Travelbuddy in Germany

Asking yourself if you should travel to Germany right now? The answer is YES! With cities such as Berlin, Cologne, Munich, and Hamburg, Germany has a lot to offer! Discover unique nature, exciting cities, and crazy nightlife when traveling to Germany! Book your next trip to Germany with JoinMyTrip and find your next travel buddies to never travel alone again!

Plan your next trip to Germany!

With this guide to Germany, you will be prepared for an absolutely unique adventure. Nature, city trips, seaside adventures, and hiking in the alps - everything is possible when traveling to Germany! 

This guide was written by a German, so there are a couple of secret spots in here and we may have left out super touristy places that are on your list anyway!

Top 10 Things To Do in Germany

1. Berlin

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Berlin is the capital of Germany, here you can touch history when visiting the Berlin wall and all the different museums. Nightlife here is crazy as well and you will find some of the best and most innovative restaurants in all of Europe here. Top Places in Berlin:

  • Berlin Wall at East Side Gallery 
  • Museum Island 
  • Ritter Butzke Club 
  • Schnitzelei Restaurant

2. Go to the seaside

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Go visit the North Sea or the Baltic Sea up in the North. Rent a small house or flat close to the ocean and vacay like a true German!

3. See some old castles

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German history is long and there are some really nice (and old) castles. These 5 castles are a must-see

  • Sans Souci in Potsdam 
  • Burg Eltz in the Mosel Valley in Rhineland-Palatinate 
  • Schwerin Castle (Schloss Schwerin) 
  • Wartburg, where Martin Luther translated the Bible and shaped the German language 
  • Drachenburg in Königswinter close to Cologne

4. Go on an adventure to see different parts of the River Rhine

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Traveling up (or down) the River Rhine is always an adventure. There’s so much to see and do. Here are the highlights:

  • Visit some cities like Düsseldorf, Cologne, and Koblenz
  • Drink wine spritzer at the Rhine in Mainz 
  • Learn something about the Loreley 
  • Visit Bacharach to see some really old German houses 
  • Go hiking on the Rheinsteig

5. Drink beer in Cologne & Munich

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Try Kölsch in the city of Cologne and get a wheat beer in a beer garden in Munich. Not into beer? Try Radler!

6. Visit Museums

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  • Pergamommuseum Berlin 
  • Haus der Geschichte (House of History)  in Bonn 
  • Deutsches Museum (German Museum) in Munich
  • Museum Ludwig in Cologne

7. Visit the oldest city in Germany - Trier

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The Romans built Trier in 17 BC and there’s a lot of history and historic buildings left. Drink some wine in the main marketplace and chill down by the river Mosel in the evening!

8. Visit some amusement parks

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There are some really exciting and record-breaking amusement parks in Germany

  • Phantasialand close to Cologne 
  • Europapark Rust in Baden-Würtemberg 
  • Heidepark Soltau close to Hamburg

9. See a musical in Hamburg

Hamburg is Germany’s musical hotspot. Go catch a show here and maybe learn some German while seeing your favorite show!

10. Go hiking

Germans love hiking and there are plenty of opportunities to do so…

  • Hartz Mountains 
  • Alps 
  • Teutoburger Wald 
  • Saxony

The best Instagram Spots in Germany

Germans tend to ignore or forget about how beautiful their country is. There are a lot of Instagram-worthy spots in different parts of Germany. Don’t miss these…

Königssee, Bavaria 

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Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bavaria 

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Wernigerode, Central Germany 

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Bamberg, Bavaria 

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Drachenburg Castle, Northrhine Westfalia 

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Rakotzbrücke, Saxony

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Hidden Gems in Germany

Lots of the things mentioned are hidden Gems already, but these are also awesome and shouldn’t be missed

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  • Ladenburg, another one of the oldest cities in Germany with a lot of history and beautiful houses 
  • Freiburg im Breisgau, in the heart of the Black Forest with beautiful and historic architecture and loads of history  
  • Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland Nationalpark 
  • The Black Forest for nice pictures and picturesque hiking

Best Itinerary for Germany - A 10-Day City-Hopping Tour

Day 1-3: Berlin 

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Start your adventure in Germany’s capital! There’s so much to do here so you can tailor the program to whatever fits you. 

For Foodies:
Eat your way through the city! You’ll find amazing street food and restaurants almost everywhere. Definitely check out Markthalle 9 for some twists on local food, amazing pastries, and street food variations from all over the world. For exploring you should head to Kreuzberg and eat somewhere at Paul Linke Ufer or just check google for the best restaurants around you (like any foodie does). 

For history nerds: 

Berlin is the perfect place if you want to learn more about German and European history. There are many museums and walking tours that portray the story of Berlin. Don’t miss out on these: 

  • Topography of Terror, which documents the crimes of Nazi Germany
  • Neues Museum has a big collection of archaeological finds and an Egyptian Museum
  • Deutsches Historisches Museum is amazing to deep dive into German history and get a deeper understanding of the culture 

For the typical tourist: 

Of course, you get to be a real tourist as well in Berlin. Some of the most famous landmarks include: 

  • The Brandenburg Gate & Unter den Linden - one of the most famous places in Berlin. It’s where Germany was divided into East and West and where Kennedy held his world-famous speech: Ich bin ein Berliner. You can feel the history when you’re here. 
  • Reichstag - the building where the German parliament resides. You can visit the dome on top and watch parliament work from up there. A cool experience.  
  • Holocaust Memorial - an architectural landmark in the middle of the city to remind everyone of the horrors of the Holocaust so it will never happen again
  • Potsdamer Platz - there’s a mall there and pieces of the Berlin Wall, also visit the SONY Center and the film museum when you’re here
  • Alexander Platz - this spot is famous for the Broadcasting tower which you can see from anywhere in Berlin and a huge World Clock on the main space. 
  • Go shopping in one of the many malls in the city and check out KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) where you buy luxury brands and try extravagant food. 

Day 4 & 5 - Discover Hamburg 

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From Berlin, you can take a 2-hour train to Hamburg main station. Discover this northern town (which also has fantastic food)! 

What to do & see in Hamburg: 

  • Go on a harbor tour and see big container and cruise ships up close.
    Secret Tip: there are ferries that you can use with a public transport ticket. You save money & still see everything1 
  • Discover Hamburg from the water. You can rent Stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes everywhere close to the water and discover Hamburg from a unique point of view. 
  • Eat fish sandwiches (Fischbrötchen) at Landungsbrücken 
  • Party in St. Pauli
    Head to Reeperbahn and party with crazy Germans in Clubs, Strip Clubs, and small historic bars.
    St. Pauli also has really good food and you can find vegan choices almost everywhere. 

Day 6 & 7 - Off to Köln (Cologne) 

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Cologne is one of my favorite places in Germany. There’s amazing nightlife, restaurants and the people are always friendly. 

What to do & see in Köln 

  • Visit the Cathedral - it’s close (right next) to the main station and is one of the largest cathedrals in Germany. 
  • Have some Kölsch at a Brauhaus and order some traditional German or "rhinelandic" food. Himmel un Ääd is especially good ;) 
  • If you feel like you need a relaxing day head to Clausius Therme for some relaxing swims, sauna, and massages. 
  • Wander around the city and look at incredible architecture from the middle ages, you can go shopping, have some beer and just discover 
  • Best Museums in Cologne: 
    Museum König 
    Römisch - Germanisches Museum 
    Chocolate Museum (personal favorite because you get to try chocolate and there’s a little gift shop with unusual presents)

Day 8-10: Munich 

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Going to Munich from Cologne takes around 8 hours by train (ICE), so plan for a full day of traveling before hitting one of Munich’s famous beer gardens. 

What to see & do in Munich: 

  • Join a walking tour and discover all the unique places in the city 
  • Have a beer in one of the many beer gardens (try to avoid Hofbräuhaus, it’s expensive, and only American and Asian tourists come here) 
  • Chill in the English Garden, the most famous park in Munich. 
  • Visit Nymphenburg Palace and learn more about the history of Munich and Germany 
  • If you’re into cars: visit the BMW museum and learn more about the German car industry 
  • Visit the zoo in Munich - Hellabrunn. It’s one of the biggest and most beautiful zoos in Germany. 
  • Just take a stroll through the city and discover its beauty by yourself. Munich is much more colorful and exciting than you might think! 

This was your 10 tour of German cities. Of course, there’s much more to see in Germany than just cities but to get a good overview the cities are perfect. From your last stop in Munich, you can perfectly explore the alps, head to Austria or Switzerland, or head home from the International Airport! Come back soon! 

Best Time to visit Germany

It’s always a good time to visit Germany! Honestly! There’s always something going on and there’s always something to discover.

Summer (Beginning of June until the End of August) 

All of Germany is out and about, world-famous festivals are going on and we like hanging out in restaurants and beer gardens. Life slows down a little and even a German will start to enjoy it. But beware, cities like Berlin and Cologne can get quite warm, so do go swimming in the lakes and rivers surrounding these cities. 

Fall/ Autumn (Beginning of September until the End of November)

The weather is getting colder and foggier. It’s a nice time to go hiking or just visit castles for those moody pictures. The 3rd of October is Germany’s Unity Day. It’s a good opportunity to learn more about German history and visit festivities in Berlin. 

Winter (Beginning of December until the End of February) 

Winter needs to be divided into two different periods - Christmas and ice-cold January and February!
At the beginning of December Christmas Markets will pop up in every town and they are well worth a visit! The best ones are Christkindelmarkt in Nuremberg, Strietzelmarkt in Dresden, Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market, and the one at Charlottenburg Castle in Berlin. 

Spring (Beginning of March until the end of May) 

It’s time to BBQ in Germany! Germans are finally crawling out of their winter hiatus and are starting to throw meat (and veggies) on the grill. The weather is getting better and there are more people outside. Again a good time to go hiking and just discover the countryside.

Getting around Germany

Travel to Germany 

By Air 

If you’re coming from outside Europe take a plane to either Frankfurt or Munich. Try to avoid Berlin Airport as it is one of the worst airports ever. 

By Train 

If you’re coming from Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, or Denmark trains are a good way to come to Germany. It’s a good way to see more of the country, but flying might be cheaper. 

Travel in Germany

By Car

Rental cars are available almost everywhere but should be booked in advance as they can get quite pricy last minute.
You should be a good driver to drive in Germany. And against popular belief, there are speed limits on the German Autobahn, but Germans tend to drive faster on the Autobahn. Try to avoid the left lane unless you’re overtaking. If you think you’re going fast, there’s always someone going faster. 

By Train

Germans are always on time, but our trains just aren’t. If you want to discover Germany by train or go from city to city book your ticket in advance (at least 2 weeks) prices can get expensive shortly before your ride. If you can, choose an ICE (Intercity-Express), they will get you from city to city fast and usually have working WiFi as well. They’re usually a little pricier. 

By Bus 

In the last 10 years, the company FlixBus has built an empire in Europe and especially in Germany. It’s a cheap way to travel but will take you longer than a train. You’ll get to enjoy the Autobahn without having to drive yourself and you’ll see a lot of landscape. 

Public Transport 

Big cities like Berlin, Cologne, Munich, and Hamburg have a very good public transport system. Make use of them, because they’ll get you to places within the city way faster. I wouldn’t recommend walking everywhere in Berlin for example. Get a day ticket and jump on a train, the subway, or the bus. It will be faster, more comfortable, and more efficient (the German way). 

Taxis 

Taxi is a good choice if you’re out late in smaller cities, as public transport might not run at the night. Taxis can be super expensive depending on the city and Uber is not available in most cities. In Hamburg and Hanover, you can make use of Moia (a ride share) which will get you home safe and for a good price.  If you can - use public transport!

What does it cost to travel to Germany?

First things first, Germany is not a cheap place! It’s the heart of Western Europe and is one of the richest countries in Europe. 

Things that are cheap in Germany: 

  • Beer 
  • Bread 
  • Döner
  • Cosmetics 

Things that are expensive in Germany: 

  • Gas 
  • Electricity 
  • Cigarettes 
  • Public Transport in cities like Munich and Cologne 
  • Last-minute Train Tickets

What Budget should you plan for: 

Budget Trip: $60-80 per person, per day 

Average Spending: $110-180 per person, per day 

Luxury Trip: $300 and above per person, per day 

Accommodation: 

Budget Trip: $40-70 depending on location and accommodation type. In bigger cities, you will find hostels or affordable hotels close to the airport or train station. Airbnbs can be quite expensive because owners have to pay high taxes on city vacation rental properties. 

Average Spending: $70-100 again depending on where you want to stay. For $100 you’ll find a 2-3 Star Hotel in Berlin close to the main attractions. 

Luxury Budget: Everything with more than 3 stars will set you back around $150 - 200 for a standard bedroom. The sky’s the limit here for prices. In Munich, you can spend $2000 a night if you feel like it. 

Daily Expenses (Food, Transportation, Sightseeing): 

Budget Trip: $20-40 per person/per day depending on the city and what you are planning to do. Buying food in a supermarket is cheaper than eating out. Saving tip: Take a reusable water bottle. You can drink tap water everywhere in Germany. There’s no need to spend more money on plastic bottles. 

Average Spending: $40-80 per day/person if you want to spend it on eating out for every meal. Pro Tip: Fast Food is taxed pretty high in Germany, so it will be cheaper to grab dinner from a local restaurant than from chain burger joints. 

Luxury Budget: $100 and above. There’s no limit to what you can do with a high budget. Eat out at nice restaurants, shop at the expensive shops - spend that money people! 

Must-Try Food in Germany

You might think that German food is only meat, sausages, and Sauerkraut, but there’s so much more to it! 

  • Frankfurter Grüne Soße
    This is a very regional dish from the region around Frankfurt. It's a green herb sauce served with boiled eggs and/or potatoes.
  • Potato Salad
    My favorite version of this is without mayo, but many restaurants will serve it with mayo. If you can try a vinegar, bacon, and cucumber one. Those are the best.

  • Pretzels 
    In German: Brezeln, are eaten with butter or Obatzda (a German cheese dip)! You will stop eating mustard with pretzels after this. Butter is definitely superior.
  • Käsespätzle
    Egg noodles with a lot of cheese, onion, and cream - topped with fried onions. The best version of Mac & Cheese you'll ever have!

  • Döner! 
    Bread, Meat, Salad, Coleslaw with vinegar, red cabbage, and a lot of sauce. Every city has a unique turn on this. The best ones are in Berlin.
  • Zwiebelkuchen & Federweißer
    Literally, onion pie served with a young white wine. You'll get the best one in the Mosel Region from wineries.
  • Apfelstrudel 
    This German Apple pie is made from puff pastry and an apple filling. Usually, it's served with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream
  • Himmel un Ääd
    A very regional dish that you will most likely come across in the Western parts of Germany. It's potatoes, apple or apple sauce, and local blood sausage. Goes together like nothing else. You need to try it.
  • Apfelschorle
    Apple juice + sparkling water = best soda ever, try it on a hot summer day and you will thank me for the rest of your life!
  • Spezi
    This is especially famous in Bavaria, but you'll get it everywhere in Germany. It's a mixed drink made from Coke and Orange Soda or no pulp orange juice. So refreshing.
  • Glühwein 
    Mulled Wine with spices and juice. You will get this everywhere during Christmas time.
  • Radler
    A mix drink from beer and sprite, sometimes also referred to as Alster depending on the region where you order it.

Restaurants you should try (personally tried by the author)

  • Bei Oma Kleinmann in Cologne 
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  • Schnitzelei in Berlin 
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  • Seven Sundays in Hanover 
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  • Get a “Fischbrötchen” at Hamburger Hafen 
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  • Markthalle 9 in Berlin 
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  • Christi’s Eiscafé in Trier 
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Travel Tips for Germany

  • Tipping
    You might read that tipping isn’t customary. As a former waitress let me tell you: TIP YOUR WAITER if you’re content with their service. 
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    Also, tip cab drivers if you’re happy with your journey and tip delivery guys if delivery was speedy 
  • Eat where the locals eat and avoid touristy places, especially in Berlin & Munich 
  • Learn a little German
  • Be mindful of German history: Nazi salutes, swastikas, and denying the holocaust will result in jail time and/or fines. 
  • Be on time when meeting Germans, Germans love being on time. 
  • Public toilets will cost you a little money, mostly 50ct-1€ 
  • Everything is closed on Sundays, check before you go anywhere. Restaurants will probably be open, supermarkets will be closed, and some attractions might as well. 
  • Make use of public transport in cities 
  • Eastern Germany is beautiful, don’t skip it!

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