Best Places to Visit in Germany
Known worldwide for the annual Octoberfest, Germany also has some very interesting and beautiful places to visit. Germany has some of the most beautiful scenery, breathtaking castles and many historic sites to see. Here is a list of the top places definitely worth taking the time to visit.
The Rhein River can be found between the cities of Bingen and Bonn. The landscape here is beautiful where you will see around 40 medieval castles, cute little villages and many vineyards. The best way to get the most out of the Rhein River is to take a cruise on the river.
Cologne is on the Rhein River in the state of Westphalia and is one of the most popular places to see in Germany. It was one of the most heavily bombed cities in Germany during WWII. Here you will see the Cologne Cathedral which is a magnificant gothic style church. There are more than 30 museums in Cologne and many galleries. It is a city rich in art and history. The night life here is exciting as well.
Heidelberg is another popular tourist attraction. It is located in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and is the fifth largest city in Germany. Hapustrasse (mainstreet in the old Heidelberg part of the city) is full of bars, restaurants, museums, shops and markets. There are many historic things to see in Heidelberg such as the medieval Old Bridge and the Heidelberg Castle. There are many hiking trails, but one in particular, Philosophenweg, is a trail that is a must if you enjoy hiking.
The Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Germany. It is nestled in the Bavarian Alps and close to the town Fussen. This castle was the inspiration to the popular children's movie, Sleeping Beauty. It is one of the most photographed castles in the world and definitely worth a visit. View a virtual tour of the Neuschwanstein Castle here.
Munich is where the famous Octoberfests are held. It is the capital and largest city of the state of Bavaria. Aside from the annual Octoberfest, you will also find many opera houses and theaters. The city itself is famouse for it's mix of classic and modern architecture. There is something for everyone in Munich, whether it be the Octoberfest, arts and culture, castles, fine dining, nightlife or simply hanging out in a beer hall.
If part of your vacation plans includes Berlin, be sure to visit the Brandenburg Gate which is one of the major tourist attractions. It is actually more beautiful at night when it is all lit up. An impressive castle to see in Berlin is the Charlottenburg Palace which will surprise you with it's beautiful baroque architecture. The Television Tower is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Berlin and is a great way to view Berlin from the highest point and in 360 degrees. From this tower alone you can see the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag (Parliament building), the olympic stadium and the main railway station. There is a revolving restaurant at the top - have dinner and enjoy the views!
Leipzig is about a two hour drive south of Berlin and is the largest city in the state of Saxony. If you go by train, you will be amazed at the train station as it has the most tracks of any railway station in all of Germany and this is because Leipzig is a major point for the trains. If you like Bach, Thomaskirche (Thomas Church) where Bach played the organ is worth a visit. The Bach museum is also another popular attraction. In Leipzig you will also find the Leipzig Zoo which is considered the number one attraction.
Rugen Island is in the Northern part of Germany on the Baltic Sea and is the largest island in Germany. It is connected to the mainland by the Rugen Bridge. There are many romantic resorts, fisher villages (dating back to the 18th century) and beautiful beaches along the seaside, many of which are clothes-free. If you visit this area, make sure you visit Jasmund National Park which is famous for it's chalk cliffs which are as high as 528 feet over the sea.
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony. It is in a valley on the Elbe River and near the Czech border. This city was known as the "jewel box" because of it's baroque and rococo city center. Some interesting things to see and do would be to take a boat trip on one of the historic paddle steamers on the Elbe River or visit the Green Vault in the Dresden Palace. The Green Vault is like a treasure chamber and filled with interesting and stunning artworks of gold, silver and gems. It also houses the largest green diamond in the world. Bruehl's Terrace is the garden of the Royal Palace and definitely worth a visit. If you are interested in Baroque architecture, be sure to visit the Zwinger Palace.
Lubeck is the largest German port city on the Baltic Sea and was the first German city to be bombed during WWII. It was rebuilt retaining most of the medieval architecture and is a popular tourist attraction. Lubeck is also the only city in the North end of Germany that has an extensive medieval old city. One of the churches that is a "must see" is St. Marien where it has been said that Bach failed an interview to become the organist. The original bells are still lying where they fell after WWII, and the architecture of this church will leave your breathless.