If you’re looking for a travel adventure that combines the best of city culture, natural beauty, fun beer swilling times and some occasional nudity (the Germans love to get their kit off), then Germany should be next on your adventure hit list.
Often underestimated on the tourist trail, Germany is like the younger, more rebellious sibling to Spain or Italy – it’s fresh, new and packs plenty of punch. And don’t be fooled into thinking Germany is all about Berlin – it is, and it’s awesome, but it’s also got so many more tricks up its sleeve. Here’s why we like to run to the hills singing Germany, ich liebe dich.
They know how to throw a party
You can’t mention Germany and party in the same sentence without mentioning the big boy – Oktoberfest. Think giant beer halls, traditional Bavarian dress, songs that go Um Pah Pah and LOTS of beer. But when it comes to music, Germany knows what’s what. Melt festival happens every July in Ferropolis and always attracts a killer line-up (HAIM, Chromeo, Portishead and Boyz Noize are all confirmed for 2014). Situated on an old coal mine, the festival plays to the backdrop of giant cranes and is really something special.
Disney aint got nothing on it
Did you ever wish you could be a Disney character living in an enchanted castle? Germany’s got just that! Wind your way down the Rhine River (on a Contiki coach, naturally) and you’ll come across century old castles, vineyards and olde worlde villages galore! Pull in at the village of St. Goar and you’ll be faced with a Hogwarts esque, real life fairy tale castle (minus, sadly, the dragons and damsels in distress, although re-enactments are encouraged).
Its cities are total hipsterville (but awesome)
OK, so now we want to rave about Berlin. And why not! An incredible blend of old meets new, Berlin has a buzz and excitement that you can only appreciate once you’ve been there. Visiting the Berlin Wall is an absolute must, both to understand its history and also to check out some of the incredible street art on display. For all things trendy (shops, galleries, exhibitions) try out the Mitte district, and of course for nightlife, tasty food and everything in between, it can only really be Kreuzberg.
Beer Steins and Bratwurst
Standard, we know, but you can’t taste Germany without getting your fill of its local specialities. If you’ve had your fill of German sausage, maybe branch out to a few other local specialities such as sauerkraut (cabbage) or spargel (white asparagus). If that all sounds too healthy, enjoy a food porn moment in the form of apfelstrudel, a delicious pastry filled with apples, sugar, cinnamon, raisins and breadcrumbs. Sound too good to miss? Make your own here.
It makes Christmas even more magical
Because really, who does Christmas markets better than Germany? There are markets all over the country, but our top picks are the following:
1 – Nuremberg - one of German’s oldest with a stunning Alpine backdrop.
2 – Cologne – Specifically, the market in the shadow of the cathedral.
3 – Berlin – Specifically, Gendarmenmarkt.
4 – Munich – This gothic town was MADE for Christmas markets.
5 – Rothenburg – Disney on overload, at Christmas. Mind. Blown.
Inspired to start planning your own trip to Germany? From short break to epic adventures, we’ve got Germany covered. Check out our range of tours here.