First-time visitors to Germany will easily fall in love with its art, architecture, culinary offerings, and historic sites. As the case goes with most trips, one visit to Germany may not be enough! Any trip to this central part of Europe will be sprinkled with remembrances of 20th-century world history, so there’s plenty opportunity to pay homage at one of the many memorials while you discover the beauty that can be found within this country.
Germany is home to a number of world-renowned cities, all of which are accessible by the country’s national rail line, Deutsche Bahn. Whether you have two weeks or two months, there is plenty of destinations to add to your Germany wish list. Here are some of the top places to visit, as well as some suggested itineraries.
Known For: being the capital, nightlife, architecture
Top Sights: the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate
Known For: being the capital of Bavaria and the gateway to the Alps, Oktoberfest, being an international beer destination
Top Sights: Neuschwanstein Castle, Isartorplatz, the BMW Museum
Known For: being a financial metropolis, its annual Christmas market
Top Sights: The Römerberg – Frankfurt’s Old Town Center, Goethe House and Museum, St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral
Known For: having one of the biggest harbours in the world and more bridges than Amsterdam and Venice combined.
Top Sights: the Fischmarkt in St Pauli, Chilehaus, Miniatur Wunderland
Known For: being founded by the Romans, having the largest carnival celebrations in Germany
Top Sights: Cologne Cathedral, Museum Ludwig, Imhoff-Schokoladenmusem, Romano-Germanic Museum, Great St. Martin Church
Known For: being the “Florence of the Elbe”, baroque architecture, world-renowned art treasures
Top Sights: Semperoper, Dresden Castle, Brühl’s Terrace, Dresden Cathedral, Zwinger
Known For: the “Monday Demonstrations”, which led to the 1989 overthrow of communism
Top Sights: Leipzig Zoological Garden, Museum der bildenden Künste, St. Thomas Church, burial site of J.S. Bach
Known For: being one of the few German cities not destroyed during WWII, its preserved Old Town
Top Sights: Heidelberg Castle, Marktplatz, Kurpfälzisches Museum
Known For: being the hometown of Goethe, Bach and Nietzsche, and where the Bauhaus movement began
Top Sights: Goethe-Schiller Monument, Schloss Belvedere, Bauhaus Museum
Known For: its luxury shopping street, Koenigsallee, and its art scene
Top Sights: Düsseldorf-Kaiserswerth, Rheinturm, Schloss Benrath, Museum Kunstpalast
Known For: medieval architecture, being the site of the Nuremberg trials after WWII
Top Sights: Kaiserburg Castle, Altstadt (Old Town), Hauptmarkt, Frauenkirche
Known For: its automotive industry – both Mercedes-Benz and Porsche have headquarters and museums here
Top Sights: Wilhelma Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Ludwigsburg Palace, the Old Castle
Suggested Rail Itineraries
Travelling for two weeks? Take this route to see some of the bigger destinations: Berlin > Munich > Frankfurt > Cologne > Hamburg > Berlin
Travelling for three or more weeks? Follow this extended itinerary: Berlin > Dresden > Leipzig > Weimar > Nuremburg > Munich > Stuttgart > Heidelberg > Frankfurt > Cologne > Dusseldorf > Hamburg > Berlin
If you have some free time, check to see what nearby towns you can visit for day trips. This is the best way to discover little towns that may not be suggested on popular itineraries. And don’t forget, Germany is surrounded by ten different countries – why not hop across the border to extend your experiences?
August 16, 2017