Wed. May 29th, 2024
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Infinitely varied, teeming with history and utterly cool, Germany’s cities and regions are world’s unto themselves.

1. Best German city for culture: Berlin

<h2>1. Best German city for culture: Berlin</h2>
<p>The German capital could have taken out heaps of categories in this article. Its nightlife alone is eye poppingly magnificent but if you’re short on time, <a href="https://www.smb.museum/en/museums-institutions/museumsinsel-berlin/museum-buildings/overview/">Museum Inselt</a> (Museum Island) is on par with anything in Florence and Paris. In fact, it’s better with five separate galleries/museums in the precinct. If you had to pick a highlight it would be the bust of Nefertiti in the Neues Museum as well as the less visited Kolonnadenhof sculpture gallery which is a Unesco World Heritage site.</p>
<p><strong>City tip:</strong> Before you arrive, score yourself a <a href="https://www.berlin-welcomecard.de/en">Berlin Welcome Card</a> with Museum Island option. For around $89, you get 72 hours of free public transport, free entry to five museums on the island plus a bunch of other discounts.</p>
<p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com?id=145349X1636243&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com.au%2FAttraction_Products-g187323-a_contentId.39671923396%2B753923262-Berlin.html"><strong>For tour ideas, click here.</strong></a></p>
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The German capital could have taken out heaps of categories in this article. Its nightlife alone is eye poppingly magnificent but if you’re short on time, Museum Inselt (Museum Island) is on par with anything in Florence and Paris. In fact, it’s better with five separate galleries/museums in the precinct. If you had to pick a highlight it would be the bust of Nefertiti in the Neues Museum as well as the less visited Kolonnadenhof sculpture gallery which is a Unesco World Heritage site.

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City tip: Before you arrive, score yourself a Berlin Welcome Card with Museum Island option. For around $89, you get 72 hours of free public transport, free entry to five museums on the island plus a bunch of other discounts.

2. Best German city for history: Cologne

<h2>2. Best German city for history: Cologne</h2>
<p>Again, this is a close run thing but its 13 century Kolner Dom cathedral gives this picturesque city the edge. And even though the cathedral is a relatively new inclusion (it was only finished in 1880), the city itself takes its names from the Romans who founded it in the first century with the name Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. For some marvellous gallery hopping, check out the ancient wonders of the <a href="https://roemisch-germanisches-museum.de/Homepage">Römisch-Germanisches (Romano-Germanic) </a>Museum then wander round the groovy neighbourhood that spreads out from the junction of Venloer Strasse and Schonsteinstrasse before joining the locals for a thermal bath at the <a href="https://www.claudius-therme.de/en/">Claudius Therme</a>.</p>
<p><strong>City tip:</strong> Any KVB or DB public transport machine can sort you out with a <a href="https://www.cologne-tourism.com/book-buy/koelncard/">KolnCard</a>. For around $20, you will get 24 hours of free public transport and a 50 per cent discount on dozens of attractions.</p>
<p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com?id=145349X1636243&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com.au%2FAttractions-g187371-Activities-c42-Cologne_North_Rhine_Westphalia.html"><strong>For tour ideas, click here.</strong></a></p>

Again, this is a close run thing but its 13 century Kolner Dom cathedral gives this picturesque city the edge. And even though the cathedral is a relatively new inclusion (it was only finished in 1880), the city itself takes its names from the Romans who founded it in the first century with the name Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. For some marvellous gallery hopping, check out the ancient wonders of the Römisch-Germanisches (Romano-Germanic) Museum then wander round the groovy neighbourhood that spreads out from the junction of Venloer Strasse and Schonsteinstrasse before joining the locals for a thermal bath at the Claudius Therme.

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City tip: Any KVB or DB public transport machine can sort you out with a KolnCard. For around $20, you will get 24 hours of free public transport and a 50 per cent discount on dozens of attractions.

3. Best German city for scenery: The Middle Rhine Valley

<h2>3. Best German city for scenery: The Middle Rhine Valley</h2>
<p>Before you write in telling us this is not a city, we know. But that’s the point. The Rhine Gorge has finally answered the age old question of how do you make ancient castles look even better? By surrounding them with vineyards of course. Anything south of Koblenz will will have the same effect on your Instagram that defib has on a heart. It’s so bloody gorgeous that the stretch between Koblenz and Rüdesheim was given Unesco World Heritage status in 2002. You can explore the region on a multi-night river cruise, day cruise or even a bike. </p>
<p><strong>City tip:</strong> We know, we know, it’s not a city but if you do want to sample some of the region’s drops, we recco Koblenz’ <a href="http://www.weinhaus-hubertus.de/">Alte Weinstube Zum Hubertu</a>s. Try the Maison Elise Riesling.</p>
<p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com?id=145349X1636243&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com.au%2FAttraction_Products-g187389-d266717-Rhine_Valley-Rhineland_Palatinate.html"><strong>For tour ideas, click here.</strong></a></p>

Before you write in telling us this is not a city, we know. But that’s the point. The Rhine Gorge has finally answered the age old question of how do you make ancient castles look even better? By surrounding them with vineyards of course. Anything south of Koblenz will will have the same effect on your Instagram that defib has on a heart. It’s so bloody gorgeous that the stretch between Koblenz and Rüdesheim was given Unesco World Heritage status in 2002. You can explore the region on a multi-night river cruise, day cruise or even a bike.

City tip: We know, we know, it’s not a city but if you do want to sample some of the region’s drops, we recco Koblenz’ Alte Weinstube Zum Hubertus. Try the Maison Elise Riesling.

4. Best German city for food and partying: Munich

<h2>4. Best German city for food and partying: Munich</h2>
<p>We certainly don’t mean to suggest that all there is to the Bavarian capital is a dizzying array of smallgoods, beer served in glasses the size of a spaniel and hour upon hour of thigh slapping dancing in leather pants. But Gott in Himmel, they do it better than any other region in the country. Munich is also the ideal place from which to explore the Bavarian Alps. It’s no slouch in the art/museum/gallery stakes either. The <a href="https://kunstareal.de/">Kunstareal</a> district packs 5000 years of culture into a 500 metre by 500 metre area in the form of 18 museums, 20 galleries and six unis. </p>
<p><strong>City tip:</strong> Avoid Oktoberfest. It’s a drunken nightmare. Do, however, make time for a stroll through the <a href="https://www.schloss-nymphenburg.de/">Nymphenburg Schlosspark</a>. It’s one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe. </p>
<p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com?id=145349X1636243&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com.au%2FAttractions-g187309-Activities-c42-Munich_Upper_Bavaria_Bavaria.html"><strong>For tour ideas, click here.</strong></a></p>

We certainly don’t mean to suggest that all there is to the Bavarian capital is a dizzying array of smallgoods, beer served in glasses the size of a spaniel and hour upon hour of thigh slapping dancing in leather pants. But Gott in Himmel, they do it better than any other region in the country. Munich is also the ideal place from which to explore the Bavarian Alps. It’s no slouch in the art/museum/gallery stakes either. The Kunstareal district packs 5000 years of culture into a 500 metre by 500 metre area in the form of 18 museums, 20 galleries and six unis.

City tip: Avoid Oktoberfest. It’s a drunken nightmare. Do, however, make time for a stroll through the Nymphenburg Schlosspark. It’s one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe.

5. Best German city for wilderness: Baden Baden

<h2><span>5. Best German city for wilderness: Baden Baden</span></h2>
<p><span>We say this because it’s one end of the road to and from Freudenstadt and on that road you will experience just a taste of The Black Forest. Here, gorges are laced with pin straight spruces, topped with snow and tailed with mirror lakes. Add a smattering of cute villages (where you can gorge on the eponymous cake) and it’s an experience unlike any in Australia. </span></p>
<p><span><strong>City tip:</strong> If you’re a hiker, the 12 kilometre Feldberg to Steig route will get you above the tree line and into a state of wonder. </span></p>
<p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com?id=145349X1636243&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com.au%2FAttractions-g5796433-Activities-c42-Black_Forest_Baden_Wurttemberg.html"><strong>For tour ideas, click here.</strong></a></p>

We say this because it’s one end of the road to and from Freudenstadt and on that road you will experience just a taste of The Black Forest. Here, gorges are laced with pin straight spruces, topped with snow and tailed with mirror lakes. Add a smattering of cute villages (where you can gorge on the eponymous cake) and it’s an experience unlike any in Australia.

City tip: If you’re a hiker, the 12 kilometre Feldberg to Steig route will get you above the tree line and into a state of wonder.

6. Best German city to avoid the crowds: Erfurt/Weimar

<h2><span>6. Best German city to avoid the crowds: Erfurt/Weimar</span></h2>
<p><span>These nearby cities don’t have the heavy hitting rep of a Berlin or Munich but you can use that to your advantage. Erfurt’s medieval centre is so beautifully preserved that you’ll think that it’s been Disneyfied. But, it’s all genuinely picture book perfect. Weimar, meanwhile, is home to </span><span>the Unesco-listed </span><a href="https://www.klassik-stiftung.de/herzogin-anna-amalia-bibliothek/"><span>Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek</span></a><span> and a stroll around the </span><a href="https://www.klassik-stiftung.de/bauhaus-museum-weimar/"><span>Bauhaus Museum</span></a><span> will remind you just how much this radically simple philosophy has informed everything from our homes to our furniture.</span></p>
<p><strong>City tip:</strong> This city is rightly proud to be where Germany's most influential writer, poet and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe lived and the <a href="https://www.klassik-stiftung.de/goethe-nationalmuseum/goethes-wohnhaus/">museum</a> in his home is both grand and stimulating.</p>
<p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com?id=145349X1636243&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com.au%2FAttractions-g187419-Activities-c42-Erfurt_Thuringia.html">For tour ideas, click here.</a></p>

These nearby cities don’t have the heavy hitting rep of a Berlin or Munich but you can use that to your advantage. Erfurt’s medieval centre is so beautifully preserved that you’ll think that it’s been Disneyfied. But, it’s all genuinely picture book perfect. Weimar, meanwhile, is home to the Unesco-listed Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek and a stroll around the Bauhaus Museum will remind you just how much this radically simple philosophy has informed everything from our homes to our furniture.

City tip: This city is rightly proud to be where Germany’s most influential writer, poet and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe lived and the museum in his home is both grand and stimulating.

7. Best German city for architecture: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

<h2><span>7. Best German city for architecture: Rothenburg ob der Tauber</span></h2>
<p><span>Gingerbread houses? Ja. Serpentine cobbled lanes? Ja. Still standing city walls? Ja. This medieval village feels like walking into an AI image entitled German perfection. </span></p>
<p><strong>City tip: </strong><span>The </span><a href="https://www.romantisches-franken.de/detail/id=61a629b64c3fdc681074e8a7"><span>Alt-Rothenburger Handwerkerhaus</span></a><span> is not only an excellent spot for souvenirs but the weavers, potters and other craftspeople use the traditional methods of production. Some of which go back seven centuries.</span></p>
<p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com?id=145349X1636243&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com.au%2FAttractions-g187319-Activities-c42-Rothenburg_Middle_Franconia_Franconia_Bavaria.html">For tour ideas, click here.</a></p>

Gingerbread houses? Ja. Serpentine cobbled lanes? Ja. Still standing city walls? Ja. This medieval village feels like walking into an AI image entitled German perfection.

City tip: The Alt-Rothenburger Handwerkerhaus is not only an excellent spot for souvenirs but the weavers, potters and other craftspeople use the traditional methods of production. Some of which go back seven centuries.

8. Best German city for beaches: Stralsund

<h2><span>8. Best German city for beaches: Stralsund</span></h2>
<p><span>Beaches are not the first thing one thinks about in Germany, but the Baltic Coast is garlanded in sapphire bays and at most of them you can sunbathe naked if you so choose. You can explore islands like RugenBrucke from your base at Stralsund. The Hanseatic old town is beautifully maintained, it is free of cars and the<a href="https://fischhalle.business.site/"> Fischalle</a> restaurant will make your smoked fish dreams come true.</span></p>
<p><span><strong>City tip:</strong> Take a boat trip to the island of Hiddensee with its big Faroe vibes.</span></p>
<p><strong><a href="https://go.skimresources.com?id=145349X1636243&amp;xs=1&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com.au%2FAttractions-g187363-Activities-Stralsund_Mecklenburg_West_Pomerania.html">For tour ideas, click here.</a></strong></p>
<p><strong>See also:</strong></p>
<p><a href="https://www.escape.com.au/destinations/europe/germany-as-youve-never-seen-it/image-gallery/abb89d1713509be7c3c27d22ba8fcb98">Germany in winter is jaw droppingly beautiful.</a></p>
<p><a href="https://www.escape.com.au/travel-advice/i-moved-to-berlin-and-this-is-what-i-have-learnt/news-story/4d86765c9e8f962d6b26648ed4ee8def">You'll look weird if you do this in Germany.</a></p>
<p><a href="https://www.escape.com.au/destinations/europe/5-unexpected-reasons-i-loved-my-trip-to-germany/news-story/008ca5abd8116b395f77ed3c1bdd2c69">I thought I'd hate Germany but I loved it.</a></p>

Beaches are not the first thing one thinks about in Germany, but the Baltic Coast is garlanded in sapphire bays and at most of them you can sunbathe naked if you so choose. You can explore islands like RugenBrucke from your base at Stralsund. The Hanseatic old town is beautifully maintained, it is free of cars and the Fischalle restaurant will make your smoked fish dreams come true.

City tip: Take a boat trip to the island of Hiddensee with its big Faroe vibes.

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By Snowy