Germany travel guide: Discover the rich culture of Deutschland

Germany travel guide: Discover the rich culture of Deutschland

Germany is one of the most visited countries in the world, attracting travelers from far and wide with its thousands of years of history, rich culture and picturesque landscapes.

More than 183 million tourists visited the European country in 2023, according to the Statista Research Department.

From the natural beauty of Bavaria to the urban streets of Berlin, Germany offers an abundance of experiences for every kind of traveler.

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Travel requirements

Prior to purchasing your flight, it’s important to know Germany’s visa requirements, which differ depending on where you are traveling from.

Visitors from more than 60 countries – including the U.S. and Canada – need not apply for a tourist visa for trips less than 90 days.

To visit Germany for short trips, U.S. citizens only need a U.S. passport that is valid for more than three months beyond the date of their departure. However, visitors from many other countries – including South Africa and India – will need to apply for a tourist visa for short trips.

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Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is Germany’s most visited castle, with 1,300,000 people crossing its gate each year.

Located in the Alps in Bavaria, the castle overlooks the Hohenschwangau valley and is close to the popular tourist town of Fussen. Built in the 19th century by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, this fairytale-esque castle has been referred to as the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

It is recommended to purchase tickets for a guided tour online in advance as they can sell out quickly.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is Germany’s most visited castle, with 1,300,000 people crossing its gate each year. (Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images)

Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall, which divided the city from 1961 until 1989, stands as a symbol of the Cold War era when Berlin was separated into eastern and western parts.

The East Side Gallery is the longest remaining section of the wall, and in 1990, more than 100 artists decorated this portion with art, making it today the longest open-air art gallery in the world, according to Visit Berlin.

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Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate, located in the heart of Berlin, is one of the best-known landmarks in Germany.

The historic site has become a symbol of Berlin’s division and, later, its reunification following the Cold War. Built between 1788 and 1791, the monument stands more than 80 feet tall and was inspired by parts of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, according to the Visit Berlin website.

Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral, located in Cologne, is one of the largest Gothic-style cathedrals in the world and attracts around 20,000 visitors every day, according to the Visit Cologne website.

The cathedral, which belongs to the Catholic Church and stands more than 500 feet tall, began construction in 1248 and took more than seven centuries to build.

When planning a visit, travelers should only bring small bags and be prepared for identity checks, according to the website for Cologne Cathedral.

Cologne-Cathedral-Interior-Germany

A view of Cologne Cathedral in April 2023 in Cologne, Germany. (Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest, the largest Volksfest in the world, is held annually between September and October in Munich and usually lasts about 16–18 days.

Attracting more than 6 million visitors each year, the celebration features a beer festival with tents representing different breweries, a carnival, music, parades and more. It is a good idea to arrive early to the event as it draws large crowds, and remember to drink responsibly. Prost!

Europa-Park

For visitors looking for an adrenaline rush, family-owned Europa-Park is Germany’s largest theme park and attracts more than 5 million visitors every season. 

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Located in Rust, Baden-Württemberg, Europa-Park has something for everyone with 100 different attractions, 14 roller coasters, 17 European and three fantasy-themed areas, six hotels and more than 50 themed restaurants and bars.

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