Things To Do In Germany
Germany is one of the most significant and influential countries of Europe, located centrally and to the north of the continent. What makes Germany so diverse as a country is its dramatic changing landscape, from maritime North-Sea influenced north to the alpine deciduous thick forests of the south, rivers to mountains. The tourism prospects in Germany are even higher because of the historical significance it holds from the medieval as well as modern history perspective. Germany is also extremely well developed for a country so recently destroyed by war. So what are the things you can do in Germany? Well, for one, you can go for a trail of the old-world Germany; you can also visit World-War museums, pay homage at the Berlin Wall, celebrate Oktoberfest and chill in the Black Forest region.
Take a World War II Tour
If you are a history buff, or have been troubled and tortured by the story of World War II like half the world; then Germany has a lot of haunting memory to show you the real sites. You can take a trip across the country to visit the various World War sites, from concentration camps to Nazi offices, graves to bombed sites, bunkers to war arenas. Start with Berlin, where you must circuit around Führerbunker and Vorbunker, which acted as Adolf Hitler’s hiding places, followed by the Holocaust Memorial that has been created as a tribute to the Jews who died, along with the Soviet War Memorial. Just outside the city of Berlin is the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and the place gives you goosebumps. Other places to visit in Germany are Dachau Memorial and Museum in Dachau, and the Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg.
Visit the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall, for those who have not brushed up on history, was a wall built in the city of Berlin after World War II, when the Soviet and American army divided the city in eastern and western blocs respectively to mark their territories. Until 1989, the wall acted as an iron curtain, forbidding starving eastern citizens from migrating to the west and also curtailing the western citizens from helping the ones in the east. The Wall was broken in ’89 after the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of communism. But the remnants of Berlin War still stand in the middle of the city, reminding its people of the death and starvation and persecution they faced at the hands of two foreign powers out to prove their ideologies.
Oktoberfest is Europe’s most visited festival and is a traditional feast and month-long celebration in the Bavarian region of Germany. As the name suggests, this is a celebration in the month of October and is held in honour of the humble beer. It is held every year in Munich from September end to November start and sees more than 6 million footfalls. People gorge on beer, chicken sausages, patties and pretzels as traditional folk music and dances fill the air. Locals come out in their oldest Bavarian clothes and jewellery and head to the meadow near Munich where the fest was first celebrated - Wiesn. Grand parades and tents and day long fun is what you will enjoy here. So plan your visit around ‘Oktober.’
Visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum
Now everybody knows that Germany is known for its cars. And its love for making cars. Everybody also knows that some of the poshest car brands of the world belong to the Germans - BMW, Skoda, Volkswagen, Mercedes… So when in Germany, it becomes imperative for car buffs to visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. It showcases the history of automobiles as well as this reputed brand as it first entered the market more than 130 years ago. You will see more than 160 models of Merc, from SLK to Maybach, to E-Class Coupé. You also get a sneak-peek into Mercedes’s most modern machinery creating cars and get to see the production of beauties like C-Class, E-Class Coupé and SLK.
Enjoy the Art Scene in Berlin
Berlin is known for its art scene as much as it is for its history. The city has come a long way from its days of World War II and Nazi persecution as well as from being the battleground of cold war. Today Berlin opens its arms to all kinds of artists and accepts all forms of artistic expression, from murals and graffitis, underground painted walls to the cool punk culture. There are more than 170 museums here filled with paintings of great artists, and then you can go around the nightclubs on the wrong side of town and underground areas to see the dark art depicting politics of this city. There are still many record shops and music stations down the city at Kastanianallee, with cafes, vintage boutiques and fashion houses that sell clothes by kilo. Do visit Currywurst Museum, a cartoon museum.
Explore Black Forest
The Black Forest region in south Germany's Bavaria is a beautiful thick deciduous forest that runs along the German-French border. The region was endowed with natural hot springs and these were used to build spa towns by Roman settlers here 2000 years ago. The spa towns are today plush spa resorts and make for amazing holiday relaxation spots for tourists. There are clear streams running down in rivulets and mossy soil that hardly sees any sun due to the thick tree cover, fresh air to breathe and much more adventure tourism in Black Forest. Visit the town of Baden-Baden for plush spas and resorts, go hiking and camping, and also do take the train journey between Offenburg and Konstan.
Hog on some German Food
How can you go to Germany and not try sauerkraut? Well, that’s taking the stereotype too far, but hey, German food is an underrated cuisine of Europe. It might not be as deletable as French or sumptuous as Italian cuisine but German food does have its days. So do try the national favourite dish - Currywurst, which is nothing but sausages served with a ketchup-curry, try the local huge pretzels from the roadside, go for knodel or dumplings and also Kasespatzle (a pasta dish filled with cheese). For Christmas time, the Germans up their food game and the best condiment of them all is the Lebkuchen - a soft heart shaped biscuit flavoured delicately with cinnamon and dusted with icing sugar. They come decorated with all sorts of slogans.
Take a Fairy Tale Road Trip
‘Once upon a time…’ is how your road trip will begin in central Germany, taking you through the towns and forests and hills that inspired the Grimm Brothers to write their collection of fairytales - Snow White, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rumplestilskin, Pied Piper and many more. This road trip starts in Hanau near Frankfurt and winds up north, taking you through timber-housed villages and colourful streets, dark forests and fairy-castles, ending at Bremen. You will get to meet your favourite characters on the way, see the castle where Sleeping Beauty was awakened by her prince, wander around Snow White’s village (Bergfreiheit), take the route that Red Riding Hood took to go to her grandma’s (Fritzlar) and also visit the town-square of the Pied Piper (Hameln).