2000-year old history thriving side by side with contemporary architecture, amazing landscape, exciting shopping, and delicious food makes Cologne a traveler’s dream come true. The skyscape of Cologne is dominated by the breathtaking Cologne Cathedral, a proud and unwavering witness of centuries of wars, destruction, and celebration. Visitors in Cologne love cruising down the River Rhine, visiting some of the most famous museums in the country, and one of the oldest zoos in Germany. Cologne has a palpable zest for life that vibrates through the merry Old Town, the nightclubs, and its packed restaurants and shopping streets.
This town nestled in the picturesque Middle Rhine Valley is small but steeped in history. Around since the 1st century BC, it is one of the oldest cities in the country, and today, an important hub of politics, commerce, and tourism. Visiting Bonn is a trip back in time, with the 1000-year old Bonn Minster, the beautiful baroque-style Poppelsdorf Palace and gardens, Beethoven-haus, and museums with enviable collections sharing the skyline with modern architecture.
Another historic town, Xanten has a lot to offer, though it is often overlooked by tourists. It is incredible how diligently Xanten has retained its original charm. Each of its landmarks – the medieval town square, the gorgeous cathedral, beautiful lakes, and museums – is an enriching history lesson.
The ancient city of Koblenz is perched on both banks of the Rhine, at the enviable location of the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle. The meeting point of these two important rivers is marked by the Deutsches Eck, a peninsula of land graced by the monument of Emperor Wilhelm I. An incredible thing to do while in Koblenz is taking a cable car ride over the river to the Fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fortified town is also known for its beautiful cathedrals, Rhine promenade, grand Electoral Palace, lush gardens, and, a little outside of town, the fairytale Stolzenfels Castle.
Another gem of the Moselle valley, this little town is straight out of picture books. Cochem is ringed by lush vineyards and wears the gorgeous imperial Reichsburg Castle as its crown. With its buzzing market square, peaceful riverside walkway, adorable half-timbered houses, historic castle ruins, and breathtaking fall colors, it is impossible to not fall in love with this quaint little town.
Rudesheim am Rhein, a scintillating wine town, sits pretty in the Rhine valley. There are several historic castles and castle ruins in the vicinity of Rüdesheim am Rhein, and the best way to discover them is to take a slow cruise down the river Rhine on a sunny day. With its museums, abbeys, museums, wineries, and flower-box windows, Rüdesheim am Rhein has all the ingredients for a perfect vacation.
Bad Munstereifel, a spa town has everything that a traveler needs for a quiet, relaxing vacation. This picture-postcard town, with its adorable bridges and gurgling streams, has an abundance of greenery and bursts into colorful flowers in spring. However, what attracts visitors most to this region are its rejuvenating spas and wellness centers.
One of the most charming towns in Germany, Monschau has been a favorite destination for Germans as well as tourists from all over the world looking for a restful vacation in beautiful surroundings. Monschau wins hearts easily with its lush greenery and blooms, historic castle ruins, half-timbered houses, and old churches. Monschau is also a great starting point to explore the sprawling miles of natural splendor known as the Eifel National Park.
Trier, founded in the 4th century BC, is any history enthusiast’s dream destination. An area settled as far back as 16,000 years ago, quietly perched in the Moselle valley, it has breathtaking historical sites lurking around every corner. From fortified gates to Roman bath ruins, from churches dating back thousands of years to astounding architecture, Trier has enough offerings to fill up several days of vacation.