Germany travel guide

Germany Tourism | Germany Guide

You're Going to Love Germany

Whether you're into the great outdoors or prefer culture and architectural sites, Germany has it all. Travel north to enjoy the coast, stay in the heart of the country for romantic forests and valleys, or head south for the spectacular mountain scenery of the Bavarian Alps.

What to do in Germany

1. Explore Berlin

Explore the monuments of recent history in Berlin, like the renowned Berlin Wall. The city that survived and reinvented itself countless times since the end of World War II is one of the most important tech hubs and one of the largest start-up capitals of Europe.

2. The must-do events

If you're traveling for the must-do events, try Oktoberfest in September, the Christmas Markets in December, or the Berlin Film Festival in February.

3. Visit the Neuschwanstein Castle

Visit the Neuschwanstein Castle in Füssen, a short 1h train ride from Munich. Not only is this a gorgeous building, but it is also the inspiration for Disney's Cinderella Castle.

4. The Black Forest

The Black Forest is a lush green forest, but it is also a famous cake and the name of a rail route. It's one of the most popular things to do in Germany if you're looking to add to your bucket list.

5. Foods to try

If "wursts" (sausages) and "sauerkraut" are not at the top of your list of foods to try in Germany, then at least make sure you try one of the famous pretzels while you're in Berlin or Munich.

When to visit Germany

When it comes to weather, the sweet spots are from April to June and September to October. Crowds are smaller in the cooler season, and there's nothing quite like the scenery in Germany in the spring and fall. Cultural travelers will appreciate the high season of theater and opera from November to March.

How to Get to Germany

Entry Requirements

European Union residents can enter Germany with their national ID card or passport, without needing to apply for a visa or go through customs upon their arrival. Travelers of other nationalities may need to apply for a Schengen visa. Most travelers, including US nationals, are allowed to enter the country without a visa, as long as they're not staying for more than 90 days.

Plane

Most cities in Germany have their own airports, served by international and domestic flights. Most overseas flights from outside of Europe will land at Frankfurt Airport. Two small international airports serve the capital Berlin—Schönefeld (approx. 35min from the city center by car), and Tegel (approx. 30-minutes' drive from the city center).

Train

EuroCity trains, operated by Deutsche Bahn, connect the major cities in Germany to other European cities, while the Eurostar train connects Germany to the United Kingdom. A solo train ticket price will start at about €20 ($22) per person.

Car

European travelers entering Germany by car need to carry a valid driver's license, issued in their country of origin. Travelers from other countries need to apply for an International Driving Permit. You must drive on the right side of the road.

Bus

Comfortable long-distance buses operated by several companies connect most major European cities to Germany. Popular routes include Amsterdam to Berlin and Barcelona to Berlin, both operated by Eurolines, and Copenhagen to Berlin, operated by Flixbus.

Boat

Regular ferry services connect the ports of Kiel, Travemünde, Rostock, and Sassnitz in Germany to Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, and Norway. July and August are the busiest and the most expensive months.

Popular airlines serving Germany

United Airlines
Good (69,532 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (47,707 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (28,434 reviews)
KLM
Good (3,812 reviews)
Delta
Good (30,770 reviews)
Air France
Good (4,368 reviews)
British Airways
Good (23,357 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (23,635 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (9,192 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Excellent (11,554 reviews)
Iberia
Good (6,174 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (25,065 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (4,862 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (15,783 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (5,585 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (2,482 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (5,456 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (18,768 reviews)
Finnair
Good (3,885 reviews)
JetBlue
Excellent (20,191 reviews)
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Where to stay in Germany

In addition to chain hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and guesthouses ("fremdenzimmer" or "pensionen" in German), and hostels, travelers visiting the countryside of Germany can opt to stay in campsites. Some cities in Germany may charge a city tax for overnight stays.

Where to stay in popular areas of Germany

Most booked hotels in Germany

Hotel Adlon Kempinski
Excellent (9.3, Excellent reviews)
£278+
The Westin Hamburg
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
£177+
Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
£74+
Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
£71+
Hotel Riu Plaza Berlin
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
£73+
Holiday Inn Hamburg - City Nord
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
£77+
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How to Get Around Germany

Public Transportation

Public transportation in Germany is fast and effective. Major cities are served by a network of trams, trains (S-Bahn), and subways (U-Bahn). A day ticket in Berlin, for example, starts at €7 ($7.7). Taxis are metered and might cost about €3 ($3.3) per kilometer (0.62 mi).

Trains

In most cases, it's faster and more convenient hopping on a train than taking a domestic flight. Train ticket prices start at approximately €20 ($24). If you're not a European resident and you plan to travel extensively by train in Germany, consider purchasing a German Rail Pass.

Bus

The market for long-distance buses has been liberated in Germany since 2012, which increases your chances of getting a great deal on bus tickets. In cities or villages, you'll also find many options of bus routes, both regional and local.

Car

With top-notch roads, driving around Germany is a breeze. The taxes on fuel are high, though, so consider the costs before deciding to drive. Ride-sharing apps like BlaBlaCar and WunderCar are popular options in Germany.

Plane

Thanks to low-cost airlines, domestic flights are often a cheaper and faster way to travel within Germany. Lufthansa and Eurowings are two of the most popular airlines operating regular domestic flights.

The Cost of Living in Germany

Eating out can cost between €10 and €45 ($11 and $50), depending on which type of restaurant you choose. A monthly pass for public transportation costs approx. €70 ($78) per person. A museum ticket typically ranges from €1 to €15 ($1.1 to $17). When it comes to methods of payment, cash is preferred over debit or credit cards.