Germany is a country rich with culture, history, food, and friendly people. From the coast of the Black and North Seas to the deep wilderness of the Black Forest, and all the cities in between, Germany has a little something for everyone. Here’s all you need to know about traveling to the ‘land of thinkers and poets.’

Snowy streets in Rothenburg ob der Tauer, Germany

Practical Info

Germany Travel Guide

Getting to Germany

Germany is a major international business hub, meaning there are plenty of accessible international airports, no matter where in the world you are traveling from. Munich, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, and Stuttgart are all common international airports in the country.

If you’re coming from within Europe, you can get to Germany via any number of railways. The rail system in Germany is very advanced and well-connected.

If you happen to be coming from the Baltic states, you can even hop a ferry!

When to go

White chalk cliffs on Germany's largest island, Rugen.

Germany is in central Europe, so it’s got all seasons. The summers are popular for tourism, as this is when many fellow Europeans get their holiday time. Christmas markets in Germany are among the most popular in the world (if not THE most popular), so expect to see higher prices and less availability in terms of accommodation.

The best times to visit (in my humble opinion) are late spring and early fall, where the prices are lower and the crowds are more sparse. Oktoberfest in Munich is a highly popular time, so plan your visit accordingly!

what to see

BerlinCold War History, WWII History, Nightlife, Street Art
MunichOktoberfest, Bavarian Capital, Residenz
FrankfurtMuseums, Goethe House
CologneCologne Cathedral, Museums, Art Galleries
DresdenSaxon Capital, Art Galleries, Baroque Architecture
HamburgPort City, Nightlife, Canals and Lakes, Art Galleries
NurembergWWII History, Kaiserberg Castle, Handcrafted Goods
DüsseldorfMedieval City, High Fashion, Pub Culture
Black ForestThermal Spas, Hiking & Nature, Castles, Cuckoo Clocks, Winter Sports
Rothenburg ob der TauerMedieval Houses, Beautiful Town Center
StuttgartMercedes-Benz & Porsche Museums, Contemporary Art
HeidelbergRiver Town, Old Town, Renaissance-Era Heidelberg Castle Ruins
FüssenTegelberg Skiing, Neuschwanstein Castle
TrierWine, Karl Marx Birthplace, Roman Ruins
RügenIsland Vibes, Chalk Cliffs, National Park, Seaside Resort

Traveling within Germany

Germany’s towns and cities are well-connected via rail or long-distance bus (fernbus). The trains are modern, efficient, and reliable.

 Flixbus is a great bus company within Europe, but it’s worth noting that they are not pet-friendly.

On the other hand, if you want to road trip (or if you’re traveling with a furry friend or lots of luggage), renting a car is also an option. This will definitely allow you more independence and freedom of schedule. Be sure to get an International Driving Permit in your home country, they are required to rent a car!

Detailed Germany Articles

Neuschwanstein Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle

Linderhof Castle in Germany

Partnach Gorge an Incredible Hike in the Bavarian Alps

Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Best Things to do in Würzburg, Germany

12 Instagrammable Places in Munich

Munich Travel Guide

Augustiner Keller – The Largest Beer Garden in Munich

20 Things to do in Berlin

6 Unique Things You Can Only Do in Berlin

German Alps Hiking Guide

Flight Resources

Skyscanner is the website I use for all of my flights. Other travelers also like Momondo.

Money-saving tip: Don’t input any dates to scan the best available times to go OR simply input ‘Germany’ instead of a specific airport – you may get a much cheaper flight!

Accommodation Resources

When I travel, I personally prefer to use VRBO. I book an entire apartment, giving me my privacy and the comfort of home amenities, such as a kitchen and washing machine

If you’re traveling long-term, VRBO usually offers discounts for stays of a month or more – the discounts are significant, sometimes 50-60%! It winds up being cheaper than what I would have paid for my apartment rent back in the USA.

If you’re a budget-conscious traveler and not traveling long-term, hostels are a great option and are abundant in Italy.

For standard hotel stays, Booking.com usually offers the best deals.

Safety Tips

Germany consistently ranks as one of the top 20 countries in the world in terms of safety. Still, one of my favorite sayings in the travel community is ‘Every place is safe. Every place is dangerous’. Simply stated, you can find danger in even the safest of places, so it’s always wise to trust your judgement and remove yourself from situations that feel unsafe.

It’s also wise to be aware of the most common scams in Germany, as it is a popular tourist destination and there are always people who will take advantage of tourists. Also, I never accept unsolicited help when traveling.

Money Saving Tips

Heidelberg seen from the water, with its reflection shimmering below.

While Germany certainly isn’t the most expensive country out there, it’s definitely not the cheapest, either. Still, you can still find a couple of ways to save a bit during your travels in Germany.

Keep an eye out for trade fairs and exhibitions if traveling to a city that commonly hosts them, such as Frankfurt or Leipzig. Accommodation will be much more expensive during these events (and scarce).

As popular as it is, if you don’t have an interest in Oktoberfest, it’s best to steer clear of Munich during this time. Everything will be more expensive – that being said, it’s totally worth it and an a super-fun thing to experience, if it’s up your alley.

If you’re taking the train in Germany, book your ICE tickets as far in advance as possible to save. And book them directly from the site – no need for third party fees.

Eat out for lunch and stay in for dinner, as many times lunch menus will be less expensive. If you’re in a major city, stay away from restaurants on the main roads. Opt instead for places on side streets. A general rule of thumb I have is not to eat at places that have pictures of the food outside – these are generally tourist traps and prices are super-inflated.

Purchase city passes if you plan on hitting a lot of tourist sites.

Search on Pinterest: ‘Free Things To Do In….’ There are a ton of great resources out there from travel bloggers, and Pinterest is where you want to search.

Take a free walking tour or self-guided walking tour.

FAQs Traveling to Germany

  1. Do I need a visa to visit Germany?

    • Most travelers from the United States and many other countries within the Schengen area do not require a visa for short stays (up to 90 days) for tourism or business purposes. However, visa requirements can vary depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. Check with the nearest German embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa information.
  2. What’s the best time to visit Germany?

    • Germany is a year-round destination. Summer (June to August) is ideal for outdoor activities and festivals, while winter (December to February) offers Christmas markets and winter sports in the Bavarian Alps. Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) provide milder weather and fewer crowds.
  3. What’s the currency in Germany, and can I use credit cards?

    • The official currency is the Euro (EUR), and credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments. However, it’s advisable to carry some cash, especially when visiting smaller towns and markets.
  4. What languages are spoken in Germany?

    • The official language is German. While many Germans speak English, especially in urban areas, it can be helpful to learn some basic German phrases for interactions in smaller towns or rural regions.
  5. Is tap water safe to drink in Germany?

    • Yes, tap water is safe to drink throughout Germany. You can refill your water bottle at public fountains and taps in many locations.
  6. How do I get around Germany?

    • Germany has an efficient and extensive public transportation system, including trains, trams, buses, and the Berlin U-Bahn and Munich U-Bahn. Rental cars are also an option for exploring the countryside and picturesque routes.
  7. What are some must-visit places in Germany?

    • Germany boasts a wealth of attractions, including Berlin (the capital), the Romantic Road, the Black Forest, Bavaria’s fairytale castles, and the Rhine River. Explore historic cities, quaint villages, and world-class museums.
  8. What is German cuisine like, and are there vegetarian/vegan options?

    • German cuisine features hearty dishes like sausages, schnitzels, and pretzels. Vegetarian and vegan options are available in most restaurants, especially in larger cities.
  9. Is it customary to tip in Germany?

    • Tipping is customary in Germany. Service charges are often included in the bill, but it’s common to leave an additional 5-10% tip for good service. In cafes, rounding up the bill is also appreciated.
  10. Is it safe to travel in Germany?

    • Germany is generally considered a safe destination for travelers. However, take common-sense precautions, such as safeguarding your belongings and staying aware of your surroundings.
  11. What should I pack for my trip to Germany?

    • Pack appropriate clothing for the season and activities you have planned. Comfortable walking shoes, layers, and an umbrella can be useful for exploring the diverse regions of Germany.
  12. What is the legal drinking age in Germany?

    • The legal drinking age for purchasing and consuming beer and wine is 16 years old in Germany. For spirits and other alcoholic beverages, the legal drinking age is 18. Be sure to adhere to these age restrictions when ordering alcoholic drinks in bars and restaurants.