There are more than 10,000 towns and cities in Germany that lie between the North Sea and the Alps, each with an extensive batch of activities on offer throughout every season. From castles straight out of the pages of a fairytale and half-timbered medieval towns, to cosmopolitan cities with important cultural contributions on display around every turn, travelers are presented with an engaging mix of tradition and modernity. While this seemingly endless supply of options can lead to the creation of an incredible itinerary, these choices can also make narrowing down your must-see list a nearly impossible undertaking. So, we've taken on the challenging task of narrowing down the best places to visit in Germany this year.
Insider tip: rent a car in one of these 5 cities and move around!
Ahh, Oktoberfest - sure it might be cliché, but if you happen to find yourself in Munich around the end of September, why would you deprive yourself of one of the most quintessentially German experiences known to man? We say bring on the giant pretzels and beer by the liter (just don't drive)! Spend some time visiting Munich's Hofbräuhaus, an establishment that began as a brewery and over the years has developed into an internationally acclaimed 'beer temple'. Enjoy hearty German specialties served up with a dose of Bavarian hospitality, and then see what the rest of the surrounding region has to offer. Comfortably nestled at the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, Munich is the perfect home base for starting your trip.
Cleverly nicknamed 'Main-hattan', Frankfurt is home to an impressive skyline that is completely dominated by views of dazzling skyscrapers. At a first glance, this destination may seem like an open book, but some individuals may be surprised to learn that Frankfurt is actually a city of contrasts. Financial districts are accented by leafy parks; high-rises sit alongside half-timbered houses and an evening out can consist of going to a cozy neighborhood tavern followed by dancing the night away in one of the most upbeat discos in Europe. If you're the type of traveler looking to experience a little bit of everything, Frankfurt is most certainly the city for you.
Similar to other war-torn cities like Berlin, peace and progress continue to be common threads woven into Cologne's historic fabric. A three-dimensional textbook on history and architecture, World War II relics still have their place in Cologne, and the overall effects of the war can still be felt to this day. When Cologne was leveled by WWII bombings, the city's Cathedral was the only building that survived, an occurrence that was widely interpreted as sign of divine intervention. As one of Germany's most important architectural monuments, the Cologne Cathedral should most certainly be a stop for every visitor. Despite its historic contributions, Cologne is hardly resting on its former achievements. New surprises continue to pop up almost daily, and travelers could easily spend an entire week focusing on the vibrant arts and music scene that augment the city's wealth of historic attractions.
Blanketed in trees and forests, Hamburg is one of Europe's greenest cities. One part grit and two parts high-end, Hamburg's recent emphasis on glamour has spawned a new image for the city, detracting from its once seedy reputation. Hamburg's maritime spirit also infuses practically every element found within its confines; from architectural designs to entrees created by local chefs, you'll consistently be reminded that you're never far from the water. Always on the forefront of nurturing up-and-coming new musical talent, Hamburg puts a refreshing spin on the live-music scene by designing some of the most unique harbor-side venues you're likely to ever encounter. This thriving port city is often referred to by its citizens as 'the gateway to the world', and while that's a pretty lofty title, one thing is for sure; no city embodies the country's alliance of old and new more than its fashion and media capital.
2014 is an important year for Berlin, as it marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Although the actual anniversary isn't until November 9th, there are events geared toward commemorating this important moment in time happening throughout the year in venues around the city. Visitors will have the chance to gain additional insight into the history of Berlin as a divided city, and the significance of the Wall for city residents. A locale that has fallen, dusted itself off and risen up in the wake of defeat so many times over the course of the past several decades, the feelings of hope, promise and perseverance throughout the city is infectious.
Making the decision to arrange a car rental for your upcoming vacation in Germany will prove to be one of the best decisions you make, allowing you to broaden your travel horizons by seeing more enchanting cities and towns, instead of being confined to one particular area due to restrictive public transportation schedules. When you book a rental car with a broker like Auto Europe, you are benefiting not only from our 60 years of experience, but also from the experience of the reputable car rental agencies we work with. By leveraging our relationships with these companies, we are able to offer our clients the very best rates on car rentals in Germany. Make your reservation today by using our secure, three-step booking engine, or call us toll-free at 1-888-223-5555.Planning a trip to Germany? We want to hear about it! Like us on Facebook and let us know what you'll be doing and we may feature your experiences in an upcoming post.