Germany overview

Germany’s Bavarian castles and appealing towns on the Rhine River have made it a well-liked tourist destination. The modern attractions of cities like Frankfurt and Berlin, beer festivals like Oktoberfest in Munich and the glorious Black Forest help to maintain the allure of the country.

The cities of Germany attract a great many visitors. In Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate, symbol of the wall that once divided the city, is a popular place to see and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum is worth a visit. Visitors to Frankfurt should consider taking a look at the Museum of Modern Art and the Städel Museum. If you are in Munich you will want to see the neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus, the Altes Rathaus and the Deutsches Museum. Naturists will want to head for the English Garden, known for its public nude sunbathing.

Leaving the city behind, make your way through the stunningly scenic region of Bavaria that lies at the foot of the Alps. Here, near Füssen, you can visit a selection of castles including Neuschwanstein and Linderhof. The Black Forest and Lake Constance are big draws for those who enjoy the countryside. UNESCO World Heritage site Lübeck is a medieval town worth visiting.

The choice of hotels and guest houses in Germany is as good as any major European destination and prices are comparable. The larger cities of Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt are home to some first-rate accommodation and world-class dining options. All of the popular destinations offer rooms to cater for all budgets and it is worth checking prices and availability before you arrive.

Berlin is home to three airports: Schonefeld, Tegel and Templehof. International flights also land at Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart but the most frequently used airport is in Frankfurt. Sharing land borders with nine countries makes access by road easy from all directions. Train links with the rest of Europe are excellent.

Germany’s Foods

Though Germany is known for its Bratwurst and other meat dishes, its typical menu is no more meat-filled than American food options, and vegetarians and even vegans will have no trouble finding food in Germany.

Most restaurants will have English-translated menus, but some will not. So any non-German-speaking travelers should bring along a dictionary or something with which to translate a menu just in case the restaurant’s staff does not speak English.

A grocery store can also be a good (and more affordable) source of food. But be aware that the checkout lines can be long at any time of the day. If the part of Germany is within a Catholic region, such as Baden-Württemberg or Bavaria, stores may be closed on a variety of obscure Catholic holidays.

And because stores and restaurants do not typically take credit cards, one should have cash on hand.