Things to do in Germany

Things to do in  Germany

It’s mighty Rhine

Germany offers a path for every kind of traveler, whether it leads toward the castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof, a glass of local wine in Rhine Valley, or across to Austria's Salzburg Lake District, an area synonymous with the Von Trapp family and The Sound of Music. For history buffs, stories of the Cold War abound in Berlin, and day trips to World War II memorial sites offer a somber and significant look at the past. If you find yourself in Munich in the fall it can only mean one thing: a stop at Oktoberfest, the world's largest beer festival, for a taste of Bavarian brews, culture, and food.

Top 15 attractions in Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle

With its snow-white limestone facade and fanciful turrets peeking out from the forested mountain tops of the Hohenschwangau valley, Neuschwanstein Castle (Schloss Neuschwanstein) could easily have been lifted from the pages of a fairy tale. In a way, it has—the German castle famously inspired Disney'sSleeping Beauty castle.More


The seat of Germany’s Parliament and one of Berlin’s most recognizable landmarks, the Reichstag building is an impressive feat of 19th-century architecture, with a futuristic glass dome and classical columns on its facade. The structure stands proudly on the River Spree’s southern bank, a stoic reminder of Berlin’s turbulent history.More

Berlin TV Tower (Berliner Fernsehturm)

Soaring 1,207 feet (368 meters) over Alexanderplatz, Berlin’s TV Tower (Berliner Fernsehturm) is Germany’s tallest structure. Built to mark the 20th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic in 1969, the tower was intended to be a symbol of East Germany’s achievements as a socialist society. Today it’s one of the capital’s most visited landmarks, affording 360-degree views over the entire city.More

Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)

The grand gateway to Unter den Linden Boulevard and Tiergarten Park, the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) is one of Berlin’s most recognizable landmarks. Built by Prussian kings, this monumental gate stood strong through World War I and the Cold War, becoming a symbol of reunified Germany and a poignant reminder of Berlin’s tragedies and triumphs.More

Checkpoint Charlie

Once one of three Berlin Wall border points, bridging the divide between the Allied-occupied West Berlin and Soviet-occupied East Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie is one of the most important Cold War sites in Berlin. Today, a recreated guard house marks the site where numerous confrontations, escape attempts, and protests took place, and the adjoining Checkpoint Charlie Museum is a moving tribute to those who risked their lives to escape from East Germany and bring about the fall of the wall.More

Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds

A vast tract of untended land southeast of Nuremberg's medieval city center, the Nazi Party Rally Grounds were once the stage for some of Adolf Hitler's most infamous and dangerous speeches during the rise of the Third Reich. The nearby Documentation Center museum chronicles the terrors inflicted by the Nazi party during World War II.More

Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom)

With its imposing Gothic façade and dramatic twin towers, the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is the city’s most recognized landmark. Protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the magnificent cathedral is one of the most important in Germany and dominates the city skyline.More

Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus)

Just an hour’s drive outside of Salzburg lies the alpine town of Berchtesgaden and the historic Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus), Adolf Hitler’s mountaintop chalet and the former southern headquarters of the Nazi party. Perched atop Mt. Kehlstein, Eagle’s Nest offers a dark history and panoramic views of Germany’s Bavarian Alps.More

Berlin Wall

At the height of the Cold War in 1961, socialist East Germany erected the Berlin Wall as an imposing concrete barrier that divided Berlin's eastern and western sides for nearly 30 years. In 1989, toward the end of the war and the fall of East Germany and communism in Europe, the wall's demolition began, thus reunifying Germany. Today, sections of the wall remain as permanent reminders of the days when the country (and Berlin) was divided.More

Linderhof Castle

Inspired by the Palace of Versailles in France, Bavaria’s 19th-century Linderhof Castle is one of the country’s most magnificent structures. The smallest in a trio of elaborate royal palaces built by King Ludwig II (also known as the “Mad King”), Linderhof was the only one he saw completed.More

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Holocaust Memorial)

A somber yet striking memorial stretching over a 4.7-acre (1.9-hectare) plot in the center of Berlin, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die Ermordeten Juden Europas) was opened in 2005 to remember and honor the some 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.More


Set in the Black Forest region near the border between France and Germany, Baden-Baden offers a charming blend of cultures with grand Art Nouveau villas, modern boutiques, and chic cafés. The town’s thermal waters and ancient Roman baths are its main attractions, including the famous Friedrichsbad spring and Trinkhalle pump room.More

Museum Island (Museumsinsel)

Museum Island (Museumsinsel) is the apex of culture in Berlin. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the middle of the Spree river, hosts five world-renowned museums that are all architecturally and historically significant. Each museum features different collections, from ancient artifacts to romantic and impressionist works.More


A public plaza in the center of Munich, Marienplatz is full of history—it’s been the city’s main square and central heart of Munich’s Old Town (Altstadt) since 1158. Marienplatz is a popular gathering spot and possibly the busiest location in all of Munich, with crowds of locals and tourists visiting its landmarks, shops, and restaurants on foot from early morning until late at night.More


Located in Berlin’s Mitte district, the Gendarmenmarkt is arguably Berlin’s most magnificent public square, attracting a cluster of high-end restaurants and hotels, especially around Charlottenstrasse. Come wintertime, travelers come from all over Europe to shop at the square’s spectacular Christmas market and skate at the festive ice rink.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Germany

VIP tour to the royal castles Neuschwanstein and Linderhof from Munich
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Berlin City Tour in a Mini Hot Rod
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3-Hour Berlin Highlights Bike Tour
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All about Germany

When to visit

Like much of Central Europe, Germany is warm from April through August, and cold between October and March. High season is usually mid-June through August, and picks up again mid-September through October for the legendary beer-swilling shenanigans of Oktoberfest. If you can handle the winter chill, then December is a magical time to visit thanks to the Christmas markets (weihnachtsmarkt); warm yourself up with some glühwein, bratwurst, and festive cheer.

Getting around

Traveling around Germany is easy, thanks to its extensive and reliable Deutsche Bahn (DB) train network. Most major cities have comprehensive public transportation networks (such as trains, trams, and buses), and boat trips along the Rhine, Elbe, and Danube offer scenic vistas. Additionally, the country’s vast network of autobahns (high-speed highways)—which are famous for having no general speed limits—provide travelers another option for self-driving and guided touring adventures.

Traveler tips

There are picturesque old towns all over Germany with lots of things to do, and sometimes it can be hard to choose where to visit. Three places to see are Rüdesheim am Rhein in the winemaking region of the Rhine Valley; Quedlinburg, close to the Harz mountains; and the medieval town center of Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Access these towns by renting a car, taking a guided tour, or planning to visit via train.

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People Also Ask

What are recreational activities in Germany?

Germany is an active country, and recreational activities abound. Its North Sea coast attracts swimmers and fishers, while its wealth of hiking and cycling trails crisscross the country. You can go wild swimming with locals in the country’s ponds and rivers, or trek, ski, and mountain bike in Alpine south.

What is the number one tourist attraction in Germany?

Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland—the world’s largest model railway—was recently voted Germany’s most popular tourist destination, while Berlin (with highlights like the Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Wall) was named its most-visited city. Other popular attractions include the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Potsdam’s Sanssouci Palace, and the Europa-Park theme park.

What are 3 things Germany is known for?

Germany is world-renowned for its beer (plus annual celebrations like Oktoberfest) and hearty food offerings like sausages and dumplings. It’s known for its many castles, including Neuschwanstein Castle and those along the Rhine River. And the country is also celebrated for its high culture, including classical music, philosophy, and literature.

What are unique things in Germany?

Germany offers a wealth of unique attractions, from UNESCO-listed highlights like Hamburg’s port to Cologne’s cathedral and from its thriving capital of Berlin to the scenic sweep of the Rhine River (flanked by castles and world-class wineries). Nothing compares to Bavarian architecture and Alpine views—nor parties like Oktoberfest.

What kind of country is Germany?

With a population of 84 million, Germany is a large and eclectic country. Home to the biggest economy in Europe (and one of the key member states of the European Union), it’s a political powerhouse. And it’s a global leader in fields ranging from education and automotives to design and art.

What is Germany’s most beautiful place?

Germany has many scenic destinations, but Bavaria is home to its most well-known vistas. The country is packed with postcard-worthy views—from chocolate-box towns like Bamberg to fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle; from snow-capped Alpine peaks to forested valleys; and from the twists and turns of the Danube River to Königssee Lake.

Frequently Asked Questions