Berlin's Museum Island in Germany

Germany is a land of fairytales, festivals, fantastic roads, and flavorful food. Whether you come for the history or stay for the food, Germany has many wondrous places to explore. From the metropolitan yet historical cities of Berlin and Munich, to exploring the medieval towns on the Romantic road, or driving your best Bavarian Motor Works on the Autobahn, travelers in Germany will not be disappointed.

Many travelers begin their Germany vacation in the capital city of Berlin. At the end of WWII, Berlin served as the dividing line between communist Russia in East Berlin and the democratic allies in West Berlin. Today, Berlin is a mix of history, culture, and technological accomplishments. The Berlin Wall museum features exhibits and stories from the creation to the destruction of the Berlin Wall. Other notable museums and architecture are the Bradenburg Gate, the Jewish Museum, and Pergamon Museum on Museum Island. Berlin also has a diverse nightlife and performing arts scene.

Bavaria is a German state in the southeast corner of Germany. Known for its unique traditions, residents here consider themselves Bavarians first, German second. Bavaria is home Munich, the Bavarian Alps, romantic castles and roads, and traditional costumes, music and festivities. During holidays and special events, Bavarians dress in customary lederhosen and dirndl costumes, while centuries old folk music is played, most commonly associated with Germany. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy skiing or hiking in the Bavarian Alps.

Rathaus and Marienplatz, Munich Germany

Munich is the largest city in the Bavarian region. Munich’s history ranges from medieval times to post WWII and offers a glimpse of everything in between. Impressive cathedrals, dozens of museums, the Bavarian Opera House are just a few of the highlights found in Munich. At the center of town, Marienplatz’s main draw is the New City Hall and its Glockenspiel. The tower, built in 1908, chimes three times a day. Accompanying the chimes are figurines dancing, spinning and eating.

Oktoberfest in Germany is likely the most famous holiday in the country and many a reason for travelers to make Munich a popular destination. While tradition would have you believe this festival begins in October, the much-lauded festival actually begins in the warmer days of mid-September. The main event takes place in Munich; however, you can find many towns and cities throughout Germany celebrating in one form or another. Oktoberfest is more than just a celebration of beer and food, though it includes plenty of that too; it began over 200 years ago as a wedding celebration for Prince Ludwig. Today the Munich streets are lined with colorful tents supplying a variety of German and imported beers and sausages. Bavarian music and dancers in traditional dirndl costumes provide entertainment. Carousels and roller coasters are also staples of the yearly festival.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

The Romantic Road in Germany highlights over 200 miles of charming German towns and villages. The road extends from Würzburg to Fussen in the Bavarian Alps. Along the way, you’ll see historic medieval towns such as Rothenburg, museums, natural beauty, enchanting inns and restaurants, and fairytale like castles. At the end of the road, find Neuschwanstein Castle in Fussen. Best known in the States as the model for Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland, visitors can partake in guided tours of Neuschwanstein Castle. The fairy tale castle, with its many towers, overlooks the valley below. Insiders will note that the castle does not feature a throne in the throne room, as it was not finished prior to King Ludwig’s death.

The romantic and picturesque town of Heidelberg, Germany attracts many visitors to its cobbled streets. The distinctive three and four story red-roofed buildings with smooth cream walls, decorated with red or brown shutters that line the streets are typical of German architecture found in much of the country. The main attraction is Heidelberg Castle built in the 13th century. While some of the castle lay in ruins, much of it is open for exploration.

There are a number of castles to take in while visiting Germany. In addition to Neuschwanstein and Heidelberg, plan to visit Linderhof Castle in Bavaria, which Ludwig billed as the next Versailles. Schloss Hohenschwangau is near Fussen, and thus Neuschwanstein. French inspired Castle Hohenzollern sits high atop a hill, affording glorious views of the valley below. This castle plays host to special events throughout the year, the most popular at Christmas time. The Schwerin Castle to the north is equally a beautiful. Castle Frankenstein and the myths about the castle are said to be the inspiration for the book of the same name, and hosts a Halloween festival every year.

Cologne Cathedral, Germany

While not a castle, the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne is equally impressive. Germany’s most visited landmark began construction in 1248 and is the largest gothic cathedral in Europe. While in Cologne, take in the city’s vibrant art scene, with more than 30 museums and hundreds of galleries.

The Black Forest in southwest Germany is not as ominous as it sounds. Named for its large concentration of pine trees, the area looks black from a distance. Nature lovers will take pleasure in the amount of things to do in the Black Forest. Skiing, hiking, and boating down one of the rivers are popular here. The villages and towns also boast exceptional woodcarving, and the Black Forest towns are where you find the best cuckoo clocks in all of Germany. Brenners Park Hotel & Spa is located in the Black Forest area, making it a fantastic place to rejuvenate after exploring the forested areas.

No mention of Germany would be complete without talking about food and beer. German food is more than sausages and sauerkraut, although those are quite delicious here. Also, enjoy schnitzel, smoked salmon, dumplings, potato noodles, and German cheeses. And when it comes to beer, everything from pale lagers to dark wheat beers are common in every restaurant. Of course, the most variety of beers is found during the country’s Oktoberfest celebration.

Germany has cold winters and mild, warm summers. Depending on your reason for visit, both can be equally pleasant. Picturesque towns covered in snow make for a grand holiday getaway, while the warm summers are fantastic for hiking and driving through the many towns. No matter the time of year, contact the Luxe Travel team at 1-866-365-8747 or concierge@luxetravel.com to plan your luxury Germany vacation.