While it would be a whirlwind tour, you can see many of Germany’s top sights within ten days. Start in Heidelberg, and visit the castle in a wood on Konigstuhl hill. It’s an eight-story drop into the Neckar River, but don’t go near the edge!
Enjoy the scenery on a railway operated by counterweighted cars, a combination of century old and ultramodern technology. It’s a German historic monument, and it travels over gradients as steep as 43%. Spend your first night in the Rhine valley.
Speyer’s amazing cathedral holds the graves of German kings and Roman emperors. Don’t miss the gate clock. It’s one of the tallest and oldest (1176) in the country. Travel along the wine road, which quite aptly passes through a number of vineyards and past storybook castles. Be sure to taste some fine German wine.
Stop at Frieburg’s church and historic university as you enter the Black Forest Park. Then travel on to Mad King Ludwig’s world famous Neuschwanstein, the one that looks like Sleeping Beauty’s castle in a horse drawn castle, and even has its own waterfall. It’s one of the most popular destinations in Europe, with over a million visitors annually.
After touring the neo-romantic medieval interior, have a cup of espresso in the café, and then photograph the castle from Mary’s Bridge. Spend the night at the Hotel Mueller, where you can enjoy castle views.
The German Alps and Zugspitze, Germany’s highest Alp are a must-see on your German tour. Ride the funicular to its summit and snap Alpine photos. This evening, feast on Bavarian culinary delights, such as:
• Schweinshaxe (knuckle of pork) or Schweinsbraaten (crunch crusted pork roast)
• Veal schnitzel or Weilswurst
• Camembert cheese
• Semmelknodel (dumplings)
Spend a day in Munich touring the BMW museum, which depicts the history and future of the brand, incorporating music, tours and exhibits. The museum also offers chauffeured tours in vintage BMW automobiles. Or, visit the Olympic stadium and huge natatorium.
Drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber via the Romantic Road, which is very busy in the high season. Tradesman in the Middle Ages traveled the road. Rothenburg has been called a typical historic German town, and attractively combines old and new lifestyles.
Tour Berlin by day, visiting the world famous zoo, the Wall memorial, Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie. When Berlin was split in two in 1961, it tore the Bernauer Strasse neighborhood asunder. Neighbors were forever separated from their familiar friends…at least until 1989. You can still see No Man’s Land, where escapes from East Berlin were attempted.
Brandenburg Gate, emblematic of the whole country, was completed in 1791. It is modeled in the classicist style after an Acropolis gateway in Athens. The Nazis appropriated the Gate’s symbolic importance in World War II. Since the Wall fell, it has been Berlin’s reunification symbol.
Experience the enchantment of nightclubs in Germany’s most trendsetting city. Berlin has embraced a trend called “lounging,’ which involves relaxing with a drink and zoning out on light jazz. Imagine sitting back in a commodious leather armchair, and sipping a cocktail or champagne at the Anhalter Park in the Hotel Berlin.
The next day, see Germany’s Versailles-like palace, the Castle Sanssouci and gardens. The Rococo style castle was once the residence of the Prussian king, Frederick the Great.
Interestingly, the castle was named for its purpose—“without concerns”—because Frederick built it to relax and get away from it all. The extensive grounds are sprinkled with ornamental buildings and temples. In the 1700s, they housed vineyards. Today, you can see a breathtaking gazebo, statues of gods and goddesses and numerous fountains.
About the author: Diane Johnson primarily writes about online education pell grants and anything else that interests her. She enjoys traveling, reading, and sports.