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Top Places to Visit in Germany - California Globetrotter

Top Places to Visit in Germany!

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If you’re considering traveling to Europe, you should definitely add Germany to your Bucket List! Germany certainly has plenty of castles, fairy-tale villages and places of wonder that really need to be seen, drooled over & shared!

I receive a lot of people who always ask for some great suggestions of places to visit in Germany. So now, I share with you my favorite destinations in Germany, and even a few I hope to make it to!

1. Schloss Neuschwanstein

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THE most fairytale-like, romantic castle that all hopeless romantics are drawn to create their own fairytale story. Built by the mad King Ludwig II of Bavaria, it was never completed after his untimely death. Since its creation, it has inspired even people like Walt Disney!

2. Heidelberg 

Heidelberg, Germany - California Globetrotter

A historic town perfect for hopeless romantics to loose their hearts strolling the banks of the Neckar and wandering the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle.

3. Munich’s Oktoberfest

A Beginners Guide to Oktoberfest, Munich Germany - California Globetrotter

A 16-day festival for the people is a must for those who love beer, crowds and a good time! This festival has been a yearly event since 1810 after it began to celebrate the marriage between King Ludwig I to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

4. Munich’s Marienplatz

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Besides Oktoberfest, visitors are drawn to the historic city center where they can find the old city hall which dominates Marienplatz. It is said this is the most beautiful square in all of Germany and is the heart of Munich!

5. Munich’s Hofbräuhaus

Munich, Germany - California Globetrotter

Most people come to Munich for two things: Beer and Oktoberfest. It is an absolute must to experience one of Germany’s most famous Beer Halls: Hofbräuhaus. Locals who carry on true Bavarian traditions can be seen enjoying their beer while wearing traditional Tracht.

5. Frankfurt’s Ostzeile on the Römerberg

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Another one of Germany’s most stunning squares is the Römerberg square in Frankfurt am Main. The Neo-Gothic style town hall has been the seat of government for over 600 years.

6. Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate

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No other monument in the world is quite as famous as the Brandenburg Gate as it became a symbol for freedom, democracy and the reunification of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

7. Reichstag

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The seat of government for Germany, people are attracted to the capital building for several reasons, one of which is the beautiful glass dome that was added.

8. Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie

From 1961 to 1989 Berlin was divided into several sections, partitioned by Britain, the US, France and Russia. When one wanted to leave one, they had to go through a Checkpoint. The American sector is the most popular stopping point.

9. The Berlin Wall

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From Wikipedia

From 1961 to 1989 the city of Berlin was divided in two by cold, stone walls. In 1989, the concrete walls were finally torn down as freedom and democracy rang. Today, small portions of the wall remain as a historical monument, covered in graffiti and art depicting images from a time long gone.

10. Loreley Rock in the Upper Middle Rhine

The Loreley am Rhine - California Globetrotter

Located on a small strip of island in the Rhine River, a statue of the melancholy Loreley siren sits on a rock as she combs her golden hair. Her beauty and songs temporarily distract sailors as they cruise round one of the most difficult parts of the river to navigate before becoming shipwrecked.

11. Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bavaria, Germany - California Globetrotter

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a small town that packs a big punch of endless historical, colorful, medieval half-timbered houses. Considered one of the most picturesque towns in Germany along the Romantic Road.

12. Cologne’s Cathedral

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Picture from Wikipedia

One of Germany’s most beautiful Gothic architectural cathedrals and the most visited landmark in Germany. With it’s two large spires, it has the largest façade in the world.

13. Dresden’s Frauenkirche

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Built between 1726-1743, the Church of Our Lady has had a rough history. Badly destroyed during a 1945 air raid, it sat in ruins until 1994 and was finally reconsecrated in 2005. Today it incorporated pieces of the original structure with new material, built to its former glory.

14. Rüdesheim am Rhine

The Darling Storybook Town of Rüdesheim am Rhine, Germany - California Globetrotter

The gateway to the Upper Middle Rhine Valley and the endless vineyards, Rüdesheim is set in an idyllic location with picture perfect, European half-timbered style houses.

15. Chiemsee & Schloss Herrenchiemsee

Chiemsee & Schloss Herrnchiemsee - California Globetrotter

Another one of mad King Ludwig II’s castles that he built, but never finished. This castle is located on the Herreninsel (island) on Lake Chiemsee and was built as a replica to France’s Palace of Versailles in honor of the ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV. Although it is a much smaller scale, the Hall of Mirrors is definitely worth a visit as well as the stunning gardens.

16. Schloss Linderhof

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Of the three castles that mad King Ludwig II of Bavaria built, only Schloss Linderhof was completed before his untimely death. The King chose to live here in part because of its secluded location, as well as because of the splendor of the castle. One of the most popular attractions here is the Venus Grotto which was designed after stories from Richard Wagner.

17. Schloss Nymphenburg

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Located on the outskirts of Munich, this beautiful palace is definitely a must for visitors who love stunning stucco artwork, beautiful architecture and lush gardens with hidden treasures!

18. Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) in Berchtesgaden

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Built for and gifted to Hitler for his 50th birthday, it is one of the few locations that were not destroyed after the war to prevent Neo-Nazi gatherings. Instead, this beautiful house was saved as a feat of architecture for its era and was reinvented as a restaurant with breathtaking views of the Berchtesgaden National Park.

19. Königssee & St. Bartholomew’s Church

Königssee, Bavaria - California Globetrotter

One of Bavaria’s most unspoiled, fjord-like lakes, it is a must for those who truly appreciate the beauty of nature. Enjoy a historic boat ride across the lake before reaching St. Bartholomews Church and even a bit further, the majestic Obersee.

20. Nuremberg’s Christkindlmarkt

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Picture from Flicker

One of Germany’s most popular Christmas markets is located in the main square in front of the Frauenkirche. People come here to stroll the market for Christmas goodies such as Nutcrackers, ornaments and of course drink some warm Glühwein with some Nuremberger bratwursts.

21. Nuremberg‘s Kaiserburg Castle

Nuremberg, Germany - California Globetrotter

Perched upon a hill overlooking the city center of Nuremberg, this castle was home to every single Holy Roman Emperor between 1050 and 1571.

22. Old Town & Cathedral of Regensburg

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The entire city of Regensburg is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site with 1,500 historic buildings in the city center as well as Stadtamhof. The cathedral is one of the only French gothic style cathedrals east of the Rhine. The historical Stone Bridge was considered the 8th wonder of the world when it was completed in 1146.

23. Zugspitze – Germany’s Tallest Peak

Zugspitze: Germany's Tallest Peak - California Globetrotter

Germany’s tallest peak sits at 2,962m high and offers endless views as far as the eye can see. Perfect year round for those who are interested in skiing, hiking or sightseeing!

24. Saxon Switzerland National Park with Bastei rocks and Königstein Fortress

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From Wikipedia

Not far from Dresden is the national park that has been sculpted over millennia from Elba Sandstone. Connected by a bridge, you can walk over the stone formations.

25. Black Forest

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Picture from Flicker

One of Germany’s most popular and stunning nature parks, loaded with hilly meadows, farmland and medieval towns. It is also home to the world’s largest Cuckoo Clock.

26. Würzburg

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Towering over the stunning city of Würzburg is the Marienberg Fortress. Würzburg is considered to be the gateway to the Romantic Road which leads to Füssen with some of the most amazing German towns and is definitely a wine-lovers paradise!

27. Lake Constance with Mainau Island, Lindau, Constance and Meersburg Castle

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Picture from Flicker

Lake Constance (Bodensee) is where the borders of Germany, Austria and Switzerland meet. The most popular attraction here is the Flower Island of Mainau, famous for its beautiful gardens.

28.  Burg Eltz

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An authentic medieval castle that was once a fortress and was later turned into a castle. This castle is one of the few castles that are still owned and inhabited the original family from over 900 years ago!

29. Old Town of Bamberg

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Bamberg is a town of historical importance and is situated over seven hills! The most popular attraction is undoubtedly the Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall) which is located in the middle of a bridge, and of course the unique taste of Smoked Beer!

30. Burg Hohenzollern

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Perched upon a hill in the Schwabian Alb, this previous fortress has evolved into a castle with multiple towers and turrets over the centuries and is a wonderful example of neo-Gothic architecture. Today, the castle still belongs to the Hohenzollern family and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

31. Aachen Cathedral

Charlemagne's Aachen - California Globetrotter

Charlemagne’s Pfalzkapelle is one of the most historical places in Germany as all future kings and queen of Germany would be crowned here.

32. Dresden’s Zwinger Palace

A Day in Dresden - California Globetrotter

One of Dresden’s most popular tourist spots is definitely the old baroque building. What looks like a palace is actually just a large garden which was once used for tournaments and festivals. Today, various types of art galleries can be found at the Zwinger.

33. Ulm Munster

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Ulm’s Minster is the absolute focal point of the city and is also known as being the world’s tallest church standing at a whopping 162 meters high! Tourists who aren’t afraid of heights can climb the steep steps to the top for a fantastic view over the city!

34. Schloss Ludwigsburg

Schloss Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemburg, Germany - California Globetrotter

What was once a simple hunting lodge has over time evolved into a beautiful, sprawling palace. Today, people love to visit the Germany’s largest baroque palaces because of it’s stunning gardens and of course for the delicious annual Pumpkin Festival.

35. Oberammergau

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Picture from Flicker

One of Bavaria’s most traditional and idyllic villages with stunning art depictions of Bavarian life is home to the Passion Play which is performed every ten years. Located neat the foothills of the Alps, Oberammergau is the perfect village for all things traditionally Bavarian.

36. Schloss Lichtenstein

Schloss Lichtenstein - California Globetrotter

This beautiful castle is considered to be a Gothic Revival Castle in Baden-Württemburg which was built to replace an older version of the castle. Today, it is one of the most fairy-tale like castles that pays homage to the Middle Ages.

37. Reichburg Cochem

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Cochem castle is perched high above the Moselle and is one of the highest fortresses along the river. Tourists enjoy this region for the stunning beauty of the wine valley and endless amounts of castles lining the river. Not far is also the Loreley.

38. Monschau

Monschau, Germany - California Globetrotter

Tucked away in the hills of the North Eifel lies a historic and picturesque half-timbered town which has remained vastly unchanged over the last 300 years. Today it has over 300 historically protected half-timbered houses making it one of the top contenders for the title of “most picturesque town in Germany”.

39. Schloss Hohenschwangau

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Towering over the small village of Schwangau, this beautiful castle sits across from the more famous castle of Schloss Neuschwanstein. It became the official residence of King Ludwig II while he was working on his masterpiece.

If you’re interested in visiting Germany and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide! Without these guides, I would be lost! This is my travel Bible!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

Be sure to check out these other posts about Germany:

A Quick History of Traditional Bavarian Beer Gardens

The Romantic Castles of King Ludwig II of Bavaria

What is the Difference Between a Burg or a Schloss?

Heidelberg’s Romantic Christmas Market

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Author: California Globetrotter

At 14 I started traveling the world with my parents and was hooked! By 21 I was studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. By 26 I sold all of my belongings and bought a one way ticket to Germany to teach English. Little did I know, I'd meet the love of my life and end up traveling to the most romantic and idyllic towns in Europe and becoming a long-term expat in Bavaria! My name is Lorelei and I'm just your typical CaliGirl, Sunset Chaser, Fairytale Dreamer, Dress Lover, Traveloholic, Beer Drinker!

49 thoughts on “Top Places to Visit in Germany!

  1. Great post! I put many of the places in google maps to see how far I am to that place from here in Lodz, Poland by road. Dresden is near and so is the Saxon Switzerland park, they both look pretty. I should give them a thought. Thanks for sharing!🙂

  2. Number 11 is my favorite!🙂
    Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a lovely town!

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  5. The Saxon Switzerland park is definitely my favourite – I’d never heard of it until I read your post. I’ve spent a couple of weekends in German cities but much prefer the countryside, I’ve heard the Black Forest is very beautiful.#Mondayescapes

  6. I’m so glad you included the Chiemsee in your list! I think I’ve been able to enjoy about 1/3 of this set of attractions, and thanks for providing even more wonderful places in Germany for me to find while I live here! Californian expats in Germany are the best!😉

  7. So many wonderful things to see in Germany! This is such a useful guide. I’ve been on vintage car rallies in rural Germany a couple of times but haven’t done any proper sightseeing so this is very useful for when I do. Visiting from #MondayEscapes

  8. Amazing list!! Sooo many places I still haven’t been to!! You definitely saw more of Germany than I did😀
    This weekend I will finally visit Dresden, so I can tick off some of these items!

    Always happy to have you on #MondayEscapes😀

  9. Germany has so many beautiful places, some of these I have seen and enjoyed, others like Munich and Dresden are high on my itinerary for next time. Thank you for sharing your top 39 with us at #TheWeeklyPostcard

  10. Thanks for sharing your great story and photos on #TheWeeklyPostcard, Lolo. You’ve certainly put together is a wonderful collection of places to visit around Germany. We’ve been to many of the same places and every one has been worth the time. Everyone who speaks of Munich says they should have spent more time there so it is definitely on our list. And there’s one more place: I’ll confess to just the tiniest bit of envy because we haven’t had an opportunity to experience the Christmas markets yet. *sigh*

  11. Great post with so many places to see and experience in Germany. You’ve reminded me of one or two that we definitely need to get to back to since we haven’t been in twenty years!

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  13. Great places to discover! We’ve been exploring redwood trees here in Scotland and think we’d love to travel to California to see some real big ones! #MondayEscapes

  14. I lived in Germany for eight years (U.S. Military Brat and when I was in the Air Force) and have been to almost all of these places. I would also recommend visiting each one if you are fortunate to visit Germany for any extended period of time.

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  16. HI, I am a German living in the US since the last 3 years. I really like your top places to visit. But there are some places everybody forgets about -> Northern Germany with places like Hamburg, Rostock, Warnemuende, Sylt. For example Hamburg, it is the second largest city in Germany and the 8th largest in the EU. Hamburg was build in AD 808 and has more bridges than Venetia/Italy.
    So if anybody visits Germany, please make sure you visit also those places.🙂

  17. We are off to Munich in the summer, so we’ll let your blog be our tour guide!
    #CityTripping

  18. Visiting again from #citytripping. Thanks so much for linking up. Reading your post again, I’m really drawn to Regensburg. So many wonderful things to do in Germany!

  19. We have just returned from Berlin and apart from the capital and some cities bordering France, Germany remains largely undiscovered for me. This is despite retaining some reasonable school learnt German. A shocking waste I know! Thanks for this list, you’ve provided a lot of inspiration. I fancy going Schloss tripping now.

  20. Great suggestions – I lived in Germany for a year while I was a student, and definitely made the most of a railcard by trying to visit as many cities as I could. There are still plenty on my list to discover, but I loved the cathedral in Cologne (not too far from where I lived) and visiting Berlin. There are so many fabulous castles and cathedrals and culture to discover, something which I think people often forget. #citytripping

    • That’s one thing I will never understand about a lot of Europeans. I’ve met so many people who overlook the castles and cathedrals they live near! There’s so much beauty right here and many don’t care or forget!

  21. Fantastic post!! I love Germany, it’s so underrated as a travel destination. Thank you for sharing your tips #citytripping

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  23. Wow! Your list included a bunch of places I’ve been and a bunch of places that I haven’t! Thanks for sharing! I’ll be adding some of these places to my bucket list!🙂 #citytripping

  24. Great informative post. I want to go to all of the places! I have a young family are there any places you can recommend?

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  29. Great post – I’m German and I have been to almost all the places you mentioned. For me Bamberg is the loveliest city (no wonder, it’s where I live 🙂 ) – and I love Ulm, the Zugspitze, Berchtesgaden and the Black Forest! However, I live also traveling abroad because I’m a language teacher and a language blogger – and I would like to use “my” foreign languages. Thanks to your post I’ve decided to go to Nuremberg within the next two weeks.

  30. Love your list of places to visit in Germany. We are traveling there next month from southern California and I’m looking for some unusual things to see while there, or tours to take that are not your normal tourist things to do. I’ve been several times myself, but this will be my husbands first trip. We are starting in Nurnberg, Munich, Garmish, Baden Baden, Rothenburg and home again. Any suggestions would be helpful and appreciated.

  31. The Harz mountains are also a stunning place to visit – especially if you’re a fan of fairy tales. These mountains are literally the home of many Brothers Grimm tales! There aren’t enough Panettone shades of green to capture the beauty. The people are very friendly, the food is delicious, the history incredible and the scenery magnificent! I’d live there if I could!

  32. Hi, thanks for this amazing article! In Germany, there have countless beautiful places to visit! And my special one is Berline it’s covered by parks and forests, rivers, gardens as well as lakes.

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