Freiburg by Wyld Family Travel
City,  Germany

30 of the Best Cities to Visit in Germany

Germany is a large and beautiful country with so much to see and do. So which are the best cities to visit in Germany? I’ve asked my fellow travel bloggers their best cities to visit in Germany and I’ve added my favorites. My top 4 are Hamburg, Cologne, Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Füssen. I’ve fallen in love with Hamburg, and we have family living close-by, in Norderstedt. Paul proposed to me in Cologne. Rothenburg is such a dreamy city and has a Christmas museum. Füssen is high on my list because of the beautiful castles. But there are many more special cities in Germany as you can see for yourself in this blog.

Best Cities to Visit in Germany

Here are 30 of the best cities in Germany, all are perfect to include on road trips.

Füssen, Bayern

Neuschwanstein as seen from Hohenschwangau
Neuschwanstein as seen from Hohenschwangau

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

Füssen is a city in the South of Germany on the border with Austria. It’s famous for the beautiful Neuschwanstein castle and is located at the end of the Romantische strasse.

Although Neuschwanstein castle is technically in the nearby town of of Schwangau, just like the less famous, but equally mesmerizing Hohenschwangau castle, people mention Füssen when visiting either of these castles. Both are on the list of most beautiful fairytale castles in Germany.

The Romantische Straße or Romantic Road starts at Würzburg and is a fairytale route that meanders through medieval towns ending in Füssen, where the fairytale castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau await. Füssen itself has its roots in the Roman era, it’s located at the old Via Claudia Augusta. It gained city rights at the end of the 13th century.

Worthwhile things to do in Füssen are visiting the Hohes Schloss and Basilika Sankt Mang, it’s history dating back to 750 AD. If you’re into museums, make sure to visit the Museum der Stadt Füssen. The Alps start in Füssen, so the surrounding nature is beautiful with mountains and lakes. Hiking and mountainbiking are perfect outdoor activities with Füssen as a base.

Potsdam, Brandenburg

Potsdam by Growing Global Citizens, a part of the castle
Potsdam by Growing Global Citizens

Contributed by Kristin from Growing Global Citizens.

Visiting the city of Potsdam is an easy day trip from Berlin, even accessible by public transportation on the S-Bahn. Potsdam is known for its beautiful architecture and tranquil setting amongst multiple lakes.  History buffs will know Potsdam as the seat of the 1945 Potsdam Conference where the U.S.S.R, the U.K. and the U.S. met to divide Germany after World War II.  

A great activity for all ages is renting bikes and biking along the lakes and through Park Babelsberg, which has multiple castles and beaches. The city center is very walkable with lots of cute shops and cafés to stop at and enjoy a radler, the drink of bikers.  

The must-see attraction is Sanssouci, the palace of Frederick the Great when he ruled Prussia in the 18th century.  It is the largest UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany, and it is massive.  You could easily spend a full day just walking the grounds and seeing all of the extravagant buildings and gardens.    

Read more about biking through Potsdam here.

Meißen, Saxony

Torhaus in Meissen
Torhaus of Meissen

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

Meißen is a city in the East of Germany. It’s known for it’s worldwide famous porcelain. The porcelain is of exceptional quality. Recognizable by the Crossed Swords mark. Nicknamed the white gold. It can be admired at the Meissen Porzellan Manufactur & Museum. Why we only caught a glimpse of this museum, you can read here.

The Albrechtsburg castle is worth a visit. The first European porcelain was produced here in 1710. Further you’ll have a beautiful view over the city from the tower of the Frauenkirche.

Further don’t miss the Stadtmuseum Meißen Franziskaner Klosterkirche und Neogotisches Haus to learn more about the history of the city.

Visit the old town of Meißen and admire the buildings such as the Torhaus, Dom and the Rathaus.

Just 25 kilometers Northwest of Dresden, it’s a must on any Eastern Germany itinerary.

Celle, Lower Saxony

Celle by Ronja Goes Abroad
Celle by Ronja Goes Abroad

Contributed by Ronja from Ronja Goes Abroad.

Celle, a small city in Northern Germany is a must-visit for anyone who loves half-timbered houses like the ornate Hoppener Haus. Celle is located in between Hannover and Hamburg. You can get to Celle by train from Hannover in less than 30 minutes, and it’s just an hour and five minutes from Hamburg. Making it super easy to visit!

The main attraction in Celle is the Castle. Celle Castle, located close to the heart of the city, is a magnificent sight to see. If you do not feel like taking a tour, just walk the castle grounds. 

If you do not like popular sights, Celle is definitely the city for you. This small city is a fantastic place to stroll around. You don’t have to visit sights, all you have to do is walk around the city and you will fall in love with it. If you want to make strolling around the city fun look for the human-like statues around town. 

So add Celle, the town of cute half-timbered houses, to your must-visit list! If you are interested in road-tripping Central Europe, Germany included check out this guide!

Celle by Ronja Goes Abroad
Celle by Ronja Goes Abroad

Frankfurt, Hesse

Cathedral of Frankfurt am Main, the biggest church
Cathedral of Frankfurt am Main

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

This city in Western Germany is worth a visit. Discover Frankfurt am Main, there’s enough to see and do.

We recommend Apfelweingaststätte Atschel, since it’s one of the oldest and most beloved cider restaurants in Frankfurt. Frankfurt is famous for the Apfelwein (cider).

A quick way to get an overview of the highlights of the city is to take a sightseeing cruise on the river Main. There’s a downstream and upstream cruise, the downstream one offers the most complete overview of the city.

Frankfurt is the 4th largest city in Germany. Its nickname is Mainhattan, it’s a city full of modern architecture and skyscrapers. The city is the financial heart of Germany. The history of Frankfurt goes all the way back to the Stone Age. In the 16th century it had an important position n the printing press and book trade.

Bamberg, Bayern

Contributed by Sarah from LifePart2 & Beyond.

The gorgeous town of Bamberg was a highlight for us on our two-week river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. It’s easy to see why it’s often cited as one of Germany’s most beautiful towns. 

This picturesque old town with its charming narrow streets has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. The ancient buildings date from the 11th to the 19th century. One of the most impressive sites is the iconic Altes Rathaus (The Old Town Hall), with its incredible murals, located on a tiny island it’s reached by two arched bridges. Also, don’t miss the Romanesque Bamberg Cathedral with its four towers and many stone carvings. 

But truly, the best way to enjoy this delightful city is by aimlessly wandering the streets. 

The town is also known for its rauchbier, which means ‘smoke beer’. The smoky flavors come from drying the green brewer’s malt over open fires causing the grains to absorb the smoke. A tad too smoky for me, but for those that enjoy a beer, a must-try. For me, the mulled wine was the perfect accompaniment to enjoy the surroundings and experience the first snowflakes of winter.

Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate

Contributed by Brit from Life of Brit.

Trier is a small and somewhat unknown tourist destination that you shouldn’t miss in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It’s considered Germany’s oldest city. It’s brimming with incredible things to do and historical landmarks that date back to the Romans. 

Trier’s most famous landmark is the Porta Nigra, or the Black Gate. This impressive landmark was built over 1,800 years ago and is a testament to the ancient Roman history that Trier is renowned for. Visitors can climb up and into the Porta Nigra for views of the city as well as visit other Roman ruins like the Roman amphitheater and imperial baths. 

Other exciting things to do in Trier include visiting the Trier Dom, Germany’s oldest cathedral, and the Karl Marx House, a museum housed within the infamous philosopher’s birthplace. 

Not to mention, Trier is nestled within the lush Moselle River Valley. A beautiful region of Germany famous for rolling vineyards, picturesque river views, and exciting hiking. That means that no trip to Trier is complete without sampling the local Riesling. One of the best wine tastings in Trier is at the Vereinigte Hospitien Winery. Home to the oldest wine cellar in the country. 

You only need a day or two to experience the charm of Trier. But its location near the Luxembourg border, the charming town of Cochem, and the famous Burg Eltz castle makes it an excellent stop on a longer trip around Rhineland-Palatinate. 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bayern

Kathe Wolfart at Rothenburg
Kathe Wolfart at Rothenburg

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

This popular touristic city is on the Romantische Straße and is still completely in medieval style. When visiting the city take a guided city tour during the day and at night as well. Both are fantastic and a good way to learn more about this city.

Rothenburg is also beautiful to just wander around in and admire all the beautiful buildings. Such as the Marktplatz and the fortifications. The most photographed or instagrammable place in Rothenburg ob der Tauber is Plönlein. Do also stop at Diller’s Schneeballen to try a schneeball (local delicatesse). On the Marktplatz don’t miss the Ratstrinkstube with a clock and sundial. Watch the show!

Don’t miss the Käthe Wohlfahrt store with Weihnachtsmuseum (Christmas museum). It has the biggest collection of traditional German Christmas decorations in the world and is a true site to see. It’s not large, but everywhere you look, there’s something to see.

Also interesting to visit is the Mittelalterliches Kriminalmuseum (Medieval Crime Museum), with everything you want to know and don’t want to know about torture of criminals in Medieval times.

Ratstrinkstube at Rothenburg
Ratstrinkstube at Rothenburg


Berlin Charlottenburg Palace Gardens by Berlin Travel Tips
Berlin Charlottenburg Palace Gardens by Berlin Travel Tips

Contributed by Ali from Berlin Travel Tips.

No trip to Germany would be complete without visiting Berlin. Not only is Berlin the capital, but it’s diverse, quirky, and chock full of history. The city is also easy on the budget since there are so many free and cheap things to do in Berlin.

In the center of Berlin, you’ll find most of the iconic sights. Brandenburg Gate, built in the 18th century, is Berlin’s only remaining city gate. It sat on the dividing line between East and West Berlin, but quickly came to symbolize unity once the Berlin Wall fell. It’s also become a symbol of the city and even a symbol of Germany itself.

Another attraction you shouldn’t – and probably can’t – miss is the TV Tower. It’s located in what was East Berlin, and the Soviets built it with the intention of being seen from almost anywhere in the city. Due to its height, it’s a fantastic place for views of the city.

Other sights you shouldn’t miss include the Reichstag Building, Berlin Cathedral, Holocaust Memorial, Charlottenburg Palace, Tiergarten Park, and Museum Island. Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site comprised of several important museums. And don’t miss the East Side Gallery and the Bernauer Strasse Wall Memorial, two excellent but very different historical sights relating to the Berlin Wall.

If you’re looking for something a little more quirky, seek out Berlin’s famous street art. You’ll see it everywhere, but the most well-known pieces are mostly in Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. For a not-so-typical park, check out Tempelhof. This park used to be an airport, and now you can walk on the runway. And if food is your thing, Berlin is the place for you. You’ll find cuisines from all around the world here.

Cochem, Rhineland-Palatinate

Reichsburg Cochem
Reichsburg Cochem

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

A small, touristic city on the Moselle. Reichsburg Cochem towers over the place and dominates every view of the city.

Next to the Reichsburg, Cochem and surroundings is famous for the Moselle wine. This area is the oldest wine area of Germany. This makes Cochem a perfect base for exploring this wine region, either by car, bike, foot or boat.

In Cochem itself other attractions are the Bundesbank-Bunker, the historical Senfmuehle (mustard mill), the Edelstein Museum and the Rathaus. First mention of Cochem is in 882 AD, city rights were granted in 1332. The fortress was built in the 12th and 13th century. It was destroyed in the 17th century, but rebuilt in the 19th century.

Peine, Lower Saxony

Rausch Schokoland by Ragain Adventures
Rausch Schokoland by Ragain Adventures

Contributed by Christina from Ragain Adventures.

Peine is a small, beautiful German town located in Lower Saxony. It is the capital of the district of Peine and is located 25 km West of Braunschweig and 40 km East of Hannover. While Peine has several attractions for visitor’s including Kreismuseum Peine, shopping at City Galerie Peine, and the beautiful Jakobi Kirche, my absolute favorite is Rausch Schokoland.  

Rausch Schokoland is a museum and chocolate café / store located at the Rausch Chocolate factory in Peine. Once you walk through the door, you are surrounded by the smell of chocolate. At the museum, you can learn about the history of the production of chocolate from around the world. After the exhibits, be sure to enjoy hot chocolate and a snack while watching the large chocolate volcano. On your way home, be sure to stock up on Rausch Chocolates for yourself, friends, and family. 

If you are looking for a great hotel for your stay in Peine, be sure to check out Hotel Schoenau. With comfortable rooms, an onsite restaurant / bar and even a beautiful event center, Hotel Schoenau is a great hotel with a local feel. 

Leipzig, Saxony  

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

Leipzig is a city in the East of Germany. In 1165 Leipzig gained city right’s, relying on trade. In the 15th century the city became a center of the printing press. Hence a German Printing Press museum (Deutsche Buch- und Schriftmuseum). In 1813 the Volkerenslag was near Leipzig, in which Napoleon was defeated. For this they erected the Völkerschlachtdenkmal (Monument to the Battle of the Nations) in 1913, still a monument worth a visit.

Lots of famous composers lived in Leipzig making it a music city. Johann Sebastian Bach, Richard Wagner and Edvard Grieg among them. There’s a Bach-Museum in town and a Grieg-Begegnungsstätte. Further there’s also the Mendelssohn-Haus and those of Robert Schumann and Friedrich von Schiller. There’s also a music instruments museum, so enough museums for music lovers. There’s even a guided music tour along museums and statues. The St. Thomas Church is where Bach played the organ.

Brandenburg, Brandenburg

Brandenburg by Tymrazem
Brandenburg by Tymrazem

Contributed by Jakub from Tymrazem.

Brandenburg is located in the region that is named after the city (Brandenburg). Currently, the capital is Potsdam, but Brandenburg was once even more important than Berlin, from which it is about 80 kilometers away.

Originally it was a Slavic town called Brenna. From the year 948 (with breaks) Brandenburg was the seat of the bishopric.

Brandenburg has a lot to offer and the interesting surroundings make it a very good weekend destination. The must-see places in the city include the old towns, city walls, churches and “wild pugs”. In the area, be sure to check out Potsdam with its palaces and gardens (for example Cecilienhof), and the Babelsberg film studio.

Brandenburg is situated on the Havel River. It is used for communication and for tourists it can turn out to be a great idea to spend time in. In the city, you can rent a houseboat and discover the area from its deck.

It does not matter if Brandenburg is the destination of a longer journey or if you come here during your stay in Berlin or Potsdam – it is definitely worth visiting!

Brandenburg by Tymrazem
Brandenburg by Tymrazem

Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

Lutherstadt Wittenberg is in Eastern Germany. The city dates from the 12th century, the add on Lutherstadt dates from 1922. Translated it means Luther city, after Martin Luther. Wittenberg was the city where Luther made his Ninety-Five Theses known. You can see them for yourself on the doors of the All Saints’ Church. They’re engraved on the door. Wittenberg is known as the city where the Reformation started.

Luthers house is in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, and that of Philip Melanchton, a reformator as well. Lucas Cranach, a painter, lived in the city at the same time as Luther. His house is now a museum. An architectural monument and worth a look is the Hundertwasserschule. A really colorful building, in line with Hundertwasser’s style.

Most of what there is to do in Wittenberg revolves around the Reformation. The Stadtkirche and the Slosskirche are important in the Reformation.

Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Kröpeliner Strasse in Rostock by One Trip at a Time
Kröpeliner Strasse in Rostock by One Trip at a Time

Contributed by Lee & Stacey from One Trip At a Time.

Founded in the 13th century, Rostock is quite possibly one of the most delightful cities to visit in Germany that you haven’t heard of. Historically it was one of the key players in the Hanseatic League and has been an important shipbuilding center since Medieval times. Today it is a wonderful city to wander and explore, especially if you are in port for the day in nearby Warnemünde on a Baltic cruise.

With a compact historic center, many of the best things to see and do in Rostock are within easy walking distance. Begin a visit to the city with a wander along Neuer Markt to see the colourful merchant houses, the pretty pink (yes, pink!) Town Hall, and Marienkirche, renowned for its 15th century astronomical clock where you can still watch its “Apostles’ Procession” each day at noon. Then stroll Kröpeliner Straße to see gabled houses, visit shops, and see the playful fountain in Universitätsplatz.

When you want to learn more about Rostock’s history. Take some time to visit the Cultural History Museum and a walk along the old city walls to see Kröpeliner Tor (a watchtower) and Steintor, a city gate from the Middle Ages should definitely be on your agenda.

To top off your visit to Rostock, don’t miss the opportunity to take in the city from above by heading up the tower of Petrikirche to its observation gallery. From this vantage point, you can see all the way across the striking orange rooftops to the Port of Rostock, along the river, and to Marienkirche several blocks away.

View from Petrikirche by One Trip at a Time
View from Petrikirche by One Trip at a Time

Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

Lübeck is a city in Northern Germany, close to Denmark. It’s a Hanseatic city and became wealthy during that time. The historical old town is beautiful and is famous as the city of marzipan. As such Lübeck draws a lot of tourists.

Go on a self-guided (or guided) tour in the old town to discover all the monumental buildings and their history. Next to that find out why Lübeck is the city of marzipan and taste it!

Lübeck is the home of Niederegger, who have produced quality marzipan since 1806. You can taste all their product and learn more about the history of the company at Café Niederegger at the old city. Visiting this café is a must even when you’re not a fan of marzipan.

Among the monumental buildings in the city is the Marienkirche, an example of the Brick Gothic. The fortifications and two city gates are still there, the Holstentor and Burgtor. The Salzspeicher, was where salt was being kept until it was shipped to other Hanseatic cities.

Lübeck dates back to at least the 8th century. Lübeck eventually became the most important Hanseatic city in the 16th century. There’s a Hanzemuseum to learn all about the Hanseatic league.

Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate

Mainz by JOURNICATION Travel Blog
Mainz by JOURNICATION Travel Blog

Contributed by Phil from JOURNICATION Travel Blog.

Mainz is considered an insider’s tip when traveling to the West of Germany. Located near Frankfurt, the capital of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate has so much to offer.

Mainz has a long history. Already the Romans settled the surrounding heights and used the city “Moguntiatum” as an important port on the Rhine. Centuries-old ruins such as the Roman theater and the Roman stones – pillars of an aqueduct that was once over 20 meters high, i.e. a water pipe for the army camp – still bear witness to this today.

The Mainz Cathedral and the surrounding old town are particularly worth seeing. Here you can still find numerous half-timbered houses and cozy squares. Above it towers the citadel, one of many fortifications in the city area. Only a short walk away is the Fastnachts Brunnen.

This is a reminder of a passion of the inhabitants: Mainz, along with Cologne and Düsseldorf, is considered one of the great carnival strongholds in the Rhineland.

From Mainz you can make great trips by boat to the romantic Middle Rhine Valley, with its steep cliffs and many castles – since a few years UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lindau, Bayern

Lindau as seen from Lake Constance
Lindau as seen from Lake Constance

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.

The city is all the way in the South of Germany on the border with Austria. It’s on the Bodensee, also known as Lake Constance. The name derives from Linden Au, a river landscape with Linden trees.

Lindau is perfect for taking a boat tour on Lake Constance. You’ll have a great view on the cityscape of Lindau from the water and the lake itself is also beautiful. Stroll through the harbor with the new lighthouse, the Bavarian Lion and Mangturm Tower. The harbor is located on the small island in front of the city.

On the island are two museums, the City Museum of Lindau and the Kunstmuseum am Inselbahnhof. Further admire the Altes Rathaus, Diebsturm, glockengießerei and the Peterskirche. All part of the old town of Lindau. Stroll along the promenade for picture perfect views on the Alps and Lake Constance.

On the main land the Lindenhofpark is worth a visit, to stroll around in. Further don’t miss the Lindauer Marionettenoper at the Stadttheater.

Lindau, the small island on the lake
Lindau, the small island on the lake

Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg

Tuebingen by The Spicy Journey
Tuebingen by The Spicy Journey

Contributed by Soujanya from The Spicy Journey.

Tübingen is a university city located in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. Just a 30 minute train ride from Stuttgart, the city is accessible from anywhere in Germany via public transportation. One of the best things about Tübingen is the Altstadt Marktplatz (market square in the old city). It’s one of the most unique and beautiful market squares in Germany.

Some of the places to see in Tübingen include the Hohentübingen castle, the beautiful Neckarinsel garden that’s built on a small island, and the botanical garden. Moreover, one of the top things to do in Tübingen is river punting on the Neckar river. There’s a university tradition in Tübingen that involves taking long, slender boats out on the river whilst eating pizza and chugging beer. Visitors to Tübingen can also try out this activity by booking a seat on one of these boats. Apart from that, the iconic view of the Tübingen Altstadt from the bridge over the river is not to be missed!

Würzburg, Bayern

Wurzburg by Travel With A Spin
Wurzburg by Travel With A Spin

Contributed by Raluca from Travel With A Spin.

Würzburg is an underrated city in Franconia with just 120 000 inhabitants, but full of history, culture and attractions. Luckily, it’s not on everybody’s radar yet and has not lost its authentic charm. 

The city was founded on the Main river, in a hilly area covered by vineyards. Thus, Würzburg is the main center of an important wine region in Germany, known mostly for dry white wines. All these vineyards and the picturesque landscape of the city can be admired from Marienberg fortress, which stands high on a hill and overlooks the entire area. A tiny fortification already existed on top of the hill in the 7th century. Since then new extensions have been added. This is why the current structure combines Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque styles.

But this is not the only architectural masterpiece in Würzburg. Another one is The Residenz, a late baroque palace dating back to the 18th century, part of the UNESCO world heritage. Its court church is one of the most important examples of Baroque architecture in Germany. The surrounding gardens, even if small, can be compared in beauty to those of Versailles or Schönbrunn.

This being said, a trip to Würzburg means much more than checking off castles and palaces. The best thing about this city is its peaceful and friendly atmosphere. There’s no better way to enjoy it than grabbing a glass of white wine and joining the locals on the old pedestrian bridge in the center of the town. 

Würzburg can be easily visited on a day trip from Nuremberg, Bamberg, Frankfurt or München. All of them are less than two hours away by train or by car. 

Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg

Stuttgart by My Germany Vacation
Stuttgart by My Germany Vacation

Contributed by Cate from My Germany Vacation.

Stuttgart might not be the first city you think of visiting in Germany but it’s one you should definitely consider! If flying into Germany, think about flying into Stuttgart and spending a few days in the city before heading out on the rest of your trip. If you stay downtown you can easily explore several major sites on foot like Königstrasse, the city’s 1-mile long pedestrian shopping zone, the Markthalle (market hall), Staatsgalarie (art museum), the Neues Schloss (new castle area), and the university. Using public transportation or the popular hop-on-hop-off bus, you can explore additional sites like the BMW museum, Wilhelma Zoo, and nearby vineyards.

For excellent views, hike up to the top of Birkenkopf (built on WWII rubble), climb the stairs of Killesberg tower or take the elevator to the top of the TV tower. If visiting in late September to early October, check out the Cannstatter Volksfest (similar to Oktoberfest), and if you’re there in December, be sure to take a stroll through the famous Stuttgart Christmas market. If you’re craving nature, take a calming walk through the woods to the Bärenschlössle for a beer or Kaffee und Kuchen. There are also several day trip options from Stuttgart, such as historic towns like Esslingen, Bad Cannstatt, Ludwigsburg and Tübingen, as well as Hohenzollern and Lichtenstein castles.

Dresden, Saxony

Contributed by Lina from World of Lina.

Another one of the best cities of Germany to visit is Dresden in the federal state of Saxony.

With almost 5 million overnight stays per year, Dresden is also one of the most visited cities in Germany. That’s no wonder since this vibrant place offers everything your heart desires. From majestic Baroque and Roccoco buildings to lush green parks and open-air festivals in summer.

Probably the most famous building in Dresden is the Frauenkirche, a Lutheran church in the center of the old town. Another site not to miss in Dresden is the Zwinger.

This palatial complex with wonderful gardens is one of the most important buildings of the Baroque period in Germany. It’s home to internationally renowned museums such as the Porcelain Collection and the Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments. It’s also close to the Semperoper, the city’s opera house, and the Dresden cathedral.

Dresden is also a wonderful place to choose as a base to plan some nice day trips such as a visit to the Bastei Bridge, Moritzburg Castle or the city of Leipzig.

Munich, Bayern

Munich by Dream Plan Experience
Munich by Dream Plan Experience

Contributed by Renee from Dream Plan Experience.

Munich, the capital city of Bavaria and third largest city in Germany, offers visitors much to see and do. Beyond its world-famous Oktoberfest, Munich is very much a modern cosmopolitan city with some amazing museums and art galleries. All within the beautiful backdrop of the Alps and the Isar river winding through the city.

The most popular attraction is Marienplatz, the central square and heart of Munich. Sitting on the historic square is the Town Hall and its famous Glockenspiel. Watch the carousel of 30 dancing figures and 43 bells ring out at 11am, noon, 5 and 9pm. Nearby, visit St. Peter’s church and climb the 306 steps to the viewing platform to take in the best views of Munich.

Visit the city’s largest park, so big in fact it’s one of the world’s largest urban parks, bigger than New York’s Central Park. The Englischer Garten is a local’s favourite with its expansive green space full of massive trees and endless paths. There are some interesting sights to take in, like Munich’s older beer garden, a Japanese teahouse and Chinese tower and Greek temple. The surprising activity that always draws a crowd is surfing due to the strong currents of the Eisback river.

Lastly, one cannot visit Munich without visiting the city’s two palaces. The Nymphenburg Palace from the 1600s and Munich Residenz which started as a small defensive castle for the royal family in the 1300s continued to expand over the centuries to house 10 courtyards and 130 rooms.

Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia

Instagrammable Cologne by Solo Sophie
Instagrammable Cologne by Solo Sophie

Contributed by Sophie from Solo Sophie.

One of the best cities to visit in Germany is that of Cologne. The city is alongside the River Rhine in Western Germany. Fairly sizeable thanks to a population of over a million residents. The city is best-known for its grand Gothic cathedral, Cologne Christmas Market, which is held from the end of November to the end of December on an annual basis, and its dozen Romanesque churches.

As there are so many things to do while in the city, Cologne is best-explored over the course of several days. This way, visitors will be able to discover the winding streets of the old town and some of the hidden gems that the city has to offer.

Some of the best-kept secrets include a mustard museum and an ossuary hidden within one of the Romanesque churches. Those wishing to explore the wider region should note that Cologne boasts excellent transport links. Nearby day trips that are easy to take include the city of Bonn (famed for its cherry blossoms each spring) and the Drachenfels (a hill that’s home to several castles).

Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia

Dusseldorf by Dymabroad
Dusseldorf by Dymabroad

Contributed by Dymphe from Dymabroad.

One of the best cities to visit in Germany is Düsseldorf. This is a city that you can find in the Western part of Germany, close to the border with The Netherlands. Düsseldorf is a city that combines history and new elements. Also, there is a lot to see and do in the city. For example, you can go to the Old Town where you can see a lot of historic architecture, and interesting buildings, such as churches.

Besides that, you can find lots of great museums in the city. One of the best museums in Düsseldorf is the Kunstpalast Museum. This is a great museum that has both historic paintings, as well as modern art on display. Another one of the best things to do in the city is going to the top of the Rhine Tower. From this iconic landmark, you can get a panoramic view of the city. Also, when you are in Düsseldorf, you should definitely go shopping in one of the shopping streets in Old Town.

Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg

Freiburg by Wyld Family Travel
Freiburg by Wyld Family Travel

Contributed by Bec from Wyld Family Travel.

Freiburg im Breisgau is a beautiful city with the stunning Freiburg Munster in the center of the city. Everything seems to spread out from there and it’s a popular university city you will find it alive with amazing beer gardens and restaurants that serve everything you can hope for. Live music is offered at many places on the weekends and even street performers will delight you in Rathhausplatz, one of the things to do in Freiburg.

Watch out for the Bachle! With Freiburg being an old town you will find within the old town area the streets have small water-filled channels running along and they are known to catch a few visitors to Freiburg out! But never fear the story goes that if you step in one you will marry a Freiburger.

Green spaces are in abundance in Freiburg. For many people who live in Freiburg it is important to be in contact with the landscape, they’re so close to the Black Forest. Schlossberg is a hill that gives amazing views over the city of Freiburg and is a great place to get back to nature around the city. A funicular will easily take you to the top if you are unable to walk all the way. If you are travelling to Freiburg with kids, you can easily spend an afternoon at the Mundenhof. This is the largest animal encloser in Batten-Wattenburg and here you will find many different animals to look at and plenty of places to sit and rest.

One thing that is for sure when you are visiting Freiburg is you must have a slice of Black Forest cake. It is an absolute must and it will never taste quite the same when you have it anywhere else ever again!

Freiburg at night by Wyld Family Travel
Freiburg at night by Wyld Family Travel

Nürnberg, Bayern

Handwerkerhof Nuremberg Christmas Market by Bavaria Travel Tips
Handwerkerhof Nuremberg Christmas Market by Bavaria Travel Tips

Contributed by Maria from Bavaria Travel Tips.

Nürnberg, also known under the English name Nuremberg, is the second largest city in Bavaria after Munich. This historic city has a Medieval flair with its city walls and watch towers, half-timbered houses and cobble-stone streets. Overlooking the city, you will find the Nürnberger Burg, a castle that was first mentioned in 1050. 

Nürnberg is a popular Christmas Market destination and offers one of the largest Christmas Markets in Germany, drawing over 2 million visitors a year. A must-try are the famous Nürnberger Lebkuchen, a Gingerbread cookie, and “Drei im Weckla”, a bread roll with three mini-Bratwurst. 

Nürnberg is also a fantastic city to visit for History buffs. You can visit the Reichsparteitagsgelände, which was the place where the Nazi party gathered and had their rallies. It is now a museum that shares information about the Nazi Propaganda machine and the horrors of the Third Reich. You can also visit the famous courtroom where the Nuremberg Trials were held after the war, and where hundreds of Nazi war criminals were sentenced and executed. 

On a lighter note, you can also add some day-trips into the Franconian countryside and include a day trip to Franconian Switzerland, Bamberg, Rothenburg or to the Franconian wine region. 

Nuremberg by Bavaria Travel Tips
Nuremberg by Bavaria Travel Tips


Hamburg Cruise by The World In My Pocket
Hamburg Cruise by The World In My Pocket

Contributed by Joanna from The World In My Pocket.

Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and offers so many different things for any type of traveller. The city is different than any other city in Germany due to its proximity to Scandinavia and the influences it received from it, during the history.

The city of Hamburg is split into many different areas, each with something interesting to see. The Unesco site of Speicherstadt is the world’s largest continuous warehouse complex. Here you will find not only beautiful architecture among the canals, but also the Miniatur Wunderland museum, a place where you can spend hours without getting bored.

Near Speicherstadt you will find the Elbphilharmonie, one the newest additions to Hamburg. The building has taken many years to build and has one of the most amazing acoustics in the world. Seeing a performance here is a must when you visit Hamburg.

If you only have two days in Hamburg, you must experience the city’s nightlife as well. The clubs on the Reeperbahn are some of the best in Europe, if not in the world. Hamburg is where the Beatles started their career, by singing 100 nights in a row at the Indra Club, on the Reeperbahn. There is even a Beatles tour that you can take, to learn more about the band’s journey in Hamburg. 

Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate

Japanese garden Ktwon Kaiserslautern by Crave the Planet
Japanese garden Ktwon Kaiserslautern by Crave the Planet

Contributed by Morgan from Crave the Planet.

Kaiserslautern is an outdoor lover’s paradise resting at the Northern edge of the massive Pfälzerwald forest that connects to the Vosges forest in the east of France. Some of the world’s most interesting rock formations like Teufelstisch (Devil’s Table) are a short hike or drive from the city center.  

Within the city are sections of public forests for people to forage mushrooms, hike hut to hut with full restaurants (to replenish on delicious local specialities or hearty German beers) and spend time with the whole family on wine and food hikes.  

The best thing to do inside the city is a visit to the Japanischer Garten, or Japanese meditation garden delicately planted with serenity in mind.

It’s a small city but a big soccer destination. To really see Germans having a party, catch a soccer game at the Kaiserslautern soccer club or FCK stadium. The stadium also hosts exciting roller derby games, gymnastics and cycling competitions.

Bacharach, Rhineland-Palatinate

Bacharach by That Texas Couple
Bacharach by That Texas Couple

Contributed by Michelle from That Texas Couple.

Nestled into the hillside of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Rhine River Valley is the fabulous German fairy tale town of Bacharach. Bacharach is rich in history, charm, and, of course, wine, making it one of the best small towns in Germany to visit!

Upon arriving in Bacharach, you will notice Stahleck Castle still standing watch over the town of Bacharach below.  To get a sense of the town’s history and to see the village from an amazing vantage point, make a hike up to Stahleck Castle. Once you arrive at the 12-th century castle (that is now a hostel), you will be rewarded with an incredible view of Bacharach and the Rhine Valley.

The hike to the castle will also take you past the Wernerkapelle Ruins. These ruins are what is left of the 13-th century chapel that was often used as a pilgrimage site. There is a fascinating history associated with the Wernerkapelle Ruins also, so be sure to research that before your visit.

Take time to explore the charming city by visiting the remaining watch towers and walking the town wall and vineyards before doing a wine tasting. Bacharach has been producing famous wines for centuries and has always been an important part of the German wine trade industry. For a great tasting paired with a nice cheese and meat board try Weingut Karl Heidrich which is located right in the center of Bacharach.

Bacharach also makes it easy to explore the rest of the Romantic Rhine Valley. You can hop on a day cruise and cruise the Rhine River exploring the other towns that call this area home.  

So These Are 30 of the Best Cities to Visit in Germany

Hope this inspires a beautiful trip to Germany with lots of history and the outdoors.

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  • Renée

    What a great round up of cities! I lived in Germany for 6 months and grew up visiting often, so I feel like I’ve been to a lot of these cities, but there are still a couple that are on my list. Germany has so many wonderful places to visit and loved reading this inspiring list.

  • Brittany

    Germany is at the top of my list of places to visit, and this post made me want to visit even more! There’s so much to see and so much diversity within the country. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sue

    Germany is very high in my travel list, contemplating going next year. There looks like so many great cities to visit there, I may need to make multiple trips there to fit it all in.

  • Kelly

    I didn’t realize how many picturesque cities there were in Germany! Absolutely loved reading all your recommendations and stunning photos. I hope I can pay a visit one day.

  • Anna Schaeffer

    Hoping to do more of Germany in the next couple years. I’ve only ever spent time in Munich, which I LOVED. I feel like the hardest part is choosing WHICH German cities I want to go to. So many beautiful ones to choose from!

  • Shaf

    I love that most of these cities aren’t your typical tourist Top 10! I’m all for second-city tourism and some of these picks would really make a great option for a slower and more mindful itinerary 😌

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