12 x Best Places to Visit in Germany

Last Updated On January 10, 2023

Germany, located in the heart of Europe, now has the continent's most strong economy. However, Germany is undoubtedly best known for its World War II past and even more recent periods when the country was divided into East and West; everyone is familiar with the Berlin Wall, which came down less than 30 years ago. This vast European country has a wealth of culture, natural beauty, and even older history to explore.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany

Photo by Rachel Davis on Unsplash

Much of this can be found in Bavaria, southern Germany, where you may enjoy the Bavarian Alps, visit some incredibly attractive medieval villages, and participate in the historic Oktoberfest. In the north, you can visit beaches and historic Hanseatic port cities. Berlin's famous clubs and massive museums dazzle, as does Frankfurt's skyscraper-filled cityscape. With this list of the greatest locations to visit in Germany, you can plan your vacation to this fantastic European travel destination.

1. Berlin

Berlin, Germany's federal state and capital city, is widely known for its World War II history and the Berlin Wall's divide between East and West Germany during the Cold War. Since the historic wall fell in 1989, Berlin has become a big, cohesive metropolis with a diverse ethnic population and abundant sightseeing attractions, culture, and nightlife.

Many tourists see Berlin's notable historic structures, such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and the Holocaust Memorial. Although most of the Berlin Wall has been dismantled, several sections remain around Checkpoint Charlie and the Reichstag.

Berlin is well-known for its high concentration of museums, particularly Museum Island, which has spectacular treasures, temples, and even reconstructed villages from many of the world's old civilizations.

However, Berlin is more than just history. Berlin has something for everyone in the family: two zoos, swimming lakes, public parks, and hundreds of nightlife places. Annual events in Berlin include the Long Night of the Museums, the Carnival of Cultures, and the glitzy Berlin Film Festival.

2. Romantic Rhine

The Middle Rhine, which runs between the German cities of Bingen and Bonn, flows through the Rhine Gorge, a remarkable geological structure. This region is known for its breathtaking scenery, which includes historic castles, beautiful villages, and terraced vineyards. After aristocratic travelers paid great attention to the area during the Romanticism period of the nineteenth century, the area became known as the Romantic Rhine.

The Romantic Rhine, which inspired poems, paintings, operas, and stories, is now a popular tourist attraction in Germany. A trip down the Romantic Rhine provides spectacular views of historic castles perched practically every hillside. These castles ranged from ruins to fortifications and grand palaces and were built between the 12th and 14th centuries.

The Marksburg Castle is one of the best preserved, with the others being Stolzenfels, Pfalzgrafenstein, the Electoral Palace, and the Stahleck Castle, which offers overnight lodging.

The picturesque villages along the Rhine Gorge, bathed in color and history, provide superb sightseeing options, cafes, shops, and hotels. Bacharach's environment of half-timbered buildings, cobblestone streets, and terraced vineyards are charming.

3. Hamburg

Hamburg has long been one of Europe's most active and most important ports, located on the banks of the Elbe River and only a hundred kilometers from the North Sea. It was once a member of the Hanseatic League and is now Germany's second-largest city, known for its nautical identity and throbbing nightlife.

The canals and waterways that run through town are vital to the city's existence, history, culture, and heritage. For example, the impressively new Elbphilarmonie concert venue can be found next to the waterfront as a historic brick warehouse. The city's exquisite Neo-Renaissance Rathaus is a major landmark.

Hamburg is also well-known for its sleazy red-light district, home to live music venues, chic cocktail bars, and trendy clubs. It was on the Reeperbahn that The Beatles got their big break and permanently transformed the music industry.

4. Munich

Munich is best known as the birthplace of the world-famous Oktoberfest, but it is also a significant worldwide research and technology powerhouse. Munich, the capital of the state of Bavaria, is Germany's most prosperous city, featuring research universities, multinational corporations such as BMW, and cutting-edge science museums such as the Deutsches Museum.

Munich, though, is not all business. This dynamic city has one of Germany's top cultural scenes, with sophisticated opera houses and theaters such as the National Theater. The city center has an appealing mix of traditional and modern architecture, with old churches, medieval walls, royal palaces, lively shopping malls, and art galleries.

5. Heidelberg

Unsurprisingly, Heidelberg is a famous tourist destination with historical gems, including the ancient Old Bridge, Heidelberg Castle, Church of the Holy Spirit, and Knight St. George House. The main street in the city center, Haupstrasse, is lined with bars, restaurants, open-air cafes, stores, and marketplaces selling items like beer steins, cuckoo clocks, and German sausages.

Things taste, an outdoor amphitheater outside Old Town, was originally built by the Nazi regime to promote propaganda events. This fascinating location hosts concerts, festivals, and other important events today.

6. Lubeck

Lubeck, Germany's largest Baltic seaport, is located in Schleswig-Holstein, the country's northernmost state. Lubeck, founded in 1143, served as the Hanseatic League's capital seat for several centuries. Despite being the first German city bombed and damaged during WWII, Lubeck has preserved much of its medieval architecture and is a popular tourist destination.

The city's Old Town, dominated by seven Gothic cathedrals, provides an appealing environment of romantic medieval architecture interwoven with modern-day infrastructure. A stroll through the small streets reveals ancient monuments such as the majestic cathedral, the 12th century Town Hall, the famed Holstentor (the old city gate), and the house of Thomas Mann, the 1929 Nobel Prize winner for Literature. A stroll along the city's port provides access to tours of old Hanseatic warehouses and antique trade vessels converted into museums.

Lubeck is well-known for producing marzipan, a type of dessert. According to local mythology, marzipan began in Lubeck during a time of hunger when almonds and sugar were the only essentials available.

7. Dresden

Dresden, the powerful capital of Saxony, is a vibrant city with one of Germany's most famous cultural centers. It is home to numerous architectural catches, including the magnificent Zwinger Palace, one of the finest specimens of Baroque architecture, the spectacular Brühl's Terrace, and the stately Dresden Frauenkirche. This Lutheran cathedral dominates the city's skyline. Dresden's allure stems from its gorgeous location on the Elbe River and its appealing neighborhoods and glorious green spaces.

8. The Mosel Valley

The Mosel Valley, with its stunning terraced vineyards, half-timbered medieval villages, and mountaintop fantasy castles, is one of Germany's most breathtaking vistas. This 195-kilometer-long and tranquil Rhine tributary flows between Trier and Koblenz. It is one of the country's top white wine-producing regions. Highlights include Trier, a great Roman city; Cochem, with its towering castle and picturesque riverfront promenade; Beilstein, a peaceful village; and Traben-Trarbach, an attractive Art Nouveau town.

9. Bamberg

Visit this little medieval city in northern Bavaria to feel transported back in time. Bamberg is famous for being the home of vital Enlightenment-era writers and philosophers such as E.T.A. Hoffmann and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. In addition, Bamberg has a beautiful position along the Regnitz river and a collection of great architectural gems, such as the Romanesque Bamberg Cathedral and the Old Town Hall. But the trip to the New Residence Palace would be complete with seeing the lovely rose garden.

10. Neuschwanstein Castle

Germany is home to the breathtakingly stunning castle that inspired Walt Disney's depiction of the palace at Disneyland. Schloss Neuschwanstein, located in the Bavarian Alps, is the crown gem of Europe's fairy-tale castles and one of the most famous sites to visit in Germany. Ludwig II of Bavaria commissioned the beautiful palace completely for pleasure in 1869, and it is noted for its elegant spires that shoot up from the trees.

11. Berchtesgaden

Visit Berchtesgaden for a beautiful vacation in the Bavarian Alps. Berchtesgaden National Park, located on the Austrian border, captivates visitors with its vast peaks, cascading woods, deep valleys, and Alpine lake and river. Begin your adventure by driving through the magnificent Rossfeld Panoramastrasse, and continue south to the breathtaking Lake Königssee and the Eagle's Nest, a mountainside beer garden. If you enjoy skiing, come in the winter when Jenner Mountain is covered in snow.

12. Cologne

Cologne is a lovely city in Germany, whether you're searching for culture, entertainment, or relaxing thermal spas. It has one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world, a bustling art scene, and some of the most upbeat residents. It is Germany's fourth largest city and, together with Berlin, one of its most libertine attractions.

Cologne's most magnificent landmarks include its UNESCO-listed cathedral (Kölner Dom), the Hohenzollern Bridge, noted for its love padlocks, the Altstadt (Old Town), with its wonderful historical buildings and monuments, and the stylish Agnesviertel and Belgian Quarter.