Fragments of the Berlin Wall on Potsdamer Platz.
Top 20 attractions in Germany
Photos Courtesy Germany National Tourist Board
1) Neuschwanstein Castle: Listed as one of the most frequently photographed sights in Germany, a visit to this castle should not be missed. After Ludwig II's sovereignty was taken away, he dove into a world of myths, legends and fairy tales to bring this romantic, medieval castle to life. A project dating back to 1869, this castle became an enchanting retreat for Ludwig II and is sure to prove the same for visitors.
2) Europa-Park: Europa-Park offers visitors more than 200 acres of family-friendly fun featuring more than 100 different shows and attractions that include 11 roller coasters. Europa-Park is divided into themed lands that portray different parts of Europe through its architecture, food and flora. For instance, a trip to the Greece-themed land can launch visitors to the heavens and seas on the Poseidon, a combination high-speed roller coaster and water ride.
3) Cologne Cathedral: At the time of its completion in the 19th century, this cathedral was the biggest building in the world. Cologne Cathedral can be easily spotted by its two large towers, both standing 515 feet tall. It has the largest exterior surface of any church in the world and is home to many masterpieces such as the Ottonian Gero Cross, the oldest large-scale sculpture in the Western world.
4) Brandenburg Gate: The Brandenburg Gate is a passageway to history. After the Berlin Wall was built in 1961, the Brandenburg Gate became impassible for 28 years. Today, the gate remains a popular attraction for many and acts as a symbol for German reunification. Six columns, forming five passageways for pedestrian-only access, support the gate.
5) Berlin Wall: From 1961 to 1989 the Berlin Wall divided the city in two and fragments of the wall still remain. The Berlin Wall Trail is a route for walkers and cyclists that follows the path of the former wall. The East Side Gallery in Friedrichshain is a piece of the wall that was painted by artists from 21 different countries in 1990.
6) Loreley Rock: This rock cliff is more than 600 feet high and became famous for the tale of Loreley — a beautiful, sad girl who sat on the rock and sang while she brushed her golden hair. The tale says sailors would become so distracted by her beauty they would smash their ships to pieces against the rock. In the Loreley Visitor Center, an interactive exhibit tells visitors about the region.
7) Black Forest’s nature parks: Here, the motto is "use it or lose it." The Black Forest’s nature parks are the two largest nature reserves in Germany. Whether wooded areas or hilly meadows are preferred when hiking, Black Forest’s nature parks have something for everyone.
8) Heidelberg Castle: Heidelberg Castle is in a state of beautiful ruin; discover the ivy covered ruins that still reflect the same power and magnificence as it did in 1300. Many rooms are still intact and the best-preserved building is the Friedrich wing. On Saturdays, the “Life at Court” guided tour offers insight into the everyday lives of the people who resided here.
9) Lake Constance Region: The Lake Constance region, where Germany borders Austria and Switzerland, is a holiday paradise. The most popular excursion is to the Flower Island of Mainau, famous for its magnificent park and gardens. Unteruhldingen is an open air museum on a popular prehistoric site.
10) Berlin Museum Island: Berlin Museum Island is one of the most important museum complexes in the world and visited by locals and tourists alike. Collections at the Museum of the Ancient World, New Museum, Old National Gallery, Bode Museum and Pergamon Museum take visitors on a captivating journey through art and culture.
11) Tropical Islands Resort: Tropical Island’s Resort features the world’s largest indoor rain forest, Europe’s biggest tropical sauna suite and Germany’s highest water slide. Tropical Island’s Resort offers daily activity programs and plenty of evening entertainment for all ages.
12) Old Town/Old Bridge Heidelberg: Heidelberg’s old quarter is the oldest part of town and the ideal place for a leisurely stroll. Discover cozy pavement cafes, ornate Renaissance buildings and a remarkable fountain.
Heidelberg's Old Town.
13) Sanssouci Palace: Sanssouci Palace is an outstanding example of both an architectural and landscape design. These beautiful parks and gardens were created under many kings and emperors. Prominent artists, landscapers and architects have also left their mark on this masterpiece over time.
14) Old town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Visiting Rothenburg will seem like time stands still; no where else can travelers find so many historic buildings dating to the Middle Ages.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
15) The Reichstag: The Reichstag is one of the most famous sights in Berlin. Its glass dome, designed by British architect Norman Foster, makes the Reichstag look elegant and powerful. It has become a widely popular tourist attraction.
16) Berchtesgaden Land region: Discover wellness and purity here with the region’s untouched nature, organic farms, clear water and pure air. This region also offers visitors countless wellness hotels, beauty parlors, spas and health retreats for a relaxing holiday anytime of the year.
17) Church of Our Lady: For more than 250 years, this masterpiece created by the city's master carpenter and architect George Bähr has reflected the prosperity and faith of Dresden's citizens. The church was built between 1726 and 1743. The badly damaged church became a war memorial after 1945 and is now a symbol of reconciliation.
18) Island of Rügen: Rügen is Germany’s largest island. It offers visitors a variety of activities from plenty of seaside resorts to quiet fishing villages to parks, gardens, tree-lined avenues and palaces.
Island of Rügen
19) Mount Zugspitze: Mount Zugspitze is one of the most famous peaks in the Alps. It is both Germany’s highest mountain and one of the most popular destinations for visitors from all over the world. In good weather, climbers can see more than 400 peaks in surrounding Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.
20) Berchtesgaden National Park: Berchtesgaden National Park is one of the oldest nature reserves in the Alps. Majestic mountains, fantastic walking trails, scenic lakes and dense forests await its visitors.
For more info, go to: www.germany.travel/en/index.html