Germany is a beautiful country filled with vast green fields, old historic castles, and exciting old towns. There is a lot of history to explore, delicious food to eat, and a variety of wines and beers to drink. My travels to this country have taken me to some of the major cities, but as well as some smaller towns. There is something for everyone to do here. My most recent visits to Germany have been to the southern portion of the country to Munich, Nuremberg, Heidelberg, and Frankfurt, as well as some of the smaller towns close to those cities. So, most of the information provided here is about the southern regions of Germany.  Here are 7 things to do in Germany. 

 

Things to do in Germany, see castles!

There are many beautiful castles to visit in Germany. One of the most popular ones to visit is Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. It was built for King Ludwig II and started construction in 1869. It is known as the Disney Castle because Walt Disney used it to model the castle in Sleeping Beauty.

Because it is such a busy tourist destination, I would recommend buying a tour in advance. Otherwise, the lines to get in are very long. I did a tour through Grayline tours from Munich. This tour included the transportation to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich, as well the guided tour, a tour of another King Ludwig II castle, Linderhof, and a side trip to a quaint town, Oberammergau. Oberammergau is known for its Passion Play Theater, which occurs every 10 years. 

7 things to do in Germany include beautiful castles to tour

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, built by King Ludwig II, Image by Adam Derewecki from Pixabay

While traveling around southern Germany, you will come across many castles. Many of them sit atop a hill above the town and are a great place to take pictures of the views. Some other castles with beautiful views are in Nuremberg and Heidelberg. Nuremberg is a beautiful town known for its Christkindlmarkt at Christmas time.

When I was traveling with my mom, we had been traveling in Germany for about a week. So, we were due to find a laundromat. After finishing our laundry, on the way back to our hotel, we happened to walk through the castle grounds. That’s what I love about Germany. You are walking around and just stumble into a beautiful castle. Amazing!

Salzburg, Austria has a beautiful castle at the top of a hill as well!  Check it out in 5 Things to Do in Salzburg Austria!

7 things to do in Germany, visit the Nuremburg Castle

Walking through Nuremberg Castle


Another thing to do in Germany, take a stroll through historic old towns

Landmark building of Bamberg, Germany

Bamberg Town Hall

In addition to seeing castles, I recommend walking through the old towns.  Probably my most favorite thing to do when I am traveling is to walk around the towns and cities I visit. I love taking in the sights, sounds, and smells. You can see so much this way.

Germany has beautiful old towns or “Altstadt” in German. Many old towns in Germany were rebuilt after World War II to look just as they did before the war. The Altstadt in Heidelberg has a long main street with tons of shops and restaurants. Bamberg has beautiful buildings, great for taking pictures.  And Nuremberg has a beautiful street called Weissgerbergasse, with buildings that were not destroyed during the war. 

7 things to do in Germany, take in the views of Heidelburg from the castle

View of Heidelberg Alstadt from the castle

7 things to do in Germany, see the beautiful street, Weissgerbergasse

Beautiful street, Weissgerbergasse, in Nuremberg


Go to Oktoberfest!

What to say about Oktoberfest!? It is loads of fun! Oktoberfest was on my bucket list. It is a great time to get dressed up in traditional German clothing, Lederhosen for men, and dirndls for women. You will see many people wearing traditional clothing, so I recommend purchasing or renting it in advance.  It is held every year in Munich from mid-September to early October. People come from all over the world to drink German beer at this festival. It is important to reserve a table in advance in one of the tents. Check out the official Oktoberfest website for up to date information.

Paulaner tent at Oktoberfest

One of the Paulaner beer tents at Oktoberfest 2019

7 things to do in Germany, drink Paulaner beer at Oktoberfest

Inside Paulaner beer tent at Oktoberfest

Food at Oktoberfest

Sausage platter and pretzels at Oktoberfest


An important thing to do in Germany is to see historic sites

While visiting a new place, it is important to learn about its history.  Germany is full of history, some of it dark. However, the German philosophy is not to forget the past in hopes to never repeat it. While visiting Germany, learn about their history. Some important places to see include the Dachau concentration camp. Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp, started in 1933. While it is a somber visit, it is an important place to visit and learn about. If staying in Munich, it can be a day trip by car or public transportation. 

 

Another historical site is the Nazi Documentation Center and Rally Grounds in Nuremberg. This is a museum that follows the evolution of the National Socialist movement. It analyzes how the Nazi phenomenon occurred and how to prevent it from re-occurring.


Travel the Romantic Road

While visiting Germany, it is so amazing to see some of the scenic countryside and small towns.  The Romantic Road is a great way to visit some smaller towns in Germany and see some scenic views. It was created in the 1950s for tourists to enjoy a scenic driving route and is the oldest of Germany’s two dozen scenic, signposted routes.

The road travels between Frankfurt to Füssen. If you want to visit only a few of the towns along the way, you can take the autobahn (A-7) which runs parallel to the Romantic Road. We stopped in Würzburg and Rothenburg ob de Tauber. If you don’t have a car, there is a Romantic Road bus from mid-April to mid-October. 

An example of the buildings in Rothenburg

The beautiful town of Rothenburg ob de Tauber


One of my favorite things to do is to try the cuisine

In addition to seeing the sights, I love trying the food where I travel. Germany is probably most known for sausage and sauerkraut. Or at least, that is what I think of when it comes to German cuisine. And yes, there is a lot of sausages here, each region of Germany has its specialties. In Nuremberg, they are known for their Nürnberger, short and spicy grilled pork sausages, eaten 3 or 6 at a time, sometimes lined up in a bun, or eaten with potato salad.

The locally eaten sausages in Nuremberg

Nurnberger sausages in Nuremberg, Germany

Also, while visiting in May, white asparagus is in season and you will see it on all the menus and in the markets around Germany. There is also spätzle, little noodles served with melted cheese and fried onions, almost like macaroni and cheese. And while walking around towns, you will see some amazing bakeries. A variety of beautiful pastries fill the cases.  Share some with your travel partner, you won’t be disappointed.   Check out my blog about things to eat in Switzerland if you want to read more about food in this part of Europe!

White asparagus in Germany

German pastries

Delicious German pastries


And last but not least, tour beautiful churches

Europe, in general, is home to some amazing, beautiful churches. Even if you are not religious, churches and cathedrals can still be a great place to see some stunning architecture. While in Munich, my mom and I toured some breathtaking churches. St. Peter’s Church is in the Altstadt, just off of the main square. It is the oldest church in Munich. Today’s St. Peter’s was built in 1368, which replaced the original monastery church. In addition to St. Peter’s, we visited the Asam Church. This tiny church was built in 1740 by the Asam brothers and is in Baroque style architecture.  There is also the Frauenkirche, Cathedral of Our Lady, a gothic style cathedral which is known for its 2 towers. 

Inside St. Peters

Inside St. Peter’s Church in Munich

stunning view of Frauenkirche in Munich

Frauenkirche, gothic cathedral in Munich,
Image by Michael Siebert from Pixabay

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Dietitian, food lover, and world traveler! Veronica has been a registered dietitian for over 18 years, specializing in clinical and community nutrition. She enjoys wellness, trying new foods, and exploring the globe to learn about different cultures.