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.