25 Things to Do in Germany
By Janet Benoir – October 20, 2023
Germany, a land of picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage, offers visitors a vast array of experiences. From enchanting forests and majestic castles to the historic landmarks and vibrant arts scene, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this captivating country. Whether strolling through quaint villages, sampling the renowned wines of the region, or exploring the UNESCO World Heritage sites, Germany promises a memorable adventure.
As you embark on your journey, be sure to visit well-known attractions such as the Brandenburg Gate, Neuschwanstein Castle, and immerse yourself in the local atmosphere by seeing the iconic Berlin Wall and Burg Eltz.
A visit to Berlin wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the iconic Brandenburg Gate. This monumental gate has stood witness to both the triumphs and tumultuous history of the nation. As you walk towards the gate, take in the impressive sight that has remained a symbol of unity, strength, and peace, despite the turmoil it has seen.
The Brandenburg Gate is not just an architectural marvel; it also holds historical and emotional significance. As you admire the beauty of this remarkable landmark, consider its unique place in the heart of Germans and how it reminds them of their hard-won unity. Remember, when exploring Berlin, a trip to the Brandenburg Gate is an essential experience that shouldn’t be missed.
While exploring the top things to do in Germany, you definitely should visit the captivating Schloss Neuschwanstein or Neuschwanstein Castle . Nestled in the picturesque Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein Castle is known for its stunning architecture and breathtaking surroundings. Commissioned by King Ludwig II, this masterpiece of Romanticism served as inspiration for Walt Disney’s iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle.
During your visit to Hohenschwangau, make sure to not only admire Neuschwanstein Castle’s exterior but also venture inside for a comprehensive experience. As you tour the enchanting rooms and halls adorned with intricate frescoes, you’ll be captivated by the fairy tale-like atmosphere.
While exploring Germany, you cannot miss the historic significance of the Berlin Wall in the vibrant city of Berlin. This monumental structure etched deep in the pages of time is a must-visit for comprehending the city’s remarkable past. Once a physical and symbolic barrier dividing East and West Berlin, the remnants of the Berlin Wall now stand as a testament to the city’s history.
As you stroll along the remains of the wall, make sure to visit the East Side Gallery, which showcases over 100 artists’ murals on a preserved 1.3 km section, turning it into the longest open-air gallery in the world. You can also visit the Berlin Wall Memorial, where you’ll find an open-air exhibit and a preserved section of the wall, allowing you to reflect on its historic significance.
Cologne Cathedral is undoubtedly one of the must-visit attractions when you’re exploring Germany. This masterpiece of Gothic architecture makes a stunning sight with its towering spires and intricate detailing. As you enter, marvel at the cathedral’s grandeur, adorned with beautiful stained glass windows and sculptures.
In addition to its architectural prowess, the Cologne Cathedral holds immense historical and religious significance, making it a fascinating stop on your trip. As you stroll through the nave and transepts, be sure to pay attention to the many centuries-old relics and artworks that can be found within. This extraordinary church in Cologne is a testament to the city’s heritage and a living piece of history you won’t want to miss.
The BMW Museum
When you visit Munich, make sure to explore the BMW Museum, an essential stop for car enthusiasts. This impressive museum showcases the rich history and technological advancements of the Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) company. As you navigate through the perfectly curated exhibits, you’ll be captivated by the rare and iconic vehicles, as well as the fascinating stories behind their creation.
During your visit, get ready to marvel at the sleek design and engineering of BMW cars, motorcycles, and engines from various eras. Discover the brand’s milestones in automotive innovation, their impact on industry trends, and how technological advancements have shaped the vehicles we know today. As a bonus, you’ll get a glimpse into BMW’s vision for the future of transport through concept and electric cars.
Museum Island in Berlin
Museum Island is a must-visit destination when exploring Germany. Housing five world-renowned museums, this cultural hub offers you a unique experience as you immerse yourself in art, history, and architecture. Stroll through the island’s spectacular collection, marveling at the ancient artifacts and breathtaking exhibitions.
During your visit, make sure to explore the outstanding Pergamon Museum, showcasing fascinating architectural reconstructions. Don’t miss the Neues Museum, home to the famous bust of Nefertiti, and drop by the Alte Nationalgalerie for European paintings and sculptures. Afterward, complete your Museum Island experience with a visit to the Bode Museum and Altes Museum, further enriching your knowledge of history and art.
When visiting Hamburg, treat yourself to an enchanting experience at the Modelleisenbahn Miniatur Wunderland in the historic Speicherstadt district. As you explore, you’ll find one of the world’s largest model railway exhibits. Immerse yourself in the intricate details of this astonishing miniature universe and marvel at the impressive craftsmanship that went into creating it.
Make your way through the multiple intricately designed landscapes, each based on different regions from around the world, all connected via an impressive network of railways. The exhibit’s attention to detail will leave you speechless, and the operational trains, planes, and cars truly bring the scenes to life. With over 1,300 trains and 20,000 meters of tracks, the Modelleisenbahn Miniatur Wunderland is a must-visit attraction on your German adventure.
When planning your trip to Germany, be sure to take some time to explore Rust and the remarkable Europa-Park. As one of Europe’s largest and most popular amusement parks, it offers thrilling rides and unforgettable experiences appealing to visitors of all ages.
With over 100 attractions and 13 roller coasters, you’ll never run out of options for fun. Don’t miss the immersive themed areas, each dedicated to a different European country and showcasing its unique culture and architecture. Apart from exhilarating rides, you can also enjoy spectacular shows, gourmet food, and special seasonal events like the Winter Wonderland or Halloween Fright Nights.
When in Germany, one of the remarkable places to visit is Sanssouci Park in Potsdam. This sprawling parkland, designed in the 18th century, is a beautiful representation of German cultural heritage. Make sure to take a stroll through the park and admire the manicured gardens, magnificent statues, and various architectural marvels.
Not only does Sanssouci Park offer stunning landscapes, but it also houses majestic palaces, such as the famous Sanssouci Palace and the New Palace. These historical structures give you a glimpse into the opulence of the past. Another must-see is the Chinese Tea House, a true masterpiece of exquisite craftsmanship. Make the most of your time in Germany by exploring the enchanting Sanssouci Park in Potsdam.
Berchtesgaden National Park
In the heart of the Bavarian Alps, you will find the breathtaking Berchtesgaden National Park. As a nature lover, this is your paradise. Here, you can explore the picturesque landscapes featuring majestic Alpine peaks, lush forests, serene lakes, and an abundance of wildlife. For an unforgettable experience, visit the crystal-clear Königssee, one of the main attractions of the park.
While visiting Berchtesgaden National Park, immerse yourself in its abundant outdoor activities. Hiking enthusiasts can choose from numerous well-marked trails that cater to all skill levels. Witness the splendor of the Alps while traversing the park’s diverse terrains.
In the heart of Rhineland-Palatinate, you’ll find one of Germany’s most spectacular castles waiting to be explored – Burg Eltz. Nestled in a picturesque forest, this magical medieval fortress offers a unique experience as you walk through history.
Upon visiting Burg Eltz, immerse yourself in its rich heritage by taking a guided tour of the castle’s rooms and halls. Appreciate the stunning architecture and well-preserved treasures while absorbing stories of the Eltz family, who have called the castle home for over 850 years.
The Aachen Cathedral
One of the top attractions in Germany is the Aachen Cathedral. As you step inside this magnificent building, you’ll be amazed by its rich history, architectural grandeur, and significance as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Cathedral was constructed in the 9th century by Emperor Charlemagne, and it’s a fascinating merge of Ottonian and Carolingian architecture.
During your visit, pay particular attention to the Palatine Chapel, featuring stunning mosaics and the magnificent Barbarossa chandelier. Additionally, take time to admire the Gothic choir and the golden shrine that holds the remains of Charlemagne. The Aachen Cathedral is a captivating sight on your German travels and should not be missed.
The Würzburg Residence
While exploring Germany, make a point to visit the Würzburg Residence, an architectural marvel that showcases design elements from the Baroque, Renaissance, and Rococo periods. As you stroll through this splendid palace, admire the artistic masterpieces and lavish decorations adorning every corner, reflecting the opulent lifestyle of past royalty.
Located in Würzburg, this UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts intricately detailed rooms that demonstrate the architectural prowess of the time. Indulge your senses and feast your eyes on the breathtaking frescoes, ornate ceilings, and grand staircases as you immerse yourself in the historical grandeur of this magnificent German monument.
The Herrenchiemsee Palace
While exploring Germany, make sure to visit Herreninsel, an island in the Chiemsee Lake, home to the magnificent Herrenchiemsee Palace. Designed by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and inspired by the Palace of Versailles, this stunning architectural marvel should be on your must-see list.
As you tour the palace, immerse yourself in the opulence of its lavish interiors and remarkable craftsmanship. Don’t forget to step outside and admire its perfectly manicured gardens, fountains, and sculptures that contribute to the regal atmosphere. Visiting Herreninsel and the Herrenchiemsee Palace will make your trip to Germany unforgettable.
Upper Middle Rhine Valley
Visiting the Upper Middle Rhine Valley should definitely be on your list of top 25 things to do in Germany. This enchanting region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with picturesque landscapes, historic castles, and charming towns. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore the area either on foot, by bike, or through a scenic boat tour along the Rhine River.
While exploring the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, be sure to hop off your boat tour or take a break from your hike to visit some of the region’s famous landmarks and attractions. Immerse yourself in the unique architectural beauty of the medieval castles, indulge in local wines at the vineyards, and treat yourself to mouth-watering regional cuisine at cozy restaurants.
While visiting Germany, be sure to make a stop in Bavaria to visit the stunning Wies Church. Nestled in a serene meadow in the foothills of the Alps, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a true hidden gem waiting to be explored. As you approach the church, you’ll be captivated by its elegant Rococo architecture. Take a moment to appreciate the fine details on its façade and steeple, which showcase the exceptional skills of 18th-century craftsmen.
Upon entering the sacred space, you’ll be enveloped by its breathtaking beauty. The intricate frescoes that adorn the ceiling will immediately draw your gaze upwards. As you take in the vibrant colors and harmonious designs, allow yourself to be transported to another time. Don’t forget to admire the impressive main altar and the sculptures that depict various religious scenes.
Dresden Elbe Valley
When exploring Germany, be sure to visit the charming Dresden Elbe Valley, located in the beautiful region of Saxony. As you walk through the picturesque landscape, marvel at the stunning baroque architecture of the city, reflecting its fascinating history.
Among the must-see attractions in Dresden is the magnificent Frauenkirche, a symbol of perseverance and restoration. Take your time to admire this grand church with its intricate details and rich historical significance. Remember to enjoy the enchanting ambiance of Saxony’s capital and cherish these memories from your visit to Germany.
Old Town of Regensburg
Within Germany’s top attractions, the Old Town of Regensburg stands out as a must-visit destination. This well-preserved medieval city offers you a unique experience as you stroll along its narrow streets and marvel at the ancient architecture.
As you explore the Old Town, don’t miss some of its remarkable landmarks such as the Regensburg Cathedral and the Stone Bridge. Enjoy the charming atmosphere and be sure to try some traditional Bavarian food at a local eatery. Your visit to Regensburg will be a memorable part of your German adventure.
As you wander through Quedlinburg, you’ll be immersed in the charm of this well-preserved medieval town. The narrow cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, and beautiful squares are the main attractions that draw visitors from all over the world. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Old Town of Quedlinburg is a true gem to explore while in Germany.
Make sure to visit the Castle Hill, upon which Quedlinburg Castle and the Collegiate Church of St. Servatius stand, showcasing the town’s rich history and stunning architecture. Take your time to appreciate the picturesque scenery from the hilltop and feel the spirit of the past.
While visiting Germany, pay a visit to the city of Weimar, where you will find a treasure trove of fascinating museums. Among the top 25 things to do in the country, you should certainly make time for these cultural institutions.
During your trip to Weimar, immerse yourself in the rich history by exploring museums like the Goethe National Museum, dedicated to the life and work of the famous German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Additionally, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Bauhaus Museum, showcasing the iconic artistic movement of the same name.
Schlenkerla Brewery and Tavern
When visiting Bamberg, make sure to stop by the Schlenkerla Brewery and Tavern. This historic brewery has been producing world-renowned smoked beer for hundreds of years. Upon entering the tavern, you’ll be greeted by the rich aroma of beechwood-smoked malt, a key ingredient in their signature beer. Taste the authentic flavors of Bamberg as you sip on one of their famed rauchbiers, a truly unique beer experience.
While at Schlenkerla, expand your palate and try their various beer offerings, each with its distinct character and flavor profile. Discover the tavern’s age-old history as you admire the beautiful half-timbered architecture and cozy ambiance. As you indulge in your beer, don’t forget to pair it with hearty traditional Franconian dishes served at the tavern.
Trier, a city steeped in history and beauty, offers an abundance of activities to choose from. As you wander the streets, you’ll be captivated by the well-preserved Roman and medieval architecture. Start at the breathtaking Porta Nigra, a massive Roman gate that once served as the entrance to the city. Just a few steps away, you’ll come across the impressive Trier Cathedral, a revered site with a rich history that dates back to the 4th century.
In addition to these architectural marvels, immerse yourself in the ancient history of Trier by visiting the Rheinisches Landesmuseum, which houses a fascinating collection of artifacts from the Roman era. Lastly, don’t miss the opportunity to stroll through the Hauptmarkt, where you’ll find an array of shops, cafes, and the charming half-timbered houses that make Trier a true gem among German cities.
While touring Germany, ensure you visit the remarkable Maulbronn Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases commendable medieval architecture. This Cistercian monastery complex, built in the 12th century, is intricately preserved, retaining its authenticity and allowing you to delve deeper into history.
At Maulbronn Abbey, immerse yourself in its past and learn about the monks’ daily lives and practices. Stroll through the ancient refectory and marvel at the elaborate carvings, or contemplate in the peaceful surroundings of the courtyard. A visit to the Maulbronn Abbey provides a fulfilling experience, enriching your understanding of Germany’s cultural legacy and leaving you with memories to cherish.
When exploring Germany, a visit to Berlin’s Erholungspark Marzahn is a must. This expansive park features a variety of stunning gardens, each designed to represent different cultures and eras. As you walk through the park, you’ll be amazed by the meticulous attention to detail and the serene atmosphere it provides.
Take your time to wander through the Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Balinese-inspired gardens, and appreciate their unique horticultural styles. Don’t miss the impressive Italian Renaissance garden and the peaceful Christian monastery garden. Erholungspark Marzahn is a perfect place to unwind, enjoy nature, and immerse yourself in the beauty of diverse landscapes.
Sylt in Schleswig-Holstein
When visiting Germany, one place you shouldn’t miss is the island of Sylt in Schleswig-Holstein. With a mix of pristine beaches and charming villages, Sylt offers something for everyone. Begin your adventure by exploring Westerland, the island’s largest town, where you can shop, dine, and enjoy its bustling nightlife.
Sylt also boasts beautiful natural landscapes, so don’t forget to explore its outdoor attractions. Stroll along the impressive Ellenbogen peninsula, admire the shifting sands of the Rotes Kliff, and visit the noteworthy 5,000-year-old Denghoog burial site.