Located in the heart of Europe, Germany has historically been and still is politically, economically and culturally influential and the largest EU member state by population and economic output. Known around the world for the Oktoberfest, car brands, football, and beer, it is also leading the world in banking and insurance companies.
The country is probably best known for its World War II history and the country`s more recent times when it was split into East and West, everybody is familiar with the Berlin Wall, which came down about 30 years ago. There`s is a load of culture, rich history and natural beauty that makes Germany a famous tourist destination for so many.
Germany is a beautiful, varied country with an impressive culture and endless travel opportunities. It has deep forests, fairy-tale castles, and picture-perfect towns are something that you shouldn`t miss. The following destinations, with their impressive architecture and indisputable charm, are hands down the most beautiful places to visit in Germany.
Berlin is one of the most interesting cities in Europe, and certainly the one that has changed the most in the last 20 years. Cologne is home to one of the most impressive cathedrals in the world with a thriving art scene and some of the most high-spirited locals. Nestled on the River Elbe, Germany`s second-largest metropolis, Hamburg, offers fascinating historical architecture, striking futuristic buildings and some of the best nightlife in Europe. It also has a treasure-packed historic center, and more bridges than any other city in the world.
Germany`s most scenic drive, the Romantic Road, offers visitors the opportunity to explore the rich culture, charming scenery, and medieval character of this fantastic country. Running between Wurzburg and Fussen, it leads travelers through Bavarian Alps most stunning attractions, including the spectacular Neuschwanstein Castle, the baroque city of Würzburg, Rothenburg ob der tauber - the best preserved medieval town in the country, and the enchanting Pfaffenwinkel region, famous for its rolling countryside sprinkled with picturesque villages and pilgrimage churches. Add to all these some excellent beer, the most beautiful Christmas Markets, and an abundance of activities and you`ll soon wonder why in the world you haven’t visited Germany earlier.
Like all popular European destinations, Germany sees visitors throughout the year – rain, snow or shine. And all of these are a possibility depending on when you visit Germany. Every season in this country has its charm, as well as its pitfalls, so when to go depends on your travel type and what activities you`re interested in.
Generally speaking, the best time to visit is during the `shoulder seasons` from March through May and from late October through November. The weather may be a bit chilly, but you`ll enjoy lower prices and fewer crowds. The summer months bring warm temperatures and lush landscape, but keep in mind, that it can get uncomfortably crowded. You will also need to be aware of the events and festivities that take place throughout the year that will bring in influx of tourist and increase in hotel rates. Here is an overview of Germany in all four seasons that will help you decide what`s the best time of year for you to visit. For more information, check out: Best Time to Visit Germany.
We recommend 7-10 days based on what you want to see and do. We offer flexible vacation packages so you can select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities. We suggest a minimum of 3 nights in larger cities.
There are many ways to explore Germany, depending on your itinerary and budget. Find out how you can best travel around the country from renting a car and driving down the Autobahn (one of the densest and best maintained highway networks on earth), to enjoying a relaxing train ride. All modes of transportation are up to a high modern standard.
By Train: One of the best ways to discover Germany (and Europe at large) is by train. Deutsche Bahn or `DB`, the German railway system, is very well developed and reliable, and if you book tickets in advance (180 days before departure at the earliest) it can be surprisingly affordable. You can reach almost every city in Germany by train; not to mention that watching the German landscape stream by your window is a very relaxing and comfortable way to travel.
Regional trains are now run by a variety of private operators as well as Deutsche Bahn subsidiaries, but they can all be booked through bahn.com. Long distance trains on the other hand are almost all run by Deutsche Bahn. Those few that aren`t have to be booked through the operating company.
By Car: Germany has a world-famous network of excellent roads and Autobahn (motorway) with no toll or fees for cars. Although public transport in Germany is excellent, those who choose to drive will find the road network fast and efficient as well. Like most of Europe, Germany drives on the right-hand side.
Check in advance on whether your non-German driving licence is valid in Germany. Otherwise, you may risk a heavy fine or up to one year in jail. For longer stays most foreign licenses are not valid no matter what your residence status is. If you plan on driving on a longer stay (several months or years) try getting a European drivers license that is usually valid throughout the European Union.
Germany offers many scenic drives that will lead you past picturesque villages, medieval castles, and unspoiled countryside. From the Romantic Road to the Castle Road, from the Fairy Tale Road to the German Wine Route, are some of the roads best traveled in Germany.
For more information about driving in Germany, consult our guide by clicking here Driving in Germany.
The currency of Germany is the Euro. US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for euros upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the major cities. For more detailed information, consult our guide by clicking here Tipping in Germany.
English may be spoken at your hotel and in the tourist areas, but not everywhere. We suggest you get a good English-German guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.