Germany is a great place to visit. It’s a country with a rich history, and it is home to some of the most beautiful cities in the world. The citizens are friendly and welcoming, and there are so many things to do that you may be unable to fit them all into one trip.
This country offers something for everyone: from beautiful parks and gardens to world-class museums and historical sites; from amusement parks to castles; from beer gardens to ski resorts; you can find it all here!
If you’re planning on visiting Germany soon, we’ve put together some information for you to serve as your best Germany travel guide:
Table of Contents
- Things to Know Before Visiting Germany
- German History and its Relation to World War II
- What is so great about Germany?
- What is Germany’s tourism status?
- What to bring on your trip to Germany?
- Top Cities in Germany to Visit
- Drinks to Try When in Germany
- Pale Lager
- Mulled Wine
- Why is Germany famous for tourism?
- What is the best month to visit Germany?
- Which city should I visit in Germany?
- How can Americans monitor local media while in Germany?
Things to Know Before Visiting Germany
When planning your next big vacation, Germany is definitely a destination you’ll want to consider. There are so many things to do and see in this beautiful country.
As part of our Germany travel guidelines, here are some things to know before visiting:
German History and its Relation to World War II
The invasion of Poland by German forces on September 1, 1939, marked the start of World War II. In the years that followed, Nazi Germany invaded a total of eleven nations.
Ultimately, Germany’s defeat was due to the Soviet Union’s ability to seize the initiative in the war alongside its allies, the United Kingdom and the United States. The long war they fought ultimately resulted in its defeat in May of 1945.
Tragic effects on the country persisted due to Allied bombing campaigns that displaced millions of Germans. Not to mention, the horrific events carried out by the Nazis left a dark mark on the country’s history.
What is so great about Germany?
Germany has a lot of great things going for it. It’s a country with a rich history, and it has some of the world’s most beautiful cities.
It also has a vibrant economy and an incredible array of culinary choices. Here are just some of the things that make Germany so great:
World-class museums and UNESCO World Heritage Sites
UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites include both architectural masterpieces and natural landscapes with a rich history. There are 51 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that can be found in Germany, making it one of the top countries with UNESCO-registered treasures.
Most small towns in Germany are serviced by reliable public transportation options, including buses and bike lanes. This allows people entering Germany to enjoy themselves without having to worry about not having a car.
Their hospitality businesses, like restaurants and hotels, boost local agriculture, unlike in other countries. This is in line with the German government, which urges public caterers to serve fresh, largely locally-sourced, minimally-processed food.
Germany is a country that has always welcomed immigrants and refugees to enter Germany with open arms. Its constitution guarantees all people equal rights regardless of their religion or race – something which other countries do not provide for all citizens equally.
See Related: Best Books to Learn German
What is Germany’s tourism status?
Germany is still Europe’s biggest economy and the continent’s second-largest traveling destination. It ranks first internationally in conferences and travel activities among European countries.
It is recognized as a cultural retreat for many visitors from European countries. The most recent figure for annual tourists visiting the country was 39.56 million in 2019.
Though it suffered greatly during the war, Germany eventually became a popular tourist destination among European countries.
What to bring on your trip to Germany?
When you are planning a trip to Germany, you’ll probably want to know what to bring. It’s a big country with lots of different activities, so there are a few things you should definitely have on hand.
First and foremost, bring an umbrella. The weather in this country can change quickly. It rains quite often in Germany (especially in the spring), so it’s important not to forget this item. Make sure your umbrella is waterproof and sturdy enough to be used in windy conditions as well. You don’t want it falling apart when you need it most!
You also should bring proper clothing for whatever weather you may encounter during your trip. It can get very hot during the summer months, but temperatures can drop significantly at night—so make sure you pack some warm clothes, including socks and shoes that are appropriate for hiking or walking around town in cooler temperatures (like boots).
Medical grade masks
This is especially important if you have allergies or asthma, but even if you don’t, it’s good to have around in case of any kind of pollution or illness. It can also be a tool to make travelers stay safe from different illnesses when on public transportation or in crowded attractions and places to visit.
The best way to make sure your trip is as safe and easy as possible is with a translator app. A translator app, such as Google Translate, allows you to communicate with business owners, local authorities, and citizens in Germany without having to worry about language barriers.
It can also be used to check with the local German tourist board on attractions and landmarks, though they often offer brochures available in several languages.
Another thing you should bring along on your trip is travel insurance, especially if it is from World Nomads. This will ensure that you’re covered if anything happens during your trips, such as an injury from a petty crime or theft. It doesn’t hurt to have one, just in case!
See Related: Best Family Travel Insurance Plans Affordable Plans
Top Cities in Germany to Visit
History, culture, architecture, and delicious food may all be learned from visiting Germany’s major cities.
Their cities have very accessible kinds of public transport, including trains, buses, and airports, which are convenient for travelers who enter Germany.
If you’d prefer to have an expert give you the full rundown on the significance of these major cities as you visit them, you can always book a guided tour.
As a starting point for creating your Germany travel itinerary, consider these places to visit in Germany:
Berlin is a city that has something for everyone to enjoy, especially its city center: the Mitte district. It is the capital of Germany and once the city of division.
There are numerous museums, art galleries, theaters, and historical sights to see. In addition, this city is home to some of the best nightlife in Europe.
The English language is extensively used and understood in the area. You should have no problems communicating within the vast majority of hotels, shops, and restaurants.
Best attractions to visit in Berlin
The Reichstag is a building built in 1894 that serves as the meeting place of the German Parliament.
If you want to see the Reichstag, you can either take a guided tour for additional information about its history, attend a plenary session, or simply climb to the top of the dome and roof to take in the spectacular scenery of the city.
One of Berlin’s most recognizable landmarks, the Brandenburg Gate, has been a symbol of the city for well over two centuries. The central Berlin location and free admission make it a popular choice for tourists. The historic gate also serves as the starting point for many tours of the city and the Berlin Wall.
Berlin Wall Memorial
This monument is dedicated to those who died trying to escape East Germany during the Cold War era. It has witnessed several historic events, such as Napoleonic invasions and Nazi parades in the city. The Berlin Wall is a well-known landmark, and this memorial, which is both indoors and outdoors, is the ideal site to learn further information about its sudden construction.
Where to Stay in Berlin
- MEININGER Hotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof
- Schulz Hotel Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery
- TITANIC Chaussee
See Related: Best Museums in Berlin, Germany to Visit
Hamburg is located in Northern Germany. There is a special allure to Hamburg that makes it one of the world’s most attractive urban cities. Apart from its excellent seafood and exciting beaches, the city is famous for its beer and vibrant nightlife.
It’s worth noting that this city has more bridges than any other in the world—over 2,500. As Germany’s busiest port, Hamburg has earned the nickname “Gateway to the World.”
best attractions to visit in Hamburg
Port of Hamburg
The port of Hamburg is the city’s most recognizable landmark. Hamburg is not only a major transportation hub but also a major cultural and commercial center, as well as a popular tourist destination in Europe.
Eekholt Wildlife Park
Eekholt Park is the city’s zoological legacy, and it features a variety of rare and exotic animals. This animal park is one of the world’s few cageless zoos, and it also has an aquarium and a leisure area with walking and bicycling trails.
The Speicherstadt district easily takes the title of the world’s largest warehouse complex and was added as Germany’s 40th UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. Speicherstadt is more than just museums and cafes; the area’s waterways and bridges also provide picturesque views of passing boats of all sizes.
Where to Stay in Hamburg
The Romans established the city of Baden-Baden in an area that Celts had previously occupied.
Baden-Baden, or “The Baths in Baden,” is a spa town in Baden Württemberg, south-west Germany, situated on thermal springs at the border with the Black Forest. In addition to its well-known thermal spas, this German city also has stunning parks and gardens. The city is also home to Germany’s largest opera theater and concert venue.
Best attractions to visit in Baden-Baden
Lichtentaler Allee Park
One of the most beautiful spots in Baden-Baden is the lovely Lichtentaler Allee, a park and arboretum near the city’s center. The boulevard on the western bank of the Oos river was laid out in the same fashion as a historic trail from the middle of the 17th century.
The highest point on Merkur Mountain, at an elevation of 2,188 feet, can be reached via Germany’s longest and most steep funicular railway. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go paragliding from the summit, while history buffs may check out a Roman votive relief that was discovered in the area in the 17th century.
Museum Frieder Burda
Visitors of all ages from various countries can take advantage of the Museum Frieder Burda’s extensive art education program, which includes private guided tours led by qualified art educators. Plus, if you want to take home a memento from your travel plans, The Museum Frieder Burda Concept Store sells more than just books and art posters; they also have a broad selection of unique jewelry and home decor.
Where to Stay in Baden-Baden
Munich, Germany, is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a city that’s as beautiful as it is fun.
With its cobbled streets and gorgeous architecture, Munich has a charm that’s hard to match. And we’re not just talking about the old town here—the brewery district has plenty of character in its own right. With its fame for beer in Germany, it is considered the home of Oktoberfest.
Best attractions to visit in Munich
Since its founding in 1158, Marienplatz has served as the geographic and cultural center of Munich. Town Halls, both old and new, surround the city plaza. The famous Marian Column, located in the square, was erected in 1638 to honor the victorious end of the Thirty Years’ War and the defeat of the Swedish army.
Spanning over 900 acres, the English Garden in Munich links the city’s natural northern Isar meadows to the historic center of the city. While the northern section of the English Garden is a terrific place to find peace and quiet, the southern section is ideal if you want to mingle with other people and engage in hobbies like city surfing.
In the 18th century, the summer seat of the Electors and Kings of Bavaria was at Nymphenburg Palace. The palace park and surrounding 180-hectare complex are now Munich’s second-largest park.
Where to Stay in Munich
Some of the world’s finest art and history museums can be found in this city, along with towering skyscrapers and friendly residential neighborhoods. The city also has a long tradition of producing high-quality sausages.
From Switzerland and southern Germany, river, rail, and road traffic has long relied on Frankfurt as a major public transport hub en route to the Ruhr region and north-central Germany via the Rhine River and the Main River. Bus tours and long-distance trains are also available for travelers.
Best attractions to visit in Frankfurt
The beautiful architecture of the Museumsufer makes a stroll along the Main River’s north and south banks a delight. Museum admission is included with both the Museumsufer Ticket and the Frankfurt Pass; however, the latter also provides access to several museums located away from the Museum Embankment.
The Frankfurt Cathedral is more properly known as St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral. Frankfurt’s ceremonial church for the Holy Roman Empire is one of the city’s most well-preserved historic structures, and it offers visitors a breathtaking panorama of the city, in addition to precious relics from the empire’s past.
Goethe House & Museum
German poet, author, scientist, and critic Johann Wolfgang Goethe spent the last half of his life in this Frauenplan home. The Goethe Museum across the House has an impressive collection of artworks from the 18th and 19th centuries that depict Goethe’s various friendships, acquaintances, and life stages.
Where to Stay in Frankfurt
See Related: Best Parks in Frankfurt, Germany to Visit
If you’re interested in learning more about the origins of Nazi Germany’s terror, Nuremberg is the place to go. Many of Hitler’s rallies were held here, but so was the trial that held many prominent Nazis accountable for the atrocities that occurred during World War II.
Historic buildings like the Imperial Castle and the Old Town Walls have made Nuremberg a popular tourist destination. You can’t miss the beautiful medieval architecture and culturally rich urban structures. In addition, the museums in Nuremberg are excellent resources for learning about the city’s rich past.
Best attractions to visit in Nuremberg
Going to Nuremberg Castle is essential if you want to learn about Germany’s past, especially in the context of the Holy Roman Empire. Some of the highlights of the castle are the Sinwell Tower, a twin chapel, cellars, courtyards, and permanent history exhibitions.
The Nuremberg Toy Museum, located in the heart of the city, does a fantastic job of presenting the history of toys and toy-making. The museum features examples of creativity from the era following the war. The Nuremberg Toy Museum houses over 85,000 items, more than enough to appease anyone’s inner child. From vintage dolls and hand-carved animals to miniature furniture, food sets, metal vehicles, and train sets, you can find all of these and more at the Toy Museum.
Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds
This museum examines the origins, development, and impacts of the Nazi regime. Through permanent exhibits, visitors can learn about the history of the Nazi party rallies that served as a venue for Nazi propaganda and the formation of a “people’s commune.”
Where to Stay in Nuremberg
There are twelve major Romanesque churches in Cologne (Köln in German), the most impressive of which is Cologne Cathedral. And luckily for tourists, they’re all within walking distance of the charming Old Town district.
In addition, Cologne is a fantastic, safe city for the LGBT community. Huge crowds cheer at the annual gay pride parade on the first weekend in July, and the city also has many gay-friendly establishments like cafes and clubs.
Best attractions to visit in Cologne
It is Northern Europe’s largest church. It began construction in 1248 and took over 600 years to finish. At the top of the 509-step bell tower, you can see the world’s largest church bell while enjoying magnificent views of the Rhine and Cologne below.
The Wallraf-Richartz Museum is one of the three major museums in Cologne, Germany. There is a gallery there displaying works by contemporary artists as well as medieval and baroque masterpieces.
Cologne’s Old Town
The Old Town of Cologne is home to numerous monuments and fountains, such as the Heinzelmännchen fountain and the Tünnes and Schäl statues. This district hosts Christmas markets during the holidays in addition to restaurants and cafes, while the major retail district is lined with international flagship stores.
Where to Stay in Cologne
See Related: Best Museums in Cologne, Germany
Drinks to Try When in Germany
When you visit Germany, you should try some of the local brews! The Germans are known for their beer, but there is so much more to explore. They have a rich history of wine, as well as a craft beer scene that’s exploding in popularity.
The German government actually mandates that only a few main ingredients are to be added to the beer, and no preservatives can be added by law.
The most popular German beer is pilsner, or “pils.” It’s light and crisp, with a straw-yellow color that comes from the use of pale malt. It usually has a strong hop flavor, making it perfect for enjoying outside on a hot summer day. It’s kind of like a watered-down version of a Hefe Weizen, but still very good.
A hoppy lager is frequently brewed with an adjunct cereal grain such as maize or rice. It is a type of sour beer that is made with a lactobacillus starter culture. Berliner Weisse, Gose, and Flanders Brown Ale are all examples of this style.
Hefeweizens, are unfiltered wheat beers that often have fruity flavors, unlike other salty and acidic beers.
Banana and clove are two of the classic flavors associated with hefeweizens. Some of them even hint at bubble gum or vanilla. Since it’s a wheat beer, the body and carbonation levels are both quite substantial.
Mulled wine, often called glühwein, is a traditional hot beverage typically prepared with red wine and other spices, such as those from citrus fruits, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and vanilla.
It is popular across Europe, but some countries drink it more than others. It’s a very popular beverage to enjoy around the holidays.
Altbiers are darker beers that have been aged longer than others. They’re perfect for fall or winter evenings when the weather gets cold outside. If you want something cozy inside your home instead of out on the street with everyone else who’s braving the cold weather, try an altbier!
See Related: How to Find Cheap Flights to Germany
Why is Germany famous for tourism?
Germany is one of Europe’s most popular destinations because you’ll feel right at home here. The German citizens are very welcoming and will do everything they can to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
What is the best month to visit Germany?
The months of July and September are Germany’s high season and are, therefore, the best time to visit. At this time of year, you may enjoy the outdoors to the fullest—from picnics and beer gardens to leisurely strolls around upscale cities.
Which city should I visit in Germany?
If you want to experience the historical side of Germany and visit stunning landmarks and fairytale castles, then Munich is the place to go. On the other hand, those looking to soak in the energy of a modern metropolis should head to Berlin.
How can Americans monitor local media while in Germany?
At slightly exaggerated costs, British and American newspapers can be purchased from newsstands at Hauptbahnhof and Ostbahnhof, as well as U-Bahn stations Universität and Marienplatz.
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