Gorgeous Germany: Places You Have to See

  • A Home with 140 Rooms: Hohenzollern Castle

    Hohenzollern Castle in Stuggart is located on the peak of Mount Hohenzollern and is the ancestral seat of the Hohenzollern family, a lineage of Prussian kings and German emperors. The family restored the castle during the 19th century, and it's currently filled with art and historical artifacts, including the Prussian royal crown. Events and festivities take place year-round, along with guided tours of the property. The panoramic view of the Swabian Alps is awe-inspiring.

    Photo courtesy of Jim Trodel

  • Breathtaking Chalk Cliffs at Jasmund National Park

    Jasmund National Park, established in 1990, is the famous site of the largest chalk cliff in Germany, known as the Königsstuhl ("the king's chair"), and of beech forests dating back to the 13th century. In 2011, the forests of Jasmund National Park were added to the the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List. You can take a guided tour with a park ranger or explore on your own by foot, horseback or bike.

    Photo courtesy of Gunner Ries

  • Enjoy a Frothy Beer at Oktoberfest in Munich

    Munich's Oktoberfest is a weeks-long celebration that has welcomed beer lovers to Germany for over two centuries. Oktoberfest is known as the world's largest fair, attracting nearly 6 million revelers from around the world every year. Six Munich breweries supply the lager which flows endlessly over the festival's 16 days. Arrive on day one of the event to watch the traditional festival opening: a twelve-gun salute and the tapping of the first keg.

    Photo courtesy of Jim Winstead

  • Cosmopolitan Culture in Cologne

    Cologne, Germany's fourth largest city, offers a taste of the old country and new. This cultural hub is located on the banks of the Rhine River and home to many exemplary examples of medieval architecture, including the greatest Gothic cathedral in the country. Museums and universities dot the city's landscape. Visit the birthplace of Eau de Cologne at the Farina Fragrance Museum or take in artifacts and art at the Museum Ludwig or the Wallraf-Richartz Museum.

    Photo courtesy of Thomas Depenbusch

  • The Konigssee: Germany's Most Picturesque Lake

    The Königssee is located within Berchtesgaden National Park between sheer rock walls created by glaciers during the last ice age. Germany is proud to call this lake the nation's cleanest, and its clear waters are popular with tourists who visit for scenic boat rides, swimming and hiking.

    Photo courtesy of Richard Riley

  • A Fairytale Castle: Neuschwanstein

    This 19th century Bavarian castle was built by King Ludwig II in tribute to composer Richard Wagner. Nestled near the Alpine Foothills and built on the ridge of a cliff, this site's picturesque beauty has inspired over 60 million visitors since its doors opened to the public just seven weeks after the King's death. Guided tours are available so that visitors can experience the majesty that inspired the castle in Disney's Sleeping Beauty for themselves.

    Photo courtesy of Nite Dan

  • Nuremberg, a City of Historic Cultural and Scientific Breakthroughs

    Founded in the 11th century, Nuremberg in Bavaria has played a meaningful role in German and world history. Take a self-guided tour through Nuremberg's historical mile to see why. Medieval buildings, churches and archways populate what was once the center of invention across the humanities and sciences. Alongside oodles of history, Nuremberg offers culinary delicacies (think gingerbread and bratwurst) and a Christmas market, "Christkindlesmarkt," to the millions of tourists that visit each year.

    Photo courtesy of Jeff Wilson

  • Take In the Baroque in Dresden

    Dresden's city center was once known as Germany's "jewel box." Although WWII bombings destroyed much of the original "box," one can still behold many of the city's "jewels" by visiting its historic center. There you'll find Zwinger Palace, a Rococo style-masterpiece, and the Semperoper, an ornate opera house that's another must-see. Dresden lies on the banks of the Elbe River and is often compared to Florence for its modern day cultural offerings and arresting architecture.

    Photo courtesy of rockingroshan

  • Visit the Black Forest in Freiburg

    Located in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Freiburg is a warm and sunny place with a high standard of living. This university town is also characterized by its scenic natural beauty and charming, historic architecture. Nestled in a popular wine region, Freiburg is a great starting point to take a leisurely self-guided bike tour through the country. A visit to the nearby Black Forest, a wooded mountain range of firs and pines, is another do-not-miss activity.

    Photo courtesy of Tamas

  • A Walk Between Germany and Austria: Leutasch Gorge

    A visit to Leutasch Gorge is an impressive way to experience nature across two European countries. A 4.5 mile round-trip hike of low to moderate difficulty will take you from Mittenwald, Germany to Scharnitz, Austria with inspiring views of the gorge, the Isar River and waterfalls along the way. This breathtaking walk also brings you near the foot of the medieval Porta Claudia fortress in Austria.

    Photo courtesy of Wolfgang Lonien