5 reasons to take a city break in Germany

I can’t find exact words to describe Germany. All I can say, it is a diverse, wealthy, industrial yet a beautiful country that promise some of the most exciting and interesting travel experiences in Europe. Germany is located in the heart of Europe. This is also the reason why this country makes a convenient starting point to travel anywhere in Europe.

Don’t forget to experience some of the interesting city breaks in this country. For sure, you always wanted to find affordable accommodation, cheap flights to Germany or vacation and tour packages that may cater your needs and budget. Also remember, the list of cities worth visiting is huge. You don’t need to always concentrate on visiting big cities like Berlin or Frankfurt because there are also a lot of small cities that are also worth visiting.

Here are five reasons to take a city break in Germany.

Sightseeing

Germany’s cities are rich in historical and architectural treasures. Many of it were destroyed during the World War II but much remains have been restored. Visiting interesting sights like the Brandenburg Gate, Island Museums (Museumsinsel), Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin, the Cologne Cathedral, the Roemerberg in Frankfurt am Main, the medieval city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Regensburg and many many more interesting cities. Each has its own story to tell and share.

The Cologne Cathedral, an iconic landmark of the city of Cologne. The e graves of the Three Kings were buried here. I took this image during my second visit last August 2010.

Shopping

Shopping can be a great experience in Germany. Whether you are looking for designers brands or mass brands, it is always available particularly in huge cities. Every town and city, big and small can offer an interesting shopping experience. There are a lot of food discounters everywhere. Supermarkets and big malls are also available. Germany has only about 6 Factory Outlet Centers, but there are around 1000 “Fabrikverkauf” or Factory Outlets.

Always remember that if you go for grocery shopping especially in the so-called discountermarkt or discount shops, most of them are not accepting credit cards. Most Germans are paying cash or debit cards. Also prepare to bring some “Plastiktüte” or shopping bags because most grocery stores will not give you free ones. That is how the Germans are taking care of the environment.

The best shopping in Germany are the fine porcelain like the name KPM and Rosenthal, the timepieces and the most favourite are Black Forest cuckoo clocks, the WMF and J.A. Henckels famous cutlery, optical products like microscope and binoculars, toys in Nuremberg, the Christmas decors in Rothenburg ob de Tauber and many more.

Festivals and Fun

Don’t you know that the biggest fair in the world is celebrated in Germany? I believed most of you want to experience the famous Oktoberfest in Munich, the capital city of the state of Bavaria. The famous Canstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart, which is the second biggest festival in the world is also worth to experience. The famous carnival in Cologne, Mainz and Dusseldorf are simply amazing. Germans love festivities and fun and it varies in every region.

one of the beer tents in Munich’s world-known Oktoberfest. This was taken during our visit last 2010.

German Cuisine and German Beer

Visiting Germany without sampling its specialties is a sad experience. Visitors are often surprised at how well-prepared German food is. German food also varies. Don’t forget that the modern German cuisine has been influenced by other European countries such as Italy and France.

Sausage, sauerkraut, coffee and enormous cakes are typical German food. German sausages do come in hundreds of different varieties. Famous sausages are the Bratwurst and Currywurst. Always try the famous German Schweinebraten (a roasted pork), Rinderroulade, Schnitzel mit Pommes frites, and some other local specialties.

If you are visiting Berlin, don’t miss the KaDeWe’s 6th floor hall. There are over a thousand of varieties of German sausages in there. I am happy to have my lunch in Wintergarten, the famous restaurant in KaDeWe.

The famous Restaurant Wintergarten on the 6th floor of KaDeWe in Berlin. I was there!

Beer is also a part of German culture and it is always present especially in German festivals and celebrations. Specialities include Weizenbier (or Weissbier in Bavaria), Alt (a kind of dark ale, popular in Düsseldorf, Kölsch, a special beer brewed in Cologne and Pils. Try the different beers in any German regions.

Castles and Palaces

This is one of the best things I love in Germany. I am always amazed by its castles and palaces. I feel like travelling back in time everytime I visit a castle. The interesting Burg and Schloss (castle and palace) are the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin, Hohenzollern Castle in Baden-Württemberg, Schwerin Castle, Linderhof Palace of King Ludwig II and a lot more.

The most photographed building in Germany, the fairy-tale castle of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. I took this image during my third visit last January 2011.

 
 

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