Germany top sights to see: 100 beautiful places you must see
Germany's most beautiful sights include fairytale castles and palaces, imposing cathedrals, historic old towns, but also modern buildings of modern times and unique landscapes such as the Wadden Sea or the Alps.
We went in search of Germany's top 100 sights and traveled the entire country from north to south and from west to east.
The result is the ultimate overview of the top 100 sights for an unforgettable road trip through Germany.
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Germany’s top 10 sights at a glance
What’s in Germany to do? Here you can find our top 10 sights at a glance.
- Neuschwanstein Castle
- Hamburg harbor
- Lake Eibsee
- Neurathen Rock Castle with Bastei Bridge
- Dresden Church of Our Lady
- Eltz Castle
- Hamburg Speicherstadt
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber Old Town
Map: Germany’s top sights
Our interactive map shows you Germany’s top 10 sights at a glance.
1. Zugspitze – the TOP sightseeing attraction
At 2962 meters, the Zugspitze is Germany’s highest mountain and a top thing to do in Germany in 2022 according to our survey. At least once in your life, you should stand on the roof of Germany.
The Zugspitze summit can be reached on foot on six routes (all hikes to the Zugspitze). If you don’t want to hike through high alpine terrain, take one of the three mountain railroads that lead comfortably to the summit.
Do you want to experience a real micro-adventure? Then stay overnight on the Zugspitze in the Münchner Haus and enjoy the summit, which is completely crowded during the day, and almost deserted.
2. Lake Königssee
Königssee in the Berchtesgadener Land region of Bavaria is ranked just behind Zugspitze as the second top place to see in Germany. The mountain lake is reminiscent of the deep fjords in Norway or the rugged mountains of Canada. It’s no wonder, then, that the region counts some 3.5 million overnight stays each year. A boat trip across the Königsee is a top attraction and should not be missed on any trip.
Tip: By boat, you can reach the famous pilgrimage chapel of St. Bartholomä and the idyllically situated Obersee, which was connected to the Königssee a long time ago.
3. Castle Neuschwanstein
The fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle in the Allgäu region near Füssen (Schwangau) is one of the most visited sightseeing spots in Germany and is world famous – really a top thing to do in Germany!
Neuschwanstein Castle was commissioned by Bavarian King Ludwig II in 1869 (like so many other castles) and romanticizes the Middle Ages. A guided tour of the imposing walls is an activity you must do. Be sure to book the tickets in advance on the Internet!
Incidentally, Neuschwanstein Castle served Walt Disney as a model for his fairy-tale castle at the Disneyland Resort in California.
The no less famous Honenschwangau Castle is also within sight, picturesquely situated between Alpsee and Schwansee. Here you can find the most beautiful lakes in Bavaria.
You can read even more tips about Füssen here with Christina from CitySeaCountry.
⭐ Recommended travel guides
You can find the 100 most beautiful sights in Germany here. For more details, we recommend one of the following travel guides. What you can use for sure is Easy German Phrase Book: Over 1500 Common Phrases For Everyday Use And Travel (get it here*). Also the Lonely Planet Germany 10 guide (buy here*) is fantastic.
4. Port of Hamburg
The Port of Hamburg is the largest seaport in Germany and lands far in front of the list of our top things to do in Germany. To get an overview of the Port of Hamburg, for example, a harbor tour is a good idea.
In addition to the Speicherstadt, which is a sight in its own right, the St. Pauli Landing Bridges are part of the port area. This is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Hamburg, for us one of the best places and most beautiful cities in Germany.
5. Lake Eibsee
Lake Eibsee at the foot of the Zugspitze is without a doubt one of the most beautiful lakes in Germany and a popular destination all year round. In our survey, the Eibsee even lands far in front.
You can walk once around the Eibsee. The tour is also easy for families with children. In summer, the Eibsee is a popular swimming lake. Definitely a wonderful thing to do in Germany!
6. Rock castle Neurathen with Bastei bridge
The rock castle Neurathen with the Bastei bridge from 1851 in Saxon Switzerland near Dresden is another sight that landed far in front in our survey. The entire region is worth seeing and will captivate you.
In Saxon Switzerland, day trippers, hikers, and climbers enjoy the beautiful landscape here. After all, around 1200 kilometers of marked hiking trails lead through deep forests, past bizarre rock formations, and through mystical valleys.
7. Dresden Frauenkirche
Built from 1726 to 1743, the Dresden Frauenkirche (website) is one of the most famous and magnificent houses of worship in the country and is considered one of the largest sandstone buildings in the world.
The Frauenkirche was severely damaged in World War II during the devastating Allied air raids on Dresden. In the GDR, the ruins were considered a memorial against the war.
After reunification, the church was rebuilt and solemnly consecrated in 2005. Since then, the Dresden Frauenkirche has once again become one of the top things to do in Germany. From the dome, you have a great view over Dresden.
8. Castle Eltz
Mystical castles and palaces can only be found in Scotland? Far from it! Eltz Castle (Website) is located in Rhineland-Palatinate in the beautiful valley of the Elz River and is exactly what you would imagine a knight’s castle to be.
The castle is one of the most famous fortifications in Germany (and one of the top Instagram motifs), which is why it’s also on our top sights list.
Eltz Castle was built on a hill in the 12th century and was never conquered by force. In 1920, a fire destroyed large parts of the complex. However, the castle was restored with much attention to detail. Today, the castle is open to the public and takes you back to a bygone era.
Tip: Book a guided tour with a detour to the treasury!
9. Hamburg Speicherstadt
The Speicherstadt in Hamburg is the largest historic warehouse complex in the world. The area has been a listed monument since 1991 and on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2015, along with the neighboring Kontorhaus district. What’s to see in the Speicherstadt? The latter is characterized by large buildings in the brick expressionist style, for example, the Chilehaus.
Hamburg is one of the most exciting cities in Germany anyway – but Speicherstadt is a very special highlight that you should not miss.
Here are some more fun things to do in Hamburg. Read our other article.
10. Rothenburg ob der Tauber Old Town
Rothenburg ob der Tauber (among the top sights in Rothenburg) is without a doubt one of the most beautiful half-timbered towns in Germany. What to see in the medieval old town? It’s world famous for its winding alleys, towers, and half-timbered houses. A walk through Rothenburg immediately gives you a feeling of what life must have been like in the Middle Ages.
There are no modern buildings in the historic town center. The old town is therefore often used as a film set for historical film productions.
Tip: Rothenburg is one of the highlights of the so-called Romantic Road from Würzburg to Füssen (413 kilometers). It is worth planning a longer trip through the beautiful region.
11. Cologne Cathedral
Probably the most famous landmark of the Rhine metropolis Cologne is the Cologne Cathedral. The Roman Catholic church is one of the largest cathedrals in the Gothic architectural style and one of the most important sights in Germany. By the way, the construction of the Cologne Cathedral began as early as 1248, but the building was not completed until 1880.
Since 1996, Cologne Cathedral has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most famous sights in the cathedral itself are the Epiphany Shrine, which houses the alleged bones of the Magi, and the Cathedral Treasury in the vaulted cellar.
Here you can find an overview of the most important sights and secret places in Cologne.
12. Brandenburg Gate Berlin
Berlin is always exciting and constantly changing. No other major German city has more cosmopolitan flair than Berlin.
Berlin never sleeps and if you are into culture, partying and long neighborhood nights, you will lose your heart to Berlin.
One of the top places to go on your Berlin trip is of course the world-famous Brandenburg Gate, the only one of the once 18 city gates still standing.
Here we tell you even more sights in Berlin. Read our extra article about the capital of Germany.
13. Mainau Island
Lake Bodensee (lake Constance) (to the top sights at Lake Bodensee) is more popular with vacationers than almost any other region in Germany. One of the top highlights is Mainau Island, which you can reach by boat or on foot from Constance via a bridge.
The island is known as the island of flowers. The plants in the botanical garden are magnificent. In addition, the climate on the island is so special that Mediterranean plants grow here. Also worth seeing are the Deutschordensschloss and the elaborately designed Schlosskirche St. Marien. Learn more about Mainau Island here.
Tip: Nearby is the Reichenau, the largest island of Lake Bodensee. Reichenau and the Reichenau Monastery are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. So it’s a good idea to combine the island of Mainau with the nearby Reichenau.
14. Königsstuhl Rügen
The chalk cliffs on the island of Rügen are a highlight on any trip to Germany. Over a length of 15 kilometers, the imposing cliffs on the Jasmund peninsula (where there is also a national park of the same name) rise high out of the sea.
The top attraction on the rugged coast is the so-called Königsstuhl (royals chair). The walls here drop almost 120 meters steeply. On the Königsstuhl there is a viewing platform from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view.
15. Bamberg Old Town
Bamberg – also called the “secret capital of beer” – has the largest preserved historic city center in Germany. The worth seeing old town with the Old Town Hall, the Bamberg Cathedral, and the Rose Garden, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993.
It’s simply fun to stroll through the beautiful alleys of the old town. While you’re there, be sure to make a detour to Little Venice. This great sight is located on the Regnitz River, which flows into the Main River, and its beautiful waterfront houses are reminiscent of the original in Italy.
A highlight is the Bamberg Sandkerwa in August. This well-known folk festival has a long tradition in Upper Franconia. From fishing on the river, to live music and culinary highlights, there is something for everyone at the festival.
16. Castle Hohenzollern
The imposing Hohenzollern Castle (Website) in Baden-Württemberg is one of the top destinations. When you see the fortified castle for the first time with your own eyes, you will inevitably feel transported back to a time long forgotten.
By the way, Hohenzollern Castle is the ancestral castle of the Hohenzollern dynasty, which once ruled large parts of the country.
17. Danube Breakthrough
The Danube Breakthrough near Kelheim is one of the most famous things to do in Germany. You can take a boat from Kelheim to the Danube breakthrough near Weltenburg. The famous narrow passage of the Danube valley is definitely worth a visit.
Tip: Be sure to make a detour to the Weltenburg Monastery (with beer garden) and the Kelheim Liberation Hall. In addition, the famous Walhalla – an imposing hall of fame on the Bräuberg – is nearby.
18. Sanssouci Palace
The state of Brandenburg is known for its many castles. The most famous is Sanssouci Palace. It was originally just a small rococo-style summer palace built under King Frederick II between 1745 and 1747 and later expanded.
The palace is also known as the “Prussian Versailles” because of its magnificent architecture, modeled after the palace near Paris. Today, Sanssouci Palace, with its beautiful rococo architecture, magnificent interior, and impressive location, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Potsdam – and therefore cannot be left off our list of top attractions in Germany.
The Spreewald south of Berlin in Brandenburg is a unique landscape in Central Europe, with a 1,575-kilometer network of natural and artificial waterways, wet meadows, small fields, and semi-natural lowland forests.
What you should definitely do in the Spreewald is take a boat trip. Or grab a canoe or SUP and head out yourself – an unforgettable experience.
20. Lüneburg Heath
The Lüneburg Heath is an incomparably beautiful destination in Germany. Even as a teenager, I was enthralled by this landscape (yes, I actually did a multi-day bike tour through the Lüneburger as a teenager).
The Lüneburg Heath is particularly popular during the flowering season (usually from early August to mid-September). Then large parts of the land are colored purple. For photographers, the Lüneburg Heath is a real highlight at this time, somewhat reminiscent of the world-famous lavender fields in France.
But visitors to the Lüneburg Heath also have a lot to offer at other times of the year. In spring, early risers are treated to breathtaking sunrises. In May, the white cotton grass blossoms. In autumn, mystical fog welcomes you over the moors. Winter spoils visitors with the purple blooming snow heath.
The landmark of the Lüneburg Heath is the Wilseder Berg, with 169 meters the highest elevation of the Lüneburg Heath and the entire North German Plain.
The mountains in the Harz National Park (one of the top things to do in the Harz) are not as high as in the Bavarian Alps, but they still offer visitors great distant views and numerous exciting Mirko adventures.
The top highlight is the Brocken, at 1141 meters the highest peak in the low mountain range, which straddles the states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. The Brocken (also called “Blocksberg”) is thus the highest mountain in all of northern Germany. From the summit, you have a fantastic view of the national park.
So it’s clear: The Brocken is a must-do on your trip through the homeland. On the forest-free lookout peak, there is often a harsh climate – comparable to the climate in Scandinavia. 300 foggy days a year are counted here on average.
By the way, people used to be hellishly afraid of the Brocken. Namely, the Brocken ghost lives on the Brocken. This is no joke! The Brocken ghost was first described in 1780. It is an optical effect. When the hiker’s shadow falls on the fog, this oversized shadow seems to float in the air.
You can hike the Brocken on foot (bicycles or e-bikes also work) or take a leisurely ride to the summit on the steam-powered Brockenbahn (Website). The train ride on the Brockenbahn is a real highlight and unforgettable fun for young and old.
22. Herrenchiemsee Castle
On the largest island in Lake Chiemsee is the New Herrenchiemsee Castle (Website). The builder here was also King Ludwig II, who had a view of Versailles Palace near Paris in France during construction. After the death of King Ludwig II in 1886, however, most of the complex remained unfinished.
Today the King Ludwig II Museum is located in the castle. Every year the Herrenchiemsee Festival takes place in the large hall of mirrors. Don’t miss a guided tour of the castle.
23. Frankfurt Skyline
The only German city with a real skyline is Frankfurt am Main– it’s an amazing thing to do in Germany! “Mainhatten” is home to 15 of the 16 skyscrapers (buildings at least 150 meters tall) in Germany. The tallest building in the city is the Commerzbank Tower with a height of 259 meters (with an antenna of 300 meters).
In addition, Frankfurt is home to Germany’s second tallest television tower, the Europaturm, which is 337.5 meters high. Incidentally, the highest TV tower in the republic is in Berlin at 368 meters.
Frankfurt also has a great old town that you shouldn’t miss. In our article about the best sights in Frankfurt we tell you even more.
24. Zeche Zollverein
The Zeche Zollverein (Coal Mine Industrial Complex) – located between Essen and Gelsenkirchen – is also known as the “Eiffel Tower of the Ruhr“. Coal was mined at the Zeche Zollverein colliery from 1851 to 1986. Today, there is much to discover on the huge site, as well as exciting museums and great restaurants.
The site is open around the clock and admission to this impressive industrial park is free. There are regular events on the site (Website).
25. Quedlinburg Old Town
Welcome to the Middle Ages: Quedlinburg on the Bode River in the Harz Mountains of Saxony-Anhalt takes you back to a bygone era. The old town (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994) is without a doubt one of the coolest things to do in Germany.
Quedlinburg was first mentioned in a document in 992. You can see the age of the beautiful city. You stroll through cobbled streets past beautiful half-timbered buildings.
26. Helgoland “Lange Anna”
Helgoland is one of the most famous North Sea islands and Germany’s only high sea island. A visit to Helgoland will stay with you forever. Top sights on the island include the 48-meter high surf pier “Lange Anna” (long Anna), the Lummenfelsen, an impressive cliff overlooking the Lange Anna, and the cliff Bread Hörn.
You can reach Helgoland by ship, which sails to Helgoland daily from the mainland from various ports.
27. Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg
The Miniatur Wunderland (Website) in Hamburg is one of the most visited attractions in the country. There’s plenty to see on the world’s largest model railroad.
On about 1500 square meters, 15 kilometers of track are laid, on which more than 1000 trains with over 10,000 wagons are on the move. By the way, the longest train measures 14.51 meters. In reality, this corresponds to a train length of almost 1.3 kilometers.
More than 250,000 little figures “live” in the impressive model world, going to work, having fun or arguing. If you look closely, you’ll also find residents here and there, tucked behind a tree for a shepherding session. A visit to Miniatur Wunderland is an unforgettable experience for the young and old. Our experience shows that especially boys and their fathers can spend a lot of time in the miniature world.
28. Reichstag Building Berlin
Just a stone’s throw from the Brandenburg Gate is the imposing Reichstag building. Long lines regularly form in front of the entrance. A visit to the huge glass dome with a great view over the Spree metropolis is part of the Berlin mandatory program.
The Reichstag was completed in 1894 and looks back on an eventful history. The sad climax was the Reichstag fire on February 28, 1933, which the Nazis took as an opportunity to suspend the essential basic rights. Today, every child learns in school how badly this story ended.
The German Bundestag has been meeting in the Reichstag building since 1999.
29. Regensburg Old Town
Regensburg should not be missing on any round trip through Germany. The city is known for its well-preserved medieval city center and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Top sights include the 12th-century Stone Bridge and the imposing 13th-century Gothic Regensburg Cathedral.
In any case, Regensburg is one of the most exciting cities in Germany.
This brings us to the next top sight: the Moselschleife (Moselle Loop Bremm). The river winds through the valley in several loops.
At some viewpoints, the loop looks particularly impressive and offers every photographer a great photo motif. The most famous view is the one from Calmont to the Moselschleife near Bremm. On your tour of Germany, this motif should definitely not be missed.
31. Munich Marienplatz
Munich is always worth a visit. A highlight in the Bavarian capital is the central Marienplatz with the New Town Hall. The New City Hall was built in three sections between 1867 and 1909 and is one of the most impressive buildings we have ever seen.
Every day punctually at 11 and 12 o’clock – from March to October also at 17 o’clock – a very special spectacle takes place on the Marienplatz. Suddenly, all the people on Marienplatz stop, whip out their smartphones, and stare tensely upward at the 85-meter-high Town Hall Tower. The onlookers – mostly tourists from all over the world – eagerly await the famous carillon, which shows two important events from Munich’s city history.
Here we tell you even more tips and things to do in Munich for an unforgettable trip to Bavaria. You should also go to the English Garden in Munich for sure.
32. Externsteine in the Teutoburg Forest
The Teutoburg Forest (affectionately known as “Teuto”) is an impressive low mountain range shared by Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. You can go hiking, biking, horseback riding, and even rock climbing here. Or are you more the water rat? Then grab a canoe and take on the Weser, Lippe, Bega, Werre, Else, Ahr, Ems, Emmer, Diemel or one of the larger dammed waters in the Teuto.
A little adventure is a ride in a hot air balloon over the Teutoburg Forest.
Especially worth seeing are the Externsteine. This striking sandstone rock formation is unique in Germany. You have a particularly beautiful view of the Externsteine from the Wiembecketeich, in which this highlight is reflected in the water.
33. Porta Nigra Trier
The city of Trier is a piece of Italy in the middle of the homeland. Did you know that the city was founded by the Romans (most likely in 16 BC)?
According to legend, Trier is even much older. Supposedly, a son of the Assyrian king Ninus founded the city 1300 years before the birth of Rome. An inscription from 1684 on the Red House testifies to this.
In Trier, you can admire well-preserved Roman monuments such as the famous Porta Nigra (an impressive city gate), an old stone bridge over the Moselle, the remains of Roman bathhouses, and even an amphitheater.
Other highlights include the Trier Cathedral (the oldest Episcopal Church in Germany) and the Liebfrauenkirche.
It’s just incredible what great sights you can admire with us, isn’t it?
34. Schnoor Quarter Bremen
Is Bremen already on your list of top travel destinations in Germany? If not, it’s about time! Bremen is absolutely worth seeing and impresses with an exciting history. The landmark of the city is the famous Bremen Town Musicians. You can’t miss them during a visit.
Particularly exciting is the Schnoor district with the ancient little houses, the winding streets, and the many small stores.
Of course you should also visit the top things to do in Bremen, that are waiting for you, besides the Schnoor.
35. Saar Loop
The view of the Saar loop in the morning
It could be called the Horseshoebend of Germany: The Saarschleife. Here you see it in the morning – isn’t it beautiful? This place is a wonderful thing to do in Germany! We were totally overwhelmed during our first visit
The Saarschleife in the beautiful Saarland is a must-do! The fantastically beautiful winding of the Saar is often compared to the famous Horseshoe Bend in the USA (Arizona). Located directly at the loop and the best view you have from the tree top walk Saarschleife. The Saar Loop is a unique natural wonder that should not be missed on any trip through Germany.
36. Aachen Cathedral
Aachen Cathedral (also known as the High Cathedral of Aachen) is a superlative building. The imposing house of worship was built between 795 and 803 – a brilliant achievement of the builders.
Of course you should also visit the top sights in Aachen. This incredible city needs definitely a stroll around.
37. Geierlay Suspension Bridge
The Geierlay suspension bridge transports you to faraway Nepal in one fell swoop. Namely, the bridge was built on the model of the so-called Nepalese suspension rope bridge and is now one of the top excursion destinations in Hunsrück.
Opened in 2015, the suspension bridge runs 360 meters at a height of up to 100 meters over the Mörsdorfer Bachtal. Until 2017, the Geierlay suspension rope bridge was the longest suspension rope bridge in Germany.
38. Triberg Waterfalls
One of the most impressive natural monuments in Germany is the Triberg Waterfalls, located in the Black Forest. The waterfalls fall – albeit over several steps – a total of about 163 meters into the depth.
The waterfalls are one of the top tourist attractions in the Black Forest, and the infrastructure is accordingly well developed. Next to the waterfalls, an asphalted and illuminated path leads along. In addition, there are several bridges from which you can look down on the waterfalls.
39. Heidelberg Old Town
Heidelberg is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany and an absolute must-see. The dreamy charm of the Neckar city in Baden-Württemberg has fascinated people for centuries and has already inspired many famous poets and thinkers, earning Heidelberg the nickname “City of Romanticism“. The crowning glory is Heidelberg Castle (Website), one of the most famous castle ruins in Europe.
The former residence of the Electors of the Palatinate was partially destroyed by Louis XIV’s troops in 1689 and blown up by the French four years later. A fire in the summer of 1764 led to further destruction. Since then, the ravages of time gnawed at the complex. Towards the end of the 19th century, small parts of the imposing castle complex were restored.
Today, Heidelberg and Heidelberg Castle are among the absolute top sights in the Federal Republic. The city and castle are world-famous and attract about a million tourists – many from abroad – every year.
A side note: During World War II, the Americans were considering dropping an atomic bomb on Heidelberg. However, Nazi Germany surrendered two weeks earlier – and so this catastrophe on German soil did not happen. Hiroshima in Japan was chosen as a “substitute target”.
40. Kaiserburg Nuremberg
The Kaiserburg (Imperial castle) (Website) is the central landmark of Nuremberg, the second largest city in Bavaria. Over the centuries, the fortress has served as a defensive structure, imperial residence, imperial castle, and was the Hohenzollern burgrave’s seat. This makes the Kaiserburg one of the most historically and architecturally significant castles in Europe.
The Kaiserburg is located on the Felsenberg. From this location, you have a great view of the entire city.
In our article about Nuremberg we tell you even more great sights in Nuremberg.
In the Valhalla near Regensburg, important German personalities are honored with marble busts and memorial plaques. The memorial is definitely one of the most significant sights in Germany.
42. Wartburg Castle
The imposing Wartburg Castle has been one of the most beautiful sights not only since its inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999. Built around 1067 by Louis the Knight high above the city of Eisenach, the huge fortress, which has undergone many changes over the centuries, is now a popular destination.
Incidentally, it was at Wartburg Castle that Martin Luther produced his German translation of the New Testament in the fall of 1521.
43. Lister Ellenbogen Sylt
The island of Sylt is a vacation paradise and one of the top travel destinations. In the summer vacations and in the high season, the flow of tourists on the island does not stop.
Sylt is the largest German island in the North Sea, the most popular and best known to boot. The shape of the island is so distinctive that the outline alone as a sticker identifies the Sylt fan.
The north of the island is a very special sight: the Lister Ellenbogen is a 1.2-kilometer-long peninsula that is a nature reserve and home to birds and seals. You’re also standing at the northernmost point of Germany here, by the way.
44. Holsten Gate Lübeck
Have you ever been to Lübeck? If not, it’s definitely about time. Lübeck was the capital of the Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages. If you walk through the old town today, you will be enchanted by the many old buildings in the brick Gothic style.
A very special highlight is the Holsten Gate, which made it onto our list of the top sights in Germany. Completed in 1478, Lübeck’s landmark is known far beyond the city limits. The Holsten Gate once served as protection for the city. Today, the Holsten Gate is a universally popular photo motif among tourists.
And you know what? You really have to try the famous Lübecker Marzipan.
45. Erfurt Cathedral
Erfurt Cathedral is one of the most important houses of worship in the republic. Anyway, the capital of Thuringia is always worth a visit. The oldest preserved synagogue in Central Europe awaits you. From the lofty Petersberg Citadel, you have a great view of the city.
46. Dresden Striezelmarkt
The Dresden Striezelmarkt is Germany’s oldest authenticated Christmas market and an absolutely extraordinary thing to do.
More than 230 stalls are located in Dresden. Advent was first celebrated here with a market in 1434. Striezel, by the way, are the predecessors of the famous Dresden Stollen. This is offered everywhere and of course the famous handicrafts from the Erzgebirge.
47. Bernkastel-Kues Old Town
Bernkastel-Kues is one of the most popular things to do on the Moselle. We were completely overwhelmed by the little place and are happy that Bernkastel-Kues made it to the list of top sights in Germany.
48. Nuremberg Christmas Market
A classic at Christmas time is the world-famous Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt (Website). The first record of the market, which was probably called “Christkendleinsmarck” in the past, dates back to 1628.
Today, almost 200 merchants offer their wares, of which the most famous are probably the Nuremberg gingerbread and typical Christmas tree decorations. The “Nürnberger Zwetschgenmännla” are also popular. The famous Nuremberg Rostbratwurst provides the perfect snack in between. By the way, the wooden stands decorated with red and white striped cloth give the Christkindlesmarkt its nickname “little town of wood and cloth”.
In our extra article you can find Germany’s most beautiful Christmas markets.
49. Hexentanzplatz Thale (Bode Valley)
The Hexentanzplatz (“witches’ dancing place”) Thale in the Harz mountains is a very special place. When you look down into the Bode Valley from above, you’ll be left speechless.
So far we had only seen such a force of nature in the USA, here the Black Canyon came to mind as a comparison. Not for nothing is the Bode Valley near Thale also called the “Grand Canyon of the Harz”. A visit to this great thing to do in Germany is a must-do.
50. Rakotz Bridge
The Rakotz Bridge in Saxony is one of the most photographed motifs in Germany. So it’s no surprise that the structure, also known as the “Devil’s Bridge,” made it into the top 100 sights in our poll.
51. Devil’s Wall (Harz Mountains)
The next sight is as spectacular as it is legendary. The Devil’s Wall near Blankenburg in the Harz Mountains reveals with its name how powerful and whacky this place is at the same time. Arriving at the Devil’s Wall, you will gaze in awe at this huge rock formation.
Since 1833, the Devil’s Wall rock formations have been protected. Since 1935, the area near Weddersleben has been the Teufelsmauer nature reserve. By the way, it’s the second oldest in Germany.
52. Imperial Castle of Cochem
The Reichsburg Cochem in Rhineland-Palatinate is fantastically situated above the beautiful Moselle valley and is one of the most famous castles in Germany. The fortress looks back on a long history. The complex was probably built around the year 1100 or in the first half of the 12th century.
Tip: Sign up for one of the rustic knights’ banquets.
53. Europa Park Rust
Europa-Park Rust attracts almost six million visitors every year, making it Germany’s number one theme park.
Covering an area of almost one million square meters, you’ll find more than 100 rides in 18 themed areas, plus several shows. The park also includes six hotels, a campground and a movie theater. Adrenaline junkies love the amusement park because of the fast roller coasters.
54. Monument to the Battle of the Nations
Leipzig is considered hip and many compare the up-and-coming city in Saxony to post-reunification Berlin. Clearly, a stop in Leipzig should not be missing on any round trip through Germany.
One highlight is the Monument to the Battle of the Nations in the southeast of Leipzig. With a height of 91 meters and an area of four hectares, the Monument to the Battle of the Nations is one of the largest monuments in Europe.
55. Old town of Monschau
The town of Monschau in the Eifel region has quite rightly made it to the list of top sights. Nestled on the banks of the Ruhr River, Monschau resembles a painting. The quaint Monschau Castle is the icing on the cake.
56. BMW Welt Munich
BMW Welt (BMW Welt)(Website) in Munich has more than three million visitors each year – about twice as many as Neuschwanstein Castle. After its inauguration in the fall of 2007, BMW Welt quickly became a landmark in the Bavarian capital.
Customers don’t just come to BMW Welt to pick up their brand-new BMW. Rather, BMW Welt is one of the most popular destinations in all of Bavaria. Car fans get their money’s worth at the car temple with its adjoining museum. Among other things, the BMW Museum exhibits historic vehicles from the BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce brands. But you will also find vehicles from motorsports and exciting car studies.
57. Mountain Park Wilhelmshöhe
The Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe with the medieval-looking Löwenburg is an impressive sight in Kassel. Our readers also put Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe at the top of our poll.
58. Imperial Cathedral of Speyer
The Imperial Cathedral of Speyer is the largest preserved Romanesque church in the world. The cathedral itself is relatively plain – but the sheer dimensions will leave you speechless. It’s really a top thing to do in Germany!
Another great destination is Weimar. In addition to Weimar Classicism, the city is famous for the Bauhaus movement, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Both Goethe and Schiller lived in the city, which is commemorated today by monuments and museums.
The landscaped garden Park an der Ilm, designed by Goethe, is also one of the city’s top sights, as is the baroque palace Schloss Belvedere.
60. Maars in the Eifel
Volcanoes do not exist in Germany? Far from it. The Eifel is an impressive volcanic area and even the largest in Central Europe. Even if the last volcanic eruption was a long time ago, it is bubbling deep under the earth. The maars and the maar lakes are particularly impressive.
61. Residenz München
The Residenz in Munich is the largest inner city palace in Germany. Bavarian dukes, electors, and of course kings stayed here. A visit to the Residenz is a beautiful thing to do that you must see on any trip to Munich.
62. Völklinger Hütte
Definitely, a top highlight in Saarland is the Völklinger Hütte World Heritage Site. The former ironworks was shut down in 1986 and is now an important industrial monument. Since the 90s, cultural events, festivals, and concerts have also been held there. In addition, numerous exciting areas of the old plant can be visited – super impressive!
In Burghausen on the Bavarian-Austrian border, you can see a very special highlight: the longest castle complex in the world. Burghausen Castle is located above the picturesque old town and, at 1051 meters, is considered the longest castle complex in Europe.
In the Guinness Book of Records, Burghausen Castle even holds the title of “longest castle in the world”. From the fortress, you have a great view over the city.
A side trip to Burghausen with a visit to the imposing fortress is definitely worthwhile. On the ridge, battlements and towers line up seemingly endlessly. At the foot of the fortress lies the listed old town with its small alleys and beautiful squares.
Incidentally, excavations indicate that the castle hill was inhabited as early as the Bronze Age (from about the 16th century BC). The oldest parts of the castle, which had an important military significance for centuries, probably date back to around 1025. A massive expansion of the castle complex took place in view of the approaching Turks from 1490.
Tip: At Christmas time, Burghausen Castle attracts visitors to a very special Christmas market in Bavaria with the Burgweihnacht.
64. Wernigerode Old Town
The old town of Wernigerode in the Harz Mountains is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany and is therefore rightly on our top list. You can expect many beautiful half-timbered houses, which are typical for the region. A very special highlight is the imposing town hall.
65. Ulm Cathedral
The Ulm Cathedral should not be missing from any must-see list. Sure, the Ulm Cathedral, completed in 1890, is after all Germany’s largest Protestant church. At 161 meters, the church tower rises higher into the sky than Cologne Cathedral, which reaches a height of 157 meters.
The foundation stone for this imposing building was laid in 1377.
66. Residenz Würzburg
The Residenz Würzburg (Würzburg Residence), a magnificent Baroque palace, is one of the most important residence buildings in Europe and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981. The Residenz is the top sight in Würzburg and also makes it onto our list of the top 100 highlights in Germany.
67. Schwerin Castle
Schwerin Castle (Website) in Lake Schwerin is quite rightly on our top sightseeing list. The grandiose complex was built as a castle in the 10th century and developed over the centuries.
The foundation walls from the Slavic castle rampart can still be visited by the public today. Incidentally, Schwerin Castle has been home to the parliament of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern since 1990.
A walk through the magnificent palace garden is highly recommended. Here you will also find an orangery, a grotto, and an estate.
68. Thermal Bath Erding
Thermal Bath Erding (Website) is not just any spa: Therme Erding – only about half an hour from downtown Munich – is the largest spa in the world.
In the huge spa, you’ll find 35 saunas and steam baths and almost as many pools and water basins on an unimaginable 180,000 square meters. In addition, there are more than 20 slides at Therme Erding.
69. Görlitz Old Town
Görlitz, on the Saxon-Polish border, impresses with a well-preserved old town and is rarely missing from lists of Germany’s most beautiful places. Particularly worth seeing is Peterskirche (St. Peter’s Church) with its two imposing towers.
In Görlitz, you will stroll through narrow cobblestone streets and past beautiful houses from different eras. There are a total of about 4,000 listed buildings in Görlitz.
So it’s no wonder that Görlitz is also used again and again as a historical film set. Many films, including major Hollywood productions, have been shot in the city. The inhabitants affectionately call their city “Görliwood”.
70. Titan RT Suspension Bridge
With a length of 483 meters, the Titan RT has been Germany’s longest suspension rope bridge since 2017. The bridge in the middle of the Rappboden Valley in the Harz Mountains takes you over the Bode reservoir on dry feet.
From the bridge, you look 100 meters into the depth. Even in the evening, crossing the bridge is a highlight. Thanks to the bridge lighting, the crossing is possible even after sunset (open all year round and daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm).
For adrenaline, there’s a zip line that lets you zoom across the bridge as free as a bird- a really cool thing to do!
71. Tübingen Old Town
Tübingen is located in Baden-Württemberg and is for us one of the most beautiful cities in Germany – and apparently, our readers think so too.
We were totally fascinated by the city. Because of the many students, Tübingen is quite an alternative and has a great flair. The old town has many beautiful half-timbered houses and is a wonderful thing to do in Germany!
72. Fortress Ehrenbreitstein
Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz is one of the most imposing fortresses in the country and thus one of the most important sights. Built in the 16th century, the fortress was blown up by French revolutionary troops in 1801.
Between 1817 and 1828, the citadel was rebuilt into one of the most extensive fortification systems in Europe. The fortress was used militarily by the Prussian army until the end of the First World War in 1918.
After the end of World War I, the complex was actually supposed to be demolished (for the lasting weakening of the German Empire). It was only thanks to U.S. General Henry Tureman Allen and retired Lieutenant Colonel Eduard Hüger that the fortress was not destroyed, citing its cultural value.
73. Limburg an der Lahn Old Town
Limburg an der Lahn impresses with an exceedingly beautiful old town as well as the cathedral. You will also find remains of the old city wall. A special highlight is the 600-year-old Lahn bridge. We liked Limburg very much.
No wonder Limburg made it into the top sights in Germany.
74. Drachenburg Castle
Built between 1882 and 1884, Schloss Drachenburg (Website) rises majestically above Königswinter (south of Bonn). The fantastic view over the Rhine valley and the imposing architecture make Schloss Drachenburg a true experience. The castle could also appear like this in the series “Game of Thrones”, couldn’t it?
By the way, Drachenburg Castle (which, by the way, was never a real castle, but rather a villa) has an exciting history. The nephew of the builder once wanted to convert the castle into a hotel, and a later owner wanted to build an amusement park around the castle. Nothing came of either plan.
Later the castle was used as a Christian boarding school and the art hall as a chapel. From 1942, the castle housed an elite National Socialist school, which fell under American fire. After the war, the Reichsbahndirektion Wuppertal moved in. In the 1960s, the imposing building was left to decay.
It was not until 2010 that the completely restored facility was reopened to the public.
75. Wismar Old Town
Wismar in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is fantastically beautiful and a top tourist destination in Germany. The Hanseatic city delights with a long history and a pretty old town with many historic buildings. In addition, Wismar has a vacation feeling: after all, the city is located directly on the sea.
It’s an unforgettable experience to stroll through the small harbor with colorful boats. For us, it’s clear: Wismar should not be missing on any round trip.
76. Mercedes-Benz Museum Stuttgart
Car fans can’t miss a trip to Stuttgart to the Mercedes-Benz Museum (Website). In the futuristic building, you can learn everything about the history of the automobile and the Mercedes-Benz brand.
On an area of 16,500 square meters, you can see countless vehicles and more than 1,500 exhibits. The museum sends you on a journey back in time to the year 1886 and brings you back to the present.
Tip: Car fans should definitely also make a detour to the Porsche Museum (Website) in Stuttgart.
77. Hermann Monument
In terms of nature, NRW has a lot to offer. For example, there is the Teutoburg Forest, made famous by the battle between Romans and Germanic tribes in 9 AD. Today, the Hermann Monument, which commemorates the battle, is one of the top attractions in the Teutoburg Forest.
78. Lichtenstein Castle
Lichtenstein Castle is often referred to as the “fairytale castle of Württemberg“. Around the year 1390, Lichtenstein Castle was built on this site. In 1567, however, the castle lost its status as a ducal seat and fell more and more into oblivion.
In the course of the romanticization of the Middle Ages, Wilhelm Count of Württemberg, later Duke of Urach, decided to build a castle in the style of a knight’s castle on the site of the long-decayed castle. The present castle was then built between 1840 and 1842. Wilhelm Count of Württemberg died at Lichtenstein Castle on July 17, 1869.
Celle is the southern gateway to the Lüneburg Heath. The town, which was first mentioned in a document in 985, delights with its picturesque old town with over 400 half-timbered houses.
Particularly outstanding is the Hoppener Haus with its rich carvings. Another highlight is Celle Castle.
80. Goslar Old Town
Cobbled alleys and cute half-timbered houses – this and much more await you in Goslar, one of the most worth seeing cities in Germany. The picturesque old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and enchants its visitors with an incomparable flair.
The city, located in the Harz Mountains in Lower Saxony, looks back on more than a thousand years of history. Among the top sights of the medieval trading metropolis are, in addition to the beautiful half-timbered buildings, the many old churches and here, in particular, the stave church, the remains of the medieval city fortifications and, of course, the Kaiserpfalz (imperial palace of Goslar) built between 1040 and 1050 under Henry III.
81. Kyffhäuser Monument
The Kyffhäuser Monument is one of the attractions in the Harz Mountains that you should definitely visit. The huge monument stands on the walls of the former Kyffhausen Imperial Castle. Emperor Wilhelm I is standing on a huge horse. By the way, this monument was designed by Bruno Schmitz, who also built Leipzig’s Monument to the Battle of Nations.
82. Golden Hall Augsburg
Augsburg is the capital of Swabia and endlessly rich in history and culture. Augsburg is one of the oldest cities in the country and is well worth a visit. In the beautiful old town, there is a lot to discover and marvel at.
One of the most famous sights of Fuggerstadt with the worldwide unique water management system is the Golden Hall in the city hall. The hall is considered one of the highlights of Renaissance interior design in Germany. Its ceiling is covered with gold leaf and there is no shortage of magnificent gold jewelry elsewhere.
83. Museum Island Berlin
Another top highlight in Berlin is the Museum Island, which is one of the most important museum complexes in Europe with its five museums.
On Museum Island, you’ll find the Altes Museum (old museum) (opened in 1830 as Prussia’s first public museum), the Neues Museum (new museum), the Alte Nationalgalerie (old national gallery), the Bode Museum (which gained sad world fame in 2017 for the “Gold Coin Heist”) and the Pergamon Museum. The James Simon Gallery, which only opened in 2019, serves as a visitor center.
For those interested in culture, Museum Island is one of the most important sights in Germany. You can easily spend two to three days in the exciting museums.
84. Corvey Castle and Monastery
Other highlights in the Teutoburg Forest are Corvey Castle and Monastery. You can expect an impressive monastery from the 9th century with a baroque castle with an old library. The complex is considered one of the most important monastery complexes from the Middle Ages and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You’ve probably heard of the Loreley before, right? The Loreley is a 132-meter-high slate rock, from which you have a dreamlike view of the Rhine. On the Loreley there is a viewing platform – and of course a statue of the mermaid Loreley.
According to the tale, the Loreley is a kind of mermaid who captivates the Rhine boatmen with her song and beauty. The latter are then killed by the dangerous current and the rocky reefs in the Rhine. A pretty grim story, isn’t it?
With around two million visitors a year, Phantasialand (website) in Brühl near Cologne is one of the most visited amusement parks in Germany, making it into our top sightseeing list.
Thrilling thrill roller coasters, water slides, and countless other rides in various themed worlds await you at the huge amusement park.
87. Munich Oktoberfest
The world’s largest folk festival can’t be left off our list of top sights. The Munich Oktoberfest attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. Tip: By the way, the Munich people go to the Wiesn – and it really always means “Wiesn” and never “Wiese” (meadow) (that would be the High German and thus completely wrong way of speaking in Bavaria).
As a visitor, you should only appear at the Oktoberfest in traditional costume – at least if you don’t want to stand out from the crowd.
At the Oktoberfest, Bavarians, “Preißn” (for a real Bavarian, all North or East Germans and actually all foreigners are “Preißn”) and people from all over the world celebrate more or less peacefully (beer flows in vast quantities) in traditional Bavarian costume (ladies wear dirndl with blouse and apron, men wear lederhosen paired with shirt and janker).
In recent years, real hype about traditional costumes has developed. From mid-September to early October, trains and buses are teeming with people in traditional costumes.
Oh yes: If you prefer it cozy, a detour to the Oide Wiesn is worthwhile.
88. Wadden Sea National Park
The Wadden Sea National Park in Schleswig-Holstein is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You should definitely book a mudflat hike and go exploring. On every island and in every city by the sea, you can book a hike at the tourist information.
With over 4,000 square kilometers, the nature park is the largest between the North Cape and Sicily.
89. Museum and Visitor Mine Rammelsberg
You are enthusiastic about industrial monuments? Then the facilities of the Rammelsberg Museum and Visitor Mine (Website) in Goslar are right up your alley. Rammelsberg was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites back in 1992.
Rammelsberg looks back on a long history. Long ago, copper ore for bronze production and silver were mined at Rammelsberg. Silver coins were already in circulation in Goslar in the late 10th century. Over the centuries, the site was continually expanded and modernized. Finally, in 1906, the plant switched from steam and water power to electricity. The mine closed its doors in 1988.
Today, visitors can immerse themselves in the underground world and admire a piece of German industrial history.
90. Stade Old Town
Island romance in Lower Saxony – that’s what Stade offers. The small town inspires by a great old town with a lot of half-timbered houses. Especially worth seeing is the old Hanseatic port of the city from the 13th century. Be sure to explore Stade from the water – you can even do that with a Venetian gondola.
91. Sigmaringen Castle
What must-do to see in Germany? Sigmaringen Castle (Website) – Germany’s second largest city castle – is definitely one of them! The impressive Hohenzollern Palace was once the princely residence and administrative seat of the Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and is now a popular tourist attraction.
A guided tour through the grandiose halls of the centuries-old magnificent building is highly recommended.
92. Herrenhäuser Gardens Hannover
Let’s face it: Hannover is not necessarily on the top of the list for many tourists (especially from abroad) when it comes to looking at an exciting destination in Germany. However, the capital of Lower Saxony certainly enchants with a beautiful old town with many half-timbered houses. The market square is particularly worth seeing.
The Herrenhäuser Gardens are also a highlight in Hannover. The imposing gardens, which are among the most important baroque gardens in Europe, look back on a long past.
In 1638, Duke Georg von Calenberg had a small kitchen garden with several buildings laid out. In 1665, George’s son Johann Friedrich came to power and commissioned a palace. In the course of this, the garden was rebuilt and extended. The result is the Herrenhäuser Gardens, which are well worth seeing.
93. Coburg Old Town
Coburg’s Schlossplatz (among the top sights in Coburg) is home to several sights and landmarks of the city. On the south side of the square is Ehrenburg Castle. The magnificent building, which today houses the state library among other things, was the residence castle of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg since the 16th century.
Around 25 historically furnished rooms can be visited on guided tours of Ehrenburg Castle – these include the first flush toilet on the European continent and the first functioning elevator.
94. Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg
The Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg (Ludwigsburg Castle) (Website) is a huge baroque building and one of the top attractions you should definitely see. By the way, the palace is one of the largest baroque buildings in Germany. Ludwigsburg Castle was commissioned by Duke Eberhard Ludwig von Württemberg. He allowed himself a real magnificent building here.
During a guided tour through the impressive complex, you can visit the chapel, the theater, and the gallery. The latter is particularly impressive. In the duke’s time, this is where people dined at a long table. The gardens are also appropriately pompous.
95. Fulda Old Town
Fulda is especially known for its well-preserved Baroque Quarter with its 18th-century castles, churches, palaces, parks, and gardens. Stroll through the beautiful streets and soak up the flair of times long past.
The St. Salvator Cathedral in Fulda and the many beautiful half-timbered houses are also particularly worth seeing.
96. Old Town of Hannoversch-Münden
The historic old town of Hannoversch-Münden totally inspired us. Here we stood speechless in front of the town hall. The facade with the lion heads looks impressive.
Fortunately, we also experienced the Glockenspiel (carillon). Be sure to go inside the lower town hall as well. Here you’ll find great paintings about the city’s history.
97. Dokumentationsstätte Regierungsbunker
The Dokumentationsstätte Regierungsbunker (Government Bunker Documentation Site) (Website) in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler in northern Rhineland-Palatinate should not be missing from any top sightseeing list.
This impressive museum of German post-war history is absolutely worth seeing. Before our Ahr Valley trip, we honestly had never heard of the documentation site. And because we were so impressed, we don’t want to withhold this tip from you.
The nuclear bunker was state secret number one for a long time. The bunker was built during the Cold War and was intended to provide protection for the German government in the event of an atomic bomb attack. The bunker was designed to hold over 3000 people. Today, there is still an exciting museum that takes you back to a time long gone. A side trip to Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler is a must on any trip through Germany.
98. Old Town of Saarburg
What should definitely not be missing on a trip through Germany is a side trip to Saarburg. The old town is simply wonderful. The absolute highlight is the waterfall. Yes, you heard right. There is an impressive waterfall in the middle of the town.
All around you will find numerous cafes and restaurants where you can take a break. There is nothing like it in Germany, maybe not even in the world.
99. Hun Ring Otzenhausen
The next sight is no less impressive: The Hunnenring near Otzenhausen in the Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park is a mighty Celtic fortification (but it has nothing to do with the Huns).
Today, stone walls up to ten meters high have been preserved, making it a particularly impressive destination.
100. Historical-Technical Museum Peenemünde
The last top sight is the Peenemünde Historical-Technical Museum on Usedom. During World War II, the infamous V2 rocket was constructed in Peenemünde. Today, an impressive museum bears witness to that time. A visit is unforgettable.
Germany at a glance
- 3.4 trillion euros gross domestic product
- 83 million inhabitants
- 357,386 square kilometers in area
- 33,400 kilometers of rail network
- 13,100 kilometers of highways
- 2,389 kilometers of coastline
- 1949 Year of foundation
- 237 inhabitants per square kilometer
- 46 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
4 cities with more than 1 million inhabitants (Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne)
So there you have it, the top 100 sights in Germany that our readers think you must do. We are also amazed every time at what great highlights there are to discover in Germany. We are excited to see which great places we will discover in our home country in the near future.