Germany in summer is a treat for the senses, with long, sunny days, food and beer festivals galore and blossoming trees dotting the landscapes. With the snowy mountains becoming verdant alpine meadows, there’s no better time to get out into the Alps to enjoy some hiking and biking through the undulating trails.
Some of the best places to visit in Germany in summer include cities such as Munich, Dresden, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt which are all filled with markets, museums, festivals and outdoor entertainment throughout the summer months.
Germany is also an ideal summer destination for those that don’t like the extreme temperatures of the southern Mediterranean. Beach spots such as Rugen Island and the island of Sylt in the north of Germany and the natural beauty of the Black Forest allow travellers to enjoy the great outdoors without the oppressing heat and possibility of burning!
Despite not being thought of as a holiday destination, Germany is perfect for history buffs, wine lovers, walkers and even beach bums thanks to its varied landscape, architecture and activities. Even if Germany was never on your bucket list for summer destinations, it really should be after reading this…
contributed by Amelie of Mostly Amelie
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, affectionately known as Meckpom, or Mecklenburg-West Pomerania in English, is a wonderful green region just North of Berlin. You can make the trip to this northernmost state by car or train fairly quickly and cheaply, but bicycle touring is a wonderful option to consider in the Summertime.
Starting from Berlin, you’ll cycle through the lush greenery of Brandenburg as you make your way there. The land is mostly flat and the infrastructures are excellent, with several camping sites and resorts along the way. A refreshing change from the big city life (Meckpom is one of the least densely populated states of Germany) and a breath of fresh air as you wander through the beautiful natural environment, you’ll also encounter many well-known lakes, such as Thuren, Zethner See and Mirower See.
All the way North, you’ll ultimately reach the Baltic Sea and its numerous seaside resorts, all with beautiful sandy beaches. More things to discover in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are the medieval towns of Stralsund and Wismar, as well as Usedom Island, a holiday hotspot and apparently one of the sunniest parts of Germany! There’s lots to see and do in Meckpom, but it’ll mostly appeal to the nature and beach lovers.
contributed by Diana of The Elusive Family
Bodensee is a great summer escape during Germany’s warmest months. Also known as Lake Constance, Bodensee provides numerous activities and events throughout the summer that make this one of the most popular summer destinations for not only German, Austrian and Swiss citizens, but the millions of tourists that flock to Europe in the summer.
Bodensee has numerous seasonal activities during the summer that impress all visitors. A boat ride on the lake is an idyllic way to take in the beauty of the water and surrounding land and visitors can enjoy onboard amenities on several boats including drinks and meals. Water sports are one of the most popular pastimes at Bodensee. Take a canoe ride along the shores, or try stand up paddling for an enjoyable adventure. If you are a bit more daring, sail with an experienced captain or give wind-surfing a try.
If you go out on the lake, Mainau island is a must see. Hosting a beautiful butterfly garden and a small castle the tropical feel of this little island will have you wanting to visit it more than once. If you choose to stay on the shore, be sure to visit one of the towns along the shore, such as Meersburg. Surrounded by vineyards, the town hosts a castle as well as beautiful baroque architecture, it is beautiful town to visit with equally amazing residents.
3. St. Goar
contributed by Serena of Serena’s Lenses
One of the best summer getaways in Germany is to visit St. Goar and its surrounding area. St. Goar (Sankt Goar) is a quaint town on the bank of Middle Rhine in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Rhine Gorge in Germany. The town itself is relatively small and cute and many people come to St. Goar to visit its castle.
Accessible by walking from St. Goar or the St. Goar train station, Rheinfels Castle is perhaps one of the most popular tourist attractions in St. Goar. Thought to be one of the largest and most romantic castles in the area, one can easily walk 45 minutes from the St. Goar Train station up to the Castle to explore its ruins and visit the castle museum.
Right across the river from St. Goar is Castle Katz in Sankt Goarhausen. But unfortunately it’s a private property so nobody can tour, but it’s beautiful to look at nevertheless. Another popular activity near St. Goar is the Rhine Cruise. You can either get on the cruise from St. Goar to visit other towards along the Rhine or get off at St. Goar to explore the town. One of the best known festivals near St. Goar is “Rhine in Flames”. Boats leave from towns near Rhine including St. Goar to Loreley Rock to witness a stunning fireworks display.
contributed by Amber of With Husband in Tow
5. Rügen Island
contributed by Amandine of Les Berlinettes
contributed by Patrick of the German Backpacker
Munich is one of Germany’s most beautiful cities and especially nice to visit in the summer. The Bavarian capital is known for its high life quality, historical buildings and beautiful nature around. If you’re in Munich in the summer, make sure to spend some time in the English Garden, a large green area directly in the center full of people enjoying the sun and the good weather. You can even try to go surfing on the “Eisbach Welle”, an artificial wave in the river in the park.
One of the big highlights in Munich is also its surrounding nature. Due to its proximity to the Alps, you can reach plenty of beautiful mountains and lakes within an hour outside of the city. The famous Starnberger See is only a train ride away and one of the most popular tourist getaways. Munich is also a good base to visit the famous Neuschwanstein Castle for a day.
If you’re visiting in late summer (mid/end of September), you will even get the chance to attend the world-famous Oktoberfest (which doesn’t take place in October, but actually in September). While this is a unique experience, make sure to organize accommodation months in advance, since the city is full of tourists during this period.
Contributed by Dhara of It’s Not About the Miles
Rostock is a beautiful university town on the Baltic Coast in northern Germany. It is just perfect for a summer getaway, especially when combined with the nearby seaside resort of Warnamunde. Rostock is just about two hours away by high speed train from Berlin or Hamburg, so it’s easily accessed.
In Rostock, you can walk just about anywhere. Take the tram from the train station to the town center, and, once you are checked into your accommodation, do a walking tour to see the architecture. Much of Rostock was razed by World War II bombing, but has been since restored for the greater part. At least two of the impressive medieval town gates are still standing, as is part of the high wall that once enclosed the town.
Take in the morning market at Neuer Markt, the main town square. Especially if you visit on Saturday, when the main weekly market is held, the market stalls are worth browsing. Also spend time at the university plaza, relaxing over a drink at a cafe, people watching, and enjoying the sculptures and fountains in the plaza. Rostock University is actually one of the oldest in Europe.
Rostock’s churches are also worth visiting. At Petrikirche, you can go up to the top of the tower, either in the lift or by climbing the steps. At Marienkirche, don’t miss the astronomical clock: it is one of the oldest in Europe that still functions.
In the nearby resort of Warnamunde, accessed via a local train in under 20 minutes (or by ferry in season), you can laze at a blue flag beach, or stroll the lively waterfront and the streets of the little town. While you can spend just one day in Rostock and Warnamunde, they make for a pleasant weekend getaway or a multi-day sojourn as well.
Although Lübeck was heavily damaged during Wolrd War II, it has been well restored and has even been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the most notable sights include city hall, the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, St. Mary’s church, and St. Peter’s church. It is also the home of one of the best museums in Germany, the European
Hansemuseum, dedicated to the city’s Hanseatic roots.
and vegetables! Oh, and of course there is a marzipan museum as well.
12. Romantic Road Germany
Contributed by Hannah & Adam of Getting Stamped
One of the best things you can do during the summer season in Germany is to take the scenic route from Wurzburg to Fussen which is dubbed the Romantische Straße, or Romantic Road. Loosely based around a path in Roman Times through the southern regions of Germany, the Romantic Road winds its way down through medieval villages with many pull-offs to see stunning castles along the way.
The Romantic Road should ideally be done from North to South if you have time, since following in this direction you finish at the fairy tale Neuschwanstein Castle near the southern border of the country. While there are many highlights big and small, it’s hard to top one of the most iconic castles in the world!
Other highlights include the Würzburg Residence in the north and Rothenburg ob der Tauber as a definite must stop near the center of the route. It’s best to plan a trip down the Romantic Road for a long weekend, but you could easily spend a week-long vacation exploring all of the little towns through. There’s no shortage of hidden gems and lesser visited little towns like Dinkelsbühl that not everyone pulls off of the main road for. No matter where you decided to stop along the Romantic Road, it’s sure to make the perfect summer trip in Germany.
Contributed by Lance and Laura of Travel Addicts
The historic town of Wurzburg, Germany may be one of Germany’s most beautiful. Located in the center of the country, close to three major international airports, and along two important ancient trading routes, Wurzburg offers a great summer getaway destination.
The town is best known for the Royal Residenz, which is one of Europe’s most impressive royal palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally, it was home to the Prince-Bishop of Wurzburg. It is rumored that Napoleon Bonaparte stayed here in May 1812 while he was heading to invade Russia (evidently he didn’t sleep well, which contributed to his loss in the battle). Behind the Royal Residenz, the gardens are not be missed. By European standards, the gardens are quite small, however, they are incredibly beautiful in summer and are a great spot for a picnic.
In the heart of Wurzburg, the Old Main Bridge stretches across the Main River. Many visitors will make the comparison to Prague’s Charles Bridge. Architecturally, they are both very similar and both are adorned with statues. Towering above the city across the river is the Marienberg Fortress, erected in response to the invading Swedish army.
Wurzburg is also the heart of the Franconia wine region. Many of the hillsides along the river are covered in vines. The white Franconian wine (and its distinctive bottle) is a source of pride for locals, although it is less well known abroad than other German wine regions. In the summer, you’ll see visitors and locals alike drinking along on the Old Main Bridge and the banks of the river.
14. Rheinsteig Trail
Contributed by Jennifer of Luxe Adventure Traveler
One of the best summertime trips to take for adventure and outdoor lovers in Germany is hiking the Rheinsteig Trail. The trail is 320 kilometers long covering the castle and vineyard dotted hillsides from Bonn to Wiesbaden, though the long distance trail can be hiked in smaller segments.
One of the most spectacular sections is the 40 kilometers between St. Goar and Lorch am Rhein, where terraced vineyards slope down the steep gorge right toward the Rhine River and castles dot the clifftops around every bend. Cozy guest houses with the most delicious food or even stays in castles await at the end of each long day of hiking, bringing together the best of both adventure and luxury.
There’s even a number of Germany vineyards hikers can visit along the way for a little wine tasting in route. And if you wish, there are porter services to shuttle heavier bags from one accommodation to the next so that hikers need only carry a day pack for the day. It’s truly one of the best summer adventures in Germany.
Contributed by Victoria of Bridges and Balloons
Cuxhaven, just two hours from Hamburg, is the gateway to the Wadden Sea National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. It’s a popular German tourism destination, and a stunning landscape of sandy beaches and expansive mud flats.
Twice daily, when the tide goes out, you can walk for up to 20km across the seabed. The vast mudflats, carved by the shapes of the tide, create an otherworldly landscape, home to more than 10,000 plant and animal species. Take a guided tour to discover what you can find – you may even uncover some amber.
While in Cuxhaven, don’t miss the beautifully designed Cuxhaven Visitor Centre, which teaches you about the geography of the area and its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is also where you can catch a wattwagen (horse and cart) ride to the island of Neuwerk.
The colourful carts hold up to nine people and are pulled by strong horses across the mud flats and tidal creeks. It’s possible to stay the night on Neuwerk, or you can catch a wattwagen ride back.
There are three main beach areas to choose from in Cuxhaven: Sahlenburg, Duhnen, and Dose. The latter is more of a park than a beach, but still features Cuxhaven’s iconic colourful beach huts.
16. The Island of Sylt
Contributed by Jordan of Wayfaring With Wagner
From the northern beaches of Cuxhaven, Rügen and Heiligenhafen to picturesque towns and cities such as Lübeck, Wurzburg and Rostock, Germany in summer has plenty to offer travellers seeking something a little different to beach breaks on the Costa del Sol or the Greek Islands.
The vibrant cities, stunning natural landscapes and peaceful lakeside towns each provide something unique that makes them worth visiting. It is also fun to combine some of the best places to visit in Germany into a road trip adventure so you can mix history and culture with beachside relaxation to create your perfect getaway.
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