What to do in Germany – travel tips, hotels, cities, top sites, maps

Germany is modern and cosmopolitan country steeped in history (countless museums, castles, quaint villages and cobblestone roads) and rich in amazing natural beauty (the country boasts 16 national parks, 104 nature reserves and 15 recognized biosphere reserves). Between the North Sea and Baltic coasts in the north and the peaks of the Alps in the south there are checkerboard agricultural areas, vineyards, forests, rolling hillsides and craggy mountains.

Whether you are visiting for several days, a week or more, the best way to begin your quest to find what to do in Germany is here. Our resource guide and links, map, as well as numerous articles highlighting insider travel tips for you will ensure your visit to Germany is memorable.

What to do in Germany planning map

In the map below, pins mark the exact location of the sites and places to see mentioned in our articles and travel tips on Germany. Zoom in or out on the map using the controls. Switch easily from map to satellite view. Click on each pin to pull up a tooltip with the name of the destination or location as well as any additional information, including links to stories and articles. This map is the perfect place to begin planning what to do in Germany for several days, one week, two weeks or more.

Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow

The Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow was completed in 1934 and is part of the Haavel-Oder waterway connecting the Elbe and Oder river basins. The waterway begins in Berlin at the Spandau lock and opens into the West Oder at the border area between Poland and Germany. Watching ships being raised and lowered in this ship elevator is amazing. A true engineering marvel.

Marienklause Chapel

Bigger is not always better. Sometime small, like a historic Munich chapel, can be a travel must-see. It’s easy when traveling through big European cities to follow the throngs to the large churches or cathedrals in town. Huge European cathedrals can be very impressive, of course. But the Marienklause Chapel, about 3-4 miles south of the city center of Munich, Germany, is certainly worth a close look.

Kleinhesselhoer See, Englischer Garten

Created at the behest of Prince Carl Theodor in 1789, the Englischer Garten in Munich, Germany, is one of the largest city parks in the world. And, we can attest, it provides for a magical and wondrous escape from the clamor and bustle of Munich’s busy urban streets.

Sophie Scholl Memorial

Easily missed, the Sophie Scholl memorial looks like loose pieces of paper scattered on the ground in front of the university building. In actuality, they are attached permanently to the ground in front of the main entrance on the so-called “Geschwister Scholl Platz.”

Planten Un Blomen Garden

A visit to the Planten un Blomen Garden on your Hamburg tour is a must, whether you are a flower and garden lover, adore open spaces, enjoy dancing water fountains, or just want a nice place for a stroll or picnic.

St Nikolai Kirche

The  St Nikolai Kirche (St. Nicholas Church) has been a part of the Hamburg skyline since the 12th century. Now in ruins from World War II bombings, just its spire remains standing. No longer a place of worship, the spire (thought until 1876 to be the tallest building in the world) and its restored crypt below serve as a haunting and moving memorial to the horror of war’s devastation.

International Donaufest in Ulm

The International Donaufest (Danube) Festival has been held since 1998 and occurs every other year. Ulm city center and the banks of the Danube river are turned into a sort of international festival to celebrate the coming together of regions and countries along the Danube that rely on the river — Bavaria, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. The festival last 10 days and includes a massive fireworks display.International Donaufest Fireworks in Ulm 2016

Drei Annen Hohne

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Wernigerode Train Station - Brockenbahn

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The Brocken

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Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower

The rolling foothills of the Harz mountains that surround Quedlinburg feature forested terrain with open, rolling meadows, some hills and plenty of farmland – perfect for those who need to stretch the legs and mind a bit on an easy wander. We’d heard about the Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower (“Altenburgwarte”) that was located approximately 0.5 miles (just under 750 meters) from the southwest edge of town, on a sandstone ridge overlooking the village below.

Kellerwald Forchheim beer gardens

“Off to the cellar” is what you’ll hear from Forchheim locals when they disappear into the forest on trails (“auf die Keller”). What that means in local slang is that they are headed to a beehive of popular beer gardens nestled deep in the forest of Franconian Switzerland in Upper Bavaria – the Kellerwald Forchheim beer gardens.

Berlin

Berlin is one of our favorite cities in the world. It is cosmopolitan, worldly, quirky, exotic, bohemian, evolving, vibrant and so very, very alive — there is something to do or see or experience 24 hours a day if you are so inclined. Little wonder so many tourists, wanderers, artists, authors, musicians, actors and creative minds discover and fall in love with Berlin. Whether you are visiting for one day, two days, a week or more, the best way to begin your quest to find what to do in Berlin is here. Our What to do in Berlin resource guide and links, map, as well as numerous articles highlighting insider travel tips for you will ensure your visit to Berlin is memorable.

Germany Travel Resources

Travel Weather

Click here to launch our 36-hour forecast to know what to expect weather-wise anywhere you are traveling.

Getting around in Germany

  • By Plane – Most international flights will arrive and depart from one of five major international airports – Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Berlin.
  • By Train – It is easy to get to almost anywhere in Germany on either the fast train (InterCityExpress) or the other lines (InterCity, EuroCity, and InterRegio). For booking information, go to the Deutsche Bahn website here.
  • By BusFlixBus / MeinFernbus offer affordable and convenient intercity bus service connecting many towns and cities in Germany, as well as other international European destinations.
  • By Car – Travel by car is very easy in Germany and renting a car relatively uncomplicated. But there are a  few things to keep top of mind. First, many German towns and cities have designated low emission zones, meaning only certain vehicles meeting established low emission standards and bearing a color-coded sticker are permitted. Learn more about the emission stickers here. Second, while the autobahn has suggested speed limits in places, in other places and most certainly on most roads, speed limits are strictly enforced. And those speed limits can change in a blink of an eye, typically right before a speed-trap camera catches you flying by. If you rent a car, stay within the speed limits at all times and drive carefully!!!

Useful Travel Information

Emergencies – To reach the police, fire department or ambulance service, dial 112. Calling 112 is free from any landline or mobile phone. This is throughout Europe.

Entry Requirements (Passports and Visas)PASSPORTS: Citizens of European Union countries simply need a valid identity card. Citizens of any other country seeking to enter Germany will need a passport that is valid for at least four months from the date of your entry into Germany. VISAS: Any citizen of a country outside of the EU will need a visa with the exception of certain countries, such as the United States of America (currently though this may change). Citizens of the U.S. do not currently need a visa as long as their stay last no more than three months within a six-month period within the Schengen area (of which Germany is a part). Click here for more information about the Schengen area and to use the Schengen Calculator.

 Vaccinations | Health – No vaccinations are required to enter Germany. However, ticks are prevalent in many forested regions in Germany and carry Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Be sure to use insect repellent and wear insect repellent clothing when walking in forests and fields. Ask your doctor about needing a TBE vaccination if you plan to spend significant time walking in forested areas.

For over-the-counter medications and seeking minor health issue advice (sore muscles, cough, cold, etc.) you will go to an Apotheka. Should you need a doctor or emergency care while in Germany, be sure your health insurance will cover you internationally — and at what level. We strongly advise purchasing travel health insurance that will cover you in the event of an emergency.

Language – The main language in Germany is Deutsch (German). Many Germans, especially younger ones and those living in larger cities speak English sufficiently well that tourists and visitors who do not speak German and those whose Deutsch is “nicht sehr gut” (not so good) will be able to communicate just fine.

Managing Money — The Euro is the currency Germany. Use the calculator from Oanda below to help you manage your money exchanges and know how much something selling in Euro would cost in dollars.
Currency Converter by OANDA

What to do in Germany — tours, travel tips and articles

What to do in BerlinWhat To Do In Berlin

Berlin is one of our favorite cities in the world. It is cosmopolitan, worldly, quirky, exotic, bohemian, evolving, vibrant and so very, very alive — there is something to do or see or experience 24 hours a day if you are so inclined. Little wonder so many tourists, wanderers, artists, authors, musicians, actors and creative minds discover and fall in love with Berlin.

What to do in MunichWhat To Do In Munich

Yes, Munich is famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) for its annual beer festival and drunken Oktoberfest gathering. But if that is all you know about Munich, then you are missing out on a most beautiful city full of architectural and historical gems. The best way to begin your quest to find what to do in Munich is right here. Our resource guide, and links, map, as well as numerous articles highlighting insider travel tips for you will ensure your visit to Munich is memorable.

Experience Plus Bike Tours In Germany

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Battle for Berlin memorial at Museum Seelower Höhen

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The Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow near Berlin, Germany, is an engineering marvel

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