Vacationing in Germany offers a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that is truly captivating. Travelers have a plethora of options to choose from when exploring this stunning region of Europe, with its numerous historic cities, charming small towns, and vast forests and mountains.
Travelers interested in sightseeing or experiencing the arts should consider visiting major cities like Munich, Frankfurt, or Hamburg. If you are seeking leisurely pursuits, why not plan a trip to destinations like the stunning Bavarian Alps, the enchanting Black Forest, or the Rhine Valley?
There are numerous charming old cathedrals and impressive palaces to explore. In the quaint towns and villages, with their well-preserved medieval Old Towns (Altstadt), you can witness age-old customs such as festive Christmas markets, fairs, and festivals.
Berlin is located at the cultural center of Germany. This lively city, with its plenty of museums and galleries, serves as an excellent starting point to discover the other attractions that the country has to offer. Germany’s great outdoors offers a plethora of possibilities for nature enthusiasts.
To plan your travels, make sure to check out our list of the top tourist attraction & things to do in Germany for ideas and suggestions.
1. Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
The Brandenburg Gate is a must-see for travelers. It was constructed in the late 18th century with the intention of serving as a symbol of peace. The gate is one of Germany’s most famous sights and symbolizes the country’s reunification.
The towering structure measures 26 meters in height and features sculptures inspired by the classical Greek style. Throughout the years, visiting the Brandenburg Gate has been a popular destination for travelers interested in experiencing its rich history and significance in various historic events. One of the significant events to witness during travel is the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Today, many travelers come here to witness it, capture a photo with it, and reminisce about where they were when that significant moment in history occurred.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Berlin: Best Areas & Hotels
Neuschwanstein Castle is a must-visit travel destination for fairytale enthusiasts. This 19th-century palace is situated atop a rugged hill that provides breathtaking views of the charming village of Hohenschwangau in Bavaria.
King Ludwig II commissioned the construction of a retreat that would evoke the romanticism of the Middle Ages. The castle was almost completed in 1886 when the king was declared insane and found dead a few days later.
The castle is a stunning representation of Gothic Revival architecture, making it one of the most beautiful destinations to visit in Europe. The picturesque setting of the Bavarian Alps and its breathtaking design has been a source of inspiration for many literary works. The castle is a popular travel destination, especially for fans of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
To explore the inside of Neuschwanstein, travelers must join a guided tour. If you do, you will be able to observe its exquisite décor, furniture, and murals.
Experience the iconic 16-day Oktoberfest festival held annually in Munich from late September to the first weekend in October. The festival is a popular travel destination and draws in millions of visitors from all over the world.
Experience the festival’s beer tents, traditional German cuisine, lively music, and thrilling rides. It also offers various travel experiences such as sightseeing and adventure activities.
Oktoberfest originated in 1810 as a celebration of King Ludwig I of Bavaria’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Since then, it has grown into a world-class international event.
To fully immerse themselves in the experience, numerous travelers don traditional German clothing. For males may choose to dress in lederhosen. For women may need to wear dirndls. All of which enhance the lively ambiance of the destination.
Read More: How to spend 2 days in Munich, Germany
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Munich: Best Areas & Hotels
4. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg, an old Franconian imperial city, is a must-visit destination on Germany’s Romantic Road tourist route. Nestled on the scenic banks of the River Tauber, this destination boasts impressive walls and towers that have remained unchanged since the historic Thirty Years War in 1618.
This medieval town is a perfect travel destination, with its well-preserved architecture and picturesque charm. Joining a walking tour is one of the most popular activities to do while traveling in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. If you are looking to explore on your own, start by grabbing a map from one of the tourism offices in town.
There are endless opportunities to explore, such as visiting notable buildings like the impressive 13th-century Town Hall (Rathaus) and the delightful Ratstrinkstube, or Council Tavern, constructed in 1466, featuring a fascinating clock. While traveling, you should definitely visit the St.-Georgs-Brunnen fountain which was constructed in 1608 at the end of Herrngasse. Another must-see attraction is St. James’s Church, which features a beautiful high altar that dates back to 1466. Lastly, make sure to check out the Imperial City Museum.
Strolling through the historic streets and admiring the stunning architecture is an unforgettable travel experience, particularly when visiting the Plönlein, which is considered one of the most charming locations in town. After all that traveling, conclude your trip by dining at one of the many fine restaurants scattered throughout the city.
During your winter travels, make sure to visit this destination for its renowned Christmas Market that attracts visitors from all over the country and beyond.
5. Black Forest
The stunning Black Forest, known for its thickly forested hills, is a highly popular destination in Europe. Located in the southwest region of Germany, stretching 160 kilometers from Pforzheim to Waldshut on the High Rhine, it’s a perfect destination for travelers who love hiking.
The Black Forest region offers stunning views of lush valleys and rivers such as the Rhine, upper Neckar, and the Danube. The west side of the forest features steep descents, while the east side slopes more gently. Travelers can explore Germany’s oldest ski area in Todtnau, relax at the luxurious spa facilities in Baden-Baden, and enjoy the charming resort town of Bad Liebenzell.
One of the must-see attractions is the breathtaking Black Forest Railway. The travel destination is Triberg, known for its famous waterfalls and the Black Forest Open Air Museum located in the town.
What’s the best way to explore all the destinations? Embark on a journey along the Black Forest Panoramic Route, a scenic 70-kilometer drive that offers breathtaking views of the region’s natural beauty and top historic landmarks. Discover magnificent castles and explore charming medieval towns and villages along the way with the help of a map.
6. Reichstag Building, Berlin
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Berlin is the Reichstag (Reichstagsgebäude), which serves as the seat of Germany’s government. Built-in 1894, the Neo-Renaissance style structure is infamous for burning down in 1933. After German reunification, it was rebuilt to its former glory and now stands as a beautiful travel destination.
One alteration that occurred was to the Kuppel, the central dome of the building. Instead of opting for a conventional wood or metal dome, the decision was made to utilize glass, resulting in the transformation of the area into a significant tourist destination.
Tourists can relish stunning cityscapes from this location, which become even more breathtaking after sunset. If you are looking to enjoy an evening view, make sure to catch a stunning sunset from the Rooftop Restaurant on-site. Summer concerts and light shows at the Reichstag offer a stunning travel experience. Guided tours in English language are also offered for travelers.
7. Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is a must-see landmark in Cologne and is widely regarded as the greatest Gothic cathedral in Germany. It is one of the largest and most famous structures of its kind in Europe, making it a must-see destination for travelers. The cathedral was constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries. However, the construction of it was halted and only finished until the late 19th century.
The city is famous for its twin spires that can be seen from various parts of the place. The destination is also known for its intricate stained-glass windows that range from the 14th to the 20th century.
While traveling, you can visit the cathedral that displays numerous significant works of art. One travel destination is the Shrine of the Three Kings. This is a popular attraction as it is believed to house the bones of the Three Wise Men.
8. Frauenkirche in Dresden
Dresden is a fascinating travel destination that showcases an inspiring tale of rebuilding following the devastation of WWII. In the old city center, you can explore the stunning Frauenkirche, a grand church that was constructed in 1743 and regarded as a prime illustration of Baroque style throughout Europe.
When you visit the church today, it’s hard to imagine that it was destroyed during the war. Thanks to the hard work and diligence of locals, the city has been reconstructed after German reunification.
The restored interior of the church is a must-see for travelers, especially the rebuilt high altar that remains unchanged since the church’s construction. Make sure to also seize the chance to explore the church dome and enjoy the breathtaking views of the city. Visit the attraction’s website to find out about upcoming concerts and events, as well as its regular service schedule. Visitors are always welcome to check it out.
9. Hohenzollern Castle
If you’re looking for a historical and architectural gem in the Southwest of Germany, Hohenzollern Castle in Hechingen is a must-visit. This stunning castle was built in the 12th century and boasts Roman-inspired architecture. The castle has been visited by many travelers in its eight hundred years of existence. At this point, this place was visited by the Hohenzollern family, who gave their name to the German royal family.
Travelers can now explore the castle-turned-museum that offers extensive tours all year round, except during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Tourists can explore the museum’s collection of artifacts, which includes paintings and intricate wall hangings depicting biblical scenes.
10. The Rhine Falls
Schaffhausen is a great travel destination known for its stunning bridges and the Rhine Falls, next to the German border. The falls are a must-see destination for travelers visiting Germany, as they are the biggest falls in Europe and offer stunning natural beauty.
Travelers are always amazed by this natural wonder, with an average flow of 600 m³/s, which is two-thirds of that of Niagara Falls in the US. You can easily access the spectacular natural beauty of Rhine Falls from the German border, even though it is in Switzerland.
Travelers to the Rhine Falls can enjoy the sensation of standing at a great height above the waterfall and hearing the powerful vibration and roar of the waves. Travelers can also enjoy stunning boat rides to the Rhine Falls Basin, visit the neighboring castles, and marvel at the impressive rock formation at the heart of the waterfall.
11. The Berlin Wall
When traveling to Berlin, it is essential to visit the remaining parts of the Berlin Wall, despite its lack of picturesque scenery. Constructed in 1961, the wall is a significant representation of the Cold War era that followed WWII. It spanned approximately 155 kilometers before its demolition in 1990.
Fortunately, today you can visit small graffiti-covered sections of the wall that remain as stark reminders of the more than seventy people who died trying to escape from the East. You can visit sections of the preserved wall while traveling, such as a short stretch at Checkpoint Charlie and a section at Humboldthafen opposite the Reichstag Building where the victims of the wall are listed.
The Berlin Wall Exhibition and Berlin Wall Memorial are both noteworthy travel destinations, featuring permanent exhibits related to the historic Berlin Wall.
Lindau is a charming southern German town. It is located close to the Austrian border on an island in Lake Constance (Bodensee).
The city has around 3,000 residents and is linked to the mainland via bridge and train. Lindau, with its medieval and half-timbered structures, is a famous tourist destination.
One of its primary attractions is its quaint port, which has a Bavarian Lion monument and a stone lighthouse with lake and mountain views.
Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings are also held in the town. An annual gathering that brings together Nobel laureates and young scientists.