- Free walking tours of the German cities (i.e. Munich, Berlin) are great options even for those who won’t ever consider a traditional tour. You get to learn a lot about the place you see and make friends.
- Have a picnic in Tiergarten, the largest park in Berlin.
- In Munich, put on your walking shoes and explore the area between Karlsplatz and Marienplatz. People watching is a must.
- Swim in Lake Constance, located at the foot of the Alps. There are hiking and cycling trails in the area.
- Eat Doner Kebab . Yes, it’s a Turkish food but in Germany it’s amazing thanks to the many migrants . It’s also a cheap and filling meal.
Why you should add Germany to your RTW travel listOf course, visiting Germany won’t be complete without seeing some of the major sights that makes it famous. Here are some ideas on what to do if you’ve never been there or plan on staying for a while.
- Visit Munich’s Alstadt (Old Town).
- Beer and food is always a good combination in Germany. Beer gardens are your first choice. Does Oktoberfest ring a bell?
- Neuschwanstein Castle – yes, the one which inspired Disney’s castle – can be visited during a day trip from Munich.
- Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie – in short, the main historical sites in Berlin.
- Climb the glass dome of The Reichstag in Berlin.
- Germany is home to some very old and interesting Christmas Markets. In December , head to Munich to get gingerbread, mulled one and Christmas ornaments.
- Explore the banks of the Elbe in Hamburg
- Rent a car and explore the Black Forest. Try the food and enjoy the scenery. Walking and biking are highly recommended, too.
- Visit The Cathedral of Cologne, the third tallest cathedral in the world.
- Discount shopping. By the end of August you can find the summer collections almost for free.
Why you shouldn’t add Germany to your RTW travel list
- While the transportation is amazing, the costs add up really quickly. Book the Deutsche Bahn tickets in advance to save money. Consider train passes , day passes for traveling within the cities and…remember that your two feet are made for walking.
- Germany is more expensive than Italy or Spain. Try to plan your visit in spring or fall to reduce the cost of flight and accommodation.
- Everything is closed on Sundays except for gas stations and stores in the train station or airports.
OverviewGermany is not as obvious of a destination as England, France or Italy, but that doesn't make it any less rewarding for the visitor. Having Europe's largest economy, Germany is impressive nearly everywhere you look. From the lush Rhine River Valley along the western part of the country to surprisingly-opulent Hamburg in the north to the ultra-hip music and arts scenes developing in the former East down to Germany's most livable city of Munich, there is no shortage of things to keep a visitor busy.
What to do
Many first-time visitors imagine a country full of lederhosen and huge beer steins, but that image is only accurate for the southern (and partly Alpine) state of Bavaria. The huge beer steins are there year-round, but the lederhosen is something you'll most likely see during Munich's enormous Oktoberfest celebration, which actually ends in early October by the way, so check the calendar.
Berlin is by far Germany's largest city and its most vibrant as well. Since reunification with the East in 1989 formerly West Berlin has remained fairly posh and pleasant, but the far-larger former East Berlin has exploded with an amazing arts, music, and nightlife scene as ramshackle and affordable shop fronts and apartments are transformed into ultra-hip galleries, clubs, and lofts.
You can experience what the state marketing department is now calling the Romantic Road that stretches from near Munich to near Frankfurt. In spite of the slightly silly name, the incredibly scenic route is well worth a visit, by car or by bus, and nearby Rhine River cruises are also well worth checking out to see the collection of castles and fortresses that once controlled the river traffic.
When you book your flight into Germany you'll probably find that the cheapest airfares are into the country's largest airport in Frankfurt, but the city itself is really not a highlight so you might consider a slightly higher fare into a city you actually plan on visiting. Of course, the country's train system is fast and efficient so getting from one city to another is often faster by train than by plane.
As a hub in central Europe, Germany is a perfect place to use a Eurail Pass. There are passes available for only Germany as well as others that include some surrounding countries, so shop for passes carefully before buying one that may be more than you need.
Where to stayHotels in Germany are plentiful but during much of the year the better ones can be booked up well in advance so you need to think ahead. Germany is the birthplace of the modern hostel movement so it's no surprise that there are many from which to choose, but they can get booked up quickly just as with the hotels.
Our Community Message Board for Europe is a great place to ask for advice and read about experiences from people who've recently been to Germany. And for even further insight be sure to check out some Germany travel stories that our members have shared with us.