Whereas most countries have one or two cities that are a must-visit, Germany has, quite frankly, too much choice. From the capital of the country itself to the capital of Bavaria, and all those other cities such as Hamburg, Stuttgart and Dresden in between, it’s quite impossible to pick somewhere to visit first.
But what if we told you that you could have three breaks in one? Germany’s legendary efficiency makes it a pleasure to explore by train – ideal if you can’t decide which city to visit first. Read on to discover one of our favourite routes, that packs in three awesome cities in three exciting nights – sounds good, right?
Sorry London, but Berlin is definitely Europe’s capital of cool. Years of arty bohemian types calling the German capital home has helped shape the city’s liberal, creative atmosphere and a turbulent and very much infamous early 20th century gives the city plenty for history enthusiasts to explore.
Don’t miss: It’d be impossible to fit everything that Berlin has to offer into one day, but there are definitely certain attractions not to be missed. To fully appreciate Berlin’s youthful flair, a trip to the uber-hipster Kreuzberg neighbourhood is a must. This vibrant area of the city is where you’ll find some of the best modern galleries, street food and bars around. It’s home to the longest remaining segment of the Berlin Wall that has been transformed over the passing of time into an impressive open art gallery. A walking tour will take you round some of the best and most meaningful graffiti in the city.
As well as all this modernity, Berlin as a city certainly does not shy away from the legacy of the early twentieth century and tourists will be able to explore many attractions that focus on remembering the troubles of the Nazi Regime and the World Wars. Attractions such as The Topography of Terror Museum (that focuses on the Gestapo) and the eerie Holocaust Memorial prove that Berlin has plenty to offer people who wish to reflect on this turbulent aspect of the city’s history.
Arriving by train across the love lock-adorned green bridge, you’ll be welcomed by impressive views of Cologne in all its gothic glory. This Rhine-side city has its roots in Roman history but retains aspect of several periods of history within its atmospheric old town that is coupled nicely with a great collection of museums and attractions to visit.
Don’t miss: We say don’t miss, but to be honest, it would be pretty impossible to miss the imposing blackened exteriors of Germany’s most visited attraction, Cologne Cathedral. It is one of the first things you’ll see as you step out of the train station and it is definitely worth going inside to absorb the ornate interiors. A steep climb to the top of the towers will reward you with epic views of the city too.
Those with a sweet tooth should make a bee-line for the Schokoladenmuseum, the Lindt chocolate museum, where you can learn all about the creation of this delicious chocolate and even craft your own treat. If that is not your thing, then a trip 4711 to learn about Cologne’s other famous export – perfume – is worth a gander – you can even book in to design your own scent.
Although made famous by Oktoberfest, Munich should definitely not be written off as somewhere you should only visit at that time of year. It is particularly lovely in the summer months, where the surrounding mountainous scenery is particularly lush. Bavaria showcases a different side to Germany and a four and half hour journey through the gorgeous German countryside from Cologne is a must to reach it.
Don’t miss: Footy fans should, of course, make sure they visit Bayern Munich’s impressive stadium, while those more interested in a dose of history and art will be spoiled for choice with museums and galleries. The Pinakotheken, in particular, is unmissable, being home to various famous artists including Warhol and Monet.
If the weather keeps you out of the museums, head to Englischer Garten at Prinzregentenstrasse and wander through the sculpted gardens towards the river where you’ll find the famous river surfers – it’s quite a spectacle to watch them battle against the bizarrely strong currents.
You may not be there for the festival, but ending your trip at Hofbräuhaus, the world’s most famous beer hall, is the best way to ‘prost’ to your trip under the high vaulted ceilings and the echos of oompah music.
Need more information on the German rail network? Check out our dedicated page to trains in Germany.