The Stasi Museum Leipzig is where the Stasi had its headquarters in one of former East Germany’s important industrial cities.read more
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.
In the map below, pins mark the location of all the sites and travel tips mentioned in our articles 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 and any additional information.
Click here to launch our 36-hour forecast to know what to expect weather-wise anywhere you are traveling.
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.
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.
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.
The Stasi Museum Leipzig is where the Stasi had its headquarters in one of former East Germany’s important industrial cities.read more
After being open just a year, the Urban Nation Berlin street art museum re-opened with a reinvention that truly speaks to its roots. A new exhibit, redesigned interior with an authentic street feel, and a number of artists residences make this museum in Berlin a must to visit for art lovers of all kinds.read more
Many hundreds died in the Hohenschönhausen Stasi memorial prison in Berlin during its operation, with several hundred thousand spending time there as prisoners over its 40+ years. You can only visit with a guide, many of whom were former prisoners.read more
The Stasi Museum Berlin brings alive the terror lived by GDR’s residents for 41 years before the Berlin Wall fell. Inside the musuem walls a visitor is reminded why the Stasi secret police force of former East Germany was one of the most feared agencies in Europe.read more
Teufelsberg Berlin is at once bizarre, haunting, edgy, eerie, beautiful, inspiring, and unnerving. And frankly wandering among the rubble and ruins of the former National Security Agency listening post is too perhaps a little dangerous. And all of this makes it a perfect haven for street and urban artists.read more
Urban Nation museum for street art in Berlin is like no other, uniting not only the nation but also the world as it turns the German capital into a giant international open-air street art gallery. Opened in September 2017, Urban Nation is just the beginning of your tour for great street art.read more
The Prenzlauer Berg Wasserturm, an eye-catching round tower in the middle of Berlin, is for most simply a city park with a couple of nice-looking structures. If your timing is good, travelers can time-travel with area experts to the cisterns underground, plus learn...read more
The East-West Peace Church is hidden in a grove of trees in Munich’s busy Olympic Park. Most visitors will walk right past the little forest, but you should in fact make a beeline for the historic homestead -- a teeny village with several homemade buildings, gardens...read more
Not all museums are pretty, happy places. The NS Documentation Center in Munich takes a hard, sometimes painful, often horrifying look at the rise of Hitler’s National Socialist party (NS), the terror of the Nazi regime, and indeed how that relates to today’s world...read more
Next time you are in Munich, be sure to plan a visit to the White Rose museum. Given the strong Nazi influence in Munich during World War II, it is not surprising that the White Rose resistance group came from the university in Munich. Such courage.read more
At a promontory on the Elbe River in Hamburg the glistening Elbphilharmonie has held court since its opening in January 2017, becoming a city icon in the process.read more
Berlin is endlessly fascinating and remains one of our favorite cities in the world. We’ve included our favorite pics from our “Berlin photos” Instagram feed.read more
Whoever thought we would stay up all night to go to museums? When the Long Night of Museums in Berlin rolled around this year, however, we were there – along with many thousands of our best friends for the night. This year, the 20th birthday of the museum night drew more than 30,000 visitors all across Germany’s capital city.read more
As the burgeoning and bustling capital of Germany, Berlin offers an addicting restaurant scene with any international or trendy cuisine you may desire. But in keeping with its gritty, artistic ways, Berlin has a superior street food market scene. We show you 5 great Berlin street food markets you won’t want to miss.read more
Germany’s capital of Berlin offers every international food imaginable, in restaurants, street markets or, in the case of the most authentic Thai food in the city, spread across a park. Thai Wiese (Thai Park) comes alive every weekend with arguably the best Thai food in Berlin.read more
Just 1 hour and 30 minutes east of central Berlin by car, near the Polish border and the Oder River is the site of the biggest battle of WWII fought on German soil – the Battle for Berlin. Memorializing this battle at at Seelower Höhen (Seelow Heights) and located at the highest point overlooking the farmlands below sits the Museum Seelower Höhen.read more
Known in the United States as Mardi Gras (actually French for “Fat Tuesday), the traditions of excessive celebrations and outrageous carnival parades prior to the pre-Easter fasting during Lent date back many centuries in Europe. But you don’t have to head to the crowd-filled streets of big towns like Germany’s Cologne or Dusseldorf, France’s Nice, or Switzerland’s Basel to experience some great carnival parades in Europe. And you don’t even have to indulge in excess!read more
Earlier in 2016, HI Travel Tales wrote about a new kind of banking experience by Deutsche Bank called “Q110 Bank” or “Bank of the Future.” We were quite enthralled by the casual and friendly, yet efficient and hard-working experience. The concept we wrote about had been active for several years without much change (the branch itself originally opened in 2005), so Deutsche Bank decided it was time to re-think its original “concept bank” and try out something different. The update was unveiled on Nov. 18, 2016, on a rainy day near the outlet not far from Checkpoint Charlie in central Berlin (Mitte).read more
Underground city tours always seemed to be a tourist come-on to me, but then I discovered Berlin Underground tours. Not a for-profit business, not a tour that drops you off in a gift shop, not a tour that starts in a bar and highlights raucous partying, this is the real deal in Berlin’s Underground.read more
One of our favorite areas to highlight in our Prenzlauer Berg travel guide (and there are so many wonderful places it is hard to pick just one) is indeed along Kollwitzstrasse and around the Kollwitzplatz (named after artist Kathe Kollwitz appropriately enough — check out her artwork at Artsy’s Käthe Kollwitz page). Farmers markets, street festivals and more are regular occurrences.read more
As we sat at dinner at Café Anne Blume sipping wine on the patio on a warm summer evening, I became entranced by the colors of a small market across the street. I just had to “paint and draw” the scene using my iPad for this watercolor view from Café Anna Blume.read more
The memorial on the Berlin Bethlehemkirchplatz (Bethlehem Church Square) is actually the work of Spanish artist Juan Garaizabel to commemorate the Bohemian Bethlehem Church. This small church was built for Bohemian evangelical refugees in about 1735 and was a center of the community. It was destroyed by bombing in 1943.read more
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. Now, not many non-Germans head there – obvious in the fact that the official Hamburg tourism website doesn’t have the garden’s page translated into English!read more
Bigger is not always better. Sometime small, like a historic Munich chapel, can be a travel must-see. The Marienklause Chapel in Munich is worth a close look.read more
A concierge? A gift and trinket store? A bar and coffeehouse? Waiters and fine décor? This is a bank? Yes, this is Germany’s “Deutsche Bank” — the so-called “Bank of the Future” in central Berlin, the company’s one-and-only concept bank where it tests ideas for the world.read more
It takes dedication to answer children’s letters to Santa Claus, whether he’s known as St. Nick, Father Christmas or Kris Kringle. But a few namesake towns around the world do just that – letters by the many thousands every year, year after year. There is one special town that answers letters to Santa Claus: Nikolausdorf (Nicholas village) in Lower Saxony in Northern Germany. With a population that barely brushes 1,000, it has its work cut out for it to answer nearly 8,000 letters each year.read more
“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.read more
I visited the Berlin Turkish Market for the first time when you bumped into the graffiti-covered Berlin Wall after walking its length, and the Kreuzberg area of town was one of the few where Turkish guest workers were allowed to live.read more
Berlin is one of our favorite cities in the world. And we want to lead you on a walking tour of its top sites. Follow along as we send you on a self-guided walk.read more
The Englischer Garten in Munich, Germany, is one of the largest city parks in the world. It provides for a magical escape from Munich’s busy urban streets.read more
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.”read more
It’s been 25 years since the Berlin Wall came tumbling down … suddenly, surprisingly, peacefully. Memories of the wall’s horrors seem like yesterday to those of us old enough to remember it and to have personally seen the wall and its “death zone.” The Berlin Wall 25th Anniversary remembrance reminds us to never forget.read more
No visit to the Harz Mountains in Germany should be considered complete without riding on the historic and thoroughly magical “Brockenbahn” railway. The Brocken narrow gauge Harz Mountain train is powered by steam engines and winds its way to the peak of the Brocken, the highest point in the Harz.read more
The St Nikolai Kirche 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.read more
The Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower (“Altenburgwarte”) is located approximately 0.5 miles (just under 750 meters) from the southwest edge of Quedlinburg.read more
Folks usually end up in Heidelberg, Germany, in awe of the medieval castle looming over the city, but we’re writing about a Packaging Museum? Yep, its worth a visit!read more
Even many Germans haven’t heard of Quedlinburg in the Harz Mountains. Yet we found Quedlinburg to be beyond-cute, chock full of history, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, and wonderful for wandering or simply hanging out over cafe and cheesecake.read more
More than two decades after the Berlin Wall fell, walking the wall and its remains are a haunting reminder of an era that is as frightening as it is unbelievable.read more
When visiting Berlin, live like a local … with an apartment in the trendy “Mitte” area on the edge of the rather cool, somewhat gritty, but fascinating “Prenzlauer Berg” area (former East).read more