The best places to visit in Germany as recommended by travel bloggers

The best places to visit in Germany as recommended by travel bloggers

Germany is the home of backpackers. Rock up to any hostel, anywhere on the globe and you’re guaranteed to meet some German wanderlustees – (let’s just pretend that’s a word!) With Germans exploring the globe, it seems about time that the rest of us explore Germany! From city metropolises to coastal towns to historic castles, there is somewhere in Germany to suit every kind of traveller. We’ve rounded up the best places to visit in Germany for those looking for some seriously gut fun!

Warnemünde

Recommended by Bolle & Marco

Warnemünde is a wonderful spot on the Baltic Sea, very close to Rostock. The sea, the endless beaches, rustic fishing boats, hundreds of seagulls, a lighthouse and a lot of charm – Warnemünde is well worth a visit! Even if you just visit for a day, it always feels like a vacation. The most popular boulevard is the “Old Stream” in Warnemünde. Here you will find fresh fish and other regional specialities. The lovingly renovated captain’s houses with the small shops on the ground floor invite you in to stroll and shop.

The beach itself is the landmark of the area, in particular the beautiful lighthouse. It is almost 31 meters high and offers great views of the Baltic Sea, the promenade and the beach (weather permitting of course!) For only €3 you can go up the steps and shoot some great photos from above. Along the promenade towards the Neptune Hotel is the “beach section 13,” (also called AOK Active Beach), with volleyball nets, space for beach soccer, and a small beach bar where you can play a game of football. Water sport fanatics can also rent SUP’s and surfboards. The beach is especially popular with students so expect a cool crowd. So, switch off and relax while listening to the music from the lively beach bar.

Hostels: Subraum Hostel and Dock Inn Hostel

Places to visit in Germany - Warnemunde

Berlin

Recommended by Seb/Between Distances 

Berlin: “poor but sexy.” The German capital is unique due to its recent historical experience: Divided after World War II, the Eastern half of the city was the capital of East Germany, a Soviet satellite, and was entirely surrounded by the infamous Berlin Wall—which is also one of the city’s most visited sights.

Berlin can be gritty or posh—and is often a combination of the two. The city’s different areas—such as Neukölln, Friedrichshain, and Kreuzberg—have their own particular character. Likewise, Berlin offers something for everybody: You can spend your days walking around the UNESCO-inscribed Museum Island in Mitte, visiting the city’s main Soviet memorial in Treptow, or catching a sunset at Viktoriapark in Kreuzberg. Another highlight is the Mauerpark flea market in Prenzlauer Berg.

The German capital is also the ideal city to dance the night away: The club scene in Berlin is recognized as one of the best in the world, and names such as Berghain, Tresor or Sisyphos are synonymous with wild nights and world-class Djs. The best tip for Berlin is to simply go with the flow.

Hostels in Berlin

Places to visit in Germany - Berlin

📷: @lucvanloon

Bürresheim Castle near Mayen

Recommended by Julia

One of my favorite places in Germany is the beautiful castle Eltz, which should be on the bucket-list of every avid Instagrammer! It is only 20 minutes away from my home and I like to visit it again and again when I’m in Germany.

Today, however, I would like to introduce a fairytale castle that is far less known than the famous Eltz Castle: Schloss Bürresheim near Mayen. Surrounded by a lonely, picturesque landscape, it rises on a rocky ridge, about 300 meters from the place where I grew up.

Unlike most castles and palaces in the Rhineland, Schloss Bürresheim was never conquered or destroyed in power struggles and so the ancient castle, with its enchanting gardens, has been in its original state for hundreds of years and is definitely worth a visit!

Hostels nearby

Places to visit in Germany - Burresheim Castle

Munich

Recommended by Seb/Between Distances 

Oktoberfest and Lederhosen: These things are usually the first that come to mind when we think of Germany, but are actually typically Bavarian.

Munich, the capital of Bavaria, has a very different feel than Hamburg or Berlin, but is not any less impressive in terms of sights and entertainment. The city center, dominated by the imposing New Town Hall, is home to the bulk of the city’s sights, which include the Frauenkirche and the famous Hofbräuhaus Beer Hall.

Venture beyond the city center to discover a vibrant city: A good place to start is the Maxvorstadt, an area home to not one but two of Germany’s top universities, and the Westend, Munich’s alternative counterweight to the upscale city center. Walk along Leopold Street into Schwabing to marvel at the area’s beautiful Art Nouveau facades before settling in the English Garden with a bottle of good Bavarian beer. Prost!

Hostels in Munich

Places to visit in Germany - Munich

Weitsee in Bavaria

Recommended by Franzi

An absolute insider tip in Bavaria is the nature reserve Weitsee on the border of Austria. There are three lakes here: Weitsee, Mittersee and Lödensee – they sit in the midst of the Chiemgau Alps and are fabulously framed by mountains and forests. In addition to the impressive panorama, the lakes also offer great bathing spots for the whole family. Especially at the Weitsee where you can easily find a quiet spot – you can even drink from this wonderful, natural lake!

If you drive a little further onto Förchensee, you’ll find perhaps the most beautiful lake in Bavaria! It is so clear that you can see straight to the bottom. In all four mountain lakes, the water stays pretty cool even in the summer, so dive in! The nature reserve Weitsee can be reached by car on the B 305 from Reit im Winkl in the direction of Ruhpolding – the Weitsee is then on the left side of the road. Ditch the car and try reaching it by bike from Reit im Winkl – its a much nicer route and only takes up to 45 minutes.

Hostel: Meininger Salzburg (less than 1 hour away)

Best places to visit in Germany - Weitsee

Hamburg

Recommended by Seb/Between Distances 

Hamburg is not only one of Germany’s top destinations but also the city I am lucky enough to call home. As a port city, Hamburg is traditionally open and welcoming. The city’s diversity is reflected in the city’s Portuguese Quarter by the harbor (though you can find pasteis de nata pretty much all over town).

With bars ranging from the fancy to the gritty, the city’s neighborhood of St. Pauli (commonly known as Kiez, or “hood” in German) is Germany’s best-known party destination. Within walking distance is the bohemian neighborhood of Sternschanze, home to Hamburg’s bustling specialty coffee and craft beer scene.

Criss-crossed by bridges and canals, Hamburg has a very unique, almost Scandinavian character; it’s not just the Fischbrötchen at the fish market or the ubiquitous red-brick facades, but also the laid-back character of the locals and the hip neighborhoods covered in street art, such as the Karolinenviertel. Because of this, many people in Germany think of Hamburg as the country’s true capital of cool.

Hostels in Hamburg

Best places to visit in Germany - Hamburg

📷: @simplylarissa.de

Dresden

Recommended by Seb/Between Distances 

Dresden, in the former East Germany, is home to two very different worlds within a very small area: The historic city center of Dresden is a wonderland of Baroque architecture, embodied by the Semperoper or the Zwinger. Dresden was once known as the Florence on the Elbe, and even though much of the city was bombed to pieces in the last months of World War II, many of the most important buildings were rebuilt—such as the iconic Frauenkirche.

Across the bridge is the Neustadt (New City), which is worlds apart from the city center. The Neustadt is the heart of the city’s alternative scene; Görlitzer Street in particular is lined with excellent bars, but my personal highlight here is the Wohnzimmer Bar, a watering hole completely decorated in typical East German style.

By the way, Dresden is the perfect place to break a trip between Berlin and Prague, as the city is situated almost exactly between both capitals.

Hostels in Dresden

Places to visit in Germany - Dresden

Hochstadt in Hessen

Recommended by Yvonne

An adorable, historic, old town boasting one of the most charming Christmas markets in Germany, this is the small town Hochstadt in the middle of Hessen. Just outside of Frankfurt, Maintal Hochstadt is a perfect starting point for day trips from this huge city. Whether you stroll through the old town or along the city wall, hike to the Schützenhäuschen to enjoy the beautiful view of Frankfurt, Hochstadt is a real Hessian gem and still a real insider tip!

Hostel tip: Five Elements in Frankfurt (about 30 minutes away)

Places to visit in Germany - Hochstadt

Essen and Zeche Zollverein

Recommended by Marvin

I grew up in very close proximity to the Ruhrpott metropolis Essen, but didn’t explore it for a while – I’m happy I finally did! The food, the warmly direct nature of the people, the colorful and growing creative scene, many individual pubs and restaurants, an abundance of recreational opportunities and culture with the Zeche Zollverein Highlight, even a beautiful lake for sailing, and in the middle of the Ruhr area – Essen surprised and converted me. I’m now a true believer that you don’t need to wander so far from your home to experience a wonderful new place.

Laura recommends the Ruhr area and the colliery Zollverein.

It is hard to believe, but even in the deepest Ruhr area you can find wonderful, fascinating places. There are enchanting places all over Germany and the Ruhr area is one of them if you know where to look! The Zollverein colliery in Essen is also a unique place, and often a location for weddings or twinkling ice skating in the winter. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in the west of Germany and offers constant new events, from street parties, street food festivals to concerts, and of course changing exhibitions in its own museum.

This place is so incredibly diverse that something fascinating can be found for everyone. For the nature lover, for the adventurer, and also for the history fan.

Nearest Hostel: Chillten Bottrop

Places to visit in Germany

Heidelberg

Recommended by Seb/Between Distances 

Situated on the banks of the Neckar river, Heidelberg is Germany’s best-known student city. Life in Heidelberg revolves around the university, which is also the oldest in Germany (and, incidentally, my Alma Mater). A city with a particularly young population, you will feel the relaxed atmosphere as you walk through the narrow streets of the historic center, which are dominated by the imposing ruins of the Heidelberg Castle, or along the tree-lined Philosopher’s Way, which offers a commanding view of entire, perfectly preserved old town.

The Untere Strasse is the center of the city’s nightlife—and where I spent many a night when I probably should have been in the library instead. From student parties to lazy afternoons sitting by the Neckar, Heidelberg is the city that best embodies the romanticism of German university life. You can still visit traditional student restaurants, such as Zum Roten Ochsen, for some local specialties, as well as the old student jail (yes, that was a thing) at the university’s museum.

Hostels in Heidelberg

 

Places to visit in Germany - Heidelberg

@romankraft

Hansaviertel in Münster

Recommended by Bea & Jan

More than anything, Münster is known for its quaint old town with its cobblestone streets that vibrate with the atmosphere. But if you want to discover the coolest spot in the city, you should head for the Hansa district. There are no tourists here, but instead students and the creative and alternative souls. Old industrial halls, studios, hip Spätis, bars and restaurants together with the hip, but down-to-earth crowd give Münster a wonderfully inspiring vibe. A Berlin-esque charm without the over-hyped nature of the capital.

Our highlights: bagels, sunbathing on the canal, burgers at Bun Bites Beef, hanging out at the harbor basin, and bar-hopping at the Hansaring (Babel and Watusi Bar).

Nearest Hostel: Bielefeld – JBB

Places to visit in Germany - Hansaviertel

Erfurt

Recommended by Tine & Dome

The Thuringian capital Erfurt has a much greater importance for international tourists visiting Germany than for the Germans themselves. In Erfurt, the day starts best with a delicious breakfast and a good coffee. For example, at the Cafe Hilgenfeld, where you can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and fresh coffee in the buzzing Cathedral Square. At the beautiful Krämerbrücke, you can enjoy one of the most delicious ice creams in the city at “Goldhelm Eiskrämer” or “Zucker & Zimt”. Afterwards, explore the many sweet shops, which offer their goods on the Krämerbrücke. In the evening you can see the lights of the city rise from Petersberg and turn night into day in one of the many clubs or bars.

Places to visit in Germany - Erfurt

Cologne

Recommended by Seb/Between Distances 

Kölle alaaf ! Ask a German what they think of Cologne and they will most likely mention the friendliness of the locals. One of Germany’s traditional carnival cities, Cologne can throw a good party—even in the colder months, as carnival festivities here kick off with German punctuality on November 11 at 11:11 a.m. every year. Cologne also has a reputation as one of Germany’s most LGBT-friendly cities.

The main highlight of Cologne is its impressive Cathedral, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city’s symbol. With a height of 157 meters and an incredibly detailed facade, the Cologne Cathedral is simply overwhelming—no wonder it’s Germany’s top sight in terms of visitors.

Make sure to drink a crisp and refreshing glass of Kölsch (the local beer specialty) on the shores of the Rhein by the Hohenzollern Bridge whenever you visit.

Hostels in Cologne

Places to visit in Germany - Cologne

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Viktoria Troescher

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