Top Sites and Events in Germany
There’s a ludicrous amount of things to do in Germany, so here’s a simple guide to some of the best. These are a must-see on any gap year in Germany.
Castle Neuschwanstein, Bavaria
This spectacular castle is straight out of a fairytale. On a sunny day, with the sweeping backdrop of the Alps, there are few more stunning sights in Germany. If you’re not driving, catch a train to Fussen, where you’ll find shuttle buses that will take you up to the castle.
The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
This is one of the iconic landmarks of Germany, especially as it stood for years directly between East and West Berlin. It is now considered a symbol of the modern, united Germany, and is quite a sight to behold.
The world’s most famous beer festival is the best time in the world to sink a stein of beer or seven. Munich is the centre of the action, and it does get quite crowded. Check out the Hofbrauhaus, a beer hall built in 1589 and offering the ale-soaked shenanigans of the festival all year round.
The Black Forest, south west
This is an incredible location to go hiking or, in winter, cross-country skiing. The forest runs for 150km, and apart from the scenery it’s the perfect place to experience the smaller aspects of German culture, including wood-carving and delicious Black Forest Ham.
Cologne Cathedral, Cologne
A beautiful example of Gothic architecture, this World Heritage Site is Germany’s most visited landmark, and is a striking sight viewed across the Rhine river on a sunny day. If you visit Cologne in the winter, make sure to check out the Christmas market (and wrap up warm!)
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin
This haunting Holocaust memorial is made up of 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid over a 4.7 acre site, resembling a cemetery. A walk between the stones is one of the most devastating ways to remember the tragic history of Germany.
The Reeperbahn, Hamburg
This is a great stop on any gap year in Germany, offering an unfettered stretch of clubs, bars, sex museums, and a red light district. You might not associate Germany with abandon and excess, but this will prove you wrong.
The New Palace, Potsdam
This lavish palace holds over 200 rooms and is decorated with over 400 statues, so there’s a lot to see and marvel at. The surrounding area is filled with palaces, gates, and other fascinating insights into the history of Germany.
Attend a Bundesliga game
Even if you’re not interested in football, the Germans are so passionate that attending a match is always a remarkable experience. If you can get a ticket to Bayern Munich’s impressive Allianz Arena, do it, but any match will be worth your time and money.
The Hamburg State Opera, Hamburg
One of the oldest opera companies in Europe, there are few finer places to enjoy the highest of the high arts. The current opera house has only been in place since the original was bombed in WWII, but it still exudes a sense of history.