With its wide choice of historic locations, Germany is ideal for a holiday abroad. German cities offer something for everyone and have become a popular destination for weekends away. But which one is best for you?
The country’s capital has always been lively, attracting free thinkers to alternative lifestyles and artistic communities. It’s still a hub for the arts where you can wander from established outlets to taking in highly-regarded street graffiti.
Since re-unification, the Berlin Wall Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie have joined traditional favourites like the Brandenburg Gate on the tourist trail. Take a bus tour to understand the layout of what was East Berlin and spend some time at the Holocaust Memorial.
Head to Bavaria for Germany’s second city, a mixture of the modern and traditional. You can spot the latter by the lederhosen and beer halls – try the Augustiner Bräustuben situated inside a brewery, and mark your calendar for Oktoberfest.
Explore by bike and stop off at Residenzmuseum, home to Bavaria’s rulers for 400 years or relax in Englischer Garten, one of Europe’s biggest parks. Leave time to take in some of Munich’s world-class art galleries and museums, and its 15th century religious pulse the Frauenkirche.
The country’s second-largest city and its wealthiest also boasts its biggest port. A shuttle service transports visitors between maritime cultural attractions such as the Internationales Maritimes Museum, while a bus tour travels alongside the Elbe.
Sample cuisine from a wide variety of cultures and listen to live music in the place which once showcased the Beatles. Northern Germany’s biggest Protestant baroque church St Michaelis, or Der Michel as it’s known, is a landmark that’s easy to spot and worth a visit.
The business and commerce centre that is Frankfurt am Main houses the European Central Bank and one of the world’s biggest stock exchanges, an 1843 neoclassical building. With excellent museums, parks and restaurants, a substantial student population and lively night life, backed by an efficient transport system, this is a pleasant place for a break.
Stroll through the parkland beside the River Main or rest in the Römerberg, Frankfurt’s old square and the scene of Christmas Markets. The poet Goethe grew up here and his birthplace has been reconstructed at Goethe-Haus, while art-lovers shouldn’t miss Museum für Moderne Kunst which displays modern art from the 1960s onwards.
Twin cathedral towers dominate the skyline of the country’s most popular tourist destination, with medieval churches jostling with Roman remains balanced by a post-modern district. Take a cruise to fully appreciate the beauty of the Rhine before repairing to the community-run Biergarten Rathenauplatz, set out under some impressive old trees.
Climb the 509 steps of the Kölner Dom, Germany’s largest cathedral but pause at the 24-tonne Peter Bell, the world’s biggest free-swinging working bell. Chocoholics can reward themselves at the Schokoladenmuseum, where tours include history, processes and a sample from a chocolate fountain.
Once known as the Florence of the north, the Saxon capital inspired artists such as Canaletto to record its delights. Many iconic structures were levelled in bombing raids during World War II but much has been rebuilt – the celebrated Frauenkirche is a symbol of the city’s rebirth. Today Dresden is a vibrant city where visitors can embrace its thriving arts and cultural life, whether it’s a gallery, the museums of the Zwinger or something more local such as the Kunsthofpassage. Visitors will find locations to suit all tastes and pockets in Germany, but if you’re on a budget check out couporando.co.uk for money-saving vouchers!