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...........

 

One of ‘Mad’ King Ludwig II’s Bavarian castles, Linderhof Palace is the smallest of the three and although it doesn't have any dramatic turreted towers, it does feature a grand staircase leading to the entrance and sumptuous formal gardens and fountains. King Ludwig used the palace as his own personal hideaway and hardly ever received visitors here but that didn’t stop him decorating it on a grand scale.

One of the prettiest towns I’ve visited in Europe has to be Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Southern Germany, and whilst it’s a hugely popular destination year round, perhaps the best time to visit Rothenburg is at Christmas time.

Postcard-worthy villages tend to feature heavily on my European itineraries so it was with great anticipation that I headed to Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany. Situated at the north end of the aptly named ‘Romantic Road’, a 410-kilometre tourist drive which passes through irresistibly pretty villages, Rothenburg more than lived up to its reputation as a charming fairytale town.

In the centre of the fairyale German town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Christmas comes 365 days a year. The town is the home of the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Village and the German Christmas Museum.  Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014, the Käthe Wohlfahrt brand has grown to now include numerous other shops in Rothenburg and various locations in Germany, France and Belgium. 

It’s no wonder Walt Disney styled his Fantasyland Castle on Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle. Bavarian King Ludwig II was fascinated by all things Wagner, and back in 1867 he commissioned the building of the impressive Neuschwanstein Schloss (Castle), not far from the Hohenschwangau Schloss where he grew up in picturesque Bavaria. The castle was to be a place of retreat for Ludwig II where he could immerse himself in a dream world – the Middle Ages, a period which fascinated him.

Berlin is one of the most-visited cities in Europe but unfortunately I'm yet to get there myself.  To find out some of the secrets to get the most out of a visit to Berlin, I asked Svetlana Monastyrsk from Germany Tourism to help.  Svet lived in Berlin for a year during her student days and now returns to the city she loves as often as possible. She agreed to share some of her 'insider' tips to Berlin with us.

When I'm visiting Europe, there's nothing I enjoy more than discovering a quaint village or town that's off the tourist trail. Whether you find them by luck or a tip off from a friend, visiting these towns offers a real insight into how the locals have been living for hundreds of years. Sadly, they don't always stay 'hidden secrets' as people uncover their charms.

Germany is a true all year round holiday destination. Warm summer weather showcases historic medieval villages and stunning castles at their best, whilst the delicious smells of gingerbread, roasting chestnuts and mulled wine will tempt your tastebuds at one of the many Christmas markets during winter.

Enjoy a great family day out at Legoland Germany. Located about an hour and a half from Munich near the city of Ulm, Legoland (Germany) is a great place for both adults and children. Whilst it is basically a theme park with the usual rollercoaster–type rides, the added bonus are the fascinating models of animals, buildings, cars and people, all made from thousands of Lego bricks. In fact, 50 million Lego blocks were used to create the park!