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Germany is steeped in history, culture, art, and beauty. There are so many amazing places to visit in Germany and so many exciting things to do there too. Whether you'd like to immerse yourself in art or get engaged in adventurous activities, there is a place in Germany for all of that. Metropolitan cities in Germany such as Munich, Hamburg, or Frankfurt are beautiful and go hand in hand with places such as the Bavarian Alps or the Rhine Valley where you could engage in fun activities. So here is a list of all the most terrific places in Germany that you have to have on your itinerary!
Berlin is the heart of Germany and also the capital city. It is steeped in history, culture, and art given that it has faced so many challenges and power games during the World War and Cold War era. There are so many stunning places that you could be visiting in Berlin that the list is endless. One of the most impressive places has to be the Brandenberg Gate situated in the Mitte district of Berlin. It was built in 1791 for King Fredrick William II and was designed based on the ancient Acropolis situated in Athens. The Gate is crafted from sandstone and features a towering height of 26 meters. It also features Quadriga which is a magnanimous carriage drawn by 4 horses and carries the goddess of Victory. Of the five passageways formed by the six gigantic columns, 4 were used for everyday traffic while one was used by the royals. The toll collectors of the past used to sit in the Doric columns on either side of the two buildings. Though it was highly damaged during the Second World War and was also a part of the Berlin Wall later, it has been set to the initial majestic conditions.
Talking of the Berlin Wall, it is another interesting place in Berlin that you should visit. It is not much of a picturesque scenery but is steeped in history. It was erected in 1961 during the Cold War and stretched for 155 km dividing East Germany from the West. Nowadays, it exists only in parts to commemorate the sad turn of events in Germany covered in graffiti. One section of the wall exists in Checkpoint Charlie and the one at Humboldthafen which also lists the names of the victims.
Another point of interest in Belin lies between the Spree River and the Kupfergraben (a 400 m long canal) rightly called the Museuminsel or the Museum Island. Some of the most historic and most important museums of Berlin are situated on Museum Island. The Old Museum exhibits royal tressures and was constructed in 1830. The New Museum was built later on in the same century between 1843 and 1855. The National Gallery was added to it in 1876. The Bode Museum, which was erected in 1904 holds a collection of well-preserved antiquities. The Pergamon is another interesting feature of the Island with the buildings depicting architecture from the Middle East. There are so many things to witness here that one to two days is not sufficient to engage in touring the whole place.
The Kölner Dom or the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Mary is one of the most stunning landmarks of Cologne. It is also one of the largest cathedrals you will find in all of Europe and dates back to 1248 when construction began. It is also thought to be one of the most ambitious projects to be built in the Middle Ages.
In the simplest words, the cathedral is gigantic- the façade is huge and behind it, the interiors cover a space of 6,166 m2. 56 humongous pillars within the cathedral hold the roof up. Nicholas of Verdun’s famous artwork in gold, the Reliquary of Three Kings dates back to the 12th century and is featured behind the high altar in the cathedral. It was designed to commemorate the Three Kings from Milan who was brought here. The Cathedral also features many stained-glass artworks dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries within the Three Kings Chapel. The South Tower will get you some of the most picturesque views of the ensuing landmass and the river cutting through it. The Treasury is an exciting place if you wish to look into many wonderful things from the past.
The Black Forest
The Black Forest is a densely forested area and features a dark ambiance bringing in tons of visitors from Europe and the world. It is one of the most visited places in the entirety of Europe. The Black Forest is located towards the south-western corner of the country and stretches between Pforzheim on the northern side to Waldshut on the High Rhine on the Southern side for 160 km.
If you are in love with adventure activities, this place could be regarded as heaven for you. The Black Forest features one of the oldest skiing areas in Germany at Todtnau. It also has a very comfortable and peaceful resort in bad Liebenzell and spa facilities are available in Baden-Baden. In Triberg, you will find the amazing Black Forest Open Air Museum and also the Black Forest Railway- both of which are spectacular activities on their own.
The Neuschwanstein Castle could be regarded as one of the most famous castles that you will find in Europe- it also happens to be one of the most picturesque castles. It is situated in the old town of Füssen which lies between the Allgäu and the Ammeragu Alps and thus is a popular place for relaxation or winter activities.
The magnificent castle was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The fortress has too many towers and battlements and often looks like a castle drawn out of a fantasy world. This IS the castle that serves as the inspiration behind the themed castles in the Walt Disney parks. You can easily go for a guided tour or a solo one- the former is great if you want to soak in all the information about the castle that you want to. There are so many spectacular sites within the castle to look for such as the Throne Room, the Singer's Hall, and so on!
The port of Hamburg is yet another stunning place that you have to visit while you are exploring Germany. It covers an area of about 100 km2 and is often regarded as the Gateway to Germany. Since it is a port city, one of the best ways to explore it would be via boats. The port of Hamburg is one of the largest terminals for cruise ships in the world. The Warehouse District with its liens of warehouse offers you a different kind of picturesque location while the harbourside promenade is a lovely walking trail, especially after sunset.
While in Hamburg, one of the best places that you could visit is the Miniatur Wunderland. It is the largest model railway system in the world and boasts of over 12,000 m tracks, 890 trains, 300,000 lights, and more than 200,000 human figurines. Sections of the track include places of interest from all around the world such as the USA, England, Scandinavia, and even Hamburg. There are also detailed airports, all in a miniature form in the Miniatur wonderland, and you’ll be amazed to see that the planes even take off. One of the best experiences in the Miniatur Wunderland would be the Behind the Scenes tour, especially if you are taking the tour in the evening.
The Rhine Valley
The River Rhine stretches for about 1,320 km through the continental mass of Europe, starting from Switzerland, passing through Germany, and ending in the Netherlands. It is one of the most important waterways in all of Europe and is so well-maintained that it is also one of the most beautiful ones. The Rhine Valley in Germany is a picturesque location- if you do not visit the place, your trip to Germany would be incomplete. Bingen, a historic town on the Rhine Valley where the river enters Bacharach Valley and cuts in a deep gorge, is a great place to start with your Rhine Valley exploration.
The best place in Germany to witness the majestic river flowing through would be the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. You will enter this particular region, regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from Bingen. The river stretches for about 65km in the valley. There are about 40 castles along the way and some were around 60 medieval German villages and towns. You could visit all of these places either via road on a car or through the river by taking a cruise.
The Zugspitze Massif is yet another stunning place to visit in Germany that you are not likely to forget in a long time to come. It is located along the frontier between Austria and Germany and offers some of the most mesmerizing glimpses into Germany. The easter summit features a towering height of 2,962 m and has a gilded cross crowning. It can easily be accessed by the Bayerische Zugspitzbahn, a cog railway.
When visiting this place, you could also get aboard the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn which will take you up to the Zugspitzkamn station, situated at a height of 2,805 m. this is a terrific journey through the mountains on a train and the journey can be continued up to the massif through a cable car. The cable car would leave you at the Zugspitz- Westgipfel Station at a height of 2,950 m. En route, you will find an excellent panoramic restaurant and you have to try the cuisine here- enjoying a hot meal with such a view surrounding you is an exceptional, once in a life time experience.
One of the major highlights of the journey is the walkthrough of an 800 m tunnel. This tunnel has windows all along the way which will give you an expansive view into the surroundings and take you to the top of the Bavarian cog railway at Schneefernerhaus station. This spot will grant you access to the eastern summit and the viewing platforms therein. You can spend your time relaxing, taking in the majestic view, or skiing in this region.
There are many German Baltic Islands and Rügen is the biggest among them. The Strelasund separates this island from mainland Germany and is connected by a causeway to the mainland through Stralsund. The most impressive detail about the island is the diversity in landscape and geographical features- you will find flat farmlands, beaches and lagoons, forested hills, and almost all of everything that you can think of.
Once in Rügen, you have to visit the Jasmund Peninsula, which reaches up to a height of 161 m at some places. The Jasmund National Park is home to many diverse species of flora and fauna and you have a terrific chance of witnessing the rare white-tailed eagles in this place. Königsstuhl National Park is another impressive area to visit on this island. The Stubnitz beech forests in one of the most terrific attractions of this national park. The forests come to an abrupt halt on the Königsstuhl or King’s Chair wherein a chalk cliff jumps down into the ocean from a height of 117m.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg used to be a Franconian imperial city and is also one of the most attractive places to visit in Germany. The city is built along the banks of the Tauber River and features rich architecture that has been well-preserved since the Thirty Years War of 1618. One of the best things you can do in this place is to simply collect a map of the city from the tourism office and start walking around. You could also engage in a walking tour if you are looking for company, but a solo tour is just as fine.
The Town Hall, built in the 13th century is a terrific building in Rothenburg. The Council Tavern, known as the Ratstrinkstube, has an interesting clock that was built way back in 1466. In 1608, the St. Georgs-Brunnen fountain was built near Herngasse and you have to witness it to understand how beautiful it is. The St. James Church, constructed in 1466, is another unmissable point of attraction in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. One of the most picturesque spots of the place is the Plönlein which you are sure to find as you walk around the place. The terrific walk could easily end with you entering any one of the many restaurants in the place and enjoying a quaint, delicious, German meal. The Christmas Market is also worth visiting if you are traveling through the place in the winter season.
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