Germany: is a Western European country with a landscape of forests, rivers, mountain ranges and North Sea beaches. It has over 2 millennia of history. Berlin, its capital, is home to art and nightlife scenes, the Brandenburg Gate and many sites relating to WWII. Munich is known for its Oktoberfest and beer halls, including the 16th-century Hofbräuhaus. Frankfurt, with its skyscrapers, houses the European Central Bank. Germany is a combination of cutting-edge cool and timeless tradition, wrapped up in a package of spectacular landscapes, vibrant metropolises and idyllic half-timbered villages, architectural masterpieces and fairy-tale palaces.
Trip Planning: The planning stage of your trip can be instrumental in its success and an enjoyable part of the experience itself. You have a world of options...and plenty to consider.
Entry and Exit formalities: Visitors must hold a passport valid for at least six months & beyond at the time of entering the country. Some nationalities can obtain visa on arrival and for nationalities who requires visa please refer to the German consulate website: www.vfsglobal.com/germany/UAE/. Germany is part of the 26 Schengen State Countries.
Transportation: Figuring out how to get around is one of your biggest pre-trip decisions. Get our holiday expert best advice on deciding between your options. Based on your trip itinerary, our experts will help you choose wisely. You'll also find a wealth of practical travel tips.
Money: Use your money wisely. Know the best time to use cash or card — and how to avoid unnecessary fees either way — as well as tipping etiquette, and how shoppers can take advantage of VAT refunds.
Phones and Technology: Phones and other smart devices can be huge time-savers...or expensive distractions. Get our tips for making the best use of technology during your trip, and for calling home with or without your own phone.
Packing Light: On your trip you'll meet two kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had.
Sleeping and Eating: Your hotel and restaurant choices can be a matter-of-face chore…or they can provide rich opportunities to connect with locals and their culture.
Health & Hygiene: Take comfort: Doctors, hospitals, launderettes, and bathrooms aren’t that different. Dealing with them can even be part of the fun of travel.
Sightseeing & Activities: Once you're on the ground, the real fun begins…but it pays to have a thoughtful plan. Our experts will help you get oriented to your surroundings, use your sightseeing hours wisely, and find your way off the beaten path.
Things do & see:
Berlin – Germany’s hip capital has world-class museums, history, funky neighborhoods, and one of the best nightlife’s in Europe. I didn’t like this city at first but after visiting a second time, I saw the amazing city everyone told me about. From the museums to the art and music scene to the great bars and cheap food, Berlin is amazing, and one of the cheapest European capitals. Read more: How to make the most of your time in Berlin.
Munich – Berlin’s quiet, upscale cousin, Munich is a city steeped in history with small streets, great beer halls, amazing food, a beautiful park, surfers, and a royal palace. It’s one of Germany’s more expensive cities but it’s a beautiful destination and there are a lot of Bavarian towns nearby that make for good day trips.
Frankfurt – Another great city of Germany, Frankfurt is home to many different restaurants, historical sights, and mentally-stimulating attractions. There is a great exhibition hall — one of the largest in the world — and several science museums to check out. It’s less expensive compared to other cities in Germany, and a great airport hub to fly in and out of.
Hamburg – Located in northern Germany, Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest city. This port city, home to the second-busiest port in Europe, is famous for its parks and canals. Near its core, Inner Alster lake is dotted with boats and surrounded by cafes. The city’s central boulevard connects the Neustadt (new town) with the Altstadt (old town) and is home to landmarks like 18th-century St. Michael’s Church. It’s an eclectic city.
Dresden – Explore the treasures and grand buildings of this baroque beauty, which is bisected by the majestic Elbe River. This city was completely rebuilt after the war and today is one of the biggest nightlife spots for young people.
Cologne – A historic city with a great cathedral, Cologne is a great place to stop in west Germany on your way to or from the Netherlands. The cathedral is the most popular landmark in the city (and one of the most popular in the country), there’s a vibrant art scene, incredible international restaurants, and lots of riverside cafes and pubs.
Hanover – Hanover is not a typical European city. Don’t expect to see beautiful centuries-old buildings; this city was one of the hardest hit during World War II, leaving it with only a few historical landmarks. This area is surrounded by gray 1950’s buildings that give a somewhat heavy atmosphere to the streets. But what I loved about Hanover were large green areas, with forests and big parks, the Leine river going through the city, and the Sprengel Museum. Not many people visit here but I think it is one of Germany’s most underrated destinations.
Bremen – Located in the north (near Hamburg), Bremen is a smaller city worth exploring. The charming Schnoor district makes for a great stroll, and there is a beautiful cathedral in the market square. If you are looking for a city less visited, Bremen is it.
Oktoberfest – The world’s largest two-week beer festival filled with huge steins and giant pretzels. I went there for 5 days and had the time of my life. Buy some lederhosen, raise a glass, and sing some German beer songs. Enough said. Read More: How to survive Oktoberfest.
Black Forest – Located near the French border, the Black Forest is named so because of the dark green pine trees in the area. There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails worth exploring. You can spend some time stopping in towns that are famous for their cuckoo clocks and typical German food. It’s a beautiful area best seen in the fall.
Fall in love on the Romantic Road – A string of historic cities in Bavaria, the Romantic Road is a great route that helps you explore majestic Bavarian towns surrounded by snowcapped mountains. It can get quite touristy but it’s a beautiful and relaxing area to go with a significant other or family.
Lake Constance – Lying along the country’s southwestern border with Switzerland and Austria, Lake Constance is Germany’s largest freshwater lake. The area around the lake and up the lower Rhine valley has a very mild, amiable climate and fertile grounds, making it the country’s most important area for wine and fruit production.
Hike Berchtesgaden National Park – This national park is an alpine heaven of lush forests, steep rock faces, crystal clear lakes, sleepy villages, and rolling meadows. It’s just you, the chirping of birds, and cows ringing their brass bells. Well-marked trails wind through the spectacular scenery, which brims with opportunities for hiking, and cycling.
Check out Trier – This is the oldest town in the country. With a 2000-year-old history, Trier was home to six Roman emperors and contains a number of impressive ancient ruins. The most outstanding example is by far the Black Gate-a monumental structure that was once part of the city walls. Nestled in the Moselle river valley, picturesque Trier is crowned with myriad vineyards and pastoral villages. It is very much an off-the-beaten-path destination.
Neuschwanstein Castle – This is a 19th-century neo-romantic palace perched on a rugged hill near Füssen. The palace was commissioned by “crazy” Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. It’s the model for the Disney castle, and definitely a must on any Germany bucket list.
Visit Olympia Park – Located in Munich, this massive complex was originally constructed for the 1972 Olympic Games. It is topped by the largest roof in the world, which spans over 700,000 feet. There is a great restaurant here and the tour is pretty awesome. The BMW Museum is also nearby.
Head to Schloss Colditz – Originally built to be a Renaissance palace, this interesting structure has a long, bizarre history. At various points in history, it’s been a hunting lodge, a poorhouse, and even a mental hospital. It is most famous for being a prison during WWII. There is a museum within the palace as well.
Tierpark Hagenbeck – Located in Hamburg, this open enclosure is over 60 acres and is home to more than 2,500 animals. In addition to the classic attractions, there is a petting zoo, a miniature railway, pony rides, a great playground for the kids, and a Japanese garden for the adults. Combination tickets for the zoo and aquarium are 30 EUR, with discounts available for families and children.