Beautiful Germany is often overlooked as a holiday destination, in favour of the more popular France, Italy and Spain. But this country has much to offer. Whether you’re into hiking, sunbathing or exploring world-class galleries, there’s something to offer every type of traveller in Deutschland!
Berlin is fast becoming one of the most popular city break locations in Europe. This edgy city is jam-packed with culture; its museums and galleries are world-class. Many of these can be found on ‘Museum Island’ which houses five institutions, including the Alte Nationalgalerie, styled after an Ancient Temple, and the Pergamonmuseum which attracts a million visitors a year.
The Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate are also must-see sights, offering insight into the city’s rich history. Shopaholics will enjoy Gendarmenmarkt, where some of Berlin’s best boutiques are surrounded by sights including the stunning French and German Cathedrals. Berlin is a mecca for foodies. In the evening, head to hip Kreuzkölln where many of the city’s best new restaurants and bars can be found.
Germany has so much to offer and is so close to the UK, and because of this, many people forget to take out insurance – don’t make this mistake, order your travel insurance for European holidays before you leave.
This historic town is a serious contender for the prettiest city in Germany. Home to Germany’s oldest University, Heidelberg was popular amongst 18th and 19th century Romantics including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and J. M. W. Turner. It’s easy to see why. The city emerged from World War 2 remarkably unscathed and its beautiful ancient architecture gives the city a distinctly romantic air. Towering over the city is the ruined Renaissance Castle Schloss Heidelberg. Mark Twain wrote of the Castle in A Tramp Abroad:
“Out of a billowy upheaval of vivid green foliage …rises the huge ruin of Heidelberg Castle, with empty window arches, ivy-mailed battlements, moldering towers—the Lear of inanimate nature—deserted, discrowned, beaten by the storms, but royal still, and beautiful.”
The city lies along the River Neckar, where you can find a selection of traditional German bars and restaurants to enjoy the view on a summer’s day.
The Black Forest is famous for being the romantic setting for many of the Grimm brother’s Fairy Tales. It lives up to its reputation for cuckoo clocks, cherry cakes and unspoilt scenery, but offers much else besides. Sitting near to the borders of both France and Switzerland, this region offers a taste of each country. A good base for exploring this area is the genteel nineteenth-century town of Baden-Baden, famous for its curative waters that have attracted everyone from Queen Victoria to Victoria Beckham.
The ancient University town of Freiberg also makes a romantic base, with its cobblestone streets and medieval architecture. But of course, the real attraction of this area is the great outdoors. A seemingly endless number of hiking routes are available, but walking isn’t the only activity on offer. This area also offers many opportunities for cyclists and its lakes are popular destinations for boating and swimming.
The city of Munich really comes alive in the autumn, when Munich hosts the world-famous Oktoberfest. This 16-day extravaganza is the world’s largest funfair, attracting a staggering 6 million visitors every year.
A celebration of all things Bavarian, the festival is perhaps most famous for the beer; in 2013, 7.7 million litres were served and drunk over the 16 days! But, even when the festival isn’t on, the city still has much to offer. Visit the pretty Marienplatz in the centre of town to see the famously elaborate mechanical clock and wander the city’s parks and art galleries; the city houses several world-class collections.
Germany may not spring to mind as a beach destination, but the Germans love beach life, and Rugen Island provides some of the finest beaches in the country. This charming island in North-Eastern Germany offers idyllic white sand, unspoilt scenery and charming architecture. Although it’s busy in the summer, there are many quiet corners waiting to be discovered. The island even houses its own national park, where you can unwind in the shade. Culture vultures will enjoy the island’s theatre festival, which takes place every summer.
Germany is a vast country that offers the best of city life, countryside and beaches. From Berlin to the Black Forest there is something for every traveller.
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