The Best Way to Explore Germany: Six Tips for a Successful Trip


Explore Germany: Six Tips for a Successful Trip

When it comes to planning a trip to Germany, it’s easy to be daunted. There’s so much to see and do, from fairy-tale castles and Gothic cathedrals to riverside restaurants and buzzing markets. But where do you start? Which places should you visit? And how can you make the most of your time there? Whether you’re hoping to take in the sights of one city or explore the entire country, this guide will help you get the most out of your trip.

Plan your itinerary

The first step to a great trip is to create an itinerary that includes the attractions you want to see. If you’re planning a quick trip, it’s best to prioritize the cities and regions you most want to visit. If you have more time, you can choose to explore more widely across the country. In built-up areas, such as Berlin and Munich, you’ll have plenty of options for exploring on foot, but in more rural areas, you might need to be more creative with your sightseeing. If you’re planning to head out into the countryside, bear in mind that German winters can be long and harsh, so spring and fall are the best times to visit.

Travel by train

If you’re trying to decide between going by train or by car, the train is almost always the better option. Train travel in Germany is easy, comfortable and relatively quick, and it’s likely to be cheaper than renting a car. Germany has a well-developed network of local and regional trains, which connect all the major cities, including Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg. Short-distance trains, known as S-Bahnen and U-Bahnen, are particularly useful for exploring towns and cities. Trains are also the best way to get to the country’s many charming smaller towns and villages. Although traveling by train in Germany isn’t always as quick as you might think, it’s undoubtedly the best way to get around the country.

Stay at comfortable hotels

If you’re traveling by train, it’s well worth staying in hotels near the train station. This way, you can easily get to and from the station at the start and end of your trip. Another option is to stay in centrally located hotels. As well as saving time, staying in a central location will save you money too. Hotels in Germany are generally clean and comfortable, but the star rating you see advertised has no relation to the quality of the hotel. Instead, it refers to the size of the room. For a comfortable stay in a large city, look for a hotel with a rating of three stars or above. If you’re exploring less-visited areas, a two-star hotel will probably suit your needs.

Eat and drink well

German cuisine is often overlooked by visitors who come for architecture and history. But the country has an excellent reputation for food and drink, with a strong focus on seasonal produce. There’s also a huge variety of dishes to try, from hearty stews and sausages to dumplings and pastries. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in German flavors on your trip. Whether you’re eating in a restaurant or grabbing a quick bite, take advantage of the self-service culture. This means you can help yourself to as much or as little as you want, including seconds, which is rarely offered in restaurants.

Visit in the spring or fall

Most people visit Germany in the summer months between June and August when the weather is at its warmest. If you’re able to choose your dates, it can be well worth waiting until spring or fall to visit. These are the country’s “green seasons,” when the weather is mostly mild and the countryside is rich with color after the winter cold. If you visit in the spring, you might see the cherry trees in Berlin in full bloom, while in the fall, you’ll experience the changing colors of the German forests.

Be aware of culture and etiquette rules

Germany is a diverse country with a rich history, which means there are certain cultural and etiquette rules you should be aware of when visiting. It’s important to show respect to other cultures, religions and people, particularly when visiting places of worship. When eating and drinking, it’s best to avoid putting your elbows on the table and try not to make a mess. Be aware of your surroundings and follow directions from local people. It’s important to remember that people in Germany speak German, so try to learn some basic phrases before you go.

Bottom line

Germany is one of the world’s most fascinating and enjoyable countries to visit, whether you’re heading for the country’s cities or the countryside. With this guide, you’ll be able to plan your trip and make the most of your time there. Whether you’re keen to explore the fairy-tale castles of the Rhine Valley or the bustling streets of Berlin, there’s plenty to see and do in Germany.