Things not to miss in Germany

updated 4/27/2021
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#01 Schloss Neuschwanstein

Mad King Ludwig’s maddest creation combines Wagnerian inspiration with a superbly dramatic alpine site to create a romantic fantasy from the age of chivalry. This makes Schloss Neuschwanstein the ultimate fairy-tale castle.

© Samet Guler/Shutterstock

#02 Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich

This iconic white building of this museum in Munich is a temple to modernism, from the classics of modern art to masterpieces of furniture and automotive design.

© Gudjon E. Olafsson/Shutterstock

#03 Visiting a spa

Soak, sweat and rejuvenate in one of Germany’s many saunas and spas

© lanaid12/Shutterstock

#04 Long-distance cycling

Almost every major German river – including the Mosel – has a long-distance cycle path alongside.



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#05 Christmas markets

Christmas cheer the way it’s been for centuries.

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#06 The Romantic Rhine

Rhine-side castles and vineyards along the romantic Rhine passage in the Germany of tourist brochures.

© Kanuman/Shutterstock

#07 Octoberfest, Munich

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The world’s biggest excuse for a beer – and it comes in big measures, too. At the Octoberfest beer is drunk in "Maß".

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#08 Ostalgie

Revel in the Eastern Bloc nostalgia fondly known as Ostalgie.

#09 The Zwinger, Dresden

The most extravagant alfresco ballroom Germany ever built is found at the Zwinger in Dresden.

© Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock

#10 Fairytale villages on the Romantic Road

A Disney-like Bavarian road-trip where the steep roofs and ancient towers are real.

© Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

#11 Kaffee und Kuchen

This elegant mid-afternoon sugar-rush is another national obsession.

© Animaflora PicsStock/Shutterstock

#12 Cologne

Cologne is an easy-going, liberal, cosmopolitan metropolis with two thousand years of art and history and a world-famous cathedral.

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#13 Wurst

Germany’s most iconic sausage, from pale, lemony Weisswurst to Currywurst with ketchup and curry powder.

© KarepaStock/Shutterstock

#14 Clubbing

Electronic dance music rules in Germany, but there’s plenty of room for quirkier sounds too.

#15 The Ruhr’s Industrial Heritage Trail

The Ruhr’s reinvented industrial heritage offers some of Europe’s most original travel experiences.

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#16 Bavarian Baroque

Bavaria’s heavenly church interiors pair élan with excess. For more information, see The Wieskirche.

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#17 The Rathaus, Hamburg

Trompe l’oeil trickery in the town hall "Rathaus" in Hamburg that launched a thousand flashbulbs.

© ColeTrickle/Shutterstock

#18 Rügen’s Cliffs

Edged by white cliffs, Germany’s largest island remains a gentle, pastoral place where it’s easy to escape the crowds.

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#19 German wine

High local demand means that many German tipples barely leave the valleys where they are grown.

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#20 Skiing, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Soak up the views from high-altitude pistes, or brave the fearsome Kandahar World Cup Run in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

© Zoltan Major/Shutterstock

#21 Aachen's cathedral

Aachen’s ancient cathedral is a taste of Byzantium in the heart of the city.

© skyfish/Shutterstock

#22 Christopher Street Day

Berlin’s and Cologne’s massive lesbian and gay communities know how to throw a party.

© tzuky333/Shutterstock

#23 North Sea islands

Idle in escapist Strandkörbe seats or skim across the sea on a kite-surf.

© Thorsten Schier/Shutterstock

#24 Hiking in the Allgäu, Bavaria

Alpine scenery, clean air and challenging hikes in Bavaria’s beautiful south.

Travel advice for Germany

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created 6/8/2012
updated 4/27/2021
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