Five incredible places to visit in Germany

Date: 26 February, 2020
Five incredible places to visit in Germany
When it comes to the best places to visit in Germany, you're in luck: there's a helluva lot to see and do, plus plenty of ways to travel around Germany without spending too much on transport. While the international popularity of Munich's annual Oktoberfest shines a spotlight on the nation's appreciation of great beer, there's so much more to Germany than ale and Lederhosen.

For nature-lovers or outdoorsy types, there are lots of different places to see (think: biking along idyllic countrysides, drinking warm mulled wine by the fireside, and camping in the depths of the Black Forest). Admirers of art, music and architecture will appreciate the pace of Berlin, Hamburg, or Munich; vibrant cities which are also popular among those who enjoy lively nightlife or alternative scenes. And anyone who wants to understand the country's entangled place in history will appreciate the​ ​informative tours​, historical monuments, and endless museums committed to both preserving and grappling with the nation's recent past.

Where to visit in Germany?

If you have the time to really get out and explore a few different destinations around Germany, then you will not be disappointed. There truly is something for everyone, whatever you want from your holiday here. Here's our list of the five best places to visit in Germany.



If it's culture or interesting architecture you're after, head to Berlin, the German capital and former divided City. Whether it's the giant Brandenburg Gate, glass-domed Reichstag Building, or the ring of historic museums known as “Museum Island”, there are plenty of fascinating architectural and historic monuments to Germany's chequered past throughout sprawling Berlin.

Berlin cityscape in GermanyOf course, there's so much more to Berlin than fascinating history and sights, so we recommend getting those boxes ticked early on in your visit to Germany's biggest city on a free walking tour of Berlin with a knowing, lovely local guide. Then you'll be free to see, do, and experience everything the freest city in Europe has to offer.

Save money eat Currywurst cheap​Try Berlin's best currywurst under a train station, ​climb to a bar atop a shopping mal​l ​to see the sun set, and jump on stage to sing karaoke with talented drag queens at ​Monster Ronson's. Ranging from the tame (peer at animals at Hasenheide park) to the extreme (think: legendary DJs at warehouse techno parties), in Berlin you can have it all. If you'd like to delve deeper into the alternative sides of Berlin too, don't worry, we've got you covered there too!

See More: Our guide to Where to Stay in Berlin.

It's cheap and easy to travel to and from Berlin by ​train​,​ ​bus,​ ​or plane (head to Tegel Airport or Schonefeld). The same is true once you are here: buses, trams, ​above and below-ground trains​ run frequently (all night long on weekends), and the city is generally well-connected via public transport. A one-way ticket within “the ring,” or the most central area of the city, will run you about 2.80 Euro. Don't forget to stamp your ticket before getting on the trains to avoid any accidental fines. If you stay at least a week or more, it might be worthwhile to consider a week-pass or other package tickets to save on the fares.



To get close to the harbor, head to the northern city of Hamburg, which is lined by the Elbe River and has a beautiful, historic port. The second-largest city in Germany, Hamburg has its own neat, sophisticated charm that distinguishes it from Berlin and other German cities. Tree-lined residential streets lead to chic designer shops and classy cocktail bars along the harbor, and the city is dotted with colorful bohemian neighborhoods like Altona and St. Pauli and the city oozes a cosmopolitan-cool vibe mixed with traditional German culture​.

hamburg city of bridges in germanyIt's Hamburg where the famous classical composer Brahms was born and, fittingly, Hamburg is home to stunning concert halls such as the Elbphilharmonie. You'll hear some of the best contemporary classical orchestras and operas, along with a range of musical styles and shows, on other beautiful stages and in intimate clubs throughout Hamburg.

If you're travelling in Germany with children, Hamburg is an ideal city as there is plenty to get them entertained for hours, such as the ​Miniature Wonderland​, the world's biggest model railway station.

miniature wonderland in hamburg, GermanyHowever, if you're seeking something a little more adult, get to the ​Reeperbahn​ on a Saturday night. It's a loud and rowdy place of fun where the city's varied nightlife scenes tend to converge.

And, if you do like the locals and party your way straight through to Sunday morning, you can pick up pick up Sunday brunch from the biggest market in the city where you'll find all kinds of farm-fresh fruit, produce and seafood from tons of different vendors. It's in St. Pauli, the home of the cult-favorite ​soccer club​ of the same name. Expect to see tons of folks donning hoodies and shirts with the team’s emblem, a skull and crossbones.

See more: Hamburg is one of our recommended Weekend Trip Destinations from Berlin.

Getting to Hamburg from Berlin takes about 3 hours on ​Flixbus​ for about 8-15 Euro, or you can ​hop on the train​ for an even faster trip. Or, fly directly into ​Flughafen Hamburg​, the city's international airport, from wherever else in the world you may be coming from. Travel within Hamburg is easy, though it's a bit more expensive here than in Berlin, so prepare to pay a little more for travel within the city limits.


The Black Forest

If you're looking to connect with nature, either for your entire vacation or even just as a day-trip, then The Black Forest should be top of your list of places to visit in Germany.

Campers, hikers and anyone who loves the outdoors will want to visit the Black Forest, the expansive, densely forested region spanning about 11,000 square kilometers in the southwest of Germany. You can explore the hills, lakes and valleys by bike, on foot, or even on horseback if you so please.

Black forest in GermanyStay in a guesthouse or camp under the stars along the Black Forest Railway, Or ski down Germany’s oldest range at ​Todtnau​, spend your day relaxing at the spa at Baden Baden, or check out the waterfalls in Triberg. You can also visit the ​Black Forest open-air museum​ here. You’ll encounter numerous castles and medieval towns along the Black Forest Panoramic Route, the 70 kilometer driving route that is hands-down the best way to absorb the beautiful scenery here.



When it comes to places to visit in Germany, the Bavaria region stands out as an exceptionally beautiful one. And, out of all the places to visit in Bavaria, ​Bamberg​ is considered one of the most picturesque parts of the region to explore. This historic medieval town is beautiful for the crisscross of rivers and canals that intersect its ancient roads, and kept lively by the many pubs and cafes that line the narrow sidewalks.

Try the famous smoked beer, called ​rauchbier, ​ at Klosterbräu, the oldest of ten breweries that populate Bamberg, or drink it at popular local tavern ​Schlenkerla​. Make sure to stop by Bamberg’s “Little Venice” to see the old fisherman cottages standing on poles in the water. By far the most popular attraction to see in Bamberg, though, is the ​Bamberger Dom​, the cathedral that houses a number of interesting historic and religious artifacts.

The houses and river of Bamberg in GermanyIt’s worth taking a day trip from Nuremberg to enjoy this little village, but if you want to see the twinkling lights without the crowds, consider having a romantic sleepover in this pretty town. When you’re here, you can get to various parts of the village by bus from the central bus station (which also has 12-hour luggage storage at a fee). It’s a little under a mile’s walk (1.1 km) from the train station to the old town. If walking is your preference, just remember to wear comfy shoes.



Beer and opera lovers unite! In Germany, there's a place for fans of both, and that's in ​Bayreuth​, the little town in the southeast of the country. Join the 60,000 annual visitors to Bayreuth for the Wagner Festival, where you can also visit the Richard Wagner museum, the mini-mansion dedicated to the late opera composer's greatest works and personal life.

Enjoy contemporary opera shows at the ​Markgräfliches Opernhouse​, named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008 for its grand 18th​-century baroque architecture, explore the city's expansive lush green parks, such as Eremitage, and make sure to stop for a guided tour of Frederick the Great's summer castle, located on the grounds.

Urban scene from Bayreuth in GermanyTo understand the elaborate process behind German wheat beer, check out the ​Maisel brewery​ and museum next door. Here you can take a tour of the well-known producers and learn more about how they make their wheat beer. Get ready to get buzzed: every tour ends with a frothy glass of the German ​bier.

Bayreuth is most easily accessible by train, via a transfer through the bigger cities of Nuremberg or Bamberg, both of which are just over an hour away by car. The train ride is 11.20 Euro from Nuremberg, while a day pass for two adults and two children will cost just under 20 Euro from Nuremberg to Bamberg.

Of course, there are plenty of worthwhile places to visit in Germany that we didn't get to mention today (Munich, the Rhine, and Cologne, to name but a few), but we wanted to make sure to include a couple of lesser-promoted places for you to consider if you're wondering where to visit in Germany. Have you been to any of these wonderful German towns and cities yet? Let us know if so, what you recommend there, or if you recommend any other cities and towns to visit in Germany.
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