Germany, the seventh-largest country in Europe, is one of the top destinations in the world for travelers. Its ancient yet colorful architecture, cathedrals, palaces, castles, and monuments themselves narrate its rich history. Besides its amusing history, its mountains, landscapes, forests, beer, and food are other reasons for its fame among travelers. So, it’s always a good idea to plan a tour of Germany. You can plan your trip to Germany with the help of this travel guide. Because this travel guide describes the best places to see in Germany. Moreover, it’ll also tell you about what foods you must try in Germany. Furthermore, in this travel guide, you’ll find some free and fun things to do in Germany. And at last, there’ll be our list of best hotels to stay in Germany.
Top 10 Best Places to See in Germany
The following places are the top-rated tourist attractions in Germany.
1. Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom)
One of the largest cathedrals in Europe, Cologne Cathedral, is located on the banks of the Rhine. It’s no surprise that this cathedral is the most spectacular landmark of Cologne. Being the outstanding piece of artwork of the Middle Ages, Cologne Cathedral invites world-class architects to admire its beauty. Its High Gothic architecture undoubtedly impresses tourists.
The admirers of great artwork can see the Reliquary of the Three Kings, which is present above the high altar. It’s a 12th-century artwork. Designer Nicholas of Verdun designed it to house the relics of the Three Kings, which were brought here from Milan.
Moreover, here’s the Treasury that showcases many exquisite as well as expensive objects. Besides exploring history and architecture here, you can enjoy scenic views from the South Towers. There’s a viewing platform in the South Tower. You’ll have to climb 533 steps to go there. But once you reach there, the panoramic views of the city and river will make your mood pleasant.
2. The Black Forest
This beautiful Black Forest is one of the best places to see in Germany. Its dark and densely wooded hills are heaven to hikers. If you want to have some adrenaline experience in Germany, the Black Forest can be your place to see.
Adding to the beauty of this forest are its lush valleys, including Neckar and Danube valleys. You can plan a day-out tour to the Black Forest and have fun at Germany’s oldest ski area at Todtnau. If you’re more into this beautiful forest, you can even plan a night-out here as well. Because there’s a beautiful resort, Bad Liebenzell and the spa facilities of Baden-Baden are also well-known.
3. Neuschwanstein Castle
King Ludwig II of Bavaria built Neuschwanstein Castle and it’s one of Europe’s most eminent and attractive castles. Hence, it’s one of the best places to see in Germany. This many-towered and battlement-covered fantasy fortress played a role of inspiration for Walt Disney’s famous theme park castles.
Many options of guided tours are available here, including a tour to the Throne Rome and the Singer’s hall. You can take a self-tour to this beautiful castle as well if you want to. The country’s views are more scenic here.
Moreover, this castle is located nearby the old-fashioned yet picturesque town of Füssen. This old town serves as a winter sports center and a famous alpine resort. So, if you want to go to the castle, you can start by exploring this old town.
4. Miniatur Wunderland and the Historic Port of Hamburg
The majestic Miniatur Wunderland is the world’s largest model railway. Located in the center of the historic Port of Hamburg, it’s an appealing attraction for young and adults alike. So, it’s one of the best places to see in Germany with your family or friends.
There are more than 12,000 meters of track and sections dedicated to England, the USA, Scandinavia, and Hamburg as well. There are 890 trains and more than 300,000 lights. Besides the tourists who come to Hamburg to visit Miniatur Wonderland especially, the railway remains crowded with guests who have to land here.
Besides exploring the railway, there’s much more in this crowded city to explore like quaint rural scenes and bustling harbors. There are fun-incorporated tours named ‘behind-the-scenes tours’. You can book one of these tours to have fun.
It won’t be justice to Hamburg if you visit the city but don’t see its historic port. The vast Port of Hamburg is a must-to-visit thing. Book a boat to explore this harbor that covers 100 square kilometers. It’s also known as Gateway to Germany.
5. The Rhine Valley
Besides being one of the important rivers for Europe, The Rhine is magnificently beautiful. It stretches from Switzerland through Germany to the Netherlands. There’s no shortage of places in Germany where you can enjoy this striking river. But, Upper Middle Rhine Valley is one of the best places to see in Germany for enjoying this river.
This section of Rhine Valley is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From here you’ve access to some 60 quaint as well as pleasant medieval towns and more than 40 castles. You can explore all of it either by car or river cruise.
There’s a historic town of Bingen. Here the river cuts through a deep gorge before it enters the Bacharach valley. Tourists mostly begin their Rhine Valley adventure from this town, as it’s best the place to begin one’s river adventure.
6. Berlin’s Museum Island
The Museum Island of Berlin or Museumsinsel is famous across the globe for its great museums. There are many oldest as well as most important museums in the city here. Therefore, it’s one of those best places to see in Germany that the lovers of history must visit.
Its location is itself scenic. When you’ll see the Museum Island lying between the River Spree and the Kupfergraben, your heart will feel delighted. For those who don’t know, Kupfergraben is a 400-meter-long canal off the river.
It can take the whole of your day to explore this place. There’s a museum, Old Museum, constructed in 1830 to exhibit the royal treasures. Built between 1843 to 1855, there’s also a museum named the New Museum. Moreover, they added the National Gallery to the Museum Island in 1876. There’s also Bode Museum. Built-in 1904, Bode Museum showcases the collections of antiquities.
Besides all of these museums, there’s Pergamon, which is a point of recreated historic buildings from the Middle East. Tourists take walking tours to Pergamon to explore the great history. Hence, you can plan a day-tour to Berlin’s Museum Island to explore maximum history in just a single place.
7. Zugspitze Massif
Zugspitze Massif is part of the Wetterstein mountain range, which straddles the frontier between Germany and Austria. As steep valleys surround Zugspitze, it remains a top German destination for many tourists. Adding to the reasons for it being one of the best places to see in Germany, are its nearby ski resorts. So, Zugspitze is a complete destination for those who love adventures in natural places.
Reaching Zugspitze is itself an amazing adventure. You can reach its eastern summit, i.e. at 2,962 meters, by cable care or by Bayerische Zugspitzbahn, which is a cog railway. Moreover, there’s a railway, Tiroler Zugspitzbahn, which runs to the Zugspitzkamm station at 2,805 meters. Taking a train from Tiroler Zugspitzbahn will be another great way to reach Zugspitze while enjoying its natural beauty. You can continue your journey from Zugspitzkamm station via a cable car to Zugspitz-Westgipfel Station at 2,950 meters.
There’s the Schneefernerhaus station at the top of the Bavarian cog railroad. An 800-meter-long tunnel leads you to Schneefernerhaus. As the tunnel has viewing windows, walking through this tunnel is an amazing adventure in itself.
8. The Island of Rügen
Being the most beautiful and largest of the German Baltic islands, Rügen is one of the best places to see in Germany. Stralsund separates this island from the rest of Germany, whereas a causeway links it to the mainland town of Stralsund. The island’s beauty is undoubtedly stunning. From beautiful landscapes, forest-covered hills, and flat farmland to broad sandy beaches, appealing peninsulas, and lagoons, everything makes it beautiful.
Jasmund Peninsula is a must-to-visit place here for kids and adults alike. There’s Jasmund National Park in this place and you’ll find it fun to explore the park. You’ll find a diversity of wildlife here. The rare white-tailed eagles are especially notable here. The Stubnitz beech forests, which are a part of Königsstuhl National Park, are also most-visited here.
9. Königssee (King’s Lake)
If you’re looking forward to having some hiking and biking adventures in Germany, Königssee or King’s Lake is your place to go. There’s Painters’ Corner, which is the attractive footpath located along the east side of the King’s Lake to the Malerwinkel. People come to Painters’ Corner to take stunning views of the lake and its surroundings as well.
Take a boat trip to the 17th-century Pilgrimage Chapel of St. Bartholomew, which is at the south end of the lake. After this enjoying boat trip, you can walk from here to the Obersee to have more fun. There’s a place at the end of the Deutsche Alpenstrasse, i.e. Berchtesgaden. Berchtesgaden is one of the most renowned mountain resorts in the Bavarian Alps and a well-known tourist town as well. Moreover, you should also visit Berchtesgaden National Park, the only National park in the German Alps. Besides, exploring its natural beauty, you can learn many things about environmental pollution here.
10. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
If Germany is your honeymoon destination, you can have a romantic getaway to Rothenburg. Located on Germany’s well-known Romantic Road (Romantische Straße), it’s one of the best places to see in Germany.
Germany’s Romantic Road is an attractive 350km route through Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg’s forests and mountains. This medieval town of Rothenburg has its walls and towers completely preserved since the Thirty Years War of 1618. Joining a walking tour for exploring the town’s beauty is a fun thing to do here. You can also go for a walking tour on your own. There are tourism offices located in the town. You can get a map of the town from one of these offices for your walking tour.
You can explore all of the beautiful buildings here by simply walking the old streets. There’s the 13th-century Town Hall (Rathaus) to explore. There’s also the iconic Ratstrinkstube (Council Tavern), which was built in 1466. The interesting clock of Ratstrinkstube is very popular among tourists. Moreover, built-in 1608 near the end of Herrngasse, there’s St.-Georgs-Brunnen fountain. There’s also the Imperial City Museum for travelers who love history.
Besides these buildings, Plönlein is the most popular picturesque spot here. And when you get tired from all the walking adventure here, there are many fine restaurants here. Furthermore, be sure to go to the traditional Christmas Market here if you visit this town in winter.
Now that you’ve known all the best places to see in Germany, we should discuss the traditional foods that are must-to-eat in Germany.
Top Traditional Foods to Eat in Germany
We recommend the following list of traditional German foods.
1. Rinderroulade (Beef Roll)
It’s one of the most eaten traditional meat dishes. You can taste different flavors in just this single dish. First, the quality thin beef slices are rolled around pickles, onions, bacon, and mustard. It’s then roasted with red wine to produce a dark rich flavor. At last, to give the dish a final touch, gravy is poured on it. It’s a typical dish in Saxony.
2. Schnitzel (Breaded Cutlet)
Schnitzel is a cutlet coated in breadcrumbs. Moreover, cheese and ham are sandwiched within. This popular German dish usually comes with potatoes and green salad.
3. Bratwurst (Grilled Sausage)
German sausages are very popular. You’ll probably find more than 1,500 sausages to eat there. Among which Bratwurst is one of the mostly-eaten German street foods. This grilled sausage is most usually made with pork and veal. And it’s seasoned with nutmeg, ginger, caraway, or coriander. It typically comes with light crispy skin and is loaded up with ketchup and mustard.
4. Weisswurst (Bacon Sausage)
Weisswurst, made from pork back bacon and minced veal, is a traditional Bavarian sausage. This delicious dish, flavored with lemon, parsley, mace, ginger, onions, and cardamom, is one of the tourists’ favorite dishes. It usually comes with a dollop of sweet mustard, a great pretzel, and a good beer.
5. Currywurst (Sausage with Curry Sauce)
Currywurst is typically a pork sausage that comes with a curry sauce made from curry powder and ketchup. It’s such a beloved German dish that there’s even a museum that honors it. Herta Heuwer invented currywurst in Berlin in 1949. It mostly comes with a bread roll and fries in Berlin and Hamburg.
6. Spätzle (Egg Noodles)
These handmade egg noodles, which come with a lot of melted cheese, are completely vegetarian dishes. If you’re vegetarian, you’ll most probably like it. Its core ingredients are salt, flour, eggs, and water. Spätzle usually comes as a side dish along with the main dishes. But you can order it as a main dish as well.
7. Black Forest Cake
It’s an extremely popular German dessert. People always used to choose this cake to serve at parties in the 1980s. It’s full of chocolate, cherries, liquor, and whipped cream. It’s one of the must-to-try German deserts.
8. Christstollen (Stollen)
It’s a German traditional fruit cake that people mostly serve at Christmas. It’s a fruit cake chocked full of candy and powdered sugar. If you visit Germany during Christmas, must try this cake.
Free Things to do in Germany
If you’re a budget traveler, we’ve listed below some free things to do in Germany. You’ll find these free things as fun things to do in Germany.
1. Walk Along the Rhine
You know that the Rhine Valley is one of the best places to see in Germany. Walking along the Rhine River is also one of the best as well as fun things to do in Germany. Several free walking tours take you along the Rhine River. Take this walking tour and see the old villages and some tourist attractions here for free. Some shops will also come in your way. you can buy yourself a gift or something delicious to eat from here.
2. Sign up for a Guided City Tour
Almost every city in Germany offers a free guided city tour. All you’ve to do is sign up for the tour and then, show up for it. They do it to make tourists aware of the historical importance of the areas, and sometimes, to promote their shops as well.
3. Visit a Few Museums
Museums are undoubtedly one of the best places to see in Germany. You’ll find many free museums across the country. Each of them will be covering a different topic. There’s one such museum located in Berlin, named Deutsch-Russische Museum. This museum explores the relationship between Germany and Russia as well as the happenings of World War II.
4. Visit the Brandenburg Gate
Built years ago, the Brandenburg Gate is a monument located in Berlin. It once served as the dividing line between East and West Germany. This historical landmark is free to visit. Since it’s a picturesque site as well, taking amazing pictures can be a fun thing to do here.
5. Stop by Mauerpark on Sundays for Karaoke
In Berlin, Karaoke happens every Sunday in Mauerpark. People in Germany mostly spend their Sundays relaxing and watching others doing Karaoke. Once started as a tradition in 2009, Karaoke is so popular now that thousands of people come to watch it. The watching crowd supports everyone without bothering whether the performers are good or bad. So, come to watch Karaoke on Sundays. You can even buy yourself cold drinks as many people wander around the crowd to sell cold drinks.
Besides knowing the best places to see in Germany, what to eat, and what to do in Germany for free, one must also know where to stay. We’ve listed below some best hotels to stay in Germany.
Best Hotels to Stay in Germany
1. The Fontenay Hamburg
If you’re looking for a hotel in Hamburg, then you should go for The Fontenay Hotel. Apart from the luxurious stay, this hotel offers you scenic views of Alster Lake. Besides its beauty, the hotel is surrounded by natural beauty. There are 131 rooms and suites in it. All of them feature parquet flooring, walk-in closets, and balconies, typically with lake views.
2. Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden, Bavarian Alps
This hotel is well-known among tourists for its Bavarian hospitality. Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden holds for you a unique blend of five-star luxury and Alpine lifestyle. You’ll get panoramic views of mountains to enjoy from here. Moreover, there’s a mountain resort named Kempinski Spa. Surrounded by natural beauty, this resort had so much to offer that it is one of the best places to see in Germany. There are indoor and outdoor pool areas in it. A helipad, kids club, ski-in, and ski-out access, and 9 hole golf course altogether make it the best resort.
3. Mandarin Oriental, Munich
If you visit Munich, you should stay in Mandarin Oriental. Its charm and elegance attract tourists to it. Located in the heart of Munich, the hotel has many surroundings to explore such as museums, theaters, the Bavarian Opera House, the famous Hofbraeuhaus, and the nearby shopping street Maximilansstrasse. There are 48 luxurious guestrooms and 25 suits in it. You’ll also enjoy the luxury of a stunning rooftop pool here.
4. The Adlon Kempinski, Berlin
The last, but not at all least is the Adlon Kempinski hotel of Berlin. It’s the most notable luxurious hotel in Berlin. With its winter garden, which is the centerpiece of the Adlon, it offers tourists a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of Berlin. It also offers an extensive spa. Moreover, the hotel has three refined restaurants and two stylish bars.
So, make the most out of your German trip through this quick and amazing guide. All of these places and food are a must-try.