After 5 years living in ‘Deutschland’, it’s time that we recount the best hidden gems in Germany. The country is incredibly underrated by international tourists, so maybe not such ‘secret’ locations, but definitely our must-see list. From castles to the nation’s capital, here is a list of ten breathtaking places that you have to call on.
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber
- Burg Eltz
- Checkpoint Charlie – Berlin
- Geierlay Hanging Bridge
- Speicherstadt, Hamburg
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
This city is a bit of an insider joke in Germany since you ask any German and they’ll scratch their heads in confusion. It turns out that Rothenburg, the start of Germany’s Romantic Road, is a bit of a ‘tourist’s tale’; albeit one that is stunningly beautiful. Think traditional timbered houses, winding village streets and old-world German charm in spades.
Move over Neuschwanstein, hello Burg Eltz! This is our absolute favourite castle in Germany and one of the best places to visit! It’s worth the 10 minute forest walk since, as you turn the corner, you’re confronted by this imposing building, rising up out of the rocks and into the sky. Thanks to Instagram, in recent years the castle has become a bit of a visitors mecca, so we recommend heading there very early. English tours take place every 15-20 minutes.
The stuff of fairy tales, the Blautopf (‘Blue Pot’) is a spring in Southern Germany – folklore says that it’s colour comes from a vat of ink, poured into the water every day. However, the water’s bright blue colour is the result of limestone in the water, almost like Blue Lagoon in Iceland.
Germany’s Mosel (or Moselle) Valley is a delight for hikers, castle lovers and wine aficionados alike. And there is no better start to the Valley than the riverside town of Cochem. The town is jammed full of quaint restaurants, usually has local bands performing in the square and not only has an impressive castle looming over it, but is surrounded by almost vertical vineyards, producing some of the most delicious Riesling white wine. Stop at Café Germania for a waffle and a glass of Germany’s best.
Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin
OK, ok, so Berlin is not a ‘secret’ spot, and Checkpoint Charlie is arguably one of the most famous places in the world. It gets its name from the phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo…) and was the checkpoint during the Cold War where foreigners could cross from West to East Germany. Charlie is a must-visit in Germany due to its historical significance and also since it intersects with so many other landmarks including remnants of the Berlin Wall.
Geierlay Hanging Bridge
Set in the midst of the countryside, Geierlay boasts the country’s longest suspension bridge – 360m long and 100m high. It’s a great location since you can combine it with a longer hike, or just traipse the 2km paved road to see this impressive bridge for yourself.
On the border between Germany and Austria lies one of the most inspiring, jaw-dropping places in the world: the Berchtesgarden national park. Featuring a number of breathtaking lakes, the Königssee is a real stand-out – clear, serene water perfect for a quick paddle in the peace and quiet. The area also boasts St Bartholomew’s Church, a 17th century lakeside Roman Catholic church.
Ask a German their favourite city to visit and you often get this response: Hamburg! With as many canals as famed Venice, Bruges or Amsterdam, Hamburg is definitely one of the best places to visit and has a special atmosphere that’s difficult to describe unless you’ve experienced it. Chalk it up to the friendly locals, the stylish bars or the ‘university town’ atmosphere, Hamburg offers a lot to its visitors. Must-dos are a boat tour and a visit to Speicherstadt (pictured) known as the City of Warehouses.
Another ‘fairytale’ location, the beautiful arched ‘devils bridge’ was built specifically to create a circle when reflected in the water beneath it. The only issue is that the bridge is a little out of the way, so you’ll need to really plan a trip (generally from Berlin) just to see this man-made wonder.
Crowing the land of lederhosen, Munich (or München as its known locally) is not so much a secret spot but a German must-visit. Whether you’re there for Oktoberfest, or simply to take in the sights: museums, breweries, nightlife, markets. You name it, and Munich has it.
Thanks for reading our list of the best places to visit in Germany. Have any more to add? Get in touch!
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