Germany is one of the most culturally influential European nations, and one of the world’s main economic powers. Often referred to as the capital of Europe and with over two millennia of history, Germany is a must visit destination. Berlin, its hipster capital, is home to art, great nightlife and the Brandenburg Gate. Experience Germany’s social culture when visiting Munich at Oktoberfest or other beer halls, such as the 16th-century Hofbräuhaus. Grab a pretzel or bratwurst (sausage in a bun) while exploring the streets of business hub Frankfurt with its many skyscrapers and padlock-covered bridges.
GERMANY TOP 5 THINGS TO DO
Berlin, the capital of Germany, has a lot to offer to its visitors. This city is well known for it’s creative vibe and great music art scene. You’ll find several world-class museums, a rich café culture, excellent nightlife and great street food. Don’t miss the gold-colored, swoop-roofed Berliner Philharmonie, built in 1963. Believe it or not, Berlin is still one of the most affordable cities in Europe.
Black Forest Hiking
Germany’s Black Forest contains 23,000km (14,000 miles) of hiking trails and as its been inhabited for a millennia, you’re never far from a town or rail spur to get you to that trailhead. There are countless local circular hiking trails with a great variety of lengths and levels of difficulty. The three main long distance hiking trails all run from north to south. They are the Westweg, a hiking trail in the western Black Forest, the Mittelweg trail in the central Black Forest and the Ostweg, a hiking trail in the eastern Black Forest.
Lose yourself in Munich
Munich, Bavaria’s capital, is a cocktail of beloved sights, opulent Baroque churches and numerous museums. The city is famous worldwide for the annual Oktoberfest celebration and its many beer halls, including the ancient Hofbräuhaus. In the Old Town, central Marienplatz square contains the Neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (town hall). Here you can watch the popular glockenspiel show that chimes and reenacts stories from the 16th century.
Travelers looking to live out a fairy tale in southwest Bavaria should head to the enchanting European palace known as Neuschwanstein Castle. A 19th century Romanesque Revival palace that perched on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and in honour of Richard Wagner.
The Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall enclosed West Berlin, cutting a line through the entire city center. This guarded concrete barrier physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Decades later, ghostly reminders of the wall that divided the city remain.
Read more: Top 10 things to do on a trip to Germany
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GERMANY TOP 3 FESTIVALS
More than six million people from around the world attend this event every year. Celebrate with live music, brats, and beer and extra fun like dachshund races, keg tappings, karaoke, carnival rides and more. Oktoberfest is an annual festival in Munich, Germany that takes place over a two-week period and ends on the first Sunday in October.
Rock in the Park
The Rock am Ring and Rock im Park (“Rock in the Park”) festivals are two simultaneous rock music festivals held annually. While Rock im Park takes place at the Zeppelinfeld in the city of Nuremberg in Bavaria, Rock am Ring takes place at the Nürburgring race track. The Nürburgring is a 150,000 person capacity motorsports complex located in the town of Nürburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
Berlin International Film Festival
Berlin International Film Festival is also known as Berlinale (German: Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin), and is one of the world’s largest film festivals, held annually in Berlin in February.
Language: The official language of Germany is German. English is also widely spoken as many people who live in Germany are fluent in English.
Visa: Visiting Germany will usually require a valid passport and visa for any travelers that are not from the European Union. Use these free online visa checker and calculator tools so you know if a visa for Germany is required, which will depend on the country you are from, and if so, how long it will take to process your visa and the cost.
Electricity: In Germany the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Germany, if the standard voltage in your country is between 220 – 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). Buy a Universal Travel Adapter so you don’t need to keep buying new adapters for each new country you visit.
Lonely Planet Germany: Check price on Amazon
WHAT TO EAT IN GERMANY
Some of the most delicious, traditional dishes that you must try when in Germany are listed below.
Spatzle: The name spaetzle is German for “little sparrow,” which is what the shape of these tiny noodles or dumplings resemble. This is pasta, but the preparation is a bit different from the regular pasta. The dough is made by combining flour, eggs, salt and some fizzy water to fluff the dough. The pasta is served as a side to meat dishes and at times added to soups.
Maultaschen: A traditional German dish that originated in the region of Swabia and is sometimes called Swabian ravioli because of its square shape. It can be served as a main dish or appetizer. It can also be boiled or fried. The outer casing of the pasta can be filled with minced meat and seasoned with pepper, nutmeg and parsley.
Schweinsbraten: This roasted pork dish is one of the oldest recipes in Germany. The meat is salted and pickled, and the unique taste of the dish is derived from the way the meat is preserved.
Flammkuchen: A speciality of Alsace and the Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz regions on the German-French border. When most people think of pizza, they think of Italy, but Flammkuchen, the crispy and smoky German pizza, is definitely worth trying! This pizza-like dish is topped with bacon, fromage blanc or crème fraîche, thin-sliced onions and lardons.
Brezel: Popular in the Bavarian region of Germany as Brezel, it is also known as pretzel in the rest of the English speaking world. The soft pretzel is one of the most famous foods to come out of Germany. Enjoy it with local mustards, butter or Bavarian cheese.
WHERE TO STAY IN GERMANY
Germany is a reasonably affordable place to visit. Finding excellent accommodation in Germany is super easy because there’s so many options whatever your budget.
Hostels and dormitories make travel to Germany affordable for backpackers and any travelers on a shoe-string budget. Whether you’re a backpacker, flash-packer or a luxury vacationer, Germany will not disappoint you. A basic hotel room in Germany can cost less than 100 euros.
If you’re looking for accommodation that includes luxury amenities and comforts then there will be endless options to choose from in the big cities and popular tourist hotspots like Frankfurt, Berlin or Munich. Whatever month you choose to visit Germany, it’s wise to book your accommodation in advance. Don’t wait until you arrive to see what’s available or you may be disappointed to find that all the best places to stay have been snapped up already. Germany is an extremely popular year-round destination with business travelers and backpackers.
Jetset Bunny recommends using Booking.com for the best accommodation deals in Germany. However, if you are backpacking in Germany or traveling on a tight budget then Hostel World is another great option. Staying in hostels makes travel in Germany very affordable and is also a great way to meet new travel buddies where ever you go.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
BEST TIME TO VISIT GERMANY
The best time to visit Germany is in May and June or September and October when the weather is reliably sunny. In October the famous beer festival Oktoberfest takes place. It is also less crowded at these times than the summer months of July and August which are high season and can be very hot, more expensive and extremely crowded, especially during the afternoons.
GERMANY TRAVEL BUDGET
Germany is generally an affordable destination for travelers on all budgets. The cost of your trip to Germany really depends on the level of comfort you want. If you are backpacking and planning on staying in dormitories, hostels and eating fast food then budget between 50 to 100 euros per day. If you prefer to stay in 3-4 star hotel rooms and eat in mid-range restaurants you could spend anywhere between 100 to 250 euros per day. If you want to enjoy luxury 4-5 star accommodation and gourmet restaurants then budget at least 250 to 500+ euros per day.
IS GERMANY SAFE FOR FEMALE TRAVELERS?
Safety does not need to be a huge concern for women travelers in Germany which is considered a generally very safe country to visit. As with any country you visit, always be extra careful when walking alone or at night. Some parts of Germany aren’t as safe as other areas so do your research before you go and avoid these places. Based on many years of travel in Europe I would never leave home without insurance and recommend checking out the travel insurance plan that World Nomads can offer you a few weeks before your Germany trip.
GERMANY VISA CHECKER
GERMANY FLIGHT DEALS
GERMANY TOURS & ACTIVITIES
GERMANY PACKING TIPS
Packing for a trip to Germany, like most other places in Europe, is a breeze. You really don’t need as much travel gear as you may think for a trip to Germany.
That said, the gear you do bring on your trip should be the very best option available for you and that doesn’t always mean the most expensive. Jetset Bunnies around the globe are always discovering the latest and the greatest in travel gear for women and this is where we share our awesome finds with you.
If you’re visiting Germany during the warmer months it will be much easier to travel light. Pack mainly lightweight and breathable clothing but still be prepared for cold mornings and evenings depending on the month you visit. You’ll need to wrap up warm between November and February. So pack a warm sweater, waterproof coat, gloves, scarves and a wooly hat if you’re traveling during winter.
Other essential items to pack for a trip to Germany include, most importantly, a good quality travel backpack. Choose the brand carefully and make sure you find the right size backpack for your torso. Believe me, doing this will make all the difference and prevent major backache. Read our related blog post with advice on how to choose the best backpacks for women travelers. Smaller items to pack include a padlock, sleep sheet and a money belt to keep important documents close to you.
So if you’ve found your travel inspiration, figured out the practicalities and got the travel gear it’s time to stuff it all in a bag and go right? Well, no, hold your horses, you see there’s an art to packing which we have (almost) perfected. Hop to our Travel Packing Tips for all of the latest on this topic.