This post was last updated on July 26th, 2016
Thinking of taking a trip to Europe? Germany is a great location to include on your itinerary as the scenery and the culture of the country is exceptional. German efficiency ensures that the transport links are very good and the accommodation available is of a high standard. It is also convenient that many Germans have English as their second language.
A group of principalities once united under the banner of the Holy Roman Empire and reborn as a modern nation in 1871, Germany is a large and diverse country with many beautiful regions to explore. From the dramatic scenery of the Bavarian Alps to the lush landscapes of the Black Forest and the dreamy vineyards of the Mosel valley, it’s a marvelous place to travel, and there are many man-made sights that are just as appealing to the eye. Flights are easy to find with Lufthansa and other leading airlines.
Gardens and parks
Beside the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate, right in the heart of Berlin, is the Tiergarten, a former royal hunting ground and now a popular summer gathering place, with large lawns to relax on and cafés where one can enjoy a spot of outdoor dining. In keeping with its name, it’s bordered by the city zoo. Similarly impressive but more formal in design is the Sanssouci Park in Potsdam, with its terraced vineyards, hidden temples, fountains and sculptures; it also has a charming teahouse.
For something more exotic, it’s well worth paying a visit to the island of Flowers in Lake Constance, where semi-tropical plants bloom in profusion around a former palace. The Planten un Blomen in Hamburg is also of interest for its extensive Japanese garden, its botanical garden and its aromatic rose garden, a reminder that beauty is about more than just what is seen.
Germany has a long history of creating amazing architecture, from the fairytale castles of Löwenburg and Neuschwannstein to the modern glass masterpiece that is the Sony Center in Berlin. In Trier, Germany’s oldest city, one can still explore buildings built by the Romans, including beautiful public baths and Emperor Constantine’s throne room. The cathedral in Cologne is one of the tallest religious buildings in the world and magnificent in its detail, while Freiburg and Worms both have splendid medieval cathedrals. Even ordinary rural residences are often stunningly beautiful, and it’s worth taking a drive through the Black Forest just to see the Bauhaus style farmhouses and picture-perfect red-roofed mountain villages.
Museums and art galleries
Any trip around Germany’s museums has to include Museum Island in Berlin, where the Altesmuseum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode Museum, the Neues Museum and the Pergamon Museum are located. Every city in Germany has at least one museum and many small towns have specialist ones devoted to obscure trades and hobbies. The Toy Museum in Nuremberg has one of the best collections of childhood memorabilia in the world. Outside Berlin, Munich probably has the best group of museums overall, and its Deutsches Museum is an international leader in its celebration of the history of engineering and science.
Germany is a country where history and art tend to blur and it’s difficult to draw a neat line between museums and galleries. The Bauhaus Museum in Berlin has a splendid collection of drawings, sculptures and amazing architectural models, while the Zwinger Palace in Dresden has an impressive collection of works by Old Masters. The Brücke Museum in Berlin has a fine collection of Expressionist paintings while the same city is host to the leading modern art gallery C/O.
No matter where one turns in Germany, there’s something beautiful to see. A visit to Germany will prove to be a great travel experience.