Whether you’re traveling with family or drinking just isn’t for you, there is still plenty to see and do in Germany. We filled our time exploring historic castles, enjoying excellent food, and driving through the beautiful countryside. Here are 15 reasons to visit Germany that don’t include beer.
1. The Black Forest
The Black Forest region, on the border between Germany and France, is a place of enchantment. It’s easy to see why this magical landscape served as the inspiration for many of the Brothers Grimm stories. The fusion of natural beauty and folklore makes the Black Forest a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Germany.
2. Berlin Film Festival
Though you probably won’t be able to watch all 400+ films shown here every year, you will get to see a lot of new and innovative cinematography. It is held in February of each year and makes for the perfect time to visit Berlin.
3. Christmas Markets
Did you know that Germany is actually well-known for its Christmas markets? There are multiple held throughout the country that are decorated with sparkling lights and home to many Christmas finds.
4. WWII History
If you are a history buff, then there is plenty to learn from visiting Germany. With over 42 UNESCO World Heritage sites, they take their history of WWII very seriously. Tours will guide you past important sites like the fallen Berlin Wall.
5. The Rhine River
The Rhine River in eastern Germany offers diverse experiences. You can dine at open-air restaurants along its banks, or enjoy the scenery on a leisurely cruise, making it a great way to explore the region.
6. German Food
They might be known for their beer festival, but it isn’t the only foodie thing you can do in Germany. Try their wurst sausages with homemade sauerkraut that rivals anything you can buy at a supermarket.
7. Reeperbahn Festival
Hamburg, Germany is home to another major festival, the Reeperbahn. Music lovers will enjoy this one as they have hundreds of concerts here and host a wide range of musical genres.
8. Frankfurt Book Fair
Loud music isn’t for everyone, so here is another festival of sorts to check out. This is the largest book fair in the world. People come from all over to purchase new stories or find someone to publish their own.
9. Bastei Bridge
Sitting nearly 650 feet above the Elbe River, this bridge is a must for any hiker looking for a unique picture. It was also featured in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
10. Festival Medieval
As I mentioned earlier, history is a favorite of Germans. This festival goes back even further into their past and involves re-enactments from a typical medieval day. There are also tournaments, dungeons, and historical artifacts to witness.
11. The Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is almost like the face of Berlin. We can see the history of this country through pictures taken here over time. Speaking of pictures, it’s the perfect spot to update your Instagram on where you are.
There are too many to list here (25,000 is a pretty good estimate), but castles make up such a huge reason to visit Germany. Tours will take you through the stone walls and tell you great stories. Neuschwanstein Castle, built by King Ludwig II, was one of my favorites and is the most popular castle in Germany (maybe even the world?) If it looks familiar, it was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleep Beauty Castle.
13. Miniatur Wunderland
Sometimes, you just need to step back and take everything in. The easiest place to do that is at Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg. This miniature town features the world’s largest model railway along with a tiny airport and model trains.
14. Cologne Cathedral
If stunning architecture is your thing, then Germany is definitely the place to go. Cologne Cathedral is the tallest twin-spiraled church in the world. You can visit the top and take in Germany from above or go below to see the ancient dungeons. It’s one of the most famous cathedrals in the world.
This one might seem a little simple for many, but Germany puts some serious thought into their parks. They strive to include natural elements and settle them among beautiful nature trails, making a visit to the park a real experience for everyone.
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Note: Before you visit any of these places, make sure you look into what the entry requirements are. For example, you may need an enhanced ID or proof of certain vaccinations.
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Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.