Germany

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  • 1. Alster Lakes

    Altstadt

    The twin lakes of the Binnenalster (Inner Alster) and Aussenalster (Outer Alster) provide Hamburg with some of its most celebrated vistas. The two lakes meet...

    The twin lakes of the Binnenalster (Inner Alster) and Aussenalster (Outer Alster) provide Hamburg with some of its most celebrated vistas. The two lakes meet at the Lombard and Kennedy bridges. The boat landing at Jungfernstieg, below the Alsterpavillon, is the starting point for lake and canal cruises. Small sailboats and rowboats, rented from yards on the shores of the Alster, are very much a part of the summer scene. Every Hamburger dreams of living within sight of the Alster, but only the wealthiest can afford it. Those that can't still have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the waterfront, however, and the outer Alster is ringed by 7 km (4½ miles) of tree-lined public pathways. Popular among joggers, these paths are also a lovely place for a stroll.

  • 2. Alte Nationalgalerie

    Mitte

    The permanent exhibit here is home to an outstanding collection of 18th-, 19th-, and early-20th-century paintings and sculpture, by the likes of Cézanne, Rodin, Degas,...

    The permanent exhibit here is home to an outstanding collection of 18th-, 19th-, and early-20th-century paintings and sculpture, by the likes of Cézanne, Rodin, Degas, and one of Germany's most famous portrait artists, Max Liebermann. Its collection has masterpieces from such 19th-century German painters as Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Caspar David Friedrich, the leading members of the German Romantic school.

    Bodestr. 1–3
    - 30 - 2664–24242

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €10 (combined ticket for all Museum Island museums €29), Closed Mon.
  • 3. Alte Pinakothek

    Maxvorstadt

    With numerous Old Master paintings from the Netherlands, Italy, France, and Germany, the Alte Pinakothek holds one of the most significant art collections in the...

    With numerous Old Master paintings from the Netherlands, Italy, France, and Germany, the Alte Pinakothek holds one of the most significant art collections in the world. It was originally constructed by Leo von Klenze between 1826 and 1836 to exhibit the collection of 14th- to 18th-century works (started by Duke Wilhelm IV in the 16th century). The collection comprises more than 700 pieces, including masterpieces by Dürer, Titian, Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Rubens (the museum has one of the world's largest Rubens collections), and two celebrated Murillos. While the neighboring Neue Pinakothek is closed for renovations until 2027, a rotating selection from its fine collection of 19th-century art is on view in the lower gallery.

    Barer Str. 27
    - 089 - 2380–5216

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: From €8, Closed Mon.
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  • 4. Altes Schloss

    Mitte

    This former residence of the counts and dukes of Württemberg was originally built as a moated castle around 1320. Wings were added in the mid-15th...

    This former residence of the counts and dukes of Württemberg was originally built as a moated castle around 1320. Wings were added in the mid-15th century, creating a Renaissance palace. The palace now houses the Landesmuseum Württemberg (Württemberg State Museum), with exhibits tracing the area's development from the Stone Age to modern times and a floor of jaw-dropping family jewels of the fabulously rich and powerful Württemberg royals. There's also a separate floor dedicated to a children's museum.

    Schillerpl. 6
    - 0711 - 8953–5111

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €6; special exhibits €14., Closed Mon.
  • 5. Altstadt

    Proof of Lübeck's former position as the golden queen of the Hanseatic League is found at every step in the Altstadt, which contains more 13th-...

    Proof of Lübeck's former position as the golden queen of the Hanseatic League is found at every step in the Altstadt, which contains more 13th- to 15th-century buildings than all other large northern German cities combined. This fact has earned the Altstadt a place on UNESCO's register of the world's greatest cultural and natural treasures.

  • 6. Amphitheater

    The sheer size of Trier's oldest Roman structure (circa AD 100) is impressive; in its heyday it seated 20,000 spectators. You can climb down to...

    The sheer size of Trier's oldest Roman structure (circa AD 100) is impressive; in its heyday it seated 20,000 spectators. You can climb down to the cellars beneath the arena—animals were kept in cells here before being unleashed to do battle with gladiators. Gladiatorial performances (1¼ hours) take place Friday through Sunday and holidays at 6 pm from April through October. Tickets can be booked in advance at Tourist Information.

    Olewiger Str.
    - 0651 - 978080

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €4; Gladiator performances €18, Closed Nov.--Mar.
  • 7. Andechs Monastery

    One of southern Bavaria's most famous pilgrimage sites, this Benedictine monastery is 5 km (3 miles) south of Herrsching. You can reach it on Bus...

    One of southern Bavaria's most famous pilgrimage sites, this Benedictine monastery is 5 km (3 miles) south of Herrsching. You can reach it on Bus 951 from the S-bahn station, but you can easily walk there too, as most people do. Surmounted by an octagonal tower and onion dome with a pointed helmet, Andechs has a history going back more than 1,000 years. The church, originally built in the 15th century, was entirely redone in baroque style in the early 18th century. The Heilige Kapelle contains the remains of the old treasure of the Benedictines in Andechs, including Charlemagne's "Victory Cross." One of the chapels contains the remains of composer Carl Orff, whose works are performed on the grounds. The monastery also brews rich, almost black beer and makes its own cheese as well.

    Bergstr. 2
    - 08152 - 3760
  • 8. Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck

    Three miles north of Remagen, via a scenic riverside promenade, the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck incorporates a 19th-century converted railway station, which hosts a world-class...

    Three miles north of Remagen, via a scenic riverside promenade, the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck incorporates a 19th-century converted railway station, which hosts a world-class series of concerts, and a soaring modern building designed by renowned architect Richard Meier set on a hill high over the river. The translucent white building incorporates four levels of exhibition space to house the permanent collection focusing on the work of Dadaist Hans Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp in parallel with modern and contemporary works by internationally known artists and sculptors. There is also a fine collection of paintings from the Middle Ages to the present. The stylish in-house bistro is a great place to grab lunch or a snack. A train from Remagen station goes right to the museum (€5.90 round trip, about a six-minute ride), or you can take a ferry to nearby Rolandseck and walk.

    Hans-Arp-Allee 1
    - 02228–94250

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €9, Tues.–Sun. 11–6
  • 9. Asamkirche

    Altstadt

    Perhaps Munich's most ostentatious church, it has a suitably extraordinary entrance, framed by raw rock foundations. The insignificant door, crammed between its craggy shoulders, gives...

    Perhaps Munich's most ostentatious church, it has a suitably extraordinary entrance, framed by raw rock foundations. The insignificant door, crammed between its craggy shoulders, gives little idea of the opulence and lavish detailing within the small 18th-century church (there are only 12 rows of pews). Above the doorway St. Nepomuk, the 14th-century Bohemian monk and patron saint of Bavaria who drowned in the Danube, is being led by angels from a rocky riverbank to heaven. The church's official name is Church of St. Johann Nepomuk, but it's more popularly known as the Asamkirche for its architects, the brothers Cosmas Damian and Egid Quirin Asam. The interior of the church is a prime example of true southern German late-Baroque architecture. Frescoes by Cosmas Damian Asam and rosy marble cover the walls. The sheer wealth of statues and gilding is stunning—there's even a gilt skeleton at the sanctuary's portal.

    Sendlingerstr. 32
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  • 10. Bebenhausen Monastery and Palace

    This is a rare example of a well-preserved medieval monastery from the late 12th century, becoming one of the wealthiest in the region, with a...

    This is a rare example of a well-preserved medieval monastery from the late 12th century, becoming one of the wealthiest in the region, with a boarding school added in 1504. It was annexed by the local government in 1806, and in 1868 parts of the complex were rebuilt as a hunting castle for King Frederick of Württemberg. Expansion and restoration continued as long as the palace and monastery continued to be a royal residence. Visits to the palace are available only on a guided tour; English-language tours are available only by special arrangement (usually for groups).

    - 07071 - 5174--2770

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Monastery €6; palace €8; combined ticket €10, Closed weekdays, Jan.--Mar. Closed Mon. Nov. and Dec.
  • 11. Berchtesgaden National Park

    The deep, mysterious, and fabled Königssee is the most photographed panorama in Germany. Together with its much smaller sister, the Obersee, it's nestled within the...

    The deep, mysterious, and fabled Königssee is the most photographed panorama in Germany. Together with its much smaller sister, the Obersee, it's nestled within the Berchtesgaden National Park, 210 square km (81 square miles) of wild mountain country where flora and fauna have been left to develop as nature intended. No roads penetrate the area, and even the mountain paths are difficult to follow. The park administration organizes guided hikes from June through September.

    Franziskanerpl. 7
    - 08652 - 979–0600

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 12. Berlinische Galerie

    Kreuzberg

    Talk about site-specific art: all the modern art, photography, and architecture models and plans here, created between 1870 and the present, were made in Berlin...

    Talk about site-specific art: all the modern art, photography, and architecture models and plans here, created between 1870 and the present, were made in Berlin (or in the case of architecture competition models, intended for the city). Russians, secessionists, Dadaists, and expressionists all had their day in Berlin, and individual works by Otto Dix, George Grosz, and Georg Baselitz, as well as artists' archives such as the Dadaist Hannah Höch's, are highlights. Special exhibitions are usually well attended and quite worthwhile.

    Alte Jakobstr. 124–128
    - 030 - 7890–2600

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €12, Closed Tues.
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  • 13. Boxenstop Museum

    A wealth of vintage toys, model trains, and vehicles, including motorcycles, awaits children of all ages. This private collection, open to the public, includes Porsche,...

    A wealth of vintage toys, model trains, and vehicles, including motorcycles, awaits children of all ages. This private collection, open to the public, includes Porsche, Ferrari, and Maserati race cars, an original 1957 VW Beetle, and a rare 1954 Lloyd. Ask a docent to start up the HO trains or one of the antique musical toys. Kids can ride one of the old pedal cars. There's also a small café.

    Brunnenstr. 18
    - 7071 - 929–092

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €7, Closed Mon. and Tues., and Mon.–Sat. in Nov. and Dec.
  • 14. Brandenburger Tor

    Mitte

    Once the pride of Prussian Berlin and the city's premier landmark, the Brandenburger Tor was left in a desolate no-man's-land when the wall was built....

    Once the pride of Prussian Berlin and the city's premier landmark, the Brandenburger Tor was left in a desolate no-man's-land when the wall was built. Since the wall's dismantling, the sandstone gateway has become the scene of the city's Unification Day and New Year's Eve parties. This is the sole remaining gate of 14 built by Carl Langhans in 1788–91, designed as a triumphal arch for King Frederick Wilhelm II. Troops paraded through the gate after successful campaigns—the last time in 1945, when victorious Red Army troops took Berlin. The upper part of the gate, together with its chariot and Goddess of Victory, was destroyed in the war. In 1957 the original molds were discovered in West Berlin, and a new quadriga was cast in copper and presented as a gift to the people of East Berlin. A tourist information center is in the south part of the gate.

    Pariser Pl.

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
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  • 15. Breisach am Rhein

    The largest of several towns comprising the Kaiserstuhl region, Breisach am Rhein is a typical German village, with a cathedral atop a hill and an...

    The largest of several towns comprising the Kaiserstuhl region, Breisach am Rhein is a typical German village, with a cathedral atop a hill and an impressive city hall. The exceptional thing here is the views from the square beside the cathedral, which show the Black Forest to the east and France to the west (just beyond the River Rhine). It's a sister city to the UNESCO-recognized Neuf-Breisach across the border and a beautiful stopover for many Rhine river cruises.

    - 07667 - 940–155
  • 16. Burg Eltz

    Genuinely medieval (12th–16th century) and genuinely stunning, Burg Eltz deserves as much attention as King Ludwig's trio of castles in Bavaria. For the 40-minute English-language...

    Genuinely medieval (12th–16th century) and genuinely stunning, Burg Eltz deserves as much attention as King Ludwig's trio of castles in Bavaria. For the 40-minute English-language tour, ask at the souvenir shop. This on-request experience guides you through the period rooms and massive kitchen, as well as a treasure vault filled with gold and silver. To get here, exit B-416 at Hatzenport (opposite and southwest of Alken), proceed to Münstermaifeld, and follow signs to the parking lot near the Antoniuskapelle. From here it's a 15-minute walk, or take the shuttle bus (€2). Hikers can reach the castle from Moselkern in about an hour.

    - 02672 - 950–500

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Tour and treasure vault €12, Closed Nov.–Mar.
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  • 17. Burg Hohenzollern

    The majestic silhouette of this massive castle is visible from miles away. The Hohenzollern House of Prussia was the most powerful family in German history....

    The majestic silhouette of this massive castle is visible from miles away. The Hohenzollern House of Prussia was the most powerful family in German history. It lost its throne when Kaiser William II abdicated after Germany's defeat in World War I. The Swabian branch of the family owns one-third of the castle, the Prussian branch two-thirds. Today's neo-Gothic structure, perched high on a conical wooded hill, is a successor of a castle dating from the 11th century. On the fascinating 45-minute castle tour you'll see the Prussian royal crown and beautiful period rooms, all opulent from floor to ceiling, with such playful details as door handles carved to resemble peacocks and dogs. The restaurant on the castle grounds, Café Restaurant Burg Hohenzollern, offers choices from vegan up to rump steak along with pastries from  the local confectioner,  and there's an outdoor beer garden in season. From the parking lot it's a 20-minute walk to the castle entrance; the shuttle bus is now included in the admission price. English-language tours on request. 

    - 07471 - 2428

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €22, including the shuttle bus. Tickets available online only
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  • 18. Burg Hornberg

    The largest and oldest castle in the Neckar Valley, the circular bulk of Burg Hornberg rises above the town of Neckarzimmern. The road to the...

    The largest and oldest castle in the Neckar Valley, the circular bulk of Burg Hornberg rises above the town of Neckarzimmern. The road to the castle, which dates from the 11th century, leads through vineyards that have been providing dry white wines for centuries. These days, the castle is part hotel (24 rooms) and part museum. In the 16th century it was home to the larger-than-life Götz von Berlichingen (1480–1562). When the knight lost his right arm in battle, he had a blacksmith fashion an iron replacement. Original designs for this fearsome artificial limb are on view in the castle, as is his suit of armor. For many Germans, this legendary knight is best remembered for a remark that was faithfully reproduced in Goethe's play Götz von Berlichingen. Responding to an official reprimand, Von Berlichingen told his critic, more or less, to "kiss my ass" (the original German is a bit more earthy: Er kann mich am Arsche lecken). To this day the polite version of this insult is known as a Götz von Berlichingen. Inquire at the hotel reception about visiting the castle, or just enjoy the walking trails and views from the top of the hill.

    Hornbergerweg
    - 06261 - 92460

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €5
  • 19. Burg Rheinstein

    This castle was the home of Rudolf von Hapsburg from 1282 to 1286. To establish law and order on the Rhine, he destroyed the neighboring...

    This castle was the home of Rudolf von Hapsburg from 1282 to 1286. To establish law and order on the Rhine, he destroyed the neighboring castles of Burg Reichenstein and Burg Sooneck and hanged their notorious robber barons from the oak trees around the Clemens Church, a late-Romanesque basilica near Trechtingshausen. The Gobelin tapestries, 15th-century stained glass, wall and ceiling frescoes, a floor of royal apartments, and antique furniture—including a rare "giraffe spinet," a harpsicord which Kaiser Wilhelm I is said to have played—are the highlights of a visit here. All of this is illuminated by candlelight on some summer Fridays. Rheinstein was the first of many a Rhine ruin to be rebuilt by a royal Prussian family in the 19th century.

    - 06721 - 6348

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €7, Closed mid-Dec.–mid Mar.
  • 20. Burg Trifels

    Burg Trifels is on the highest of three sandstone bluffs overlooking Annweiler, 15 km (9 miles) northwest of Gleiszellen. Celts, Romans, and Salians all had...

    Burg Trifels is on the highest of three sandstone bluffs overlooking Annweiler, 15 km (9 miles) northwest of Gleiszellen. Celts, Romans, and Salians all had settlements on this site, but it was under the Hohenstaufen emperors (12th and 13th centuries) that Trifels was built on a grand scale. It housed the crown jewels from 1125 to 1274 (replicas are on display today). It was also an imperial prison, perhaps where Richard the Lion-Hearted was held captive in 1193–94. Although it was never conquered, the fortress was severely damaged by lightning in 1602. Reconstruction began in 1938, shaped by visions of grandeur to create a national shrine to the imperial past. The monumental proportions of some parts of today's castle bear no resemblance to those of the original Romanesque structure. The imperial hall is a grand setting for summer concerts. On foot: From Annweiler, follow the local signs for Burg Trifels. The hike is about an hour. By car: Follow the A-65 in the direction of Karl-Ludwigshafen, take exit Landau-Süd, then B-10 to Annweiler west. From there follow the local signs. Parking is at the foot of the fortress, a 20-minute walk from the top.

    Burg Trifels
    - 06346 - 8470

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €4.50, Closed Dec. and Jan. Closed weekdays Feb.–mid-Mar. and Nov. Closed Mon. mid-Mar.–Oct.

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