Germany, at the very center of Europe, has the strongest economy on the continent right now. However, the nation is more well recognized for its role in World War II and for the time period immediately after the war, when it was divided into East and West; everyone is familiar with the fall of the Berlin Wall less than 30 years ago. This big European country is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty.
Much of this can be found in Bavaria, in southern Germany, where you can experience the Bavarian Alps, go to some quaint medieval villages, and partake in the world-famous Oktoberfest. North of the equator, you’ll find beach resorts and Hanseatic-era harbor cities.
Hamburg, on the Elbe River, has been one of Europe’s busiest and most significant ports for centuries because of its proximity to the North Sea, just 100 kilometers away. The city was formerly a member of the Hanseatic League and is today the second biggest in Germany, famous for its maritime history and lively nightlife.
Much of life in the city and its history, culture, and legacy are related to the canals and waterways that weave through town. The startlingly new Elbphilarmonie music venue, for instance, can be found right next to the waterfront, together with some historic brick warehouses. The city’s stunning Neo-Renaissance Rathaus is a must-see attraction.
The filthy red-light district of Hamburg is well-known for its array of stylish clubs, drink lounges, and live music venues. The Reeperbahn is where the Beatles were first seen, which led to them changing the face of music forever.
Leipzig, the biggest city in the German federal state of Saxony, is often referred to as the City of Heroes because of its important role in the democratic movement that culminated in the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Bach, Richard Wagner, and Felix Mendelssohn all left their mark on the cultural landscape of Leipzig. Bach is buried at St. Thomas Church, where his music is still regularly performed for visitors.
The city is home to some of Germany’s oldest and most spectacular buildings, including the Old Town Hall, the Napoleonic Monument to the Battle of the Nations, and the Reichsgericht (the ancient top court of the Reich).
Augustusplatz, situated in the heart of Leipzig, is one of Europe’s most magnificent town squares and is located on the campus of the city’s university, which is the second-oldest university in all of Germany. Additionally, Leipzig boasts one of the largest zoos in Germany and the country’s oldest botanical park.
The Bach Festival, the biggest Goth festival in the world, and an international balloon festival are just a few of the yearly events that take place in Leipzig. In the evenings, visitors may enjoy the city’s many bars, clubs, and restaurants, notably those along Karl-Leibknecht-Strasse, sometimes known simply as “Karli.”
Once the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire and home of numerous German emperors, Nuremberg is currently the second-largest city in Bavaria and operates as an important economic, cultural, and social hub.
The city’s richness and prominence have long supported a thriving artistic, architectural, and cultural community. Its historic old town is filled with wonderful museums, beautiful Gothic cathedrals, and a majestic imperial fortress. Following devastating bombing raids during World War II, much of Nuremberg’s historic core underwent extensive rebuilding and restoration.
However, the city’s great art and cultural scene, significant historical landmarks, and outstanding gastronomy and nightlife have helped it recover from its negative reputation as the site of the notorious Nuremberg Trials. Visitors may shop for gingerbread and local handicrafts, as well as try traditional sweets and gluhwein, at Germany’s biggest Christmas market.
4. Beautiful Rhine
The Middle Rhine runs through the Rhine Gorge, an impressive geological structure located between the German towns of Bingen and Bonn. A breathtaking panorama of historic castles, beautiful towns, and terraced vineyards characterizes this area.
Tourism developed here because noble tourists paid great attention to the region during the Romantic period of the 19th century, and the area became known as the Romantic Rhine. The establishment, which has served as the subject of many poems, paintings, operas, and stories, is now one of Germany’s most popular tourist spots.
The river, as it winds through the heart of Romantic Germany, offers beautiful vistas of historic castles that grace practically every slope. Most of these castles were built during the 12th to 14th centuries, presenting a range of structures from ruins to strongholds to grand palaces. Notably, the Stahleck Castle stands out as one of the most well-preserved castles and even offers accommodations for visitors. Other castles, including Marksburg, Stolzenfels, Pfalzgrafenstein, the Electoral Palace, and Stolzenfels Castle, also provide unique and memorable experiences for those who choose to stay in them.
5. Rothenburg on the Tauber
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the most visited cities on Germany’s Romantic Road due to its beautiful medieval old town, impressive architecture, and quaint cobblestone alleys.
The city is well-known for its exceptional Christmas market every December and the year-round shops that sell Christmas decorations.
The Franconian village on the banks of the Tauber River seems like it was plucked straight from a storybook. Within its ancient confines are some very stunning historic structures. The Town Hall has served as the city’s political center since medieval times and is well worth a visit. Views of the city are best from the tower of the 13th-century.