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...........

 

Whilst backpackers and twenty-somethings flock to Munich for the city’s annual Oktoberfest, the Bavarian capital is more than just a beer-swiller’s paradise. Germany’s third largest city is a modern, sophisticated city with a history steeped in tradition and a legacy of Baroque architecture and priceless artworks.

With blue skies, green meadows and majestic mountains, the Bavarian Alps make a delightful region in which to spend some time on your European holiday. Close to Munich and Innsbruck, the Bavarian Alps are a hikers paradise but there's something on offer for everyone. Here are three of our favourite places in the Bavarian Alps in which to spend some time.

One of Germany’s oldest holiday routes, the Castle Road – or Burgenstraße – stretches for 770 kilometres between Mannheim and Bayreuth, taking in some sixty castles, palaces and stately homes along the way. 


Meandering across almost the entire width of southern Germany through the states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, the route dates back to 1954, although many of the castles in Germany that it links together – such as those at Heidelberg, Colmberg, and Nürnberg – were first constructed several centuries ago during the medieval period of independent princely states.

Berlin-wallGermany has perhaps the most complex of all national histories. This is a country which has been in the centre of Europe’s history for thousands of years. The Germans themselves are a diverse group of regional peoples having a common language and ancestry but spread over a large area of Europe and even Russia. Every single part of Germany has an extraordinary story which few foreigners know. When you come to Germany, bring a few reference books, your travel insurance and an open mind, because you’ll learn things you never suspected about this fascinating place.

This article has been updated and included in a more comprehensive article on Europe's Christmas markets.  You can read the new article by clicking this link.



As the festive season approaches each year, more than 2,500 atmospheric Christmas markets take place across Germany, getting everyone into the holiday spirit. Germany’s vibrant and industrial Ruhr region, the 2010 European Capital of Culture, is a surprisingly atmospheric place to experience the Christmas markets. Starting in mid-November, slightly earlier than other Christmas markets, the cities of the Ruhr are illuminated in a festive blaze of lights, with wooden huts displaying exquisite arts and crafts and culinary temptations.

 

Wartburg CastleUNESCO World Heritage sites are outstanding testimonies to the history of mankind and nature: silent yet eloquent witnesses to magnificent cultural achievements and natural phenomena. Only the most exceptional examples are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and enjoy the special international protection associated with that status.  Germany has no fewer than 33 UNESCO sites across the country.

 

audi-museum-150German cars are famous around the world - names such as Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen and Opel are internationally renowned for top quality and innovation. They also represent the heritage and ingenuity of the country where the first cars were developed exactly 125 years ago.