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Germany is a country of captivating contrasts, that blends rich history with modern innovation, picturesque landscapes with vibrant cities, and cultural diversity with timeless traditions.

As a city break destination, Germany is right up there with some of the best in Europe. The buzzing capital of Berlin or cities like Munich, Hamburg, Hannover, Dresden, or Dusseldorf provide a wealth of entertainment and nightlife and you can enjoy fabulous traditional German cuisines such as sausages, schnitzel, and roast pork accompanied by enormous steins of beer.

The German countryside and national parks are breathtaking from the coasts in the north, the forests, rivers, and vineyards of the centre, and the Bavarian Alps in the West. Cycling along the river valleys, bird watching on the coast, walking and hiking in the mountains. Germany is a green country both in terms of responsible tourism and in its countryside. Why not check out the guest blog I received from travel agent Gabriele Scholes – Germany – Not Just Sausages and Sauerkraut.

Add to this the culture, history, food, and beer plus of course its love of sport and in particular the nation’s football rivalry with old foe England.

Germany has given so much to the world – Karl Benz invented the motor car, there was aspirin, the music of Beethoven, there was Einstein plus of course, you have the history from the first half of the 20th century which will forever hold a fascination for many that visit.

For some reason, many overlook Germany as a holiday destination perhaps in favour of the Mediterranean. However, when you look into what Germany has to offer, it may make you reconsider – you will not be disappointed.

Key Information

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Getting Around

We are accustomed to Germans being super efficient and when it comes to travelling around, Germany is probably as good as anywhere in Europe.

Driving in Germany is a dream with a superb road network and the infamous Autobahns offering quick (sometimes too quick), reliable access from major points.

Both for long-distance trips and for short regional journeys you will find the rail network easy and frequent if a little on the expensive side. Keep your eyes peeled though as there are often deals available to entice.

Buses are a good value option for travellers, particularly in the cities and in recent years the long-distance bus network has continued to grow so this is again a great option.

A regional flight network is excellent connecting all the major regional cities. These short hops are well priced particularly when booked well in advance.

When To Go

Germany is one of Europe’s most popular travel destinations. Visitors are drawn in by the world-class museums and landmarks. By the food, the festivals, and the rich culture and history that exists on every corner. They are also attracted by the fact that there is not any one time when it is not enjoyable to visit.

If you are planning to head into the mountains, then in winter it is perfect for skiing holidays between December and March. During the summer months, these same areas attract walkers and hikers.

From May to December the weather is considered the best time of the year to visit Germany, but the summer months of July through September are the most popular times to visit with average temperatures in the major cities of about 18ºC. During wintertime, the attraction of the Christmas markets and stereotypical snowy vistas draw in huge numbers of tourists. If you are thinking of visiting after the summer then how about Autumn in Berlin.

Food & Drink

The food that is perhaps most synonymous with Germany is Bratwurst or cooked sausage often served with Sauerkraut or a bread roll. Add to these schnitzels and pretzels and that’s what many believe to be all the Germans eat – wrong! These days there is a huge variety of regional choices on offer. Stews, soups, and casseroles of the Rhineland, lamb from Lower Saxony, and even seafood in the north. The cuisine of the country has changed, and you are even now seeing many locals going vegan so there is more to Germany than just sausages and sauerkraut.

As far as drink is concerned Germany excels at both beer and wine production. There are an incredible number of beers to choose from including the most popular Pilsner which is a light beer served in most places. Then there is Altbier from the Dusseldorf region, Kolsch from Cologne, and Weissbier which is a cloudy wheat beer from various parts of the country.

Much of the German wine production comes from the Rhineland and Mosel regions with the Riesling grape the most celebrated. Liebfraumilch is a sweet wine that unfairly often gets ridiculed.

Music & Arts

While rock and pop music is today the most popular, there is also West German “Schlager” music that originated in the 1950s and of course, there is the classical music from the likes of Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Brahms, Schumann, and Wagner

Many art movements started in Germany including Bauhaus, and Northern Mannerism while the country is also famous for its poets and philosophers.

Places To Stay in Germany

There is a vast choice of accommodation available in Germany from hostels to luxury hotels and pensions to palaces.

In recent years the general standards of Germany’s hotels have improved under the Deutschen Hotelklassifizierung system which assesses a variety of different areas of the hotel for quality, cleanliness, and safety.

Many German hotels have spa or wellness centers which can vary from very dated to state-of-the-art luxury. My advice is to do your research before booking if this is an important aspect of your trip.

Budget hotel chains include Etap and Ibis and these represent excellent value for money.

Luxury hotels are becoming increasingly popular in major cities where both business and leisure tourists are high. These are often ornate and sometimes converted palaces or when in the country even castles.

Hostels have emerged to attract the backpacker market for which Germany is popular. The quality, cleanliness, and overall value for money are reasonably good.

Pensions, inns, private rooms, and farm stays are other forms of accommodation with the latter becoming increasingly popular. Often former farms or country houses provide homemade organic produce.

Sustainable Tourism

For decades Germany has more often than not led the way for a green-based tourism sector. Its National Parks, wildlife, and nature reserves have placed the utmost importance on sustainable development and biodiversity.

Organic farms and vineyards delivering homegrown produce are increasingly popular.

Maintaining its cultural heritage is another key element in the German model to protect what they have.

Wildlife Conservation

I have never really considered Germany to be particularly strong on the subject of Wildlife Conservation. That said I understand that the World Wildlife Fund is running a series of projects aimed at protecting the big five in Germany – Wolves, lynx, grey seal, elk, and European bison.

The LIFE Lynx Reintroduction Project in the Palatinate Forest is a wonderful project which was started when Lynx were introduced from Switzerland and Slovakia. Other projects include the return of the northern bald ibis to Germany.

Top 20 Things To See & Do In Germany

  1. Berlin Wall: Explore the remnants of the Berlin Wall, including the East Side Gallery adorned with colourful murals, and visit the Berlin Wall Memorial for insight into Germany’s divided past.
  2. Brandenburg Gate: Admire the iconic Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of Berlin and German reunification, located in the heart of the city’s historic centre.
  3. Neuschwanstein Castle: Marvel at the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle, perched atop a hill in Bavaria, and explore its ornate interior inspired by medieval legends.
  4. Cologne Cathedral: Visit the magnificent Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Europe, with its stunning architecture and panoramic views from the tower.
  5. Oktoberfest: Experience the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany’s largest beer festival, featuring traditional Bavarian music, food, and, of course, beer.
  6. Black Forest: Discover the scenic beauty of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), with its dense forests, charming villages, and outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and skiing.
  7. Heidelberg Castle: Explore Heidelberg Castle, overlooking the picturesque town of Heidelberg, and wander through its ruins, gardens, and historical exhibits.
  8. Rhine Valley: Cruise along the Rhine River through the scenic Rhine Valley, dotted with medieval castles, vineyards, and charming riverside towns like Bacharach and Rüdesheim.
  9. Hohenzollern Castle: Ascend to Hohenzollern Castle, perched atop Mount Hohenzollern in Swabia, and admire its majestic towers, courtyards, and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  10. Hamburg Harbor: Take a boat tour of Hamburg Harbor, one of Europe’s busiest ports, and explore attractions like the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, Speicherstadt warehouse district, and Miniatur Wunderland.
  11. Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site: Pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site near Munich, with its museum, memorials, and preserved barracks.
  12. Sanssouci Palace: Wander through the gardens of Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, the former summer residence of Frederick the Great, and admire its Rococo architecture and opulent interiors.
  13. Berchtesgaden National Park: Hike or drive through Berchtesgaden National Park in Bavaria, home to pristine alpine landscapes, the Königssee lake, and the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s former mountaintop retreat.
  14. Leipzig: Explore the vibrant city of Leipzig, known for its rich cultural heritage, classical music scene, and historical landmarks like the St. Thomas Church and the Leipzig Zoo.
  15. Nuremberg: Discover the medieval city of Nuremberg, with its well-preserved old town, medieval castle, and important historical sites like the Nuremberg Trials Memorial and Documentation Center.
  16. Potsdamer Platz: Experience modern Berlin at Potsdamer Platz, a bustling square with shopping centres, cinemas, restaurants, and the iconic Sony Center.
  17. Lake Constance: Relax on the shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee), bordered by Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and explore charming lakeside towns like Lindau, Meersburg, and Konstanz.
  18. Eifel National Park: Embark on a nature adventure in Eifel National Park, known for its volcanic landscapes, dense forests, and hiking trails, including the popular Eifelsteig.
  19. Würzburg Residence: Step into the opulent world of the Würzburg Residence, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Germany’s finest examples of Baroque architecture, located in Franconia.
  20. Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Step back in time in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a well-preserved medieval town on the Romantic Road, with its half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets, and medieval festivals.

Pre-bookable Excursions in Germany

More Information

Contact the German Tourist Office or your local travel agent for more information on holidays to Germany.



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