Germany’s rich and controversial history makes it one of the most visited countries in Europe. The diverse landscapes, interesting cities, art vibes, beer, and food have given it a reputation with backpackers, luxury travelers, and families alike. Today we share with you our top four reasons to fall in love with Germany.
The Black Forest
A must-see mountainous region of southwest Germany is Schwarzwald, or better known as the Black Forest. It’s far-reaching, lush landscapes, winding rivers, stunning lakes, and picturesque towns are easy to fall in love with if you like nature. If you are into camping, hiking or water sports, you’ll have plenty of choices. Alternatively, if going to the spa is more your style, then the many Baden, or bathes, will give you a taste of what the locals consider a normal self-care routine — not just a special occasion thing. Sauna culture is big in Germany — just be prepared to be in the company of all sexes, as the saunas are generally coed. Some say that the spa town, Baden-Baden, is a good base for visiting the Black Forest. It’s so lovely they named it twice.
The Black Forest is also well-known for its A-frame timber houses and being the birthplace of the cuckoo clock, which often mimics those homes. The cuckoo clock was invented in the 1700s, and the craftsmanship you see today uses the same mechanics as the first cuckoo clocks. You may want to take an original cuckoo clock home with you after falling in love with the Black Forest. They are a timeless piece of German history and will help you remember your time there every time the cuckoo calls.
When you think about traveling in Europe, using the train system is probably what pops into your head as the best way to get around. It’s well-known that Europe has one of the best transit systems in the world, and Germany has some of the most affordable train travel amongst it. There is no reason to rent a car if you visit Germany. All trains work on the honor system, but don’t forget to validate your ticket — or you could get a hefty fine of 60€ or more. You can download a couple of different apps that let you buy tickets with your phone — a convenient way to purchase tickets that won’t get lost.
Food and Culture
Do you like carbs? Then you and Germany will get along just fine. The potato, or Kartoffel, is a staple in the German diet, and you’ll find all the traditional meals have it. Pretzels and pastries are available on every corner because you can find every street lined with bakeries. Did I mention the Germans love bread? You’ll find some of the best bread in Germany. The most popular food after carbs is the currywurst or sausages. Currywurst — along with doner kebab — is street food you’ll find everywhere, very cheap. If you are looking for an inexpensive vacation, you can get currywurst, kebab, or a falafel wrap for under 4€. It’s a filling meal on the go, thankfully served with french fries — or chips if you are British — so you can get your carbs in with this meal.
Though this next reason to fall in love with Germany will not be for everyone, it wouldn’t be a proper list without talking about the party culture and festivals. Germany is probably most well-known for Oktoberfest, which is celebrated by seven million people across the world. Various cities around the world model this two-week folk festival in October — but the original is a sight to see. People dance around in lederhosen and dirndl costumes, folk music blasts, and of course, sling back beer in a giant one-liter beer stein. Whether German beer is the best is debatable, but you can get spirits and wine if you aren’t into it.
Cities like Berlin are known for their debauchery — techno clubs stay open the entire weekend where people wait in line for an hour on Friday to get in and aren’t seen again until Sunday afternoon. So if you are into partying till the break of dawn, Germany is the place! But there are also tamer and family-friendly festivals like the Christmas markets. Even though it’s cold this time of year, many people choose December to visit to explore local food and crafts, and drink Gluhwein.
Whether you are wanting a relaxing vacation in nature, or crave city life with all it’s art, culture, and debauchery, you will fall in love with Germany on your next visit.