You’re Looking For Beautiful Places in Germany? Keep Reading!
If you find yourself looking into Germany vacation ideas and ask yourself “What is famous in Germany?” – you’re going to be in for a huge surprise! Germany is a country that is loaded with beautiful old towns, castles, cathedrals, and bustling cities. Just look at a map of Germany and you’ll find that the German countryside is full of amazing and unique places to visit like the northern seaside coast, thermal baths, dense forests, and even mountains!
Since Lisa is German, we like to think we know a bit about travelling in Germany. From great hostels to detailed Germany travel itineraries and hidden gems, there’s plenty to know before you travel. That said, we certainly aren’t experts. That’s why we’ve asked a number of travel bloggers to tell us about their favourite beautiful places in Germany. Of course, beauty is always subjective, but that’s what makes this article so interesting. So let’s check out these tips for some of the top places to visit in Germany as told by the bloggers who know them best!
Please note: The bloggers originally wrote their contributions in German – Lisa later translated them into English. So while you might not get the most perfectly written article, you will get a ton of interesting and helpful insider-knowledge from local Germans!
A city that easily made this list is Heidelberg. We (Penguin and Pia) visited recently and it instantly became nef of our favourite cities in the whole country. That’s not an exaggeration – we just had such a positive experience in Heidelberg!
The city has a rich history that dates back to its founding in the 12th/13th century. It was also one of the few cities that wasn’t bombed in World War II. This is a big part of the reason why the beautiful architecture is still very much intact to this day.
Situated in the Rhine Rift Valley, the city isn’t overly large with a distinct newer area to the east and the classic old town to the west side of the city centre. You can start your journey at Bismarkplatz (a hub for public transit) and then head down Hauptstraße through shops, restaurants, cafes, and more.
As for beautiful attractions, the Old Town is loaded with them. You’ll find the most famous attraction – Heidelberg Castle – sitting atop a hill at the east end of the old town. You can go up and go inside – we did it was worth the visit.
Another thing you can do is take a cable car (Bergbahn) to the top of Königstuhl for amazing views. Back on the ground, be sure to check out the Old Bridge over the Neckar River, and climb the tower in the Church of the Holy Spirit for great views from within the Old Town! If you want to learn more, you can check out our guide on exploring Heidelberg!
Are you looking to snap a photo of one of those classic Germany attractions you always see? Then you’ve probably seen the Old Town Hall above – and it’s in Bamberg! This small city in Bavaria packs a ton of beauty into one area. Located to the north of Munich, Bamberg sits on the Regnitz River and features a medieval old town core that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.As for beautiful attractions to check out, there’s the Bamberger Dom (Cathedral) from the 13th century. We wandered into the Neue Residenz Bamberg and checked out the beautiful Rosengarten (Rose Garden). From there, you can even see the Michelsberg Monastery on the hill in the distance.
Back in the lower old town, the cobblestone streets will inevitably lead you to the famous Old Town Hall (you can check out the museums inside). You’ll also have to give “smoke beer” a try at the famous brewery Schlenkerla which has been brewing beer since the 1400s!
Walk the river a little more north and you’ll pass Little Venice – an area of colourful wooden buildings that line the river and make for a great photo! If you want to plan a visit, you can check out our detailed post on things to do in Bamberg.
Another city on this list that has a long history shaped by the water is Bremen. Located in the northwest of Germany, Bremen’s seafaring history includes shipping and trading since the Weser River cuts through the city. You might have heard the tale of the singing donkey, dog, cat, and rooster? Called “The Town Musicians of Bremen”, these famous characters from German fable can be seen around the city in multiple different places!
We got to explore Bremen and had an amazing time doing it. There are a number of beautiful places and attractions that you have to check out like the town Roland statue and St. Peter’s Cathedral. Of course, you can’t miss the historic City Hall that sits on the main Market Square. Another great area to explore is “Schnoorviertel”- a small area of medieval wooden houses that connect to the city’s maritime past!
Another fascinating area to explore is the Böttcherstraße with its red-brick architecture. This is also where you can find the Glockenspiel House and listen to its tune! If you’re planning a trip, check out our post on things to do in Bremen!
Another city in Germany that we really loved was Regensburg. Located north of Munich, the city sits along the famous Danube River. It’s no wonder that with its place along one of Europe’s longest rives, Regensburg has a long history of trading and shipping. The city is so important (and well preserved) that the entire Old Town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the incredibly preserved medieval architecture!
When we visited Regensburg, we could certainly tell that this Old Town was different than some of the others we had explored in Germany. There are a bunch of highlights to check out – like the Old Stone Bridge which was built in the 12th century, St. Peter’s Cathedral, St. Emmeram’s Abbey, the colourful buildings at Haidplatz, and the Altes Rathaus (Town Hall), among others!
Overall, we found Regensburg to be a peaceful city because there’s quite a bit of green space. We stopped for lunch at a nice cafe in the old town and it really added to our overall experience. You should definitely make it a point to walk the paths along the river, too!
Freiburg im Breisgau
Located just north of the Swiss border (and very close to France, too) Freiburg is a small city that caught us off guard with its beauty. The historic Old Town features a number of sights like the Rathaus (Town Hall), the Schwabentor and Martinstor
(old city gates), and the Freiburg Cathedral. Built in the 1200s, this massive cathedral is detailed on the outside and has a super detailed, darker interior.
Beyond the Old Town, you can wander the city following the tram tracks as they snake by shops and restaurants located in older buildings. For a different perspective, you can hike higher up to the Kanonenplatz viewing area – or higher again if you want to tackle the super tall Aussichtsturm Schlossberg (city tower on Schlossberg hill). We climbed the tower to the top for amazing views of the surrounding area – but you could also take the funicular some of the way up!
Overall, the city has a youthful vibe as a university city but still maintains a connection to history and nature. Freiburg sits within the famous Black Forest region of Germany – so we’d definitely recommend a visit.
If you want a German city with a picturesque city centre and access to a sparkling lake, then you need to check out Münster. This smaller university city in the northwest of Germany is known for its Town Hall, the Münster Prinzipalmarkt, and its lake (The Aasee). Even though much of the city was destroyed during World War II, the city has been rebuilt to display its original charm.
We explored the Old Town and then sat for a coffee and a bite to eat at a cafe. It was great to take in the city vibes. You’ll notice that there are lots of bikes in Münster and that it’s a very green city. There’s even a long, tree-lined path that circles the Old Town – called The Promenade – which you could consider a “Highway for bikes”.
You’ll also find many, many churches from the Münster Cathedral to the very tall St Lambert’s Church which dates back to the 1270s. Of course, you cannot visit the city without seeing the Schloss Münster (part of the university) and visiting its Botanical Gardens behind! This city makes for a great escape – so here’s our post on discovering Münster.
As if there weren’t enough Bavarian cities on this list already, here’s one more: Würzburg. Located in the very north of the state of Bavaria, this historic city is super colourful and features many old buildings and attractions. The Main River, which runs through the city, is also a highlight. Because of the climate in this area of Germany, the city is known for its history of winemaking – a practice that continues to this day.
For a mandatory Würzburg experience, you have to sip wine on the Old Main Bridge. We took part in this tradition when we visited and sipped wine with dozens of others on the bridge as the sun set. This old bridge (Alte Mainbrücke) is pedestrian-only and connects the Old Town to the beautiful castle on the hill, Fortress Marienberg. Speaking of beauty, a hike up to the fortress means you can get amazing views of the city and surrounding area.
Beyond these sights, you can wander the Old town to find other beautiful attractions like the Würzburg Cathedral, the Rathaus, the main Marktplatz, and the grounds/gardens at the Residenz. We honestly think Würzburg is underrated so we’d suggest checking it out! You can learn more about what to see, do, and eat in Würzburg here.
Recommended by Birte from Waiting is Happiness
Anyone who hears about Flensburg of course immediately thinks about one thing: the legendary Flens beer! That, or Beate Uhse, who founded her company in Germany’s northernmost city. And if not one of those, then perhaps you’ll hear about the Traffic Offender Register – which is also located in Flensburg!
One of the best ways you can discover Flensburg (and what it has to offer) is on a walk along the Kapitänsweg. By following the tour of a 17th-century captain, you get to discover the sights of the city, which – thanks to its proximity to the neighboring country – exudes a strong Danish flair. On sunny weekends, it is possible that you will hear more Danish than German spoken on the streets.
Your tour starts at the museum harbour, where there are always lots of old ships. You can also visit the museum shipyard and the maritime museum here.
You should stop by the “Rote Straße” (Red Street) with its many small houses and courtyards. Here, you can find nice cafes and special shops – from coffee roasters to clothing boutiques to artisans. You can also find the legendary Braasch rum – did you know that Flensburg was once the rum city?
Finally, you walk through the Norderstraße to the historic Nordertor. In the trendy district of Flensburg, left-wing alternatives meet Danish minorities, and artists meet trendy shops and international cuisine. By the way: because of the shoes dangling over the heads of passers-by, Norderstraße was voted one of the 18 “craziest streets in the world” by the New York travel magazine Travel + Leisure in 2014.
Officially, your city tour ends here, but if you have a few days more in the city, you shouldn’t miss another of its main attractions – a handball game played by the current German handball champions, SG-Flensburg Handewitt!
Recommended by Monique from Aequilibrist
In the context of Coburg, four words are usually thrown around: the Landestheater, the Ehrenburg, the Veste Coburg, and the Samba Festival. That said, this city in Upper Franconia has so much more to offer: art, culture, and food, but also history and tradition.
People can see far and wide from the Veste. The medieval castle complex was formerly a fortification. Nowadays, a museum is housed here, in which you can admire various art collections. And once you have climbed the mountain on foot, you can treat yourself to a break in the castle tavern.
Down from the Veste, you walk through the castle park to the Schlossplatz. Here you can find the Landestheater Coburg and the Ehrenburg castle on opposite ends. The three-wing complex in the Baroque style also houses various exhibits. The place itself has already been used as a movie set once before!
Markets and events take place in the market square, which is surrounded by colourful buildings. Once a year, the city turns into a colourful and noisy bustle since The International Samba Festival attracts visitors from all over the world.
When strolling through the streets, you’ll find smaller and larger shops, cafes, and restaurants where you can eat. Whether you are looking for traditional Franconian food, Asian delicacies, or specialties like the Coburger Schmätzchen – there’s a ton of culinary variety.
The area around Coburg is also worth seeing. Particularly well-known for the many castles and fortresses in the area – like the castle Rosenau in Rödental or castle Callenberg, Coburg is the perfect weekend destinations for culture lovers – and is also great during Christmas time.
Recommended by Ramona from Passion & Fruits
When most tourists think of Bavaria, Munich is usually the first place they want to visit. But even if you have chosen Munich as the starting point for a tour of Bavaria, a visit to Landshut, this Lower Bavarian town, is a must.
Historic Old Town, Castle, and Abbey Basilica
Landshut was founded in 1204 and to this day the centre of the city is full of historical buildings – both residential and commercial buildings in the Old and New Town. Landshut also features a castle, which perched on a small hill overlooking the city.
The many small cafes, restaurants, and shops in the city centre are perfect for a stop in to watch the bustle of the inhabitants. The “easy going” Bavarian vibe known as “Gemütlichkeit” is easy to spot here if you have settled in a café. At lunchtime, some of the people enjoy their lunch break at the ARAN, a café that opened its branch in a historic building.
A visit to the castle Trausnitz with its impressive view over the city of Landshut should definitely be on your list of things to do. The way to the castle goes from the old town through the Ochsenklavier up to the courtyard of the Trausnitz. Afterwards, the return journey pasing by the Hofgarten is worthwhile – with a stop at the Schanzl.
The animal enclosure should also be visited, from where you then walk down towards the Freyung. You can stop directly at the Sculpture Museum, which houses artwork by Fritz König. He designed the world famous sculpture “The Sphere”, which survived the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center almost unscathed. In the Freyung, there is not only the St. Jodokkirche to marvel at – it is also the location for the Landshut Christkindlmarkt during Christmas time.
In Landshut, customs and traditions are still very important. Every 4 years, there is an event that has the city bursting with people – the Landshuter Hochzeit (Wedding) 1475. The next one is in 2021. The people of Landshut will grow their hair, throw on their medieval costumes, and celebrate “The Landshut Wedding” for four weeks which represents the marriage of Duke George with the Polish princess Jadwiga (Hedwig).
Landshut is worth a trip for those who want to immerse themselves in the true Bavarian coziness and experience customs and traditions up close. Of course, there is also a great range of culinary highlights and regional food waiting to be explored.
Recommended by Vanessa from The Travelling Colognian
A visit to Germany’s fourth largest city, Cologne, should not be skipped when travelling through Germany or Europe. I grew up in Cologne and now live here again after my studies. That’s why I’m not objective, of course. But I’ve also lived abroad several times and like traveling far and wide. Nevertheless, Cologne will always be one of the most beautiful cities in the world for me.
When it comes to Cologne, most people will immediately think of the Cologne Cathedral and you should definitely take your time to visit the city’s landmark from inside and outside. If you are interested in history, you should consider a cathedral tour. In addition, the Brauhaus Früh am Heinzelmännchenbrunnen and the Old Town attract more than five million visitors each year. Also recommended are the Brauerei Malzmühle and the Brauerei Päffgen in the Friesenstraße 64-66.
Further north, in the district of Riehl, you can find the Botanical Garden – also called Flora – as well as the Cologne Zoo and the Aquarium. The China Lights Festival takes place there daily from 17:30 to 21:00 until 20 January. Weather permitting, you can take a longer walk or bike ride along the Rhine to Rodenkirchen in the south of Cologne, where there are some nice restaurants and cafés. On the way, you’ll pass through the Rheinauhafen with the three Kranhäuser and could take a detour to the Chocolate Museum.
Street art fans should definitely take part in a street art tour in the Ehrenfeld district. Ehrenfeld is a very popular district with many nice cafés and restaurants. Especially popular is the LizBät, a crepe restaurant. My favourite brunch restaurant there is the Café Magnus closeby at the Südbahnhof, where you should reserve a table ahead of time.
In the time leading up to Christmas you can stroll through Cologne’s various Christmas markets. These include the Christmas market on the Roncalli Square at Cologne Cathedral, the “Market of Angels” on the Neumarkt, the Nikolausdorf on the Rudolfplatz, the harbour Christmas market at the Chocolate Museum, and many more.
If you come to Cologne in the summer, you should try to be in town during the “Kölner Lichter”, which takes place every year on the second or third Saturday in July. Incidentally, you do not have the most beautiful view of Cologne from the cathedral, but from the LVR tower on the right bank of the Rhine, because you can see both the panorama of Cologne and the Cologne Cathedral there.
Recommended by Daniela from Rassambla
In the middle of Swabia, right on the border to Bavaria, you will find the beautiful Ulm on the Danube. By far the greatest celebrity and pride of Ulm is the “Ulmer Münster” – the Gothic church in the heart of the city. Ulmer Münster has the highest church tower in the world at 161.5 m. Those who take the 768 steps up to the top will be rewarded with a unique view over the whole city. It is worth it!
From there one can also see the town hall, which dates back to the early Renaissance era and is clearly recognizable by its opulent exterior painting. With its frescoes and astronomical clock, it is one of the city’s most outstanding monuments.
From the town hall, it is not far to the fishing district with its beautiful old buildings directly on the city wall, through which the Blau (river) meanders into the Danube. Here you will also find the most beautiful cafes and restaurants, as well as the best pubs in the city in the evening.
Across the Danube, you can toss a glance at the Bavarian Neu-Ulm. Yes, as soon as you cross the Danube, you are not only in a different city but also in a different German state. This is something that you forget in everyday life as the two cities seem to become one hub, even if they officially aren’t.
More “negative” inhabitants would say the most beautiful thing about Neu-Ulm is the view of Ulm. Although I wouldn’t completely agree with that, the view of the Ulm old town and the Ulmer Münster from Neu-Ulm does make my heart beat faster. Ulm is especially worth a visit in July, when it is time to celebrate Ulm’s own holiday – the Schwörmontag. In 2019, it takes place on July 22.
Recommended by Vicki from Vickiviaja
Goslar is not only the city I grew up in, but also one of my favourite cities in Germany. With its medieval charm, Goslar seems cut out of a storybook. The city itself is relatively small, so you basically don’t need much time to explore the historic centre and the impressive Imperial Palace, which was once the summer residence of various German emperors.
However, take a few hours to get lost in the narrow streets and look at all the wonderful half-timbered houses that were built there a few hundred years ago when Goslar was still a very rich and important city. The small medieval town on the edge of the Harz can look back on a long history of ore mining.
Nowadays, Goslar is the perfect place to spend a relaxing weekend with ice cream or hot mulled wine (depending on the season) on the beautiful medieval market square. In addition, you can go on wonderful day trips to the surrounding Harz Mountains, where you can go for relaxed walks, hikes, and bike rides in peaceful nature. You can even go skiing.
All in all, Goslar is not only a great place for anyone interested in history, but also a perfect destination for couples, families, or solo travelers.
Recommended by Henrik from Fernweh Koch
My hometown Papenburg, which only has about 40,000 inhabitants, is certainly a rather unknown holiday destination, even though the city on the Ems attracts around 600,000 visitors every year.
Papenburg is known above all for the construction of huge cruise ships, that twice a year go on a 50-kilometre journey from the shipyard on the river Ems to the North Sea. This always attracts many visitors.
However, Papenburg also offers a lot to see for a short trip – be it the surrounding bogs or the many bridges and canals that run through the city. During a stroll through the city, you can see some old sailing ships, which were built here generations ago and now rest in the canal and are used as an open-air museum.
If you still have time and the desire, you can enjoy some of the region’s specialties in one of the many cafes along the canal. These are, for example, buckwheat pancakes and “Speckendicken”, a kind of sweet pancakes with sausage. Of course, you also can’t miss the traditional Ostfriesentee with Kluntjes and cream.
Recommended by Barbara from Reisepsycho
Off to the middle of Germany! Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia, has not only a very central location but also attracts visitors with a medieval old town. Historic buildings and pretty corners invite you to stroll through. A beautiful highlight is, of course, the Krämerbrücke – a bridge with inhabited buildings on both sides.
An ascent up the tower of the Ägidienkirche, which adjoins the Krämerbrücke, is worthwhile in any case. From above you can see not only the bridge in all its glory, but also overlook the entire old town. You also have a good view from the Citadel on the Petersberg. After a visit to the cathedral, you can take a leisurely stroll and let your gaze wander over Erfurt.
In the old town, you should pay the old synagogue a visit. It is the oldest surviving synagogue in Central Europe and contains many information about Jewish life in Erfurt as well as interesting exhibits. Among them, for example, is the Erfurt Treasure which was only found in 1998 during construction work – but it may come from the year 1349, when it was hidden during a pogrom.
Not quite that old are lots of people’s childhood memories. You can experience some of these again in Erfurt, since the TV station for kids called KIKA has given its most famous characters a place in the centre. It’s great fun to visit Tabaluga, the “Tigerente” (tiger duck) or “Bernd das Brot” (Bernd the Bread) and take a picture with them – when do you get to meet the heroes of your childhood?!
Erfurt is a colourful town. Whether medieval history, delightful shops, beautiful views or funny characters – it certainly won’t get boring when visiting central Germany!
Recommended by Beate from Reiselust-Mag
Gray houses, gray waves, gray fog – that’s how Theodor Storm felt about his hometown of Husum. At least on the day in 1852, when the author dedicated a poem to her. During our visit to Husum, we first noticed the colourful houses on the inland harbour. Then the colourful trawlers in the outer harbour and the colourful products of a second-hand shop down a cobblestone street.
The purple-coloured “sea”, for which Husum is known far beyond the borders of northern Germany, crowned our impression. We’re talking about the colour of the crocus blossom in the park of the castle outside of Husum. Yes, Husum is not at all gray, but nice and colourful – and not only in spring at the time of the crocus blossom. The city on the North Sea coast of Schleswig Holstein is worth a trip all year round.
What you should see in Husum:
- Husum Castle with several museums, a café, and a gallery
- Original preserved Storm house with yard and garden, Wasserreihe 31
- Husum inland port with National Park House and Maritime Museum
- Husum outer harbor – this is where the boats start and sell freshly caught crabs
- Castle Park at the time of the crocus blossom
Konstanz am Bodensee
Recommended by Sanne from Travelsanne
For us, Konstanz is the most beautiful city on Lake Constance. What makes it special? It is a perfect mix of young student city with international flair and down-to-earthness of the Baden region. In addition to its historic sights, Konstanz also offers countless opportunities for shopping and entertainment as well as a lively art and culture scene.
The city is famous for the “Konstanzer Seenachtsfest” with its spectacular fireworks over the lake which attracts countless tourists to the city every year at the beginning of August. To experience the real Konstanz, you should definitely avoid this weekend.
The absolute highlight of Konstanz is, of course, its location on the beautiful Lake Constance, our “Swabian Sea”, and the fantastic Alpine panorama. Visit the legendary and hotly debated harbour figure “Imperia”, which has been in the port for 25 years and is considered the landmark of the city.
Take a sea cruise with the “Weiße Flotte” (White Fleet) to Meersburg or the Mainau Island. Climb on the Konstanz Münster to enjoy the spectacular view and stroll through the historic old town with its beautiful façade paintings. The beauty of shopping in Konstanz is that there are still many small owner-managed shops.
Our absolute favourite place is the Strandbad Horn, also affectionately called “Hörnle”. On the gigantic lawn on the lake, students, tourists and locals meet for swimming and relaxing. The insider tip for dinner is the student bar “Sedir”, located next to the cathedral. They have been around for decades and have a real cult following.
Recommended by Stefanie from Reiselust und Fernweh
Bayreuth is always worth a visit. Since my earliest childhood I’ve visited this small city with 70,000 inhabitants on the Red Main regularly. Why? Because it is simply worth seeing! I’ll take you on a little excursion today and present you the most beautiful places in the city!
The Historic City Centre
The central starting point is the marketplace. In the pedestrian zone you can find many shops, cafes, and restaurants. One of my favourite restaurants is the Inn “Oskar” on the Maximilianstraße. Here, you can enjoy real Franconian cuisine in a traditional atmosphere. A few minutes from the market square is the Margravial Opera House, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012.
The Richard Wagner Festival House
The “Bayreuth Festspielhaus” with its red bricks was built in 1871 to Richard Wagner’s plans and is still one of the main attractions of Bayreuth. Once a year, the famous Richard Wagner Festival takes place here with high-profile celebrities.
The extensive park is nowadays home to both an old and a new castle, an orangery, numerous pools and many other small and large attractions ready. Particularly worth seeing is the New Castle, which was decorated in a semicircle with colourful glass streams and rock crystals. Enjoy a tasty piece of cake in the Orangery café.
The Courtyard Garden
The perfect place for walks and sights of a slightly higher class. Here you can find the Richard Wagner Museum complex with the former home of the composer. The German Freemasons Museum and the Franz Liszt Museum are also located here.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Recommended by Tina from Urlaubsreise.blog
Near the Bavarian city of Nuremberg, there is this magical town called Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which is really something special due to a completely enclosed, beautiful medieval town centre. Walking through the old town gives you the feeling of walking through another time.
You can get a fantastic view of the picturesque buildings from the old city wall – which you can walk long distances on – and the picturesque Burggarten. Incidentally, you should not miss a special attraction of Rothenburg, no matter what season you visit the town: the Christmas shop of Käthe Wohlfahrt including the Christmas Museum.
Since the small town is known throughout the world for its beauty, you should be prepared for masses of tourists. Therefore, it is advisable to find a place to sleep in the old town. This way you can enjoy Rothenburg in peace from the late afternoon onward.
Recommended by Sigrid from Sigipunkt
There are many reasons to visit Mühlhausen, Thuringia. Pretty half-timbered buildings, for example, embedded in a beautiful old town centre. With the World Heritage Region Wartburg-Hainich in front of the city gates, it is quite an interesting area. In the spirit of “culture loves nature”, a visit to the city, for example, can be wonderfully combined with a visit to the Hainich National Park or Luther’s Wartburg – which can easily be done on a (extended) weekend trip.
However, what fascinates me most about this inconspicuous city, which is relatively unknown beyond the borders of Thuringia, is its historical relevance. Thomas Münzer preached here in the early 16th century in St. Mary’s Church.
A little later, in the 19th century, Mühlhausen-born Johann August Röbling emigrated to America, participated in the planning and construction of one of the world’s most famous attractions, and thus went down in history as the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge.
However, Mühlhausen also has curiosities to offer, such as a church, which was quickly converted into a library due to lack of visitors, small canals – which give Mühlhausen a flair of a “Little Venice of Germany” – or just the “Mühlhäuser Fenstergucker”. If you can only be convinced with food, then let me tell you that the well-known Thuringian bratwurst is worth the visit – I promise!
Recommended by Isabella & Stefan from Fly Away With Me
For many smaller cities in the region it is difficult to assert themselves as a tourist destination next to Heidelberg – since this better known neighbour is just so popular. However, there is much more to discover. Schwetzingen, for example, is one such example. From the station, an avenue leads directly to the main attractions – the castle with a varied garden and the palace square in front of it.
The castle garden is maintained throughout the year with a variety of flowers, so you can always admire the colours. History and architecture fans also get their money’s worth here. As a result of the former Elector’s love for architecture you can find a Roman aqueduct, a medieval tower, and an Ottoman mosque in the park. The mosque was even named the most beautiful mosque in Germany by the Spiegel (A German magazine), even though it does not function as such.
If you have seen enough in the park, there are lots of restaurants to choose from at the Schlossplatz. From there you get a great view of the main street. With its speed limit being walking speed, it is a very popular street among classic car fans: to see and be seen.
In winter, there is another highlight in Schwetzingen: The “Winter in Schwetzingen” is a series of classical concerts. The star of the event, however, is undoubtedly the Rococo theatre in the castle building, which dates back almost to the original Rococo period.
If that’s not enough for you, visit Schwetzingen on the “Asparagus Saturday”. During this Saturday in May, the city is bursting at the seams. You can learn everything about the local asparagus cultivation and in the restaurants at the Schlossplatz you can try asparagus in all possible and impossible combinations. Enjoy!
Recommended by Stefanie from Smile4Travel
Christmas markets, Nuremberg sausages, and gingerbread – even though these cultural and culinary highlights are what Nuremberg is known for and make the Franconian city so famous, Nuremberg is much more. Nuremberg is a diverse city that doesn’t have to hide behind its large cultural offering and countless recreational opportunities. And that doesn’t even include the culinary spectrum that the Franconian metropolis has to offer.
Numerous music – both folk and cultural – festivals invite you to celebrate, dance, and feast throughout the year. In addition there are colourful (flea) markets, which are ideal for rummaging and strolling through especially in the summer months. And then there are the Franconian beer gardens, where it is hearty, happy, and sometimes boozy.
In addition, Nuremberg is a cozy and green city: Numerous parks, the banks of the Pegnitz and the immediate proximity to Franconian Switzerland and the Franconian Lake District mean that Nuremberg is far more than a classic city travel destination. With the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, Nuremberg also represents a dark aspect of German history. Nevertheless, this part of the city is also very informative and you can learn more at the documentation centre at the Dutzendteich. So a visit is worth it.
By the way, in addition to Nuremberg, there are lots of other – partly unknown – cities with historic city centres, the typically Franconian half-timbered architecture, as well as many wine and beer festivals waiting to be discovered in Franconia. So how about a small “Frankentour”? Nuremberg is the perfect starting point.
Recommended by Katja from Hin-Fahren
Speyer has over 2000 years of history and the imperial city on the Rhine is a wonderful destination. There are many highlights for visitors. Something very special is the Imperial Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Stephen, which was consecrated in 1061. For about 1000 years, the largest Romanesque church in the world has been at home on the edge of the city near the Rhine. Since 1981, the imposing building has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The visit is a real experience. In addition to seeing the interior and the huge crypt with the powerful imperial capitals, guests should not miss a climb to the tower with a visit to the frescoes by Johann Baptist Schraudolph and the Kaisersaal. From the viewing platform you get a beautiful view of Speyer and the region.
Not far away (take a small street next to the Bischofspalais) there is another attraction, the “Judenbad”. Decorated with rich Romanesque ornaments, the mikveh is the oldest plant of its kind in Central Europe and a beautiful and extraordinary place. During the subsequent stroll along the main street in the direction of Altpörtel (the city tower, which can also be climbed) with the many street cafes – where you can relax and people-watch – you almost feel like you are in Italy.
After a short detour through the old town, where the boatmen used to live, and a walk over the sun bridge you head back to the cathedral. If you have more time, you should also visit the Museum of Technology or the Historical Museum of the Palatinate and have a look at the Trinity Church.
There is always a lot going on as there are various festivals throughout the year in Speyer. Especially worthwhile are the folk festival Brezelfest in July, the Kaisertafel in August, where the main street turns into a long table, the farmer’s market in September or the Christmas and New Year’s market, between Totensonntag and 6th of January. Just come on over!
Recommended by Chris & Marie from Worldonabudget
On the outskirts of the Aachen region right by the Belgian border you can find the picturesque town of Monschau. The cityscape is dominated by medieval buildings and surprises again and again with new favourite spots. The Rur winds its way through the town on the market square and along numerous walls of houses.
For a brief moment you might think you are in a fairy-tale world before the other tourists bring you back from your daydream. Monschau has been getting more and more popular.
We too had planned to visit Monschau for a while now. On a beautiful summer day we then traveled by car to the Eifel and parked it in a parking garage on the outskirts of the city. From then on, we walked through the narrow streets on foot and enjoyed a wonderful day in the old town.
It’s best to let yourself drift, because Monschau is not really big and the distances are usually short. However, due to the numerous inclines, it will be strenuous and you should take enough water for the ascent to the castle or the Haller ruin.
Under no circumstances should you skip the Red House, which was formerly the seat of the entrepreneurial Scheibler family. Today, as a museum, it offers an authentic insight into the life of a cloth-making dynasty in the 18th and 19th centuries. By the way, you get a discount with a student card.
We also have an insider tip for you: Take a walk to the cemetery of the city, from which you have a wonderful view over Monschau. For a refreshment we recommend the rustic Rur Cafe, which offers traditional dishes made with local ingredients.
And if you still have energy and the day is not over yet, you can relax in the natural outdoor pool Rurberg.
Recommended by Jana from Nordic Moments
We always enjoy visiting Eckernförde because this place has just about everything we need: a very beautiful long sandy beach, a chic harbour (which is rather rare), and cozy old town with many small shops. Basically everything the vacationer needs.
The weather is beautiful in the morning. We start with a beach walk on the south beach. Our car is parked here in the parking lot. Take your shoes of and feel the sand – lovely.
Eckernförder Mermaid on the Beach
After 4 km we arrive at the SONNENANBETERIN – the Eckernförder Mermaid. She shows how it’s done and we follow suit – off to enjoy the sun. Luckily we have a small towel with us.
You can find the sculpture of the mermaid on the beach promenade and it is a small holiday magnet. It’s a metal sculpture by the artist Eckhard Kowalke. Take a break from sunbathing: sit in the café, watch people, enjoy cool drinks … for the moment we don’t need anything else.
For a holiday by the sea a lighthouse should be part of it. Here in Eckernförde you can find it directly by the harbour. White sails and blue sea, what a wonderful feeling.
The fish can’t be fresher, here it comes directly from the boats. And we are already hungry. We decide to get fish sandwiches and Kiel sprats and get comfortable in one of the beach chairs around the boats.
Fed and well-rested we walk from the harbour to the city centre. On the way we discover the sweet little courtyard CLARAHÖFE with lovingly decorated shops. The whole yard is so invitingly decorated, my heart beats faster.
Clara-Hof-Destillerie – Here you will find liquors and matching little gifts. A small but very stylish store, I think.
Strandzeit – clothing, jewelry and beautiful things for us women. Here I am busy for a while.
And so we stroll very relaxed through the small shopping street and find this and that, especially many maritime decorative items.
Conclusion: Take your time and discover this beautiful town on the Baltic Sea.
Bingen am Rhein
Recommended by Gina & Marcus from 2 on the go
The small town of Bingen am Rhein is known to most – if at all – for its mouse tower. In the Middle Ages, however, Bingen played in the same league as Cologne and Mainz, as it was on the major trade routes of the Rhine and the trade route to Trier. This secured lucrative customs revenue and created a pretty little town through whose old streets you can still stroll today.
The mouse tower was built as a toll tower on a Rhine island. On the opposite bank of the Rhine, Ehrenfels Castle monitored the shipping traffic. Today it is a picturesque ruin. In the town itself, there is a third fortification on a hill, the castle Klopp. So you definitely have enough “Rhine Romance” to explore.
You can learn more about the life of the most famous Bingerin in the “Museum am Strom”, which is housed in the former Electricity Works. Hildegard von Bingen was already famous during her lifetime for being a mystic and visionary. She founded her monastery in Bingen, however, there is nothing left of the monastery on Rupertsberg today.
Recommended by Carolin from Travel Shortcut
Dachau is the next biggest city besides Munich in the region. The city has a very charming old town. From the castle hill you can go for a romantic walk in the park in the summer. The gardeners create real artworks with blooming flower beds and you have a fantastic view over Munich.
When the weather is nice, you can see the Alps on the horizon. The castle restaurant comes with a sunny terrace and has many cakes to choose from. Since the registry office in Dachau is very beautiful, numerous wedding ceremonies take place here every year.
In the old town, there are quaint streets and a few cozy cafes to discover. Every year on Whitmonday, the traditional Würmmühle organizes a mill festival for young and old. There are delicacies, brass music, and interesting tours through the mill.
For history buffs, of course, a visit to the Concentration Camp Memorial at Dachau is a must. For nature lovers, we recommend a walk along the Würm. Online you can find numerous hiking trails around the area.
Recommended by Riga & Chris from Ways2Travel
Often not part of the plans of many travelers, Koblenz is the northern gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley. The 2000-year-old city of immense historic importance lies at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel, the “Deutsches Eck” (German Corner) and thus offers two rivers as a starting point for beautiful tours.
The historic city centre with partially preserved city wall is home to a variety of boutiques, bars and cafes, with the “Pfefferminzje” in the Mehlgasse as the first certified organic bistro in Koblenz. It is THE go-to-place for a leisurely breakfast on Sunday morning. Those who like something more traditional will find a noble ambiance and fine wines from the region at Gerhards Genussgesellschaft am Blumenhof. Incidentally, you can also try wine at one of the many wineries right on the Rhine and Moselle. If you come to Koblenz in the late summer, you should not miss one of the many wine festivals.
From the German corner, the Rhine promenades and Rhine meadows invite you for a walk or a rest, while you can see the fortress Ehrenbreitstein on the opposite side of the Rhine. A cable car ride over the Rhine up to fortress and a visit to the facility should undoubtedly be part of every visit to Koblenz.
The main attraction is the 2-day festival “Rhine in Flames”, which ends every year on the second weekend in August with a lighted ship parade and a gigantic fireworks display from the fortress. However, the city is also alive with festivities on many other weekends so it’s always worth a visit!
Recommended by Gabriela from Gabriela auf Reisen
At the allegedly most beautiful square in Northern Germany, the “Sande”, staircase, and Schneckengiebelhäuser usually made from brick all line up. The most impressive building here is probably the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which today stands at the top of the oblong square. At the other end you can see the St. John’s Church with the leaning tower.
A little further and you’re already at the Stintmarkt, where the salt from the over 1000-year-old saltworks was once loaded onto the Ewer. On the Ilmenau it was brought to Lübeck and from there across the Baltic Sea to distant lands. There are many nice places that invite you to linger and enjoy delicious food. On the market square you can admire the centuries-old town hall and on the left hand side of it the “pregnant house”, whose outer wall arches outward because of a chemical process of the building’s materials.
People who don’t shy away from the small ascent to Kalkberg are rewarded with a fantastic view of Lüneburg. Actually, the mountain is made of gypsum, which was mined for several hundreds of years. A stone’s throw away you can find the old saltworks with the museum. A “must” for everyone who is interested in the history of Lüneburg. My favorite café, the “Zimmer” (Room) in Heiligengeiststraße, not only offers super delicious cakes, but also many quark creations. It’s the perfect place for a break in the middle of the city centre.
For medieval era fans, there is usually twice a year the “old craftsmen street” in the old town. Medieval tradition, crafts and food can be explored and with a bit of luck some homeowners open their doors. Then you can marvel at ceiling paintings and antiques in the houses, some of which are over 500 years old. Nevertheless, there is not only old things to see here, but also the modern Libeskindbau of the Leuphana University. You can read more about Lüneburg here.
Located right in the very top of the German state of Bavaria, Aschaffenburg is an “under the radar” city that should be on your radar. Situated at the edge of the River Main, Aschaffenburg is steeped in history and known for its massive castle, Schloss Johannisburg. This gorgeous 17th-century Renaissance palace can be visited for the photographs and for the art collection and other smaller galleries inside.
The city is a well-laid out mix of historic architecture and well-groomed green spaces. The old town, complete with traditional timber wood-framed houses and cobblestone streets, is like walking through a fairy tale. The parks, like Schöntal Park, provide visitors with tranquil areas that make you forget you’re in the city centre!
If you’re heading for Aschaffenburg, be sure to stop by one of the many museums like the Jesuit Art Gallery or the Museum of Jewish History and Culture. As for enjoying some food and drink, you can have a traditional Bavarian meal at Brauhaus Schlappeseppel. Right close-by to Schloss Johannisburg, this restaurant has all the dishes that Lisa grew up eating – and great beer to wash it down. Prost! You can learn more about visiting Aschaffenburg here!
And there you have it – 30 beautiful places in Germany you should put on your list. In the end, there are so many other towns or cities that could be on this list but we are glad that we have this variety. A huge shout out to our fellow travel bloggers for sharing their experiences and beautiful photographs with us. Have you visited any of these places before? Which ones do you want to visit first? Get in touch and let us know!
As always, Happy Waddlin’!
– L & E
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