In the few days I was able to spend in Germany, I saw the countryside to the city and in between. A gorgeous country like this one could be explored for months, but if you find yourself wanting to experience the variety a traveler can find here, these stops will give you a perfect little taste of Deutschland.
CRUISE ON THE RHINE
I started my journey by taking a boat cruise on the Rhine River. I knew it would be beautiful scenery, but I was absolutely blown away by how stunning the castles and colorful homes were. The countryside looked like it was straight out of a storybook.
Next I spent a night in Heidelberg, which is a quaint town that was a breath of fresh air having just done several big European cities in the days prior. I got a traditional German dinner of cheese spaetzle, a pasta dish, and a glass of sparkling white wine flavored with elderflower syrup. The next morning I visited the Heidelberg Castle, the city’s main tourist attraction. It’s not only beautiful but also is so high above the city that the view is incredible. The castle is home to the largest wine barrel in the world, which is big enough to hold almost sixty thousand gallons of wine!
ROTHENBURG OB DER TAUBER
On the way to Munich, I stopped in the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber which is still surrounded by walls. Being in Rothenburg and walking down cobblestone streets felt like stepping into another time. I couldn’t resist trying the frosting covered “schneeballen” pastries that filled bakery windows around every corner-it’s the German word for snowball. The Birkenstock store selling really discounted shoes is also worth stopping in.
That evening I arrived in Munich, and the first stop for my friends and I was the Hofbrauhaus to get a drink. This famous beer hall, which was established in the 1500s is both a great place to enjoy German beer but also a landmark with a rich history, including being a meeting place during World War II. Since they serve beer by the liter here, I decided to just indulge in a radler, which is a mix of light beer and lemonade and is delicious and refreshing after a long travel day. Toast to your friends with the German word for cheers, “prost!”
The next day was when I visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. It’s not something I’d say you should do if you aren’t comfortable, but it’s a moving experience and although it was extremely difficult I still would recommend visiting. The site is tastefully preserved in a way that is respectful and reflective.
After such a somber morning I decided to just walk around Munich and do some shopping with my friend. We trekked for several miles to find smoothies and a healthy lunch after many carb-filled days and just enjoyed a sunny afternoon of shopping. At five in the evening the Rathaus-Glockenspiel goes off, so I hurried over to the Marienplatz square to see the famous clock tower show. It involves statues dancing, music, and lasts for several minutes. It’s not as impressive in our high-tech age as it was when they built it, but it’s a cute and quirky part of Munich’s history and it’s cool to see crowds of people stop their day to all watch this daily occurrence.
My friends and I spent our last night in Munich with another traditional German meal and exploring the great nightlife scene. While I didn’t have much time in Germany, I definitely tried to make the most of it! Each place I explored was so different from the last that I wouldn’t be able to pick just one to recommend, the beauty of Germany is discovering how special and different each new city and town is.
Have you been to Germany? Please share your experience in the comments below! Read Next > Driving Through Deutschland: A Road Trip Through Germany