Germany is a country full of fairytale-like towns and villages, stunning nature and Disney-Castles. It’s long overdue to show you some of the most beautiful cities in Germany – the country I’ve grown up in and called my home for more than 20 years.
Anyway, since there are so many wonderful places in the country, I asked some of my German blogger colleagues and some German-fans about their favorite cities in Germany. The result is this amazing list of astonishing places to visit in Germany.
Author’s note: Anyone who already knows this blog and now wonders why I moved away despite all these attractive travel destinations in Germany: As you know, you only see what you had when it’s gone… Luckily, I still have the chance to visit my country several times a year 😉
Note 2: The cities are ordered alphabetically. The order of cities is, therefore, not a rating. Most of the recommendations were originally written in German. I’ve translated them to English for better understanding.
What to find out in this post
- 1 The most beautiful Cities in Germany
- 2 Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia
- 3 Berlin, Berlin
- 4 Bingen, Rhineland-Palatinate
- 5 Celle, Lower Saxony
- 6 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia
- 7 Dresden, Saxony
- 8 Erfurt, Thuringia
- 9 Ettlingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg
- 10 Frankfurt am Main, Hesse
- 11 Fulda, Hesse
- 12 Goslar, Lower Saxony
- 13 Görlitz, Saxony
- 14 Hamburg, Hamburg
- 15 Hanover, Lower Saxony
- 16 Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg
- 17 Konstanz, Baden-Wuerttemberg
- 18 Leipzig, Saxony
- 19 Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein
- 20 Lüneburg, Lower Saxony
- 21 Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate
- 22 Mannheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg
- 23 Munich, Bavaria
- 24 Nuremberg, Bavaria
- 25 Oldenburg, Lower Saxony
- 26 Passau, Bavaria
- 27 Potsdam, Brandenburg
- 28 Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt
- 29 Regensburg, Bavaria
- 30 Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
- 31 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bavaria
- 32 Speyer, Rhineland-Palatinate
- 33 Stuttgart, Baden-Wuerttemberg
- 34 Wernigerode, Saxony-Anhalt
- 35 Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony
- 36 Würzburg, Bavaria
The most beautiful Cities in Germany
Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia
In contrast to the modern architecture that dominates the main German cities like Berlin and Hamburg, in Aachen, the ancient history of the city is very much apparent. Aachen originally developed as an ancient Roman settlement and spa resort filled with bathhouses, and even today, its spas and wellness centers are a major drawcard for tourists.
For history buffs, though, the main reason to visit Aachen is its Cathedral (Aachener Dom), the highlight of which is the Palace Chapel. In 800 AD, the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne established Aachen as his winter capital, and the Palace Chapel is what remains of the imposing palace he had built here. For hundreds of years, this is where kings and queens of the Empire were crowned and enthroned, and you can still see the marble throne where Charlemagne once sat.
The only way to visit the chapel is on a guided tour, which is offered only in German. But even if you don’t understand German, it’s definitely worth it to see the beautiful chapel and the stunning mosaics inside. The Cathedral was the very first site in Germany to be added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so it has long been recognized as a place of great historical and architectural importance.
Recommended by Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan
Of course, the capital can’t be missing from this list of great places to visit in Germany. Probably no other city is anchored so deeply in the history of my home country. So if you want to learn more about life at the German-German border and customs in East and West during the GDR, you simply have to visit Berlin. My personal highlight on the subject is the Berlin Höhenschönhausen Memorial.
But in addition to its tragic history, Berlin is one thing above all – modern and young at heart. Our capital is famous worldwide for its nightlife and art scene. Creative people from all over the world are drawn here – whether street art, fashion, general art or culture, Berlin offers everything.
Of course, you shouldn’t miss Berlin’s most famous sights, such as the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate. The two are within walking distance of each other and can be, therefore, best visited together. But also the remains of the wall, such as the East Side Gallery with the famous Bruderkuss and Checkpoint Charlie, should not be missed on any visit.
After all the sightseeing you will probably be hungry. Now is the perfect time to try an original Berlin currywurst.
Bingen is located in Rhineland-Palatinate at the mouth of the Nahe in the Rhine. Today it is a tranquil town. It is hard to imagine that, in past times, it used to be a major trading city. Due to the convenient location on the one hand on the waterway of the Rhine, on the other hand, on the major road to Trier, the trade routes crossed here and made it a thriving city.
The typical townhouses in the pretty old town testify to this until today. The Salzgasse (Salt Alley) in the old town points to an essential commodity of the Middle Ages, the white gold, as it was called by then.
The most famous daughter of the city is Hildegard von Bingen. She probably does not even come from the place, though. Since her monastery, Rupertsberg, however, was on the opposite bank of the Nahe, she worked for a long time in Bingen.
Many Germans might know Bingen as the city with the mouse tower. It was established as a customs station on a cliff in the Rhine. Together with Ehrenfels Castle on the right bank of the Rhine, it used to control the trade route. According to a legend, the cruel Bishop Hatto escaped from the angry population into the mouse tower. His fate met him nevertheless because he was there eaten by mice.
Many interesting details about the city, about Hildegard von Bingen and the epoch of Rhine Romanticism, can be found in the Museum am Strom. It is very charming and housed in a former power plant.
Recommended by Gina & Marcus from 2 on the Go
Celle, Lower Saxony
Celle is a beautiful half-timbered town in Lower Saxony with around 70,000 inhabitants. The city of Celle is located about 40 km north of Hanover, on the southern edge of the Lüneburg Heath. It is therefore also known as the southern gateway to the natural park Lower Saxony.
Celle is known to most people above all for its picturesque old town with more than 400 well-preserved half-timbered houses from the last centuries, as well as the Renaissance and Baroque style castle.
The best-known and most beautiful half-timbered houses include the Hoppener Haus and the Stechinelli Haus as well as the streets Zöllner Straße and Neue Straße.
Other attractions include the Schlosstheater, the church St. Marien, and the Bomann Museum. From the 74-meter high church tower, you have a beautiful view over the rooftops of Celle. Since the old town of Celle is very compact, all major attractions can be found very well within walking distance.
For a short break with coffee and cake, we recommend the Museum Cafe in the Alte Löwen Apotheke right on the central square, Stechbahn, as well as the venerable coffee house Kiess am Großen Plan.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, you can peacefully stroll in the adjacent French garden or make a boat trip with the Allernixe. For the sporty, we recommend the pedal boat or paddleboat.
If you come in December, you should absolutely pay a visit to the Christmas market in the evening and enjoy the charming atmosphere of the Christmas stands in an impressive half-timbered setting.
Recommended by Oliver from Helga and Heini on Tour
Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia
To be honest: unlike many Cologners, I wouldn’t have counted my hometown one of my favorite cities in Germany for a long time. In the meantime, that has changed. I especially like traveling on the Rhine.
Passing the colorful little houses in Martinswinkel, you can visit the alleyways of the old town and the breweries for a Kölsch and hearty treats like Himmel un Ääd or Halven Hahn. Beware: Unlike most people expect, the latter is a rye bun with middle-aged Gouda.
Well strengthened, it’s an excellent opportunity for a tour of Cologne’s churches. In the beginning, of course, you should visit the best-known one: the Cologne Cathedral. If you are fit enough, you’ll definitely want to climb the approximately 500 steps. Passing by the imposing bells and finally, a brilliant view awaits you. Incidentally, apart from the Gothic cathedral, Cologne is also known for its twelve Romanesque churches. They all group in a semicircle around the city center and are therefore within walking distance.
If you are looking for something sweet on your visit to Cologne, you should stroll along the Rhine to the Chocolate Museum. Visitors will not only learn about cultivation and production there. In addition, pure enjoyment can be found at a chocolate fountain: the staff will hand you a waffle with liquid, warm chocolate. And psst … After the tour, I have secretly gotten into the line again.
Recommended by Martina of Places and Pleasure
Dresden is one of Germany’s most beautiful cities that is often forced to struggle with a reputation caused by a minority of people. The northeastern city is the capital of Saxony and has a fantastic mix of historical architecture fused along with newer, vibrant districts. During WW2, Dresden was heavily bombed by the Allied Forces, destroying much of the old town. Thankfully, it has been rebuilt in a way that has kept the history and feel of the city alive.
Throughout the old town of Dresden, you will find many museums and art galleries, along with stunning buildings like the famous Frauenkirche. All of these buildings and structures provide a great insight into the cultural and historical significance of the city.
Alternatively, if you head to Dresden’s Neustadt, you will find a more youthful side to the city with plenty of hip and fun places to explore. It is easy to lose yourself in the many things to do in Dresden Neustadt, as you sip a specialty coffee in one of the hidden courtyards or discover one of the area’s many craft beer joints and enjoy a local brew.
Between popping into local businesses, keep a lookout for colorful pieces of street art that are hiding in plain sight. To fully appreciate Dresden and all it has to offer, you need to balance both halves of the city- spend the morning in the older part learning about its past, followed by an afternoon and evening learning about Dresden’s optimistic future.
Recommended by Megan of Megan Starr
I believe Erfurt is one of Germany’s best-kept secrets. The charming capital of Thuringia is one of Europe’s best maintained medieval cities, including a fully intact synagogue from the middle ages. The Erfurt Cathedral, also known at St. Mary’s Cathedral, is an impressive part of the city’s skyline. Domplatz square, in front of the cathedral, is home to a festive Christmas market each winter where you can buy flaming glühwein and experience the magic of fairytales with scenes by local artists, Hannelore Reichenbach and Kurt Buchspiess in an enchanted forest.
Walk the picturesque Krämerbrücke (Merchant’s Bridge), where you can go shopping, eat a meal, or (my personal favorite) get a scoop of ice cream from Goldhelm Eiskrämer who offer unique combinations and seasonal flavors.
While exploring, you may be surprised to see modern statues amongst the medieval architecture – Bernd das Brot (Bernd the Bread), Sandmännchen (Sandman), and others are characters on KiKA, a tv channel based in Erfurt and beloved by the children in town.
Despite the colorful half-timbered homes, rich history, and delicious local cuisine, it’s rare to see foreign tourists in Erfurt. Visit now before this secret gets out!
Recommended by Brittany of The Sweet Wanderlust
Not far from Karlsruhe, you will find the small town of Ettlingen. One may think that the city of Baden-Wuerttemberg, with just 38,000 inhabitants, can not really have much to offer – but that’s not true at all! Rarely have I experienced such a cute city with winding streets and beautiful buildings.
In Ettlingen, you can stroll through the beautiful old town for a while. There are some great cafes and restaurants where you can experience the atmosphere of the city up close. This small town also has its own castle. Located in the middle of the old town boasts a beautiful building, which is now a museum and the wedding room of the city.
If you want to relax after a stroll through the city, you can do so in Horpachpark. Here you can relax, enjoy the tranquil nature or have fun on the huge playground!
Another highlight? The breathtaking view from the Bismarckturm! There you can admire the city and its surrounding landscape in a relaxed atmosphere from above.
Recommended by Angie & Isi from Urlaub Mal Anders.blog
Frankfurt am Main, Hesse
How could you publish such a list of the most important cities in Germany without mentioning Frankfurt am Main? Because this important city is in 15th place in the most visited cities in Europe. Of course, a particularly large number of visitors come to the city during the fair.
Frankfurt am Main is located in the state of Hesse and is considered the fifth-largest city in Germany. Frankfurt has been one of the most important cities in Germany since the Middle Ages. Today the European Central Bank is located here, as is the banking district of the country. There are also some skyscrapers to be found in the city. It is therefore hardly surprising that the city is sometimes referred to as Mainhattan.
But not only modern buildings make Frankfurt a unique city, but its old town is also definitely worth a visit. The Römer is particularly impressive. This medieval complex of patrician houses is now used as a town hall.
The Goethe House is an absolute must for all fans of German literature. In the former home of this outstanding German poet, there is a museum dedicated to the life and works of Goethe.
Fulda is a small town we always like to come back to. The mixture of the romantic old town, ample parks, and culture are exciting and varied.
You shouldn’t miss the impressive city palace and the cathedral, a stroll through the beautiful castle garden, and the old town with its beautiful half-timbered houses. Here one restaurant follows the next and in the evening you almost have the feeling of being in a lively southern European city when life pulsates in the narrow streets.
Fulda is a very green city – the colorful flowerbeds in the large parks are a feast for the eyes – every year, another vegetable plant joins the blooming splendor and gives the flower beds an exceptional fascination. In the summer months every year, you can enjoy excellent musical productions, which are definitely worth a visit.
Recommended by Antje from Meehr Erleben
Goslar, Lower Saxony
Probably unknown to many, for me one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful city in Germany: my home town of Goslar am Harz. The imperial city can look back on centuries of history and, in addition to its well-preserved medieval architecture, offers plenty of sights and opportunities for relaxation.
The historic old town and the ore mine on Rammelsberg are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. And not without reason. The old town of Goslar is full of old half-timbered houses, narrow streets, and beautiful remains from ancient times, e.g., the beautiful market fountain from the 12th century, in which Goslar was a wealthy trading town. This wealth is mainly attributable to the mine. You can still visit it today as part of a guided tour.
You shouldn’t miss the imposing Kaiserpfalz (Emperor’s Palace), where numerous emperors spent their summers. A real must-see for me, and not just because Eduardo and I married here in the summer of 2019.
But also the Harz Mountains, which start right outside Goslar’s doors, are definitely worth a visit in every season. Whether skiing, mountain biking, hiking, or just for a relaxing walk in beautiful nature.
Finally, I have to mention the Christmas market in Goslar, which is considered one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany. With its medieval atmosphere, it is simply a real highlight.
If you are now curious and want to learn more about my beautiful home, you should definitely read our detailed Goslar article here.
Görlitz is, according to Prof. Dr. med. Gottfried Kiesow, the head of the German Foundation for Monument Protection: “The most beautiful city in Germany,” and we can only agree. Not without reason, we moved to the easternmost city in Germany, right on the Polish border, after 13 years of life in Norway.
The preservationist speaks of the synthesis of the arts of the city, with buildings from four epochs from the Gothic to the historicism. The city is the largest contiguous land monument in Germany. Luckily, Görlitz was hardly destroyed in the 2nd World War. And every year for 22 years, an unknown donor donated firstly 1 million marks, then 500,000 euros, with which the old town was renovated as it was pretty dilapidated in the times of the GDR.
The film industry has also discovered this distinctive flair and charm of the city, and so Görlitz also bears the name “Görliwood“. Since 1950, more than 100 film productions have been produced, from Inglorious Bastards, Measuring the World to the Grand Budapest Hotel. So if you want to follow in the footsteps of Kate Winslet to Jackie Chan, you can do it here in this small, cozy town on the Neisse!
The location in the extreme east of the country makes it the city in Germany where the sun rises first! Due to its proximity to Poland and the Czech Republic, Görlitz is also ideal for visiting neighboring countries.
My favorite city is Hamburg! Not only because I am a true Hamburg deern [*Northern-German word for a girl], but also because Hamburg is so multi-faceted. Whether you visit for a city trip with shopping and a sightseeing tour, Outdoor experiences, or relaxing moments, such as a spa stay at the ElbSpa in the Elbphilharmonie – Hamburg offers something for every taste and season.
As it is said best in the lyrics by Lotto King Karl “Hamburg my pearl, you beautiful city, “and that applies to me in summer as well as in winter!
In the summer you can go to the Hamburg parks to relax, to the water light concerts in Planten un Blomen to enjoy, to the beach of Övelgönne for picnics with friends, and you can cycle on the Elbe Cycle Path up to the North Sea.
In winter, a walk through the harbor city is just as great as a relaxing visit to the hammam
or Floating, but also classics like the Udo Lindenberg Museum – Panik City, the
Miniatur Wunderland or the Jump House offers adventurous indoor hours in cold and rainy weather.
December is especially lovely when everything in Hamburg shines and smells, the Alster fir in the
Dark sparkles and the ships – on the shore of the Jungfernstieg – help little visitors becoming big bakers-
while their parents stroll through the streets and warm up with a mulled wine on the nearby Christmas Market.
Discover more beautiful Christmas markets in Hamburg, for example, in Altona, at the Apostelkirche in Eimsbüttel, or with more Hamburg flair on the Kiez-Winterdeck, which is located right in front of the Operettenhaus in St. Pauli. In Hamburg, something is going on in every season. A visit is, therefore, always worthwhile!
Empfohlen von Marina von MS WellTravel
Hanover, Lower Saxony
The Lower Saxony state capital Hanover is unfortunately often only visited as a fair city, e.g., for the annual CeBIT IT fair. But Hanover also has a lot to offer in terms of tourism.
The Leibniz City not only looks back on a long history but can also adorn itself with the invention of the German Keks (cookie). This is exactly where the Leibniz cookie saw the light of day in 1891 through its inventor Herman Bahlsen. Even today, the company’s delicious cookies can be bought cheaply in outlets and the factory.
The most popular attraction in the city is the Herrenhausen Gardens, which date from the 17th century. A visit is particularly worthwhile in summer and spring, especially in the Great Garden, which is one of the most important baroque gardens in Europe.
But the city’s two town halls are also absolutely worth seeing. While the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), which can be found in the Maschpark, has a dome from which you have a unique view of the city, the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) is a true architectural masterpiece. With its reddish bricks, you can hardly overlook the impressive building.
If you visit Hanover in summer, you should definitely coordinate your trip with the Maschsee Festival, which takes place here every year. With various attractions, events, music, shows, and lots of food stalls, the Mascheseefest is the largest and most famous festival in the region.
Heidelberg is a small city famous mostly for the Heidelberg University (almost a quarter of the city’s inhabitants are students) and the famous castle.
It’s easily accessible from Frankfurt (about 78 kilometers), and it’s a great day trip idea. You’ll love the scenery – the town has a riverside location – and you’ll love the architecture. But, most of all, you’ll love the atmosphere.
There are many great places to visit in Heidelberg. Heidelberg Castle is a must-see attraction when in the city. This 16th-century castle is now a ruin, yes, but still impressive and a great example of Renaissance style with a mix of Gothic elements. The view of the city is amazing, and from June to August, there are various events taking place in the courtyard.
Heidelberg is also home to several churches, the beautiful Karl Theodor Bridge (known as the Old Bridge) and a few museums. What I loved is the Hauptstrasse – a beautiful, rather narrow street, that has many other side streets and alleyways that you may start to wander on and admire the old town.
I admit I loved some of the souvenir shops on the Hauptstrasse – I saw there a few cuckoo clocks that were impressive and expensive!
All in all, Heidelberg is a great city to visit – a calm, serene atmosphere, great views, wonderful architecture, interesting museums, and great people to talk to.
Recommended by Loredana of Earth’s Attractions
Konstanz (also called Constance) is one of the most beautiful places to see in Germany for us. It is located in the very south of Baden-Wuerttemberg on Lake Constance, directly on the Swiss border. Why do we love this city so much? Because it’s is a successful mix of young hip student city with international flair and down-to-earth attitude of Baden. Every visit, there is a little journey into the past for us. My husband studied in Konstanz and still raves about the brilliant time he used to have at the lake.
The absolute highlight of Constance, of course, is the fantastic location on Lake Constance (“Bodensee“). Our “Swabian Sea,” as Lake Constance is often called, is the largest lake in Germany even though only about two-thirds of the lake is located in Germany as it extends to Austria and Switzerland.
From Konstanz, you can enjoy a magnificent panorama of the Alps.
The city is famous for its lake night festival (“Seenachtsfest“) with spectacular fireworks over the lake. This attracts tourists from all over the world to the city every year in early August. To experience real Konstanz, you should definitely avoid that weekend.
If you visit Constance, you a must-do is to have a look at the legendary harbor figure “Imperia”. It’s been spinning in the harbor for over 25 years and is considered the landmark of the city. If you have time, make a sea cruise with the White Fleet, for example, to Meersburg or the island of Mainau.
In the very well preserved Konstanzer old town you will find many historical sights and old facade paintings. The best view of the city and over Lake Constance is offered by the tower of the Konstanzer Münsters. Also, shopping is great, because from small boutique shops to the huge shopping center, there is really everything to be found.
Our absolute favorite place in Konstanz is Strandbad Horn, also affectionately called “Hörnle”. On the lawn right on the lake, students, tourists, and locals meet to bathe and relax.
Leipzig has become a popular destination for a city break in recent years. Therefore, the city in Saxony was also part of my Germany Bucket List for a long time. Since a good friend of mine recently moved to Leipzig, of course, this was the perfect opportunity to put the wish into action.
Leipzig is very popular, especially with young people, and I immediately noticed the relaxed atmosphere that seems to surround the city after my arrival. In summer, the Leipziger Neuseenland and the numerous parks and green spaces in and around Leipzig invite you to linger, and there are many good festivals.
But also when it comes to the classical sights, Leipzig doesn’t have to hide. Due to the historical past, you will find various highlights directly in the city center. The Nikolai- as well as the Thomaskirche, are the two oldest churches of the city, and already Martin Luther held some of his sermons there. In addition, also Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Goethe have left their mark everywhere in Leipzig.
A very imposing structure and, at the same time, one of the most important landmarks is the more than 100 meters high Völkerschlachtdenkmal, which commemorates the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, in which over 100,000 soldiers were killed. Just around the corner, you can find the South Cemetery, which is also worth a visit.
If you arrive by train, the huge central station of Leipzig awaits you, which is also the largest terminus station in Europe. In addition, there is a historic track, where you can marvel at old rail vehicles.
Finally, I can say that Leipzig has offered everything I had hoped for, and I can’t wait to be back.
Recommended by Chris & Marie of World on a Budget
A North German classic for city trips is definitely Lübeck. Most people probably associate the city in Schleswig-Holstein with marzipan, the Holstentor, and the Christmas market. For me, especially the beautiful old town was a reason for my visit. I just love the cute little streets with half-timbered houses, old merchant stories, and cute small shops. And Lübeck has a lot of that!
You shouldn’t miss a few classics in Lübeck. These include, of course, the imposing Holstentor, which was built in the 15th century, and the very pretty old town. I particularly liked the Weberstraße and the Stavenstraße.
Another highlight in Lübeck is the aisles and courtyards. In many backyards, you will find small, cute houses. The annexes were made at the time of the Hanseatic League, as Lübeck grew because of its prosperity and continued in need of space. Lübeck is also known for its town hall, which is one of the finest examples of brick Gothic in Germany.
Of course, marzipan fans can’t miss the Café Niederegger at the Rathausmarkt. My personal Café Tip for Lübeck is the Neue Roesterei, where coffee junkies get their money’s worth.
For a trip or a weekend, I find cities like Lübeck perfect! They are actually always good to be explored on foot, and you can leisurely stroll through the city center. That’s why I’ve become a real fan of smaller cities in recent years – and can, therefore, only recommend Lübeck!
Empfohlen von Imke von Crappy Radio Stations and Candy Bars
Lüneburg, Lower Saxony
Lüneburg is a small town in Lower Saxony, whose historic center immediately enchants the visitor. A good friend of mine has studied Cultural Studies at the University of Lüneburg. At that time, I fell in love with the city and have come back gladly ever since. In a miraculous way, it’s not crowded or very touristy yet.
Wandering over the cobblestones, you immediately feel transported back to the time of the Hanseatic League when the salt of Lüneburg and its merchants made you rich. Today, the city is characterized by many historic buildings with magnificent gables, individual shops beyond large department store chains, and a lively pub scene, especially around the stint.
You have a great view from the water tower or the Kalkberg. Primarily beautiful old gabled houses can be found in the street “Am Sande“. In addition, you should absolutely make a detour into the brewing and table house “Mälzer” to try a home-brewed, fresh beer and absorb the rustic mood of the large, winding masonry.
If you prefer sweets, go to the candy factory in front of the town hall. To fans of modern architecture, I recommend a visit to the central building of the University of Lüneburg. It was designed by American star architect Daniel Libeskind.
There you go: Lüneburg has a lot to offer in a small area and is characterized as a university city by a particularly lively pub- and night-scene.
Recommended by Claudia of Weltreize
Mainz is the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate. Even though most of the city is known for the annual carnival TV session, the city is worth a trip even outside of “the scheduled happiness” [*carnival season].
The hub of the city is the imposing cathedral. From here, you start your city tour, walk to the Schillerplatz with the lovely Carnival Fountain. Afterward go on to the Church of St. Stephen, which is famous for its Chagall windows.
From the copper mountain terrace, you can look across the Rhine to Hesse. Then you walk back to Romano-Guardini-Platz. Here you will find the “Walk of Fame of Cabaret“, where German satirists and cabaret artists are honored.
Who visits Mainz has to try “Weck, Worscht and Woi” – the Mainz national dish. From spring to fall, best on Saturdays at the market for breakfast on the Liebfrauenplatz behind the cathedral. Culinary, Mainz’ locals eat rather hearty, but in the summer, you have to try the ice cream at N’Eis. The home-made varieties can be found nowhere else. With your ice cream, sit down on the steps on the Rhine and watch the tug boats.
In the evening, I recommend a visit to the Unterhaus-Mainz or the Mainzer Kammerspielen.
Recommended by Liane of DieReiseEule
Mannheim is located in the heart of the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region in the border triangle of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, and belongs to Baden-Württemberg. It is considered the city of founders and inventors, because here, among other things, the first bicycle, the first electric elevator, and the first car were invented or presented.
Today the city of Kurzpfalz is a hotspot for founders and creative start-ups. If you are planning a short trip to Mannheim, you should definitely take a look at Friedrichsplatz, which is one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau facilities in Germany. There is also the Mannheim Water Tower and the Kunsthalle, the most important museum for contemporary art in Mannheim.
Also worth seeing is the Christ Church built in the Art Nouveau style, the telecommunications tower with the skyline rotating restaurant at the height of 125 meters, and the castle. It is one of the largest castles in Europe, and you can also take guided tours. What is also worthwhile is the market square, the Luisenpark, and the Rhine and Neckar promenade.
The hippest pub district is the Jungbusch. There are also museums, small galleries, the pop academy and you can sit outside on Hafenstrasse in the evening.
Tip for the summer: there are some beach bars in the city, and they are all recommended.
Recommended by Heiko of People Abroad
When we read about the Roundup of the best cities in Germany, we immediately agreed that we have to write a contribution to our Bavarian capital Munich. We have lived here for many years and have fallen in love with the city with its Italian flair.
We enjoy exploring the city from time to time through the eyes of a tourist and have already spent several days sightseeing in Munich. If you are visiting the city, we would especially recommend the beautiful architecture.
A walk from the LMU Munich, where a memorial to the resistance group “the white rose” can be visited, to Odeonsplatz, which is reminiscent of Naples, is a wonderful start to a vacation in our beautiful city. When you arrive at Odeonsplatz, you can enjoy a coffee in the sun with a wonderful view of the Theatine Church, which is almost entirely white inside. Freshly strengthened, you should then visit the impressive Munich Residence right next door, which offers excellent photo opportunities, not only from the outside.
From here, you can reach the imposing building of the Bavarian state parliament via the high-priced Maximilanstraße past beautiful house facades.
After such a day of sightseeing, the evening must, of course, end comfortably. And what would be better than a visit to the world-famous Hofbräuhaus?
Tip: Next door, there is very delicious ice cream from celebrity chef Alfons Schuhbeck in Orlandos.
The second day in Munich can be started with an extensive shopping tour around Marienplatz (don’t miss the carillon!). The ascent to the tower of the Peterskirche is also worthwhile; the view is really more than spectacular.
Afterward, a walk through the Viktualienmarkt is ideal for those who are hungry. After strengthening, you have to visit one of the city’s unique features: the surfers on the Eisbach wave! No joke, you can actually surf in the middle of Munich!
After a short detour to the adjacent Angel of Peace, the best way to end the afternoon is in the English garden and end the day in the beer garden at the Chinese tower.
Tip: You can bring your own food to the Munich beer gardens, only the drinks have to be bought!
Recommended by Tina & Manfred of Urlaubsreise.blog
With more than 500,000 inhabitants, Nuremberg is the second-largest city in Bavaria after Munich. The pretty medieval old town is surrounded by the largest preserved city wall in Central Europe. Within the wall, there are some exciting Nuremberg sights to discover. Stroll through the artisan courtyard or walk over the hangman’s footbridge and feel transported back to the Middle Ages when the hangman and the lepers of the city lived here. You should also take a look at the old but well-preserved half-timbered houses.
You have a particularly beautiful view of the city from the Kaiserburg, the symbol of Nuremberg. The town is particularly known for the Nuremberg Christmas Market, which takes place every year on the central square of the main market. There you will also find the Gothic Frauenkirche. If you want to visit the most famous cemetery in Germany and the graves of famous people like Veit Stoss or Albrecht Dürrer, you’ve come to the right place.
In Nuremberg, you can also shop very well. In Karolinenstraße and Breiten Gasse, for example, you will find countless large and small shops and charming cafés. Nuremberg has a lot to offer and is ideal for a short weekend trip!
Recommended by Sabine of ReiseSpatz
Oldenburg, Lower Saxony
The self-proclaimed “kale tour capital” Oldenburg in Lower Saxony is a city with flair. With its 170,000 inhabitants, it is one of the four largest cities in Lower Saxony, led by Hanover and Braunschweig, and followed by Osnabrück.
Oldenburg has many great corners to discover. Not only the castle, the Lappan tower, or the castle garden should be on the bucket list for Oldenburg. The botanical garden with all kinds of animals and plants is a highlight as well.
But did you know that Oldenburg has a Walk of Fame? This is located in front of the OLB branch in Gottorpstrasse and belongs to the Oldenburg International Film Festival. Celebrities like Amanda Plummer, Moritz Bleibtreu, Deborah Kara-Unger, Keith Carradine, or Nicolas Cage can be found on this. Culture is significant in beautiful Oldenburg: in addition to the film festival, there are plenty of museums, the summer of culture, and the state theater.
For the little ones among you, the auditorium, which is located at the University’s Wechloy campus, is worthwhile. But adults can also have fun there and playfully enjoy the physics of hearing.
If you are already in the kale tour capital, then you definitely have to take part in a kale tour, including kale dinner. Labskaus should also be tried. Both are typical of Oldenburg food culture. Finally, there is the best coffee in Oldenburg at Käthe Kaffee.
Recommended by Michelle of The Road Most Traveled
Passau – the Lower Bavarian jewel on the Danube. With its almost 51,000 inhabitants, the three rivers city is manageable, but it exudes an unmistakable charm. Summer feels like in Italy, and in winter, the surrounding hills turn into a fairytale landscape. If you are planning a trip to Passau, you should definitely stroll through the narrow streets and visit the cathedral. Nearby you can find artist studios and a very special café with handmade chocolates. Then it goes up to the Veste Oberhaus, from where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city.
Passau is also worthwhile as a basis for day trips into nature: in the Bavarian Forest, you have many hiking tours or mountain bike trails to choose from. Within a few minutes, you can reach the Dreisessel, for example, which is ideal for a short hike.
I love the Bavarian Forest above all because of its diversity: here I am always surrounded by nature, can enjoy it entirely alone, or use one of the many outdoor and wellness offers.
In Passau, I get the right mix of city trip, culture, and food, and thanks to the open nature of the people living there, I feel welcome at all times. So if you are ready to start your trip to Lower Bavaria, you love Passau. I am sure that you will get your money’s worth in this (in my opinion underestimated) city!
Recommended by Silvia of Abenteuerzeilen
What do the “Bulle von Tölz” and the Hollywood film “Monuments Men” by George Clooney have in common? Both were filmed in scenes in Quedlinburg. It’s easy to explain that the small town in Saxony-Anhalt is “Hollywood in the Harz“.
More than 2,000 half-timbered houses are grouped around the market square with the magnificent town hall, a dozen towers of churches, and a castle tower overlooking the sea of the roofs and give the visitor the image of an old German dollhouse idyll. Quedlinburg’s narrow streets with such unusual names as Stieg, Hölle, or Pölle have a thousand years of history gathered in a small space – reason enough for UNESCO to declare the city at the foot of the Harz Mountains as a World Heritage Site.
It is a stroke of luck that Quedlinburg – once the favorite Palatinate of King Henry I – survived the centuries. In GDR times, there was no money to tear down the elaborately decorated half-timbered houses. After the reunification, many historical buildings were restored with great effort. Nevertheless, Quedlinburg is not a lifeless open-air museum. On the one hand, about a third of the half-timbered houses are still to be renovated; on the other hand, small shops, bakeries, and cafés have moved into the pretty buildings.
The most beautiful place is the spacious market square, where the magnificent guild houses line up and the historic inn “Zum Bär“, which is since 1748 “accommodation and lodging”. A specialty is the café “Zum Roland“, which extends over seven half-timbered houses, each barely wider than a towel.
The most outstanding place is the Schlossberg with the collegiate church and the cathedral treasure. The Samuhel Gospel Book is from Carolingian times and was written with gold ink. An American officer had simply taken the book with its magnificent Hohenstaufen cover after the Second World War. It came back to Quedlinburg via detours.
Recommended by Roswitha of Bruder auf Achse
Honestly: I didn’t have Regensburg on my mind at all. Even though the city is less than two hours away from my home of choice, Linz. Regensburg is this kind of town where you simply feel comfortable and would like to stay longer. Regardless of whether for a day trip or for a weekend, there is a lot to discover in Regensburg.
For me, Regensburg is one of the most stunning cities in Germany, not only because the center is easily manageable on foot, but because the flair is brilliant and, above all, cozy. Especially the old town with the stone bridge, the cathedral St. Peter, the old town hall, the Porta Praetoria, and coffeehouses like Das Degginger fascinated me. A walk along the Danube is also a must-do. And if you are looking for the most beautiful panorama of Regensburg, you can simply stroll along the footpath Am Beschlächt.
If the temperatures are still pleasantly warm, the old linden garden is no longer an insider tip, but anyway, definitely worth the view. Even if you can explore Regensburg in one day, it is advisable to stay at least one night.
My tip: the Hotel Rosi with a brilliant breakfast buffet and really lovely rooms.
Recommended by Viktoria of Chronic Wanderlust
Rostock is another popular city in Germany. Whether as a day trip from Berlin or as a beach holiday, this city in the northeast of the country has a lot to offer. Especially during the summer, many are drawn to the Warnemünde seaside resort. The fine-grained white sand makes the beach at Warnemünde one of the most beautiful beaches in Germany.
But there is also a lot to experience in Rostock outside of its beach. A short walk through the city is definitely worth it. Discover the beautiful market square and the pink town hall. But the pretty Marien Church and the St. Petri Church are a real must for every visitor as well.
A visit to Rostock is also perfect for nature lovers. Because the Rostock Heath is right in front of the door and is just waiting to be discovered by you. Because here, in Germany’s largest coastal forest, there is spectacular nature that you can experience on a walk or a hike in the countryside.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bavaria
The small town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is arguably THE German model city. Because it reflects exactly what foreigners like to imagine when they think of Germany. Beautiful little streets, playful decorations on the old half-timbered houses. A city like from a fairy tale book.
It is therefore hardly surprising that more and more visitors come to the small town in Bavaria every year. Because with its medieval old town, Rothenburg is no longer an insider tip.
The Plönlein junction is particularly popular. You have probably seen it in pictures before. Because on Instagram alone you can find thousands of photos of this place. But the beautiful castle garden or the Rödertor are also popular photo opportunities. It almost seems that every single building in this city is the perfect photo spot. The meat and dance house or the Gerlachsschmiede are just a few examples.
The best thing to do is simply walk through the small town yourself and find your personal favorite.
I would like to recommend a visit to my hometown, Speyer, in Rhineland-Palatinate. You can find this town in the southwest of Germany on the Rhine. Speyer can be reached either by train or by car. The highway A61 goes right past the city.
Speyer has a history of more than 2,000 years. So there is something very special about the imposing imperial cathedral, which was consecrated in 1061. It is the largest Romanesque church in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The visit is a real experience. In addition to a tour of the interior and the mighty crypt with the potent imperial capitals, you shouldn’t miss a tower climb. From the observation deck, there is a wide view of the city and the region.
Not far from there, you will find another attraction, the “Judenbad” on the site of the former synagogue. The mikveh, decorated with precious Romanesque ornaments, is the oldest of its kind in Central Europe and an extraordinary place. When you stroll along the main street towards Altpörtel (a city tower that can also be climbed) with the many street cafes, you almost feel like in Italy. With a short dangle through the old town, in which the river boaters used to live, we return to the cathedral. If you have a little more time, you should also visit our museums and take a look at the Memorial and Trinity Church.
Recommended by Katja of Hin-Fahren
Just a few people think of Stuttgart when it comes to a city break or vacation in a German city. But just like other major German cities, the state capital of Baden-Wuerttemberg offers numerous cultural, sports and leisure highlights. Even extensive shopping tours or long club nights are not neglected here!
Those interested in culture can be happy because a walk through Daimlerstadt is like a trip through history. In addition to the Stuttgart State Theaters (a three-section theater with the State Opera, Ballet, and Playhouse), the neighboring State Gallery with over 800 works of art from the 14th to the 21st centuries and one of the largest cultural history museums in Germany, the Landesmuseum Württemberg, also a visit to the Mercedes-Benz Museum and Porsche Museum, the Wilhelma (one of the world’s most biodiverse zoos), the New Library, the 217 m high Stuttgart TV Tower (the first TV tower in the world) and the picturesque Weißenburgpark with its romantic tea house should be visited.
For theater lovers, on the other hand, a visit to the Friedrichsbau variety show is a must. Anyone looking for events is spoiled for choice because they take place in large numbers and range from the traditional Christmas market and Christmas circus to musical highlights such as the Jazz Open and to classics such as the Volkswagen Festival of Lights, Summer Festival of Cultures or the Stuttgart summer festival.
While sports enthusiasts can start their adventures with a hike through the romantic vineyards or a bike ride to the Max-Eyth-See, the numerous shops that make the Königsstrasse a veritable “open-air” shopping center invite you to stroll along. Of course, there are also various shopping centers that make shopping in Stuttgart a real experience. Make sure to check the Bräuningerland or the Milaneo!
A stroll through the market hall with its gastronomic specialties is also a must. The Swabian specialties that you should definitely try include, of course, Maultaschen (dumplings), Zwiebelrostbraten with potato salad, Flädle soup, Gaisburger Marsch, cheese spaetzle, and apple fritters!
Recommended by Nikita of In Vacanza Da Una Vita
Wernigerode, also affectionately called the colorful city on the Harz, is one of the most underrated cities in Germany. With its location right on the Harz, Wernigerode is a great destination for day trips into nature. Especially hikers are drawn here because the Harzer Schmalspurbahn railway from the Wernigerode rail network can take you directly to Drei Annen Höhe station, from where the famous Brockenbahn runs to the Brocken, the highest mountain in the area.
But also the city itself has a lot to offer to its visitors. Medieval half-timbered houses make the city center a real eye-catcher. Likewise, the impressive town hall, which is located on the town’s market square, stands out. But also the smallest house in Wernigerode, where there is a museum inside and the leaning house is worth a visit.
The main focus of the city is clearly on the imposing castle, which towers on a hill above the city. The castle, which was built between the 12th and 13th centuries, now serves as a museum and viewpoint over the Wernigerode and the surrounding nature.
If you want to experience the entire Harz without leaving Wernigerode, you can marvel at replicas of the sights of the Harz in the miniature park or visit the Harz Museum to learn more about the most extensive mountain range in northern Germany.
If you visit Wernigerode in the late fall months, you should definitely not miss the chocolART chocolate festival. In the city center, there is then the chocoMarkt, where you can taste great delicacies at every stand. Our favorite is definitely the chocolate fountain.
Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony
In the east of Lower Saxony is a city that is still a little insider tip for travelers. This is undoubtedly also due to the large neighbors Hanover, Braunschweig, and Wolfsburg, which draw attention in the region.
But if you want to take a pleasant city trip to a beautiful half-timbered town, Wolfenbüttel is the best choice. The slogan “Echt Lessig” [*German Pun between the name of Lessing and the German word for “relaxed”] says a lot about the city.
From Wolfenbüttel to the world
After three stays, Nicolo can confirm that the city is not only casual but also has something to offer for different interests.
You most probably know the herb liquor “Jägermeister.” But would you have known that it comes from Wolfenbüttel? Therefore, a tour of the production facility is, of course, worthwhile for Jägermeister fans.
The second part of the city slogan already promises a lot of history. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing lived and worked in the city for several years. A visit to the Lessingshaus is, therefore, a good idea. But there is so much more to discover.
Moreover, you can find a castle, a famous library, a vibrant café scene, alternative locations, the Citizen museum, a beach bar, and much more.
Recommended by Nicolo of Nicolos Reiseblog
Würzburg is located in Bavaria on the beautiful Main. The student city is home to just over 126,000 people. Why should you stop by in Würzburg? Well, the city convinces with numerous buildings in the Baroque and Rococo styles. The surrounding vineyards add to this perfect vibe. In summer, there are multiple wine and folk festivals taking place in the area. Würzburg simply offers something for every taste!
Don’t miss the following three sights: The massive Marienberg Fortress, which was built around 1200, towers above the city. What is special about the Würzburg cityscape is that, apart from the churches, all buildings are only allowed to be built up to a maximum of four floors. From the fortress, therefore, you have a fantastic view of the river and the entire city center.
Have you ever heard of the Würzburg Residence? Both the courtyard garden and the interior of the property are a real work of art. The residence’s staircase is particularly famous. There is the remarkable Tiepolo ceiling fresco, the largest of its kind in the world.
The third highlight in beautiful Würzburg is the Alte Mainbrücke. This bridge was once the only way to cross the river in the city and, with its 12 figures of saints, goes along with the image of Prague’s Charles Bridge and the Angel’s Bridge in Rome. Today it is a popular meeting place to end the evening with a glass of red wine.
Recommended by Julia & Felix of Secluded Time
Which is your favorite city in Germany? Maybe one that is not on the list at all? Let us know in the comments below!
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