastern part of the Forest descends steeply into the Rhine, with lush valleys. The east of the Forest sloped gently down into the upper Neckar and Danube valleys. There are several popular spots near the Black Forest for visitors – skiing at Todtnau, going for a luxurious spa treatment at Baden-Baden, or visiting the resort of Bad Liebenzell. All around the Black Forest are picturesque castles and medieval towns and villages.
In the forest itself, popular activities are hiking, mountain biking, and swimming in the chilly lake. If you prefer something more urban, visit the bustling university town of Freiberg for nightlife and amazing cuisine.
8. Cologne Cathedral
Located on the banks of the Rhine in Cologne, Germany, the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is truly an imposing marvel of Middle Ages Gothic architecture. Begun in 1248, the cathedral proved to be one of the most ambitious building projects the Middle Ages had ever seen. It took, with some interruptions, some 600 years to complete the building. The interior of the cathedral covers an area of 6,166 square meters, and the building boasts 56 huge pillars inside. The Reliquary of the Three Kings, a 12th-century work of art designed by Nicholas of Verdun, was built to house the relics of the Three Kings brought here from Milan.
For a small entrance fee, you can explore the gorgeous views from the South Towers, marvel at the 12th– and 13th-century stained glass windows in the Three Kings Chapel, and view the priceless objects in the Treasury, some of which survived WWII. The cathedral is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne, and is dedicated to the saints Peter and Mary. The cathedral was the only building in Cologne that survived the brutal bombings of WWII, a divine beacon standing in the ruins. This landmark is definitely one of the best places to visit in Germany.
Often referred to as ‘The Rome of Franconia’, Bamberg is the most important town of Upper Franconia. It is located in the valley of the Regnitz, at the point where the river divides into two. Formerly the old imperial city, Bamberg is one of Germany’s best-preserved and charming towns. It’s a great little town for exploring on foot, as they would have hundreds of years ago. The town is full of charming winding cobblestone streets, elaborate mansions, and beautiful old half-timber structures.
Great places to visit in the town are the old episcopal quarter, home to the old Benedictine abbey of Michaelsberg, as well as the 13th-century cathedral situated there. A small borough named Bürgerstadt contains the Grüner Markt (Green Market), home to the 17th-century Baroque church of St. Martin and the New Town Hall, built in 1736. With it gorgeous architecture, it is no wonder it ranks on the list of top places to visit in Germany.
Built on top of the Upper Bridge is what may be the town’s most important structure, Old Town Hall. Legend says that the bishop wouldn’t allow the residents to build a town hall on existing land, so they got creative and built their town hall right on the bridge. The interior is truly something to behold, decorated with remarkable frescoes.
10. Saxon Switzerland National Park
The Saxon Switzerland National Park is a huge natural park near the scenic Elbe Sandstone Mountains. The park crosses over into the Czech Republic, known there as the Bohemian Switzerland National Park. The park is home to the Elbe River and is no far from the city of Dresden. Saxon Switzerland boasts stunning rock formations, miles of hiking trails, and deep, lush valleys. Popular pastimes within this national park are mountain biking, hiking, and rock climbing.
Located inside the park is Pflanzengarten Bad Schandau, a botanical garden. Open daily, the goal of the garden is to preserve local plants, including rare poisonous and medicinal plants. There are numerous nearby resorts and spas. There are also numerous native species of animal which live inside the park, including lynx, salmon, otters, hawks, storks, and eagle owls. The park is famous for Bastei Bridge, a landmark and popular tourist spot, situation near a famous rock formation. This park has so much to do that it ranks high on the list of places to visit in Germany.
Germany is a beautiful and diverse country to visit. It is home to charming small towns, picturesque castles, and breathtaking views. Whether you’re here for Oktoberfest, a holiday visit, or just seeing the sights, Germany has so much to offer. No matter what your interest is, you will be able to find something to do in Germany. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Germany, the hardest thing is deciding where to go first.
To understand how you can get a visa to Germany and what are the categories available, do have a look here.
May you have an amazing time in Germany!