German flag in front of magnificent old building under a clear sky in Germany

Discover the Top 10 Reasons to Visit Germany

Known for its turbulent past, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, Germany offers a plethora of reasons to visit. This article will delve into the top reasons to visit Germany, providing an in-depth look at its diverse attractions and experiences. Keep reading for information on top landmarks, cities, cuisine and historical sites- but be warned; you may be tempted to start immediately planning your next big trip.

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1. Iconic Landmarks

Brandenburg Gate at night
Brandenburg Gate

Germany is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the world, each with its own unique history and significance. The Brandenburg Gate, located in the heart of Berlin, stands as a symbol of unity and peace, making it a must-see for visitors. Other must-see landmarks in Berlin include the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

The stunning Cologne Cathedral, with its intricate gothic architecture, is another marvel that showcases the country’s rich heritage. The Frauenkirche Dresden meanwhile, the Lutheran church in Dresden, is a stunning reconstruction of the original, which was destroyed in the Allied firebombing campaign of the Second World War.

Furthermore, Leipzig’s Monument to the Battle of the Nations (Völkerschlachtdenkmal in German) which took place in 1813 commemorates the historic battle against Napoleon.

2. Cities and Their Unique Charm

Germany’s cities are a great starting point from which to explore the country. The vibrant capital of Berlin, known for its eclectic blend of history and modernity, is a testament to Germany’s resilience and innovation. Visitors can explore landmarks like the Berlin Wall, take tours of the German Parliament building (the Reichstag) and explore the many markets and buzzing nightlife. Berlin also serves as a gateway to Europe for many travellers, due to its international airport.

In contrast, cities like Munich exude a more traditional charm, with its historic architecture and lively beer gardens. The city’s Marienplatz, with its famous Glockenspiel, offers a captivating display of Bavarian culture and craftsmanship. Other cities worth exploring include Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg and Nuremburg.

Ultimately, each city in Germany boasts its own unique character. We advise booking a tour if visiting for the first time, as it’s a great way to get to know a new city, get recommendations for the rest of your visit, and meet like-minded travellers. Get Your Guide offers tours in multiple German cities, as well as other activities.

3. Rich Cultural Heritage

museum building next to water on a sunny day
Bode Museum in Berlin

One of the most popular reasons to visit Germany is to explore its rich cultural heritage, evident in its art, music, and literature, all of which have made significant contributions to the world. The country’s museums and galleries house a wealth of artistic treasures, from renowned masterpieces to contemporary works.

The Berlin State Museums, with their extensive collections spanning various periods and styles, offer a comprehensive overview of art history and are a good place to start. They are composed of seventeen museums, each with a different focus, five of which are located on the famous Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Additionally, the Bauhaus movement, which revolutionised modern design, has left an indelible mark on Germany’s cultural landscape. Visitors can explore the legacy of Bauhaus in cities like Weimar and Dessau, where the movement’s influence is still palpable.

Good to know: You can book tickets to a huge number of Germany’s museums and galleries on Tiqets. The platform features many attractions, and offers same day booking as well as booking well in advance.

4. Vibrant Festivals and Events

Germany’s calendar is replete with vibrant festivals and events that celebrate its diverse traditions and cultural heritage. The world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich, with its lively atmosphere and traditional beer tents, attracts millions of yearly visitors from around the globe.

The Cologne Carnival, known for its exuberant parades and colourful costumes, is another highlight that showcases Germany’s penchant for revelry. Moreover, the Berlin International Film Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious film festivals in the world, draws cinephiles and industry professionals alike.

5. Delectable German Cuisine

sausages and beer
German food

Given other European nations’ reputations (we’re referring to you, Italy and France) food may not be at the forefront of your mind in terms of reasons to visit Germany. However, German cuisine is a delightful fusion of hearty flavours and time-honoured recipes that reflect the country’s diverse culinary heritage. From savoury sausages and schnitzels to delectable pastries and cakes, Germany’s gastronomic offerings can definitely compete with its European siblings.

The bustling food markets, such as the Viktualienmarkt in Munich and the Markthalle Neun in Berlin, offer a cornucopia of local produce and artisanal delights. Moreover, the country’s beer culture, with its centuries-old brewing traditions, provides a refreshing complement to its hearty cuisine.

You can explore the traditional beer gardens and Michelin-starred restaurants independently, or join a food tour in any of Germany’s cites. Follow this link to Get Your Guide for a selection of options; they include Cologne and Düsseldorf brewery tours, a Hamburg chocolate-making workshop and Berlin street food tours and set menus.

6. Historical Sites

The country’s historical sites are often one of people’s main reasons to visit Germany. Many wish to pay their respects at sites leftover from the country’s recent past, such as Dachau and Sachsenhausen concentration camps, as well as the many memorials to victims of the Second World War. The Berlin Wall Memorial in particular, with its poignant exhibits and preserved sections, provides a sombre reflection on Germany’s tumultuous history.

Going further back in time, sites ranging from ancient Roman ruins to medieval castles offer a compelling narrative of the country’s past. The Roman remains in Trier, including the Porta Nigra and the Roman Bridge, stand as a testament to Germany’s ancient legacy and architectural prowess.

The medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber meanwhile, with its well-preserved city walls and half-timbered houses, also transports visitors back in time to a bygone era (as well as being a filming location for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).

7. Breathtaking Natural Landscapes

Beautiful meadow overlooking the Bavarian mountains on a clear day in Germany
Bavaria

Germany’s diverse natural landscapes, from the enchanting Black Forest to the picturesque Bavarian Alps, offer a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The Rhine Valley, with its vineyard-clad hills and majestic castles, provides a scenic backdrop for leisurely cruises and idyllic hikes. The Spreewald Biosphere Reserve meanwhile, with its intricate network of waterways and lush forests, offers a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace just an hour from the bustling capital.

Germany is also home to sixteen stunning national parks. One of the most famous, the ruggedly beautiful Saxon Switzerland National Park, beckons adventurers to explore its untamed terrain, featuring towering sandstone formations and verdant valleys. Germany’s national parks and nature reserves are all easily accessible from major cities to small towns, due to the country’s excellent infrastructure.

These natural landscapes showcase Germany’s unspoilt beauty and provide a sanctuary for visitors seeking respite from the urban bustle. Popular summer activities include hiking, biking, camping, and swimming. Meanwhile, winter activities include skiing and snowboarding.

8. Germany’s Celebrated Architecture

Germany’s architectural landscape is a captivating blend of historical landmarks, modern marvels, and innovative urban spaces. The striking glass dome of the Reichstag building in Berlin, designed by architect Norman Foster, is a great place to get panoramic views of the city. You’ll be able to see everything from historic landmarks to contemporary architecture, and admission is free, although you’ll have to book in advance.

Outside Berlin, the avant-garde Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, with its wave-like facade and state-of-the-art concert hall, stands as a testament to the city’s cultural renaissance and architectural innovation. Furthermore, innovative urban developments in cities like Stuttgart and Frankfurt showcase Germany’s forward-thinking approach to sustainable design and urban planning. These architectural marvels embody Germany’s progressive spirit and dedication to shaping the cities of tomorrow.

Good to know: Architecture is often covered on guided walking tours, especially if you take a tour of an Old Town (there are Old Towns in multiple cities). If you do decide to learn about Germany’s architecture this way, check beforehand with the tour provider how much of a focus it will be.

9. Magnificent Castles and Palaces

Neuschwanstein Castle under a cloudy sky
Neuschwanstein Castle

Germany’s landscape is dotted with magnificent castles and palaces. These regal abodes transport visitors to a bygone era of opulence and grandeur, inviting them to partake in the country’s royal legacy.

The fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle, perched atop a rugged hill in Bavaria, inspired the iconic Disney Sleeping Beauty castle and continues to captivate visitors. On the other hand, the opulent Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, with its sprawling gardens and rococo architecture, offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of Prussian royalty, while the imposing Wartburg Castle, steeped in history and legend, served as a refuge for Martin Luther and remains a symbol of Germany’s cultural heritage.

Good to know: Most castles and palaces are open to public, and you can explore them after paying a small entrance fee. For those located in rural locations, you can either reach them independently (more on transport later) or you can join a guided tour as a day trip from a city. Potsdam is less than an hour from Berlin, and many tour providers operate day trips to Neuschwanstein and nearby Linderhof Palace from Munich.

10. Safety in Germany

Perhaps one of the most important reasons to visit Germany is its renowned commitment to safety and security. It consistently ranks amongst the top twenty most peaceful countries on the Global Peace Index, and is a good option for both families with young children and solo female travellers.

The country’s low crime rates and stringent safety measures ensure that visitors can explore its attractions and urban spaces with confidence and ease. Whether strolling through bustling city centres or meandering along tranquil nature trails, you can enjoy a sense of security and comfort.

As with any destination, however, you should exercise a basic level of caution. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times, and avoid walking in unlit areas alone at night.

If you require emergency assistance in Germany, dial 112 to contact emergency services.

Planning Your Trip

When planning a trip to Germany, it is essential to consider practical aspects such as currency, accommodation, transportation and the best time to visit in order to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience.

Currency

The official currency in Germany is the Euro (€). Visitors can exchange their currency at exchange offices, or use ATMs, which are readily available in urban centres and tourist areas. However, it may be cheaper to exchange your currency before you arrive in Germany.

Accommodation

When it comes to accommodation, Germany offers a diverse range of options, from luxury hotels and boutique guesthouses to budget-friendly hostels and holiday apartments.

We particularly recommend using hostels in major cities, as they’re both clean and affordable. There is also the added bonus of the opportunity to meet like-minded travellers, which is especially useful for solo travellers and nomads. In smaller towns and villages, stay in a local guesthouse in order to immerse yourself in German culture.

Transportation

In terms of getting around, the country’s efficient transportation system, including its extensive train network and well-maintained roadways, provides convenient access to its various regions and attractions.

Travellers can also explore Germany’s cities and countryside using public transport such as trams, buses, and subways, which offer a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to get around.

You can use Trainline to find and book train tickets. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to make your own way around the country, check out Discover Cars for a car rental.

Best Time of Year to Visit Germany

The best time to visit Germany largely depends on your preferences and the experiences you want to have. Spring, from April to June, offers mild weather, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities and cultural exploration. Summer, from July to August, brings warmer temperatures perfect for partaking in outdoor events.

Autumn, from September to October, showcases the country’s picturesque foliage, while winter, from November to February, transforms Germany into a winter wonderland, perfect for visiting Christmas markets. Ultimately, each season offers a different perspective on Germany’s charms, ensuring that visitors can tailor their trip to their interests and preferences.

Final Thoughts on Reasons to Visit Germany

We could go on all day listing even more reasons to visit Germany, but ultimately, it’s up to you to discover for yourself what an incredible destination it is. Germany’s allure as a travel destination is undeniable, with its iconic landmarks, rich cultural heritage, vibrant festivals, delectable cuisine, and breathtaking natural landscapes captivating visitors from around the world. The country’s celebrated architecture, magnificent castles, and commitment to safety further enhance the appeal of exploring its diverse regions and experiences. So, whatever your interests, start planning your next trip!

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