Germany is a fabulous European holiday destination with a rich culture and history. River cruises, hiking in the forests, cafe culture of the cities or cruising the gorgeous sweeping open roads through winelands and hillside villages, however you travel in Germany it’s a feast for the senses! The Germans love their cakes and a holiday here would not be complete without daily visits to cafes where you can enjoy fabulous gateaus and streudels with coffee or Schnapps! Germany has some fabulous city breaks and Christmas markets including the most famous at Dresden and Frankfurt and the pretty towns of Cochem and Koblenz.
Germany is bordered by Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic in the east, Switzerland and Austria to the south, France and Luxembourg in the south west and Belgium and the Netherlands in the north west. This mix of cultures surrounding it means that there are a lot of regional influences to dialect and cuisine of Germany. Many holidays can combine Germany with any of its close neighbours, particularly so with the Tirol regions of Austria and areas where rivers such as the Danube travel between countries. The region of Bavaria with it’s castles, mountains and lakes is a stunning area of Germany and very popular with escorted tour groups and sight seeing holidays. Picture postcard mountain villages and pretty towns and valleys are full of classical castles and clean air.
Munich is a great holiday destination and the capital of Bavaria. It is a lively city with plenty of culture, historical architecture, great shops and markets and sightseeing. It has traditional charm but has been influenced by tastes of the Mediterranean. Enjoy Bavarian specialty foods such as various sausages and pretzels and of course sample the beer gardens. One of the most famous events in Germany is the Oktoberfest (or Munich Beer Festival) which takes place for between 16-18 days annually in October with more than five million visitors a year! This festival has been held since 1810 and is at the heart of Bavarian culture.
Dresden is a fascinating German city, on the River Elbe and full of tradition and culture. Try local Saxon food specialities in the gourmet taverns and brewery houses in the old town. There is a mix of Saxon restored architecture and more modern Baroque styles in Dreden. The sandstone dome of the Frauenkirche dominates the city skyline with it’s sandstone dome and for the best views travel over the river to the New Town where you will see the Golden Cavalier statue. Take a boat trip (or join a sleep aboard river cruise) down the Elbe Valley for a beautiful way to enjoy this pretty part of Germany. There are fabulous festive markets in Dresden too.
There are plenty of river side towns full of timbered building and pretty promenades such as that of Koblenz, a 2000 year old Roman city with narrow lanes and alleys full of historic buildings and monuments on the River Rhine. Cologne is another great city break and also accessible by rail with onward journeys to Switzerland and the Glacier Express.
Berlin, the capital and largest city is famous of course for the ‘Berlin Wall’ and the divided city of the post second world war. There are plenty of museums and sites of historical interest documenting National Socialism to the post war divide and everywhere you will see this etched into the cityscape. Visit the Brandenburg Gate, the bustling Potsdamer Platz and the glass domed Reichstag. There is some of the best nightlife in the world on offer in Berlin and a great cafe culture with regular flights from UK and access by road and rail too. Another busy and interesting city and home to Apple Wine is Frankfurt, easily accessible and full of cafes and culture.
Germany’s second largest city is Hamburg which is also known as the greenest city with it’s many parks and gardens. This is another great city break option and Germany’s main port with the harbour being one of the attractions along with the lively St Pauli district in the heart of the city with a vibrant nightlife. Take a boat tour from the waterfront and the warehouse district and canals.
If you are interested in the countryside and the natural history of Germany, you will find here flora and fauna similar to that in all of central Europe such as deer, wild boar, mouflon, badgers, foxes and hares. There are lots of birds of prey in the mountains and forests and one third of the forest areas are made up of deciduous trees with the rest being conifers. There are several national parks worth a visit including the Bavarian Forest National Park, Wadden Sea National Park and the Vorpommern Lagoon Area National Park.
However you want to travel to Germany, by road, rail, air or boat, ask me to tailor your holiday to suit your interests.