Big cars, fairy-tale castles, cities rich in ancient and contemporary history... and beer. Gess where am I? In Germany of course! But beyond the clichés, Germany is well worth a visit
For a long time, Germany has been ignored by tourism. Europeans in particular have confined it to the Oktoberfest in Munich and the Bavarian Castle of Neuschwanstein. And the pints of beer worn by beautiful waitresses with an opulent chest tight in Bavarian dresses, of course.
After the war, for reasons that are easy to imagine, and until the beginning of the 1990s, Germany was not a dream come true for many people.
Once the reminiscences of the war were forgotten, the image of an industrial country, cold and soulless cities, the reputation of surly and cold Germans did not attract the crowds.
Even though Berlin had its golden age at the height of underground culture, with artistic movements going against the tide in Berlin’s squats, we are still far from the most joyful kind of tourism.
Servus, Hallo, Guten Tag Deutschland, ich bin Christine, ich bin Französin, ich freue mich, dir kennenzulernen! Hi Germany!
Luckily, Gott sei Dank, everything changes and Germany has achieved an incredible transformation
Germany has become Europe’s favourite destination in recent years and has been setting attendance records for almost 10 years. Bravo Germany!
What is so beautiful to see in Germany?
Beautiful German cities under the sign of the festival!
Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin, Nuremberg and the beautiful Hamburg. These big cities are no longer cold or industrial and welcome the traveller curious about history, architecture or nightlife.
Southern Germany (Bad Württemberg), Bavaria and many other regions are dotted with green cities with parks, lakes, beautiful half-timbered houses and lively cafés.
Germany rhymes with mountains and countryside, it’s a journey under the sign of nature
The typical visitor to Germany is rather young, a lover of wilderness and hiking. This means that Germany has a lot to offer in the nature department.
The famous and still attractive Black Forest (Schwarzwald, not to be confused with chocolate cake please) attracts travellers eager for nature.
Much less well known is the incredible Bastei near Dresden with its 200 year old bridge that sails over incredible rock formations. One can only wonder why. The landscapes it crosses seem straight out of a fantasy novel. Mountaineers and climbers of all kinds will also find magnificent ascents here.
In the same vein, still in the range of wonderful landscapes worthy of Tolkien, the Hartz massif is there. A fog lake, enchanting forests and secrets paths await the well-paved visitors.
Just a few kilometres from the Austrian border, exploring the Bavarian Alps is well worth the detour. Berchtesgaden, whose name still sounds tragic, deserves to be reconsidered as an enchanting destination. Snow-covered mountains, breathtaking views and comforting meals in the chalets are on the programme.
Discover or rediscover the history of Germany and Europe
Germany offers the traveller exciting museums that are very well made and rich in lessons. Berlin’s Museum Island is a good example of this. Whether ancient, modern or contemporary, history unfolds at the pace of the visitor. Prehistory, the Middle Ages, the Germanic period, the Teutonic knights, empires, crusades, world wars, etc. Germany is a country of choice for discovering European history.
Discover the great German music
Germany is home to some of the world’s most famous musicians. Beethoven, Pachelbel, Offenbach, Johann Sebastian Bach, Karl Orff or Gluck.
Following in the footsteps of these musical geniuses, going to see an opera, hearing the organs in a cathedral are also great experiences.
And what about German cuisine? Does it deserve a trip?
Germany is not specifically distinguished by its gastronomy. However, when it comes to the table, there are some nice surprises awaiting the traveller in search of good food. First of all the Wurst! It’s the delicatessen! Wurst are all colours (white, yellow, red…) and are cooked in different ways. Grilled in the Wurst Stubbe, slid into a Brötchen (or Semmel, a round, white, split bun), generously sprinkled with Gelber Senf (sweet yellow mustard), you are holding in your hands one of Germany’s culinary celebrities: the Semmel Bratwurst!
The wurst can be steamed, used in salads, soups… All versions are possible
The famous potato salad is different in each region and represents one of the jewels of German gastronomy. Tafelspitz, sweet or savoury Knödel, many soups and stews… If you are not a vegetarian, don’t miss the Eisbein!
And if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you should know that Germany, contrary to its reputation as a pig-eater, is a very open and well-stocked country.
German bread is a real delight: heavy, compact, strong in taste, it can be eaten in slices to spread wurst slices, cheese spread, Fleischsalat, etc. : this is the Brotzeit!
The Bäckerei are a festival of shapes, colours and tastes. From the dark brown pretzel to the greenish Kurbiskernbröt, a visit to a German bakery is a must. At the same time you will also discover the typical German pastry: the Torte. They have nothing to do with the rather flat French tarts. On the contrary, the Torte are imposing cakes with several layers and richly decorated. Taste a Schwarzwaldtorte, an Apfelstrudel with apples or, my favourite, a Kaiserschmarrn with a Milchkaffee in a tea room, at Kaffee-Kuchen time (around 3pm), it’s so typical!
On the drinking side, beer is on top of the podium. But it would be a shame not to taste the wine of our German neighbours: it is of great quality and is worthy of French vintages.
Are the Germans nice?
As everywhere in the world, there are nice and not so nice people. The young people speak nowaday perfect English and are often happy to meet travellers on the road in their own country. This young generation has often already travelled a lot. Germans are the most popular international tourists. So this will make meetings easy and certainly fraternal.
Tschüss, Vielen Dank, Bis Bald Deutschland !
Next travel: Let's discover beautiful Romania!
Romania is a beautiful, forest-covered country with charming Romanians and beautiful cities. Prejudices aside, a visit is really worthwhile!