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How to Plan a Trip to Germany

How to Plan a Trip to Germany

If you have never been to Germany before and want to plan a trip, you are in luck! Germany has a lot of sights to see and things to do. You will not run out of options anytime soon. Moreover, the country is easily accessible via plane or train.

A trip to Germany can be exciting and confusing, especially if you’re visiting for the first time. Therefore, you must plan everything. I am sure you are excited about your trip to Germany.

Germany is one of the most visited countries in the world. If you are looking to plan a trip there, you have come to the right place!

neuschwanstein medieval castle in planning trip to Germany

This guide will help you with everything you need to consider while planning your trip to Germany. It will ensure you do not miss anything and have a smooth experience.

Even if this is not your first trip to Germany, read this informative article till the end. It offers advice on how to explore more than just Berlin and other famous German cities – you might just learn something new!

Either way, I will attempt to get you as prepared as possible so that you can maximize your enjoyment.

Plan a Trip to Germany: Important Points

Cologne Bridge Scenery

As much as I’d like to, I cannot go over every little detail about the perfect plan for a German trip in this article, but I will discuss the most important things.

1. Passport & Visa Requirements

Passport and Map

Before you plan a trip to Germany, you must learn the passport and visa requirements. If you are a citizen of a Schengen member state, you can travel to Germany without obtaining a Visa. As per the Schengen Agreement of 1985, people of member countries get a waiver on visa charges.

Currently, Germany offers a visa-waiver program to citizens of 62 countries. They can stay in Germany for 90 days within 6 months. These countries include:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • El Salvador
  • Georgia
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • Nicaragua
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Timor Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela

Note: If you want to stay for more than 90 days, apply for a national visa.

If you do not belong to the above-mentioned countries, get a visa first. Since you are visiting Germany as a tourist, you can apply for a tourist/visitor short-stay visa. It allows you to stay in Germany for 90 days within six months.

Requirements to Apply for a Tourist/Visitor Visa

  • Visa application form with complete and accurate information.
  • Two recent photos that comply with the Schengen Visa photo criteria.
  • A valid passport with at least three months of validity, from your departure date.
  • The passport should not be older than 10 years.
  • Your passport must have at least two blank pages to affix the visa sticker.
  • A document that mentions your itinerary and round-trip reservation.
  • Proof of travel health insurance that covers medical emergencies. You can easily buy it from World Nomads.
  • Proof of flight reservation.
  • Also, you may need to show proof of accommodation in the Schengen.
  • Invitation letter in case you are invited by a host in Germany.
  • Proof of civil status.
  • Proof of residence, such as driver’s license, utility bill, etc.

You can apply for a German visa at the official Visa Centre, the German Consulate, and the German Embassy. Apply for the Visa at least two weeks before you visit Germany. Before you plan your Germany itinerary, it is crucial to check these small yet significant details. 

See Related: What is a Passport/Travel Document Number? What Your Should Know

2. Find Flights to Germany

Plane and Skyline

A perfect trip is when you stick to your intended budget. A flight ticket is one of the biggest travel expenses. However, when you book your ticket in advance, it does not cost you an arm and a leg.

If you are traveling to Germany during a peak season, booking tickets in advance will be a smart move. Additionally, you can correctly arrange your Germany vacation and tours with a confirmed flight. Several online tools are available to help you get cheap flights to Germany. I have listed some of them below.

Scott’s Cheap Flights

Scott’s Cheap Flights sends cheap flight deals directly to your email box. Just add the airports you want to get deals from. Their team will look for good deals and send them to you as soon as possible. 

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is another tool you can use to get deals on flights to Germany. It is a flight comparison search engine that checks prices with several companies so you can choose the best flight deal for you.

Depending on what place you want to visit first in Germany, you can book a flight to Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, or Dusseldorf.

3. Currency Conversion

Euro Paper Bill

Since Germany is part of the European Union, its official currency is the euro. So if you are visiting Germany from a non-euro-using country, you will need to convert your currency into euros. You may either exchange your money at the airport or potentially through your local bank or post office.

In Germany, there are plenty of ATMs, just like in the U.S. and most other countries. In Germany, cash is king, and you will need to get some euros in cash to buy food and get transportation. Although using a bank card is quite prevalent in Europe, cash payments are sometimes the only accepted form of payment in certain German businesses, particularly restaurants.

So be prepared and do not forget to convert your pounds, dollars, or krona into euros as soon as possible. For more information, check out our page about German currency.

4. Power Conversion

Two Phones Charging

Travelers often overlook power conversion. However, it is crucial, especially if you are from the United States.

There is a chance that your American devices (especially ones that use heat, like curling irons) might suffer damage if you put them into a power socket in Germany. This happens because European and German power outlets have 220-volt output, while U.S. power outlets come with 110-volt power. This might sound dangerous, but the build quality and fail-safes for European electronics are typical of much better quality than their U.S. counterparts.

The good news is many new gadgets feature a dual-voltage system. It means you can plug them into both 220 or 110-volt outputs without any worry. These products can recognize the difference in volt output and operate just fine. However, some older devices do not feature dual-voltage capabilities.

As a result, you will probably need a power converter to use any electrical device in Germany that is 110. For more info on this, see our page on the dangers and cautions while in Germany.

See Related: Essential Women’s Travel Accessories

5. Transportation in Germany

Train Transportation in Berlin

Almost all German cities and municipalities have an excellent public transportation system. In big cities like Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich, the transport association takes care of the entire transit system. 

S-Bahn

S-Bahn (or Stadtschnellbahn) is a local rapid rail network in Germany that serves the metropolitan areas by connecting commuting areas and suburbs to the city center and main train station. 

U-Bahn

The U-Bahn (or Untergrundbahn)is more like a metro train system. It is a prominent local transport system in Munich, Hamburg, and Berlin.

Trams

Trams are available in several cities in Germany. They run on rails alongside regular roads. Trams have several stations throughout the city. Usually, their stops share space with bus stops.

Regional Trains

Regional trains are administered by Deutsche Bahn, which manages the majority of railway services in Germany. They come in two varieties: the normal-speed one having more stops and the speedier RE (or Regionalexpress). 

If you want to visit interstate in Germany, the train system will be your best friend. You can get train schedules and maps online from Deutsch Bahn. 

Bus

Buses in Germany connect cities and towns to several locations, and local buses are frequent throughout the day. For more information, see our page about getting around in Germany.

6. Emergency Prep

Ambulance and Medics

In the United States, you simply call 911 for any type of emergency. However, in Germany, the number is 112 or 110 depending on your emergency. The emergency helpline number 110 is for the police (Polizei), and 112 is for fire and medical services.

So remember the helpline numbers 110 and 112. For more information, see our page, emergencies while in Germany.

7. Communication

Man on a Call

Your cellphone may or may not work in Germany. It all depends on the type of phone you have and the type of cellular network you are using. Even if your phone’s network works, you may end up with a huge bill after your trip.

As a result, get in touch with your network provider ahead of time. Figure out exactly how your phone network works and how your calling plan is set up. Also, learn what options you have for international roaming.

If you want to explore the entirety of Germany and you have several days in the country, you could buy a new SIM in Germany, or one ahead of time from Amazon.

I would advise you to go for T-Mobile (Telekom Germany) Sim card before you visit Germany. It is one of the most used mobile networks in Germany covering most of the country. It is the best in terms of the internet and network availability. For more info on this, see our page about cell phones in Germany.

See Related: Best Travel Accessories: Save Time and Money

8. Driving

Man Driving a Car

For the most part, driving in Germany is very similar to driving in the U.S. However, there are a few differences that can be very dangerous if you are not aware of them.

In numerous junctions around Germany, there are neither stop signs nor traffic signals, yet you are still required to slow down or stop your vehicle. Failure to do so can cause an accident.

Additionally, you cannot turn right on red, and there is no right before the left regulation. For more info on this, please check our page about driving while in Germany. It’s borderline essential, and could save you a ton of money – and maybe even someone’s life!

If you are planning to drive in Germany, check out these different day trips for each city:

9. Red Light District

Stop Hand Gesture

Overall, Germany is a safe and fun country to visit. However, like in every country, some German towns and big cities have [ahem] red-light areas. I would recommend avoiding these areas – especially if you are traveling with kids.

Drug dealers and drug users, as well as pimps and prostitutes (duh), can be found in the red-light districts. Such places are often close to train stations. If you are traveling with family and children, be careful when strolling around any city or town center or outside train stations. For more info on this, see our page on the dangers of Germany.

Like in most European countries, prostitution is legal in Germany. There are several red-light districts and regulated brothels that pay taxes. Local authorities implement limits and laws on prostitution on a local level. They are liable to fines and custody if they do not comply with these regulations.

So these are some crucial things to keep in mind when planning a trip to Germany. Now let us learn where to go in Germany to see the best of the county.

regions of Germany

Where to Go in Germany – Best Regions

Northern Germany

Northern Germany attracts tourists from all over the world. It is known for its great diversity, historical towns, and ultramodern cities like Hamburg and Berlin.

Let’s talk briefly about the top tourist destinations in northern Germany that you must add to your bucket list.

Berlin

Central Berlin Scenery

Berlin, the capital of Germany, is the epitome of an architectural marvel. You can relish art and history at every corner and see the story of the city through its buildings. It has several museums and poignant World War memorials. Also, it does not disappoint the people looking for happening nightlife.

Two days are adequate to see the most prominent tourist attractions in Berlin. Some sites worth visiting in the capital include the Reichstag Building, sections of the Berlin Wall, and the Brandenburg Gate. Additionally, you must visit places like the Academy of Arts, Museum Island, and Treptower Park.

If you have a limited time in Berlin, you can take Hop on and Hop off Bus Tour. In a few hours, you can see a lot of the city.

If you are visiting Berlin for a few days, you can stay in a hotel near the city center, central station, TV Tower or Berlin Cathedral. If you are on budget travel, you can also look for hostels. You can use book your stay in Berlin.

See Related: Famous Historical Landmarks in Berlin, Germany

Hamburg

Hamburg Scenery

Hamburg is another prominent city in Northern Germany, situated on the banks of the River Elbe. You can get to Hamburg from Berlin by train or plane. From the airport, you can take U-Bahn (metro) to the city. This port city has a perfect blend of modern and historical architecture. It’s also where the Beatles got famous – I know! Not the UK, not the US, but Hamburg!

Some well-known tourist attractions in Hamburg are Old Elbe Tunnel, St. Michael’s Church, Rickmer Richkmers, Ohlsdorf Cemetery, Tierpark Hagenbeck, Miniature Wunderland, The Reeperbahn, Kunsthalle Hamburg, and more. Hamburg offers various tours and excursions as well. These include a trip to the Baltic and the North Sea, the Elbphilharmonie tour, and the Harbor cruise tour.

Depending on the part of the city you are in, you can book the hotel near the city center, Hamburg Christmas market, main train station, Fischmarkt, or Schanzeiertel.

Rostock

Rostock Architecture

Rostock is also a worth-visiting tourist destination in Northern Germany. It is one of the famous points for trade and shipbuilding in Germany. A historic site, Rostock is home to several medieval artifacts. You may take a walk along the city’s 13th-century defense walls to see them.

Rostock has four historical gates and several churches, including St. Petri Church, Nikolai Church, and St. Mary’s Church. If you are visiting Rostock in mid-August, be a part of the Hanse Sail Festival. It is a maritime festival where you can see the largest congregation of conventional sailing ships.

If you want to take a sailing experience, buy a full/half-day Rostock tour from Get Your Guide. You can also enjoy a Hop-On Hop-Off double-decker bus tour to roam the city in less time.

There are several good hotels and restaurants in Rostock. Therefore, you do not need to worry about eating and staying. If you want to stay near the city center, you can stay at Hotel Pentahotel Rostock.

See Related: Best Restaurants in Germany

Lübeck

Lubeck Colorful Houses

If you want to see a UNESCO World Heritage site in Germany, Lübeck is an ideal destination. The history of the city dates back to the Middle Ages. On the German Baltic coast, it is the second-largest city.

Earlier, it was a prominent city in the Hanseatic League. It was known as the “Queen of the Hanse.” Holstentor is the main icon of the city. It is a beautiful Gothic structure of the 15th century.

If you have only a few days in town, visit Altstadt, Holsten Gate, Passat, Lubeck Cathedral, Church of St. Mary’s, and Heiligen-Geist Hospital. There are a lot of things to do in Lubeck. For instance, you can take a Historical tour of Hanseatic City and enjoy City Cruise.

The distance between Lübeck from Hamburg is about 45 miles. If you travel by train, you can reach in about an hour. You can also reach here by road at a similar time. Like every German city, Lubeck has several luxury and budget hotels where you can stay.

Schwerin

Schwerin Aerial View

Schwerin is an ideal place to spend time beside a lake. Also known as the Land of Lakes, it is the capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Lake Schwerin is the biggest lake in the region, where you can enjoy several water sports. In addition to this, the capital is home to several incredible 11th Century structures.

Some must-visit points of interest in Schwerin include Schwering Castle, Mecklenburg State Theater, State Museum, Schwerin Cathedral, Gustrow Palace, Ludwigslust Palace, and the Museum of Technology. When it comes to places to stay in Schwerin, choices are endless. From hostels to apartments to hotels, you can choose accommodations as per your preference and budget.

See Related: Best & Most Beautiful Cities in Europe to Visit

Heligoland

Helgoland Island

If you want to see an eye-appealing island, do not forget to visit Heligoland. It is one of the world’s tiniest Islands. Heligoland is an archipelago in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The area is renowned for its steep green terrain and red sandstone.

Heligoland Island is about 24 miles from the mainland. You can reach there via cruise boat from Hamburg, Busum, Wilhelmshaven, and Cuxhaven. There are three main areas in Heligoland where you can stroll. These include the upper, the middle, and the lower land.

You can see a variety of fauna and flora here. The Island also has a bird protection center. You can see a lot of seals basking on the sand. Heligoland is a blessing for those who enjoy being outdoors.

It has several hiking trails leading to beautiful locations on the Island. You can also enjoy an outdoor swimming bath. Apart from this, tennis courts and golf pitches are also on the island.

There is no shortage of good hotels on Heligoland Island. You can stay in the hotel Aqua Marina if you want to stay in the center of the island.

Rugen Island

Rugen island

Rugen is one of the largest islands in Germany, situated on the Pomeranian coast in the Baltic Sea. It has several resort towns and centers. If you want to spend some quality time in a seaside resort, Rugen is worth visiting. 

Rugen is known for its resort architecture, sandy beaches, seafood, and cliffs made of white chalk. If I mention the top attractions on the Island, you should not miss swimming at Thiessow beach and shopping at the Rugen market. 

Besides this, you can walk over the famous seller pier or enjoy the sunset at the Black Lake near Selin. From high-end luxury resorts to budget hotels, there are several options for accommodation on the island. Hotel Villa Meeresgruss is a good property near Binz resort town.

Other Places in North Germany

Of course, these are not the only places that you can visit in Northern Germany. If you think you have a few days more, you can also cover other German cities and towns. Some notable ones include Harz Mountains, Wismar, Sylt, and Stralsund.

See Related: Best Islands to Visit Around the World

2. Eastern Germany

Like Northern Germany, the Eastern region of the country has countless delights for travel lovers. If you appreciate architecture, historical arts, and medieval fortifications, or just have a penchant for Ostalgie, you will love Eastern Germany. It is also a paradise for nature lovers!

Dresden

Old Town Dresden Scenery

Dresden is the capital of the German state of Saxony. The city is renowned for its art and architecture. If you want to visit Germany to take pleasure in architecture, add Dresden to your list. Like Berlin, the city is also known for the devastation it endured during World War II.

Zwinger and the Royal Palace are some must-visiting places in Dresden. You can also take the hop on hop off bus tour to explore Dresden in one day. Besides this, you can also enjoy a full-day Bastei Bridge and Tisa Walls Labyrinth Guided tour from Dresden. This tour is for nature lovers and hiking beginners.

When looking for the best places to stay in Dresden, you’ve got plenty of options. Depending on your tour planning, you can choose to stay in Neustadt, Old Town, New Town, Radebeul, and Blasewitz.

Bautzen

Bautzen Scenery

Bautzen is an excellent day trip destination from Dresden. Situated on the banks of the River Spree, this beautiful city has oodles of medieval charm. It is famously home to Ortenburg Castle, as well as Alt Wasserkunst and St Peter’s Cathedral. 

If you have kids with you, visit Sauierpark Klwinwelka Adventure Park too. This awesome park has replicas of dinosaurs for kiddies to get up close to! There are a lot of good hotels in Bautzen so you won’t feel any trouble finding one for yourself.

See Related: Top Most Beautiful Cities in the World to Visit

Erfurt

Erfurt Aerial View

Erfurt is the state capital of Thuringia. This 1200-year-old city is known for its Augustinian Monastery and three-towered Gothic Erfurt Cathedral, constructed in 742 AD. It is an old university city.

The Merchants’ Bridge is another crucial point of interest in the city. It is a 125 m-long bridge of medieval times on the River Gera. The bridge was made of wood but got rebuilt with stones in 1325. It has the longest inhabited buildings in entire Europe. 

The bridge has cafes, boutiques, and galleries that have preserved the ancient tradition. If you want culinary pleasure, do a chocolate tasting at Goldhelm chocolate boutique, located on the Merchants Bridge. 

You can take a walking tour of the city’s Old Town to see various attractions. Some important tourist places in the city include St. Severus Church, Old Fish Market, Old Merchants’ Bridge, Augustinian Monastery, Old Synagogue, and more. The city has several hotels and guesthouses that you can choose according to your budget.

Leipzig

Leipzig Cityscape

Leipzig is another exciting city in Eastern Germany. Situated in the German State of Saxony, Leipzig is known for its markets and fairs. The city is also home to several venerable publishing firms.

Leipzig has prominent churches like St. Thomas Church and St. Nicholas Church. If you are heading to the city with children, do not forget to add the Leipzig Zoo to your travel bucket list. The zoo is the abode of more than 850 animal species. 

Markt and Old City Hall is the central attraction in Leipzig. It is one of the alluring Renaissance buildings in Germany. The Southeast center of Leipzig is the best area to stay in. The campus of the University of Leipzig is located nearby. Moreover, the area has attractive botanical gardens.

See Related: Best Christmas Markets in Europe to Visit

 Potsdam

Potsdam Aerial View

Potsdam is a beautiful island settled in the vast landscape of lakes and rivers. It is among the most beautiful towns in Europe, situated about 24 miles southwest of Berlin. Much of Potsdam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

You should visit Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam. It is a single-story Rococo building with a dome in the middle. The Place was built by Frederick the Great, the Prussian King. 

Sanssouci Palace is among the top UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is a perfect example of the Rococo style of architecture. Additionally, you can take a walk in Sanssouci Park, which has several gardens and buildings.

Other points of interest in the city include Barberini Museum, Potsdam Museum, the Dutch Quarter, Cecilienhof Country House, New Garden, and more. You may stay in hotels close to all of these tourist attractions.

Other Places in Eastern Germany

In addition to the areas described above, East Germany has more tourist hotspots that didn’t quite make my top choices, including Gorlitz, Zwickau, and Magdeburg.

Central Germany

Central Germany (also known as Mitteldeutschland), is the central region of Germany. Duh. While it may not be as notable as other German regions, it contains many fascinating places well worth a visit. Below are a few of Central Germany’s attractions you must visit.

Chemnitz

Chemnitz City

Chemnitz is a well-known city in Saxony, Germany. It is encircled by the Ore Mountains to the South. In the North, the city has Central Saxon Hill Country.

Chemnitz is a prominent manufacturing city. It is known for its textile industry. You can take a guided industrial tour of the city to learn more about its industry.

The city witnessed the Allied bombing during World War II. More than 40% of the Chemnitz had been destroyed during the war. Some prominent places to visit in Chemnitz are the City Palace, Sachsenbrücke Bridge, St. Mary’s Church, and Jakobikirche Church.

There are a lot of things to do at Chemnitz. You can head to Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz museum. This is an award-winning museum exhibiting European art of the 19th century. Chemnitz has all types of hotels and guest houses that suit every budget. You can book your accommodation online.

See Related: Best Universities in Germany for International Students

Weimar

Weimar Scenery

Weimar is the capital of the Weimar district and part of the region of Thuringia. It is the epicenter of classical literature in Germany. The city has been home to great literary people, including Bach, Cranach, Luther, and more.

Weimar is the birthplace of the Bauhaus movement, thanks to its Art-school that attracted several painters and designers. UNESCO authorized Weimar as a World Heritage Site in 1998. The city has several historic sites that are important from cultural and tourism aspects.

Its Karlsaue park features Friedrichsbad thermal baths and two palaces. One was built by Frederick II, and another was by his son William III. Other points of interest in Weimar include Goethe House and National Museum, the Elegant Dower Palace, Duchess Anna Amalia Library, The Herder Church, and more.

You can buy a tour of its historic town and visit the former Goethe and Schiller residence and Bauhaus Museum. There are several excellent accommodations to stay in Weimar.

Some 4-star properties near the city center include Hotel Hollerbusch, Leonardo Hotel Weimar, and Hotel Schillerhof Weimar. The city center lies just a few miles west of the Elbe River near the flatlands on its north bank. 

Halle (Saale)

Halle Scenery

Halle is the largest city in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. It is the birthplace of Georg Friedrich Händel. He was a famous German-British Baroque composer, born in 1685.

Handel was known for his operas, oratorios, and instrumental compositions. The authorities have preserved his birthplace. If you want to see a beautiful Gothic church in Central Germany, visit Marktkirche Church. 

Now converted into an art school, Burg Giebichenstein castle is another tourist attraction in Halle. If you are a shopaholic, Leipziger Strabe Street won’t disappoint you. This shopping street is situated in downtown Halle. You will find several retail shops and fast food restaurants on the street.

When visiting this beautiful city, do not forget to add Marktkirche Unser Lieben Frauen Church, Händel-Haus site, and Halloren Chocolate Factory to your wishlist. You can make your trip to Halle more interesting by joining the self-guided outdoor tour from Get Your Guide.

Halle has several guest houses, hostels, and hotels to stay in. If you want to stay near the city center, you can book the hotel Dorint Charlottenhof.

See Related: Best Warm Winter Destinations in Europe

Bayreuth

Bayreuth Scenery

Bayreuth is another scenic town in Eastern-Central Germany. It sits on the banks of the Red Main River. The town is often referred to as Little Venice, thanks to its riverfront promenade, lined with green parks and boat tours. If you want to enjoy a river cruise, you cannot find a better place than Bayreuth in Central Germany.  Take a city tour to learn more about it.

In addition, Bayreuth is home to the Wagner Museum, which commemorates the life and work of Richard Wagner, the well-known German composer, theatre director, and problematic polemicist. Putin’s favorite mercenary group is named after him. Think about that.

Other Places in Central Germany

Besides the above major attractions, I’d recommend a visit to Hof in Central Germany. It is a beautiful town on the banks of the River Saale.

Southern Germany

If you want to participate in fun folk festivals or visit fairytale towns and castles, Southern Germany must be on your itinerary. Here you will find the Bavarian Alps and the crystal clear waters of the alpine lakes. Popular places to visit in Southern Germany include:

Munich 

Munich Sunset

Munich is the capital of Bavaria and is known for its breweries, beer gardens, and architecture. It is located on the River Isar. The city is about 211 miles from the Czech Republic, 195 miles from Austria, and 247 miles from Switzerland. 

Munich is one of the most prosperous cities in Europe with an economy focused on its information technology service, science, and research sectors. 

Munich is home to several world-class museums and opera houses. The city also has vibrant nightlife having plenty of bars, clubs, and theaters. If you want to make a day trip, you can go from Munich to Rothenburg and Nordlinger Ries or Neuschwanstein & Linderhof Castle.

Almost all neighborhoods are the best for tourists to stay in. However, most people like to book a hotel in Altstadt-Lehal. It is close to parks, restaurants, and cafes.

See Related: Vienna vs Munich: What’s the Difference?

Black Forest

Black Forest

The Black Forest is a well-known forest mountain range in southwest Germany. It is close to the border of Switzerland and France. The forest’s highest point, Feldberg, is 4,898 feet above sea level. The entire Black Forest is spread over an area of 2320 sq. miles. Danube and Neckar rivers also originate from this forest.

The forest is known for its cuckoo clocks, half-timbered villages, and deep-roofed farmhouses. Several artisans have made cuckoo clocks and timepieces in this mountain area. The Black Forest is a great destination for people who love hiking and mountain biking. It makes excellent ski slopes during the wintertime. You can take a day trip to the Black Forest and Rhine Falls from Zurich.

There are several places where you can stay in the Black Forest. If you want to see a heritage site with several museums and spas, choose Baden-Baden. The town has several luxury resorts, budget hotels, and homestays.

Bamberg

Bamberg Old Town

Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a picturesque medieval town with cobblestone streets and perfectly preserved buildings. Altes Rathaus, also known as the Old Town Hall, is a prominent tourist destination in Bamberg. Besides this, you can head to Bamberg Cathedral. It is popular for its four green towers dominating the skyline.

If you want to see alluring paintings and artwork of the 18th century, visit Neue Residenz. It has over 40 ornate rooms with furniture from the 17th century. Other points of interest in Bamberg include Altenburg Castle, Schlenkerla Brewery, Franconian Brewery Museum, and more.

Bamberg is also known for its beer gardens and local breweries. So you can enjoy some local beer and wine. The best way to get a sense of the city is by exploring on foot and making your way through its winding lanes. You can take a guided walking tour to know the city from the deep. Stay near the city center so that you can quickly reach nearby tourist attractions.

See Related: Best Holiday Destinations for Couples

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber Architecture

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is an old medieval town in the Franconian region of Bavaria, on a hill overlooking the River Tauber. Rothenburg is known for its well-preserved historic center that gives it a fairytale look. Particularly, the Langemarkt and Rathausplatz offer incredible views of the town and river below. 

The city also has a lot to offer when it comes to food. It has more than a hundred restaurants, pubs, bakeries, and cafes. One of the best things to do here is a food and walking tour.

Nuremberg

Nuremberg Sunset Scenery

Nuremberg is a beautiful city with plenty of medieval and Gothic architecture. The city was the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. It is also associated with the Nazis. On the rally ground, there is a museum exhibiting the Nazi regime and history. You can take a guided tour of Nazi Party Rally Grounds and visit Nuremberg Congress Hall and Luitpold Arena.

Nuremberg has eye-appealing landmarks and streets that will take you to another world. The cobblestone street has mesmerizing scenes. You can also take a leisurely walk alongside the river Pegnitz and see old-fashioned bridges.

Nuremberg is also the birthplace of the toy industry in Germany. If you want to buy toys, attend Spielwarenmesse Toy Fair, which takes place every year in Nuremberg. 

The Old Town is full of winding streets that are perfect for a leisurely walk. If you want to stay in Nuremberg for a couple of days, get a hotel near the Old Town. The area has several historic sites.

Other Places in Southern Germany

There are several other places that you might want to include in your Southern Germany trip. These include Mainz, Lindau, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Regensburg, and more.

West Germany

If you’re visiting Germany, it’s well worth your time to explore the western part of the country and take in some of its many fascinating attractions.

Frankfurt

Frankfurt Architecture

Situated on the banks of the Main River, Frankfurt is one of the most happening tourist attractions in Germany. It is home to several places that are worth your time. The city is known for its globally-renowned historical cathedrals, museums, and art galleries. 

The city hosts people from more than 180+ nationalities. Therefore, it is called a multi-cultural city. Tourists from all over the world fly to Frankfurt to see the great diversity.

Frankfurt has been a major economic and commercial center. You can see numerous high-rise buildings in the city. If you want to see Christmas markets, visit Frankfurt’s Old Town. It is an eye-appealing public square that houses a fountain known as Justice Fountain.

The palm garden is another must-visiting place in the city. It is spread over an area of 54 acres. If you want to see a Gothic-style red sandstone church, do not forget to visit Frankfurt Cathedral church.

Other well-known tourist attractions include Museumsufer, Main Tower, Goethe House, and St Bartholomew’s. If you see the best of Frankfurt in less time, you can take the Frankfurt Hop-on Hop-Off tour.

You can look for hotels, beach areas, hostels, and homestays of all budgets in Frankfurt. You can choose to stay in any part of Frankfurt. Leonardo Royal Hotel FrankfurtMaritim Hotel Frankfurtand Hilton Frankfurt Airport are some good hotel properties in the city.

See Related: Most Famous Historical Landmarks in Frankfurt, Germany

Heidelberg

Heidelberg Aerial View

If you want to relish an old-world beauty, you must come to Heidelberg. It is one of the few cities that endured World War II. Heidelberg is home to the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle.

Apart from Heidelberg Castle, you can visit Hauptstrasse and Altstadt (old town), the Church of the Holy Spirit, and Heidelberg University.

Cologne

Cologne Cathedral and Skyline

Cologne is one of the oldest towns in Germany. It was built by the Romans in 38 BC. The town is situated on the banks of the Rhine. From Gothic architecture to appealing old town to riverside attractions, Cologne has everything a tourist looks for.

Cologne Cathedral is an international pilgrimage site in the town. It holds the shrine of the Three Wise Men. Today, it is a UNESCO site and the most visited attraction in Germany.

Ludwig Museum is another point of interest in Cologne, adjacent to the Cathedral. It houses articles from the 19th century. You can see Avant-Garde pieces of Russia.

If you want to experience the historical charm, visit Cologne’s Old Town. You will see old houses representing the old tradition. Old Town has several breweries, restaurants, and pubs. If you want to learn about the all highlights of Old Town, go for a walking tour.

Cologne is well-known for hosting the most vibrant carnival festivities in Germany. Apart from this, the town has several must-visit places, such as Majestic Cologne Cathedral, Historic Old Town Cologne, and Cologne City Hall. You can easily hotels, hostels, and homestays in the city

Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf Cruise

Düsseldorf is another prominent city in Western Germany that you must visit. It is a major center for art and fashion. The city has several parks and gardens. It also has a lively downtown area.

Düsseldorf has more than 100 art galleries and dozens of museums. The city has Germany’s most popular avenue, called Königsallee. There are a lot of things to do in Düsseldorf. You can roam on the Rhine Embankment Promenade. You can take pleasure in cruising on the Rhine

There are several restaurants and cafes around the area where you can spend quality time. You can also head to Benrath Palace. The Palace is about 6 miles away from the city center. 

The Baroque mansion was completed in 1773 for the Elector Palatine Charles Theodor and his wife. It is renowned for its interior and gardens. When visiting Düsseldorf, do not forget to explore its Old Town. This well-preserved town has a Town Hall and the statue of Elector John William II. You can easily get a good hotel in the area.

See Related: Best Breweries in Düsseldorf, Germany: Drink Altbier & Craft Beer

Wurzburg

Wurzburg Aerial Scenery

If you want to see the Rococo and Baroque architecture, head to Wurzburg city. It is also renowned for its picture-perfect churches, wines, and cuisine. You can be a part of a wine rally in Wurzburg and do a wine tasting.

If you are visiting the city during the festive season, do not forget to visit the Christmas market near the Marienkapelle church. Würzburg Residence Palace is a prominent architectural landmark in the city. The palace was constructed in the 18th century for the local prince and bishops.

The Martin von Wagner Museum is another point of interest in the city. Founded in 1832, the museum showcases the art collection of the University of Wurzburg. It also has some rare antiquities and a collection of graphic art.

Marienberg Fortress, Würzburg Cathedral, New Munster Collegiate Church, and The Old Main Bridge are other prominent attractions in the city. You can stay in Maritim Hotel to see eye-appealing views of the Marienberg Fortress. 

Other Places in Western Germany

If you want to explore western Germany deeply, you can visit several other fascinating cities and towns. These include Trier, Marburg, Aachen, Boppard, and more.

How to Plan a Trip to Germany – How Many Days Should You Spend in Germany?

When planning a trip to Germany, you also have to consider how much time you have. You can then create your itinerary based on this so you can see and do as much as possible.

A Few Days

If you have just a few days in Germany, it would be best to focus on one city at a time and take a day trip. For example, Hamburg is a great city to visit on a day trip or weekend.

You could also plan a day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein & Linderhof Castle Full-Day trip. Similarly, you can easily enjoy a Rhine Valley day trip from Frankfurt.

One Week

If you have a week to spend in Germany, you can visit more than one city and take two-day trips to different parts of the country.

Remember that you also have to consider the travel time between each German city you want to visit. You can easily spend a few days in Berlin and then take a day trip to one of the smaller cities nearby.

Two Weeks

If you have two weeks, then you have the opportunity to explore Germany a little more deeply. I recommend you start your trip from Berlin and end in Munich. You can travel between regions by car or by train.

If you want to book top activities and tours in Germany, you can use GetYourGuide. It allows you to book day trips, private tours, and guide tours direct from the website.

See Related: Best Family Vacation Spots in the World

Train Travel in Germany

If you choose to travel to Germany by train, you will find that it is an inexpensive, quick, easy, and convenient mode of transportation. Trains cover almost all tourist attractions in Germany. The best part is that it is an affordable mode of transport. Moreover, you will reach your destination on time – trains in Germany are hardly ever late and they are typically faster than cars.

For example, it takes less than six hours to go by train from Hamburg in the north to Munich in the south. The same trip takes around eight hours by car. And if you choose to go by bus, it might take up to 10 hours.

In addition to this, trains often run every hour or every two hours, while long-distance bus schedules are typically considerably more irregular. And while services like Kayak can help you find a great deal on car rentals, all the additional costs like insurance and fuel do add up.

Germany Road Trip

When it comes to road trips, Germany is a top destination for enthusiasts. After all, there is so much to see and do. From scenic mountain roads to speedy highways and tootling around bigger cities, driving in Germany is fun!

If you want to explore Germany by road, get a rental car, preferably something big, shiny, and German, like an Audi S4 or Mercedez G-Wagon, or something cool, zippy, and German like a VW Golf. Again, Kayak is going to be a helpful tool. Some popular road trips in Germany include:

The Romantic Road

Every year, millions of visitors travel the Romantic Road. It runs from the Wurzburg vineyards to Fussen’s location in the Alps. This 249-mile route passes through scenic landscapes of the Main River.

The Castle Route

Starting from Mannheim Palace, the Castle Route travels across Bavaria before entering the Czech Republic. On this 745 miles route, you will see about 70 castles. You can visit this castle road throughout the year. However, May to September and Christmas are the best time.

The Wine Route

Germany is known for its best vineyards. This wine route starts from the town of Schweigen-Rechtenbach and reaches the Palatinate wine region. This 52 miles road trip has some of the best wineries in Europe.

The Fairy Tale Route (Märchenstrasse)

This road trip covers about 372 miles, starting from the central town of Hanau, and passing via Steinau, the castle where Rapunzel lived. It ends in Bremen in North Germany. You will see several alluring villages and towns on the way.

The Volcanic Trail (Vulkanstrasse)

The Volcanic Trail is another popular road trip route in Germany between the Rhine and Eifel mountains. This 173-mile route takes you through 350 eruption sites. It starts from the River Rhine and ends near the mountains of the High Eifel.

See Related: Best Hiking Trails in the World You Must Visit

Small Town Vibes

Stade Architecture

If you prefer to explore a small town or little village where you can appreciate the architecture, you may want to visit one of the following cities in Germany:

Stade: A picturesque, medieval town surrounded by canals. It is situated in Northern Germany, around 28 miles from the West of Hamburg. The city is part of Lower Saxony.

Goslar: A medieval old town known for half-timbered houses. Situated in Lower Saxony, Goslar is a beautiful town in Germany’s Harz Mountains. The Old Town of the Goslar is UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cochem: Cochem is a big town in the Cochem-Zell district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is known for its castles and vineyards.

Esslingen: Esslingen is an eye-appealing town, popular for its medieval market and vineyards. It is located in Baden Wurttemberg in Southern Germany.

Rothenburg Ob der Tauber: Rothenburg Ob der Tauber is a town in Northern Bavaria located in the Southeastern portion of the country. It is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe.

You can find cobblestone streets, charming local shops, and more when you take a walking tour through these small-town locations. Find a German travel guide that dives a bit deeper into local culture. It will help learn what sights and areas you want to include in your itinerary.

Big City Exploration

Berlin Aerial View

If you prefer to visit bigger cities on your travels, then Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, and Dusseldorf are prime locations. Travelers who can’t make a visit to all of these cities can go to the two mentioned below.

Hamburg

Hamburg is an international tourist destination in Northern Germany. It is famous for its port area. It is a crucial cultural and commercial center in the world. The city’s central Jungfernstieg Boulevard connects the Neustadt (New Town) with the Altstadt (Old Town). Here you will find amazing landmarks like St. Michael’s Church from the 18th Century.

Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf is located in Western Germany, known for its arts and music. It is the home of several seminal artists. Rhine Tower, Burgplatz, Koenigsallee, Carlsplatz Markt, and Nordpark are a few major points of interest.

See Related: Best Accommodation & Hotels in Dusseldorf, Germany

More Tips When Planning Your Trip to Germany

We will leave you with a few more tips for planning your trip to Germany.

Book Trip in Advance

Always try to book your Germany trip early and in advance, especially if you are traveling during a peak season. You can find lower prices when you choose specific travel dates and times.

Choose Your Flight Smartly

It never hurts to look for last-minute deals either. If you can be flexible with your travel dates, even better! Finally, flying in or out of a smaller regional airport may work best for your trip, depending on where you want to visit. Check out Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich, and Dusseldorf for some deals.

Get Travel Insurance

Also, don’t forget to buy a travel insurance plan before flying out of your country. This will protect you against all travel-related issues, including flight interruption, baggage loss, and medical expenditure.

FAQs

What is the best month to go to Germany?

Any month of the year is appropriate to visit Germany. Summer is an ideal time for trekking and hiking as you would get snow-free trails. During the Spring and Fall, you can enjoy harvest and wine festivals celebrated in several towns and villages.

From December to February, the weather is cool in Germany. So be well prepared if you are coming during this season.

How many days are enough in Germany?

Germany is a big country that has a lot of places to see and visit. It depends on how many places you want to explore in Germany. If you do not have long plans, three to seven days should be enough for the Germany tour. If you are planning a trip to Germany and Austria together, it may take up to 15 days

What should I do on my trip to Germany?

Germany has something for everyone. Whether you love the nightlife, trekking, water sports, or visiting historical places, Germany is an ideal destination for you.
You can visit World War landmarks and memorials all over Germany. There are a lot of historical buildings in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Nuremberg.

How can I travel around Germany?

All major tourist attractions and cities in Germany are well-connected through trains, state highways, and flights. Germany is also connected to neighboring countries through an excellent train network.

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