Europe as a continent is perfect for road trips. Rather than drive through endless borders, you could indulge in a bit of slow travel and explore one single country on wheels.
In my opinion, Germany would be ideal. Although Europe is packed with culture and history, Deutschland’s is undoubtedly one of the most interesting, for many reasons.
A dream trip would be to charter a bus in Germany and drive across the country, soaking up the culture and views along the way.
Here are some German cities that you should visit.
You can’t go to Germany without spending some time in its capital. I’ve raved about Berlin before, and I’d happily do it again. It’s a special place, particularly because there’s such a varied amount of things to do there.
You could go to the top of the TV Tower and sip on a Berlini, while you look over the city. Visit the very moving Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Museum Island to ogle art and learn some history. Or experience hipster Berlin in the trendier areas of Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg.
Many of Berlin’s famous sights are free to visit, like the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag (if booked online in advance) and the East Side Gallery, where you can see a section of the Berlin Wall.
The huge Tiergarten park is worth a visit – take a picnic if the weather is nice (and watch out for those who like to take advantage of the sun to strip naked and sunbathe in the grass).
Also worth a visit is the gigantic Flea Market in Mauerpark. You can rummage around the stalls for a bargain, and there’s usually some form of entertainment in the form of street dancing or pop-up karaoke going on.
You could never be bored in Berlin.
Dresden is one of the cities in Germany that’s gone through an astonishing transformation over the last eighty years.
The city suffered significant damage when it was bombed in early 1945 during World War II. An estimated 20,000 lives were lost, and the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) was destroyed and not rebuilt until the reunification of Germany 50 years later.
The city then became part of Eastern Germany and Soviet territory. It was only in the 1990s that the restoration of the city truly began.
Dresden is a small city, so you’d only need a couple of days at the most to experience its highlights. Music lovers can see a performance at the Semperoper (Opera House).
Another attraction is Kunsthofpassage – a series of brightly painted courtyards, one of which is known as the Funnel Wall. When it rains, “music” is made by the water running down the interlinked rain pipes.
Don’t forget to check out Neustadt – the New City, which is decidedly the hippest part of the town. Grab a drink at a local bar, have some brunch, or just wander around, admiring the urban art.
Munich is top of my list for Germany. I have been there before, but it was during Oktoberfest. It’d be good to see the sights of the city, not merely the inside of the Hofbräuhaus beer tent.
On a hot day, I’d go to Englisher Garden, in the hope of catching some dudes hanging ten (surfing) on the river!
If I were there during the winter, I’d head straight to the Christmas Markets to stroll around the stalls, a cup of Glühwein in my hand.
And if I were there during Oktoberfest… well, it would be straight back to the Hofbräuhaus beer tent, I guess.
Cologne (or Köln) is at its liveliest in late February/early March when Karneval kicks off.
Residents and visitors alike don costumes and run amok in the city, attending parties and drinking in bars. There are no rules for what to wear – so long as you’re in some sort of fancy dress, you’ll fit right in.
Cologne is famous for its particularly spectacular Cathedral, which survived WWII to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Work commenced on the structure in 1248, but it wasn’t fully completed until 1880. It features spires that reach over 157 meters in height. Those who choose to climb the 500-odd steps of the South Tower will be rewarded with views of the city.
If you’re a fan of gothic architecture and history in general, you’ll adore the cathedral.
Bremen is another city in Germany that is on the smaller side – but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in charm.
Start in the Marktplatz (Market Square), where you can see the Roland Statue. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site (Germany has several dozen), this statue has stood in the city for more than 600 years.
A two-minute walk from the Marktplatz is the Schnoor Quarter, the oldest part of the town. Imagine a maze of little lanes, filled with colorful 15th and 16th-century houses. There’s a bunch of cute little cafes that you can sit and people watch in and souvenirs shops filled with many handmade items.
What are your favorite cities and towns to visit in Germany?