Germany travel guide: Everything you need to know before you go

Germany is now more than just bratwurst and lederhosen. Half-timbered medieval towns and cosmopolitan cities, world-class museums and traditional folk festivals, craft beer and Michelin-starred restaurants-Germany is as diverse as when the country was patchy of independent state. Explore its hip capital Berlin, listen to the classical music where it is composed, try the top regional wines and go on scenic trips through green meadows, dense forests and picturesque villages until you reach the reach view.

Current travel restrictions and admission requirements

From June 2022, all restrictions associated with Covid-19 for entry into Germany have been removed so you can travel there for all purposes, including tourism and visits, regardless of vaccination status and no need to test.

The 16 federal states may enforce different local rules on Covid, so check before you travel. At the national level, masks are mandatory in nursing care facilities, hospitals and other health institutions, as well as in public transport. It is also necessary to wear a mask in long -distance passenger vehicles and on airplanes.

Best time to go

The best time to go is between April and October, where June to August is the peak season for visitors. In February, Cologne celebrates the carnival with street parties and parades. Late April or early May may attract fewer people but you will see the trees blooming, the beer gardens open and the locals rejoicing with the arrival of spring. Summer is usually hot, but not too strong. September marked the start of Oktoberfest, the largest beer festival in the world. There tends to be snow from late November but that may be just the icing on the cake for travelers visiting in December for the glamorous Christmas markets.

Top regions and cities

Bavaria

Bavaria amazes guests with its perfectly beautiful scenery. The area is known for its pristine countryside, cultural richness and many traditions. The medieval castles, beautiful palaces, Baroque churches, and urban hubs of Bavaria provide the backdrop for traditional events and opera festivals. Regensburg, the world heritage city on the Danube with its famous bridge and patrician tower, is a gem, in addition to the Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany. The architecture of Bavarian king Ludwig II is to be admired in the Allgäu region, where the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein is located. The best way to explore the diversity of the countryside is on many popular tourist routes, such as Romantic Road, Castle Road and German Alpine Road.

Berlin

Since German reunification, no other city in Europe has seen more changes than Berlin which has become a hub for architecture, culture, entertainment, nightlife and shopping. Walk the magnificent boulevards once created by the order of the Prussian kings. Admire treasures from ancient Egypt such as the bust of Nefertiti to the Greek Pergamon Altar and sculptures by Donatello on Museum Island where the buildings themselves are museum objects. Experience the city’s Cold War heritage, above all, in the ruins of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and the iconic TV Tower. Then explore the districts, the center of a new vibrant scene – including Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg und Kreuzberg home to cinemas and flea markets, hip cafés and modern fusion restaurants inspired by flavors from around the world. .

The Black Forest

With its thatched houses, the famous cake named after it, cuckoo clocks and red pom-pom bollenhut hats, Germany’s largest forest is known beyond its borders. The name comes from the dark, dense fir trees on the upper slopes. The wild beauty of watery cliffs, deep valleys and fun mountain views is unparalleled. The region is home to more than 30 spas and health resorts, inviting you to relax and unwind. Don’t miss the spa town of Baden-Baden with Germany’s oldest casino and the view from the magnificent Freiburg cathedral. For food lovers, there are exceptional culinary offerings from Black Forest Ham to Alpirsbach Brewery, smoked trout, kirsch and Sekt (sparkling wine) known in the Kaiserstuhl region.

Rhineland-Palatinate

Vineyards, castles, legends, and boat trips: In the heart of Germany there is a destination full of history. Roman monuments built in 16 BC can admire the romantic Trier. Germany’s oldest city was once an imperial residence and is now a World Heritage Site thanks to its many well -preserved buildings from different eras. Fans of nature and culture are attracted to the city of Worms, located between the Rhine, Moselle and vineyards. Liebfraumilch’s quintessential table white wine otherwise known as ‘Blue Nun’ came from here, as did Nibelungenlyed about dragon slayer Siegfried. Take a boat trip on the Neckar River to Heidelberg and its famous castle ruins or cycle along the German Wine Route in the largest Riesling growing region.

Best under-the-radar destinations

Baltic Sea

Beach resorts, stunning fishing villages, forests and red brick architecture: the Baltic Sea has yet to be discovered by international visitors. Cyclists will find a paradise of paths on the flat ground, where there is a tailwind, many bathing opportunities and almost no traffic. Hikers can rely on the remote Baltic Sea Hiking Trail, which leads to the coastal landscape – chalk cliffs, dunes, nature reserves, fields, meadows and forests. The Hanseatic city of Wismar shines with its red brick medieval town houses, the city walls and the last Gothic princely court.

North Sea

Due to its unique coastal landscape and the Wadden Sea protected by Unesco, the North Sea coastal region is ideal for beach and nature lovers. The sea recedes in tandem with the rising tide to reveal large areas of mud flats, the Watt, with its own sensitive ecosystem including seals and abundant birdlife. While major North Sea islands such as Sylt and Föhr were developed from tourism, you can still find traditional villages with fishermen and farmers living off the land in East Frisia. Here, life is very slow, and most of the islands have no vehicles.

Saxony

Saxony can look back on a thousand years of cultural history, be it the treasures of majestic Dresden such as the Green Vault, Europe’s oldest porcelain workshop in Meissen, or the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. The state is also home to Saxony Switzerland, a rocky national park with about 1,000 climbing peaks, and the most northeastern wine-growing region in Germany. If you love Christmas, head to the Ore Mountains, famous around the world for its beautiful wooden nutcrackers, incense burners in the shape of smoking men, Christmas pyramids and candle arches.

Best things to do

Try the white asparagus

Nothing reflects the arrival of spring on a German like the white stalks of Spargel. Lovingly called “vegetable of kings”, “edible ivory” or simply “white gold”, it makes the whole country mad with asparagus from mid -April to June 24. Try it with melted butter, boiled potatoes and some slices of smoked or cured ham, or accompany schnitzel in Frankfurt.

Visit a beer garden

Indoor brewery pubs and outdoor beer gardens are a major part of German life. There’s no better way to connect with locals than by sitting together on shared benches and joking over cold beer. This tradition over the centuries has reached its peak annually during the Oktoberfest in Munich and in smaller versions in many towns and cities.

Drive on Romantic Road

It’s easy to fall in love with the country’s oldest and most popular tour route with its charming towns, Baroque palaces and medieval castles. Rent a car, preferably a luxurious “Made in Germany”, and drive 400km beyond the luxurious Würzburg Residence, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, one of Europe’s most preserved medieval towns, and the ornate Wieskirche, a Rococo church standing on its own alpine. parang.

Tour

Germany’s transport network is very good and extensive, so all areas of the country are easily accessible by road, train and air. Domestic flights connect all major cities in just one hour. Autobahns, the German motorway system, are a quick way to get around by car; however, the surrounding high speed trains are the most comfortable, and often the fastest, way to travel. Regional trains connect more rural areas. In recent years, long distance bus services like FlixBus have become a popular alternative to money -loving travelers.

How to get there

The cheapest way to travel in Germany is by flying using easyJet to Hamburg, Cologne, Berlin or Munich, along with Friedrichshafen seasonal airport (December to March). Ryanair offers additional destinations; however, while tickets can be cheap, some airports like Frankfurt/Hahn are in rural locations so it may take some extra time to reach your final destination. Ferries no longer run from the UK to Germany but you can travel through France, Belgium or Holland and drive across. It is possible to take the high speed train with Eurostar to Brussels, then by ICE train to Cologne or Frankfurt. You can also exchange in Paris for trains to various German destinations.

Savings tips

Traveling by train is very affordable if you plan ahead and/or travel in a group. For the cheapest fare, book online (bahn.com) more than three months in advance. An ICE train ticket between Hamburg and Munich can cost as little as £ 16. The Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket is valid on regional trains for 24 hours for up to five travelers and costs £ 36.

FAQs

How is the weather

Germany’s climate is temperate, not much different from Britain, but with clearer seasons. Winter is cold and cloudy, summer is hot. It rains fairly regularly throughout the year. The spring and fall shoulder seasons usually have the best weather.

What time zone is this?

Germany was one hour earlier than the UK (GMT+1).

What money do I need?

Euros.

What language is spoken?

The national language is German but the younger generation and those living in big cities understand English. On the other hand, the older generation from the former GDR, where Russian was taught in school, and people in the countryside may not understand a word you say, so it is always good to know a few words in German and greet a friendly “Guten Tag”.