Bratwurst and beer, castles and cathedrals, and centuries of history and skilled craftspeople. The time has come to pack your lederhosen for the wonderful views and brews of Germany. From world-class cities to half-timbered towns and romantic river valleys to fairytale forests, we’ve compiled the country’s highlights for the ultimate Germany vacation. This encompassing tour of Germany kicks off in Frankfurt with a river cruise along the vineyard-dotted Rhine, picks up speed with a train ride from Cologne to Berlin, and then makes its way from the restored city of once war-ravaged Dresden to the best of Bavaria and the enchanting Black Forest. Castle-topped hills, snow-capped peaks, and foam-topped pilsners present the sweetest of sights while traditional Black Forest Cake and Nuremberg Gingerbread are your just desserts.
Berlin is without doubt the most fascinating city in Germany. Covering around 341 square miles Berlin is a unique landscape. With its numerous parks, lakes and wooded areas it is sometimes easy to forget that Berlin is the capital of Germany. The troubled history of this celebrated capital has for many years attracted tourists from around the world. It is estimated around 80% of Berlin was destroyed during the Second World War; landmarks like the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church stand as a lasting reminder of the mass destruction this city once endured. Perhaps one of Berlin's most famous landmarks is the Berlin Wall, the 'iron curtain' that divided this great city into two halves between 1961 and 1989. The East was governed by communism while the West was allowed to flourish under a democratic capitalist government. Even now, over a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the differences between the former East and West are still very apparent. Berlin has an undeniable air of mystery that has always been and always will be a major draw for tourists from around the world.
Home of tworld-famous Oktoberfest, the Hofbrauhaus and beergarden-experience, Munich has become one of the most modern and prosperous cities in post-war Germany. Munich offers museums, art galleries, concert halls and historical buildings, beergarden athmosphere on a warm summer night and the hottest dance hall scene in Germany. The area around Munich has mountains, lakes, fairy-tale-castles, wintersport centers and treasures like the monastery-and-brewery of Andechs. Among "must-sees" in Munich, are a walk on the high-level-shopping mile of Maximilianstrasse, a visit of Monopterus building and the "Chinesischer Turm" beergarden on a warm summer day, a match of two main local soccer clubs in Olympic stadium, a visit to "Deutsche Museum", a beer in the students' pubs, and an afternight breakfast in the cafe "Schmalznudel" at Viktualienmarkt. For history, go to a museum, visit the castle of Nymphenburg or get confronted with the dark side of German history in Dachau concentration camp memorial site.
Frankfurt is the city of the International Book Fair, the National Library - a city encompassing a variety of publishing houses, libraries and bookshops. In its museums, exhibition halls, and art galleries, Frankfurt displays its distinct style of contemporary and historical art and culture. Frankfurt's highrises form part of the city's identity. The skyline is unique, thanks to its extraordinary architectural blend of tradition and modernity. Europe's largest skyscraper is also situated here, the Commerzbank building. Frankfurt is home to one of the world's finest ballet ensembles. Frankfurt is a metropolis for techno and dance music, which lends the city a reputation of musical magnetism. The city's numerous theaters and theater groups, the opera, and the concert house Alte Oper offer Frankfurt's stage aficionados and lovers of fine arts a comprehensive and diverse program.
Cologne is a city where cathedral spires tower over Germany's oldest city and its innumerable cultural and historical treasures, world-famous museums and active art scene. In Cologne, street music on the Hohe Strasse or galas in the modern opera house; pavement painting on the cathedral concourse or old masters in the Wallraf Richartz Museum; the annual music festival along the inner ring road or carnival in the entire city all becomes synthesized into a vivacious work of art in a cosmopolitan metropolis boasting more than a million inhabitants which has never lost its neighborly character. From venerable breweries offering unique Kolsch beer and typical Cologne delicacies to first-class restaurants - boasting well in excess of 3000 public houses, restaurants and breweries Cologne is one of Germany's leading gastronomic lights. The world feels at home in Cologne, where people meet for a Kolsch, a chat or simply a laugh.
The second largest city in Bavaria, Nuremberg is a glowing testament to medieval culture as evidenced in its historic monuments, Gothic churches and elegant patrician houses. Take a walk around the 13th-century city walls, complete with moats, watchtowers and gateways. Then experience "shopping" as it was in the Middle Ages at the Handwerker Hof, a charming "mediaeval mall". Don't forget to sample the city's famous Bratwürste annd Lebkuchen.
If Oberammergau did not have the reputation it does, it would have been one of the quietest places among numerous others in the Alps. But its tradition made it that well-known. This tradition does apply to handicraft, to history up to the legends and stories of the village. Oberammergau and the surrounding countryside offer a variety of events and sites, such as hiking and biking tours, winter sports, and tours to the vicinity of Oberammergau. Oberammergau is famous for its wood carving tradition and tromp d'oeil paintings. Today there are about 120 wood sculptors in Oberammergau, actively carving and selling a large variety of wooden artefacts, from figures of saints to household goods. Carvers School offers courses providing specialist training for wood carvers.
Dresden is located along the river Elbe in the German state of Saxony and is known as a center for fine arts and science. Beautiful landscaping along the Elbe can be seen in the Elbe meadows and slopes.
The Altmarkdt (Old Market Square) dating back to the year 1370 has a rebuilt town hall and 18th century Landhaus where the state museum is housed.
Grober Garten Park is the largest central park in Dresden that boasts a zoo and botanical gardens.
The Zwinger is Dresden's baroque showpiece that houses the Old Masters Picture Gallery, Porcelain Collection, and Zoological Museum.
The Frauenkirche Church, Semper Opera House, and Royal Palace are historical monuments that can be seen in Dresden as well.
The Black Forest is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany, with many beautiful hiking trails. It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south. Picturesque towns are plentiful in the Black Forest, and popular tourist destinations include the Schluchse and the Titisee, the thermal bath town Baden-Baden, Gengenbach, Freudenstadt, and Hinterzarten to name a few.
** This departure has been designated a guaranteed departure by the operator, meaning that the minimum number of guests has been met, although still subject to weather and other conditions.
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