With its highlights dotted rather than clustered, Germany rewards touring, be it a classic vineyard-and-castle-studded route down the country’s western flank; a picture-postcard circuit of Bavaria’s cathedral towns; or even a northern coastal tour.

Germany Itineraries


Bavaria has it all, from high culture to viticulture and beer to breathtaking scenery. This circular tour takes in the highlights. Allow two weeks at a leisured pace.

1 Munich

A rich and vibrant metropolis with a seductive lifestyle. No wonder Germans would rather live here than anywhere else.

2 Berchtesgadener Land

A country within a country, dazzling in its scenery and chilling in its reminders of a one-time holiday home for the Third Reich’s elite.

3 The Bavarian Alps

Head west from Berchtesgaden along the northern flank of the Alps through idyllic mountain resorts like Reit im Winkl, Bayrischzell and Walchensee.

4 The Romantic Road

Dawdle along Germany’s most famous tourist road, past Baroque churches, pastoral landscapes and lost-in-time walled towns.

5 Bamberg

A charming historic core and distinctive smoked beer make this compact but beautiful city a tempting spot to linger.

6 Bayreuth

This pint-sized cultural hotspot is the product of two strong-willed individuals – Frederick the Great’s sister Wilhelmine and the composer Richard Wagner.

7 Nuremberg

The triumphs and tragedies of German history, from the monuments of the city’s imperial zenith to the still-recognizable reminders of the Nazi era.

8 Altmühltal

Hike, cycle or paddle through the Jurassic landscapes of one of Germany’s biggest nature reserves.

9 Regensburg

Journey’s end is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Central Europe.

The Mosel, Rhine and Black Forest

This classic itinerary wheels around western Germany to include some of its most famous rivers, castles and wine-growing regions as well as the relatively wild swathe of hills known as the Black Forest. Allow ten days.

1 Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate

Tour well-preserved Roman remains in one of Germany’s oldest cities.

2 The Mosel, Rhineland-Palatinate

Follow the Mosel River, with stops at the idyllic wine towns of Bernkastel-Kues and the hidden Burg Eltz.

3 The Romantic Rhine, Rhineland-Palatinate

At its confluence with the Mosel, head along the Rhine’s grander and busier waterways, exploring the Marksburg castle en route.

4 Mainz and Worms, Rhineland-Palatinate

Discover two venerable imperial Rhine cities with their impressive churches and worthwhile museums.

5 Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg

Nip over the state line to an attractive old town that wowed Mark Twain.

6 Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg

Spend time perambulating dignified streets and de-stressing in the venerable baths.

7 Schwarzwaldhochstrasse, Baden-Württemberg

Drive from Baden-Baden through mountains via Freudenstadt and the Kinzig valley to cuckoo-clock country around Triberg.

8 Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg

Return to the Rhine Valley to visit this attractive medieval city with its wanderable old town.

Coast and culture

Berlin and Hamburg bookend a circuit that includes beach resorts and pretty medieval ports. Set aside ten days to do it justice.

1 Berlin

No longer “poor” as claimed by its mayor in 2003, the capital remains “sexy” nevertheless, with superlative culture and clubbing.

2 Stralsund

Overlooked by most holidaymakers, Stalsund’s Altstadt is stuffed with architecture from its peak as a medieval trading port.

3 Rügen

Travel on the Rasender Roland steam train or just laze on some of the finest white beaches in the Baltic – this holiday island was irresistible even to Hitler. And if you really want to drop off the radar, head to Hiddensee.

4 Bad Doberan

Just a small spa town, yet its twelfth-century minster is a pinnacle of brick Gothic in the Baltic.

5 Schwerin

A fairytale castle straight from Cinderella is the highlight of the state capital, along with the gentle art of walks around its lake.

6 Lübeck

The queen of the medieval Hanseatic League is a Venice of the Baltic, with architecture that speaks of former greatness.

7 Hamburg

Great galleries, gourmet eating and glitzy-to-grungy nightlife – what else to expect of a city that is simultaneously a hip media metropolis and Germany’s largest port?

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