Best travel experiences in Germany

updated 8/4/2021
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Are you looking for inspiration for your travel to Germany? Use this list from the Rough Guide to Germany to fuel your travel dreams. And if you are already on location, you can discover some great things to do in Germany that might not have been on your radar.

1 - 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. In general, there is no shortage of castles and palaces in Germany - each with their own style, so you can be sure to find one that will amaze you.

Neuschwanstein against the backdrop of the alps - a must see place in Germany © Samet Guler/Shutterstock

2 - 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

3 - Visiting a spa

Spa culture has a long standing history in Germany (as well as FKK (Freie Körper Kultur, aka skinny-dipping). Soak, sweat and rejuvenate in one of the many saunas and spas in Germany. You will find one in every city, some of them with amazing design.

© lanaid12/Shutterstock

4 - Go Long-distance cycling

Almost every major German river – including the Mosel – has a long-distance cycle path alongside. Rent a bike and cycle multi-day tours, stopping by in small pensions and hotels along the way, enjoying the great regional food and wine.

© nnattalli/Shutterstock

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5 - Go kitschy on Christmas markets

Christmas cheer the way it’s been for centuries - gingerbread, mulled spicy wine, hearty food and locally crafted Christmas presents and decoration. Most German cities have a Christmas market starting in December. Among the most famous ones is the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg.

Visiting one of the many Christmas markets in December is high on the list of things to do in Germany © S.Borisov / Shutterstock

6 - Travel along the Romantic Rhine

Rhine-side castles and vineyards along the romantic Rhine passage show a picture-postcard side of Germany.

© Kanuman/Shutterstock

7 - Lift a Maß at the Octoberfest, Munich

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The world’s biggest excuse for a beer – and it comes in big measures, too. Bring your lederhosen and Dirndl to drink a "Maß" or two at the Octoberfest. In general, German beer comes in a great variety - if you are not sure which one might fit your taste check this overview of German beer.

Having a beer is on of the best things to in Germany - even if you can't make it to visit the Oktoberfest © Shutterstock

8 - Explore the Ostalgie

Revel in the Eastern Bloc nostalgia fondly known as Ostalgie. In Berlin, you can take a city tour by Trabbi car, or visit the GDR museum to get a taste of live in separate Germany, behind the iron curtain.

9 - The Zwinger, Dresden

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

The Zwinger Palace in Dresden is one of the top places to visit in Germany © Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock

10 - Fairytale villages and medieval towns

Take a Disney-like Bavarian road-trip on the romantic road, where the steep roofs and ancient towers are real. There is an abundance of historic town centres, like these pretty romantic German towns. So even if you are not in the south of Germany you are likely to find one close by.

Timber-framed houses in Quedlinburg old town - one of the many historic towns to visit in Germany - istock

12 - Visit one of the many UNESCO world heritage sites

Currently listed are a whopping 46 UNESCO world heritage sites in Germany - covering a diverse range from architecture, intellectual achievements or significant history, nature, landscape and parks to some highly original and unusual places. While you are travelling in Germany, it is worth to explore the culture and history of the country by visiting some of them. To make it easier for you to fit them into your Germany trip, we have compiled a Rough Guide to World Heritage Germany with background information and practical tips. You can download it here for free.

12 - Visit Cologne

Cologne is an easy-going, liberal, cosmopolitan metropolis with two thousand years of art and history, a world-famous cathedral and a cozy beerhall culture - plus the famous Cologne Carnival festivities. It is also one of the most beloved tourist destinations of Germans within Germany - and by some deemed as the coolest city in Germany.

© yotily/Shutterstock

13 - Have a Wurst or two

Germany id famous for its sausages, and they come in over 1.500 varieties - from pale, lemony Weisswurst to Currywurst with ketchup and curry powder.

© KarepaStock/Shutterstock

14 - Go 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. If you are a fan of industrial heritage, you. will find many great places in Germany to visit.

© Shutterstock

16 - Bavarian Baroque

Bavaria’s heavenly church interiors pair élan with excess. One famous example is the Wieskirche - one of the many spiritual UNESCO world heritage sites in Germany.

© footageclips/Shutterstock

17 - Marvel at the chalk view of Rügen’s Cliffs

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

© dugdax/Shutterstock

18 - Taste German wine

High local demand means that many German tipples barely leave the valleys where they are grown. Go for a wine-tasting and a walk through the wine yards at the Deutsche Weinstraße.

© trabantos/Shutterstock

19 - Go Skiing in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

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

© Zoltan Major/Shutterstock

20 - Aachen's cathedral

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

© skyfish/Shutterstock

21 - Celebrate Christopher Street Day

Berlin’s and Cologne’s massive lesbian and gay communities know how to throw a party. Check the dates in June to join them for their celebration of life.

© tzuky333/Shutterstock

22 - North Sea islands

Idle in escapist Strandkörbe seats or skim across the sea on a kite-surf in one of the many small sea resorts on the North Sea.

© Thorsten Schier/Shutterstock

23 - Hiking in the Allgäu, Bavaria

Enjoy the alpine scenery, clean air and moderate to challenging hikes in Bavaria’s beautiful south.

If you are travelling in the south, put hiking on your list of things to do in Germany

Top image: Neuschwanstein Castle - shutterstock

Travel advice for Germany

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updated 8/4/2021
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