10 Epic Places You Must Visit in Germany

Germany has some of the most impressive natural destinations in Europe, most of which can be accessed by hiking in the countryside or crossing alpine lakes by boat. With an incredible variety of landscapes, from the Alps to the Baltic and North Seas, you can explore a multitude of settings, including majestic mountains, forest reserves, and medieval cities.

Medieval towns with fairytale castles, snow-capped mountains… With this handy guide to the epic places you should visit in Germany, you can plan a road trip full of adventure.

1- Rakotzbrücke See the 19th-century Devil’s Bridge in Kromlau Park Rakotzbrücke is a masonry bridge located in the Kromlau Azalea and Rhododendron Park. Built in 1860, it is formed by a semicircular arch with irregular stone spiers at both ends. Reflecting on the calm water, the bridge creates the illusion of forming a perfect circle, making it a popular location for landscape photo shoots.

With more than 80 hectares, it is also a great attraction for nature lovers, as it is home to the largest rhododendron gardens in the country and is ideal for walks, picnics, and enjoying other outdoor activities. Admission to the park and the bridge is free all year round. Address: Azalea and Rhododendron Park Kromlau, Altes Schloß 11, 02953 Gablenz, Germany

2- Externsteine Unique sandstone formations in the Teutoburg Forest Externsteine is a series of sandstone pillars protruding from the Wiembecke, a natural lagoon located in the Teutoburg Forest. It is one of the most impressive landscapes in Germany and dates back to the Ice Age, although several structures were added during the Middle Ages. Today you can visit a grotto, a sarcophagus, and a relief depicting the Descent of Christ from the cross.

The steep ravines are between 13 and 40 meters high and rise against the picturesque backdrop of the lush forests, moors, and lakes of the Wiembecke Valley. Private gatherings and pagan celebrations are often held here, especially on the summer solstice and Walpurgis Night, also known as Witches’ Night. Address: Infozentrum Externsteine, Externsteine Straße 35, Horn-Bad Meinberg, Germany

Hours: Every day, from 10:00 to 18:00. In January and February: weekends, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In March: Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

3- Lake Obersee A fjord near the Austrian border Lake Obersee is a crystal-clear fjord located in the Berchtesgaden National Park, about 140 kilometers southeast of Munich. Surrounded by forests and alpine mountains, its turquoise waters are so transparent that you can even see the rock bottom.

You can reach this lake by a one-hour boat ride, crossing Lake Königsee to the Saletalm jetty. From there, you will have to take a hiking route along a tree-lined path that lasts between 30 minutes and an hour, which will take you to Lake Obersee. The fjord is open to the public all year round, although the best time to visit is in summer, as the water will be warm enough to enjoy a good dip. Address: Obersee, 83471 Schönau am Königssee, Germany

4- Basteibrücke Enjoy the views of the Elbe and the Lilienstein mountain Basteibrücke, or Bastion Bridge, is a medieval construction located in the national park of Saxon Switzerland. Measuring 76.5 meters in length, it dates back to the mid-19th century and is made up of a set of irregular sandstone rocks that rise above the Elbe River.

This bridge has a height of more than 182 meters and is an outstanding viewpoint of the park. From here, you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding rock formations, the Elbe River, Lilienstein Mountain, and the Königstein Fortress. Address: Bastei, 01824 Lohmen, Germany

5- The Romantic Route Venture to travel by car from Würzburg to Füssen Germany’s Romantic Route covers a total of 460 kilometers from Würzburg to Füssen and passes through countless natural and medieval sites distributed throughout the southern region. You can start the trip in Munich, Frankfurt, or Nuremberg. Depending on the number of stops you want to make, you can spend two to seven days exploring the route.

Some of the most beautiful places you will find along the Romantic Route are Neuschwanstein Castle in Hohenschwangau, the medieval city of Rothenburg, and the Wies pilgrimage church in Steingaden. Address: 350 km between Würzburg and Füssen, Germany

6- Moselle Valley Visit fairytale castles and medieval towns

The Moselle Valley is home to some of the most impressive sites in all of Germany, from terraced vineyards to rolling hills, medieval villages, and mountaintop castles. The region is named after the 545-kilometer-long Moselle River, which runs along the borders of southwestern Germany, northeastern France, and eastern Luxembourg.

Plan a romantic trip through this valley and discover fairytale castles such as Cochem, Stolzenfels, and Eltz. Additionally, the Moselle is a prosperous white wine-producing region, and Trier, one of Germany’s oldest cities, is surrounded by vineyards that produce the famous Moselle wines.

Address: 195 km between Trier and Koblenz, Germany

7- The Partnach Gorge A natural gorge ideal for rafting

The Partnach Gorge attracts rafting enthusiasts with its exciting white waters and the impressive waterfalls of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria’s alpine resort. The gorge is more than 80 meters deep and is accessible via a series of hiking trails, with views of the River Partnach and the surrounding Alpine mountain ranges.

The best time to visit the Partnach Gorge is in summer, especially in the months of July and August. Walking through this natural formation will make you believe that you have just stepped out of a scene from Game of Thrones or The Lord of the Rings. If you like challenges, we recommend that you continue with another nine hours of route to the Zugspitze glacier. Address: Partnach Gorge, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

8- Harz National Park Walk Goethe’s path or witches’ path

The Harz National Park comprises 247 square kilometers of forests in the German regions of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. This nature reserve is famous for its spectacular hiking trails and wildlife, including lynx, wild cats, deer, and woodpeckers.

In addition, the park has several routes adapted for mountain biking: in fact, Volksbank Arena Harz has 74 routes covering 2,300 kilometers in total. Along the route, there are 31 stops where races are held and maintenance services, bicycle parking, and guided tours are offered. Address: Harz National Park, Germany

9- Black Forest Visit the Triberg waterfalls, the highest in Germany The Black Forest is much more than the birthplace of the classic cuckoo clock and the setting for many Grimm fairy tales. This mountain range, which the Germans call Schwarzwald, is famous for its spectacular lakes and trails through pine forests.

Located in the heart of the Black Forest are the Triberg waterfalls, very famous for being the highest in the country. To reach this fascinating landscape you will have to go up a hiking route from the station in the city of Triberg. The water of the Gutach River descends through a drop of 163 meters throughout the year. In fact, be careful if you visit the waterfalls in winter because the viewing platform freezes and you could slip. Address: Black Forest, Todtnau, Germany

10- Zugspitze Take the cable car to the highest mountain in Germany Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany, reigns among the Wetterstein mountains with an impressive height of 2962 meters above sea level. You can get to the top of the Zugspitze in several ways: choose from one of the five defined hiking routes, lasting between eight and ten hours each way, or ride the Zugspitze and Gletscherbahn cable cars if you prefer.

Thanks to its privileged location, the summit offers panoramic views of 400 snow-covered peaks belonging to Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. The Zugspitze has a ski resort where you can also go sledding during the winter season. You’ll also find an igloo village made up of 20 snow houses, a bar, a kitchen, and two whirlpools. Address: Wetterstein Mountains, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

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