Charming, bewitching, and staggeringly pretty, Germany offers surprises and delights across every winding mile.
From scenery that stirs the soul, to culture that lifts the spirits and festivities that send it soaring through the stratosphere, Germany is a smorgasbord of beauty in the big city, romance amid palaces that reach for the skies, and much more just waiting to be discovered. From the renowned (such as lederhosen-clad locals at Oktoberfest, stunning vistas at Neuschwanstein, and revisiting history at the Berlin Wall) to the lesser known (such as ambling along lemon, fig, and almond trees in one of the country’s biggest wine-growing regions), Germany offers a kaleidoscope that spans a wide spectrum, offering a cornucopia of delights with something for everyone.
One of Germany’s most famous exports, this two-and-a-half-week-long celebration features fair rides, Lederhosen and Dirndl clad locals, traditional food and music, and of course, lots of large mugs of beer. A few liters of Löwenbräu are all you need to help you dive head‑rst into arguably the festival to beat all festivals, but that is but a small drop in the ocean of beer that is Oktoberfest. Almost 7 million liters of beer are served every year, along with 95,000 liters of wine, all by waitresses adorned in traditional Dirndl and waiters donning Lederhosen, who ferry giant frothing mugs of beer to ravenous visitors. is quite simply a spectacle not to be missed.
With the dramatic outline of a jagged mountain range looming large in the background, Schloss Neuschwanstein is part castle and part fairytale that some say served as the inspiration for the Disney logo and Disneyland entrance.
Built as a getaway for the famously reserved and eccentric King Ludwig II, the castle perched on a hill was opened to the public shortly aer his demise in 1886. Over the years, its popularity and legend has only grown, to the point where it is one of Germany’s top tourist attractions and one of Europe’s most visited castles. That’s a far cry from its original purpose as a private getaway away from prying eyes.
An air of the past is always present at the Berlin Wall, and some windows into a bygone era still remain. Make a beeline for the East Side Gallery, which runs parallel to the Spree River and boasts more than a hundred murals, all of which have been artists from the world over ever since the famed wall was razed. With numerous new apartment blocks and office complexes dotting the area around it – some of which are complete, some of which are still a work in progress – this part of town also serves to epitomise the manner in which Berlin has continued to build on its past since reunification.
The Bavarian Alps are a nature lover’s delight, with its azure lakes and horizons specked with craggy mountains. Outdoor enthusiasts will doubtlessly have this penciled into their calendars already, what with its ample hiking and rock-climbing opportunities on offer.
Ride on the Autobahn
For car aficionados, Germany is the land of the automobile. Famed for the precision of its engineering and the dollops of performance packed into these mechanical monsters, it follows to reason that roads had to be made that allow the full potential of these automobiles to be explored. And so, the 11000 km long network of autobahns came to be, a stomping ground where enthusiasts could wring out their motors and embark on adrenaline fueled forays in a safe manner. Book those road trips, rent those high-performance automobiles, and prepare to tap into your inner need for speed.
While those closer to home might associate the Black Forest with the eponymous delight turned out by bakers across the country, visitors throng the Black Forest for very different reasons. Renowned for its curative properties, millions visit the area annually to immerse themselves in thermal whirlpools, hot-air baths and cold water as they pursue the best versions of themselves. In Baden-Baden, one of the area’s best-known spa towns, 12 thermal springs produce around 211,340 gallons of water every day, with temperatures as high as 68° Celsius. A fascinating mix of old-world traditions and modern luxury, the spas dotting the region oer relaxed recuperation for all comers.
German Wine Route
If a scenic drive that snakes through 50 miles of gorgeous wine country all the way to the French border sounds right up your alley, then head on up to the Deutsche Weinstrasse. Renowned for its Rieslings, this region is dotted with several picturesque towns, exceptional wine estates, and multiple Michelin-starred restaurants, making this a gourmet getaway like few others. Wine connoisseurs can also sample a selection of red and white wines, as also some stunning rosés and sparkling wines, all of which are grown in the surprisingly moderate climate of the region. It’s a little slice of the Mediterranean in southwest Germany, with almonds, figs, kiwis and lemons available aplenty.
Breakfast in a Munich Beer Garden
When in Rome (or Munich), do as the locals do. Join in and partake of a traditional Munich breakfast, which comprises two white sausages, a pretzel, a dollop of sweet mustard, and a glass of Weissbier (because it’s always beer o’clock somewhere).
A word to the wise; the sausages are cooked in and often served with a skin that is to be removed. If you’re stumped as to how to go about removing it, just observe the locals to get a hint. But it’s not just breakfast (best enjoyed any time before noon) where these beer gardens shine; they’re family friendly, all-day dining options as well. With playgrounds for children and plenty of space, it’s a great place to relax with a beer and just unwind as you let the glass of frothy amber wash your worries away.