Vacation in your own country? Yes, because there is a lot to discover in Germany! Beautiful travel destinations are also very close to you. We show 25 interesting places in the low mountain range, on the seashore, and in the country and give valuable travel tips as well as insider tips for your next vacation in Germany. But pssst, don’t tell anyone! Because in our list, there are mainly places that have not yet been discovered and are therefore real insider tips.
The most beautiful travel destinations in Germany at a glance
Have you ever been to the Zittau Mountains? In the Thuringian Sea, in the Rhön, or in the Palatinate Forest? These are local recreation areas that the locals are sure to know well. However, outside of your own region, the level of awareness of these excursion destinations is falling, and a trip to these beautiful places is worthwhile, regardless of whether it is for exercise in the mountains, for a little culture and history, or for activities on the water. There are special travel destinations in Germany for everyone.
1: Danube breakthrough: Monastery romance in Lower Bavaria
It starts with a real natural beauty, combined with monastery romance. The Danube Gorge is Bavaria’s first national natural monument. The nature reserve includes the course of the Danube with the particularly impressive valley slopes between Kelheim and Weltenburg Abbey. A visit is highly recommended. If you someday get the feeling of the city, you can have a look at the pretty old town of Regensburg.
2: Zittau Mountains: sandstone cliffs and volcanic mountains
Sandstone mountains, volcanic mountains, dark forests. Oybin in the Zittau Mountains in Saxony is a real insider tip for hiking enthusiasts. There are around 300 kilometers of hiking trails and also climbing trails of various degrees of difficulty on the over 80 peaks in the region. If you want, you can also go hiking through the neighboring Czech Lusatian Mountains. Those who are nostalgic can take the steam trains typical of the region, which have been in service there for 130 years.
3: Thuringian Sea: Picturesque river landscape on the Saale
The Thuringian Sea in the slate mountains offers an idyllic river landscape in lush green forests. In between, there are large reservoirs where a variety of water sports activities are possible. A hiking trip is a tour of the Teufelskanzel. From there, you have a fantastic view of the loop of the Saale. A visit to the land of 1000 ponds around Plothen is also recommended. In the 11th / 12th In the 18th century, the ponds were created by monks for fish farming.
4: Ravennaschlucht: Impressive waterfalls in the Black Forest
The Black Forest is one of the largest hiking areas in Germany, with elongated forest mountains, wide meadow valleys, and treeless mountain tops. In the south, the wild Ravennabach flows through a narrow and steep side valley of the Höllental. The highest waterfalls are 16 meters high, and the smallest are 6 meters high. A special sight in the valley is, without a doubt the viaduct of the Höllentalbahn. The highlight in December is the Christmas market in the Ravennaschlucht.
5: East Frisia: Idyllic fishing villages on the North Sea
East Frisia is still one of the more undiscovered regions in Germany. It is wonderful in Greetsiel. The picture-book village on the North Sea is a bit touristic, but you should have seen the historic brick and gabled houses as well as the harbor once. A little outside is the Greetsiel twin mills, where grist is still being ground. For nature lovers, there are numerous bike paths in the region, and mudflat walks are offered.
6: Bilateral: Paradise for climbers in Saxon Switzerland
This natural wonder in Saxon, Switzerland, is also one of the undiscovered travel destinations in Germany. The Hercules columns are in the Bielatal near the Czech border. With 239 peaks, it is the largest climbing area in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. In addition to climbing, hiking is particularly popular in the region. We recommend the Malerweg, which leads past the most famous sights in Saxon Switzerland.
7: Stolberg: Medieval half-timbered town in the southern Harz
A beautiful old town with half-timbered houses: Stolberg in the southern Harz is really like a trip back in time. The city is a recognized climatic health resort and the first historical European city in Germany. Stolberg is also on the German Half-timbered Road and the Orange Route. Outside the town, there is a network of various hiking trails through karst landscapes with steep mountain slopes, caves and deep valleys, and thick beech forests.
8: Dahner Felsenland: Spectacular sandstone towers in the Palatinate Forest
The Palatinate Forest is the largest contiguous forest area in Germany. It is estimated that there are around 7,000 kilometers of marked hiking trails in the region. Hikes in the Dahner Felsenland and to the Altschlossfelsen are particularly popular. With a bit of imagination, the shapes and colors of the rocks are reminiscent of the national parks in Arizona, but their location in Rhineland-Palatinate makes them much easier to reach. If you are hungry, take a detour to the many rustic Palatinate Forest huts, where typical Palatinate “hut food” such as saumagen, liver dumplings, and “white cheese” are served.
9: Upper Danube Valley: The Swabian Grand Canyon
Almost like the Lord of the Rings, a dreamlike sight, when the morning mist slowly rises from the green meadows, reveals the glittering river, and the craggy rocks show up in the dark forests. The Upper Danube Valley in the Swabian Alb is rightly called the Swabian Grand Canyon because nature is incomparable. The sport possibilities are varied, with canoeing, hiking, or cycling tours. Those interested in culture should visit the Beuron Monastery.
10: The Rhön: land of open spaces
The Rhön in the border triangle of Hesse, Bavaria and Thuringia promises a relaxing holiday without many other people. Due to its extensive pastures and meadows, the Rhön is also known as the land of open spaces. The highlights include the Red Moor and the Black Moor, one of the most important raised bogs in Central Europe. Numerous rare animal and plant species are at home there and are waiting to be discovered. The 2.5-kilometer nature trail on boardwalks is definitely recommended here.
11: Zschopautal: Wild and romantic river landscape in Saxony
The Zschopau has created a wild and romantic river landscape here in the central Saxon hill country. In the past, silver was mined in various places. Two old mines can still be visited. Kriebstein Castle from the 14th century is also located on the river. The imposing building on a rock is now world famous because it had a guest appearance in the film Grand Budapest Hotel. There are also regular fairy tale events for the little ones.
12: Swabian-Franconian Forest: grottos, rocks & waterfalls
In the northeast of Stuttgart lies the Swabian-Franconian Forest Nature Park. Here you will find unspoiled forests with small lakes, rocks, grottos and waterfalls. Several certified nature park guides take visitors on forays through nature and provide interesting information. The Hörschbach Gorge near Murrhardt is particularly beautiful. The approximately one-hour hike from the lower waterfall to the upper waterfall is also easy to do for families with children.
13: Nienhagen: A ghost forest on the Baltic Sea
This travel destination between Heiligendamm and Warnemünde near Rostock in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is perfect for families with children because the name Ghost Forest stimulates the imagination. This means an approximately 180 hectare mixed forest near Nienhagen on the Baltic Sea, whose bizarre trees give it this creepy name. The sound of the sea is free for an ideal experience of nature.
14: Pfälzer Bergland: view of the famous eagle arch
Nature plus Instagram hotspot is the best way to describe the eagle arch in the North Palatinate Bergland. The steel triumphal arch stands on the 545-meter high Moltkefelsen on the eastern flank of the Donnersberg and complements a wonderful view over the entire region. Even the Celts felt at home on this high plateau. Some castle and monastery ruin still bear witness to this today. The 114 km long Palatinate High Trail is popular with hikers.
15: Spreewald: With the paddle boat through the biosphere reserve
The Spreewald is one of the most famous travel destinations in Brandenburg. Lehde, in particular, is one of the most beautiful and characteristic villages in the region. Must-do’s are a visit to the open-air museum and a trip on a traditional Spreewald boat. The towns of Burg and Lübben, on the other hand, have not yet been discovered. Canoeing with the paddle boat is also possible here. If a holiday in the Spreewald is too boring for the children, it can also be combined with a visit to the Tropical Islands.
16: Teutoburg Forest: Germany’s healing garden
Built by druids or maybe even by aliens? Even today it is still not completely clear what function the bizarre rock formations in the Teutoburg Forest actually had in the past. But that is precisely why they are a travel destination that everyone should have seen once in a lifetime. The excursion can also be easily combined with a visit to the Hermannsdenkmal. Incidentally, the area is known as the “healing garden of Germany” due to its many state-approved spas and health resorts.
17: Monschau: Starting point in the Eifel National Park
Monschau is the perfect starting point for a vacation in the Rureifel . The old town with around 300 listed buildings is an absolute highlight. The imposing Monschau Castle towers over the town. If you have had enough of strolling and discovering, you can lose yourself in the Eifel National Park. Comprehensive themed trails offer something for everyone, such as a tour through the romantic Rur Valley or the 300-kilometer Eifelsteig.
18: Alpenwelt Karwendel: wonderful peaks and mountain lakes
In the Bavarian Alps, it is really busy everywhere in summer. But there are places that are not yet overcrowded. This includes the Geroldsee in the Karwendel Mountains. For nature lovers, we recommend the three-lake hike from Krün, which takes between 4 and 5 hours. To the south lie the Ferchensee and Lautersee, which invite you to swim, as well as the Hohe Kranzberg. Around Mittenwald, there are other ways to do sports. Climbing, mountain biking, or mountaineering are on the program.
19: Franconian Switzerland: half-timbered houses and bizarre rocks
Small half-timbered houses huddled under a bizarre rock that looks like it is about to tip over. The sight of Tüchersfeld in Pottenstein is impressive, and there is no other way of saying it. Incidentally, this was also the opinion of Deutsche Post, which printed the symbol of Franconian Switzerland on a postage stamp. There are numerous hikes of varying degrees of difficulty around the quaint little town. For the best view of Tüchersfeld, the lookout point on the Zeckenstein is recommended.
20: Upper Middle Rhine Valley: Where castles and palaces are enthroned
The upper Middle Rhine Valley is an almost imposing sight. A row of pretty colorful houses stands over the river, above the deep dark forest and above a seemingly enormous castle that overshadows everything else. The Stolzenfels Castle is just one of many castles that can be discovered in the region between Koblenz and Bingen. The upper Middle Rhine Valley is therefore also the epitome of Rhine romanticism. Some of them even belong to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
21: Bremen: Historic Gängeviertel in the old town
Narrow, winding streets, cobblestone streets and historic houses. The Schnoor in Bremen is popular with both historians and romantics. The history of this district goes back to the High Middle Ages. And if you are already in Bremen, you should also see the beautiful town hall, the famous town musicians, the Petri Cathedral and the Bremen Roland. Go for a walk and relax at the end of the day on the banks of the Weser on the Schlachte.
22: Lusatian Lakeland: dozens of lakes and navigable canals
A huge water landscape with flooded lakes and navigable canals is emerging from the lignite mining area in Lusatia between Berlin and Dresden. Sailing, canoeing, water skiing and many other water sports are offered in the Lusatian Lakeland. A trip to the Rakotzbrücke in Kromlau near the Polish border is worthwhile. Due to its mystical flair, it could easily have come from a fantasy film. Most of the renovation work will be completed by summer 2021.
23: Ruhr area: The route of industrial culture in North Rhine-Westphalia
In addition to all the natural beauties on this list, the Ruhr area doesn’t have to hide, even if it is perhaps less green than the rest of Germany. But the industry with the Zeche Zollverein in Essen or the gasometer in Oberhausen has its own charm. The construction of a roller coaster also proves this on a dump in Duisburg called Tiger & Turtle. In the evenings, you have a wonderfully romantic view of the surroundings when the sun slowly goes down, and all the lights start to twinkle.
24: Blue valley: caves, rocks and blue springs
The Ach and Blue valleys in the Swabian Alb are known for their large number of natural caves. Ice Age hunters and their families lived here more than 40,000 years ago. The places can be hiked on the ice age trails. River valleys, mountain ranges with great views and dense forests are touched. The top attraction is the legendary Blautopf in Blaubeuren. The karst spring seems to know hundreds of different shades of blue. Blaubeuren itself is also called “Little Venice” because of its small bridges and half-timbered buildings.
25: Siebengebirge: Fantastic views of the Rhine near Bonn
The Siebengebirge south of Bonn is a small but fine low mountain range with fantastic views of the Rhine. Canyon-like valleys, densely wooded peaks, and rough rocks shape the landscape. The German Romanticism of the 19th century already valued the Rhine Valley and the delightful interplay of nature and culture. Anyone who looks out over the region from the Drachenfels will also know why. Sporty people walk. The more leisurely take the Drachenfelsbahn, which runs regularly.