Tips and Inspiration for your European holiday


Munich city view


Why visit Germany? It’s a vast country with a diverse landscape, fascinating history and long-established customs that make any trip to Germany one you’ll always remember.


This Germany travel guide will help you choose where to go in Germany as well as providing you with plenty of Germany travel tips.


You’ll find links below to many of my Germany travel blog articles, all written to help you plan a wonderful Germany vacation.


Where is Germany?

Germany is located in north-central Europe.  It is one of Europe’s largest countries and borders the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark.

 
Map of Germany


Best places to visit in Germany

One of the first steps in planning a vacation is deciding exactly where you would like to visit.  City stays are always popular and two of the best cities to visit in Germany are:

  • Munich - Famous for its Oktoberfest and the 1972 Olympic Games, Germany’s third largest city is home to Baroque architecture, priceless artworks, world class museums, royal palaces and easy access to the stunning Bavarian countryside.

  • Berlin - The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and Charlottenburg Castle are just some of the things to see in Germany’s capital city.  Whatever your interests, you’ll find something to appeal.


You can always base yourself in a city and do day trips to other nearby towns, just like these day trips from Munich.


If it’s smaller towns and villages that appeal to you, there are endless choices.  Why not consider including these German towns in your itinerary?

  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Regarded as the most famous town of the Bavarian Alps, GaPa is situated at the foot of Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze.  It’s a popular holiday resort all year round.

  • Fussen - With pastel-coloured houses lining cobbled streets, Fussen is the quintessential chocolate box town.  The town has plenty of sights worth seeing but it’s the nearby Neuschwanstein Castle that has really put Fussen on the tourist map.

  • Passau - Situated where the rivers Danube, Ilz and Inn meet, Passau is a charming medieval town watched over by the imposing Veste Oberhaus.

  • Oberammergau - Home to the world-famous Passion Play which is staged by the village’s residents every 20 years, Oberammergau is worth a visit at any time of year.

  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber - One of my favourite places to visit in Germany, this fairytale town is one of the star attractions on the Romantic Road tourist drive. 

  • Boppard and Bacharach - Germany’s Upper Middle Rhine Valley is dotted with quaint villages and ruined castles and it is easy to spend a few days meandering along the river enjoying the sights.

  • Berchtesgaden - Perfectly located in the Bavarian Alps and surrounded by stunning scenery, this alpine town offers plenty to do. Top attractions include the Eagle's Nest and Lake Konig (Konigssee).


Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany


Things to do in Germany

Whatever your interests, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Germany.  Amongst the most popular Germany tourist attractions are:

  • Neuschwanstein Castle - King Ludwig II’s famous castle is believed to be the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.  Whilst the exterior is impressive, inside the opulence and grandeur will blow your mind.

  • Linderhof Palace - Another of Ludwig’s palaces, Linderhof is smaller and more traditional in design than Neuschwanstein but no less grand on the inside.  It also boasts formal gardens and impressive fountains.

  • Legoland - A fun day out for the whole family is guaranteed at Legoland Germany. Featuring impressive models of animals, buildings, cars and people made from millions of Lego blocks, there are also a range of theme park rides including rollercoasters.  

  • Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Stores - For anyone who loves Christmas, the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Stores in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Oberammergau, Rudesheim, Berlin, Heidelberg, Nürnberg and Bamberg are a must-visit.


Christmas in Germany

Christmas is a really special time in Germany with most cities and towns hosting markets and festive celebrations.  There are an enormous range of fun ways to celebrate Christmas in Germany as you can read in this article.


Dresden Christmas market


Planning a trip to Germany

With your ideal destinations finalised, you’ll need to decide how you’ll travel around.


The German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) offer frequent services across their extensive rail network with ICE (Intercity Express) fast trains running on many routes.


If you prefer the freedom to travel at your own pace and will rent a car, the German road network is excellent with multi-lane autobahns connecting most of the larger towns and cities.  One scenic route definitely worth considering is Germany's Romantic Road - you can read my suggested itinerary on this link.


A hassle-free way to explore Germany is on an organised coach tour.  There are a range of tours to suit every style of traveller - click here to see what Germany tours are on offer


Flights to Germany

One very important part of your trip to Germany is the flights.  Before you buy your plane tickets to Germany, I suggest you read my tips for getting the best value flights in this article.


Happy travel planning!  Scroll down to read all my Germany travel articles...........

 

Once a Middle Ages trading route, Germany’s Romantic Road now winds through 460 kilometres (286 miles) of picturesque landscapes and quaint medieval towns bursting with culture, cuisine and castles. 


This road in Southern Germany takes you from Wurzburg to Fussen, and was rebranded as a tourist route in the 1950s. It has attracted starry-eyed foreigners ever since. 

Tucked away in the southeastern corner of Germany in the picturesque countryside of the Bavarian Alps, the historic town of Berchtesgaden and the neighbouring Berchtesgaden National Park marks a must-see location for anyone passing through this part of Europe. 

Garmisch–Partenkirchen, or GaPa as it’s known for short, is billed on its own website as “the most famous town of the Bavarian Alps.” To be fair, it does have a legitimate claim to this title as looking down on the town is Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze. 

Although it is most widely known for its once-every-decade Passion Play that is staged in town, there are plenty of other reasons that make a visit to Oberammergau worthwhile.  Outdoor pursuits like hiking and skiing are just two of the things to do in Oberammergau, a pretty Bavarian town which is also home to plenty of history and some unique - and beautiful – handcraft traditions.

 

With its steep sided banks lined with pretty half-timbered buildings and topped with medieval castles, it’s no wonder that UNESCO declared the 65 kilometre stretch of the Rhine River from Koblenz to Bingen/Rudesheim a World Heritage Site.

Ask anyone who is visiting Germany at Christmas what they plan to do, they’re bound to tell you that they’ll visit a German Christmas market.  With over 150 Christmas markets in Germany there are plenty to choose from, but there are many other unique and fun things to enjoy in Germany at Christmas time, too. 

My visit to Passau came about by chance.  My husband and I were staying at the small village of Niederranna on the Danube about 35 kilometres upstream from Passau and although I’d heard and read a lot about the town, it wasn’t one I intended to visit on that particular trip.  I'm really glad, though, that circumstances meant I was able to spend one day in Passau, Germany.

More often than not there’s just not time on your European holiday to visit everywhere you want to. A whistle-stop tour of multiple cities, towns and villages is downright tiring so why not base yourself in a central location for a few days and head out for a day trip or two?


Munich is the perfect city to use as your base as it is close to the gorgeous Bavarian countryside, romantic villages and famous cities – and there are plenty of day trips from Munich to enjoy.

Many travellers overlook Fussen as they pass by on their way to the region's most popular tourist attraction, Neuschwanstein Castle, but it offers plenty of things for the visitor to see and do.  After spending a few days in Fussen, I've found at least six fabulous reasons why you should visit this charming Bavarian town.