It’s finally time to start planning that summer vacation you have been dreaming about. But it can be so hard to choose a destination. Looking for somewhere with hiking, history, and hand-crafted beverages? Well, hold on to your lederhosen because we have ten amazing sites to add to your itinerary for the best ever summer holiday in Germany.
The Black Forest
The eerily named Black Forest, known to the locals as Schwarzwald, is actually a natural wonder filled with picturesque nature trails. The forest stretches across much of southwest Germany and is home to the infamous cake of the same name as well as the world’s largest cuckoo clock. Spend some time hiking through the luscious forest trails and stop in Triberg to see the tallest waterfall in Germany.
The Romantic Road
Loosely based on the old Roman route, The romantic road is a historical path of medieval towns and fairy tale castles from Würzburg to Füssen. The traditional medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber offers a peek into the past, and the Neuschwanstein Castle will leave you speechless with its majestic view. Take your time as you cruise along and stop to enjoy the traditional villages, castles, churches, and walking trails through the vineyards of Tauber valley.
Nicknamed the “Venice of the North”, Hamburg is home to many beautiful waterways and canals. Stroll along the river Elbe and admire the boats coming into the famous port which is known as Germany’s “Gateway to the World”. Enjoy the fresh fish and seafood along the riverside, admire the red-brick architecture of the Merchant’s District, and spend a night out in the university quarter. In the evening, adults can satisfy their curiosity about the world-famous Reeperbahn (red-light district).
The winding Moselle River snakes its way through Northern France, Luxemburg, and West Germany in the picture-perfect Moselle Valley. The scenery here will take you back in time with medieval castles, cobblestone streets, and traditional timber houses. History buffs and nature lovers will be drawn to the village of Trier, home to nine UNESCO world heritage sites. If you want to take a break from sightseeing, enjoy the view of the river from one of the countless vineyards along with a glass of local wine.
The Town of Bamberg
Another UNESCO World Heritage site, Bamberg is famous for the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall). The beautiful building, which sits on its own island in the River Regnitz, is a favorite spot for photographers to take a serene snap. While you’re there, be sure to wet your whistle at Schlenkerla – the Bamberg brewery famous for its smoked beer. This historic spot has been serving up beers for more than 600 years and still taps their beer in the traditional style – from wooden barrels.
A lake fit for royalty, the name of this lake translates literally to “King’s Lake”, and it’s not hard to see why. The majestic emerald green lake is nestled at the foot of the towering Mount Watzmann, making it a beautiful scenic spot to relax like the Bavarian royalty who once vacationed here. Located in the heart of the Berchtesgaden National Park, the serene lake is surrounded by Germany’s luscious flora & fauna. Take a boat ride around the lake or a short hike up to the Berchtesgaden to enjoy the view from the historic “Eagle’s Nest”.
Koblenz & The Rhine Valley
The incredible beauty of the Rhine River has been the inspiration of artists, authors, and composers for centuries. Find out for yourself, as you hike, cycle, or cruise by boat through the enchanting Rhine Valley. Stop in the city of Koblenz at the German Corner (Deutsches Eck) where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet. The romantic city offers a unique view of the stunning valley from the Koblenz cable car, along with many historical sites and incredible architecture.
Let’s face it, it really wouldn’t be a trip to Germany without a stop at the infamous Berlin Wall. Admire the street art and learn about the historical significance of the wall and the beautiful Brandenburg Gate on a free Sandeman walking tour of the city. Spend a day on the Museum Island, and let loose in the evening at one of Berlin’s legendary nightclubs.
Germany is famous for its beer, so why not tour the most infamous Hofbrau Brewery in Munchen. Hofbrau opens its doors to tourists every week for tours and tastings. Enjoy a freshly brewed beverage with a traditional German snack and stick around for some live music. Make sure to come in July for the two Summer Parties in the beer garden!
The Island of Rügen
Rügen is the largest of the German Baltic islands – and the most beautiful too! Get away from the busy life on the mainland to relax and regroup. Recline on a spectacular sandy beach, look for wildlife in the national park, and enjoy the view from the chalky cliffs of the Jasmund Peninsula.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com