Germany is a European destination that seems to have it all—vibrant cities, a fascinating history, and a storybook-worthy natural landscape.
Unsurprisingly, most travelers head straight to Berlin, which is quickly becoming one of the most popular city breaks in Europe. Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunited capital city buzzes with life.
The capital is not the only place worth visiting, though, with Munich a strong rival as a favorite German destination. The Bavarian capital boasts some incredible cultural sights, from the atmospheric Königsplatz to the Alte Pinakothek, a gallery whose collection of European art dates back to the Middle Ages.
And that’s without mentioning the famous Oktoberfest, a celebration of Bavarian food and cheer that draws millions of visitors each year. There’s an old German expression that says, "Stadtluft macht frei"—"urban air makes you free"—and indeed, the sense of liberty and liveliness in Munich is palpable.
Hamburg, on the other hand, is a city known for its laid-back and liberal attitude. The lively neighborhood of Reeperbahn was the early stomping ground of the Beatles when they first started performing, a claim to fame that the city’s residents are rightly proud of.
But as much as you may enjoy the Stadtluft, the reward for heading out of the cities is Germany’s incredible natural beauty and rugged landscape. With its snow-capped mountains to the south, dark emerald forests, and imposing castles and churches, the land would not look out of place in a fairy tale. (So it’s perhaps little wonder that Germany was the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm.)