Cobblestoned sidewalks, enchanting castles, and Bavarian music in the city courtyards.
And beer. Lots of it.
While most international arrivals coming into Germany go for, Oktoberfest, a party that is celebrated across Germany (and the world), they should all know this country has so much more to offer. Rich history, fascinating architecture, and adventure travel especially hiking.
Berlin & Munich, Germany
Getting around (transportation and language) —
The off-season in Germany runs from November – March, so if time isn’t an issue for your itinerary, check flights during these months.
Also you may want to consider flying into a major hub, then booking a discount air carrier (I’ve heard wonderful things about RyanAir).
The autobahn, a complex highway system, is one of the most famous aspects of German transport. It’s efficient trains help to make getting around this massive county easy and painless.
As always regional trains, and city to city busses are much more affordable.
Germans know English. A fact for all the citizens that reside in this country. And about 3 other languages. I admire their education system, and work/ life balance the Germans live. It is truly inspiring and other countries should follow.
Top Sites (from just two German cities):
Berlin: Museum Island, Berlin Wall (EastSide), Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag Building, Beer Gardens (beer me brah), and the Holocaust Museum (if you want to cry your eyes out).
Munich: Nymphenburg Palace, Oktoberfest festivities, the Neuschwanstein Castle could not be more idyllic, Linderhof Palace, Englischer Garten, and Main square, Marienplatz.
Germany is one of the more safer countries in Europe, so there’s a low risk for travelers when it comes to pickpocketing threats. But as always when travelling stay on your toes, and know your surroundings.
Not once did I feel endangered or exposed to harm.
Europe travel isn’t cheap. Hostal dorm rooms run from 12- 20 EUR per night, but most come with breakfast. European style breakfasts are basically lunch (various meats, beans, fruit, cheese, seeds), be smart pack some ziplocks in your backpack and pack sammies and fruit at breakfast for the day.
If you’re as frugal as me you will book night trains, and sleep in airports… but on the nights I need to get my beauty sleep I take full advantage of hostals.
Eating and Drinking —
MUST TRY’S. Bratwurst, Kartoffelsalat (potato salad), hot pork sausage in small slices. To save a few euros on brews buy at the grocery store, or try a local brewer instead of a beer cellar/bar.
Also, there is a big Turkish influence in the big cities, late night food includes Turkish kebabs, and Lahmacan (Turkish Pizza), which is typically less than traditional German dishes.
Broad Suggestions —
Walking tours is a great way to take in an entire city in just one day. Most major cities have free walking tours, with a suggested tip offer to the guide at the end of the tour. My favorite thing to do is rent a bike the first day I get to a new city, you cover more ground than walking, I usually allow myself to get lost (seriously), and rely on asking locals my whereabouts. You truly get a more unique and local perspective this route.
Museums – Check to see if a particular museum offers free admission one day during the week or free hours
Munich and Berlin have some great parks grab a free map from your hostal desk or local tour agency and have an afternoon picnic (Englischer Garten in Munich is nice).
Two of my best friends, who I met while living in Chile, are from Germany.
I asked my friend Pia what her favorite authentic German meal was, and she replied:
I would love to go back within the next few years to see some of my friends, and check off my bucket-list Oktoberfest, and hiking in the Black Forest.
Until next time – Hope you find something worth smiling about!