The biggest city and located in the heart of Europe that you should definitely visit is Germany. The city with the German castles, Christmas markets, and beers which it is famous for, are all worth looking forward to.
And aside from the many festivals being celebrated by Germany like the world-known “Oktoberfest“, you should also come to see its most beautiful cities that has so many to offer.
I am also assuming you do not know Germany really well and you came to this article to find out where you should travel in Germany. Is that right?
I want to help you a bit more than just a simple list.
Besides listing my favorite places and cities, I also created a map for you. I even included the best castles in Germany to visit. You will find it at the end of this guide or simply jump right away to the map here.
So let’s not keep you waiting! Let us introduce to you and give you a glimpse of the +34 most beautiful cities to visit in Germany.
Update: We keep this list up to date, by adding new cities we have discovered or things to do. Last update 2023.
Heidelberg is one of the best-preserved romantic cities in Germany. And we are talking about love, even though it is a lovely place, but about the Romantik era of German philosophy and literature. There was a circle of famous poets.
With a students flair around (it has the oldest German University), the city has much more to offer:
a castle, a beautiful old town and one of the most known medieval markets fair.
There is no wonder why the song “I lost my heart in Heidelberg” was written.
Ladenburg is located in the heart of “Kurpfalz” (electoral palatine) filled with medieval buildings, art galleries, and bars.
Also, there are several museums with a great history to discover.
Compared to the many cities in Europe, Stuttgart has surprisingly maintained its green lands despite the need to adjust to the evolving modernity.
You will also find several museums and parks in Stuttgart which is great to explore. Another one Stuttgart is famous for is their great wines.
So don’t forget to try one when you get there.
Tübingen is composed of mostly students which cover almost a third of its total population.
Aside from that, as you walk along the old streets of the neighborhood, you will the timber-framed buildings with plenty of cafes, wine bars, and shops.
And if you’re a nature lover, then you should definitely do a hike at the Swabian Jura mountains.
5. Freiburg im Breisgau
A university city, Freiburg is best-known for its medieval town center. Aside from this, it is also one of Germany’s most livable and most sustainable cities.
You can also jump-off from Freiburg to the Black Forest. Moreover, you can ride a cable-car from the south of the city to the summit of Schauinsland mountain which is 1,284 meters.
Freiburg im Breisgau is very close to the border with Switzerland and France. In that area you will find many more beautiful cities in France.
Around 100km North of Freiburg im Breisgau you find the Theme Park “Europa Park“. This is one of the best things to do in Germany for families. It is only open in summer time, so make sure you check the schedule.
Konstanz is located along the largest city lake which is Lake Constance, known as Bodensee.
With its location, you got the tourist destinations in Konstanz are within sight from the waters. That is why you should definitely try a boat tour while you’re there.
It is also one of the luckiest cities to survive in World War II. The city is very picture-perfect and a nice place to relax on the beach.
“Burg on the sea” is what Meersburg means located on the shores of Lake Constance. Okay, it is not really a sea, but a lake. A famous tourist destination during the summer.
Its medieval houses and the small neighborhood is surrounded by vineyards.
The whole area around Bodensee is actually so wonderful to visit. I recommend to rent a bike and cycle around a bit.
8. Füssen with Neuschwanstein Castle
This is probably the most famous Castle in the world and the most famous sight in all Germany: Neuschwanstein Castle.
No one can pronounce this, but everyone wants to visit it. And it is 100% worth it. I have visited the last time in summer 2019. Oh…GORGEOUS!
If there is one thing Füssen would be proud of is its marvelous castles that make your fairy tale dreams can come true.
Füssen is nestled along the beautiful shores of Alpine River Lech with romantic streets through the old town. And not only do you get to explore the city through land but also through its wonderful waters.
Note: From Munich, it will only take you 1 hour to get to Füssen.
See for yourself the beautiful castle of Neuschwanstein which is Germany’s most famous castle. It has a lot to offer regarding the imperial past of the country and King Ludwig II’s life.
That is why more than 1.5 million tourists come to check out this wonderful structure.
Does this castle remind you of anything? Maybe Disney? You are right. Because the 19th German century castle inspired Walt Disney to build his own version.
When visiting, I recommend to come early in the morning. You can either walk up or take a bus ride up.
5 points for you if you can pronounce this city name!
“GaPa”, a short term to Garmisch-Partenkirchen where you will find Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain.
Filled with plenty of Bavarian Alps, the place is also called the “most famous town of the Bavarian Alps”. You will fall in love with the valleys and mountains that surround the neighborhood.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
It is in Oberammergau that you will find the 1,342-meter peak of Kofel Mountain. The landscapes along the mountains and the beautiful structures are just a wonderful combination worth to see.
Artistic touches can also be seen through its houses and amazing frescoes in churches.
Note: You can visit Oberammergau during the Winter where everything is covered in snow. Or during Summer where everything is fresh.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Aside from being home to the famous Oktoberfest, Munich is great for exploring the nightlife, music, and festivals. Do take note that they have the best beer gardens.
You can also find amazing sites and great museums in Munich. I highly recommend wandering around Marienplatz area. Keep in mind, Munich is not the cheapest place in Germany. So if you are on a budget, make your trip short here.
You cannot leave Munich without having a meal (and beer) at one of the many Beer Halls and Beer Gardens. The most famous one would be Augustiner-Keller. Yet, there is many more.
Good to know: Munich in German is written München.
Munich is also home to Germany’s most successful football club, the FC Bayern Munich. Matches at the Allianz Arena Stadium are usually sold out fast. You may ask at your hotel or tourist office if there is any spare tickets left.
Augsburg is considered to be the oldest city in Bavaria and the second oldest in Germany.
It a city of a very interesting past and wonderful architecture to see and explore. It is also in Augsburg that the first housing complex was born.
And aside from the beautiful parks, families will love to visit Augsburg since it has many to offer like its Zoo and festivals.
31. Neuburg an der Donau
Neuburg an der Donau simply means the “new castle on the Danube”. Despite the name, it was built on a Jurassic limestone hill along the Danube Valley.
Visiting the city will bring you to a world of Renaissance and Baroque.
You will find Passau conveniently nestled between three rivers Inn, Ilz, and the Danube which all meet along with the city. It is also known as Dreiflüssestadt which means “City of Three Rivers”.
Aside from this amazing feature of Passau, you will also find the world’s largest organ in St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
Note: If you want to witness a daily 30-minute concert on these organs, you should come from May to October, noon except on Sundays and holidays. They also have longer concerts on Thursdays.
Situated along the Danube River, the second largest river in Europe, Regensburg has become one of the great places of economic and cultural development.
Also being one of the oldest towns in Germany, you bet there is plenty of wonderful history to learn and discover in Regensburg.
Note: From Munich, you will be able to reach Regensburg with 2.5 hours.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Along the famous Romantic Road, you will find Dinkelsbühl where Renaissance patrician houses come along the Medieval wall.
The wonderful houses also make it worth it to visit Dinkelsbühl.
17. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
If you’re into fairytales, then Rothenburg is the perfect place for you.
The most popular attraction is the town where you will also lead you to the Romantic Road. You can walk along the cobbled streets and simply enjoy the lovely details of the neighborhood.
And if you’re visiting during the Christmas season, you will appreciate its culture and practices of Christmas itself on your stay.
Old churches, imperial castle, and a city full of history.
Nuremberg is just a train ride away from Munich, making this beautiful city is perfect for a day trip. YOu can either book your day trip to Nuremberg here or plan your own one. The old town of Nuremberg is relatively small.
When you walk out of the main train station, you can already see the old city walls. Just keep walking straight and you will stumble into the beautiful old town of Nuremberg. Enjoy!
This medieval city close to Nuremberg is also known for its breweries.
Note: Bamberg is a UNESCO heritage site since 1993
And for the beer lovers: Bamberg has the highest density of breweries in the world. Try a typical “Rauchbier” in the old town.
Called as the “many-towered city“, Erfurt is known for its many churches and cathedrals. They also have one of the fanciest Christmas Markets and delicious dumplings you should not miss.
It is also in Erfurt that you will see the world’s biggest bell in the middle tower of the Gothic Cathedral.
Home of the great people like Luther, Cranach, and Bach, Weimar is the center of classical literature in Germany.
It has also remained one of the country’s top tourism and cultural destinations.
Weimar is also a perfect place to do a walking tour since its tourist destinations are very much close to each other.
Considered the new, trendy Berlin, Leipzig has a really hipster soul.
For Germany, Leipzig became super popular since 2010. Yet, travellers never really hear of it. Leipzig was once the most productive manufacturing hub in the GDR. Today, it is a modern city with many sights to see.
My favorite sight in Leipzig is the Monument to the Battle of the Nations. And no, it has nothing to do with the Second World War. This monument is a celebration of 100 years since Napoleon’s defeat and retreat from Germany.
You can also visit a beautiful Christmas market, museum of modern arts and even a brand-new successful Football Club, the RB Leipzig.
23. Meissen (or Meißen)
Meissen is named after the city’s hard-paste porcelain which is of the highest quality that has been produced for more than 300 years now.
Aside from the wonderful porcelain, Meissen is a 1,000-year-old city where music and wine are great to discover.
There are no direct flights to Dresden. That is why it is often overlooked by most tourists.
However, Prague and Berlin are just within reach from Dresden. For that reason, it is a perfect day tour getaway when you visit Germany.
Aside from the old scene, you will love the wonderful views of nature with sandstone mountains that rice from the green fields.
Photo by Jens Mahnke from Pexels
One of the most astonishing beauties of nature that rises 305 meters (1,000 feet) from Elbe River is Bastei Bridge. With that, it is the most famous rock formation in Germany.
You can relax with the view or do a day hike if you prefer to explore more of Bastei.
From Dresden, it will only take you 1 hour to reach the place or from Prague, it will take you 2-2.5 hrs.
Photo by Cezar Sampaio on Unsplash
26. Gablenz – Kromlauer Park
If there is one thing to look forward to in Gablenz – Kromlauer Park is the ver Instagramable Rakotzbrücke or the Devil’s Bridge.
It is an iconic arched bridge that was built with various stones.
Note: Tourists visit Gablenz – Kromlauer Park mostly during the fall where the view is much more appreciated.
Berlin is a city where freedom is very much celebrated. From wonderful museums to good beers, and crazy nightlife, Berlin has pretty much to offer.
A one of its kind in the world, you will surely have plenty to discover and explore in Berlin.
Rostock is the perfect combination of a city with land and water. You got plenty of architecture with museums and buildings to check out.
There are also beaches and water tours to look forward to when you visit Rostock. And if you come with kids, Rostock Zoo is the perfect place to see.
Photo by Andrea Anastasakis
Lübeck’s medieval old town is considered as UNESCO’s World Heritage which is definitely a must-see when you come to the city.
You will also see The Holsten Gate which was during the 15th century to protect the city against foreign conquest. Plus, you can enjoy the sun and see the Baltic Sea for refreshment.
Hamburg is an important port of departure for immigrants. It is one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan areas in Germany that has so much to offer to its guests and citizen.
Also called the Venice of the North, Hamburg is also built on water where canals and waterways are everywhere.
And aside from its very easy to get around, Hamburg has a very nice food scene and nightlife you will surely enjoy.
Designated as one of the “Historic Highlights of Germany”, Münster has a fascinating history to tell.
You can go biking to its parks, nature, and even to its wonderful castles with amazing architecture and details. They also got plenty of festivals and cultural events you can join according to the date of your visit.
For all male travelers out there: There is many female students in Münster. It is said, it is the best town in Germany to find a female partner. Try your luck here if you are still looking for a partner for your life.
Photo by Jakob Braun on Unsplash
Just like the many big cities in Germany, Düsseldorf is a great place for beer and sausages. You will also find the longest bar in the world in Düsseldorf.
It is nestled along the banks of the River Rhine where cobbled streets make up the town.
Filled with many world-renowned museums, Köln (in English: Cologne) is one of the largest cities in Germany. They also have amazing cuisine and a great appreciation for art.
It is very easy to navigate with its incredible transportation system.
Personally, I think together with Berlin, Cologne has the best nightlife in Germany. There is endless clubs, bars and discos to dance all night long.
Home of the large student population and universities, Marburg remains unexplored and free from most tourists.
However, its castle’s Gothic and Renaissance influences make it ideal to see and explore.
Considered as the oldest spa towns in Germany with a total of 14 hot springs, Wiesbaden is surely a pleasant place to visit.
Aside from the hot springs, there are more Wiesbaden has to offer. These also include the amazing architecture and nature parks you should see.
Trier is a small city in the West and is considered the oldest city of Germany. It is also called the “Rome of the North” where it has developed to be a Roman metropolis.
And what’ s greater to know is Trier has, not one but eight, UNESCO World Heritage sites that many tourists fail to realize.
You will also find the oldest cathedral in Germany in Trier.
Another highlight and what makes Trier one of the best places to visit in Germany, is the Porta Nigra. It is in the city center, not far away from the main train station.
Our best tip: Trier has an absolute beautiful Christmas market in Germany. However, it is not very well known. So if you want a local experience of Germany’s Christmas Markets, then consider Trier.
Photo by Diogo Palhais on Unsplash
Best Castles in Germany
I think this topic deserves an own section. Castles in Germany are one of the absolute highlights. They have certainly one of the most beautiful castles in the world, period.
I am listing here my favorite and best castles in Germany to visit. I also added them all to the map.
Please note, some of these castles are private and cannot be visited. Please check the schedules and tickets for each.
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