11 must-visit cities in Germany

Germany is not only one of the world’s leading economies, but it is also a center of the European culture. Just take look at the map of Europe and you will understand why. The country covers literally the heart of Europe and is the crossing point between North and South, East and West. Therefore it is not surprising that here you will find some of the most beautiful European cities. Avoiding clichés, we have prepared a short list of 11 cities which you should definitely visit if you travel around Germany.

Old view of Hamburg

Old view of Hamburg

1. Hamburg

With a population of 1,786,448 inhabitants, Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the second largest German-speaking city in the world after Berlin.

Furthermore, it is known as the most beautiful of all German cities, and its picturesque location on the banks of the River Elbe is not the only reason for this.

Hamburg is often described as the perfect modern city, combining breathtaking historical architectural heritage with modern architectural styles and innovative constructions.

One of its advantages is the combination between numerous things to see and different entertainment options. Here, for example, you could visit some of the best gourmet restaurants in the world.

However, if you are not hungry, you could just enjoy a relaxing and quiet evening walk with a boat along the stream of the calm river, taking pictures of some of the most impressive historical or modern buildings in the city.

The Speicherstadt in Hamburg

The Speicherstadt in Hamburg by Bjoern Schwarz

When to visit Hamburg?

The best time to visit the city is the period from mid-June to late August, when the temperature is pleasant and usually between 22 and 23°C in the shade during the day.

Hamburg is a great option for you if you are searching for a nice place to escape the summer heat. The fresh Atlantic air, which easily comes from the ocean, keeps the temperature pleasant even during the hottest summer days.

Potsdam view from above

Potsdam view from above by Italiaone

2. Potsdam

Right next to the German capital Berlin there is a much smaller city which is often described as the place with the largest concentration of sites to visit in Germany.

Indeed, despite of its small area, Potsdam offers so many tourist attractions that wherever you turn, you will surely encounter something interesting.

The town is located only 24 km from the city center of Berlin, and is very easily accessible.

Because of its proximity, it takes only a few minutes to reach from Berlin to Potsdam with the urban subway.

Potsdam is one of the greenest places in Germany. The city has three magnificent parks, which cover a significant part of its territory.

Besides pleasant walking paths, they offer several beautiful castle, the most breathtaking of which is the Sanssouci palace complex. It was built in the Rococo style and was completed in 1747.

When to visit Potsdam?

The most pleasant time to visit Potsdam is the period from June to August, when the average temperatures during the day are about 23 – 24°C in the shade.

The most pleasant for walking and entertainment is July, which could become much warmer, but still not as much as the cities of Southern Europe.

Island of Heligoland

Island of Heligoland by www.GlynLowe.com

3. Heligoland

Very few people know the tiny archipelago of Heligoland and the town which brings the same name.

However, anyone who has ever had the pleasure to visit this place, finds how fascinating it actually is.

The archipelago is located in the North Sea, approximately 150 kilometers northwest of Hamburg.

In the past it was a possession of the United Kingdom and Denmark. Today, the town covers most of the western island and has a typical Scandinavian charm and appearance.

It differs significantly from most cities in mainland Germany and radiates an incredible tranquility, which attracts visitors seeking for some privacy and contact with nature.

The town is a very good place for unloading the stress, and the combination of fresh climate and clean air significantly contributes about it.

When to visit Heligoland?

Since the climate in the region is very cool and refreshing, the best time to visit the city of Heligoland and the archipelago with the same name is the height of summer.

The average daytime temperature in July and August is around 18 – 19°C, so the best option is, if possible, to travel during the second half of July.

Ruhpolding

Ruhpolding by Günter Hentschel

4. Ruhpolding

If there is a place to gather together all the beauty and charm of Germany, it is the small Bavarian municipality of Ruhpolding.

It combines magnificent nature, picturesque landscapes, fresh air, snowy mountain peaks, emerald green mountain meadows, cool crystal clear streams, charming alpine architecture, rich culture and delicious cuisine.

If you are for some reason limited to choose only one place in Germany to visit, it must be definitely the wonderful Ruhpolding.

This place looks like a landscape from a TV commercial of a milk chocolate, and the harmony between man and nature has reached the absolute perfection.

Ruhpolding Nature

Ruhpolding Nature by MEINE HEIMAT [Chiemgau]

When to visit Ruhpolding?

This place is charming throughout the year. During the winter months for example the surrounding area is covered with very thick and high-quality snow cover, which attracts lovers of winter sports.

In spring and summer it is covered with green carpet and mountain flowers, and autumn brings deep and warm golden and red hues.

However, if your goal is to enjoy long walks in nature, lush vegetation and plenty of sunshine, then the best time to visit Ruhpolding in the period from mid-June to mid-August, when the average temperature during the day is between 22 and 25°C in the shade, and the weather conditions are as a whole really wonderful.

The center of Cologne

The center of Cologne by Eckhard Henkel

5. Cologne

Cologne undoubtedly occupies one of leading places among the most beautiful German cities, and according to many, it actually shares the first place with Berlin.

The biggest tourist attraction of the city is the famous Cologne Cathedral, which is considered one of the most important landmarks in Europe.

Its construction, which lasted for approximately 74 years, started in 1248. Besides the cathedral, the city is popular also for its Hohenzollern Bridge, which is one of the symbols of Cologne.

The construction of the bridge started in 1946. In addition to the numerous world-famous buildings and structures, Cologne is known also for something else.

It is among the cities in Europe where the green areas cover the largest part of the urban territory.

It boasts a very well developed system of green rings that cover more than a half of the territory of the city.

Practically, no matter in what part of Cologne you are, you could be sure that there is a wonderful park to visit only a few minutes walk from you.

Cologne at night

Cologne at night by Eric Bauer

When to visit Cologne?

The best months to visit Cologne are June, July and August. During this period, the average daytime temperatures are between 22 and 25°C in the shade, though sometimes they are much higher.

Usually during this time of the year the city is very green, and the lovely weather ensures that you will be able to stay outside for hours every day exploring the beautiful historical streets of Cologne.

Historical City hall, Bielefeld

Historical City hall, Bielefeld by Zefram

6. Bielefeld

As often happens in different countries, some of the most beautiful cities in Germany remain away from the most famous and popular tourist routes.

For example, while millions of tourists flock to popular cities like Berlin or Munich, they miss the fascinating places such as the city of Bielefeld.

The funniest thing is that Bielefeld is known as the city that nobody knows in Germany. Ironically, the place has a genuine charm and beauty, and it really has a lot to offer to its visitors.

It is located in the heart of North Rhine-Westphalia and offers a variety of opportunities for entertainment and recreation. Bielefeld is located in an area with beautiful scenery.

Teutoburg forest is considered one of the most beautiful deciduous forests in Germany and covers a picturesque hilly area.

On the top of a hill in the outskirts of Bielefeld is one of the most beautiful castles in this part of Germany – Sparrenberg Castle, which was completed in the 13th century and later modified in the period 16-19 century.

Besides being a great tourist attraction, the castle each year attracts many visitors because of the festival, which is held in the city in July.

When to visit Bielefeld?

The weather in Bielefeld is most enjoyable in the period from June to late August. In this part of the year the temperatures during the day are usually between 22 and 24°C in the shade on average.

The best part of the summer season is definitely month of July, when an exciting festival is held near the fortress.

Sunset over Dresden

Sunset over Dresden by Harshil Shah

7. Dresden

There are very few cities in the world that are created with the idea to become a masterpiece and Dresden is one of them.

Every street here is full of history, which has earned the city the nickname “Florence of the North” or also “Florence on the Elbe”.

Similarly to many other large and popular German cities (such as Hamburg for example), Dresden is also located on the river banks of this extremely important for Germany waterway corridor.

The city is considered at the same time one of the greenest in the whole of Germany, which could hardly go unnoticed. Wherever you go, you always face some wonderful park or a garden.

Zwinger Palace, Dresden

Zwinger Palace, Dresden by Bert Kaufmann

The are all created in a typical German manner with an exceptional eye for the small details. Dresden is a city where you could enjoy the art and culture of Europe in depth.

Among the biggest attractions of the city is the baroque complex Zwinger, where you could find masterpieces by Rembrandt, Raphael, Rubens and Titian.

The river also creates a very romantic image of the city, especially where the stone August bridge crosses over the waters of Elbe.

Dresden - Old Town

Dresden – Old Town by Michael Bertulat

When to visit Dresden?

Dresden is most beautiful In May and especially in June when the city is emerald green.

Considering what a large part of its territory is covered with parks and gardens, this is one of the best moments to take a tour around.

The average daytime temperature is between 18 and 22°C. If you want a little warmer weather, however, then July and August are better for you.

In most cases the weather is really very comfortable and pleasant, and the temperature is between 23 and 25°C in the shade.

Cuxhaven

Cuxhaven by Manolo Gómez

8. Cuxhaven

Cuxhaven is a charming city with a beautiful architecture, situated on the North Sea coast in the Northwest of Germany.

The area of the city is inhabited since in the 13-14th century, but only in the 19th century it acquired greater importance.

Today it is a popular resort among both Germans and visitors from across North and Northwest Europe.

The city is famous for its picturesque location, its magnificent beach, as well as for the charming green streets. It brings the atmosphere of an old resort, which is complemented by many historical buildings.

The city has a very attractive tourist commercial area where you could buy everything – from souvenirs to clothes and sweets.

When to visit Cuxhaven?

The best time of year to visit Cuxhaven is summer. The best weather conditions you will find in July when the average temperature during the day is about 22 – 23°C.

Of course, some summer days are cooler, while others bring higher temperatures between 25 and 30°C.

Bodelschwingh castle, Dortmund

Bodelschwingh castle, Dortmund by Beckstet

9. Dortmund

Dortmund is one of the most modern and highly developed cities in Germany. It is located in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The city is famous for its numerous museums dedicated to various themes, including contemporary art and football.

It combines cutting-edge modern architecture with historic buildings, making it quite contrasting and contradictory. Dortmund is one of the best examples in the world of a green city.

A large part of its territory is covered by parks and other green areas. The city offers numerous attractions, including some of the most interesting castles in Germany, such as Haus Bodelschwingh (from 13th century) and House Rodenberg (also from 13th century).

Dortmund from above

Dortmund from above by Eselsmann™

When to visit Dortmund?

June, July and August offer the best weather to visit Dortmund. Then you could enjoy pleasant temperatures of around 21 – 22°C and plenty of sunshine.

In this time of the year you will see the city in the best light, because its numerous parks and gardens will be covered in emerald green carpet and you will find yourself surrounded by lush and fresh vegetation.

Summer in Berlin

Summer in Berlin by Jörg Schubert

10. Berlin

Situated where Eastern and Western Europe meet, Berlin is not only the symbol of the reunification of Germany in 1990, but also a symbol of the reunification of Europe.

The German capital is the largest German-speaking city in the world, and after the early 90s, it quickly became the new world capital of culture.

The dynamic and sometimes turbulent history of the city, which is largely determined by its location in the very heart of the continent, has had a huge impact on its architectural heritage.

Here are such important tourist landmarks as the Brandenburg Gate, which was built in the 18th century in the Neoclassical style, the Reichstag building, as well as one of the most popular places for tourists – Berlin’s Museums Island.

In the German capital you could still find parts of the Berlin Wall, which divided the city between 1961 (when the construction started) and November 9, 1989.

If you want to feel the spirit of contemporary Berlin, you simply have to visit Potsdamer Platz, which is today one of the symbols of the most robust and stable global economy and a great example of how should a modern city look like.

When to visit Berlin?

The best time of the year to visit the beautiful German capital is late spring (especially June), July and early August.

Bear in mind, however, that sometimes are possible surprisingly high temperatures, which could interrupt your plans to go outside at noon.

For this reason, June and the first half of July are the best time of the year to discover the numerous sights of Berlin.

Main Square, Lubeck

Main Square, Lubeck by Jeff Hart

11. Lübeck

Home to many artists, Lübeck is a city with a very rich culture, and its incredible beauty is under the auspices of UNESCO. There is something in the city, which fascinates people and inspires them.

According to many, Lübeck is the most beautiful German city because it really looks like a fairy tale place and offers authentic sense of how medieval Europe looked like, but of course, in combination with all modern facilities and services.

Lübeck is a place that offers a number of options for entertainment. You could visit some of the numerous palaces and museums in a nice and warm summer day, and then you could enjoy a cup of great coffee in a small cafe somewhere in the narrow streets of the city.

In Lübeck you can feel the proximity of Denmark both culturally and in terms of the architecture.

Talking about this place we should say that the architecture and the romantic atmosphere are not the only advantages of Lübeck.

This northern Venice, as they often call the city, fascinates with its numerous waterways, parks and gardens, which are an integral part of the urban landscape.

One of the things you should try while you are in Lübeck (and of course if you love and you are allowed to eat sweets) is the popular local dessert Marzipan, which is made from sugar and almonds.

When to visit Luebeck?

Summer is the best time of the year to visit the city of Lübeck. The period from early June until mid August offers the most pleasant temperatures.

The best moment of the summer season is the second half of July when the temperature reaches at least 23°C in the shade.