There’s a reason why Germany has inspired fairy tales like “Sleeping Beauty.” The castles and medieval villages dotting the valleys and rivers look like they’ve been plucked from a story book. Baroque palaces and spires form the skyline of Dresden, the capital of the Saxony region, whose architecture (most of which was commissioned by electors Augustus I and II) has earned it the title as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Germany’s oldest city, Trier, is more Roman than Rococo (and even nicknamed the “second Rome”) with monuments like the Cathedral of St Peter, the Church of Our Lady, and the preserved Porta Nigra gate. In addition to culture-filled towns like Leipzig, which features one of the oldest boys’ choirs and claims former residents like Johann Sebastian Bach, who is celebrated in the annual summer Bach Festival, Germany is also a nature-heavy country with more than one-third under protection. Over 200,000 kilometres of walking trails and 70,000 kilometres of cycling paths cross through the country.

How to get there?

Fly into one of Germany’s major hubs like Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Munich or Berlin, or take the national rail service, Deutsche Bahn (DB), which runs popular routes within Germany like Berlin to Hamburg, as well as from Paris to Stuttgart or Amsterdam to Cologne. Cities like Berlin offer a number of public transportation options from buses and trams to the underground subway line, or U-Bahn. Berlin is also one of the most bike friendly cities in the country, featuring hundreds of bike routes to landmarks like Tempelhofer Feld, a 386-hectare open space that was formerly an airport.

  • Time Zone
    GMT +1
  • Population
    82.79 million
  • Capital
  • Official language
  • Currency
    € or EUR

EU citizens (and members of the Schengen Area) do not need a visa to visit Germany.

Cultural Routes in Germany

Germany is part of three EU macro-regional strategies: Alpine Region (EUSALP), Baltic Sea (EUSBSR) and Danube Region (EUSDR)—and features stops on 20 Cultural Routes, including the thermal town of Baden-Baden, once known as the “summer capital of Europe.” Here are a few of the highlights:

European Mozart Ways

In Europe, Mozart’s journeys span 10 countries and over 200 sites, including Mannheim, where the composer and his family first travelled in 1763, and where he later returned solo in 1778.

European Route of Historic Thermal Towns

Thermalism in Europe dates back to Roman times, but some of the continent’s most famous towns reached their height in the 18th and 19th centuries, one of which is Baden-Baden, once known as the “summer capital of Europe.”

The Huguenot and Waldensian trail

The 2,000-km hiking trail follows the path that nearly 200,000 Huguenots took during the 17th century to Geneva, Switzerland and later Germany.

The Cluniac Sites in Europe

Stemming from the French region where Cluny was seen in medieval times as “the second Rome,” Cluny Abbey’s influence touches over 1,800 monasteries, castles, colleges and villages across Europe, highlighted on a number of Cluny Routes, which pass through Germany.

The European Cemeteries Route

Berlin’s oldest cemetery, Friedhöfe vor dem Halleschen Tor, is a member of the route and features tombstones dating back to 1735.

The European routes of emperor Charles V

By looking at the legacy left by Charles V, it “allows us to better understand present-day Europe,” according to the association’s site. The Emperor’s German Route runs through cities like Münster and Bonn, while the Route of the Habsburgs crosses the Alps and eastern Austria on the journey to imperial capital Vienna, stopping at Munich along the way.

The European Route of Ceramics

The art of ceramics is celebrated through both artefacts as well as modern-day production, with tours in towns like Höhr-Grenzhausen.

Via Habsburg

The House of Habsburg was one of the most powerful royal houses in Europe, with an 800-year-old dynasty dominating large stretches of western and central Europe. The thousand-kilometre route covers 70 of these sites and cities in four countries, including Konstanz in southern Germany.

European Route of Jewish Heritage

Germany boasts western Europe’s third-largest Jewish community—the only on the continent that is growing instead of shrinking.

European Route of Megalithic Culture

The best way to explore Europe’s megalithic heritage is on a cycling or hiking tour to the stone megaliths that were used as monuments and burial places by prehistoric communities. In Germany, the 5,000-year-old “Hünengräber” graves are considered a “new” trademark of the regions Osnabrücker Land, Emsland, and Wildeshausen Geest.

Santiago de Compostela

One of the most important Christian pilgrimages in the Middle Ages, the Way of St. James is still followed by hundreds of travellers each year to northern Spain, where the saint is buried in Santiago de Compostela. Paths cross through the German cities of Rothenburg, Rosenberg and Harburg, located in Bavaria.

The Hansa

The Hanseatic League formed in the mid-thirteenth century as a way for German seafaring merchants to pursue their shared economic interests. Today, the network spans 190 member cities that keep the Hanseatic spirit alive through hundreds of activities, markets and exhibitions.

Impressionnisms Routes

One of the Impressionnisms Routes in Germany, the Bunke and Schwaan Painters Route starts in the former artists’ colony of Schwaan, the birthplace of German painter Franz Bunke.

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