Sightseeing in Germany

Are you looking for the finest tourist attractions for your visit in Germany? We have compiled all the best places to travel to and also have a few great insider tips!

There are many beautiful spots to visit in Germany - from Rügen over Saxon Switzerland to the Alps. The varied nature in Germany with meter-high rock formations, lush green landscapes, white, seemingly endless cliffs, or incredible, deep blue lakes inspires visitors from all over the world.

Germany tourist places: What are the top tourist attractions?

There are many historic cities as well as historic sites in Germany, such as the Cologne Cathedral or Bamberg and its Old Town. In addition, you can find a lot of modern architecture, like the upside-down house in Hamburg or the Gehry buildings in Düsseldorf. Among the best places to visit are also St. Thomas Church in Leipzig and Heidelberg Castle.

Tip: Especially small towns like Rothenburg or the cities along the Rhine Valley are perfect for an extraordinary trip. If you are interested in outdoor activities: The Black Forest or the Bavarian Alps are definitely also worth a visit!

Is there a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany?

Yes, indeed. The UNESCO World Heritage List in Germany comprises 48 sites (as of 2021). They include churches, castles, palaces and old towns, but also cultural landscapes and even the Swabian caves - because of the remains of an Ice Age culture. Popular tourist destinations on the list are Aachen Cathedral, Würzburg Residence with Court Garden and Residence Square, Augustusburg and Falkenlust Castles in Brühl, and the Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

What part of Germany should I visit?

What are the best architectural treasures and places of natural beauty for you personally?

Would you rather visit the Romantic Rhine, which is also a World Heritage Cultural Landscape, or a Christmas market in Nuremberg's Old Town? Perhaps, you are interested in the history surrounding World War II and would especially like to see Berlin with the Brandenburg Gate and its Museum Island? Read on to find out the best places to visit in Germany.

Must-see places in Germany: The 14 best places to visit

Take a look at our detailed list and find out about the best places to visit in Germany to help you decide where to take your trip:

1. Berlin's Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is a popular tourist attraction that is part of almost every visit in Germany. The gate dates back to a long and symbolic period in history. Between 1788 and 1791, the gate was built at the behest of Prussian King Frederick William II on Pariser Platz in Berlin and was intended as a symbol of peace. Its original name was therefore also “Peace Gate.” The model for the construction was the Acropolis in Athens.

With the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate became a symbol of division, as it stood in the middle of the restricted area. With the fall of the Wall, the gate then became a symbol of the reunification of Germany. Today it is a great attraction for all Berlin visitors and one of the most important sights in Berlin.

Brandenburger Gate - Germany
Brandenburger Gate - Germany

2. Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom)

Cologne Cathedral is popular with tourists and pilgrims alike: With more than six million visitors a year, it is Germany's most popular tourist attraction and also one of the most important pilgrimage churches in Europe. Art lovers certainly get their money's worth, too, as the church building is one of the European masterpieces of High Gothic architecture.

The foundation stones of today's Cologne Cathedral were laid as early as the Middle Ages, in 1248. In 1530, the construction was stopped for lack of money and the unfinished cathedral shaped the image of the German city of Cologne for over 300 years. It was not until 1842 that construction continued and was completed in 1880.

Tip: Highlights include the panoramic view from the South Towers and the 12th and 13th century stained glass windows in the Chapel of the Epiphany. For the best view of the city and the river, climb the 533 steps to the observation deck in the South Tower.

Cologne Cathedral - View from the river
Cologne Cathedral - Germany

3. The Ultimate Fairytale Castle: Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein Castle was commissioned by King Ludwig II and built in the Ammergau Alps in the style of old German medieval castles.

The foundation stone was laid on September 5, 1869. In the family tradition, the building plan, a portrait of the builder and money coins from his reign were embedded in the cornerstone. Guided by various architectural and artistic motifs, the romantic image of a medieval knight's castle was thus created, the completion of which the king himself never saw.

Shortly after the king's passing, Neuschwanstein Castle was opened to the public and has since offered an impressive glimpse into the world of the fairytale King Ludwig II. Due to its spectacular location and the fact that it served as inspiration for Disney movies such as “Cinderella,” the fascinating architectural masterpiece attracts more than a million visitors every year and is one of the best places to visit in Germany.

Neuschwanstein - Germany
Neuschwanstein - Germany

4. The Black Forest

The Black Forest is a mountainous region in the southwestern corner of Germany bordering France.

The Black Forest is best known for its dense evergreen forests and picturesque villages. It is also famous for its spas and cuckoo clocks, which have been produced in the region since the 18th century. The largest city in the Black Forest is Freiburg, surrounded by vineyards. Here visitors can also admire numerous Gothic buildings.

Black Forest - Germany
Black Forest - Germany

5. Miniatur Wunderland and the Historic Port of Hamburg

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg's Speicherstadt is the world's largest model railroad layout with more than 1040 digitally controlled trains. But the Wunderland is more than just a sight for railroad fans and children. In the large Wunderland world, there are also small landscapes with special places from all over the world to see. For example, the small trains travel through the Alps, America and, of course, the recreated Hamburg.

Did you know that Hamburg - located on the Elbe River - is the largest seaport in Germany? With an area of 7,200 hectares, the 800-year-old port occupies one-tenth of the city. Among the 10,000 ships that enter each year are the largest cruise ships and cargo vessels in the world. Navy ships are also among them. You can see the ships up close on a harbor tour. The tours are one of the attractions in Hamburg that hardly anyone misses.

Miniature Wonderland - Hamburg, Germany
Miniature Wonderland - Hamburg, Germany

6. The Rhine Valley

A vacation on the river Rhine means pure romance. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe also knew about the beauty of the Rhine Valley and visited the unique cultural landscape along the river banks, which was - and still is - characterized by medieval castles, lush green vineyards, historic half-timbered houses and spectacular views.

With a total length of 1,232.7 km, the Romantic Rhine is one of the busiest waterways in the world. The headwaters of the Rhine River are mainly located in the Swiss canton of Graubünden, while its estuary arms reach as far as the North Sea in the Netherlands. In Germany alone, the Rhine stretches over a length of 865 km and is divided into the High Rhine, Upper Rhine, Middle Rhine and Lower Rhine.

Tip: More than 60 castles and palaces along the Rhine invite you to extensive explorations, the Rheinsteig promises 320 km of adventure hiking at the highest level, while boat trips on the Middle Rhine introduce you to the legendary world of the Loreley Rock. This 132-meter-high, steep rock of dark clay-slate is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley.

Rheinstein Castle - Germany
Rheinstein Castle - Germany

7. Berlin's Museum Island in the City Center

The Museum Island is an ensemble of five museums located in the northern part of Spree Island in the historical town center of Berlin. It is one of the most important sights in the German capital and one of the most significant museum complexes in Europe.

The centerpiece of this pedestrian-friendly district is the Old Museum (Altes Museum), built in 1830 as a place to display royal treasures. Soon after, the area behind the museum was dedicated to art museums and ancient knowledge at the Pergamon Museum.

Other museums in the Museum Island:

  • New Museum (Neues Museum): This attraction combines objects from the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, the Museum of Prehistory and Early History, and exhibits from the Collection of Classical Antiquities.
  • Old National Gallery: Paintings and sculptures from the 19th century are exhibited here.
  • Bode Museum: It houses, among other things, a sculpture collection and the Museum of Byzantine Art.
  • James Simon Gallery: This is the newest building on Island. An auditorium and a large exhibition room provide space for special exhibitions and a permanent exhibition on the history of Museum Island.
Bode Museum, Museum Island - Berlin, Germany
Bode Museum, Museum Island - Berlin, Germany

8. Bamberg and the Old Town Hall

The Old Town Hall in the old imperial city of Bamberg is a real curiosity: Just as amazing as its history are the frescoes that adorn the façade of the building.

According to the city's history, the bishop of Bamberg did not want to give the citizens space to build a town hall. Therefore, the people of Bamberg rammed piles into the Regnitz River, creating an artificial island on which they erected the building. The Old Town Hall is remarkable because of its frescoes, which lend plasticity to the façade through mock architecture. An interesting detail: The leg of one of the putti (a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually naked and sometimes with wings) is sticking out of the wall frescoes as a sculpture. Today, the Old Town Hall houses the representative Rococo Hall and the Ludwig Collection.

Tip: The New Town Hall in the historic city center of Bamberg is also worth a visit in Germany. During winter, you should not miss the Christmas market!

Old Town hall - Bamberg, Germany
Old Town hall - Bamberg, Germany

9. The Island of Rügen

Rügen is a German island in the East Sea. The island's beaches and white chalk cliffs are well known, including the Königsstuhl on the Jasmund peninsula. On the rock, there is a viewing platform and a visitor center with exhibitions about the nature of Rügen. The King's Chair is part of the Jasmund National Park, where you can find original beach forests and the sea eagle.

The island is also ideal for active vacationers: You can go hiking or do water sports, and there are also numerous well-developed bike paths on Rügen.

Tip: The best places to visit in Rügen are the lighthouse at Cape Arkona and the piers in Sellin, Binz and Sassnitz, as well as the fairytale forest in the north of the island.

Rügen - Germany
Rügen - Germany

10. Königssee (King's Lake)

It is almost impossible to describe how beautiful Germany can be. In Berchtesgadener Land you will find everything: Unspoiled nature, waterfalls, crystal clear lakes and the beautiful Bavarian Alps. This natural paradise is located about two hours from Munich. The Alpine National Park, which includes Lake Königssee, is located right on the border with Austria.

Embedded in a huge mountain landscape, the lovely Bavarian lake is about 8 km long. Despite its idyllic location, Königssee is a tourist hotspot. You should focus on the surrounding mountains during your stay: On the hiking trails around Königssee you will feel incredibly connected with the beautiful nature and make your visit in Germany an unforgettable experience.

Kings Lake - Germany
Kings Lake - Germany

11. The Capital City of Berlin and the Berlin Wall

After the end of the Cold War, Berlin was chosen as the capital of recently-unified Germany. Berlin has not only historical buildings but also the infamous Berlin Wall. For almost three decades, the city was divided by a wall: From August 13, 1961, to November 9, 1989. It cut right through the middle of Berlin, separating the city into East and West Germany.

Between July 1990 and November 1991, around 155 km of the Berlin Wall were gradually dismantled, 43 km of which served as the inner-city border between Eastern Germany and Western Germany. As a result, only a few remnants of this structure, which shaped the cityscape for decades after World War II, remain in Berlin. The longest preserved piece of the Wall is located on Bernauer Strasse.

Tip: Visit the excellent Berlin Wall exhibition and the Berlin Wall Memorial. Many historic buildings (such as Berlin's Parliament) were restored after the Second World War and are also worth a stop.

Berlin Wall - Germany
Berlin Wall - Germany

12. Insel Mainau: The Flower Island of Lake Constance

The island of Mainau in Lake Constance is located at one of the southernmost tips of Germany and has beautiful parks. Over a million tulips in spring, more than 1,000 roses in bloom in summer and over 12,000 magnificent dahlias in autumn: The island is a flower paradise all year round!

The flower year begins in spring with one of Germany's largest orchid shows in the Palm House on Mainau Island. In spring, thousands of tulips and daffodils also bloom. During summer, roses, and fall, dahlias, invite you to choose the most beautiful flowers. The flower island in Lake Constance with its tropical and semitropical vegetation is certainly one of the most beautiful parks in the world and one of the best places to visit in Germany.

Tip: In the tropical butterfly house, about 40 different species of butterflies can also be observed in all stages of their life cycle.

Island Mainau: Flower Island of Lake Constance - Germany
Island Mainau: Flower Island of Lake Constance - Germany

13. Sanssouci Park and Palace in Potsdam

Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam near Berlin was Frederick the Great's pleasure palace. With its magnificent gardens, it is a popular attraction and a must-see for tourists.

On April 14, 1745, the foundation stone was laid for the “world star” among Brandenburg's palaces. The result is a composition of architecture, sculpture and garden art that surpasses all Prussian royal palaces in its fantastic location, serene atmosphere, imaginative playfulness and surprising sophistication. Frederick II had the southern slope on which the palace stands terraced into a vineyard a year before construction began. The six-step open staircase and the parabolically shaped terraces set the perfect stage for the rococo era.

Tip: Sanssouci is world-famous as a park with unique terraces and a magnificent fountain in the center, and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1990. Some of the park buildings there are extremely worth seeing, especially the Picture Gallery with its numerous works of art.

Sanssouci Park and Palace - Germany
Sanssouci Park and Palace - Germany

14. Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg: This beautiful city with its half-timbered buildings and ancient walls is the last attraction on our list of the most popular places to visit in Germany and definitely should not be skipped.

The beautiful city in the north of Bavaria is especially known for its medieval architecture. Half-timbered houses stand along the cobblestone streets of the old town. The city wall includes many preserved gatehouses and towers, as well as a covered walkway over the wall. St. Jacob's Church has an ornate late Gothic altarpiece by the woodcarver Tilman Riemenschneider.

Tip: The medieval town hall also has a tower with a beautiful panoramic view.

Rhothenburg ob der Tauber - Germany
Rhothenburg ob der Tauber - Germany

What are the most beautiful tourist places near Germany?

If you are looking for places to visit outside of Germany's border, there are many other European countries that are relatively quick to reach:

1. Denmark

In the north, Germany borders Denmark with its endless coastline, numerous islands and its hip capital Copenhagen. Whether for a vacation in a colorful wooden holiday home by the sea, a camping vacation or a city break: The Scandinavian neighbor of Germany is the right destination for almost everyone. Only mountain lovers will not find what they are looking for in Denmark, but the flat country is perfect for cycling, for example.

2. Poland

In the east, Germany adjoins Poland with its diverse landscape. From the eastern part of the German island of Usedom to the Russian border stretch 500 km of beautiful sandy beaches. But also hiking enthusiasts get their money's worth in Poland. A part of the High Tatras as well as the Giant Mountains belong to Poland and attract with breathtaking summit panoramas. If you are interested in inexpensive city trips, you will find them in Szczecin, Gdansk or Krakow.

3. Czech Republic

Another eastern neighbor of Germany is the Czech Republic. Besides the historical capital Prague, the Czech Republic offers wonderful nature experiences in its mountain ranges, such as the Czech parts of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains or the Giant Mountains. When snow and ice are present, winter sports enthusiasts also can enjoy themselves to the fullest. If you are looking for a cheap travel destination in Europe and don't want to travel far from Germany, you will find many beautiful corners and cities to explore.

Kalsbrücke Prague

4. Austria

Germany's southern neighbor attracts hiking and climbing enthusiasts to the Alps with a network of over 40,000 km of hiking trails. Crystal clear lakes and magnificent cities also draw many visitors to Austria at any time of the year. The culinary delights should not remain unmentioned as well.

5. Switzerland

Next to Austria, Switzerland is Germany's second southern neighbor. With its Alpine peaks, the country attracts mainly hikers and active holidaymakers to the mountains and numerous lakes in summer. In winter, Switzerland offers excellent ski resorts for all lovers of winter sports. Even though Switzerland is not a cheap travel destination, it offers exciting destinations that can be reached quickly and comfortably by train from Germany.

6. France

As another neighbor of Germany, France offers an almost unbelievable range of attractions, from Mediterranean beaches to small sleepy mountain villages to the historic fashion metropolis of Paris. Not to forget: France stands for culinary delights of the highest order!

7. The Netherlands

One of Germany's most popular neighboring countries is its western neighbor with its windmills and endless tulip fields. The flat country with its cheese specialties is the ideal destination for beach lovers and city travelers. Besides the capital Amsterdam, art and architecture lovers are drawn to The Hague or Rotterdam. Other interesting places like Delft with its world-famous tiles or Alkmaar as a cheese stronghold are also worth a trip.


Germany offers a wealth of places to visit not only within its borders. If you choose Berlin as your starting point, for example, you can easily continue exploring the neighboring countries to the east. From Hamburg, Denmark is just a stone's throw away, and cities like Cologne are best combined with a visit to the Netherlands, Luxembourg or Belgium! Nature-lovers should choose a city like Munich as a starting point and continue their journey to Austria or Switzerland to really see all the best places to visit in this part of Europe!

Selfie of sightseeing tour in Germany


What are great photo spots to visit in Germany?

1. The Bastei in Saxon Switzerland
2. The Eibsee in Bavaria
3. The chalk cliffs of Rügen

What does the landscape in Germany look like?

Between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea lies the low mountain range of Holstein Switzerland. The low mountain range threshold separates the North from the South of Germany. The Southern German Alpine foothills are characterized by hills and large lakes.

What are three iconic tourist attractions in Germany?

1. Brandenburg Gate
2. Neuschwanstein Castle
3. Lake Constance and the Bavarian Alps

What is the most visited place in Germany?

Cologne Cathedral: It is considered a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and is the most visited sight in Germany.