Top 20 Most Beautiful Cities in Germany – Bring Your Camera!
a country full of wonderful
places to visit! But aside from its oceans, mountains and forests, there
are a ton of beautiful
cities in Germany you should visit besides the sought-after metropoles.
are looking for towns straight out of a medieval fairy tale or admire streets
lined with pastel-colored buildings from Baroque times, here are my top picks
for gorgeous German cities
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Rothenburg ob der Tauber
one of the most beautiful towns
in Germany, Rothenburg ob der Tauber draws the crowds like crazy. Cobblestone
streets, half-timbered houses, a romantic fountain in front a street fork,
that’s what pops up when you do a quick google image search.
And it’s so
much prettier in real life! Plus, it’s rather small, which means you can easily
walk around town in an afternoon, sit in a rustic restaurant and gaze out over
the city wall over the surrounding landscapes.
To top it
all off, the town is gorgeous all-year-round with fairs, markets and events,
such as the weekly market and the spring or fall fairs. In December, it also
boasts one of the most charming Christmas markets in
hear that Heidelberg is the most beautiful city in Germany. For some reason I haven’t visited yet
but it’s high on my Germany
bucketlist. Just browsing through image galleries online, you can tell
promising when a historic city is situated by a river but with deep hilly
forests and a towering castle to boot, you have the perfect package. Plus,
Heidelberg isn’t so big as to be
striking buildings include Heidelberg Castle, the corn market, the old stone
bridge and gate as well as the Heiliggeistkirche (“Holy Ghost Church”).
you can easily squeeze in some hiking with the mountain Königstuhl being right
there. Also, it’s close enough that you can also plan day trips from Stuttgart here if you want to and explore the
One of my
favorite cities to visit
in Germany! Bamberg’s Old Town is incredibly charming and two-layered. Roam
the small cobblestone streets and gaze up at the colorful half-timbered,
just step into the delightful vintage and décor shops inside but look up for
the many religious details like figures of saints. Bamberg has always been an
important religious seat and to this day is an archdiocese.
the grand cathedral high above the city center is so dominant. And should
definitely be on your list of must sees in town as is the nearby rose garden
and the Old Court. Afterwards, plan in a stroll around the river and spot
Bamberg’s “Little Venice”.
extremely beautiful German
city is Weimar. Once a major cultural hub for Europe, drawing artists,
humanists, philosophers and writers from near and far to its concert halls and grand castles, it still has retained its charm.
merges modern shopping facilities with classic buildings, such as the houses of
Goethe and Schiller. There’s a castle near the historic market place and a harmonious
country park sprinkled by Romantic art installations, such as fake ruins and
One of the
best times to visit is for the onion market (yes, all fare is made from onions:
candy, soup and home décor) or the Weimar Christmas market.
If just for
its fairy tale castle inspired by the gorgeous chateaus in France, Schwerin is
well worth a visit. But that’s really not all! If you ask me in person, I could
go on and on about the charms of things to see in Schwerin. I have spent many a summer in town
and I love it dearly.
the Dragon boat race on the central pond, which may be small but has its own
through the gorgeous gardens and parks of the castle (it’s free and hosted
Germany’s annual garden show in 2009), climb the castle roofs (there are
special tours), sip a cocktail at a beach bar or chat with locals over bear at
the Goat Market.
especially, you can go on cruises around the many lakes, do island hopping or
ride bikes around the extensive bike network, which is also conveniently very
level as North Germany is rather flat.
Hamburg – and a weekend getaway for many Hamburgers (yes, that’s the correct
name)- is the region of Altes Land (“old country Picture apple orchards
stretching as far as the eye can see and you cycling along grassy damns next to
cute farm houses and quiet streams.
yourself in York and you’ll most likely have the most romantic experience in
Germany. The town was created with heavy Dutch influence and you can tell –
from the canals, to the brick houses. Go on an exploration tour in the day.
outside a cozy restaurant at night to get that extra special feeling. Sitting
underneath an inkjet-black sky with orange street lamps lighting up the
cobblestone streets and boats bobbing on the water, you won’t want to head to
bed to soon.
one of the main hotspots in Germany for tourists. No wonder, it boasts gorgeous
architecture, be it the old town hall, the warehouse district by the harbor or
the concert hall Elbphilharmonie.
markets are a must for fresh fish bread on the go or – if you are into pasties
– the Franzbrötchen. Foodies will
find plenty of restaurants for different tastes and budgets, with local and
even get me started on the many events, such as huge concerts and games going
isn’t just one of the prettiest
towns in Germany, it may as well be the town with the prettiest doors.
(Yes, I even saw a calender filled with just Görlitz doors.) The Old Town comes with a city
wall tower you can climb and many restored houses that feature stunning door
is different, the details change and the colors are vibrant. But don’t forget
to look for other details like Baroque stuccos or flower boxes as well.
A main must
see is the old town square with town hall and nearby cathedral. Step in and
then cross the bridge into Poland. The towns used to be connected but were
split by the border and got separated.
For a small
town, it sure knows how to impress. Stand on the market square and do a full
turn to take in the historic half-timbered houses in their various styles.
These aren’t the often black/brown and white houses, they come in colors of
green and red around here too.
houses are the Hochzeitshaus (“wedding house”) and the town hall. But that’s
not all since you can go on a little hunt for remains of the original city wall,
fortifications and look-outs.
There are quite
a few towers around town, such as the “old tower”, Grebenturm, Rosenturm, Bleichentorturm
the largest town in East Hesse and really quite charming with its
well-preserved medieval buildings. Start with a stroll around the city castle,
which used to be the residency of the local prince-bishop and prince-abbots.
religious buildings that should be on your list for this very pretty city in Germany
are the Cathedral and the St Michael Church. The former dates back to the 18th
century and the latter to the 9th century. Looking at them, you
really can see the significant change in architecture styles over time.
these historic buildings, it’s hard to pick the most striking. However, if I
had to choose I’d pick the townhall of Fulda from 1500. It’s dramatic
half-timbered front is contrasted by the color red, making it look all the more
is the capital of the state Baden-Wuerttemberg and as such has a lot to offer.
There are many things to do in Stuttgart in one day, such as art galleries or the
quirky Pig Museum. Plus, the food scene is very diverse. But do try the
point In Stuttgart is the New Palace, right in the heart of the city center.
It’s where locals love to meet and mingle, or hang out while listening to
street performers. From here, you get a pretty good idea of the fact that
Stuttgart is nestled in a valley with vinyards all around.
To get an
eagle-eye view, head up the train station tower (it’s free) or climb the hill
known as Karlshöhe. It harbors a wonderful parkscape with romantic ruins and
sweeping panoramic views. At its foot, you can also find the lapidarium with
its many artful statues.
is another cute German town with pastel colored houses, tiny cobblestone alleys
and an imposing bridge, all found in a compact Old Town. It’s very walkable and
you can easily wander around in an afternoon.
afternoon coffee and cake by the riverside and don’t miss the local hatmaker, Hutkönig
Manufaktur. The designs are quintessentially Bavarian, super high quality and
therefore come with a price tag. But they last. And they also fashioned the
iconic Mad Hatter hat that Johnny Depp wore in Alice in Wonderland!
one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Germany. No wonder, one
minute you can walk around the Old Town and the next go on an extensive
shopping spree. Plus, there’s the gorgeous Nymphenburg Palace in town.
And if you
want to escape into nature, check out the English Garden and the surrounding
museums or plan a walk around Olympia Stadium. (Pro tip: walk around the oddly
shaped apartment blocks from the 70s and look at the colorful murals on the
compact student blocks.)
One of my
favorite towns is Dresden. Whether you visit for the Dresden Christmas market or any other time of the year, the
city will keep you busy.
If are new
in town and want to engage in some Dresden sightseeing, pick a topic of interest. Is it
museums, historic buildings, or even castles in Dresden? (The city has 19!! And
there are many more castles around!) You might get overwhelmed if you
want to see everything at once.
My tip is
to do a tour around the historic center and the coveted Semper Oper. (Get in here.*) This way, you get a pretty good
overview of its iconic sights, its main castles and how all the best spots area
nicely interconnected (also historically).
Only a short
train ride away, making for a great day trip from Dresden, lies Leipzig. It’s
the location of one of the most biodiverse zoos in Europe, Germany’s second largest book fair
and ComicCon and a
town center that blends old and new.
university building is all shiny with a glass façade, historic buildings such
as the old town hall. It’s said to be one of the best examples of German Renaissance
architecture and you can climb the tower on a guided tour.
What I love
about the center are the many arcades and hidden passageways. Do keep a lookout
for those. One that’s highly recommended by Leipzig city guides – for a good
reason – is the Mädlerpassage.
high-class shops and cafes but is great for window shopping. In December
especially, it gets decked out in Christmas lights!
of the state of Thuringia is packed with historic buildings. The city center is
a fairy tale setting beaming with half timbered houses, intricate details on
merchants houses, an imposing town hall and an even more awe-inspiring
cathedral towering over the main market place.
attraction in Erfurt is the merchants bridge called Krämerbrücke. It’s where
select artists reside and exhibit their creations, ranging from paintings to
pottery and more, in the shops on the river. During Christmas market time in Erfurt it’s the most charming!
also a great spot to check out for dining out and trying local food, such as
Thuringian sausage and dumplings. The dumpling museum isn’t too far away from Erfurt
either, in case you want to learn more about their history and production.
makes a horrendous first impression when coming from the autobahn. (If you come
from Weimar, it’s much better.) You’ll be greeted by ugly Soviet building
blocks, but never mind that.
definitely means it isn’t THE prettiest city in Germany but you’ll see why I included it once
you get to the city center. You’ll see an interesting mix of modern and
was heavily bombed during WWII and the gaps were filled with modern designs.
Step into the tourism information and you can still see original parts of the
townhall is pretty too. Do take a closer look at the Schnapphans, the joker
head atop the clock. He’s one of the Seven Wonders of Jena. (If you want to
learn more about those, check out my article on what to see in Jena.)
views over the city can be had from the Intershop Tower and the surrounding
hills, which also offer great hikes around Jena. Especially in spring, you can
admire patches of wild orchids next to certain trails.
absolutely love Berlin and think it’s the most beautiful city in Germany. I disagree but
that’s of course also subjective. And Berlin certainly has its charms, being
home to castles, the museum island and parks winding around canals.
mostly known for its edgy character, as is very obvious with the street art in
districts like Kreuzberg and the many underground bars. My favorite and a very
unusual one at that is the former airport-turned-park Berlin-Tempelhof. People
walk their dogs on the meadows between the runways, where kids fly their kites.
definitely a lot to discover in the capital of Germany and you’d need at least
a week to really get a good head start.
the German capital of carnival. The city goes bananas in February with parties
and parades, people dressing in silly costumes and women cutting off men’s ties
(Women’s Carnival Day).
from that, the main focal point for first time visitors is the grand cathedral.
It’s one of the largest Baroque cathedrals and it took centuries to complete.
Even though its construction officially commenced in 1248, it wasn’t completed
You get a
pretty gorgeous view from the foot of the bridge Hohenzollernbrücke at the
shore opposite the cathedral. In total, Cologne has seven bridges and you can
easily go on a sightseeing tour in a boat to take in the skyline.
pretty state capital is Potsdam. It feels rather small but walk around the
center and you’ll quickly appreciate the quiet of the streets compared to the
business of Berlin, which is only an hour drive away.
center, you can enjoy shopping in former town houses, their ornamental facades
still well preserved. However, you need to schedule in ample time to explore
Sanssouci and its widespread park landscape and lakes. It’s one of the best castles in Germany.
this, the former Russian colony Alexandrowka is another great point of
interest. It was erected in memory of the King’s late friend, the Russian Czar.
People still live in the 12 original farmsteads with their large orchards and
there’s a small museum and Russian restaurant you can visit.
Which of these cities in Germany is the best in your opinion? Which have you been to?
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