What to do in Germany
Germany offers so many things to see and do, whether you’re a history enthusiast, a culture vulture, or a nature lover. The diverse landscapes include everything from beaches along the North Sea to forests, rivers, and the Bavarian Alps while its rich history stretches back over two millennia. A place of contrasts, one can gaze up at fairytale castles, attend the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich, and explore World War II history and the dark days of communism, in now buzzing Berlin.
Best activities to do in Germany
Germany has a huge range of outdoor pursuits, history, culture, and food to enjoy. To help you narrow it down we have put together a list of some of our favorites.
See the iconic Berlin Wall
It was the unique history of Berlin that defined the 20th century like no other, with the rise of Hitler in 1933 making it the infamous capital of the Third Reich. After WWII, it was divided by the Allies, becoming a symbol of the Cold War. The Berlin Wall cut right through the center of the city, leaving a jagged scar, finally falling in 1989. Most of it was demolished in the following weeks, but there are still sections that remain, including the famous East Side Gallery. The world’s longest open-air gallery, it features over 100 vibrant murals providing a visual history of Europe’s darker past.
Tour Berlin in a Trabbi
A Trabbi tour in Berlin offers a unique way to travel the streets of the city while learning about its turbulent history. You’ll hop in a Trabant, an East German-made car, getting behind the wheel as part of a Trabi caravan led by an expert guide. Traveling in a convoy, you’ll pass numerous sites from the Cold War, including sections of the Berlin Wall that are still standing, while learning about the city and what you’re seeing via the radio broadcasts, available in various languages.
Learn about Germany's motor history at the BMW Museum
BMW is one of the world’s most famous vehicle brands, with a reputation for engineering brilliance and luxury. In Munich, you can learn all about Germany’s motor history by visiting the BMW Museum Munich and the BMW Welt, which together, honor the “ultimate driving machine.” At the museum, you’ll learn about the brand from its beginnings through the present, with vehicles, designs, and prototypes that have made history. At BMW Welt, explore some of the latest models and experience the joy of driving firsthand.
Enjoy a stein in a traditional bierkeller
A traditional bierkeller is a classic beer hall, basically a German-style pub that sells German beers. Enjoying a stein in one is considered a must-experience while visiting Germany. While you’ll find many across the country, the Hofbräuhaus in Munich is the world’s most famous, packing in as many as 4,500 beer drinkers on any given night for live music and the huge steins that are served at wooden tables, coming together for an unforgettable Bavarian night.
Visit the restored Dresden Frauenkirche
The Dresden Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady,” stands out for its symbolism and history. Originally built in the 18th century, the Lutheran church, and nearly the entire city, were destroyed during WWII bombings. The church was initially left in ruins as a memorial of the war of sorts. Decades later, the Baroque masterpiece was restored, using thousands of stones that had been salvaged. It reopened in 2005 and was topped by a gold cross provided by Britain as a symbol of international goodwill, as it was the country’s bomb that had wrought much of the devastation.
Visit Neuschwanstein Castle
It would be difficult to find a place that looks more fairytale-like than Neuschwanstein Castle. Looking as if it was plucked from the pages of a storybook, it’s nestled in the Bavarian Alps, less than a two-hour drive from Munich. Commissioned in 1868 by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, known for his love of opulence, the over-the-top palace features sparkling chandeliers, impressive paintings, and sweeping swan designs. Serving as the inspiration for King Stefan’s castle in Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” it’s truly a must-visit on any German itinerary.
Take a cruise on the Rhine
While there are week-long cruises on the Rhine, it’s also possible to take a day cruise along the middle portion of the river that reveals legendary hilltop castles, terraced vineyards, charming wine villages, and more. There are multiple options, including excursions that start from Koblenz and provide a spectacular view of the riverside city itself, the famous Deutsche Eck, and the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. The vessel turns around at the mouth of the Moselle before making its way up the Rhine to Braubach and Marksburg Castle.
Germany has a rich tapestry of destinations allowing visitors to explore historic and modern alike, from Roman times to the fall of the Berlin Wall and today’s colorful street art. Nature is often intertwined with lush valleys, winding rivers, enchanting forests, and the dramatic Alps. It’s a country that’s been at the heart of Europe for centuries with impressive architecture that includes magnificent castles, world-class museums, and delicious cuisine. With something for nearly every traveler, we invite you to create your own adventure in beautiful and diverse Germany.
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