Germany. A powerhouse of Central Europe from the age of Rome to the present, this great power of the world boasts some of the most cutting edge in sport, motor vehicles, technology, and transport. From the heights of Bavaria, the vast expanse of the Black Forest, or the bustle of the Rhine-Ruhr, Germany offers so much in rich, astounding history and the most modern. If you're considering Germany as your destination, read on for highlights of this vast, storied nation.
What are the requirements for travel to Germany?
Germany does not require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test to travel into the country. However, airlines may require one or both of these, so it is recommended to check with your airline and plan accordingly.
How much is $100 in Euro?
With the current strong dollar, $100 actually converts into slightly higher in Euro, €102.42 to be exact. This makes for very easy conversion with most smaller purchases, and a slight saving for those more expensive luxury items for those planning to shop in Germany.
How can I travel to Germany?
As the controls on entry into Germany are no longer strict, traveling into the country is as simple as booking your ticket and packing your bags. Those travelers who possess a passport in the Schengen Area will also enjoy comfortable movement to many neighboring European countries such as France, Denmark, and the Netherlands, a convenient note for those planning a larger European vacation. This is especially pertinent given the famously wide variety of rail and bus connections to other countries as a hub of transport on the continent.
Soaring some 368 meters over the capital, the Berliner Fernsehturm provides a great view over the city center from the observation deck of this historic landmark. Constructed in 1969, the Berliner Fernsehturm was East Germany's vision for providing television to all of Berlin's residents by taking it to the highest point possible. Now, it continues as a symbol of the city and of Germany, proudly adorning colors in view of the whole city on special occasions. Offering a restaurant and a visibility as far out as forty-two kilometers, this is a good photo opportunity as well as a stunning and complete introduction to visitors within the city. Aside from looking out over the city's lights, landmarks, and layout, this attraction is also of regional importance being one of the tallest freestanding structures in all of Europe.
Museum Island is, well, as the name describes, but the importance to Germany, Central Europe, and the history of the region cannot be understated. Located on the northern portion of Spree Island in Berlin's historic heart, Museum Island is home to many of Berlin and Germany's foremost collections of historic artifacts, artwork, and memoirs of every chapter of German history. The Altes Museum itself is a relic, dating back to its completion in 1830, and sporting an acclaimed collection of items from ancient Greece. The Neues Museum also is not as young as its name might suggest, finished in 1855 and housing an immersive and striking number of Egyptian works, while the mighty Pergamon possesses an otherworldly number of Hellenistic, Islamic, and Babylonian giants. The nearby Humboldt forum is another highlight, with artifacts and art sourced from the rule of the German Colonial Empire, including a giant Vishnu, Papuan ships, and Mayan vessels. For a look into ancient Germany, walking among exhibits not only numerous but massive in scale, makes Museum Island a great way to spend a day in Berlin.
One of Berlin and Germany's most famous sights, the Brandenburg Gate was erected in 1791 under the rule of Frederick William II after successfully suppressing the Dutch unrest. Since its contentious and bold opening, this site has continued to be one of Germany's most politically and historically important spaces. Here, the famous 1987 speech from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev and its most widely noted words “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” was delivered, as well as many famous appearances from the likes of Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and John F. Kennedy. Aside from the historicity of this landmark, it also serves as quite the imposing backdrop for any photo opportunity, and is a must see for those in the capital area while in Germany.
One of Europe and the world's most spectated and acclaimed association soccer leagues, cities all over Germany are a great place to partake in local sporting culture and enjoy the thrill of a Bundesliga game. Visitors will enjoy the adrenaline in massive venues such as Allianz Arena or Signal Iduna Park watching giants such as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund battle it out for the championship. With the likes of Marco Reus, Sadio Mane, Kingsley Coman, Benjamin Pavard, and Manuel Neuer, Germany's myriad stadiums and venues for soccer are a great place for all to witness some of the most talented names in sport in action. Aside from the games, the atmosphere of the intense fans, songs, and all else that surrounds Bundesliga matches here in Germany are another exciting and unique experience to be had, all season long.
The nation's most visited landmark and the third tallest church in the world, the towering Cologne Cathedral is a sight as mighty as it is beautiful. Construction on this massive project dates far back in German history, to the year 1248, and was not completed until 1880. Originally envisioned as a place of worship for the Holy Roman Emperor, the Cologne Cathedral now plays a larger role as one of the most renowned images of German architecture and the influence of Christianity in Europe. Today it attracts over 20,000 visitors daily, and with no mystery as to why, the scale and intricacy in over 600 years of work are apparent in every direction of this church, from the soaring interior to the impossibly complex spires. As a sight in itself, a beautiful walk into a jewel of German history or just as a must-see along the Rhine, the Cologne Cathedral should be on every visitor's radar.
Rock am Ring
Rock am Ring is one of Germany's most famed music festivals of the modern era, celebrating heavy metal, punk rock, and rock during the first weekend in June at the Nurburgring race track. Over the years, this location has brought thrills and some of the biggest acts in rock music including the likes of Foo Fighters, Slipknot, Motoerhead, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Green Day, Coldplay, and Rammstein. In addition to huge headline names, Rock am Ring is also a great place to witness some of the more domestic or regional artists big in Germany but maybe not overseas, discovering German pop and rap such as Bilderbuch, Cro, Alligatoah, or the humourous Antilopen Gang. Concertgoers and those wanting to experience the fun of German music in the contemporary era will love the vibes at Rock am Ring, between the intense displays, endless music or unique venue.
Dining at Cochem
Overlooking the winding Moselle, Cochem Castle sits proudly over its domain, resurrected from its violent demise at the hand of French King Louis XIV. Reincarnated in a neo-Gothic style, Cochem Castle resumed its reign as a checkpoint on the waters of the Moselle and now with a beloved presence among locals. Cochem Castle offers visitors beautiful views over the river, the town of Cochem, and nearby connections to the ancient Roman city of Trier. Near the castle there is also a charming series of vineyards, as well as ample space for dining in the acclaimed Castle restaurant, a great way to dine in a spot of history. Whether looking for a nice meal in a relic of German history, to explore the old and new of this castle, or as a storied stopover through this corner of Germany, Cochem Castle is a great addition to any travel itinerary for all passing through the area.
Treat your party to some of the most popular and esteemed spas and natural hot springs in all of Germany in the spa town of Wiesbaden. The quality of the local climate and numerous thermal springs date back to the time of Roman usage, and have since been a popular location for rest, relaxation, and refreshment from the age of Roman Germany through Medieval Germany to the present. Aside from the dozens of bath houses, spas, and springs, Wiesbaden also features a charming selection of joyous architecture and carefully crafted churches, as well as a wide number of beautiful parks and even a novel funicular. Whether it's strolls around the town, full body treatment or just the simple pleasure of taking in the water of a natural hot spring, visitors might not want to leave by the end of their stay. Make Wiesbaden your vacation from your vacation and unwind a bit in one of Germany's long-favorite spots for relaxation, much like a wealthy Roman would have centuries ago.
Heidelberg punches well above its weight in sights to see and attractions, with mighty Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg Fortress, Heidelberg University, the Max Planck Institutes for Astronomy, Nuclear Physics, and the Old Town, all just the start of the list of things to see and do here in a town of only 160,000. Visitors can enjoy touring the vast and rich grounds of Heidelberg University, one of Europe's oldest and most revered universities, romantic Heidelberg Castle, and centuries-old views over the downtown, or the eclectic old town, with many prominent relics from the 18th and 16th centuries. Whether its romantic walks through old Europe, shopping and dining in the old town marketplace, excursions through ruins, or marveling at the buzzing workplaces of some of Germany's brightest minds, Heidelberg is a little gem of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Another attraction visitors can find and experience all over Germany is the seasonal Christmas Market, a famously beautiful and endearing holiday season tradition of Germany and Central Europe. These colorful and vibrant street markets are an exciting combination of unique crafts, delicious seasonal fare, live music, dance, pageantry, and holiday joy dating back to Medieval times. Visitors, whether coming from a country with no Christmas Market tradition, or with a similar practice will enjoy the holiday spirit at these Christmas Markets, suitable for date night, family outings, group adventures, and the solo traveler alike. Pick up a unique souvenir for you and your loved ones, enjoy Gluehwein and Lebkuchen and watch the events unfold, whether in a smaller provincial market or one of many in the larger cities. For those lucky enough to be traveling around Germany during the holiday season, the Christmas Market tradition is a can't-miss attraction.
Similar to the Christmas Market but year round, Munich boasts the Viktualienmarkt, a daily spectacle of over 140 stalls of local produce, fare, flowers, artisan food, antiques, and crafts dating back to 1807. This is one of Munich's most vibrant and celebrated traditions, where patrons can browse endless varieties of fresh baked bread, flowers cut to order, and local sausages that draw chefs across national borders and even oceans. Aside from the energetic and eclectic setting suitable for travelers of all numbers and ages, Viktualienmarkt also possesses a great number of sights not including the location among this picturesque section of Munich, such as Peterskirche or the iconic Maypole. For a pleasant time browsing some of the best in fresh, natural, and carefully selected wares, ingredients, and produce here in Southern Germany, add a trip to the daily Viktualienmarkt to your travel itineraries.
Of course, on the subject of German traditions, there is one most famous event with no rival… the globally known Oktoberfest. Visitors in Germany during this festival, especially those in Bavaria, can't pass up these sixteen days of beer, food, music, games, and dance. Embracing some of the best in German gastronomy and holiday fun, the Munich Oktoberfest has drawn crowds of attendees from over Central Europe and the world since 1810. Visitors can drink to their heart's content with the endless number and quantity of Oktoberfest beer, amid some 7.7 million liters consumed annually at each Oktoberfest. Skilled waiters juggle massive sets of pints, mugs, and steins of German beers amid other delicious fare such as pork knuckle, bratwurst, dumplings, and pretzels. Aside from the endless food and drink, there is also ample live music and dance performances, as well as the carnival area with games, stalls, and thrill rides. This is a one-of-a-kind experience of one of Bavaria's biggest annual events, great for travelers in parties of all sizes and ages.
One of Germany's most formidable sights, the mighty Neuschwanstein Castle has guarded Germany's far south in its same perch for over 150 years. Constructed as a nostalgic imagination of the castles of the Middle Ages, the wealthy Ludwig II sought to make his dream of living a medieval luxury a reality with his construction of the Neuschwanstein project here in remote Hohenschwangau. Whether it is to tour the scenic Alpine foothills, the stunning views from the castle, or the ornate interior of Neuschwanstein, this attraction is as much an adventure in itself as it is in its remote location. Visitors can enjoy a thirty-five minute tour inside the castle to learn about its construction and service amid ornate and ghostly works of Romanticism and a younger Germany. The nearby forested hills and combination of hill and sea also make for many outdoor options for those traveling in the summer months. Come to Neuschwanstein Castle for those passing through the south and enjoy a summer retreat fit for a German king.
Garmisch Partenkirchen is one of Germany's most famed destinations for skiing and winter sports, the site of the 1936 Winter Olympic Games, and the first to include alpine skiing as an event. In fact, not only were the Winter Olympic Games held here, but also the Nordic and Alpine World Cup Ski Races. Garmisch Partenkirchen is a popular location as well, for a community of ski jumpers. Famed ski areas such as the Garmisch Classic and Zugspitze feature a variety of tracks challenging and accommodating for veteran athletes and beginners alike. Here, visitors can try their hand at snowboarding, skiing, slalom, ski jumping, alpine skiing, and more all in this popular location of winter sports. Aside from the many ski areas and opportunities to participate in winter sport, there are also the views afforded higher up in the local mountains, as well as the famous Mittenwald Railway, a way to tour and see the best in natural beauty of the German and Austrian Alps. Whether wanting to enjoy a train ride, journeying on to your next European destination, the adrenaline and rush of winter sports, or to simply enjoy the ambience and joy of a ski town, Garmisch Partenkirchen is a great location to do it all.