For COVID-19 Travel and RS Tours information, see our FAQ.

Guidebook Updates for Germany

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on Germany, we post them here. (We've also thrown in updates for Salzburg and Reutte, Austria, as they're included in Rick Steves Germany.) Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally. Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!

Across Germany

  • If your passport is due to expire within six months of your ticketed date of return from Europe, you need to renew it. Allow plenty of time to renew or get a passport, especially while a backlog of applications is causing significant slowdowns — see the US Department of State's travel site for current estimated processing times.
  • Bring proof of vaccination, and be sure to check the latest Covid entry requirements for Germany right up to your date of travel.

For books printed before September 2019, the following may also apply:

  • Eurail Select Passes are no longer being sold (but similarly priced Global Passes still are) — see our 2019 rail-travel update.

Bavarian Alps

  • The Marienbrücke ("Mary's Bridge") above Neuschwanstein Castle has reopened.
  • You can now book Neuschwanstein reservations online with the Bavarian Palace Department's 14-day ticket.
  • From the ticket pavillion between the castles, the most direct, least steep way to reach Neuschwanstein on foot is the path begins across the street from Hotel Müller (walking to Schloss Bräustüberl is out the way).
  • Füssen's Saray Kebab and UnFassBar have both closed. Laura's Schiffwirtschaft, also in Füssen, is now just called "Schiffwirtschaft."
  • Sauerwein Alois Café-Konditorei-Bäckerei in Schwangau is now Schloss Backstube.
  • The "Venus Grotto" at Linderhof Castle remains closed through 2024 while it undergoes restoration work.
  • Oberammergau's tourist-information office no longer stores bags.

For books printed before February 2021, the following may also apply:

  • At the "King's Castles" (Neuschwanstein and Hohenshwangau), you can simply show the bar code for your reserved tickets, whether on your phone or a printed email, right at each castle's entry — as long as you have a reservation, there's no need to stop the ticket center at the base of the hill (and hence no need to arrive so far in advance of your tour time — but do allow yourself time to reach the castle entries in time for your reserved tour). Reservations aren't available with free children's tickets — all free and reduced-priced tickets must be picked up at the ticket center (and the "Königsticket" and "Schwanenticket" combo-tickets are not currently available). Without a reservation, aim to arrive at the ticket center before 8:30 — at peak times, tickets can sell out by 9:30.
  • The once-per-decade Oberammergau Passion Play, originally scheduled for 2020, will take place May 14–October 2, 2022.
  • The Füssen–Reutte bus is now #100 (not #74); it no longer changes numbers at the border.
  • A new cable-car line now directly connects the Eibsee (a lake near Garmisch-Partenkirchen) with the Zugspitze summit; the narrow-gauge train up the mountainside to a shorter cable-car ride remains a second (slower) option from the Eibsee to the summit.

For books printed before September 2019, the following may also apply:

  • The Romantic Road bus no longer stops in Augsburg or Füssen; the route now starts/ends in Munich. (You can connect to the route by train to/from Augsburg or Füssen via the town of Donauwörth.)

For books printed before January 2019, the following may also apply:

For books printed before January 2018, the following may also apply:

  • If you're in Füssen and want to take a bus tour of Bavaria's highlights, consider European Castles Tours. They offer various one-day tours, as well as multi-day tours, out of Füssen and Munich. Their Bavarian Highlights Tour, which covers the Wieskirche, Oberammergau, and Linderhof Castle, fills a niche for travelers without wheels. Check their tour schedule and plan ahead; tours generally don't run daily. (Keep in mind that you can visit Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria's biggest sight, on your own without a bus tour.)

For books printed before January 2017, the following may also apply:

  • Reservations for Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles can no longer be made by phone or email; book online at least two days in advance. Reservations cost €1.80 per person per castle.
  • The shuttle bus to Neuschwanstein Castle now departs about every 20 minutes from the parking lot just below Hohenschwangau Castle, and drops off near Mary's Bridge.
  • Mary's Bridge, above Neuschwanstein Castle, and the nearby Pöllat Gorge may close in winter during inclement weather.
  • Ski Sport Luggi bike rental in Füssen has moved to Luitpoldstrasse 11.
  • In Oberammergau, Pension Zwink has been renovated with nine rooms and has reopened as Mammhofer Suite & Breakfast.

Berlin & Potsdam

  • Tickets to visit the Reichstag are now often unavailable weeks in advance — book as soon as you can.
  • The German History Museum's main building (Zeughaus) and all permanent exhibits  are closed and under renovation until 2025. Temporary exhibits, however, are on view in the Pei annex building.
  • The Neues Museum and Pergamon Museum are now closed on Mondays (as are all other Museum Island museums).
  • The Käthe Kollwitz Museum has moved to the Theaterbau wing of Charlottenburg Palace.
  • The Humboldt Forum, in the rebuilt shell of the former royal palace on Museum Island, is now open for visits to its various museums and other cultural attractions.
  • The Gemäldegalerie is undergoing a multiyear phased renovation that may see some areas closed during your visit (ticket prices may be reduced at these times).
  • There is no longer a €12 combo-ticket for Kulturforum sights, but they are still covered by the Museum Pass Berlin.
  • The tourist information offices at the Europa Center and the Park Inn on Alexanderplatz have closed, but new ones have opened in the Humboldt Forum and at Brandenburg Airport.
  • All stops of new U5 line of the U-Bahn are now open.
  • Bus #245 no longer runs between the Hauptbahnhof and Alexanderplatz.
  • Simple Rent a Bike bike sharing is not operating (consider using an app, such as Next Bike).
  • Hotel Augustinenhof and Hecker's Hotel have closed.
  • Hotel Jurine is now Hotel Birgit.
  • Hotel Alexander Plaza is now Classik Hotel Alexander Plaza.
  • Several recommended restaurants have closed: Die Schule, Vân Anh, Zuhause, and Zillemarkt, as well as Aufsturz pub.
  • Weltrestaurant Markthalle has been replaced by Marktlokal restaurant.
  • Hasir restaurant, in the Hackescher Markt area, is now called "Alay by Hasir."
  • Cocolo Ramen X-berg has moved from Oranienstrasse to Graefestrasse 11.
  • Bite Berlin food tours are no longer operating.
  • St. Hedwig's Cathedral is temporarily closed and no longer hosting free organ concerts on Wednesday afternoons.
  • The Hekticket ticket clearinghouse is no longer operating.

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

  • The Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) opened in late 2020. Schӧnefeld Airport became BER's Terminal 5, while Tegel Airport is no longer operating.
  • Insider Tour's groups meet outside the Friedrichstrasse train station, on the square beside the Palace of Tears.
  • Original Berlin Walks now meets in front of Starbucks across from the Hackescher Markt S-bahn station.
  • Local guide Bernhard Schlegelmilch has changed his email address to upwards@t-online.de.
  • The James-Simon-Galerie's entrance pavilion is now open on Museum Island. Visitors now enter the museum on the west bank of the island.
  • The Kennedys Museum has closed (to become a "touring museum").
  • It is no longer possible to purchase a timed-entry ticket in advance for the Neues Museum.

For books printed before September 2019, the following may also apply:

  • As of August 2019, many of Berlin's buses have undergone changes:
    • Line #200 now runs via Spittelmarkt and Berlin City Hall instead of via Unter den Linden (new line #300 — which goes from Tiergarten/Philharmonic to Warschauer Strasse — has replaced this portion).
    • Metro Bus M48 has been cut (lines #200 and N2 have replaced this bus between Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz).
    • Line N2 has been rerouted to follow the U2 subway line.
  • The tourist information office on Rankstrasse (across from the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) has closed.
  • Bassy Club has closed.

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Passports are now required for entry to the Reichstag, and must be presented with the confirmation letter received after making the required online reservation.
  • The Pergamon Museum has a new combo-ticket that covers the "Pergamon. Das Panorama" exhibit with museum admission. The exhibit — a wraparound panorama painting of the city of Pergamon in AD 129 — is in a pavilion across from Museum Island while the Pergamon Altar is undergoing restoration.
  • The Museum Pass Berlin now includes the German History Museum.
  • We now recommend buying tickets online in advance to avoid lines at the DDR Museum.
  • Several local guides have updated their contact information: 
  • The Jewish Museum Berlin is no longer open late on Mondays.
  • The Deutsche Kinemathek Film and TV Museum is now open on Mondays and closed on Tuesdays.
  • The Silent Heroes Memorial Center has moved from the Hackescher Markt to the German Resistance Memorial location.
  • Adina Apartment Hotel Berlin Hackescher Markt has a new website.
  • NH Berlin Mitte Leipziger Strasse hotel is now called NH Collection Berlin Mitte Am Checkpoint Charlie and has a new email address: nhcollectionberlinmitte@nh-hotels.com.
  • The famous Fassbender & Rausch chocolate shop on Gendarmenmarkt has dropped "Fassbender" – it's just the Rausch chocolate shop now.
  • The following restaurants have closed: Die Zwölf Apostel (both the one near Museum Island and the one on Bleibtreustrasse), La Bodeguita del Medio (Lychener Strasse 6), Imbiss 204 (in the Kollwitzkiez area), and Café Sibylle (in eastern Berlin).
  • The Fat Tire Bikes location at Zoologischer Garten has closed.
  • In Potsdam, the #603 bus only leaves from the main train station on summer weekends. On summer weekdays and off-season, you can catch the #603 at Platz der Einheit, a 15-minute walk past the Alter Markt (reachable by multiple bus or tram lines from the station).

Black Forest

  • Baden-Baden's "Kurhaus" tourist-information office location is not in the Kurhaus itself, but in the nearby Kolonnaden building.
  • Contrary to what's printed in previous editions of our guidebooks, you should indeed follow the advice posted near the hot-water fountain at the Roman-Irish Bath in Baden-Baden: Don't drink from it.
  • The German Clock Museum (in Furtwangen) is now closed on Mondays.

For books printed before January 2019, the following may also apply:

Cologne

For books printed before September 2019, the following may apply:

  • The Roman-Germanic Museum is currently closed for renovation, with no reopening date yet set. In the meantime, major exhibits are on view at the Belgian House (Cäcilienstrasse 46).

For books printed before January 2019, the following may also apply:

  • It's now possible to book tickets in advance for the Chocolate Museum, which often has long lines in high season.

Dresden

  • Ibis Hotels Bastel, Königstein, and Lilienstein are now collectively known as Ibis Dresden Zentrum.
  • Star Inn is now called "Star G Hotel."
  • Restaurants Altmarktkeller, Gasthaus am Neumarkt, King's Bread, and Teestube have closed.
  • Bülow's Bistro is now called "Caroussel Nouvelle."

For books printed before February 2021, the following may also apply:

For books printed before January 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Dani's Waschsalon launderette on Mosczinskystrasse has closed.

Frankfurt

For books printed before September 2019, the following may also apply:

  • The Romantic Road bus no longer stops in Augsburg or Füssen; the route now starts/ends in Munich. (You can connect to the route by train to/from Augsburg or Füssen via the town of Donauwörth.) Also, the Frankfurt ticket office has closed, so passengers starting their trip in Frankfurt need to buy tickets online, over the phone, or on board the bus (when space is available; cash only).

For books printed before January 2019, the following may also apply:

Hamburg

  • The Rainer Abicht harbor and port boat tour no longer has live narration in English (an English audioguide is available on their app).

For books printed before January 2019, the following may also apply:

Leipzig

For books printed before February 2021, the following may also apply:

Mosel Valley

  • The Gleis 9 café in Cochem's train station, where you can pay to leave your bags for the day, is now closed on Wednesdays.
  • Weingut Rademacher in Cochem has closed (both as a winery and accommodations) upon the death of its owner.
  • There's no longer a grocery store in central Cochem.
  • In summer, the easiest, fastest route to Burg Eltz (for non-drivers) is a train-and-bus connection via Hatzenport: The hourly train from Cochem to Hatzenport is timed to meet the bus #365, which runs between the Hatzenport train station and Burg Eltz's parking lot twice an hour (€4.10, 24 minutes, one-hour total from Cochem, April–Oct only). Trains also run hourly from Koblenz to Hatzenport (75 minutes total). Bus #330 from Treis-Karden, a less convenient way to reach Burg Eltz, is no longer running.
  • The F.J. Weis Winery in Zell no longer offers tours.

For books printed before January 2019, the following may also apply:

Munich

  • While construction is underway at the train station, look for the travel center (Reisezentrum, with ticket counters and EurAide desk) near track 11 (not track 18). The EurAide desk has new hours: Mon–Fri 10:00–17:00, mid-May–mid-Aug also Sat 10:00–13:00, closed Sun. Car rental agencies are currently located on streets around the station, not opposite track 22.
  • The Romantic Road bus now leaves from Karlsplatz 21, not the central bus station (ZOB), and only goes once or twice a week.
  • All Gray Line buses also now leave from Karlsplatz 21.
  • Both MVG customer service centers are now closed Sun.
  • Radius Tours' office is now located at Dachauer Strasse 4, near the train station.
  • The Munich Walk tour company is no longer operating.
  • The first of two completely overhauled wings at the Deutsches Museum's main branch has reopened, and with a new entrance on the southwest end of the complex. (The second wing remains closed and under renovation until 2028.) The museum no longer offers combo-tickets with its aviation or transportation branches.
  • The in-person München Ticket Office in the New Town Hall has closed; information and tickets are still available at www.muenchenticket.de.

For books printed before March 2022, the following may also apply:

  • Hotel Monaco, Pension Lindner, and Pension am Jakobsplatz have closed.

For books printed before February 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Munich's transit tickets now reflect the city's new transit-zone system, with Zone M being the central zone in which most travelers spend most of their time, though Dachau lies in Zone 1, and the airport in Zone 5. Ticketing otherwise remains the same.
  • The Nazi Documentation Center no longer charges admission (and still doesn't charge for audioguide).
  • Litty's Hotel has closed.

For books printed before September 2019, the following may also apply:

  • The Romantic Road bus no longer stops in Augsburg or Füssen; the route now starts/ends in Munich. (You can connect to the route by train to/from Augsburg or Füssen via the town of Donauwörth.)
  • The tourist information office at the main train station is closed while the station undergoes renovations, and the tourist information office on Marienplatz has new hours: Mon–Sat 9:30–19:30, Sun 10:00–18:00.
  • The Neue Pinakothek is closed for renovations through at least 2025. During construction, highlights from the collection will be displayed at the Alte Pinakothek and at the Schack Collection.
  • At the Residenz Museum, the Halls of the Nibelungen (Nibelungensäle), with mythological scenes that were the basis of Wagner's Ring des Nibelungen, have reopened after a 10-year renovation.

For books printed before January 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Café Tambosi has closed.
  • The Bayern-Ticket for regional train travel is now called the "Regional Day Ticket for Bavaria."

For books printed before January 2017, the following may also apply:

  • At the Dachau Memorial, some areas of the camp may begin to close before 17:00 — plan to wrap up your visit by 16:40 to allow time to exit by 17:00.

Nürnberg

  • The tourist information office near the train station has closed.
  • The Nazi Documentation Center is closed for renovation until 2024 (but still worth a visit to see the building itself: The museum is housed in one small wing of Hitler's cavernous, unfinished Congress Hall — the largest surviving example of Nazi architecture; the center may also be hosting a temporary exhibit during your visit).
  • The Kettensteg bridge is closed through the end of 2022.
  • The Biergarten Kettensteg has closed.
  • Istanbul Restaurant is called "Bosporus Restaurant."

For books printed before January 2019, the following may also apply:

Reutte

  • The local bus that runs between the train station and Ehrenberg Castle is now #120.
  • Hotel Wolke 7 has closed.
  • Ausserfern Bauernladen is at Untermarkt 9, not Obermarkt 3.

For books printed before February 2021, the following may also apply:

  • At Ehrenberg Castle, you can now skip the steep climb to the ruins by taking the "Ehrenberg Liner" elevator from the visitor center up to the suspension bridge, where you can continue on the footpath to the ruins.
  • The Füssen–Reutte bus is now #100 (not #74).

Rhine Valley

  • K-D Line riverboats run on a significantly different schedule than what's listed in Rick Steves books printed before 2023; check 2022 schedules (look for "Fahrplan Hauptsaison Rhein" table) before heading out.
  • Bacharach's tourist-information office no longer offers walking tours.
  • The Jost souvenir store in Bacharach is now a wine shop.
  • St. Goar's tourist-information office has moved down the street to Heerstrasse 81, and now has shorter opening hours in high season: Mon–Tue and Thu–Fri 10:00–16:30, Wed and Sat–Sun until 13:00.
  • The Signal and River Pilots Museum (Wahrschauer- und Lotsenmuseum) in St. Goar has closed.
  • The Montag family's beer-stein souvenir shop in St. Goar has closed; the steins are now for sale in their cuckoo-clock shop.
  • St. Goar no longer has taxi service to Rheinfels Castle from town, but in summer (May–Oct) a shuttle bus runs every 30 minutes, except at mid-day (€3.50 one-way, leaves from the riverside directly downhill from the train station, as well as from a stop at the castle end of Heerstrasse) — and the 15-minute walk from town can be done without too steep an incline.
  • At the Rhein Hotel in Bacharach, all rooms have air-conditioning (but only the "hiker room" has an in-room sauna).
  • Gasthaus Jägerstube in Bacharach is expected to close in November 2022.
  • Rusticana restaurant in Bacharach is now Café Bistro Noy.
  • Marksburg Castle now offers English-language tours only at 13:15; German-language tours (which include English handout) no longer run on a set schedule. There's no longer a tourist train running between Braubach and the castle.
  • Burg Pfalz has more limited opening hours than what's stated on its English-language website and in Rick Steves books printed before 2023 (2022 entry info: €7 for ferry from Kaub and castle entry; ferry runs 2/hour, castle open Wed–Sun 10:00–13:00 & 14:00–17:00, closed Mon–Tue; Nov and Feb–mid-March open Sat–Sun until 16:00 only, closed Dec–Jan; last entry one hour before closing, +49 677 4745).

For books printed before January 2019, the following may also apply:

  • During its multiyear restoration, parts of the Rheinfels Castle grounds, including the tunnels, can only be seen with a guided tour. Tours are run in both German and English, depending on who shows up. If you plan to take a tour, you must have a flashlight along for the dark tunnels.
  • Hotel Kranenturm in Bacharach has a new email address: hotel.kranenturm@gmail.com.
  • Hotel Hillen in Bacharach has closed.
  • The Posthof restaurant in Bacharach has closed.
  • Hotel am Markt in St. Goar has a new website and email address: dashotel@t-online.de.
  • Hotel an der Fähre in St. Goar has a new email address: info@hotel-stgoar.de.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

  • The English Conversation Club is no more.
  • Hotel Spitzweg has closed.
  • The Romantic Road bus now runs only once or twice a week.

For books printed before February 2021, the following may also apply:

For books printed before September 2019, the following may also apply:

  • The Romantic Road bus no longer stops in Augsburg or Füssen; the route now starts/ends in Munich. (You can connect to the route by train to/from Augsburg or Füssen via the town of Donauwörth.)

Salzburg & Berchtesgaden

  • The Makartsteg bridge has been renamed "Marko-Feingold-Steg."
  • The best phone number for the daily walking tour that meets at the tourist-information office is +43 664 340 1757.
  • A'Velo bike rental has moved to the Old Town side of the Staatsbrücke (the main bridge) and now closes Nov–March.
  • At the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the audioguides are gone, but free 30-minute tours are given at 9:30 and 19:00, starting at the fortress's info point. A new "Panorama Ticket" budget option allows entry only into the Panorama exhibit on the fortress itself, and tower view (€11 by funicular, €8.50 by foot; only available May–Sept 8:30–10:00 and 18:00–20:00).
  • Haus Ballwein, on Moosstrasse, has closed (Pension Ballwein, however is still in operation).

For books printed before February 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Carpe Diem restaurant in the Old Town has closed.
  • Cityhotel Trumer Stube now offers a discount to Rick Steves readers, and bigger discounts for those who pay in cash (and for families), but breakfast is no longer included in their rates. The hotel no longer offers in-room smartphones, but Marianne and her colleagues can help out with booking tours and concerts.

For books printed before September 2019, the following may also apply:

For books printed before January 2019, the following may also apply:

  • Rick Steves readers get discounts for concerts at the Mirabell Palace (Schlosskonzerte). Use code "RICK10" when booking online.
  • At Hohensalzburg Fortress, admission is no longer discounted when visiting later in the day.
  • In Berchtesgaden, it's now possible to book advance tickets online for the salt mines to avoid long lines.
  • To take the bus to Augustiner Bräustübl from Hanuschplatz, take bus #4 rather than #8 (buses #7, #21, #24, #27, or #28 still work).
  • Steinterrasse, the seventh-floor rooftop terrace café at Hotel Stein, has reopened as Seven Senses restaurant (daily 7:00–late, + 43 662 877 277).
  • Segway Tours no longer operates its one-hour city tour (but still runs its 1.5-hour and two-hour tours). Its operating schedule has also changed: 3/day, daily June–Aug, Wed–Sun March–May and Sept–Oct, and no tours Nov–Feb.
  • The International Youth Hostel in Salzburg has a new email address: yoho@yoho.at.
  • Saran Essbar restaurant has closed.
  • Bar Club Café Republic has closed.

For books printed before January 2018, the following may also apply:

For books printed before January 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The ticketing system has changed at Hohensalzburg Fortress: The "basic" ticket includes most castle sights plus some museums; the more expensive "standard" ticket adds the recently restored Regency Rooms. (As before, it's a few euros more to ride the funicular up than to walk.)
  • The Franciscan Church is no longer part of the tour through the DomQuartier museums.

For books printed before January 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Mozart's Birthplace is now open 8:30–19:00 daily in July and August (but still daily 9:00–17:30 the rest of the year).
  • The Mozart Dinner Concerts now start at 19:30 year-round.
  • Vietnam Pho 18 is now called "Wokman" (same great food and same friendly owners; now open Mon–Sat 11:30–15:00 & 17:00–21:00, often open later in July but closes earlier in Jan–Feb, closed Sun).

Trier

For books printed before February 2021, the following may apply:

  • Karl Marx's House now has shorter hours in the off-season (Nov–March): Tue–Sun 11:00–17:00, Monday 14:00–17:00.

For books printed before January 2019, the following may also apply:

Wittenberg

For books printed before January 2019, the following may apply:

Würzburg

  • Martin Kamphans, long recommended as a local guide for Rothenburg ob der Tauber, now lives in and gives tours of Würzburg (+49 1577 0220 513, kamphans@posteo.de) — but still also offers tours in Rothenburg and other towns along the Romantic Road.
  • The Prince's Building Museum at the Marienberg Fortress is closed (indefinitely) for renovations.
  • City Hotel Schönleber is currently closed, as it's housing refugees from Ukraine.
  • Hotel Dortmunder Hof is now City Hotel Petite.

For books printed before February 2021, the following may also apply: