Germany travel guide, including map of Germany, top Germany travel experiences, and tips for travel in Germany
Aside from beer, lederhosen and other stereotypical images associated with Germany, Bavaria offers a wealth of beautiful scenery from crystal-clear lakes to dramatic Alpine peaks – get an eyeful of the Zugspitze, at 2,962m Germany’s tallest peak. Here, hikers, canoeists, paragliders and other adventurers are well-catered for.
And after a busy day they can relax in one of the region’s many spas. For a gentler pace, head to the Black Forest for leisurely cycles and strolls or take a cruise down the Rhine past postcard-pretty towns and vineyard-covered hills.
Then there are the cities – Berlin stands out, with its mix of grand culture and gritty recent history, plus buzzing nightlight life.
German punctuality is not a myth. Take care to arrive on time at restaurants and well in advance at bus stops. Since most Germans arrive at least 5-10 minutes early, buses in Germany are allowed to run ahead of schedule and often do if they have few passengers to pick up.
Climate and crowds in Germany: German weather is at its best in summer, when it’s hot but not uncomfortably so. But this is also the time when major attractions are at their busiest, roads get clogged-up and accommodation prices are high. At least in scenic areas such as the Black Forest, there is enough space to stop you feeling too claustrophobic.
Winter can get bitingly cold but if you wrap up warm and don’t mind few hours of daylight, there are fewer crowds. Germany is renowned for its Christmas markets and is pretty much guaranteed snow every winter.
Spring and autumn are ideal times to visit – the weather is mild, if sometimes unpredictable, and prices lower than in peak season.
Festivals in Germany: Most of Germany’s classical music festivals are held in June. Paradoxically, Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest actually starts in mid-September. Germany’s renowned Christmas markets are held from mid-November until early January. Check your destination's tourist board website for specific dates.
Berlin-Tegel (TXL), 8km from the city; Berlin-Schönefeld (SXF), 20km; Frankfurt (FRA), 12km; Cologne (CGN), 14km; Düsseldorf (DUS), 8km; Hamburg (HAM), 9km; Munich (MUC), 28.5km; Stuttgart (STR) 14km.
By air: The national airline Lufthansa and the budget airline Germanwings operate numerous domestic flights between Germany’s major cities. These tend to be an expensive option in comparison with the trains.
By train: Germany has one of the most efficient and extensive railway networks in the world. The most popular intercity routes are served by the 330km-per-hour InterCityExpress (ICE) trains.
Most major cities have underground U-Bahn system or trams in the centre and a S-Bahn network going out into the suburbs. For timetables and fares see Deutsche Bahn’s website (www.bahn.de).
By road: In the few rural areas not served by trains, buses efficiently fill the gap. It’s well worth buying travelcards for these. Germany’s roads are well-maintained. Fly-drive deals often work out cheaper than hiring cars through local agents.
Cyclists are well-catered for: there are bike lanes throughout Germany and you can hire bikes from most of the main train stations and drop them off at any other participating station.
From five-star luxury to simple rooms in wooden chalets, Germany has accommodation to suit every budget.
Holiday homes, rented by the week, are an economical option if you’re planning on staying put in one spot and holidaying as a family or in large group.
Farmstays are becoming increasingly popular and full lists of these are usually available from local tourist offices.
There are over 2,500 campsites dotted all over Germany’s scenic spots. To search for one in the area you’re staying in, go to the German Tourist Board’s website.
Typical German cuisine is a hearty affair – meat-heavy main courses are often served with dumplings. Schnitzel is a popular, lighter favourite, while maultaschen and spätzle are state specialities in Baden-Württemberg.
Nowhere in the world has more varieties of sausage than Germany and there are many types which you won’t find anywhere else, such as Bavarian boiled weißwurst and the unique currywurst. For the best wurst, head straight to the local butcher’s, where you can buy hot sausage or roast-meat sandwiches to take away.In large cities you’ll find a good variety of ethnic restaurants, especially Italian and Turkish. Vegetarians should head to the burgeoning number of organic restaurants for the widest choice of veggie dishes.
There are over 1200 breweries in Germany, and many restaurants have their own micro-breweries, so wherever you are there’s always a selection of local beers to sample; try Alt in Düsseldorf and Kölsch in Cologne.
Frankfurt is Germany’s cider capital and if you’re in Baden don’t leave without trying the Kirschwasser – a cherry-based spirit.
From tracking chimps in Rwanda to celebrating Havana's 500th birthday, 2019 has no shortage of once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Which one will you choose? More
Venezuelans skate to church, Norwegians hide their brooms, and Catalans are obsessed with festive pooping. We reveal the weird and wonderful festive traditions around the world... More
Heavily influenced by France, Michelin star-studded Baden-Württemberg is considered as having the best cuisine in Germany. Throw a Baden-inspired German feast using Alfons Schuhbeck’s recipes... More
Germany is bursting at the seams with Christmas markets. Whether you fancy a medieval meander in Guteneck or a taste of tradition in Munich, our guide will help you choose the best market for you... More
Shrug off the blues and party at these lively and colourful festivals this northern winter. From carnivals and fire festivals to quirky parades, you’re bound to find something to warm your soul More
With Citroen’s beloved 2CV enjoying its 70th birthday, we look at the quirky, romantic and downright fun tours you can do around the world in equally famous vintage vehicles More
North Rhine-Westphalia, located in the west of Germany, is a region of exciting contrasts. From UNESCO-sites to woodland hikes, this region has something for everyone... More
Admire Canada's serene lakes from on board the classic Rocky Mountaineer, or spot wildlife along Zimbabwe's alternative safari tracks – take your pick from these wild and wonderful train experiences... More
From beaches in the Isle of Skye to museums in Bolivia, dinosaurs are easy to find – if you know where to look. Peter Moore tracks down dino footprints, fossils and theme parks around the world... More
From bear watching in Finland to kayaking between icebergs in Greenland, these extraordinary European adventures will make this a summer you’ll be talking about for years More
Ride through the Wild West, trace ancient trails in Japan, or snorkel with whale sharks in the Maldives – these off-beat adventures are perfect for solo travellers... More
Author Damien Rudd reveals the world’s most joyless place names, explains the stories behind them, and ponders whether Nothing in Arizona or Death in Finland should be on your next itinerary More
Whether you crave snow-dusted cathedrals and steaming roast chestnuts, or Christmas beach barbecues and steamy jazz festivals – head to these cities in November, December and January More
Beauty is everywhere, regardless of money, age, race or social status, says photographer Mihaela Noroc, with her incredible portraits of women from Iceland, North Korea, Ethiopia and beyond… More
If it’s winding roads and a riot of autumn colour you’re after, forget the crowded byways of New England and head to these road trip gems in Germany, Japan, Canada and beyond More
From smoked beer and Christmas markets to snow-coated medieval towns... Travel bloggers, including Wandering Earl and Travelling Calavera, select Europe’s best cities to visit in winter. More
These premier wine-producing regions offer extraordinary landscapes, intriguing history and the best wines in the world. What more could a wine-loving traveller ask for? More
Get up close to incredible animals and natural spectacles with these 12 shortlisted photos from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017, from seahorses to Arctic foxes More
From whale-watching in the oceans of Norway to exploring the ghost town of Chernobyl, there's no reason why a short break can't mean a big adventure. Take inspiration for your next trip... More
Wanderlust subscribers now receive a free £50 voucher valid on trips from a great selection of top tour operators
And the best bit is, this isn't a one-off offer, you get one every time you renew as well!
The £50 discount can be redeemed against one trip booking with one of our tour operator partners, by the expiry date printed on the voucher. The £50 can even be redeemed on top of any discounts our partners are already offering, ensuring Wanderlust subscribers get the best deal possible.
Simply quote your unique voucher code when booking to claim the discount. This offer is only available to Wanderlust subscribers.
UK subscribers automatically receive the voucher each year. Overseas subscribers receive it upon request.
The clue is in the name with this brand new tour from BSpoke. Visit the stunning Lake Constance and take in Germanic, Swiss and Austrian beauty all in one cycle trip!
Take the classic hippy trail from London to Kathmandu. From the flat lands of Europe to the peaks of the Himalayas, our Ultimate Asia Overland has something for everyone. Take a walk in Red Square,...
From the flat lands of Europe to the peaks of the Himalayas, our Ultimate Asia Overland has something for everyone. Take a walk in Red Square, journey across the Caspian sea for a 4x4 adventure in ...
Sign up today for free and be the first to get notified of new articles, new competitions, new events and more!