People love exploring Europe while on vacation, and Germany is one of the most popular countries for tourists to visit. Whether you want to traverse this country as a tourist or as someone who lives there, this list has something for everyone to check out. For those worried about visiting a country where English is not the go-to language, never fear. Tourist attractions are well-equipped with a variety of translators, many of whom are English-speakers who want to help you experience their culture. Here are the places I highly recommend to future travelers when in Germany.
There are three castles in Bavaria Germany that were built by King Ludwig II that are absolute must-sees. Each castle is located in a unique area of Germany that allows tourists and locals to see just how beautiful the country is.
The first castle King Ludwig built was Neuschwanstein [Noy-sh-van-sh-tine] in 1869. If the castle looks familiar, it may be due to Disney, who based their castle off of this one. Nevertheless, it’s far more impressive to see in person rather than as a drawing or picture. Because of its location, it takes a person an hour to reach the castle by foot or a simple 20-minute carriage ride for those who want a tour of it. But the view is worth it once you reach the top, as it overlooks a nearby town and features a breathtaking view of Ludwig’s parents’ castle.
Herrenchiemsee [Hair-n-kim-say] Palace, was built in 1878, and was inspired by the Palace of Versailles. Even though the castle isn’t located on a mountain like Neuschwanstein, you must board a large ferry boat in order to reach it, as it is on an island. The moment you step off the boat, the castle stands before you, surrounded by a beautiful garden and a massive fountain. When you enter the palace walls, it feels like you have stepped into the royal world, the walls are graced with golden accents from top to bottom, and the halls are lined with intricate silk furniture.
Linderhof [Lin-dare-hoe-f] Palace, the newest of the three, was built in 1886. It is the smallest castle of them all but has the most beautiful front garden and statues that linger around the property. Right before the palace, a gold fountain sits in the middle of a small lake, firing ribbons of water before turning off once more. The statues around the lake and palace contribute to the overall ambience of a Greek palace; a statue of Atlas stands atop the building and Neptune remains resolute with a full herd of horses in his watery wake.
All three locations offer multilingual tours for visitors that provide them with a better understanding as to why each castle was built and what inspired Ludwig’s creations. Each location has breathtaking scenery, exquisite interiors and stunning exteriors that everyone should see for themselves.
“Home of the Monks”:
Better known as Munich/München [Mu-n-ick], this city has much to offer for those looking for great food, shopping areas and a taste of history. The heart of the city, and a must-see in Munich, Marienplatz [Mar-ee-en-pla-z] is lined with a handful of stores and restaurants for people to check out. It has been the heart of the city since 1158 when it was first founded and built; even the architecture of the platz remains the same centuries later. Many people visit this area in Munich at noon when a clock called Glockenspiel [g-lock-en-sh-peel] begins to chime; figurines high up on the building begin to twirl and dance to the sounds of the bell. After the bell rings, telling tourists and locals that it’s time for lunch, many depart from the platz in search of a meal.
There are many restaurants for travelers to check out that have several versions of the menu for people to use. A personal favorite in Munich is the Ratskeller. This restaurant has traditional German dishes such as schnitzel: a breaded piece of veal served with potato salad or french fries, and Käsespätzle: egg noodles mixed with cheese and butter. The waiters that work there speak a handful of languages due to the number of tourists they see on a yearly basis.
Once you’ve had a taste of the food Germany has to offer, it’s time to do some shopping. Two stores I love visiting whenever I’m in Munich are Kaufhof [Cow-f-h-oo-f] and Ludwig Beck because of the variety of items they have for shoppers to buy for themselves or others. Kaufhof has more to offer for those looking to buy something for others since this large store sells more than just clothes. Patrons can purchase groceries, plates, toys, clothing and more, meaning there’s certainly something for everyone. Ludwig Beck is different in terms of variety. They sell mostly clothes to their patrons but at a much steeper price due to the quality of their items. Both of these stores can be found within the Marienplatz which allows shoppers to go back and forth between the two stores in search of items to buy.
A Natural Lake:
One of the most beautiful places I have been to is called Königsee [Koo-nig-say], a crystal blue lake surrounded by large mountains and green trees. In order to get to this lake, travelers must first walk down a large street that’s lined with a multitude of eye-catching stores. Only after you’ve emptied your wallet at these stores will you be able to go and explore the lake. There are boat rides people can take to go further into the lake where travelers learn more about the area. During these boat rides, a tour guide takes out a trumpet and begins to play a song, demonstrating how the sound echoes off the mountain walls seven times before going silent. It’s a tranquil ride that will eventually drop riders off by St Bartholomew’s Church, which shows more of Germany’s history. Even though the building was originally a church, it is now used as a tourist attraction since the building was constructed in 1134. Next to this red-roofed church are the docks and a small restaurant for those who wish to eat in a more quiet location. If you don’t want to explore either of these things, then taking hikes or a quick dip in the lake during the summer are equally rewarding options.
Germany has such a rich cultural past and present; everyone should experience it once in their lifetime. Whether you want to visit this country as a tourist or experience the local life, there’s something for everyone to see. These are only some of the few places I have been to myself, but I’ve revisited them several times because of the food, history and culture Germany has to offer. There aren’t any language barriers for those that cannot speak German because the country is very familiar with tourists from around the world. So what’s stopping you from visiting Germany? Pack your bags and explore this country because of its renowned culture.