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!
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!
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 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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
Perched upon a hill overlooking the city center of Nuremberg, this castle was home to every single Holy Roman Emperor between 1050 and 1571.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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!
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!
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 Pfalzkapelle is one of the most historical places in Germany as all future kings and queen of Germany would be crowned here.
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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”.
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!
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