It’s hard to sum up in words what makes Germany so special.
Is it its romantic fairytale castles and villages? Or the breathtaking surroundings of mountains, lakes, and forests?
Perhaps it’s the vibrant cities rich with culture, history, and gastronomic delights? Germany has all those things – and so much more.
Is Germany worth visiting?
If you’re on the fence about visiting Germany, you should absolutely go visit Germany. The nature, the food, the festivals, the architecture and the history are just a few of the great reasons to visit Germany. Try to go during Christmas for a real treat and don’t forget about the world-class resorts, either.
There are a seemingly endless number of reasons to visit.
Although it’s just the tip of the iceberg, this list should hopefully convince you to add Germany to your travel bucket list.
Its Breathtaking Nature
Although Germany is great for city trips, it’s even better for outdoor adventure.
From glacial mountains and alpine lakes to pine-covered forests and salty ocean coasts, Germany has no shortage of beautiful landscapes.
The south of Germany is famous for the Alps.
Stretching from Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and over to Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and France, the Alps is the best destination for hiking and skiing.
This area also has some of the most beautiful lakes in the country, including Hopfensee and Chiemsee.
To the north, you’ll find the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
Although it can get warm in the summer, don’t expect tropical landscapes or turquoise waters.
Instead, people come here for kitesurfing, sailing, and cycling.
If a day in the forest is more up your alley, then you’ll be delighted to know that Germany is home to 16 different national parks.
Head to the Black Forest National Park to explore waterfalls or Saxon Switzerland National Park to see forested canyons and rocky outcrops.
The Bavarian Forest National Park is also a mix of lakes, mountains, and woodlands, ideal for hiking, boating, and wildlife watching.
Its Delicious Cuisine
German food may not be the healthiest cuisine, but it’s something that you must try at least once in your life.
And despite what you might think, there’s more to German cuisine than sauerkraut and bratwurst (although they do have over 150 different types of sausage).
Many dishes are regional, so you’ll get to sample a variety of things depending on where you are.
In Bavaria, schweinebraten (pork roast), semmelknödel (bread dumpling), and leberkäse (fine meatloaf) are specialties on most menus.
Don’t forget a pretzel and a beer – they’re staples if you’re headed to a beer garden.
In the north, especially near Hamburg, seafood is the focus.
Try a fishbrötchen (fish sandwich) or finkenwerder Scholle (baked or pan-fried fish), which could have been caught by a local fisherman just that morning.
Germans are also especially good at baking.
There seems to be a bakery on every corner, whipping up fresh rolls, cookies, pastries, and cakes throughout the day.
Bread is a staple for most meals, and there are officially 3,200 registered types in the entire country.
Its Fun Festivals
Every month, it seems like there is something to celebrate in Germany.
Visit Munich in the fall, and you’ll get to participate in one of the biggest festivals in the country – Oktoberfest.
Strap on your lederhosen and lace up your dirndls because this beer-drinking event is guaranteed to be a good time.
You’ll feast on traditional Bavarian dishes, listen to live oompah music, and indulge in one too many liter-sized beers.
Carnival is another big festival that takes place in Cologne (although it’s celebrated throughout the rest of the country on a smaller scale).
This week-long street festival occurs between Fat Thursday and Ash Wednesday and features parades, parties, and lots of crazy costumed attendees.
The Berlin Film Festival takes place in February each year.
Along with the Venice and Cannes Film Festival, Berlin is one of the most sought-after events for filmmakers and movie lovers.
Over 400 films are shown at this time.
And while only 300,000 tickets are sold (it’s the film festival with the largest attendance) they do sell out fast.
Its Breathtaking Architecture
Architecture in Germany is incredibly diverse.
With a history that spans back more than 2,000 years, it’s not uncommon to see Romanesque and Gothic churches standing next to modern, art nouveau buildings.
The Bauhaus movement also made a lasting impression on German art and architectural trends.
If you’re visiting Weimar (the birthplace of Bauhaus), you can see many notable buildings, especially around the Bauhaus University.
Germany also has its fair share of fairytale-like castles. Neuschwanstein Castle is arguable the most famous.
Located in the Bavarian Alps, this Romanesque palace was believed to be the inspiration for Disney’s iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Hohenzollern Castle, Schwerin Castle, and Heidelberg Castle are a few other majestic buildings you won’t want to miss.
Some of Germany’s most famous buildings are its churches.
For example, the Gothic-style Cologne Cathedral is an awe-inspiring sight (it’s the third-largest church in the world).
The Frauenkirche in Dresden is a gorgeous Baroque building, although it’s a reconstruction after the original one was destroyed during WWII.
Even if you don’t make it to see these two buildings, you can still see a historic church in most towns and villages.
Its Charming Christmas Markets
December is a magical time in Germany.
Festive Christmas markets pop up all over the country, with elaborate decorations, food and drink booths, and endless opportunities for shopping.
Markets generally open the last week of November and end around Christmas or New Year’s Eve.
The Striezelmarkt in Dresden is the oldest in the country.
However, it also holds the record for having the world’s tallest Christmas pyramid, which is a type of carousel featuring different characters and motifs.
Munich, Nürnberg, and Cologne also put on epic markets, where you can wander through the maze of twinkling stalls and food booths in a picturesque old town setting.
While each city is different, Christmas markets are the best places to pick up traditional handmade gifts.
Wooden crafts are very popular – think nativity scenes, ornaments, and figurines.
It’s also common to find paper lanterns, nutcrackers, mulled wine mugs, and Christmas pyramids.
Even if you’ve already purchased gifts for everyone on your list, it’s still worth visiting the market for its festive atmosphere.
Every evening, locals and visitors gather around one of the mulled wine booths or sausage stands to talk and hang out.
At some markets, you might even be treated to live music, street entertainment, or theatrical performances.
Its Cultural Attractions
Germany has given rise to many artists, musicians, and philosophers over the last few centuries.
From Mozart and Beethoven to Einstein and Goethe, Germany prides itself on its cultural contributors.
With so many influential people coming from the country, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of cultural institutions.
Germany has over 300 theaters, 130 professional orchestras, and nearly 6,200 museums.
If you’re in the city, it’s recommended to catch a show at the Bayerische Staatoper in Munich, the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin, or the Semperoper in Dresden.
Tickets aren’t as expensive as you might think, and it’s a great opportunity to see a show while also getting the chance to admire the stunning architecture of the theaters.
Germany also has a museum for every taste and interest.
For art and history, the Germanic National Museum in Nürnberg is a must-see.
If you love cars, then check out the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart or BMW World in Munich
And don’t forget about Museum Island in Berlin.
Perched in the middle of the River Spree, this island houses five of Germany’s most prominent museums.
Its Wellness Spas
If you’re looking for a bit of rest and relaxation, then you’ve come to the right country.
Visiting the spa for a day of wellness is a longstanding tradition in Germany.
For that reason, you’ll find bathhouses, saunas, and thermal pools almost everywhere.
Many German thermal baths are located near natural hot springs
The water’s high mineral content is believed to cure many ailments and promote skin and cardiovascular health.
They often look like a normal swimming pool (indoor or outdoor).
The sauna is another important ritual in German spa culture.
It’s common for places to have many different types of saunas, with different temperatures, styles, and even aromatic scents.
Keep in mind that most saunas are nude and that wearing your swimsuit is generally frowned upon.
If you’re traveling with kids, then you might consider visiting a hydro-park.
In addition to spa and sauna services for adults, these centers may also have water slides, wave pools, or lazy rivers for those who crave a bit more adventure.
Similar to other wellness centers, German spas and resorts may also offer additional services like massages, pedicures, and facial treatments.
Many of them also have a café or restaurant, where you can grab a beer or a bite to eat in between services.
Its Extensive History
Although Germany was founded in 1871, its history dates back more than 2,000 years back to Roman times.
Its diverse history is reflected throughout the country, from historic ruins and medieval towns to WWI monuments and Eastern German architecture.
In total, there are 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered around the country.
Berlin is one of the best cities to learn more about German history.
Here, you can see parts of the Berlin Wall, which divided the country from 1961 until it was demolished in 1989.
You’ll also see the Brandenberger Tor, an 18th-century monument and one of the most recognizable symbols of Germany.
As the center of the Third Reich, Germany also has many sights from WWII.
Although somber experiencers, the Dachau Concentration Camp, the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, and the Rally Grounds in Nürenberg shed light on the country’s tumultuous past.
You don’t even have to visit a specific monument to feel how old this country truly is.
You can simply walk the streets of Trier, Bonn, Mainz, and Cologne to see century-old houses and streets up close and personal.
Germany is a living history museum in itself, with a lot to see and even more to learn.
Its Citizens and Safety
Over the past few decades, Germans have developed a bad rap for being cold, standoffish, and humorless.
But these stereotypes are anything but true.
While traveling through Germany, you’ll be surprised that they are some of the friendliest people in all of Europe.
Many foreigners find Germans to be unfriendly, although this is generally the result of their directness.
Germans are straight shooters who won’t beat around the bush to tell you what they’re thinking.
And although they may be distant towards strangers, they are very loyal to those they like and trust.
For this reason, you can trust that Germans will do the right thing. Violence is very rare, especially towards tourists.
If you’re lost, you should have no problem asking a local for directions or advice – they’re almost always willing to help.
However, petty theft and scams can be common, but this is no different than any other place around the world.
And although you may encounter a few bad characters, the majority of the population is extremely friendly and helpful.
What is the best time to go to Germany?
Germany is a year-round destination with something to see every month of the year.
If you’re coming for outdoor recreation, you’ll want to visit from May to September.
The weather in summer can be hot, although it shouldn’t be a problem if you’re up the mountain or swimming in a lake.
Winter is another great time to visit.
Not only will you get to go skiing, but you’ll also get to see the magical Christmas markets lit up around the different cities.
How many days should I spend in Germany?
If you’re coming for a city trip, 3 to 5 days should be enough time to tick off most of the major sights and attractions
However, staying a week or longer will allow you to take a day trip to a national park or historic village.
German train travel is extremely efficient, whisking you from one end of the country to the other in just over 5 hours.
Therefore, it’s reasonable to visit multiple areas in a short amount of time.