Where to go
In Berlin, you can ascend the Reichstag dome, visit the Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial, or view antiquities at Neues Museum and Pergamon Museum. Stroll along Unter den Linden boulevard, and shop along the lanes of Scheunenviertel. Explore the literary and musical heritage of Weimar and Leipzig, the rebuilt Frauenkirche of Dresden, and the stunning Schloss Sanssouci of Potsdam.
In Hamburg, explore the Speicherstadt, the huge red-light district of Reeperbahn, and for Beatles fans, the Beatlemania Museum. Take pictures of the famous statues and Rathaus of Bremen City, and the historical buildings of medieval Wismar and enchanting Lubeck. Visit the gothic Kolner Dom cathedral of Cologne, the pretty castles and villages of the Romantic Rhine, and sample the vintages of the Rhine and Moselle valleys.
Ride the Ebbelwei Express to discover Frankfurt and bring your children along the Fairy Tale Road to retrace the stories of the Brothers Grimm. Walk the trails of the mysterious Black Forest; explore the Old Bridge and the Heidelberg Castle, the scenic Philosopher's Walk, and the fun and friendly Freiburg; soak in a thermal bath in stylish Baden-Baden; stop over at the castle of Kaiserberg and the Christmas market at Nuremberg.
Munich offers lively beer halls, the splendid Residenz palace, the quiet Englischer Garten, and the comprehensive Pinakothek Museums. Drive along Bavaria's Romantic Road to the charming towns of Wurzberg, Rothenburg, and Dinkelsbuhl. And definitely not-to-be-missed - the fairy-tale palace of Schloss Neuschwanstein.
Flights link most large and small cities; however, trains can be just as fast for shorter distances, and cover every part of the country. While not particularly cheap, ticket deals like the German Rail Pass make extensive travel worthwhile. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends. Or take the long-distance buses, which can usually be found at central bus stations.
Germany's excellent roads make driving a real pleasure, with regular rest stops for fuel, toilets and restaurants. Do be careful on the autobahns, which have no speed limits.
Most cities have efficient public transport. Buses are the most common way of getting around, in combination with local trains (the S-Bahn) and subways (the U-Bahn). Taxis are expensive and usually have to be ordered in advance.
Do's and Don'ts
Don't get drunk. While Germans love their beer, public drunkenness is frowned upon.
Did you know…?
In late November until Christmas Eve, Christmas Markets, or Christkindlmarkt, appear all over Germany. Enjoy the festive atmosphere by sipping mulled wine (gluhwein) and nibbling spiced gingerbread (lebkuchen), while wandering around wooden stalls draped in glittering gifts and fairy-tale lights.
Oktoberfest in Munich attracts over 6 million visitors a year. The city celebrates together in mass revelry, with parades showcasing the traditional dress of lederhosen and dirndl. Temporary beer tents are set up, containing long tables for thousands of people to chug litre-mugs of beer. Join in the fun and sing along with the locals!
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