Are you planning a trip to Germany? You’re in luck – there are so many fantastic places to visit in Germany! The possibilities are endless, but I’ve put together this Germany bucket list to help you choose the best cities, towns, and regions to add to your Germany itinerary.
Whether you’re interested in big cities like Berlin, small towns like Bamberg, or nature areas like the Black Forest, there’s bound to be something just right for you here.
Planning which places to visit in Germany
Remember you can’t see everything in one trip. Smaller places can often be visited in a day, while you should plan at least two or three days for bigger cities.
Nearly everywhere in Germany is connected by train, so it’s easy to get around in Germany without renting a car. It’s worth checking the train schedules to see how long it takes to get from one place to the next.
This will help you decide the order of your itinerary and how many places to include on your Germany bucket list trip without spending too much time in transit.
Take your time and enjoy the sights and the food in Germany. Germany has a lot to offer and many regional differences.
Of course I’m biased, but I think Berlin should be on every Germany bucket list.
The capital city has something for everyone and is one of the best places to see in Germany. I recommend spending at least 3 days in Berlin to really get a feel for the city and see a lot of the sights.
Here you can learn about World War II and the country’s dark past. There’s also no better place to learn about the Cold War. Remaining sections of the Berlin Wall are just some of the reminders of the time when the city was split into East and West.
Berlin is also an amazing city for art from traditional galleries to creative street art.
The city has loads of great museums, like the German History Museum, the DDR Museum, the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, the Jewish Museum, and so many more. And of course, don’t forget the fantastic museums on Museum Island.
Visit Berlin’s most iconic landmarks, such as the TV Tower, Brandenburg Gate, the Berliner Dom, the Reichstag Building, and the Victoria Column.
Explore Charlottenburg Castle, and check out some of the lesser known castles in Berlin.
For a big city, you might be surprised that Berlin has lots of parks and green spaces.
Where to stay in Berlin
Berlin has lots of great neighborhoods for you to stay in and explore. If you’re visiting Berlin for the first time, it might be best for you stay somewhere central.
Many of the attractions are in Mitte or easily connected to Mitte by Berlin’s public transport, so you should stay somewhere in that region. Here are a few hotels we recommend.
For a more detailed look at the different neighborhoods and our hotel recommendations, check out our guide to where to stay in Berlin.
Read more about Berlin:
- 37 Amazing Berlin Bucket List Sights to Include on Your Trip
- What to Wear & What to Pack for Berlin, Germany: Your Ultimate Berlin Packing List
- 27 Fun Day Trips From Berlin
- 63 Free Things to do in Berlin
- 15 Amazing Places for the Best Views of Berlin From Above
Lübbenau in the Spreewald
Located only an hour away from Berlin, Spreewald is the perfect nature escape. There are several towns in this forest region, but one of the more popular ones is Lübbenau.
It is a quiet town filled with meadows and waterways. A popular means of transportation here is the punt, a flat-bottomed boat, and you can take a guided punt tour of the town.
Explore the historic town center and see the Lübbenau Castle. You can also visit the Spreewald Museum to learn more about the history of this area, which is a protected biosphere reserve.
The Spreewald is also known for pickles, so be sure to try a few while visiting Lübbenau.
This is one of the wonderful day trips from Berlin that gives you a glimpse at the gorgeous nature in the region and a change of scenery from the big city.
Read more about taking a Spreewald day trip from Berlin.
Another one of the best places to visit in Germany is Munich. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, and it’s chock full of history.
Most of what you’ve always imagined as typical Germany is actually Bavaria and Munich. Here you’ll find giant pretzels, giant beers, lederhosen, and of course, a wonderful city to explore.
The center of Munich is where you’ll find the old town and most of the sights.
See Marienplatz and Munich’s famous neo-gothic City Hall (Rathaus) with its Glockenspiel. You can also climb the tower here for views of the city.
Other great viewpoints in Munich are Frauenkirche, which is Munich’s largest church, and St Peter’s Church, which gives you great views of the Rathaus and Frauenkirche.
After climbing those towers, have a beer in Viktuellenmarkt.
Munich is also a great city for World War II history. Learn about this history on a tour or in one of many museums.
It’s also a good idea to take a day trip to Dachau Concentration Camp to understand the horrors of Germany’s past.
Home to Oktoberfest, Munich is a bucket list destination in Germany for beer enthusiasts. But remember that Oktoberfest actually starts in mid September.
Book well in advance if you want to go to Oktoberfest because hotels sell out months or even a year ahead of time.
If you’re in Munich for more than a couple of days, it’s a great city for day trips to other parts of Bavaria, some of which are mentioned separately in this post. Popular day trips from Munich include Neuschwanstein Castle, Nuremberg, and Bamberg.
Is Neuschwanstein Castle Germany on your bucket list? If not, it should be. Neuschwanstein Castle is the most famous castle in Germany, earning it a place on many Germany bucket lists.
It is the creation of the Mad King Ludwig who nearly bankrupted Bavaria building it. This fairy tale castle inspired Disney’s signature castle in Florida.
The only way to see the inside of the castle is by taking a guided tour, and you have to book a specific time with your ticket. Your tour guide will tell you all about the castle’s interesting history, but no photography is allowed inside.
Looking for that postcard view of the castle? Make your way to the Marienbrücke (St Mary’s Bridge) which is up in the hills above Neuschwanstein.
This isn’t the only castle in the town of Füssen. Another popular one is Hohenschwangau Castle, and you can get a combo ticket to tour both of them.
One of many things Germany is well known for is cars, and you’re a car enthusiast, Stuttgart is for you. This city is home to both Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, and each has a museum in the city that you can visit.
But Stuttgart is more than just cars. Stuttgart has lots of beauty in the form of parks, architecture, and history.
Check out Schlossplatz and the Neues Schloss (New Palace), see the views from the TV Tower, and visit the Wilhelma zoo and botanical gardens.
Stuttgart also makes a good base for day trips to places like Ludwigsburg Residence Palace and Hohenzollern Castle.
One of the most famous castles in Germany, Hohenzollern Castle is imposing high up on mountain. It was built in the 19th century by the Hohenzollern family, who were the Prussian royal family.
In fact, the castle is still privately owned by the family. Luckily they do have tours, so you can still explore this fantastic castle.
Hohenzollern Castle is located a little over an hour south of Stuttgart and is best visited with a car.
Another castle you should definitely visit is Lichtenstein Castle, also about an hour south of Stuttgart. The original castle was built in the Middle Ages and was destroyed several times.
Not much stands today, but a short walk from the ruins is a rebuilt new Lichtenstein Castle from the 19th century. Inspired by the novel “Lichtenstein” by Wilhelm Hauff, Count Wilhelm of Württemberg, Duke of Urach, had the castle built as a sort of tribute to the medieval time period.
The castle is still privately owned by the count’s family, but tours are available.
The Black Forest is a fantastic place to visit in Germany. It’s situated in the southwest corner of Germany, and it’s a nature lover’s dream. This is the home of Hansel and Gretel, along with many other tales from the Brothers Grimm.
If you want to enjoy some hiking, you’ll find plenty of trails in the Black Forest. This is also a great area for skiing if you’re visiting Germany in the winter.
The Black Forest is also well known for coo-coo clocks, and there are lots of places that sell them. However, you’ll have to do a little research to make sure you’re getting something authentic and not mass produced.
Freiburg is a great small city to visit in the Black Forest and use as a base to explore the region.
If you want a good mix of city and nature, Freiburg just might be the perfect destination in Germany.
It’s a small city, so it’s easy to explore on foot. There are plenty of restaurants and hotels, so you’ll have the comforts of a city.
Wander through the old town, but watch your step. Most streets have small canals on the sides with water running through them.
These are called Bächle and are one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Kids pull boats by strings through them in the summer.
Legend has it that if you step into one of them, you will marry a local.
Freiburg has a great market square surrounding the cathedral. Climb the cathedral tower for views of the city from above.
For an even higher look, climb Castle Hill where you’ll find a beer garden and sweeping views of Freiburg and the surrounding forest.
You’ll also notice a couple of remaining old city gates in Freiburg. These are called Schwabentor and Martins Tor, and they add to the charm of the city.
For avid hikers, Freiburg is perfect. From here, you can get to the trails and experience this gorgeous forest. But if you’re not so into hiking, you can still enjoy the Black Forest.
Take the cable car up to Schauinsland, one of the tallest mountains in the area, and climb the observation tower. You’ll have spectacular views of the forest, and on a clear day you can supposedly see all the way to Switzerland.
Another option is a day trip to Titisee, an alpine lake with a cute village. You can rent a boat or walk around the lake, and this is a nice place for some Black Forest souvenir shopping.
Schluchsee is a bigger lake not too far from Freiburg where you can boat, hike, or cycle around the lake. If you’re visiting the Black Forest in the winter, Feldberg is great for skiing.
Literally translating to Bath-Bath, Baden-Baden is a well known spa town in the Black Forest in southwest Germany. It was a Roman bath town which became a popular resort for thermal baths in the 19th century.
Baden-Baden recently gained UNESCO World Heritage status as part of an ensemble of bath towns in Europe. It’s certainly an enjoyable way to experience what the Black Forest has to offer.
Just be warned: At many spas in Germany, clothing and bathing suits are forbidden, so research ahead of time if this is a deal breaker for you.
It won’t take long to see why Hamburg is one of the best places to visit in Germany.
Located between the North and Baltic seas, Hamburg was an important trade city for centuries. The city had a vast trade route across the globe and was a major port of departure for immigrants. Its maritime history is still an important part of the city’s identity.
Explore the Speicherstadt district where you can see the canals and warehouses that were once an important part of the shipping and trading.
To learn more about the maritime history and culture of Hamburg, visit the Speicherstadt Museum, the International Maritime Museum, and the Rickmer Rickmers ship museum.
Miniatur Wunderland is a fantastic model railway museum with entire cities recreated in miniature with unbelievable detail. You could easily spend a few hours here, it’s that good. Book tickets ahead to avoid the long wait.
Hamburg is Germany’s top cultural city. Check out the Elbphilharmonie, an impressive building, home to Hamburg’s philharmonic. Even if you don’t take in a show, you can still go to the impressive viewing platform for views of the city.
This cultural city is also where the Beatles made it big. Visit some of the clubs where they played, and stop by Beatles Platz, statue honoring the band.
This diverse city features over forty-five theaters and fifty museums, and there is never a shortage of fun things to do in Hamburg.
Hamburg is Germany’s wealthiest city and a shopper’s paradise. Enjoy shopping in any of its numerous boutiques, handicraft stores, flea markets and luxury stores.
Another city in northern Germany, Lübeck was an important part of the Hanseatic League. It is home to the European Hansemuseum, which is focused on telling stories of piracy, trade boycotts and the likes via its fascinating exhibitions.
Known as one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in Germany, Lübeck features rich brick Gothic architecture filled with idyllic courtyards and lots of maritime attractions.
Explore the old town and its pedestrian-friendly streets. Check out the old city gates. If you’re coming in from the train station, you’ll see the famous Holstentor Gate. On the north side of the old town, the Burgtor Gate is also impressive.
Lübeck is an interesting city to add to your Germany bucket list. It has a rich history, it’s pretty and charming, and it’s easy to explore in a short amount of time.
Cologne is one of the more popular cities to visit in Germany, and it’s located in the western part of the country not far from the Rhine Valley.
The Cologne Cathedral is undoubtedly the city’s most famous landmark, and this impressive church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s so tall it’s hard to get a picture of the whole thing. This is a great place for views of Cologne from above.
Beer exists in every corner of Germany, but Cologne has its own specialty, called Kolsch. It is served in small glasses that will just keep coming until you put your coaster on top signalling that you’re done.
Stroll through the old town, learn about the city in one of the many museums, and enjoy the atmosphere at a cafe. Cologne is definitely a must see city in Germany.
When Germany was split into East and West, Bonn served as the capital of West Germany. It’s a lovely city to explore, from the gorgeous church to Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall) and even the university.
Bonn was also the birthplace of Beethoven. You can learn more about him at the Beethoven House, a museum that has exhibits with his manuscripts and his last piano. There’s also a statue outside.
Sitting along the Rhine River, Bonn is easy to include on a trip to Cologne or the Rhine Valley.
If you’re visiting Bonn, it’s worth taking a day trip to Schloss Drachenburg. This impressive castle looks medieval, but it was actually built in the 19th century.
The castle is located on the Rhine River, so you can get excellent views of the river from the castle, and vice versa.
Also known as Brunswick in English, this town has become a popular destination in Germany.
Start in the old town in Burgplatz where you’ll find the Brunswick Cathedral and the Dankwarderode Castle. The castle now houses as an art museum.
In the square, you’ll also see the Braunschweiger Löwe, the Brunswick Lion, the most recognizable statue in the city. Not far from here, you will find the Old Town Hall building and the Old Town Market.
If you like panoramic views, visit the New Town Hall (built in 1900, so not that new!) and climb the tower’s 161 steps to the viewing platform. This is a great way to see the old town.
Be sure to check out the Happy Rizzi House. It was built by James Rizzi and is painted with several cheerful cartoon faces and motifs of stars and hearts. It is definitely one of the more quirky sights to see in Braunschweig.
Read more about taking a day trip to Braunschweig from Berlin.
Magdeburg might not be on your radar, but it’s a wonderful city with a great old town to explore.
Start with the Altemarkt square where you’ll see the old town hall building. Then check out the Magdeburg Cathedral, which was almost entirely destroyed in WWII and has since been restored. You climb to the top for excellent views of the city.
If you’re here in the evening, be sure to catch the water show in front of the cathedral.
For more stunning views of Magdeburg, climb the Jahrtausendturm (Millennium Tower), one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world. As you climb the 243 steps to the top, learn about the development of human history in chronological order through the exhibits displayed at each level.
Since Magdeburg is located along the Elbe River, taking a boat tour can be a good option. As an alternative, consider renting a bike to explore the city for the day.
Read more about taking a day trip to Magdeburg from Berlin.
This is one of the most preserved towns in Saxony-Anhalt, and it is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. It features an impressive castle, a picturesque market square, and a quaint medieval church.
Be sure to include a visit to the grand St. Stephanskirche church on your day trip. This church has colorful interiors and features the highest tower in the city.
You should also check out the fortress museum named Burgmuseum. Here, you get to learn about the history of Tangermünde’s castle and take a tour of the palace built by Frederich I in 1700.
Erfurt is a charming and historic city filled with beautiful architecture and lots of natural, cultural and historical attractions.
Visit the Erfurt Cathedral and admire the 13 stained-glass windows that reach up as high as 13 meters. The square where the cathedral sits, called Domplatz, features a bubbling open-air market filled with rich historical architecture.
Take a stroll across the Krämerbrücke, an old merchants bridge with picturesque buildings on it. For views of Erfurt, climb the Ägidienkirche tower.
Also, check out St. Augustine’s Monastery, where Martin Luther was a monk before eventually moving to Wittenberg to teach.
Stroll through Fischmarkt (Fish Market Square) where you’ll see city hall and lots of other beautiful colorful old buildings. Explore the impressive Petersberg Citadel, including its underground tunnels.
Read more about taking a day trip to Erfurt from Berlin.
Located northwest of Berlin, this town is best known for its grand castle, the Schwerin Castle. This romantic palace sits on an island and is surrounded by stunning landscapes.
You should also check out the Gothic Schwerin Cathedral and Schlossgarten, a vast French-style garden. This garden houses a cafe and several sandstone sculptures by Balthasar Permoser.
Explore the Schelfstadt Quarter, the area surrounding the cathedral, which is a great place to wander and soak up the atmosphere. Here you’ll find museums, art galleries, shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Schwerin is a walkable city that sits among 12 lakes, so if you’re there on a nice day, consider going for a swim or hopping on a boat.
Ludwiglust is a beautiful castle town not far from Schwerin.
It is home to the glorious Ludwigslust Palace (Schloss Ludwigslust) and best known for its rich heritage. The Ludwigslust Palace features a vast park, fountains, canals, and brilliant artificial waterfalls.
You should also check out the City Church. Built-in 1770, this neo-classical historic church has the exotic appearance of a Greek temple.
If you like wine and castles, the Rhine Valley is the perfect region in Germany for you to explore.
Along the Rhine River between Cologne and Frankfurt, there are tons of castles to admire and plenty of delicious wine to taste. Explore both charming small towns and larger cities in this part of Germany.
One of the more popular ways to experience the Rhine Valley is, unsurprisingly, from the river itself. Take a boat tour to see the beautiful landscape and many of the castles in this region.
You can also use the trains to get around the area and check out some of the castles that aren’t so close to the river.
If you want an all around great experience, add the Rhine Valley to your Germany bucket list. You won’t be disappointed.
Koblenz is a great city to base yourself in for exploring the Rhine Valley. The city sits at the convergence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers.
From here you can hop on a boat tour to see the castles along the Rhine River and the Moselle River. Or you can take local trains to some of the castles instead.
Koblenz also makes a good base for day trips to the Moselle Valley and other amazing towns like Trier, and even Cologne and Bonn.
Just outside of Koblenz is the Stolzenfels Castle. The original castle dates back to the 13th century, but it was rebuilt by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV in 1842 in a neo-Gothic style.
This castle is a little tricky to get to without a car, but you’ll see it from most Rhine River boat trips.
Another great castle in the Rhine region is Pfalzgrafenstein Castle. This unique castle was built as a toll station and sits on a tiny island in the middle of the river.
This is another one you’re sure to pass while on a boat trip along the river.
One of the most impressive medieval castles in Germany is Burg Eltz. It’s located near the Moselle River, not far from the Rhine River and Koblenz.
If you’re traveling through the Rhine Valley to see castles, this one is a must.
Another excellent castle in the same region is Cochem Castle. It’s also on the Moselle River, a bit southwest of Burg Eltz.
This castle dates back to the 11th century. Even though it was mostly destroyed when King Louis XIV of France invaded in the 17th century, it has since been restored.
Trier is located in western German near the Luxembourg border in the Moselle wine region. It was founded by the Romans, and you can still see many structures from that time period, such as a city gate, Roman bath ruins, an amphitheater, and a stone bridge.
For history enthusiasts, check out the Archaeological Museum which has displays of Roman artifacts. The Trier Cathedral is also quite impressive.
Trier is one of the most popular places to visit in Germany. Even though it’s a small city, it packs a big punch.
Frankfurt is often used only as a place to fly into, but the city is worth exploring. After WWII, it was mostly rebuilt as new, so it has a different feel to it than a lot of other Germany cities.
That said, there is a small old town in the center. There’s also a great observation deck in the Main Tower where you can get fantastic views of the city.
While you’re in Frankfurt, be sure to try apple wine and green sauce. These are two specialties from the region.
Lake Constance, or Bodensee in German, is a lake in southwestern Germany along the Swiss border. It’s a popular vacation spot for those who want to enjoy some outdoor activities.
At the lake, you can go boating, swimming, and participate in many other water sports. Or go for a stroll through some of the villages along the lake.
Konstanz and Friedrichshafen are two of the bigger and more popular towns on the lake, but there are plenty of other villages if you’re interested in staying somewhere smaller.
Bamberg is one of the most charming and beautiful cities in Germany. The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the half timbered buildings are very picturesque.
Make time to simply wander and enjoy the beauty. It’s no wonder this town is one of the best places to visit in Germany.
The most famous attraction here is the Bamberg Town Hall building. It was built on an artificial island in the middle of the river, and it’s definitely one of the most interesting places to see in Germany.
The city also has a strong beer culture with many local specialties. Be sure to try the smoked beer, or Rauschbier in German. It’s definitely unique!
Check out the Bamberg Cathedral, the New Residenz palace, the Bamberg rose garden, and the waterways commonly referred to as Little Venice. For a small city, Bamberg has a lot to see and do.
Bamberg is worth visiting on its own, but it’s also a good choice for a day trip from Nuremberg or Munich.
There are many sides to Nuremburg, making it the perfect addition to your bucket list of places to see in Germany.
The Nuremberg Castle is impressive and is definitely worth checking out. It sustained quite a lot of damage during WWII, but luckily has been restored. The castle tower is also the best place for views of Nuremberg from above.
Wander through the old town to admire the half-timbered buildings and the variety of shops and cafes. Check out the Hauptmarkt (main square), St Lorenz Church, and the Frauenkirche church. These gorgeous icons are a must in Nuremberg.
Nuremberg is also packed with WWII history. It was an important city for Nazi rallies, and a visit to the Dokumentation will teach you about the city’s dark history.
Visit the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, the location where the famous Nuremberg Trials took place when Nazi war criminals were prosecuted.
Don’t forget to eat while you’re here. You’ll find some delicious local specialties, like the famous Nuremberg sausages. Try them in a bun or with a side of sauerkraut.
Visiting at Christmastime? Nuremberg is home to one of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany. Don’t miss it if you’re in the area in December or even late November.
You can visit Nuremberg as a day trip from Munich, but there’s enough to do here for a few days if you have time in your Germany itinerary.
Regensburg might not be on your radar, but it’s a picturesque Bavarian city to add to your Germany bucket list. It is the most well-preserved medieval city in Germany, and it’s also a UNESCO site.
The city is more than 2,000 years old, and much of the architecture has Roman influences. You’ll see lots of brick here, and that combined with the fact that Regensburg escaped WWII damage, means that the city is full of original buildings that date back hundreds of years.
If you’re spending a lot of time in Bavaria, Regensburg should definitely be on your itinerary.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Romantic Road
Germany has plenty of fairy tale worthy destinations, and the Romantic Road is certainly one of them.
The Romantic Road is a trail that connects several German towns in southern Germany. And even though it is a fairly modern construct, the towns themselves are definitely historical.
In the northern part of the Romantic Road is Würzburg, and Füssen, home to Neuschwanstein Castle, is in the southern end. More than a dozen towns of varying size are scattered in between, and Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the most well known. It’s definitely a picturesque town.
Most people stop in Rothenburg for the view pictured above, but if you can spend a little more time or even stay overnight, you’ll be rewarded. Rothenburg is one of the few remaining walled cities in Germany, and that alone should earn it a place on your Germany bucket list.
This is one of the few regions of Germany where it might be better to rent a car. This will give you the flexibility to visit towns along the Romantic Road at your own pace.
Ulm is about halfway between Stuttgart and Munich, and it was founded in medieval times. Admire the half-timbered buildings near the Danube River.
The Gothic Ulm Münster is an impressive church with the world’s tallest steeple. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Alps from the viewing platform, which is 70m (230ft) high.
Ulm’s old town is compact, so it’s easy to explore in a short amount of time. If you’re traveling through the southern part of the country, add this quaint city to your Germany bucket list.
Garmisch Partenkirchen and Zugspitze
Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany, and this region of the country is simply stunning. For outdoor enthusiasts, this is definitely one of the most fantastic places to visit in Germany.
Luckily you don’t have to be a climber to reach the top of the mountain. A combination of trains and cable cars takes you to the top of Zugspitze where you can enjoy unmatched views.
There are so many things to do in Garmisch Partenkirchen, which makes it a great base to explore the southern part of Bavaria and the German Alps.
From this town you can go hiking, explore a gorge, visit the Linderhof Palace, see the Olympic village from 1936, and enjoy the quaint old town. At about an hour from Munich, Garmisch Partenkirchen and Zugspitze are easy to include on a trip through Bavaria and southern Germany.
This fairy tale town has a stunning rustic medieval town center with red brick Gothic buildings that actually lean a bit due to years and years of salt mining. Lüneburg is home to the German Salt Museum, where guests learn about the history and importance of salt mining.
Set out on your exploration from the Am Sande market square, where you will enjoy sights of gabled houses and the merchant hub of the city. Admire the well-preserved Rathaus (town hall) which was spared from war damage.
Be sure to make a stop at the Water Tower and the Stintmarkt, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink from the numerous pubs, bars and beer gardens. Lüneburg is a university town and actually has the second highest density of bars in all of Europe!
Bremen was another important city in the Hanseatic League and is located in northern Germany. It’s a beautiful city and a wonderful place to see in Germany, especially if you want to visit a city not as many tourists go to.
Take a stroll through the old town admiring the Market Square, Roland statue, St. Peter’s Cathedral, and the Rathaus (town hall). Both the Roland statue and the Rathaus are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
You’ll also find many shops, restaurants, and museums in the old town. This is a great area to soak up the culture and learn about the city’s history.
Another part of Bremen to explore is the old town Schnoor Quarter. In this district you’ll see lots of cute buildings and quaint cobbled streets.
This charming city is a great choice to include on your Germany itinerary, and you’ll find that there are lots of great things to do in Bremen.
Heidelberg is a little north of the Black Forest, and it’s one of the prettiest small cities in Germany.
It’s well known for the castle that sits on a hill above the city. Though it’s mostly in ruins, it’s still quite impressive.
In the old town, check out the market square and the cathedral, called Church of the Holy Spirit. Keep wandering towards the river, and you’ll see an impressive bridge with distinctive towers.
For a different perspective, take a boat tour on the river to learn about Heidelberg.
Though the view from Heidelberg Castle is fantastic, you can get even higher up the mountains. Take the funicular up the mountain, past the castle, to the end station. This is called Königsstuhl, or the King’s Throne.
Heidelberg is included on most tours of Germany for good reasons. This is surely one for your Germany bucket list.
Dresden is one of the prettiest cities in Germany and deserves a place on your bucket list. It’s located in southeast Germany on the Elbe River, which makes for an impressive skyline.
Wander through the Old Town to admire the stunning architecture. A walking tour like this one can help you see a lot of the sights while learning about the history from an expert.
Don’t skip Brühl’s Terrace, a long terrace along the river where the old city ramparts were. Today this is a wonderful place for a stroll with views of the river and impressive buildings.
Be sure to check out Frauenkirche, an important church that was badly damaged during World War II.
Its restoration was one of the most impressive rebuilding projects in the world and used nearly 4,000 of the original stones. This alone makes it one of the most interesting places in Germany to visit.
Another place you should see is the Zwinger Palace, an impressive 18th century Baroque palace. Inside is an extensive art museum, and the grounds surrounding the palace feature gardens, fountains, and statues.
Dresden is also home to the oldest Christmas market in the world. If you’re planning a Germany Christmas market itinerary, Dresden should be on your list.
With many more museums, palaces, and fun activities, you could easily spend several days in Dresden. It’s a great city to include on a one week Germany itinerary in eastern Germany.
Saxon Switzerland National Park
Germany has 16 national parks, and Saxon Switzerland National Park, located in the southeast part of the country, is one of them. If you love nature, this region is for you.
The park covers an area of 274 square miles with hiking trails for all experience levels. Or you can rent a bike and explore from two wheels instead of on foot.
Bad Schandau is on of the easiest towns to base yourself in and use as a gateway to the park. From here you can take the Kirnitzschtalbahn (Kirnitzschtal Tramway) up into the forest to explore.
I recommend getting out at the Kirnitzschtal Beuthenfall stop and hiking south along the trail near the stop until you get to the gorgeous Bloßstock rocks.
If you’re an avid hiker, check out Basteibrücke, one of the most beautiful natural bridges in Germany. It’s a tough hike to get there, but worth the effort.
I think you’ll agree that this is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Germany, especially if you love the outdoors.
Known for its stunning historic architecture, Görlitz is worth visiting, especially if you’re spending time in eastern Germany.
It’s located on the border with Poland, and it’s an easy walk to the town of Zgorzelec on the Polish side. The two towns were actually one until after WWII.
This city is home to several filming locations for movies such as Inglorious Basterds, The Book Thief, and The Reader. The Grand Budapest Hotel was also shot in one of Görlitz’s top shopping malls.
The town wasn’t damaged during WWII, and film makers love Görlitz because its well preserved buildings make for amazing scenery.
This means it’s a gorgeous city to wander though. Admire the city hall building, the centuries-old churches, and the quaint cobbled streets.
Known as Rakotzbrücke in German, Devil’s Bridge is a delicate stone bridge that spans the water in a half circle shape. The reflection completes the circle for an amazing effect.
This bridge is located in Kromlau, in Kromlauer Park, which is in southeastern Germany. It’s tricky to reach without a car, so it’s recommended to visit with your own wheels or a rental.
Known for its rich cultural heritage, Leipzig is another must see German city you could easily spend several days exploring.
Start with a visit to the main square, Leipziger Markt. Here you’ll find the farmer’s market and the Old City Hall, one of Germany’s most beautiful Renaissance buildings. Continue wandering through Leipzig’s quaint old town and admire its well-preserved passages.
Visit Nikolaikirche, another church where Bach served as a choirmaster. Nikolaikirche was also an important part of the nonviolent protests that eventually helped bring an end to the East German communist rule.
It’s also worth stopping by St Thomas Church. This is where Martin Luther was a preacher, and where Bach was a choirmaster two centuries later.
Pay a visit to Volkerschlachtdenkmal, the Battle of the Nations Monument, which is the largest war memorial in Europe. It was built to honor the 100th Anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of the Nations in Leipzig in 1813.
This town is home to one of the top universities in Germany. Found along the River Elbe, this historic city has close ties to Martin Luther, who was the Protestant Reformation leader.
One of the top things to do is to take a tour of the Lutherhaus. It used to be a monastery where Luther lived but has since been turned into a historical museum where Luther’s art and paintings are displayed.
You should also visit Castle Church, an architectural gem where Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door.
If you’re looking to add a little sea breeze to your Germany trip, look no farther than Rostock. Located in North Germany, Rostock is a fantastic tourist hub that boasts some of the best seafood restaurants in Germany, and it is a favorite among beach lovers.
In the old town, admire the medieval gates and historical buildings. Check out Saint Mary’s Church and the Cultural History Museum, where you will be astounded by their intricate architecture.
For a wonderful shopping and dining experience, visit Am Strom Promenade and the Kröpeliner Straße.
Located on the Baltic Sea, this seaside town is a fantastic addition to your Germany bucket list if you’re looking for some sand. It’s best known for its historic lighthouse and teapot house, but once you’ve had a quick glance, keep wandering to experience more of the town.
Visitors typically enjoy strolling along the seaside promenade and enjoying refreshing drinks in the beer gardens. Be sure to try some of the delicious local food.
Warnemünde is also an easy town to combine with Rostock if you’re feeling ambitious on your day trip or if you’d rather extend to a longer trip on the coast.
Located on the banks of Elbe River, this ancient city is really worth a visit.
It features the rustic hilltop Albrechtsburg Castle as well as breathtaking river valleys and rolling vineyards. The Albrechtsburg Castle is definitely worth a visit as it is the oldest castle in Germany.
Meissen is also well known for porcelain production, so be sure to visit the Porcelain Manufactory. At the adjoining Neoclassical Museum, you will see a stunning collection of porcelain items made several centuries ago.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Germany and features beautiful cobbled streets and rustic timber-framed houses. It’s definitely one for your Germany bucket list.
To explore the town’s historic architecture, explore the old town and check out the Schloss Quedlinburg (Quedlinburg Castle) and Church of St. Servatius. Also pay a visit to Marktkirche St. Benedikti, which houses artworks and an ancient Gothic alter of St. Mary.
You should also stop by Fachwerkmuseum in Ständerbau. Built around 1310, this ancient half-timbered house is one of the oldest in Germany.
For more nostalgia, take a ride on the Harzer Schmalspurbahnen, a historical steam engine train that is said to be one of the most scenic railway journeys in the country.
Also known as Peacock Island, Pfaueninsel is part of the popular Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s technically within Berlin’s borders but just far enough away to feel like you’re in another world.
Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic by the lake. If you love nature, you will love spending a quiet day surrounded by peacocks and other animals.
The most well known sight on Peacock Island is the striking white palace built in 1797 by Friedrich Wilhelm. Its surroundings are filled with peacocks, lots of beautiful flowers, and other birds.
Located right on the border of Berlin, Potsdam is filled with gorgeous palaces and royal parks that you can explore. Usually people visit Potsdam as a day trip from Berlin.
If you visit Potsdam, you should see the magnificent Sanssouci Palace, which was the summer home of Frederick the Great. This is the most famous palace in Potsdam.
But that’s not the only palace worth seeing. The Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin as a group is one of the 3 designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Berlin.
Visit the Neues Palais, which is a large Baroque palace built by Frederick the Great at the end of the seven-year war with France. Other worthwhile palaces include the Orangery Palace, Charlottenhof Palace, Cecilienhof Palace, Marmorpalais, and Babelsberg Palace.
Be sure to explore the town itself because Potsdam is more than its gorgeous palaces and gardens. Take a walk through the Dutch Quarters and check out the antique shops, galleries, cafes and ateliers that line its cobbled streets.
Behind the quarters is the Jan-Bouma-Haus where there is a museum you can explore. You’ll also see several old city gates.
Potsdam is one of the most popular day trips from Berlin, so you should definitely include it on your Germany bucket list.
Berlin Travel Resources
I want you to have the best trip, and hopefully this Germany bucket list helps inspire you to plan a trip to Germany. But there are lots more tips on the site!
- 101 Best Things to do in Berlin
- 23 Impressive Castles in Berlin (And Nearby)
- 27 Best World War II & Cold War Sights in Berlin
- 27 Fun Day Trips From Berlin
- 75 Things to Know Before Visiting Berlin: Essential Berlin Travel Tips
- What to Wear & What to Pack for Berlin, Germany: Your Ultimate Berlin Packing List
- How to Get Around in Berlin: An Easy Guide to Berlin Public Transportation
- Where to Stay in Berlin: A Local’s Guide
Visiting Berlin? Don’t forget travel insurance!
It’s always a good idea to travel to Berlin with a valid travel insurance policy. Travel here is reasonably safe, but you never know when something could happen. You need to be covered in case you have an accident or become a victim to theft.
We recommend World Nomads insurance for travel. Travel insurance helps you recover your expenses and continue to enjoy your trip.