Guten Tag fellow wanderlusters!

Ancient castles, expansive national parks, ski resorts, and hi-tech cities are just a taste of what you can expect in the country of sauerkraut and schnitzel.

It isn’t called the land of fairytales for no reason, with some of the most beautiful places in Germany having inspired your favorite storybooks over centuries.

Many are quick to judge Germany for its dark wartime past and occasional strong-willed personalities. It’s important to take the bad with the good, right? But perceiving Germany as anything less than a natural haven and a historical centerpiece of the Western world would be a crime!

From the depths of the Black Forest to countryside towns you thought only existed in your wildest dreams, Germany really provides when it comes to beauty.

So, grab your lederhosen and get ready to explore the MOST beautiful places in Germany.

1. The Rhine Valley

A landscape view of the Rhine River lined by lush greenery with villages overlooking the river
Rhine, you’ve stolen my heart!

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The Rhine Valley is arguably one of the most recognizable icons of the German landscape. The Rhine River flows through the country from top to bottom, passing through some of Germany’s most iconic cities and villages. 

While there are a few gorgeous sections of the valley worth checking out, my favorite has to be the area between Koblenz and Mannheim (also known as the Middle Rhine Valley). 

Passing by tons of castles, historic villages, and iconic cities, it’s no wonder artists and authors have made this part of the Rhine their home for centuries.

There’s such an abundance of experiences to live that whenever you choose to visit Germany, you won’t be disappointed. 

While in the area, join a couple of hiking or cycling adventures along one of the many long-distance trails. Hold the phone, there’s more! Another great way to explore the region is from the river itself – on a boat tour, to be precise.

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    2. Berlin Museum Island

    Germany certainly has an interesting (albeit dark) past, but it is also one of Western Europe’s powerhouses, with a culture and art scene like no other.

    With artists like Albrecht Durer, Paul Klee, and Max Ernst born in the country, Germany packs a real punch when it comes to art, poetry, and music. For all those visiting Berlin, this stunning museum is a sight not to be missed.

    Set in the heart of Berlin, Museum Island is a man-made island built on a small piece of land on the Spree River that houses some of the country’s most impressive museums. Built between 1824 and 1930, the island is a beautiful place to visit in Germany, whether for the museums or just for the views.

    Berlin Museum Island building with its beautiful architecture in Germany
    Bold, brilliant, and beautiful.

    It was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1999 and features gorgeous gardens, courtyards, and bridges connecting it to the busy city.

    There are five museums here – yes, super convenient for those wanting to tick all the museums off in one day trip in Berlin – The Pergamon Museum, the Altes Museum (Old Museum), the Neues Museum (New Museum), the Bode Museum, and the Alte National Gallery.

    Each museum showcases art, architecture, and world history, including exhibits of Ancient Egypt, Rome, and Babylon. If anywhere will bring out the academic in you, it’s Museum Island.

    3. Gorlitz

    With roots that trace back to 1071, Gorlitz sure does boast one heck of a long history. Back then, the city was a slave settlement.

    Stroll through quiet cobblestone alleyways and dine on the side of the street in quaint squares surrounded by historic architecture. You could even cross the bridge into the Polish city of Zgorzelec to tick a new country off your travel bucket list.  

    The Grand Budapest Hotel (shock-horror, not filmed in Budapest), The Reader, The Last Command, and Inglourious Basterds were all filmed in this beautiful place in Germany.

    A photo of a church on the river's banks and surrounded by trees in the village Gorlitz
    Gorlitz is such a unique sight

    We’d suggest that you stay here if you plan to spend the weekend. There are some good hostels in Germany that can truly level up your travel experience.

    Gorlitz is home to over four thousand heritage-listed buildings, spanning a variety of architectural styles from Gothic to Baroque to Renaissance. No wonder it has set the scene for so many Hollywood films.

    One of the main drawcards of this town is that it is seriously off the beaten path. Not close to many other tourist attractions, few tourists make the mission to Gorlitz, maintaining its status as a true hidden gem of Germany.

    4. Neuschwanstein Castle

    You might recognize this castle from the animation at the start of every Disney film. Built in 1886 in the Bavarian district of Hohenschwangau, on a clifftop overlooking valley views, Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the best castles in Germany

    It was commissioned by King Ludwig of Bavaria, a.k.a. the Mad King. Fun fact: the castle has over two hundred rooms, each more extravagant than the next.

    Sure, it’s a popular castle. So popular that it attracts around 1.4 million tourists each year. But this doesn’t take away from its spectacular beauty, which makes it well worth a mention on this list.

    Neuschwanstein Castle standing tall in the middle of a lush forest in Munich
    You guessed it… Disney movies’ castle!

    Neuschwanstein sits along a famous stretch of road known as Germany’s Romantic Road. The road leads through the picturesque Bavarian countryside, past castles, rolling hills, and medieval cities.

    As you wander through the opulent halls, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the hidden grotto located deep under the foundations of the castle. 

    If you can only make it to one of the top ten places to visit in Germany, make it this one…

    5. Mosel Valley

    Germany might be known for its beer and bratwurst, but that doesn’t mean the country doesn’t do a damn fine job producing wine as well. And with that, Mosel Valley is one of the country’s premier winemaking districts

    It’s not hard to believe that the south-western region of Germany overlaps with north-eastern France and eastern Luxembourg, with a river running through all three countries. 

    Located between the Eifel and Hunsruck Mountains, the 121-mile section of the Mosel River (a peaceful tributary of the Rhine River) is lined with fertile terraced vineyards, traditional medieval villages, and classic German taverns.

    A landscape view vineyard on a hillside and a river in the Moselle Valley of Germany

    Famous for its white wine in particular, this unique Mosel wine has been produced since the Roman times and is at the heart of Germany’s wine production scene.

    After you’ve had a taste of the country’s finest wine, make your way to the city of Cochem, famous for its storybook timber buildings, quaint riverfront promenade overflowing with cafes and boutiques, and domineering castle on the hill above. 

    Apart from its historic architecture and picturesque cities, the region is a revered hiking spot, with several trails snaking through the valleys, passing castles, villages, and vineyards as they go. It’s a win-win for me!

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    6. Lichtenstein Castle

    Fairytales may be just fantasy, but a visit to the Lichtenstein Castle will quickly make you feel like you are in one for real.

    The Southern German castle was built in 1842 in an impressive Gothic Revival style. It sits precariously on a stone mount, 800 meters above the Echaz Valley and river.

    Although open to the public as a tourist attraction, this unique place is privately owned. In fact, it was recently restored in 2002, so it really looks just as good as it did when it was first built nearly two hundred years ago.

    Lichtenstein castle sitting on top of a cliff in the middle of a lush forest
    The castle tells a million tales.

    Inspired by and named after the novel Lichtenstein by Wilhelm Hauff, the castle was built a few hundred meters from the ruins of an even older medieval castle owned by the same family.

    There are a series of castles and fortresses that used to stand in the same place – the earliest was built in the 12th century.

    Do yourself a favor and visit the castle in spring, summer, or even fall. Since the castle is quite literally surrounded by nature, the forest bursts with color, changing from bright summer greens to red and orange hues in fall.

    7. Eibsee

    If there’s one thing you should know about Germany, it’s that there is no shortage of lakes in the country. Fed by alpine tributaries and rivers running from the North Sea, the country is teeming with lakes, or, as they say, ‘sees’ in German.

    So no, Eibsee is not at all a sea. Instead, it is a beautiful lake in Bavaria that will quickly make its way among the most beautiful places in Germany. 

    A lake with snow-capped peaks mountains in the background in Eibsee
    Natural beauty at its finest.

    Aside from its gorgeous mountains and towering pine forests, one of the most appealing things about this lake is its crystal clear water. 

    On a windless day, the reflection of the Alps in the flat water is enough to make anyone want to upgrade their cameras to capture the iconic shot. 

    Sorry to break it to you, but no photo can truly capture the essence of this place, and that’s precisely why you should visit Germany.

    But the lake isn’t just a beautiful place in Germany for scenery lovers. Activity devotees can kayak, fish, and even swim in the brisk, clear waters. Far away from the hustle and bustle of modern Germany, Eibsee is a natural paradise designed for recharging.

    8. Sylt

    Before I visited Germany, I had no idea the Central European country had a string of islands along its North Sea coastline.

    Sylt doesn’t get the attention it deserves, partially because it isn’t on the country’s mainland. But, oh boy, does it impress those prepared to venture far enough north?

    In fact, it’s the open fields and sparsely populated villages that make this island so charming. Pretty much untarnished by tourism, the Frisian Islands are more popular with local visitors who visit during summer – definitely the best time to visit Germany.

    A wooden walkway leading down to a beach with green grass in Sylt Island
    How’s this for a beach?

    It’s pretty much Germany’s equivalent to Long Island and the Hamptons, popular with local holiday-seekers and, in particular, the country’s rich and famous.

    Conveniently, this specific island in the Frisian Islands is connected to the mainland by a causeway, making it easy to visit as a day trip.

    The island is as tranquil as they get, with windswept dunes, white sand beaches, and quaint Frisian-style homes and lighthouses lining the coastline.

    To put a German spin on your beach vacation, indulge in a sauna on the beach and visit the Wadden Spa while on the island. 

    9. The Black Forest National Park

    Rumor has it that Hansel and Gretel once stumbled upon a tasty (but sinister) gingerbread house in this very forest. If you’re a fan of fairytales, a collection of short stories written by the Brothers Grimm was based in the forest. 

    The Black Forest is easily one of the most well-known national parks in Germany. The forest spans a massive area, reaching from Baden-Baden to Offenburg.

    It’s an incredibly dense evergreen forest, boasting everything from gorgeous lakes to picturesque villages and lush valleys. 

    A landscape view of The Black Forest National Park on a sunny day
    Imagine how fresh this air is.

    The land of cooing birds and cuckoo clocks, the magical forest also includes its very own spa-town, called Baden Baden, the busy university city of Freiburg, and the capital of Germany’s wine region, Offenburg.

    Don’t skip a visit to the mist-covered Titisee, one of the most scenic lakes in the country. My favorite way to experience the area is to catch the Zapfle-Bahnle train, which follows an extraordinary route around the lake. Trust me on this one!

    There are plenty of outdoor activities to fuel your adventure trip here. I’d say you should visit the forest just for its rejuvenating spa villages and scenic beauty, but this wouldn’t do it justice. Take my advice and book a few guided hikes or kayak tours, or even go chasing waterfalls for a bit more of an adventure.

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    10. Eifel National Park

    Established in 2004, spanning over 42 square miles of expansive lakes, towering mountains, open landscapes, and dense forests in North Rhine-Westphalia, Eifel National Park is a conservation area designed to ‘let nature be nature.’

    Wildlife fans gather around. Within this park, there are thousands of endangered animal and plant species living together. Take stock of the black storks, Eurasian eagle owls, and wild cats roaming the safe haven of the park.

    A landscape view of a lake and lush greenery in Eifel National Park, Germany
    Hikers’ paradise!

    Much of the park is made up of lakes, rivers, and trickling streams. Surprisingly, this northern park is home to several orchid species, including the moorland spotted orchid. I know, I know – I also thought orchids only grew wild in the tropics!

    Explore the beech forests on a well-planned hiking trip, watch as wildcats hunt for mice in the plains, and experience beavers building their dams up close and personal. 

    The park is also protected from light pollution and is a well-known Dark Sky Park. This means that on the darkest nights, Eifel National Park is a beautiful place to stargaze. Visit during a crescent moon for the most magnificent night-sky views.

    11. Rakotzbrucke, Saxony

    A bridge over a river surrounded by trees in Rakotzbrucke Saxony
    The dramatic Rakotzbrucke.

    As far as bridges go, this one has to be one of the most beautiful places in Germany.

    With a steep angle rising over a lake in Kromalu Park, the bridge creates a perfect circle reflection on a windless day. Not only is it physically gorgeous, but it’s also a historic monument that was built by hand in 1860.

    12. Hohenzollern Castle

    A picturesque view of Hohenzollern Castle rising on top of a hill

    One of Germany’s most impressive castles, the privately owned Hohenzollern, was once the seat of Brandenburg-Prussian rulers, kings, and Kaisers.

    Today, the third rebuild of the castle pokes out from a dense forest and is an icon of German royalty – all one hundred and forty rooms of it!

    13. Lake Konigssee

    Lake Konigssee surrounded by mountains and lush greenery in Germany
    How about a river cruise?

    Formed by glaciers during the most recent Ice Age, Lake Konigssee is the third deepest lake in the country, stretching across the Berchtesgaden National Park.

    There are few places as awe-inspiring as this one. Most visit to hike the surrounding mountains and for the alpine lake dips. Definitely worth it.

    14. Wurzburg

    Wurzburg Town

    While mostly known for the tasty wine produced in the region, Wurzurg is also one of Germany’s most charming university towns.

    The city boasts lavish baroque and rococo architecture, made particularly famous by the opulent and ornate 18th-century Residenz Palace.

    15. Bastei Bridge

    Bastei Bridge Saxon Switzerland Germany

    The Bastei Bridge is the perfect example of using nature to complement architecture.

    Darting across a series of natural rock formations created millions of years ago, the bridge rises over 1000 feet above the stunning Elbe River. You have to see it to believe it! 

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    16. Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber

    Colorful buildings and streets in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber
    You don’t get this everywhere.

    Truth be told, there are few towns as picture-perfect as this one. What was once a prolific city in its heyday was quickly reduced to poverty during Germany’s wartime years.

    Today, Rothenburg is one of the country’s best-preserved walled medieval towns. Talk about standing the test of time!

    17. Partnach Gorge

    Partnach Gorge
    Partnach Gorge is a German gem.

    Considered one of the most beautiful places in Germany, Partnach Gorge is a deep gorge carved into the landscape, surrounded by natural beauty.

    It’s a real change of scenery from the rest of the country, boasting turquoise-blue water flowing through moss-covered cliffs.

    18. Rugen Island

    Rocky beach overlooking ocean  in Rugen Island at sunset.
    The beautiful Rugen Island.

    Germany’s answer to the White Cliffs of Dover, Rugen Island is a large island popular with beach-seeking tourists in northern Germany.

    Think white sandstone cliffs falling into calm beaches lined with holiday resorts. This is my idea of paradise in the Baltic Sea.

    19. Residenz Munchen

    A photo of a long hallway with paintings on the ceiling in Munich Residenz
    Residenz Munchen is PURE ART.

    Culture vultures, this one’s for you. One of the most extravagant palatial complexes in Germany, the Munich Residenz is a must-see in Munich.

    It served as the seat of government and the residence of kings and dukes in the 14th century. Think of it as Germany’s version of the Vatican.

    20. Heidelberg

    A scenic view of Heidelberg Town with its builidings bridge crossing the river
    I smell freedom here!

    When it comes to riverside cities, Heidelberg is the cool kid on the block. Located on the River Neckar, this stunning city is famous for its prestigious university and story-book cityscape.

    With its cobbled streets, beautiful castle, and vibrant cultural scene, Heidelberg is a German gem! I wouldn’t blame you if you never wanted to graduate from this gorgeous university town.

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    21. Bamberg

    A building on top of a river surrounded by lush trees in Bamberg, Germany

    Bamburg is known for its specialty craft breweries and beer gardens, including the historic Schlenkerla brewery, which has been quenching beer lovers’ thirst since 1405.

    Aside from its breweries, the town is a perfect example of medieval Bavaria and has even been compared to Rome in the past!

    22. Bavarian Forest National Park

    A mother lynx with her cubs sitting in Bavarian Forest National Park in Germany
    This one is for adventurers only!

    If you ask anyone familiar with the country to name a beautiful place in Germany, the Bavarian Forest National Park would be a focal point.

    Not to be confused with the Black Forest, this park is home to the lynx, bear, European bison, and wolf, as well as European bison, and beaver.

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    How to See Beautiful Places in Germany

    Short answer: TRAINS. Germany has an incredible railway network, connecting just about all major cities and towns with high-speed trains.

    Named the Deutsche Bahn, trains are typically cheaper than budget airlines and are much more environmentally friendly.

    Trains pulling into a station
    Public transport around Europe is great
    Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

    A train from Berlin to Munich takes around four to five hours and costs between €18 and €50. A flight would cost at least €100 for a round trip. Check out where I’d stay in Munich.

    Cities are well connected with affordable and efficient transport, with overgrounds, undergrounds, buses, and even the odd historic tram.

    If you want to explore the country by car and have a go on the iconic Autobahn (I don’t blame you), a car rental costs between €40 and €130 per day (depending on the type of car).

    FAQs About Beautiful Places in Germany

    Here are some FAQs about beautiful places in Germany.

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    Final Thoughts on Beautiful Places in Germany

    Germany is home to some incredible natural landscapes and historical landmarks in Europe. The country has leaped milestones from a troubled past into one of the most desirable tourist destinations on the continent.

    It’s a country of contrasts, combining century-old traditions with modern thinking, making it possible to wander through Tudor villages and high-tech city centers on the same day.

    Whilst all of these locations are well worth the visit, I had that kind of experience in the snow-capped Alps. If you’re an adventurer at heart, this is undeniably the spot for you.

    It’s a destination that promises not only thrills but also a profound connection with the raw, untamed power of nature. Get yourself out there and have an adventure of a lifetime.

    red brick warehouses on the canals of Hamburg taken from an iron bridge with a bike leaning against it.
    Have fun folks!
    Image: Nic Hilditch-Short
    Looking for more info on travelling to Germany?

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