A landscape of forests, rivers, mountain ranges, and North Sea beaches, Germany has become a bucket list destination for travelers. Kristin, owner of BeMyTravelMuse blog shares her insight into the best cities to visit in Germany.
The second-largest city in Germany, Hamburg is situated on the Elbe River in northern Germany and has its own unique modern-meets-classic style. At the same time, it is reminiscent of Paris, London, Venice, and Amsterdam: small islands splitting the river, tall clock towers rising above the rooftops, hundreds of canals, and rows of skinny brick houses on the water seem to pay homage to these other famous European cities. You can even explore the city from the water by renting a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard!
Lübeck, a quaint town of red brick and tiny winding alleyways in northern Germany, is over 850 years old! The first thing you’ll see in the city is Holstentor or the gate to the city with two huge cylindrical towers. (It almost looks like a mini castle!) Walk around and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town, visit the Marienkirche (the church which was built somewhere between 1250 and 1350), and wander through the St. Annen-Museum to view some of Germany’s most prized artwork. Climb the tower at St. Peter’s Church for awesome views of the whole city, like in the photo above.
The city of Rostock sits on northern Germany’s Warnow River. Home to the oldest and largest university in northern Europe, Rostock is recognizable by its colorful gabled houses and brick Gothic architecture.
Germany’s largest island, Rügen Island, sits off the country’s northeastern coast. Here, you’ll find Binz, an old fishing town turned seaside resort. White villas are scattered all around the island, but their Victorian flair is what makes Binz different from your normal beach town. While in Binz, stroll the oceanfront Strandpromenade, lounge in a beach chair on the white sand, shop around downtown, and grab a bite to eat at a table outside one of the restaurants.
In western Germany, Cologne is considered a cultural hub with high Gothic architecture and Rhine river setting. It’s Germany’s fourth most populous city and boasts one of the country’s most beautiful cathedrals, the Kölner Dom. For those seeking the medieval architecture that parts of Europe are so well known for, Cologne delivers.
To me, this is Germany’s most charming town, with the architecture of the ‘olden days’ and a town square that looks straight out of a fairytale book. I love it so much, I’ve returned in each season to see it. This university town also plays host to one of the best Christmas markets in Germany, the chocolART festival where you can get chocolate in nearly every imaginable form for 5 days each.
The Bavarian Alps stretch for more than 200 miles along the German-Austrian border. The towering mountains are breathtaking and the many mountain towns nestled among them look like something out of a picture book. Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain peak, reaches a height of nearly 10,000 feet.