Germany has long held a spot in the hearts of tourists as one of the best European countries to visit.
Whether it was during the Cold War, the period of German reunification or modern day Germany, the country has welcomed visitors from all over the globe. Each region in Germany is quite distinct, from Bavaria to the old East German strongholds. Yet, the country has so much to offer visitors, making it one of the best holiday spots for 2017.
Travelling to Germany begins and ends in Berlin. The city has more history on one street than many United States towns have combined. Berlin, and all of Germany for that matter, is perfect for history buffs; especially WWII or Cold War history. However, it is that history that many Germans want to leave behind as Berlin is a modern, chic city today. Even parts of East Berlin are now upscale, hipster venues. Like communism meets Brooklyn. Although, if it is history you are looking for be sure to check out Checkpoint Charlie or the Prussian Palace.
It is always best to plan for a few more days in Berlin than elsewhere in Germany. There is just that much to see and do in the Grey City.
Pronounced Koln in German, the city of over one million sits on the western side of the country.
The city’s most famous sightseeing attraction is Cologne Cathedral. The landmark receives over 20,000 visitors a day, making it Germany’s most visited site. Cologne is also home to over 30 museums. The city is a cultural epicenter, and tourists to Cologne should expect to learn a thing or two while visiting.
One of the best times to stop off in Cologne is November. Cologne Carnival takes place during the month and the “fifth season of the year” ushers in complete craziness.
Munich is well-known for its Oktoberfest which attracts millions of beer drinkers and sausage eaters from around the world. Despite the name, Oktoberfest actually takes place in September. In 2016, an estimated 5.6 million people descended on Oktoberfest. Beer connoisseurs should make sure they are at the 2017 event to sample beers only found only here.
The massive 18-day festival is not the only reason to head to Munich. Marienplatz is one of the city’s most well-known sites and its Christmas markets are a local favorite. Tourists can also marvel at the great architecture when not in a Munich bier haus.
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and is home to Europe’s second largest port. In fact, much of what goes into mainland Europe or out of it goes through here.
With a limited number of skyscrapers, Hamburg’s traditional architecture is very apparent in it’s cityscape. It also gives the city a special look and character that many modern cityscapes lack.
Hamburg is home to one of the most famous red light districts in all of Europe, the Reeperbahn. Travel experts say that no trip to Hamburg is complete without a trip to the area. Whether it is a nightclub, bar or something else you are looking for, the Reeperbahn will have it.
The city of Dresden is remarkable due to it being practically wiped from existence by Allied bombing in World War II. Yet today, the buildings look remarkably similar to the ones that were destroyed.
At one time, Dresden was known as the ‘Florence of the North’ thanks to its contributions to culture. Today, it still has plenty of beautiful attractions to see, including Pillnitz Castle and Dresden Cathedral.
Once called “clueless” during communist times, the people of Dresden are more aware than ever. However, some travel experts have noted the city has not embraced multiculturalism like other German cities.
Regardless, it is a marvel to see and one that shows great contrast between east and west.
If you’re interest in learning more, check out the “German Survival Guide: The Language and Culture You Need to Travel with Confidence in Germany and Austria“, available on Amazon.
What’s your favorite German city? Let us know below.