Musement shares 15 of the most emblematic monuments and places in Germany, from the Brandenburg Gate to the Neuschwanstein Castle to the incredible Black Forest.
We love Germany. In fact, we have talked about its capital in particular on a number of occasions. We have discussed Berlin’s art galleries, must-eat foods, and of course, German beer. Now we are going to widen the lens to traverse the whole country to share 15 of the most emblematic places in Germany.
1. Brandenburg Gate
We couldn’t compile a list of iconic places in Germany without mentioning Brandenburg Gate. Located on the Pariser Platz in Berlin, the gate is an 18th-century gate that is the only remaining entrance portal of the 18 that once the city. Commissioned by King Frederick William II in 1788 as a symbol of peace, the monument is known internationally for its artistic and historical value. A bronze statue of a chariot driven by the goddess of peace is perched on the top.
2. Neuschwanstein Castle
If a fairy-tale castle exists, it is Neuschwanstein Castle. Located about 60 miles from Munich, Neuschwanstein is majestically situated atop the lush forests that surround it. Did you know that this fortress was the inspiration for the castle in the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty? It\s definitely a magical structure well worth exploring if you find yourself in Bavaria.
3. Cologne Cathedral
UNESCO included this cathedral in Cologne on its 1996 list of World Heritage Sites, stating that the “Cologne Cathedral is an exceptional work of human creative genius.” During its time (construction started in 1248 and finished in 1880), it was the largest Gothic church in northern
Europe that, fortunately, survived World War II and still exists to this day with its 12 bells and Shrine of the Three Kings.
4. Black Forest
The Black Forest in southeast Germany is characterized by lush coniferous forests, extensive meadows, glacial lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and charming rural towns such as Gengenbach, Seebach, Durbach, and Triberg. The best way to explore the region is by car so that you can go at your own pace and stop freely wherever you want.
5. Museum Island
Museum Island, located in Berlin next to the Spree River is a significant complex of museums. Here stands the Bode Museum, New Museum, home to one of the world’s most famous sculptures, Old Museum, Old National Gallery, and the Pergamon Museum, providing a substantial dose of culture that art lovers will adore. In 1999, the island was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
6. The Berlin Wall
A symbol of the division of Berlin, Germany, and the world in general, the Berlin Wall separated the German capital into East and West for almost thirty years. Germany, having been located between the two opposing blocks, lived the consequences of the Cold War first hand. The wall cut through 192 roads (103 miles), and more than 130 people died trying to cross to the other side through what was known as the “death strip.” Its existence can be appreciated today because the streets of the city mark its route.
7. The Old Town of Bamberg
Nicknamed “the city of the seven hills of Germany,” Bamberg is a Bavarian city that was the center of the 18th-century Enlightenment movement. Additionally, it was an important archbishopric and rightly so—don’t miss the spectacular imperial cathedral commissioned by Henry II with the intention of expanding Christianity to eastern Europe.
8. Saxon Switzerland National Park
The Saxon Switzerland National Park is located near Dresden borders the Bohemian Switzerland National Park. With an area of more than 35 square miles, this space is a dream for all outdoor sports lovers with its endless hiking routes and, above all, plenty of places for free climbing along with the various rock formations.
9. Schwerin Castle
The Schwerin Castle, located on an island of Lake Schwerin, was the residence of the dukes of Mecklenburg, although it was previously a stronghold of the Polabian Slavs. Its idyllic setting embraces the unequivocally charming structure and equally beautiful interior full of handmade artifacts, paintings, and valuable furniture. Today, the palace is open to the public and boasts an interesting onsite art museum.
The Reichstag is the headquarters of the Bundestag, the German parliament, is located in Republic Square. The Reichstag is an emblematic building that receives a multitude of visitors interested in discovering German history and politics. You can choose between a guided tour, listening to a plenary session or climbing up the dome and the rooftop terrace to experience a spectacular panorama of the German capital.
11. Old Town of Heidelberg
Alstadt, or the old neighborhood of Heidelberg, stands out most in this city near Frankfurt as it is home to Germany’s oldest castle and university (founded in 1386)–both are symbols of the city’s rich history. On the shores of the Neckar River, the charm of Heidelberg also goes hand in hand with the Karl Theodor Old Bridge and its lively main street, Haupstrasse, with a plethora of restaurants, bars, and shops to visit.
12. Lake Constance
In the basin of the Rhine River, we find the spectacular Lake Constance with a surface area of more than 190 square miles between Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The lake area is popularly known as the German Côte d’Azur| due to its water sports, mansions, and top-notch restaurants. On the German side, the island of Lindau stands out as do other charming locations such as Friedrichshafen and Meersburg.
At the mere mention of Munich, Oktoberfest is usually the first thing to spring to mind. However, the Bavarian capital has a lot more to offer. With alpine views, the city enjoys the incomparable natural scenery that couples nicely with its cosmopolitan vibes, rendering the city one of the best places to live. Start your visit in Marienplatz, the city’s hub, and don’t miss the Deutsches Museum or the Allianz Arena.
14. Bavaria’s Castles
South of Munich lays a lush region studded with the various palaces of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Although we have already mentioned the Neuschwanstein Castle, which is probably the most famous of them all, it is also worthwhile to point out Hohenschwangau (the palace of youth), Linderhof (inspired by the Palace of Versailles), and Herrenchiemse (on the Chiemsee islands).
15. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Without leaving Bavaria, our journey through Germany’s most emblematic places ends in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It is considered one of Germany’s most beautiful towns due to its very well-preserved medieval old town. Lose yourself among its cobbled streets and don’t forget to visit Market Square and the Clock Tower.