Germany Bucket List: 27 Best Things to do in Germany for All Ages

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Are you preparing your Germany bucket list and looking for the best things to do in Germany? You came to the right place!

Germany is one of the largest countries in Europe, full of picturesque places and hidden gems. While Germany is best known for beer and its vibrant capital of Berlin, this country hides numerous fairytale-like castles and villages and a unique culture waiting for you to discover!

I was lucky enough to visit Germany while studying abroad in Dublin and have been able to explore much of Bavaria, including Fussen and Munich.

If you’re ready to discover unique things to do in Germany to add to your itinerary, let’s jump right in!

Germany Bucket List

Attend Christkindlesmarkt

Christmas market in a city square lit up at night with people walking throughout it

Germany is home to one of the oldest Christmas Markets in Europe, with the Christmas Market tradition dating back to the 16th century. 

Nuremberg Christmas market has a unique tradition which makes it a must-visit. Every year they choose a young woman to represent a Christkind – curly blonde angel who opens the Christkindlesmarkt.

Dine on Spätzle in Southern Germany​​

Spätzle are traditional German egg noodles, and they make for a delicious dish you need to try on your next visit to the country. 

Traditionally, they are served as a side dish with meat and gravy. However, you can also try them in a sweet version with cherries or apple sauce!

Some of the best spätzle we ever had was actually at a restaurant near Neuschwanstein Castle, which brings us to our next bucket list item…

Embrace the Beauty of Neuschwanstein Castle

view of a historic castle through trees with a snowy mountain behind it

Neuschwanstein Castle could easily be the most beautiful castle in the world. It is said that this castle was the inspiration behind the Disney castle, and it is not hard to see why!

Located on the top of the cliff, this white castle with numerous towers looks like it came straight out of a fairytale.

We recommend doing this tour on your own (we did it from Munich), but you can also book a tour if you’d rather go with a guide.

🏰 Check out this tour to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich! 🏰

Drive on the AutoBahn

Driving on German highways is an experience in itself. What makes it special are the sections without a speed limit. Yes, you can drive as fast as you want!

If you ever wanted to test just how fast your car goes, here is your chance.

🚗 Book your car rental in Germany here! 🚗

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    Attend Oktoberfest

    If you like beer and carnivals, you need to attend Oktoberfest. This beer festival is held every year, from mid-September to October in Munich.

    To fully get into the mood, consider dressing in a traditional German dirndl!

    Climb to the Top of St. Peter’s Church

    aerial view of Muinch from above looking out over red roof covered buildings and churches

    St. Peter’s Church in Munich is best known for its 91-meter tower, commonly known as “Alter Peter” – Old Peter. For the best view over Munich, climb the Old Peter and enjoy an unobstructed view of the city.

    This is one of our favorite views we’ve ever gotten of a European city from above.

    Get Outdoors in Berchtesgaden National Park

    Germany is home to some incredible nature spots, and a visit to Berchtesgaden National Park is one of the must-dos in Germany.

    Germans love spending time in nature, and when you visit this park, you’ll understand why. You’ll get to enjoy the stunning mountain scenery, lush green forest, and picturesque mountain lakes. 

    Explore ​​Frankfurt

    statue in the middle of a fountain with a square and buildings surrounding it

    Frankfurt is best known as the financial capital of Europe, as it is home to European Central Bank and many other financial institutions. However, there is more to Frankfurt than the tall glass buildings of the business center. 

    Explore the cobblestone streets and timbered houses in the old city center and taste Frankfurt’s traditional apple wine.

    Have a beer at Hofbrauhaus in Munich

    Hofbrauhaus is the world’s most famous tavern. If you’re looking for unique things to do in Germany, then grabbing a drink in one of the oldest taverns in the world should be on your list.

    This tavern dates back to the 16th century, and stands the test of time, still serving Hofbrau beer five centuries later!

    Take a Day Trip to Nymphenburg Palace

    small pond and water feature in front of a large white and red palace

    Just outside of Munich, you will find Nymphenburg Palace. It is one of the most impressive royal palaces in Europe, dating back to the 17th century. 

    To get an idea of its size, know that its frontal axis is 632 m long! You can visit the interior of the palace and admire the baroque decorations, as well as its impressive royal garden. 

    Book your tickets to Nymphenburg Palace here!

    Do a Fairytale Road Trip

    Taking a road trip on Fairytale Road should be on your Germany bucket list! The route covers over 600km, from Hanau in central Germany to Bremen in the north. 

    The route leads you from the birthplace of the brothers Grimm, the creators of the most famous German fairytales, through legendary castles and fairytale places mentioned in their stories. 

    See the Architecture in Cologne

    Cologne is a city full of culture and impressive architecture. The city’s landmark is the majestic Gothic Cathedral in the heart of the city center. Today, you can see many different architectural styles throughout the city, including contemporary architecture.

    Take in the View from Zugspitze

    gold cross at the top of a large rocky mountain covered in snow

    For those who want to try out some adventurous things to do in Germany, how about climbing the highest mountain peak in the country? At 2,962m, Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany. 

    If hiking for over 10 hours doesn’t sound that appealing, you’ll be glad to know there’s a cable car taking you to the mountaintop to enjoy the spectacular view over the Alps.

    Learn on Museum Island in Berlin

    Museum Island in Berlin is literally a small island in the middle of the river that houses 5 of Berlin’s best museums. The island is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    You can get a Museum pass and explore all of the museums or pick one that houses the exhibitions you’re interested in. If you only have time for one, Pergamon Museum is the most popular to visit!

    Reserve your tickets to museums on Museum Island here!

    Wander Around Rothenburg

    person biking down a cobblestone street with bright, colorful buildings on either side of it

    Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the most picturesque villages in Germany. Its well-preserved medieval old town attracts tourists from all over the world, flocking to stroll the cobblestone streets and admire half-timbered houses decorated with colorful flowers. 

    Go Skiing or Snowboarding

    Germany is one of the leading skiing destinations in Europe, so make sure to save some time for skiing and snowboarding in German Alps! Zugspitze has the highest ski slopes in Germany, while Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the biggest ski resort in the country.

    Tour a Vineyard

    Germany might not be as well known for winemaking as its neighbors, but that only makes it a hidden gem! You’ll find picturesque vineyards and delicious wine all along the river Rhine.

    🍷 This tour of the Rhine Valley lets you see 2-3 vineyards! 🍷

    Get Lost in the Streets of Quedlinburg

    small cobblestone alley with bring colored buildings with plans hanging from the widows along it's right side

    Located in the heart of Germany, Quedlinburg was the first capital of Germany. Today it is protected by UNESCO for its incredibly well-preserved castle and old town. 

    Stroll the cobblestone streets of this medieval trading center and imagine what life was like in this city during its most prosperous times!

    Step Back in Time at Burg Eltz

    stone path across a hill leading to a large stone castle

    Taking a photo on the cobblestone bridge leading to the Eltz Castle must be on your Germany bucket list! This castle is considered the most beautiful castle in Europe, and you’ll have to agree when you see it perched on a 70-meter-high hill overlooking the lush green forest. 

    Fun fact, the Eltz family still lives in this castle for over 900 years!

    🏰 Check out this tour of Burg Eltz from Frankfurt! 🏰

    Have a Blast at Europa Park

    Europa Park is one of the best amusement parks in Europe and one of the best things to do in Germany for families. With more than 100 attractions to try out, there is something for everyone in Europa Park!

    🎟️ Click here to book a Europa Park ticket! 🎟️

    Find Surfers in Munich’s English Garden

    person in a wetsuit surfing on a river

    Surfing in a park in the city center of Munich is one of the most unique things to do in Germany, yet it is possible to find surfers in the English Park in Munich.

    The waves on the Eisbach River, at the entrance of the park, attract passionate surfers to enjoy the waves kilometers away from the ocean.

    Visit the Berlin Wall

    Not that long ago, until the 90es, Germany was divided in two. Berlin Wall was used to divide one part of the city belonging to East Germany and the other belonging to West Germany.

    Today, most of the Berlin Wall is long gone, but you can still visit the remaining block of this concrete wall covered in graffiti.

    Check out this tour of the Berlin Wall!

    Explore the Medieval Beauty of Nuremberg

    Nuremberg is a city full of history and culture. You can stroll the cobblestone streets and admire its picturesque city center. Visit the 11th Imperial Castle for incredible city views.

    On the other hand, it is a place where you can learn more about German history, especially relating to the second world war.

    Try Traditional Bratwurst

    person holding a brat wrapped in a bun while another person holds a plate with schnitzel and fries on it

    Germans love sausages! Whether it is in the bread or straight from the grill, sausages are part of German culture. While there are many different types of sausages to choose from, bratwurst is the most popular!

    You can find brats at stands throughout the major cities and towns. We tried ours at Viktualienmarkt right in Munich and loved it!

    See the Dresden Opera House

    Also known as the Semperoper, the Dresden Opera House is one of the most impressive theater buildings in Germany. You can learn more about its history and explore the building on a tour, or even better, see an opera or a concert and enjoy it exactly how it was meant to be!

    Indulge in Warm Pretzels

    German soft pretzels are a traditional German snack. They are made of dough that was quickly boiled in baking soda before baking, giving them their distinctive taste. You’ll see pretzels in bakeries throughout the country, so there is no excuse not to try them!

    Go on a Rhine River Cruise

    large river cruise boat floating along a river with a small hill with buildings sitting along the far side

    Cruising the Rhine River is a relaxing activity to consider on your next German vacation. Cruising a river is a bit different than a full-blown ocean cruise, as the boats are smaller, and it is a more relaxed experience. 

    Most river cruises start in the south of Germany, in the Swiss town of Basel. If you cruise the whole length of the Rhine, the cruise takes you through Germany, along the French border, all the way to Amsterdam! 

    🚢 This Rhine Valley Trip includes an incredible cruise from Frankfurt! 🚢

    FAQs: Best Things to Do in Germany

    How much is a trip to Germany?

    The cost of visiting Germany depends on the time of year and what type of vacation you are looking for. If you plan to stay in hostels and use public transportation, a weeklong trip to Germany can cost around $1000 USD.

    However, if you are looking for more luxurious accommodations or want to experience some of the finer restaurants, your costs may be significantly higher. Additionally, depending on the season, airfare can be quite expensive.

    For reference, we visited Germany for four days and only spent around $400 USD but we visited in the off-season (March) and used public transport.

    How far is Germany from the USA?

    Germany is located in Europe, and the United States is in North America. A flight to Germany from NYC will take about 7 hours, while a west coast flight from LA will take closer to 11 hours.

    What cities to visit in Germany?

    Germany is known for having some of the most beautiful and historically significant cities in the world. From Berlin to Munich, Frankfurt to Dresden, each city has its own unique attractions and experiences that make it an exciting destination for travelers. We particularly loved Munich.

    What to do in Germany?

    Germany is a country bustling with life and culture, with something to offer everyone. Rich in history, it is home to a number of famous landmarks, such as the Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Wall, offering visitors the chance to learn more about Germany’s past.

    For those looking for an outdoor adventure, Germany has plenty of exciting activities, such as skiing in the Alps or hiking through forests.

    If you’re looking for a unique nightlife experience, head over to some of the world-renowned clubs and bars in cities like Berlin and Munich. With its world-famous cuisine, incredible shopping opportunities, and picturesque countryside villages, there is no shortage of things to do in Germany.

    Final Thoughts: Best Things to Do in Germany

    That concludes this list of must-dos in Germany. From strolling cobblestone streets in quaint medieval towns to surfing in parks and climbing mountain peaks, there is no shortage of things to visit in Germany for every type of traveler.

    With these 27 ideas, now you have a long list of things to add to your Germany bucket list for your next trip!

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