Fewer countries have had such an impact on the world as Germany – a cultural, political and economic powerhouse that has fostered the minds of everyone from Beethoven to Karl Marx. City breaks in Germany are a great choice if you’re looking for culture, history and food. From Munich in the south to Hamburg in the north, German cities are full to bursting with museums, galleries and beerhouses.
For your next city break in Germany with your friends, you will delve into the effervescence and liveliness of Berlin and more of the country’s large cities. Visiting Germany can also offer a short romantic escapade. That is, unless you prefer long walks with your family to take in Germany’s fresh air and nature.
The vibrant culture of Berlin has prospered throughout its rollercoaster history. Today the city is one of the trendiest in Europe, and home to an array of world-class galleries, museums and theatres. The Brandenburg Gate dates from the 18th century, and has become an icon for the reunification of Germany. The Reichstag is the German seat of power, and the Potsdamer Platz is a key public square and home to the glass-covered Sony Centre. When it comes to museums there are ancient monuments in the Pergamonmuseum, Egyptian artefacts in the Neues Museum and Jewish history in the Jüdisches Museum. Revisit the recent past at Checkpoint Charlie, the East Side Gallery, and at the sobering Holocaust Memorial, then embrace the dynamic, multicultural present at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art and the Volksbühne theatre.
Germany’s second largest city has a long maritime history, and enjoys a reputation as the country’s ‘gateway to the world’. Close to the main railway station is Mönckebergstraße where you’ll find St Jacobi and St Petri, two of the main churches in Hamburg. At the end of Mönckebergstraße you’ll come across the city’s opulently designed Rathaus city hall, built in 1897. Elsewhere in the city is Speicherstadt, the largest continuous warehouse complex in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Close to this are the newly constructed HafenCity and the lively harbour area that Hamburg is famous for. One of the city’s most famous areas is Reeperbahn, a red light district but also home to a range of theatres, restaurants and art galleries. Also worth checking out is the popular Fischmarkt and the exciting Hamburg Dungeon.
The capital of Bavaria, Munich in the south of Germany has a markedly different flavour to its northern counterparts. This is a land of Oktoberfest, Alpine culture and cutting-edge art galleries. If you’re looking for grand public squares there’s the enormous Odeonsplatz, lined on the south side by the Feldherrnhalle and Residenz on the north. Residenz was the home of Bavaria's Wittelsbach rulers until the First World War, and their treasures can be discovered at the Residenzmuseum.
A smaller square with just as much character is the Marienplatz, where you’ll find Mariensäule (Mary’s Coloumn) and the elaborate Gothic façade of the Neues Rathaus (New Townhall). For a taste of the drinking culture in Munich head to one of the city’s many beerhouses, or the outdoors Biergarten Rathenauplatz.
For your next weekend away in Germany, head to Berlin – one of the hippest cities of the moment – featuring cutting-edge creativity, a rich historical past and uninterrupted development since the fall of the Wall.
From Munich to Hamburg, German cities brim with historical, cultural and artistic treasures, such as the medieval city of Nuremberg or Cologne Cathedral.
Although the south of the country attracts many visitors wishing to discover its mountains and the castles of Bavaria, tourism is just as attractive farther north with the picturesque banks of the Rhine, the forests of Bade-Wurtemberg and the beaches of the Baltic sea.
Berlin has a reputation for being one of the world’s nightlife hot spots. From 1 in the morning, the German capital turns into an underground club paradise. Until the small hours, you can club crawl between the techno world’s most renowned venues. For a different kind of vibe, plan in a weekend in Germany at the start of autumn and participate in the legendary Munich Oktoberfest, an enormous party celebrating beer and hops in a funfair-type setting. Get ready – you will have lots of chances to go out on your city break in Germany.
Within the country’s main cities, we recommend you get around by public transport (bus, metro, tramway, etc.). If you plan on travelling around several cities during your weekend in Germany, you can take the train, unless you prefer the freedom of renting a car.
Throughout Germany, you will always find welcoming brasseries serving plentiful specialities, great for discovering on your weekend away. In summer, try out the Biergartens for their simple and sociable fare, which is wonderful washed down with a beer. You should try the local beer, and it’s in Munich where you will discover the country’s largest breweries, for example during the legendary beer festival. In Berlin and in the big cities, you will find amazing restaurants at the forefront of culinary and foodie trends. With unusual and high-end eateries, you will always find something flavoursome on your plate to satisfy your appetite.
Germany can be visited all year round. In winter, for example, you can check out the magnificent Christmas markets of the major cities such as Cologne or Nuremberg. However, during the period from May to October, you can take advantage of the weather on a weekend in Germany. Temperatures are high in the south and east of the country, where there is a continental climate.