Planning a trip to Germany? We asked travel experts and bloggers to share their opinion on the best places to visit in Germany.
Found in Western Europe, Germany is a popular country to visit all year round. With an intense history, rich culture, delicious food, and incredible nightlife, there is a reason that Germany is one of the most visited countries in Europe. But the big question, where to visit in Germany?
Well, we spoke to travel experts and bloggers, who share their favorite places to visit in Germany and why, to give you some of the best places to visit in Germany on your next trip, including those hidden gems in Germany! In this post, we include the best things to see and do around Germany and where to stay, including the gorgeous castle hotels in Germany that you will fall in love with!
Best places to visit in Germany
Home to the Reeperbahn Festival Hamburg, one of our favorite places to visit in Germany has to be Hamburg. With its striking architecture, a great variety places to stay in Hamburg and world-class nightlife this hip and happening city, which has been dubbed the Venice of the north, is an absolute must.
When you arrive in Hamburg you will soon realize that there is no shortage of things to do, from the many museums to the harbor tours, and even the many parks and open-air spaces, there really is something for everyone. One of our favorite things to do has to be a visit to Blankenese, a former fishing village with a real Mediterranean feel.
There are harbourside bars, as well as some beautiful houses that form part of a hiking trail around the area. Another of our favorite neighborhoods has to be St Pauli, here you will find the Reeperbahn, which is interesting, to say the least. But if you continue on past it there are some beautiful leafy streets filled with street art and trendy bars.
The great thing about Hamburg is that no matter what time of year you visit there is something to do. You can take shelter in winter in one of the many museums (including a Chocolate Museum which is as good as it sounds), or enjoy the sun in summer at one of the harbor-side bars. Hamburg really does have it all. Just an hour from Hamburg is the German Tank Museum, which makes for an interesting visit.
Lizzie and Dave from Wanderlust Life
The Rhine River
The Rhine River, one of Germany’s many natural gems, stretches over 1,200km with a large section winding its way across the country. While there are plenty of beautiful towns along its waterfront, Rüdesheim is hands down my favorite.
Why has this tiny little town stolen my heart? First off, it’s surrounded by beautiful vineyards! Rüdesheim is known for its Riesling wine as this grape thrives in the area. If you’re not a white wine drinker, don’t worry. The neighboring area of Assmanshausen is one of the only places in the area offering amazing reds! Wine isn’t the only thing going for Rüdesheim as it’s surrounded by incredible natural areas. The best way to get a true taste of the area?
Enjoy the breathtaking views as you take the cable car up to the Niederwald, overlooking the Rhine River. Then take some time to get a little lost along the trails up here – that way you can enjoy some of the best views without any crowds. Once your feet are tired, mosey on over to the chairlift to Assmanshausen towards your final leg of the tour – a Rhine cruise!
With this tour, you’ll get to see the Rhine River from all angles and if that doesn’t make you fall in love with the area, I don’t know what will!
Lindsay from I’ve Been Bit
As the capital and largest city of the region of Baden-Wurttemberg in southern Germany, Stuttgart is an ideal city to visit. Just an hour’s drive from the black forest, and one and a half hours from the Swiss and Austrian borders, Stuttgart’s location is perfect for exploring southern Germany.
Stuttgart is an international city and among the top 20 cities in Europe, boasting numerous attractions. Its geographic valley location provides for magnificent hillside views down onto the city below. It is easily accessible by train, Autobahn 8, and Germany’s 6thlargest airport. The multitude of attractions Stuttgart offers provides a diverse selection of activities.
Stuttgart is considered a central point for the automobile industry, as well as several major businesses, including Porsche and Mercedes Benz. Mercedes Benz headquarters are located here, and the city has an impressive multi-story modern museum dedicated to the history of the company. Another great attraction is Wilhelma Zoo, one of Europe’s largest botanical zoos hosting an aquarium, elephant and rhino houses, alligators, lions, and numerous primates among other animals.
Lastly, make sure to grab a pretzel from a bakery and venture to Stuttgart’s walking district to experience the charm and vibrancy of the city and its people.
Diana from The Elusive Family
Not many people decide to visit Hannover, but the place actually has a lot to offer. The city has a long and exciting history, it was the seat of the Kingdom of Hannover centuries ago, but eventually, Hannover was severely destroyed during World War 2 hence the modern look of the city.
The old town is small but charming and perfect for strolls around. Don’t miss the New Town Hall with the oblique elevator (the only one of that kind in Europe!) that will take you to the top of the dome from where you can admire the fantastic panorama of the city and beyond. You can also enjoy the green spaces here, especially around Maschsee lake and Herrenhausen Gardens – a real gem of Hannover.
The city is also an excellent destination for modern art lovers; you can find here some of the best works by famous artist Niki de Saint Phalle. If you are looking for a hipster area, then head to Linden – the coolest neighborhood in Hannover. You won’t be disappointed. I spent a weekend in Hannover, with no expectations at all, and I enjoyed the city a lot, hoping to get back there soon.
Kami from My Wanderlust
Fussen is a stunning German town, located in the state of Bavaria. What makes Fussen so unique is its location. It is located just north of the Austrian border, at an elevation of 808 meters, and is characterized by greenery, hills, stunning castles, and quaint neighborhoods. It is also a perfect day trip option from Munich – about a 1.50-hour drive on way.
The fairy tale castle of Mad King Ludwig – Neuschwanstein castle is what draws a lot of tourists to Fussen. But there is so much more to Fussen than the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle. The Hohenschwangau Castle is another landmark in Fussen that is worth visiting.
Because Fussen is located at an elevation, you can hike and capture some amazing shots from the hills and/or Marienbucke.
One should visit Fussen for its medieval old town center, which is sprinkled with Bavarian cafes and restaurants. Spend some time savoring some schnitzel and local beer here, while relaxing in the beautiful countryside.
Fussen also lies in the beautiful Romantic Road (on the southern tip) and it is lined with UNESCO heritage sites like the Pilgrimage Church of Wies. Entry to the church is completely free and the interiors of the church are filled with stunning frescoes that are worth visiting.
When you visit Fussen, you will drive through some of the beautiful Bavarian villages and the Romantic Road of Germany, so definitely recommend it.
Mayuri from To Someplace New
I absolutely love the Rheingau area of Germany. The 65km section of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it’s a spectacular place. In many areas, vineyards cover the valley sides and these are interspersed with ancient chocolate-box villages, stone churches with impressive steeples and dramatic historic castles that perch on the valley sides.
During summer, why not take a boat ride along the river or admire it from one of the walking trails that meander through the valley.
One of our favorite towns on the river is Rüdesheim. The cobbled streets are lined with little shops, bars and half-timbered houses covered in geraniums. Sampling the town’s famous wine is also a fun treat. The banks for the Rhine have been used as vineyards for centuries and Rüdesheim is a real hub of Reisling expertise.
When in Rüdesheim we love to get the cable car from the town, over the sprawling vineyards, to the Niederwald Monument. This commemorates the unification of Germany after the 1871 Franco-Prussian War. The monument is enormous and it’s a great point from which to enjoy far-reaching views back over the vineyards and down to the Rhine valley.
Clare from Epic Road Rides
While German cities impress with their seamless transportation systems and neat urban planning, the real charm of Germany lies in its many beautiful small towns. One such gem is the lake-town Schliersee in Bavaria. Schliersee is less than an hour away from Munich by train and possesses all characteristics of a laid-back countryside town.
In Schliersee, pretty houses and old cathedrals line the small winding roads running through the Bavarian Alps. The lake itself, after which the town is named, is right across the railway station and is an ideal spot for relaxing and sunbathing.
If you visit this lake in summer, you can also hop onto a boat and travel to Wörth, which is an island located right in the middle of this lake. This island is not only rich in natural beauty but is also a delight for hiking lovers who can venture on a beautifully laid-out hiking trail.
In winters, the frozen lake of Schliersee transforms itself into an ice-skating rink. Enthusiasts of winter sports could also take a bus from Schliersee to Spitzingsee, which also happens to be a stunning lake, albeit, atop a hill. Those traveling with kids must also include a fascinating cable-car ride to Schliersbergalm in their itinerary and then enjoy a ride back down the slope on a toboggan!
Vrushali from Couple of Journeys
When a few years ago I prepared a tour through Germany looking for Palaces, Churches, and Castles, one of my favorite stops was Cologne. Or Köln for the locals. This medium-sized city is one of the nicest in the east of the country. Located very close to Belgium and the Netherlands, it is crossed by the river Rhine and the location of the most visited site in Germany: the Köln Dom. You can also find a much more impressive bridge filled with locks and during Christmas, they have not one, but seven impressive Christmas Markets; making it one of the best winter destinations in Europe!
In addition, you can visit some of the best conserved Roman gates in the country and plenty of historic monuments. If you visit in the summer, the city has the typical beach vibe that most German cities have and cafés pop up everywhere!
Jenn from The Solivagant Soul
I’ve traveled all over the world but for some reason, I always find myself in Germany. While Northern Germany is great, I tend to head to the Bavarian region of southern Germany. Enjoying a few Bavarian beers in the City of Munich.
It’s a beautiful and wealthy city, famous for fine culture, architecture and of course Oktoberfest. Which is a party I survived when celebrating my 30th birthday. If the idea of Bavarian beers served in very large steins. While singing German folk songs inside large beer tents, brings a smile to your face. Head to Munich for Oktoberfest, the Germans can definitely organize a party worthy of going to at least once. Oktoberfest runs from 21st September to 6th October though dates can differ slightly each year.
The city of Munich is not just about drinking tasty beers and eating Bratwursts. There is a lot more to see and do.
This includes surfing, even though there is no ocean. Instead, just head to the river Eisbach in Munich’s English garden. The locals have built a free-standing wave from the river rapids. Even if you are not a surfer, it’s great to be a spectator.
Munich is a fun city and worth visiting while in Germany. It’s also the closest big city to Neuschwanstein castle, a must-do when visiting the region.
Simon from Journeys to Adventure
My favorite place to visit in Germany is Garmisch a small Bavarian town surrounded by stunning German Alps, crystal lakes, and fairytale castles. I stayed in Garmisch for 3 nights and had an interesting tour of world-famous castles like Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castle. These world-famous castles are within an hour drive from Garmisch. Even you can go skiing at Zugspitze mountain top which is Germany’s highest point.
This place is a favorite destination for skiing and therefore you can take ski lessons from experts or you can go skiing on your own self. There are many famous ski resorts in this area. Garmisch was once a center for the winter Olympics in 1936 and therefore you can take a tour of the winter Olympics village. The Bavarian region is famous for emerald lakes and Alpine rivers and there are thousands of them. Go kayaking, swimming, or rafting in the nearby lakes or rivers and enjoy the peace of this area.
Garmisch is purely a small German town with a relaxed atmosphere, surrounded by nature’s beauty, and therefore is among the top sights of Bavaria. Nature lovers and winter sports lovers love this place. Garmisch is about 90km from Munich and is also bordered by the beautiful Austrian town of Tyrol.
Yukti from Travel With Me 247
One of the oldest cities in Germany, Trier abounds with amazingly preserved Roman ruins.
One of the original four city gates, the Porta Nigra (the black gate) is available for people to climb throughout it. There’s also an amphitheater that can seat almost 25,000 people, Roman baths, and a basilica.
Moving forward in time, there’s the Hauptmarkt (main square) that was moved inland after Vikings destroyed the original in 882.
Trier is also the birthplace of Karl Marx, a socialist revolutionary, in 1818. You can visit his original home, now a museum.
Regardless of history, Trier is a nice place to visit. Clean and pretty, with excellent restaurants and pubs. Try one of the local specialties, apple wine. Really refreshing and served with soda water or lemonade.
Also, the city’s location in the Moselle Valley, surrounded by vineyards, makes it a popular destination with wine lovers.
Theresa from Adventures in Middle-Aged Travel
A city often associated with its dark history and the war trials, Nuremberg is a city steeped in elegance and charm, boasting medieval architecture, numerous museums, and characterful beer cellars. Its compact old town makes it easy to walk between sights, and the public transport is efficient and affordable if venturing further afield.
Start your visit with a stroll around the old town and make your way to the impressive Imperial Castle, which boasts stunning rooftop views over the city. There are also some great museums including the DB Railway Museum and Toy Museum, and a visit to the Nazi Party Rally Grounds is certainly thought-provoking.
If you get peckish, make sure you try a Nuremberg Bratwurst; apparently, the way to ask is “Drei im Weggla” (“Three in a bun”), a bit different to your standard one-sausage in a finger bun, and arguably tastier. If you’re visiting Nuremberg with kids, an absolute must is the Zoo and Playmobil Park.
Jenny from TraveLynn Family
Out of all the destinations in Germany, I believe Dresden is one of the most idyllic and picturesque cities to visit in the country.
Also known as “the Florence of the Elbe”, due to its architecture and art treasures, Dresden was heavily bombed during WWII, and over 80 percent of its buildings and landmarks were reduced to rubbles.
However, over the last 60 years, the city center of Dresden has been almost completely rebuilt from the ground, giving you the chance to wander down its streets and admire it today as it once was.
Dresden’s Frauenkirche, an 18th-century Lutheran church, is probably the most splendid of these restored buildings and you will find it quite hard to imagine that this was, at one point, just a pile of bricks.
Around the corner from here, you will find the Procession of Princes, a magnificent mural composed of 25,000 Meissen porcelain tiles, which I am most sure will leave you in complete awe.
If you are an art fan, you will find plenty of venues in Dresden to entertain you. The best one is probably the Old Masters Gallery, home of Rafael’s Madonna Sistina and set within the luxurious Baroque-style Zwinger Palace.
There is also room for foodie travelers in Dresden, with plenty of options to eat classic German dishes like schnitzel and Kartoffelsuppe (potato soup) as well as the local staple fruitcake: Christstollen.
But no visit to Dresden is complete without a stroll down the Brühl’s Terrace, the city’s river promenade, where you’ll find locals and tourists alike enjoying the views of the Elbe river.
Whether you come to Dresden looking for big open spaces, art and history, or just good traditional German cuisine, I am almost certain you will have a great time!
Pilar from El Antitour
The Black Forest (Schwarzwald in German) is a region in Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany famed for its dense forests and enchanting villages. It’s believed that many of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales were inspired by the dark and sinister conifer forests of the Schwarzwald. The fairy tale appeal doesn’t stop there. This is the land of wooden cuckoo clocks, chocolate and cherry cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte), and well-preserved medieval towns.
During your visit, I recommend prioritizing the picturesque towns of Schiltach, Calw, Breisach, and Gengenbach. To deepen your understanding of folklife in the 16th and 17th centuries, visit the Black Forest Open-Air Museum (Vogtsbauernhof) in Gutach. And finally, don’t miss out on the mineral-rich thermal pools in Baden-Baden and Bad Wildbad. Use this Black Forest travel guide to plan your visit.
Sabrina from Moon Honey Travel
Frankfurt is the major financial centre of (continental) Europe and one of the biggest cities in Germany. Although, it isn´t the most touristic place in Germany we enjoyed the vibe of the city and found out that we had plenty of things to do in Frankfurt.
Frankfurt is a city packed with history and was nearly totally rebuild after WWII. It used to have fame for being a dangerous city, but now it is a vibrant city where you have nothing to worry about. The idea is to spend 2 or 3 days touring the city.
The best way to discover the city is by doing a free walking tour, you will see the main points of interest and discover the history behind them. You should definitely visit Romerberg Square, which is the old town square where you will find the typical half-timbered houses and Romer, which is the old city hall.
Other points of interest are Saint Paul’s Church, the Iron Bridge, Alte Opera, and Frankfurt´s skyline. The city also has numerous interesting museums like the Goethe House and the German Film Museum. If you are in Frankfurt during the holiday season, you should not miss the Christmas Market. It is one of Germany’s best and biggest Christmas Markets.
Jorge and Claudia from Travel Drafts
Truth be told if I didn’t have relatives to visit in Kassel my husband and I probably never would have gone here, but I am so glad we did and it has certainly earned its title as my favorite place in Germany. If you have ever read a fairy tale as a kid, you will appreciate not one but two entire museums dedicated to the Brothers Grimm who spent many years and wrote a number of their most famous stories here.
Visit the spectacular Löwenburg Castle and soak up the medieval atmosphere, and explore Europe’s largest parklands of the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe seeking out the Hercules monument. If modern history is more your thing, take a trip to the nearby museum at the old border between East and West seeing more fascinating castle ruins along the way. Contemporary art is showcased in Kassel as it hosts the world’s foremost contemporary art festival ‘documenta’ which is held every 5 years in the city.
The city center has a number of eye-catching monuments throughout as a permanent tribute to this and it is this festival that has really put Kassel on the world map. The gardens and the palaces, the richness of art and literary culture, together with the classic German hospitality and grace make Kassel a fairy tale in itself and a fabulous place to visit when next in Germany!
Kris from Gadsventure
Bremen is located in north-western Germany, right in the middle of the Berlin-Amsterdam bus route. Although, on a popular tourist path, one hardly finds a mention of this beautiful city in travel guides and must-do lists, making a trip to Bremen an authentic experience with fewer tourists and welcoming locals.
Known as the start of the fairytale route of Germany, my first inkling that Bremen existed was as a child when I read the Grimm fairy-tale, the Musicians of Bremen. The city makes full use of the fable now with the four statues of the ‘Bremer Stadtmusikanten’ at the Townhall as well as a musical gutter that cries out like the animal characters when you throw coins in. And of course, postcards and fridge magnets abound aplenty.
So what can you do if you plan a short stay at Bremen? Go to the magical old market square and experience what it feels like to journey back through the ages. The UNESCO world heritage sites of the ‘Bremer Rathaus’ and Roland statue, the imposing St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Schütting or the Chamber of Commerce, the unusual red-bricked architecture of Böttcherstraße and the Stadtmusikanten, all make for a stunning 3D panorama.
Gorge on delectable handmade dark chocolate truffles at Hachez and tour the oldest repository of German wines in the ‘Ratskeller’. Lose yourself in the by-lanes of Bremen’s oldest fisherman’s quarter—the ‘Schnoor’—lined with pretty little-timbered houses dating back to the 15th century. When done admiring, browse through the arts and craft collections on the streets around.
Thank you SO much to these awesome bloggers and travel experts for sharing their favorite destinations in Germany to visit! Other notable mentions include Regensburg, Europa Park, and of course, Berlin.
Where are you heading to next?! Let us know in the comments below 🙂
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Saturday 16th of March 2019
I really need to explore more of Germany (I've only ever been to Frankfurt & Munich)! Schliersee looks so charming - I had never heard of it before but now it is on my list. Thanks for the travel inspiration.
Wednesday 25th of March 2020
Great Post! I am super happy that I already visited three of those places and I have a friend in Stuttgart, so I am fairly often there. It is an amazing city. Love your list and it shows how much more there is to see in Germany.
Furthermore, that is an amazing photo of München
Sunday 17th of March 2019
Thanks Krista! Yes it is amazing how much Germany has to offer - my favourite place is Black Forest but I do love cake!