- Exploring Berlin: The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989–90 was an event that transfixed the world and transformed the divided city into a new world capital. Berlin continues to knit itself together in a way that's making this huge city the most vibrant in Europe.
- Sipping a Beer in a Munich Beer Garden: There’s nothing more enjoyable on a balmy afternoon or evening than sitting under the trees in one of Munich’s leafy beer gardens and trying to lift one of those 1-liter steins to your lips. It’s a way of life and a way to meet Germans on their own turf.
- Wandering Through Munich’s Viktualienmarkt: There are markets—and then there are markets like Munich’s Viktualienmarkt, a hive of stalls, food stands, and specialty shops that’s been around for a couple of hundred years.
- Visiting Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site: It’s grim, horrifying, and unbearably poignant, but Dachau, near Munich, is also one of the most important Holocaust memorial sites in Germany. A visit gives you insight into a barbaric chapter of history and puts a human face on its victims.
- Celebrating Karneval in Cologne: The locals call it Fasteleer or Fastlovend, but it’s Karneval to most Germans, and it’s celebrated in Catholic Cologne the way Mardi Gras is celebrated in New Orleans. Parades, floats, balls, parties, and plenty of food and beer characterize this pre-Lenten celebration that natives call their city’s “fifth season.”
- Experiencing a German Spa: For a quintessential German experience, visit one of Germany’s spa towns—Baden-Baden, Wiesbaden, and Aachen are among the possibilities—and go through the routine of bathing, steaming, schvitzing, and swimming, all in one enormous complex warmed by thermal waters and dedicated to the goddess Gesund (health).
- Spending Harvest Time in the German Vineyards: Between late August and mid-October, the vineyards on the banks of the Rhine and Mosel rivers turn gold and russet, and workers gather buckets of grapes from terraced rows of meticulously pruned vines. This is the perfect time to visit charming wine towns, such as Rüdesheim and Bingen on the Rhine and Cochem on the Mosel. Sip the local vintages at a wine tavern and enjoy the scenery.
- Ascending the Zugspitze: The tallest mountain in Germany, soaring 2,960m (9,700 ft.) above sea level, lures view-seekers up its craggy slopes on a thrill ride via cog railway and cable car that gives new meaning to the notion that getting there is half the fun. Views from the top over the undulating Alps will quite literally take your breath away.
- Touring the Romantic Road (Romantische Strasse): This scenic route rambles through much of Bavaria, through an unfolding, travel-poster-worthy panorama of beautiful landscapes interspersed with small medieval cities. To the south, the road rises to the dramatic heights of the Alps and the fantasy castles of the legendary King Ludwig II.
Pounding the Cobblestones in Heidelberg: This handsome old university town on the Neckar River has enchanted everyone from Goethe to Mark Twain to hordes of modern visitors, and little wonder: A half-ruined castle perched on a wooded hillside overlooks an unspoiled assemblage of medieval and Renaissance landmarks (and no small part of the appeal is that beer flows like water in the historic taverns below).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.