• Bacharach

Germany

Germany is blessed with some of Europe's most high-powered sights. There's spectacular scenery — the jagged Alps, flower-filled meadows, rolling hills of forests and farms, and mighty rivers — dotted all over with castles and churches of every variety. In Deutschland's idyllic half-timbered villages, you can enjoy strudel at the bakery or sip a stein of beer while men in lederhosen play oompah music. And don't overlook the "real" Germany of today — a world of high-tech trains, gleaming cities, social efficiency, and world-class museums celebrating many of history's greatest cultural achievements.

Places

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Munich Lively city with a traffic-free center, excellent museums, Baroque palaces, stately churches, rowdy beer halls, convivial beer gardens, and beautiful parks (such as the English Garden) — plus the sobering concentration camp memorial at nearby Dachau.

▲▲▲ Southern Bavaria and Western Tirol Pair of Alps-straddling regions (one in Germany, the other in Austria) boasting the fairy-tale castles of Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau, and Linderhof; inviting villages such as the handy home base Füssen, Austrian retreat Reutte, and adorable Oberammergau; the towering Zugspitze and its high-altitude lifts; and hiking, luge, and other mountain activities.

▲▲▲ Salzburg and Berchtesgaden Austrian musical mecca for fans of Mozart and The Sound of Music, offering a dramatic castle, concerts, Baroque churches, and an old town full of winding lanes; plus nearby Berchtesgaden, soaked in alpine scenery and Nazi history.

▲▲▲ Berlin Germany's vibrant and reunited capital, featuring world-class museums, gleaming modern architecture, and trendy nightlife, along with evocative monuments and memories of the Wall that once divided the city and country.

▲▲ Rothenburg and the Romantic Road Well-preserved medieval city full of half-timbered buildings and cobbled lanes surrounded by intact and walkable medieval walls; jumping-off point for the "Romantic Road" scenic route through lovely countryside and time-passed towns, including Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen.

▲▲ Rhine Valley Mighty river steeped in legend, where storybook half-timbered villages (including charming home-base towns Bacharach and St. Goar) cluster under imposing castles, such as Rheinfels and Marksburg.

▲▲ Mosel Valley Peaceful meandering river lined with tiny wine-loving cobbled towns, such as handy Cochem and quaint Beilstein, plus my favorite European castle, Burg Eltz.

▲▲ Nürnberg City with old-fashioned sandstone core and great museums, along with reminders of the Nazi past thoughtfully presented on the outskirts of town.

▲▲ Dresden Art-filled city offering exquisite museums, Baroque palaces, a delightful riverside promenade, and hard memories of a notorious WWII firebombing.

Baden-Baden and the Black Forest High-class resort/spa town of Baden-Baden, with decadent bath experiences, a peaceful riverside stroll, and a grand casino; lively university city of Freiburg and cozy village of Staufen; and a thickly forested countryside rife with healthy hikes, folk museums, cute hamlets, and cream cakes.

Würzburg Residenz complex (with a palace, manicured gardens, and dazzling Rococo chapel) and lively wine bars and restaurants.

Frankfurt Europe's bustling banking center, offering a stunning skyscraper skyline and a look at today's Germany.

Trier Germany's oldest city, with a lively pedestrian zone and imposing Roman monuments, including the Porta Nigra gate.

Köln Spectacular Gothic cathedral looming above a busy, museum-packed riverside city.

Lutherland Charming university town of Erfurt, where Martin Luther spent his youth; Wartburg Castle, where he hid out from the pope's goons; and Wittenberg, where he taught, preached, and revolutionized Christianity.

Leipzig Formerly derelict "second city" of East Germany, now rejuvenated (if architecturally dull) with excellent Bach and Cold War sights, and a funky nightlife district.

Hamburg Big port city with emigration, World War II, and Beatles history, and Las Vegas-style nightlife.

Plan

Photos

  • Dachau Concentration Camp
  • Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, Germany
  • Christkind, Bavaria, Germany
  • Wurzburg, Germany
  • Berlin Wall 1990, Berlin, Germany
  • Skyline, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Romberg Square, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Berlin Wall 1990, Berlin, Germany
  • Brandenburg Gate at Night, Berlin, Germany
  • View of Cochem, Mosel Valley, Germany
  • Bike Path, Beilstein, Mosel Valley, Germany
  • Cathedral Interior, Koln, Germany
  • New Synagogue, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
  • Oktoberfest Interior, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
  • Oktoberfest Waitress, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
  • Night Watchman Tour, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
  • Hostel Exterior, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
  • Hohenschwangau Castle Setting, Bavaria, Germany
  • Dome Interior Displays, Reichstag, Berlin, Germany
  • Man Photographing Flowers, Germany
  • Chancellery, Spree River Boat Tour, Berlin, Germany
  • Reighstag Dome Interior, Berlin, Germany
  • Christmas Market, Nurnberg, Germany
  • Frauenkirche Exterior, Dresden, Germany
  • Zwinger Park, Dresden, Germany
  • Pfalz Castle Exterior, Rhine Valley, Germany
  • Stained Glass Window, Erfurt, Germany
  • City Hall, Hamburg, Germany
  • Reichstag Dome Exterior at Night, Berlin, Germany
  • Train Station Departures Board, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
  • Mural in Leipzig, Germany
  • Museum of Torture Display, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
  • Woman in Stocks, Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
  • City Wall, Rothenburg ob der tauber, Germany
  • Beer Mugs Toasting, Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany
  • Town Hall, Leipzig, Germany
  • Hotel Family, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
  • River Surfers, Munich, Germany
  • Rick Researching, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Reichstag Exterior, Berlin, Germany
  • Friedrichsbad Bath Exterior, Baden-Baden, Germany
  • New Synagogue, Munich, Germany
  • Burg Eltz Castle, Mosel Valley, Germany
  • Frauenkirche Interior, Dresden, Germany
  • Shell Game, Berlin, Germany
  • Brandenburg Gate at Night, Berlin, Germany
  • Pedal Taxis in Marienplatz, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
  • Neuschwanstein Castle Tower, Bavaria, Germany
  • Christmas Nutcrackers, Germany
  • Rhine River View, Germany
  • View of Erfurt, Germany
  • Elbe Philharmonic Hall, Hamburg, Germany
  • St. Nicholas Church Interior, Leipzig, Germany
  • Main Square, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
  • Spree River Boat, Berlin, Germany
  • Linderhof Exterior, Bavaria, Germany
  • Walk Signal, Berlin, Germany
  • Casino Interior, Baden-Baden, Germany
  • Rick at Piano, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
  • Top of Zugspitze
  • Demonstration at Chocolate Museum, Koln, Germany
  • Main Square, Erfurt, Germany
  • berlin-wall
  • berlin-brandenberg-gate
  • Berlin Cathedral

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