German City Resources
You'll find many of the cities on our German map and some smaller gems in our Germany Travel Planning Guide. For first time travelers, the two most popular German cities are Berlin and Munich. These two cities are quite different. Berlin is a vibrant art city, buzzing with energy and loaded with interesting museums--and it's still a bit of a bargain for European travelers. Munich is in the heart of Bavaria; it's a city centered in a beautiful rural area, full of tradition. Munich exemplifies what we foreigners are likely to think of when we think of Germany.
The rest of Germany's top cities to visit are on the map. Our Germany Travel site has a list of Germany's Top 10 Cities with more information.
Accommodation in Germany
Germany has a number of lodging options available to the tourist, from home stays to castle stays. There are generally a number of hotels around German train stations. For longer stays, consider renting an apartment or vacation home. See: Self Catering - Vacation Home Rentals to learn more.
One of my favorite booking agents for lodging in Europe is Venere because it offers user reviews from people who actually stay in a place.
Trains Germany has an efficient train network. There are often specials on tickets, especially on weekends, so when you ask for a ticket at the window, inquire about specials. I've taken a one hour later train than I originally proposed for a significant discount.
Here are some useful resources for taking the train in Germany:
- See if a German Rail Pass Makes Sense for You
- Plan Your Itinerary by Rail
Buses A recent liberalisation of bus monopolies has allowed for a several new bus companies to spring up in Germany. They are are invariably much cheaper than the train and sometimes cover routes that the trains do not:
Also, for routes out of Germany into Eastern Europe, you have the following:
Driving Germany is justifiably proud of its autobahn - a high speed transportation network that gets you quickly around the country. These days, some sections of autobahn are prone to slowing, and German maps will mark those problem areas. The suggested speed limit in most clear areas in 130 km/hr, or roughly 80 mph. Smaller roads are generally in good repair.
Weather and Climate: When to Go
Germany's weather is primarily temperate. Berlin's temperature, for example, is more moderate than you might expect, the lowest average low occurs in January at 26 degrees F. The highest high occurs in July and August at 73 degrees F. There is measurable precipitation (wet days) more than half the days of the year. [Berlin historic averages]
Germany is a good place to go in summer, when Italy, France and Spain swelter. But the best time to go to southern Germany may well be autumn, when the colors are brightest and the wine is being harvested. This is the time for festivals celebrating wine and the harvest.
Click on a destination on the Germany Weather and Climate Map to find historic temperatures, rainfall, and tourism suggestions for Germany's top destinations.
Regional Germany Maps and Travel Planners
Many of Germany's States or "regions" are well known to Tourists. Bavaria, of course, is probably the most well-known of the states. Baden Wurttemberg, in the southwest corner of Germany, is also quite popular, even though its name is unfamiliar. Lake Constance is here, as well as Karlsruhe, the "gateway to the Black Forest." The Castle Road passes through, and there are plenty of wine towns like Freiburg. And everyone's favorite medieval village, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is just outside the boundary of Baden Wurttemberg in a corner of Bavaria.
Auto Museums in Germany - Many of Europe's finest automobiles are designed and built in Germany, so where else would you look if you wanted to chart their past or see their experimental and racing models? You can also head out to a unique race track that's also an autobahn to test your driving skills--Driving Germany's Nurburgring Race Track on Your Vacation.
Cycling Germany - Germany is criss-crossed by numerous cycling trails. It's easy to get around on a bike.
Maps of Germany
Germany States Map (a map showing the German States with general population and geographical information).
German Rail Map (find essential travel information for traveling through Germany by train, including passes, language, and train types.
Germany Map and Travel Distances - Find distances between cities in Germany
Michelin Maps of Germany - Planning a road trip in Germany? You'll need good maps.
Eating and Drinking in Germany
Berlin's Best Restaurants
While service is included in the bill, generally waiters are generally tipped 5-10% for good service. Get further information from Germany Travel's Birge Amondson: How much tip do you give in a German restaurant?