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Germany
 Country of half-timbered houses, beer, and good infrastructure 
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Germany


Germany is not considered a top tourist country. If you ask anyone where they want to go in Europe, Germany won't probably be on the first place. I cannot say whether it's true or not. Each country is unique and in our reports we never put one country over another.

We've been to Germany many times, so visited a lot of places. As a rule, it were one-day trips, but there had also been one long route for 17 days, which we described below. We should say that some important places were not included in the route: Dresden, Hamburg, Bremen. So, if you decide to use the route, consider this fact. The long route was planned so that we could see as manyinteresting places in Germany as possible.

We used trains and buses. Germany has one of the best transportation networks, and railway connection is definitely the best in the world. Besides, there's a wonderful website www.bahn.de, which combines all kinds of transport.

And did you know that German highways have no speed limits?

Map of Germany
Map of Germany ©vidiani.com

Our personal top of best places in Germany (in random order):

Berlin, Reichstag dome, Airlift, Aquarium in Radisson Hotel and other places
Dresden
Wilhelmshöhe Park in Kassel
Hamburg
Rhine Valley from Rüdesheim to Koblenz by bike or car
Cologne Cathedral
Potsdam by bike
Neuschwanstein Castle
Frankfurt am Main, especially the evening
Zollverein mine in Essen
Mount Nebelhorn
Bremen Market Square
Weimar together with nearby palaces (Belvedere, Ettersburg, Tifurt) and Buchenwald concentration camp
Wartburg Castle
Wernigerode
Zugspitze
Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus)
Quedlinburg
Koenigssee Lake
Eltz Castle
Hannover Zoo
Schwebebahn in Wuppertal

The map below shows the main points of our 17-day route. Just consider that it was an experimental route, and we have never travelled so actively since that time :)


View Germany - Pizzatravel.com.ua on a bigger map

Day 1 - Berlin

We started with Berlin. First we settled in the hotel, which was the worst in the entire trip. The overall impressions of German hotels is great, and it's easy to find a hotel for 50-60 euros almost in the downtown. But in Berlin we didn't find such hotel and lived far from the downtown, in a hotel with shared shower and toilet. As it turned out, such hotels are popular in eastern Germany, especially among football fans.

Then we went for a walk. Our route in Berlin is described in this article.

Berlin central station
Berlin central station ©Yuriy Buriak


Reichstag
Reichstag ©Yuriy Buriak


Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate ©Yuriy Buriak


Holocaust Memorial in Berlin
Holocaust Memorial in Berlin ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 2 - Berlin, Potsdam

Early in the morning we went to see the Reichstag dome. The entrance is free and queues can be impressive, so we arrived at 8 am and were the first to enter.

Circular viewing platform in the Reichstag dome
Circular viewing platform in the Reichstag dome ©Yuriy Buriak

Then, on the shortest metro line in Germany, U55, we reached the main railway station and went to Potsdam by S7. There, right at the station, we rented bicycles and went for a ride.

Small castle
Small castle ©Yuriy Buriak


Cecilienhof Palace
Cecilienhof Palace ©Yuriy Buriak


Belvedere in Potsdam
Belvedere in Potsdam ©Yuriy Buriak


Sanssouci Palace
Sanssouci Palace ©Yuriy Buriak

By S7 we went back to Berlin and reached the Hackescher Markt station in the downtown. We walked along the main street and visited the Berlin Aquarium and Berlin High Flier. In the evening we also visited the most fashionable food shop in the city, KaDeWe (Wittenbergplatz metro station), which is located on the top floor of the shopping mall.

Airlift in Berlin (Berlin High Flyer)
Airlift in Berlin (Berlin High Flyer) ©Yuriy Buriak


Aquadom in Sea Life in Berlin
Aquadom in Sea Life in Berlin ©wikipedia

Day 3 - Berlin

In the morning we first went to the central station and left our stuff in the baggage storage. Then we took a subway to Südstern and walked in the Kreuzberg district, the route map is here.

Victoria Park in Berlin
Victoria Park in Berlin ©Nastya Mironets


Victoria Park in Berlin
Victoria Park in Berlin ©Nastya Mironets


Kreuzberg district in Berlin
Kreuzberg district in Berlin ©Yuriy Buriak

After that we returned to the central railway station and traveled to Essen by IC (4 hours 30 minutes, 54 euros for two of us). We bought all tickets for traveling between the regions in advance and therefore they were not expensive. In Essen we stayed for 3 days close to the train station (http://www.gasthaus-nordstern.de/).

Day 4 - Atta Cave, Zollverein Mine, Ronald McDonald House in Essen

Early in the morning we went to Attendorn (1 hour 50 minutes) and visited the Atta Cave.

©atta-hoehle.de

Then we returned to Essen, reached Zollverein by tram and visited the famous mine museum.

Zollverein mine
Zollverein mine ©Yuriy Buriak


Zollverein mine
Zollverein mine ©Yuriy Buriak


Zollverein mine
Zollverein mine ©Yuriy Buriak

In the evening we took a tram to Grugapark to see the unique Ronald McDonald House.

Ronald McDonald House in Essen
Ronald McDonald House in Essen ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 5 - Wuppertal Schwebebahn, Burg Castle, Movie Park

Early in the morning we went to Wuppertal by S9 (46 minutes). At the station, we boarded the Schwebebahn and went to the final stop W-Vohwinkel Schwebebahn. There we took a bus #683 and drove to the Burg Bruecke stop. Then we took a cable car to the Burg Castle.

Burg Castle
Burg Castle ©Yuriy Buriak

By the same bus we returned to W-Vohwinkel, there took S9 to Bottrop Hbf and changed to NWB to reach Feldhausen. From there we walked to the Movie Park.

Movie Park in Bottrop
Movie Park in Bottrop ©Yuriy Buriak


Movie Park in Bottrop
Movie Park in Bottrop ©Yuriy Buriak


Movie Park in Bottrop
Movie Park in Bottrop ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 6 - Cologne, Satzvey Castle, Bonn, Drachenburg Castle

At 7 am we went to Cologne, put our stuff in a baggage storage and took a RB to Satzvey, where we walked around the castle and the courtyard.

Satzvey Castle
Satzvey Castle ©Yuriy Buriak

Then we took a train to Bonn and walked around the city. After that we reached the local train station Bonn-Beuel and took a RE to the Königswinter station. There's a funicular up to the Drachenburg Castle.

Old City Hall in Bonn
Old City Hall in Bonn ©Thomas Wolf, wikimedia.org

Beethoven monument in Bonn
Beethoven monument in Bonn ©Yuriy Buriak

Pleasure boat on the Rhine in Bonn
Pleasure boat on the Rhine in Bonn ©Yuriy Buriak


Drachenburg Castle
Drachenburg Castle ©Yuriy Buriak


View of the Rhine and Bonn from the Drachenburg Castle
View of the Rhine and Bonn from the Drachenburg Castle ©Yuriy Buriak

We took a RE back to Cologne, settled in the City Pension Köln guesthouse (49 euros, 5 minutes from the cathedral), and went for a walk around the city. In the evening we visited the observation deck.

View of Cologne from observation deck
View of Cologne from observation deck ©Yuriy Buriak


Locks on the Hohenzollern bridge in Cologne
Locks on the Hohenzollern bridge in Cologne ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 7 - Koblenz, Castles of the Rhine Valley, Rüdesheim, Loreley Cliff

In the morning we took an IC to Koblenz and found our hotel near the train station (67 euros). Then we rented bicycles (http://www.fahrradverleihkoblenz.de, Stegemannstraße 43, from 9 am), returned to the station, bought daily regional tickets and went for a ride along the Rhine Valley. Read more in the article.

View of the Rhine valley from the Lorelei rock
View of the Rhine valley from the Lorelei rock ©Yuriy Buriak


Reichenstein Castle
Reichenstein Castle ©Yuriy Buriak


Stahleck Castle
Stahleck Castle ©Yuriy Buriak


Katz Castle
Katz Castle ©Yuriy Buriak

After that we returned to Koblenz and in the evening went for a walk around the city.

German Corner in Koblenz
German Corner in Koblenz ©Yuriy Buriak


Statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I
Statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I ©Yuriy Buriak


Cable car in Koblenz
Cable car in Koblenz ©Yuriy Buriak


Koblenz
Koblenz ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 8 - Eltz Castle, Frankfurt, Forest Spiral House in Darmstadt

In the morning we left our stuff in baggage storage in Koblenz and drove to the Moselkern station, where walked through the forest to the Eltz Castle, one of the best castles in Germany.

Eltz Castle
Eltz Castle ©Carschten, wikipedia.org

After visiting the castle we returned to Koblenz and went to Frankfurt. There we settled in a hotel near the train station and then took a train to Darmstadt Nord. In a 15-minute walk from the station there's a house by architect Hundertwasser, "Forest Spiral".

Forest Spiral House in Darmstadt
Forest Spiral House in Darmstadt ©Yuriy Buriak

After that we returned to Frankfurt and went for a walk around the city.

Old city, Roemer Square
Old city, Roemer Square ©Yuriy Buriak

Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main ©Yuriy Buriak


Huge Euro sign near the European Central Bank
Huge Euro sign near the European Central Bank ©Yuriy Buriak


Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main ©Yuriy Buriak

The best pictures of Frankfurt can be made at sunset. In our article we described the place where you can shoot such pictures.

Frankfurt at night
Frankfurt at night ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 9 - Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe, Heidelberg

In the morning went to Karlsruhe (29 euros, 1 hour 10 minutes), left our stuff in the hotel (Best Western Queens Hotel, 60 euros) and took a train to Baden-Baden (20 minutes), where we spent 4 hours.

Casino in Baden-Baden
Casino in Baden-Baden ©Yuriy Buriak


Casino in Baden-Baden
Casino in Baden-Baden ©Yuriy Buriak


View from Mount Merkur
View from Mount Merkur ©Yuriy Buriak


Waterfall in Geroldsau
Waterfall in Geroldsau ©Yuriy Buriak

Next we took an S3 to Heidelberg (43 minutes) and walked there in the old city.

©Yuriy Buriak


Heidelberg Castle (1294)
Heidelberg Castle (1294) ©Yuriy Buriak


Cat or baboon? =)
Cat or baboon? =) ©Yuriy Buriak

After that we returned to Karlsruhe.

Day 10 - Karlsruhe, Munich

In the morning we walked around the Karlsruhe downtown for a couple of hours and then traveled to Munich (54 euros, 3 hours). We had settled in a hotel near the train station (Winter's Hotel München City Center, 69 euros per night), where we stayed for the following 7 days. And went for a walk around the city.

Munich hog
Munich hog ©Yuriy Buriak


City Hall in Munich
City Hall in Munich ©Yuriy Buriak


TV tower in the Olympic Park in Munich
TV tower in the Olympic Park in Munich ©Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) / wikipedia.org


The Alps are visible in clear weather.
The Alps are visible in clear weather. ©Yuriy Buriak


Olympic Park in Munich
Olympic Park in Munich ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 11 - Neuschwanstein Castle, Mount Tegelberg

In the following days we had planned various trips in the Bavaria region. We were selecting the destinations depending on the weather, which was quite convenient. This day we went to see the most famous castle in Germany, Neuschwanstein.

Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle ©Yuriy Buriak


Marienbruecke Bridge
Marienbruecke Bridge ©Yuriy Buriak


View from the Neuschwanstein Castle
View from the Neuschwanstein Castle ©Yuriy Buriak

We also took a cable car to Mount Tegelberg.

Cable car to Mount Tegelberg (Tegelbergbahn)
Cable car to Mount Tegelberg (Tegelbergbahn) ©Yuriy Buriak


View of the Forggensee Lake from Mount Tegelberg
View of the Forggensee Lake from Mount Tegelberg ©Yuriy Buriak


View from Mount Tegelberg
View from Mount Tegelberg ©Yuriy Buriak


View from Mount Tegelberg
View from Mount Tegelberg ©Yuriy Buriak


Hang-gliders on Mount Tegelberg
Hang-gliders on Mount Tegelberg ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 12 - Nymphenburg Palace, Allianz Arena, Therme Erding, indoor water park and thermal baths

This day, we continued to walk around Munich and visited the Nymphenburg Palace in the morning.

Nymphenburg Palace
Nymphenburg Palace ©Yuriy Buriak


Nymphenburg Palace
Nymphenburg Palace ©Yuriy Buriak

Then we took a tour around the best stadium in Germany, Allianz Arena.

Allianz Arena stadium
Allianz Arena stadium ©Yuriy Buriak


Allianz Arena stadium
Allianz Arena stadium ©Yuriy Buriak


Locker rooms at the Allianz Arena stadium
Locker rooms at the Allianz Arena stadium ©Yuriy Buriak

And then we took an S2 to Altenerding where we changed to bus #550 and visited Therme Erding, indoor water park and thermal baths.

Therme Erding
Therme Erding ©Yuriy Buriak


Therme Erding
Therme Erding ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 13 - Residence Museum

This day was rainy, so we went to the Residence museum.

Antiquarium of the XVI century is called the first museum to the north of the Alps.
Antiquarium of the XVI century is called the first museum to the north of the Alps. ©Yuriy Buriak


Residence museum
Residence museum ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 14 - Nuremberg, Bamberg, Würzburg

This day we visited three cities. We woke up as usual at 6 am and went to Nuremberg (1 hour 40 minutes).

Market Square in Nuremberg
Market Square in Nuremberg ©Yuriy Buriak


Burg (Nuremberg Fortress)
Burg (Nuremberg Fortress) ©Yuriy Buriak


View of the old city from Burg (Nuremberg Fortress)
View of the old city from Burg (Nuremberg Fortress) ©Yuriy Buriak


Nuremberg Hare
Nuremberg Hare ©Yuriy Buriak


Sculpture in Nuremberg
Sculpture in Nuremberg ©Yuriy Buriak

Then we went to Bamberg, 45 minutes to go.

Old Town Hall in Bamberg
Old Town Hall in Bamberg ©Yuriy Buriak


Bamberg
Bamberg ©Yuriy Buriak


Little Venice on the Regnitz river in Bamberg
Little Venice on the Regnitz river in Bamberg ©Yuriy Buriak


View of Bamberg from the terrace of the St. Michael Monastery
View of Bamberg from the terrace of the St. Michael Monastery ©Yuriy Buriak

And in the late afternoon we went to Wurzburg. Summer daylight hours in Germany last almost until 10 pm, so there's enough time for everything.

Old bridge and the Marienberg Fortress in Wuerzburg
Old bridge and the Marienberg Fortress in Wuerzburg ©Yuriy Buriak


Old bridge in Wuerzburg
Old bridge in Wuerzburg ©Yuriy Buriak


Old bridge in Wuerzburg
Old bridge in Wuerzburg ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 15 - Mount Nebelhorn

This day we went to Oberstdorf and took a cable car to Mount Nebelhorn.

Cable car to Mount Nebelhorn
Cable car to Mount Nebelhorn ©Yuriy Buriak


View from Mount Nebelhorn
View from Mount Nebelhorn ©Yuriy Buriak


Mount Nebelhorn
Mount Nebelhorn ©Yuriy Buriak

We returned to Munich early and walked in the English garden.

Chinese tower in the English garden in Munich
Chinese tower in the English garden in Munich ©Yuriy Buriak


English garden in Munich
English garden in Munich ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 16 - Eagle's Nest (Hitler's house), Koenigssee and Obersee lakes

This day we got up at 5 am and went to Berchtesgaden Hbf (3 hours) to see the Eagle's Nest (Hitler's house). Bus from the train station to the ticket office runs not frequently, so we took a taxi for 11 euros.

Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus, Hitler's house)
Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus, Hitler's house) ©Yuriy Buriak


View from the Eagle's Nest: Konigssee lake
View from the Eagle's Nest: Konigssee lake ©Yuriy Buriak

Then we returned to Berchtesgaden Hbf by bus and took a taxi fo 10 euros to Koenigssee, where we bought tickets for the next boat ride on the lake.

St. Bartholomew's Church
St. Bartholomew's Church ©Yuriy Buriak


Koenigssee lake
Koenigssee lake ©Yuriy Buriak


Obersee lake
Obersee lake ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 17 - Zugspitze, Oberammergau

This day we went to the famous winter resort Garmisch-Partenkirchen and took a rack train to the top of the highest mountain in Germany, Zugspitze (2962 meters). The tickets here were the most expensive for the entire trip, they cost about 35 euros per person.

Mount Zugspitze
Mount Zugspitze ©Yuriy Buriak


Zugspitze rack railway
Zugspitze rack railway ©Yuriy Buriak


Zugspitze rack railway
Zugspitze rack railway ©Yuriy Buriak


Former hotel in the Alps, which is now used as an environmental research station.
Former hotel in the Alps, which is now used as an environmental research station. ©Yuriy Buriak


View from Zugspitze
View from Zugspitze ©Yuriy Buriak


Mount Zugspitze
Mount Zugspitze ©Yuriy Buriak


View from Zugspitze
View from Zugspitze ©Yuriy Buriak

We returned to Garmish by cable car and then went to a small town of Oberammergau, which was famous for painted houses.

Oberammergau
Oberammergau ©Yuriy Buriak


Oberammergau
Oberammergau ©Yuriy Buriak

This place concluded our journey around Germany.

Useful links:

Tourism
http://www.guide-to-bavaria.com/en - Bavaria travel guide
http://www.burgen-und-schloesser.net - all castles of Germany

Routes
http://www.burgenstrasse.de - road of castles
http://www.romantic-road.com - romantic road
http://www.deutsche-maerchenstrasse.com/en/ - road of tales
http://www.hanse.org/en/ - road of Hanseatic League
http://www.deutsche-alpenstrasse.de/en/stages/ - Alpine road
http://www.nibelungen-siegfriedstrasse.de/ - two parallel routes dedicated to the famous "Song of the Nibelungs", Siegfried route and route of the Nibelungs
http://www.deutsche-donau.com - route on the Danube
http://www.eurob.org/index.php/1/4 - road of gothic
http://www.die-glasstrasse.de/ - road of glass
http://www.spielzeugstrasse.de - road of toys

Transport
http://www.bahn.de - website of German transport. Definetely the best such website in the world. Here you can find any route for any kind of transport.
http://www.ryanair.com/en - The largest lowcost has flights to Germany.
http://www.lufthansa.com - main German airline
https://www.germanwings.com/en/ - German budget airlines
http://www.airberlin.com - German lowcost
https://www.berlinlinienbus.de - buses
http://www.gratisparken.de - free parking

Hotels and apartments
http://www.fewo24.de - apartments
http://www.hotel.de - hotels

Miscellaneous
http://www.wetter.com - weather, there are other sites, but we use this one
http://www.zeit.de/2008/48/Karte-48 - a list of 300 cities and towns with the most preserved historical centers

Some movies where you can see Germany:

Run Lola Run (1998) - Tom Tykwer's movie, one of the most famous in Germany, got a bunch of different awards. Was shot entirely in Berlin.

Knockin' on Heaven's Door (1997) - a German drama, shot almost entirely in Germany. The movie brought fame to the actor Til Schweiger, most of his movies were shot in Germany. Among the last ones is the Guardian Angel thriller (2012).

Good Bye, Lenin!
 (2003) - another must-see German film, which was shot entirely in Berlin.

Inglourious Bastards (2009) - a German-American movie about the World War II, which was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Shot entirely in Germany.

The Very Same Munchhausen (1979) - one of the few Soviet films that was shot in Europe. It was impossible to shoot it in the real hometown of Munchausen, Bodenwerder, as it was in West Germany. Therefore, an authentic town in East Germany, Wernigerode, was chosen.

The Name of the Rose (1986) - a historical thriller with Sean Connery and Christian Slater, which was shoot partly in Germany. It shows the Eberbach Monastery that is located in the Rhine Valley. To find it, the filmmakers visited more than 300 monasteries in Europe.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) - a fantasy thriller about hunters for different evil creatures, which was shot entirely in Germany.

Three Nuts for Cinderella (1973) - a famous fairytale film that shows the Moritzburg Castle.

Unknown
(2011) - a thriller with forever cool Liam Neeson, which was shot entirely in Germany, mostly in Berlin.

Resident Evil
(2002) - a thriller with Mila Jovovich. Some scenes were shot in Germany. For example, the Lindstedt Palace in Potsdam was Spencer's mansion. And the Berlin underground station Bundestag was shown as an entrance to the Hive.

Aeon Flux
(2005) - a thriller with Charlize Theron, which was shoot entirely in Germany, mainly in Berlin and Potsdam. Modern German architecture is shown as buildings of the future in a post-apocalyptic world.

Hanna (2011) - action thriller about a killer girl, which was shot almost entirely in Germany.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) - old British musical movie which shows the Neuschwanstein Castle and the town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

The Neverending Story (1984) - a movie by Wolfgang Petersen, one of the best children's movies in history. It was shot at the Bavarian Film Studio. Though Germany is almost not shown, as most of the action takes place in a fictional world.

Iron Sky (2012 ) - a must-see movie :). It was shoot partially by using donations from fans who watched the viral trailer. Although Germany is shown a little, the movie is about very unusual Nazis.


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