In recent months, what were you most looking forward to? Meeting your friends again, enjoying a meal out or to experience new adventures?
Your patience paid off, now you can make your dreams come true and venture into places familiar or those still undiscovered by you. Whether you are looking for solitude and the calming stillness of nature or maybe seek to challenge your fitness, we offer you a little bit of everything. Here we want to share our top tips with you on places to see, fairy-tale castles to visit and spectacular natural landscapes to explore - on foot or by bike. Whichever activities you choose, we look forward to your visit:
Welcome to Germany!
Just imagine: lush and green forests, the serenity of a landscape dotted with lakes as far as the eye can see, a little Venice in the middle of the Emsland region or a visit to an authentic Hallig island surrounded by the vastness of the sea. All this to explore and experience in Germany - if you just step away from the well-trodden paths. Here are your top 16 tips:
Once upon a time… To visit a German castle is to step into a fairy tale setting. Germany has an estimated 25,000 castles, from UNESCO World Heritage sites to hidden gems. Many castles and palaces are also famous for having some of the most beautiful parks and gardens. Here are our top 14 must see castles & palaces.
Gottorf Castle - breathtaking treasures high up in the north
Mysterious bogs, traces of the Viking era and precious art collections. Displaying exuberant wealth, two Schleswig-Holstein state museums are housed in Gottorf Castle. During the heyday of Gottorf Castle in 1544 and after the Dukes of Gottorf gained more power, they gradually upgraded their former Renaissance fortress to its present baroque glory.
Herrenchiemsee Palace - a magnificent escape for the Sun King
Inspired by the French “Sun King”, Ludwig XIV and Versailles in Paris, the Bavarian “Fairy Tale King”, Ludwig II created a similar luxurious castle in 1878, on Lake Chiemsee. Located on the idyllic island of Herrenwörth, Herrenchiemsee is now a magnet for millions of visitors every year from all over the world.
Ludwigsburg Palace - an impressive baroque masterpiece
The rulers of Ludwigsburg wanted to create the most glamorous palace in Europe. In the 18th century, at the request of Duke Eberhard Ludwig, the former hunting lodge was converted into a three-wing complex and one of the largest baroque palaces in Europe. Within the palace, wonderful room alignments convey original designs from three different eras.
Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe - Hercules and water features
The Wilhelmshöhe Palace and the 240-hectare hillside park are all part of one unique ensemble, combining culture, nature and horticultural art in perfect harmony. Located in the northern part of Hesse, near Kassel, the park’s most impressive feature is the King Hercules monument and its stunning water feature, cascading downhill to the Palace.
Dresden Castle - in the heart of the old town
The place of origin and the centre of the Dresden State Art Collection is within the Residenzschloss (Dresden Castle). After its destruction in World War II, the Residenzschloss wasn’t accessible to the public, until 2019. It now houses a Coin Cabinet, a Copper Engraving Cabinet, the New Green Vault and the Historical Green Vault.
Augustusburg Palace - One UNESCO World Heritage Treasure
Set in idyllic landscape gardens, Augustusburg Castle and the Falkenlust hunting lodge at Brühl are among one of the earliest 18th-century examples of Rococo architecture in Germany. A listed UNESCO World Heritage site since 1984, the two buildings inspire visitors with exceptional paintings, sculptures and garden art.
The Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz
As the very first English landscape garden in continental Europe, the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz is a unique display of beautiful 18th century architecture and 140 square km of spectacular garden designs, merging into perfect harmony with the landscapes of the river Elbe and Mulde. The Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz is truly an illustration like no other.
Charlottenburg Palace - a historic place with flair
The largest and most beautiful castle in Berlin, is named after Queen Sophie Charlotte. As wife of King Frederick I (1657-1713), the first Prussian King, the Duchess of Brunswick and Lüneburg was also the first Prussian Queen consort. After her death, her name became the indirect namesake for the entire Berlin-Charlottenburg area.
Marienburg Castle - a Gothic fairy tale castle
King George V was the last reigning monarch of Hanover; his dream was to build a summer residence for his wife Queen Marie, who had the romantic vision of a medieval-gothic hill fort that should impress with the most elaborate artistry and splendour. Therefore, in 1857, King George V instructed an architect to build him a picture-perfect fairy tale castle.
Potsdam Sanssouci Palace – Delightful Strolls
Frederick the Great had Sanssouci Palace and the famous terrace gardens built just outside Potsdam. Also part of the UNESCO World Heritage designated sites, is next door, the New Palace and the picture gallery, which he had built a few years after Sanssouci. The tomb of Frederick the Great is now located on the highest terrace.
Schwerin Castle - a jewel by the lake
Countless towers, domes and wings form a perfect reflection of a fairy tale castle on Lake Schwerin. Friedrich Franz II had his castle converted in 1857 into an impressive symbol of his powerful dynasty.
Back to the Middle Ages - Eltz Castle
Located in a hidden valley, Eltz Castle is a unique display of filigree architecture. It is one of the few castles in Europe that has been with the same family for almost 900 years. A visit is an opportunity to learn more about life back then and to be enchanted by ancient rooms, valuable historical furnishings and old family traditions.
Wartburg Castle - Martin Luther’s refuge
Established almost 1,000 years ago, Wartburg Castle is famous for being the place where the exiled Martin Luther sought and received refuge. Hardly any other castle in Germany is more important to German history than the Thuringian castle in Eisenach. At Wartburg Castle, fascinating history, art and culture is around every turn.
Königstein Fortress - Explore and conquer
Around 1,000 Saxon castles and palaces invite you to explore their grounds. One of the most accessible castles among them, for people with a disability, is the Königstein Fortress. A dedicated map for wheelchair users shows the best way around the site and a tactile model of the castle lets people with a visual impairment feel the fortress.
Germany is rich in nature, which in many places is largely untouched. A variety of national parks, biosphere reserves and nature parks protect these natural landscapes so you can enjoy them during your visit. A road trip, on the other hand, is a wonderful opportunity to explore romantic castles, lush forests, impressive mountain landscapes and miles of sandy beaches. And if you like to get the adrenaline going, you can experience the diversity of Germany by bike and along designated hiking trails. So here are our top tips.
As a travel destination, Germany is a special treat for any food-connoisseur who enjoys exploring a variety of regional dishes and international award-winning wines. Take a trip to Germany and explore our top 6 gastronomic highlights.
Germany’s 13 exquisite wine-growing regions
Germany has always appreciated good wines. To satisfy the desire for German wines, around 80,000 winegrowers now produce a fantastic variety of top quality wines on around 102,000 hectares of land, with some having received highly prized international awards. Germany currently enjoys 13 wine-growing regions with each of them being excellent holiday destinations of outstanding beauty.
Germany’s best gourmet experience
In recent years, more and more “young chefs” have joined the accolades of Germany’s top chefs. Their concepts range from brilliant reinterpretations of regional classics to new creations with an international signature. More than 300 restaurants in Germany currently offer a top-class gourmet experience.
Beer - Germany’s favourite drink
Even if beer wasn’t invented in Germany: the art of brewing was definitely brought to perfection in Germany. There are around 5000 different types of beer and over 1300 breweries in Germany. However, many brands and types of beer are only available locally in Germany, which is a good excuse to travel and explore.
Culinary holiday routes
German cuisine really is as diverse as the landscape itself. Different culinary routes, such as the Old Salt Road, the German Asparagus Road, the Allgäuer Cheese Road or the Moselle Wine Route are an ideal way to discover your very own culinary highlights.
German bread is a national asset
According to the bakery association, there are in excess of 3,000 different types of bread available in Germany. Wholesome, rustic and unique; German bread is also popular worldwide, and since 2014, German bread culture has even been listed a UNESCO World Heritage.
This is how Germany tastes
The fact that beer and bratwurst are part of German culture is very much common knowledge - and yet it is only a tiny part of German cuisine. The great culinary experience that is available in Germany is infinite. Like a country, each federal state has at least one “national dish” and some recipes have even been handed down through generations.