Germany's Top Destinations in 2017

Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral | Max Pixel
Evelyn Smallwood

The German National Tourist Board asked visitors to its site to nominated their favourite tourist attractions. Users were able to write in their choices, so literally any spot in Germany was possible. More than 40,000 people from 66 countries made their selections and for the first year ever, Berlin didn’t make the top 10. Cologne and Hamburg did though the number of places in south Germany still outnumber those in the north. Here’s the top 10 places to go in Germany for 2017.


Dresden, capital of Saxony, is filled to the brim with artistic, architectural and quirky treasures. Frauenkirche and Semperoper are particular architecture gems alongside museums and castles, but there’s art of all sorts. The Elbe river is lined with steamboats playing Dixieland music, and the riverbank regularly shows movies.

Dresden, Germany


Europa Park

Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since before it was a tourist hot spot, and 20,000 people make their way inside every day. Its big attraction is the Shrine of the Three Kings, a gold box with the bones of the Three Kings, attracting pilgrims to Cologne for more than 1,000 years.

The Cologne Cathedral

Mannheim Baroque Palace

Just half an hour by train from Frankfurt is Mannheim Baroque Palace, situated on the Rhine. Though it was severely damaged in the war, it was restored to its former glory in 2007. Now, with over 500 rooms replete with period furnishings in a staggering array of luxury fabrics, wood and textiles, Mannheim Palace stands proudly as one of Germany’s largest baroque complexes.

Mannheim Palace

Lake Constance (Bodensee)

Lake Constance (Bodensee in German) may be a little out of the way – 200 kilometres (124.3 miles) from Stuttgart or Munich – but then again, that’s kind of the point. With the secret garden island of Mainau, the monastic island of Reichenau and the bucket-load of charming towns and villages around the perimeter, Lake Constance is anything but short on beauty. If planning on going during the height of summer, book accommodation early.

Lake Constance

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Appearing on nearly every list of super-cool things to do in Germany, Rothenburg is basically a time machine halfway between Frankfurt and Munich. Rothenburg has more preserved towers, fountains and medieval fortifications than any other town in Germany and was made for jealousy-inducing Facebook/Instagram holiday snaps.

Rothenburg ob de Tauber


The classic – the inspiration for the Disney castle was, in its former life, the result of a shakedown by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who made his subjects stump up six million marks for the project, nearly €40 million today. Fortunately for the German people, Neuschwanstein Castle turned out to be a good investment and is now the most visited tourist attraction in the country.

Germany. The famous Neuschwanstein Castle in the background of snowy mountains and trees with yellow and green leaves.


The ancient university town of Heidelberg is ground zero for German Romanticism. A ruined castle in the centre of town and crumbling city walls really do light up the neo-gothic imagination, and scads of writers, poets, painters, and philosophers walked the city’s streets in the 1700s before going on to create the century’s greatest works. Even Mark Twain fell under the city’s spell so hard, he finished The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn here.


Ulm Minster

Ulm Minster is the tallest church in the world: a steeple of just under 162 metres (530 feet) earned it rather ominous nickname ‘God’s Finger’.

Ulm Minster

Miniatur Wunderland

Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland is the world’s biggest smallest thing. Approximately 11 kilometres (7 miles) of train tracks take visitors through miniature versions of the Alps, Scandinavia, the US and a good mix of places in Germany. Great care (and $12.5 million) has been taken to get every detail exactly right.

Hamburg Dammtor train station at night
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

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.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article