Got Germany on you bucket list? Then you’re probably picturing enchanting castles, alpine views, Berlin nightlife and Oktoberfest. But there’s so much more to the Land of Poets and Thinkers. The country is studded with small towns that spread their share of fairytale magic. Each of them feels wondrous with winding cobblestone alleys, medieval townhouses and countless memorable photo stops.
Planning a trip to Germany? Join our four-day Mini Trip to Munich for festive Christmas markets. Alternately, browse our collections of Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips to discover the world like never before.
The Berchtesgadener Land district in the southeastern corner of Germany is all about the scenery. Ramsau, a village with a population of about 1,800 people, lures people to the Alps with amazing vistas. Among the delights here are the purling river, the onion-domed church, and the tranquil Königssee and Hintersee lakes. With snowfall, the entire region transforms into a winter wonderland before vast meadows become flower fields in spring and summer.
If you feel like further exploring the area, check out the best things to see and do in Berchtesgadener.
A salty breeze, the sound of the Baltic sea, and enchanting cottages along the shoreline are the essence of Ahrenshoop. Once a fishing village, it’s impressively established itself as a popular resort town without losing any charm. The small village of only 637 people occupies a spot on the narrow peninsula about an hour north of Rostock; it’s the perfect base for a relaxed weekend of dune walks, birdwatching and cycling.
Spending some time in Rostock? These are the top things to see and do.
The dense forests, extensive hiking trails and high-end spa hotels are the biggest draws of the Black Forest, but there’s more to discover. If you venture to the eastern end of the national park, don’t miss out on Schiltach. It’s an idyllic village that curls up to the Kinzig River. It’s composed of medieval half-timbered houses so vibrant that they’ve earned Schiltach a spot along the renowned Timber-Frame Road, which celebrates the most picturesque historical spots in Germany.
Make the most of the area with our pick of the best things to do in Germany’s Black Forest Region.
Here’s how to spend 24 hours in Meissen.
An hour away from both Frankfurt and Würzburg, Miltenberg lies on the Main River. It was once a strategically important location, drawing the Romans to the site as early as 155 AD. Today only ancient ruins testify to the early settlement, which eventually developed into the Miltenburg fortress in the 13th century. The town itself charms with half-timbered houses, a historic market square and scenic river views.
If you combine your visit to Miltenberg with a trip to Frankfurt, check out these cool and unusual things to do in Frankfurt.
Sieseby is a gem of a town, known for white-thatched cottages divided by lush rose bushes and hedges. There’s also an undeniable maritime flair, which naturally comes with being located at the Schlei Fjord, a North Sea inlet. Life here is slow-paced – make the most of it by renting a small boat for the day.
Looking for proper island life? These are the best islands to visit in the North Sea.
That the Rhine River is the most romantic of German waterways is no secret; between Bonn and Rüdesheim the landscape shines with vineyards, castle-crowned hills and scenic ruins. Rüdesheim itself is a quaint town centred around the charming Drosselgasse and the historical buildings there. It’s also the perfect village to immerse yourself in German wine culture.
Explore the town with our guide to the best things to see and do in Rüdesheim am Rhein.
Taking a tour around the lake? Check out these unmissable attractions around Lake Constance.
Somehow, Dinkelbühl escaped the World War II bombing raids, with the medieval town centre coning out unscathed. Located halfway between Nuremberg and Stuttgart, it attracts day-trippers from both hubs looking for pristinely-preserved remnants of an ancient city. Seeing the town illuminated by the festive lights of the annual Christmas markets is extra magical.
Discover the allure of this lovely town through our top things to see and do in Dinkelbühl.
In search of more pretty destinations in the country? Here’s our pick of the most beautiful towns in Germany.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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