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14 Best Places to Visit in Germany in Winter

Written by Diana Bocco Updated Sep 16, 2022

Germany is a wonderland of mountains, castles, and ancient cities that will awe you at any time of the year. But visit in winter, and the picture-perfect landscapes covered in snow are suddenly just a bit more magical, more alive.

Whether you're headed to historical Berlin or the vast beauty of the Black Forest, Germany is full of particularly beautiful places to visit during the colder months.

Add to that better prices and smaller crowds, and you'll start realizing why this is a country that's best explored as the temperatures plummet. Need some inspiration? Take a look at our list of the best places to visit in Germany in winter.

1. Zugspitze Mountain

4. baden-baden, 5. mosel valley, 7. garmisch-partenkirchen, 8. neuschwanstein castle, 9. partnach gorge, 10. dresden, 11. rothenburg ob der tauber, 12. baiersbronn, 14. berchtesgaden national park, map of places to visit in germany in winter.

Skier enjoying freshly groomed snow on Zugspitze Mountain

Germany's best ski resort is at the top of the country's tallest mountain. Zugspitze sits at just under 3,000 meters above sea level and is home to three glaciers. While the mighty mountain is best known for its slopes, it also attracts climbers and mountaineers. The base of Zugspitze offers plenty of trails for winter hiking and snowshoeing.

Three cable cars and the Bavarian Zugspitze Railway (the third highest railway in Europe) make their way up the mountain, bringing sports enthusiasts to the winter sports area. Here, skiers and snowboarders will find 20 kilometers of slopes open and ready for six months out of the year. There are also toboggan runs available.

Many of the pistes are high above the clouds, and the 2,600-meter-high Zugspitz Plateau is famous for its sunny winters — a perfect combination to make thrill-seekers flock here as late as April. No wonder it's one of Europe's best ski resorts .

For visitors who need a break from all the excitement, Zugspitze Mountain is home to several restaurants and huts , as well as the igloo village Zugspitze , which offers igloo rooms for a night to remember.

Cologne Cathedral and the Christmas market

The largest city in the North Rhine-Westphalia region, Cologne has plenty to offer all year long. In winter, the city remains warmer than much of Germany, but still sees some snow.

On those cold January days, head to the Claudius Therme thermal bath to try their outdoor pools and saunas, warming up under the darkening sky. Cologne's carnival in February is also one of the largest in the country, with celebrations and parades taking to the streets for days.

Some of Europe's best Christmas markets are in Germany - and the ones in Cologne are particularly stunning. The city's largest Christmas market is right in front of the Cologne Cathedral's 157-meter-tall Gothic tower. Here, over 150 wooden pavilions sell everything from hand-painted holiday cards to lebkuchen (gingerbread) cookies, traditional wooden toys, and quirky Tassen tableware.

Christmas tree and the Brandenburg Gate

Berlin's chilly, snowy winters are perfect for indoor fun, but if you're visiting in December, the Christmas markets can't be missed either.

Potsdamer Platz's Winterworld , the historical Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market, and the Domäne Dahlem Advent market (located at a former manor) all offer a different experience, where glassblowers, artisans, carousels, and warm gingerbread combine for an amazing holiday experience.

While you're dressed up for the cold, make time to visit the Botanical Garden, which between mid-November and early January transforms into the Berlin Christmas Garden , filled with magical fairy lights and its own ice-skating rink. The Berlin Wall's outdoor exhibits are also a must at any time of the year.

For indoor entertainment, head to Berlin's Museum Island , where five museums hold everything from sculptures and art to the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. Winter is the perfect time to visit the museums, as the crowds are much smaller.

You can also tour the Reichstag (Germany's parliament building), see a show at the world's biggest theater stage (the Friedrichstadt Palast), and pick up some souvenirs at Europe's largest department store, Kaufhaus des Westens.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Berlin

Snow-covered trees in the Black Forest near Baden-Baden

The charming spa town of Baden-Baden sits near the border with France, right against the Black Forest and its enchanting attractions . Although a great destination in any weather, winter adds to the magic of the region. Snow transforms the Black Forest into a winter fairy tale, providing opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the many well-laid trails just minutes from Baden-Baden.

For stunning views, you can also ride the historical Merkurbergbahn (cable car) up Merkur Mountain and discover the many winter trails there. Or hike up to the ruins of Schloss Hohenbaden castle, crowning the hills right above town.

Back in town, there are plenty of Christmas markets to explore in December. You can take a stroll through Lichtentaler Allee park, then grab a table at one of the many cozy cafés around for some traditional chocolate truffles.

Or visit the late-Gothic Stiftskirche church, then head to the Museum Frieder Burda to see the stunning collection of modernist and expressionist art.

As a spa town, Baden-Baden has plenty to offer as well. In winter, take a hot dip into thermal waters at the Caracalla Spa, try Roman baths at Friedrichsbad, or step into a salt cave for some salty sea-like breeze.

Eltz Castle in the winter in the Mosel Valley

Located in southwestern Germany and extending into France and Luxembourg, The Mosel Valley is home to many quaint towns and storybook castles. The towns of Cochem and Burg Eltz are particularly stunning in winter, offering breathtaking views over the river, ancient castles, and plenty of hills for hiking — all of it more magical under a dusting of snow.

Castles and historical sites around the Mosel Valley are perfect in winter — the fog and snow add to the mystery, and the sites are almost empty, free of the big crowds you'll encounter in summer. In December, the Christmas markets in the region — especially the historical ones at Zell an der Mosel and Bernkastel-Kues — light up the valley.

Even in winter, it's worth braving the cold to explore the Old Town centers in the area. Half-timbered buildings that seem out of a fairy tale line up the streets and make for great photo opportunities. While the river cruises don't run in winter, you can take the train from Koblenz to Cochem and get similar scenic views along the way.

Aerial view of Hamburg and the Christmas market

Winter transforms most of Germany into a snowy wonderland, but the old city of Hamburg makes the most of the cold weather. As soon as the temperatures plummet, Hamburg starts offering advent concerts in the city's many churches, and Christmas markets start selling stollen (fruit cake), as well as hot chocolate for shoppers.

In the inner city park of Planten un Blomen park, an ice rink pops up in winter, complete with colorful lights and weekend DJs.

Hamburg lies on the river Elbe and is home to many canals and over 2,500 bridges, perfect for photographing the lights of the city as the fog rolls in. For a more in-depth water experience, head to Landungsbrücken pier to catch a winter boat ride.

Near the pier, you'll also find two museum ships : the cargo ship Cap San Diego and the three-masted sailing ship Rickmer Rickmers . It's possible to book passenger cabins to sleep on the Cap San Diego .

For a break from the cold, check out the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg or visit the world's largest model railway and miniature airport museum at Miniatur Wunderland, one of Hamburg's top attractions . Hamburg is home to over 60 museums and 40 theaters, so finding things to do indoors won't be hard.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

About an hour and a half from Munich and at the foot of the mighty Zugspitze mountain, the two towns that make up Garmisch-Partenkirchen are a winter haven for nature lovers.

The 1936 Olympic Games were held here, and its closeness to some of the country's tallest and most beautiful mountains means this is a prime destination for skiing, winter hiking, and cross-country skiing . The historical ski jumping hill of Olympiaschanze is worth a quick visit as well.

But Garmisch-Partenkirchen has more things to do than just snow fun. A leisurely walk through the neighborhood of Partenkirchen and its traditional half-timbered houses with carved scrollwork is a great way to spend a sunny winter afternoon — especially if you make some time to sit down at a local café for some chocolate cake.

For some indoor fun, stop by the Werdenfelser Heimatmuseum and get a peek at local life in the 1800s. And for a stunning view of the alpine surroundings, hop in one of the many gondolas that depart from town, including the Hausbergbahn Gondola, which goes 1,338 meters up Hausberghöhe mountain, or the Alpspitzbahn cable car, which takes you up the Zugspitze to the breathtaking AlpspiX viewing platform.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Germany is home to many stunning castles , but few can match the magic of Neuschwanstein Castle, the castle that inspired Disney's princess castle.

The Romanesque Revival palace sits on a hill in the heart of Bavaria. Originally commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria to be used as a retreat, the castle was almost immediately opened to the public after his death in 1886.

Of the original 200 rooms planned, only 15 were ever fully finished. Today, visitors can tour the king's quarters and some of the other rooms.

During the warmer months, the castle sees as many as 6,000 visitors per day, but things are much quieter in winter. Group tours are smaller, photos are better when fewer people are around, and the frosty endless forests around add to the magic.

In addition, the train ride from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle is stunning in winter, as the train crosses alpine villages and forested mountains dusted in snow. It's one of the best day trips from Munich .

Partnach Gorge in winter

Most tourists heading to the Partnach Gorge arrive in summer - but the Partnach is equally stunning in winter, especially after a heavy snowfall. It sits in the Reintal valley between two massive limestone walls that reach 80 meters high in some areas. Deep into the gorge, visitors can walk along the river, behind the frozen waterfalls, and above the snow-covered rocks in the river below.

The gorge is 700 meters long, with additional trails that take you across suspension bridges and through deep green forests. For those with an even bigger sense of adventure, guided torchlight hikes are held through the gorge only during winter.

It's a magical experience, walking in the dark with the light reflecting on the surrounding trickles of ice.

The nearby winter resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers plenty to do, and the picturesque Alpine lakes Eibsee and Riessersee offer additional winter hikes and picture opportunities.

Snow-covered Dresden

Home to Germany's oldest officially recorded Christmas market, Dresden truly puts on a show during the holiday season. Craftsmen — selling Saxony's Silesian ceramics, Ore Mountain wood carvings, and plenty of blown-glass ornaments — are always in attendance, and Dresden is also well-known for selling traditional Christmas Stollen.

Dresden was heavily damaged by bombing during WWII and painstakingly restored over the next few decades. Today, visitors can see the Baroque palaces, churches, and other Dresden landmarks in all their glory again.

The Hofkirche church, reconstructed using some of the original salvaged stones, is one of the best places to visit in winter, when advent concerts take over the city. And the magnificent Zwinger Palace is equally stunning under a dusting of snow.

The inner courtyard of the Palais Taschenberg gets transformed into a giant ice-skating rink between November and January every year. Indoors, the shopping malls get decked for the cold weather with great sales and local food specialties.

And if you're inclined to take a little day trip, the winter resort town of Altenberg is less than an hour away. Here, you'll find 14 cross-country ski trails, plus plenty of opportunities for winter hiking, snowshoeing, and tobogganing.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Located on the western edge of Bavaria, the picturesque town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the most photographed in Germany. And if you thought this medieval town looks stunning in pictures, you should see it in person while blanketed in snow.

During December, the medieval Christmas market is one of Rothenburg ob der Tauber's must-see attractions and a great place to shop for a unique souvenir while snacking on roasted chestnuts.

The Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Village , however, is open all year-round - so arrive in November or January and you can still enjoy the magic of the holidays as you walk around for photo opportunities next to a 16-foot-tall Christmas tree or the 12-foot-tall Nutcracker.

The German Christmas Museum , in the heart of town, is a great place to see 19th-century Christmas tree decorations and learn more about old holiday traditions.

To see the town's rooftops covered in snow, head over to the City Tower or walk the cobblestone streets of the Old Town square. The views are incredible either way.

Cabin in the Black Forest near Baiersbronn

Located in the heart of the Black Forest , Baiersbronn is a medieval municipality with much to offer in winter.

Chilly, snowy nights are perfect for cozying up to a fire and enjoying a hearty warm meal. And Baiersbronn might just be the perfect place for it, since it's home to eight Michelin-starred restaurants .

During the day, warm up by taking to the trails — there are over 500 kilometers of them around the city. Once the snow gets too deep, many of them transform into snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails. There are several ski lifts around the area, and children will love sledding on the many local slopes.

In town, the Markplatz (central town square) offers opportunities to shop, admire the old architecture, and explore traditional Christmas Markets. Or you can head out into the countryside to the ruins of the Allerheiligen monastery.

Historic city center of Trier

Trier is perhaps best known for its Roman past and for being the birthplace of Karl Marx. But Trier, founded in 16 BCE, is also Germany's oldest city . This means the beautiful architecture of half-timbered houses mixes with Roman ruins like the Porta Nigra Roman city gate and the Trier Amphitheater.

Trier is a very walkable city and everything you want to see is within walking distance, so put on a heavy coat and warm shoes and go out to explore.

December is Trier's most snowy month, which works perfectly when it comes to chances of having a white Christmas. Snow or not, Tier's Christmas market (set against the backdrop of Trier Cathedral) is a must-see. Don't forget to pick up some hot chocolate while exploring the market — it's usually served in a collector mug (meaning, you can take it home) featuring the town name on it.

Christmas concerts are often held at the Roman-era Aula Palatina, or you can spend some cold afternoons visiting Trier's museums and historical sights .

St. Bartholomew Church on Konigssee Lake, Berchtesgaden National Park

Located in the Bavarian Alps on the border with Austria, Berchtesgadener National Park is a treat to visit any time of the year. But come wintertime — as the park's lakes freeze over and the snow-covered forests start to welcome snowshoers — there's a special magic that takes over.

Königssee lake is often considered Germany's most beautiful Alpine lake. It often freezes over in winter, covered by a haunted layer of mist in the mornings. If you arrive in early winter or as spring approaches, you'll be able to take a boat across it to reach the ice chapel (Eiskapelle) and catch sight of the Baroque St. Bartholomä church. If the boat isn't running, you can hike to the ice chapel — just be prepared for the six-kilometer-long round trip.

During very cold winters, you might be able to ice-skate on the lake.

Winter walks are still possible in the park if there's no heavy snow — otherwise, bring your snowshoes or your cross-country skies.

The nearby village of Berchtesgaden offers accommodation if you want to stick around and explore for more than one day.

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Top 12 Enchanting German Destinations You Can’t Miss This Winter⛄

When the winter winds sweep through the cities and landscapes of Germany, they bring with them an air of magical charm unique to this season. From Christmas season joy to the stillness of the low season in Germany’s beautiful towns and cities, this article uncovers the essence of winter joy across Germany’s best locales, perfect for your winter getaway.

I curated this list not just from popular travel guides but from personal, snow-trodden experiences. Each destination has been visited, its winter pulse felt, and its frosty beauty embraced.

Best Places To Visit In Germany In Winter

From festive markets that twinkle under the starry night to the hushed, snow-blanketed forests that seem straight out of a fairy tale, Germany in winter is a tapestry of experiences. This list navigates through historic cities and quaint towns, each offering its own winter narrative — from sizzling sausages on open-air grills to the silence of ancient castles shrouded in snow.

Love Germany?  Click here to download your free guide to ALL of Germany’s Amazing UNESCO sites . See all 52 of them!

Best Places To Visit In Germany In Winter

Neuschwanstein castle – a fairy tale in snow.

Neuschwanstein Castle in winter

Neuschwanstein Castle in winter is a scene plucked straight from a fairytale. The fresh, powdery snow drapes over its towers and turrets, enhancing its magical appeal that no postcard could do justice. Imagine the crisp air and the hushed silence of the surrounding forest, with the castle standing proud amidst a blanket of white – it’s a must-see.

I recall the first glimpse of the castle, shrouded in mist, against a backdrop of stark winter blue. The towers reach towards the sky as though they’re touching the clouds. It’s captivating not just for its beauty but also for the history it harbors. The vision of King Ludwig II, this nineteenth-century palace invites you to step back into a time where its halls were filled with royal intrigue.

The castle’s interior with its grand rooms is just as impressive, offering a warm respite from the nippy Bavarian air. Don’t miss the chance to see the Singer’s Hall, decked in its majestic winter glory.

The peaceful quietude that comes with the season makes the visit genuinely introspective. You’ll share my sense of awe as each snowflake adds to the enchantment, making Neuschwanstein Castle a wondrous winter escape.

Click here to read our guide to Neuschwanstein Castle.

Berlin – A Winter Wonderland

Berlin at Christmas

Berlin in winter is a spectacle to behold, a blend of history and contemporary cheer. As you wander the streets dusted with snow, the city’s iconic landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Cathedral gain an ethereal quality, almost whispering tales from the past in the crisp winter air.

What makes Berlin truly special during this season are its Christmas markets, the most famous being the Gendarmenmarkt. You’ll feel the warmth from the glowing lights, the scent of mulled wine, and the sound of carolers cutting through the chilly air, creating a festive tapestry that’s uniquely Berlin.

From personal experience, I can tell you that the city transforms into a wondrous stage for winter activities. The vast Tiergarten becomes a place for serene winter walks, and if you’re lucky, a white blanket of snow makes it even more magical. Not just around Christmas, but throughout the season,

Berlin hosts a variety of events, from New Year’s celebrations to world-class exhibitions. There’s also the pleasure of warming up with a traditional German meal at a local restaurant after a day out in the frosty splendor. Or head to Potsdamer Platz as it turns into a family-friendly winter playground, sporting a vast ice rink.

Winter may be cold here, but the Berlin experience is anything but. So, bundle up and prepare for a journey through a city where history and the present meet amidst a wonderland of wintry charm.

Click here to read our guide to Berlin.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber – A Christmas Dream

Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber Christmas Market

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a winter wonderland with its snow-dusted, half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets. The town seems lifted from a fairy tale, especially under a soft blanket of snow. Its well-preserved medieval architecture, encompassing the town wall and its towers, becomes all the more enchanting during the colder months.

What truly makes Rothenburg captivating in winter is the Reiterlesmarkt, its Christmas market that dates back to the 15th century. The market is smaller than some others, giving it an intimate feel. You’ll feel the warmth of holiday spirit amidst the chilly air, savoring Glühwein and the town’s famed schneeballen pastries.

Walking through this walled city on a crisp winter day, I’m always reminded of my first visit here as a child, the air filled with the aroma of roasting chestnuts and the sound of church bells. The shop windows glow with festive decorations, inviting you to peer inside or enter.

Even beyond Yuletide, Rothenburg in winter remains quietly majestic. Occasionally, a light snowfall in the evening transforms the town into a serene, untouched landscape, as if time itself has paused, allowing for a moment of peaceful reflection.

Click here to read more about visiting Rothenburg.

Dresden – Baroque Beauty in the Frost

best german cities to visit in february

Dresden transforms into a winter wonderland, making it a must-visit destination in Germany during the colder months. Its baroque architecture, dusted with snow, offers a picturesque backdrop perfect for those keen on photography or seeking a romantic stroll. The view of the Frauenkirche and the Dresden Castle against a snowy canvas is simply breathtaking.

The city’s history infuses every corner, especially in the Altstadt, where historic buildings like Zwinger Palace stand more majestic in the winter light. For a fun experience, head to the inner courtyard at Palais Taschenberg (pictured above) which transforms into an ice skating rink from around late November to late January.

Beyond the history, Dresden’s Christmas markets are renowned; the Striezelmarkt, one of the oldest in Germany, is a personal highlight with its festive atmosphere and traditional crafts. But Dresden’s charm extends past Christmas; for instance, the Winterlichter at the Dresden Zoo is a shimmering spectacle that lights up the night with brilliant displays.

The crisp air during winter enriches the cultural experiences inside museums and historical sites, providing a comfortable escape from the chill outside. Enjoying a Glühwein while watching the Elbe River gently flow by, wrapped in the city’s wintry embrace, is truly a special experience. And don’t forget to head to the Semperoper Opera House for the ballet or opera.

Click here to read more about visiting Dresden.

Munich – Bavarian Traditions in the Cold

Munich in winter

Munich in winter is a canvas of Bavarian charm brushed with snowflakes and vibrant festivities. While known for its Oktoberfest, Munich’s winter magic is equally compelling. As you wander through the city, the gothic spires of the Frauenkirche dusted in snow tell a silent tale of centuries past.

The heart of Munich beats strong at Marienplatz, where the Christmas market glows with warmth. Imagine sipping Glühwein under the twinkling lights, the air rich with the aroma of roasted chestnuts. Beyond the festive allure, Munich’s museums offer a cozy retreat. The Deutsches Museum and the Pinakothek galleries provide cultural warmth on chilly days.

Don’t forget the English Garden. Even in winter, it provides serene walks beside frozen streams — a different kind of quiet beauty exclusive to the season. And if you dare, join the surfers at the Eisbach river’s edge for a thrilling spectacle of resilience against the cold.

Click here to read our guide to Munich.

Hamburg – Maritime Magic in the Winter

Hamburg

In winter, Hamburg transforms into a picturesque postcard scene, with the potential for delicate snowflakes to give the city’s already beautiful architecture a charming dusting. What sets Hamburg apart in the chill is not just its well-known landmarks, like the awe-inspiring Elbphilharmonie or the historic Speicherstadt, but the way the city comes to life even in the cold.

You’ll feel the warmth of the city when you visit one of its many Christmas markets. The scent of roasted almonds and mulled wine is inviting, as handcrafted gifts and glowing lights adorn the stalls. It’s not all about Christmas, though. Winter in Hamburg also offers unique events like the Winter DOM fair – a festival full of rides, shows, and gastronomic delights that brightens the darker days.

Visiting the frost-covered Alster Lake is a must, as the serene water juxtaposed with the snowy banks creates a tranquil atmosphere quite unlike any other season. Here, the cold months offer a new perspective on the city’s charm. Each return feels like uncovering a new layer of Hamburg’s allure, where the wintry weather embellishes its maritime spirit.

I spent my university years in Hamburg and it really is special in the winter.

Click here to read our guide to visiting Hamburg.

Heidelberg – Romanticism Amidst the Snowflakes

Heidelberg in winter

Heidelberg in winter is a scene pulled straight from a fairy tale. Cloaked in snow, the baroque architecture and medieval castle ruins gain an ethereal allure. Imagine walking through the Altstadt, the historical heart of the city, as quaint shops and cozy cafés beckon with the warm glow of their lights.

The city’s storied past, embodied by the Heidelberg Castle perched on the hillside, becomes even more mystical with a frosty touch. The view from the castle, overlooking the snow-dusted rooftops and the Neckar River, is a memory you’ll cherish. There’s an undeniable romance to the winter air here, especially when you catch the scent of roasted chestnuts from the local market.

Heidelberg’s Christmas markets are, of course, a delight, but the intrigue doesn’t fade with the holiday season. January and February bring the Ball der Vampire, a unique and charming event not to be missed. And the snow-covered Philosophenweg, with its stunning vistas, offers a tranquil respite from the city’s festive hustle.

As someone who’s experienced Heidelberg’s winter magic firsthand, every visit confirms why it’s a must-see destination. The contrast of snow against the city’s historic red rooftops always leaves an indelible imprint on my traveler’s heart.

Click here to read more about visiting Heidelberg.

Cologne – Gothic Grandeur in the Cold

Cologne at Christmas

Cologne in winter is a spectacle of cultural richness and festive charm. The city, steeped in history with its iconic Cathedral, the Kölner Dom, takes on a storybook quality as the spires potentially catch a delicate dusting of snow. Against the crisp air, the Gothic architecture stands as a stark reminder of the city’s resilience through the ages.

Walking through Cologne’s historic streets in December, the scents of mulled wine and roasted almonds fill the air. The Christmas markets here are not just shopping venues but a celebration of German traditions.

Beyond seasonal festivities, Cologne’s museums and art galleries, like the Ludwig Museum, showcase a treasure trove of art even more appealing when seeking respite from the cold. And there’s something magical about viewing the Rhine river, its banks frosted, from the Hohenzollern Bridge.

Having experienced Cologne in every season, the transformation in winter is remarkable. The city wraps you in its history and festive spirit, offering a unique blend of enchantment and heritage that stays with you long after your visit. So if you’re looking for a winter destination, Cologne stands out with its warm embrace of culture and festivity.

Click here to read more about visiting Cologne.

Nuremberg – Medieval Majesty in Winter

Nuremberg Christmas Market

As winter cloaks Germany, Nuremberg transforms into a wonderland that effortlessly blends the festive with the historical. Veiled in snow, the city’s iconic Kaiserburg Castle becomes even more enchanting, offering a glimpse into the region’s imperial past amidst a picturesque winter setting.

Nuremberg’s illustrious history is palpable as you stroll through its cobblestone streets. But Nuremberg in winter isn’t just a historical exhibit; it’s alive with warmth and vibrancy, particularly during its world-famous Christkindlesmarkt.

The Christmas market here isn’t just a local festivity; it’s an experience that draws visitors from across the globe. You’ll discover unique crafts and taste traditional gingerbread, known as Lebkuchen, which to me, always tastes like the holidays. Beyond Christmas, the city still resonates with charm. From enjoying the hearty local cuisine in a cozy tavern to exploring museums rich in art and culture, there are countless ways to savor Nuremberg’s offerings.

Whether you’re gazing at the snowflakes adorning the half-timbered houses or sipping mulled wine under the market’s twinkling lights, Nuremberg’s winter magic is unforgettable. It’s not just a place I visit; it’s a destination I anticipate all year for its unique blend of history, celebration, and scenic winter beauty.

Click here to read more about visiting Nuremberg.

Frankfurt – Urban Jungle Dressed in White

Frankfurt Christmas Market

Frankfurt in winter transforms into a dichotomy of bustling modernity and historical charm that promises an unforgettable experience. As you wander the snow-kissed streets, the contrast between the contemporary skyline and the old-world architecture becomes even more pronounced.

The city’s Christmas markets are renowned. Under the fairy-tale glow of festive lights, Römerberg and St. Paul’s Square become centers of seasonal wonder. Strolling through these markets with a hot apple cider in hand, the scent of roasted chestnuts in the air offers a slice of German holiday spirit you’ll cherish.

But Frankfurt’s allure extends beyond Christmas. The crisp winter air makes visiting the iconic Goethe House and the Frankfurt Cathedral feel like stepping into pages of history, now draped in a delicate blanket of snow – a sight to behold. The riverside views along the Main can be particularly poetic with frosty banks and reflections of the city’s lights at night.

Special winter events also offer unique experiences. For instance, the Winterlichter in Palmengarten presents the botanical garden in a cascade of colorful lights, an enchanting spectacle to witness.

I love the serene beauty of Frankfurt’s quieter moments in winter. Watching the snowfall from the Eiserner Steg bridge as the city hums softly below, or the warm glow of a traditional tavern while savoring hearty German fare – it’s these experiences that capture the winter’s essence in Frankfurt.

Click here to read more about visiting Frankfurt.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen – Winter Sports Heaven

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen in winter is a slice of alpine paradise. Nestled at the base of Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze, this town offers a stunning snow-covered escape. Walking through the streets, you can’t help but feel the deep-rooted Bavarian culture mingling with the crisp mountain air.

The town’s winter charm extends beyond its historical allure which includes the 1936 Winter Olympics legacy. Imagine, the clink of ski boots on cobblestone and the lure of the slopes calling every level of skier. For the non-skiers, there’s the elegance of snow-laden forests and trails ideal for snowshoeing or a serene winter walk.

Special events add to the wonder. Sure, the Christmas markets here are festive, but there’s more. Attend the annual New Year’s Ski Jump or partake in the season’s quieter delights, such as savoring local fare by a warm hearth.

Then there’s the pure enchantment of the winter scenery. Snow blankets the traditional Alpine architecture and the mountains create an awe-inspiring backdrop. Whether it’s your first visit or your fiftieth, the majestic allure of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in winter is always enthralling.

Freiburg – Sunshine and Snowflakes

Freiburg

Freiburg, nestled at the edge of the Black Forest, beckons travelers with its winter charm. As snow gently blankets its cobbled streets and historic buildings, the city takes on an enchanting storybook quality. This transformation is a sight to behold – the crisp air amplifying the majestic beauty of the Münster cathedral against a white canvas.

During winter, Freiburg’s Christmas markets are a pure delight. Stroll among the festively decorated stalls, the aroma of Glühwein and roasted chestnuts mingling in the air. It’s more than just shopping; it’s about feeling the pulse of the city’s warm celebrations amid the cold.

But Freiburg isn’t only about Christmas cheer. The colder months also bring quieter, more contemplative moments. Enjoy peaceful walks along the Dreisam River or around its serene quarter, Vauban. Imagine the soft crunch of snow beneath your feet as you meander through historical streets, the winter sun casting long shadows.

The city’s appeal in winter extends beyond aesthetics. Seasonal events like the magical ‘Freiburger Winterzauber’ give you a taste of local culture and festivities you won’t experience at other times.

Click here to read more about visiting Freiburg.

Germany is a great place to visit at any time of year and I hope this article gives you some ideas about what to do in Germany in winter. I hope you can visit the towns and cities above and experience it for yourself!

If you are visiting in December, make sure you also read this article about the best places to visit for Christmas. You can also read this guide about the best months to visit Germany for a better idea of what to expect in winter.

You can also read our guide to the  best Christmas Markets in Germany here and find 10 weird facts about Germany here . Looking for more information?  You can find all our planning guides here.

Related Articles:

Elsa Meyer

By Elsa Meyer

Elsa was born in Germany before moving to the US as a kid. She spent many summers exploring Germany and hanging out with her grandparents before moving back to Germany for university. Elsa has a degree in German history and language. She enjoys sharing her love of her native country with others who want to explore it too! She particularly loves exploring the Rhine Valley and the Black Forest.

I visited several of these places during my 2 tours with the USAF-’79 to ’82 and ’86 to ’90. Had my airline ticket purchased, room and car reserved to go back for 3 weeks, and the virus hit.

Oh no 🙁 I hope you can make up for it soon.

Sharon,my wife and I have been to Germany many times. So many times in fact that we now have friends in Cochem and Rothenburg. We have been to towns and cities from Trier to Koblens to Rudeshiem. We have been to Neuschwanstein in a blizzard, found friends in Hofbrau house, and visited Checkpoint Charlie. Wurzburg and Nurnburg are fun at Christmas. Everyone should visit Dachau and the Nazi Documentation Centers in Munich and Nurnburg. Germany is our favorite counrty out of more than 30 visited.

Sounds fabulous, Charles! Germany is indeed a fabulous place to visit.

Thanks for mentioning Heidelberg! It is as magical at Christmas as you indicated– would love to experience it again! Nuremberg too–:such a beautiful city!

No problem. Germany is so magical at Christmas.

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best german cities to visit in february

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Best places to visit in germany.

Full of culture, lively locals and great beer, Germany is home to many captivating travel destinations. Whether you're looking to soak up art, architecture and history or imbibe at Oktoberfest, this country appeals to a variety of tourists. U.S. News weighed factors like sights, food, culture, accessibility and value, in addition to expert and traveler opinions, to determine the best places to visit in Germany. Vote for the destinations you love below to help shape next year's ranking.

Black Forest

Berchtesgaden, saxon switzerland national park, neuschwanstein, rüdesheim am rhein.

best german cities to visit in february

One of the best places to see Germany's natural splendor is the fairy tale-inspiring Black Forest. This section of Baden-Württemberg encompasses more than 2,000 square miles of enchanting waterfall-filled forests, rolling hills and lengthy valleys dotted with half-timbered villages. A great introduction to the Black Forest is driving along its scenic namesake highway (Schwarzwaldhochstrasse); be sure to start or end your journey in the spa town of Baden-Baden to benefit from its thermal springs. You'll also want to save time for visiting gorgeous natural wonders like the picture-perfect Triberg Waterfalls, Lake Titisee and the Feldberg, the Black Forest's highest peak.

best german cities to visit in february

Germany's capital city is akin to Paris and London in that you just can't visit the country without going. Like many large cities, Berlin offers something for everyone, from a lively nightlife scene to restorative green spaces. Those looking take in the arts can explore the impactful East Side Gallery (on the Berlin Wall) or visit the more traditional art galleries at Museum Island. Berlin also pays homage to its ominous past with powerful and humbling attractions. Must-visit historical sites include the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Berlin Wall Memorial, the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie.

best german cities to visit in february

Visitors flock to Munich every fall to take part in Oktoberfest, a two-week-long ode to Bavarian traditions featuring Germany's best beers and bratwurst. But Munich, one of the largest German cities, offers so much more than just this festival. The city is home to beautiful gardens, exquisite churches and engaging museums worth exploring. Wander around Munich's charming neighborhoods and spend some time in Marienplatz, a central square that's home to the world-famous Rathaus-Glockenspiel and hosts a popular Christmas market.

best german cities to visit in february

First-time visitors to this historic German city should make a beeline for Cologne Cathedral – this breathtaking example of Gothic architecture is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city's most popular landmark. Meanwhile, travelers with a sweet tooth should make time in their schedule for a tour of Cologne's Chocolate Museum. Other activities include relaxing on the lawn at Rheinpark, exploring Cologne's Old Town, cruising the Rhine River and taking in spectacular city views from a cable car. Visit in February or March when Cologne's annual Carnival celebration takes place, an event featuring festivities like masked balls, parades and parties.

best german cities to visit in february

For a memorable vacation in the Bavarian Alps, visit Berchtesgaden. This destination, which sits on the Austrian border, captivates visitors with its massive peaks, cascading forests, deep valleys and Alpine lakes and river that make up Berchtesgaden National Park. Start your journey driving the scenic Rossfeld Panoramastrasse road before traveling south to awe-inspiring Lake Königssee and the Eagle's Nest, a mountaintop chalet and beer garden with a dark history. If you enjoy skiing, arrive in winter when Jenner Mountain is blanketed with snow.

best german cities to visit in february

Go off the beaten track on your next getaway by heading to this Bavarian city in southeast Germany. Boasting centuries-old architecture and a prime location along the Danube River, Regensburg is known as one of Germany's oldest and best-preserved medieval cities. Most of Regensburg's top attractions can be found in the city's UNESCO-listed Old Town, including landmarks like St. Peter's Cathedral, Haidplatz Square and the Old Stone Bridge. Other sights worth visiting include St. Emmeram's Palace and Walhalla, a hall of fame honoring exemplary German-speaking figures throughout history.

best german cities to visit in february

Dresden is made for architecture enthusiasts. The city, which is located in eastern Germany near the Czech border, features remarkable facades and edifices adorned with ornate architectural details. Though you'll have your pick of stunning structures, make sure you visit the Dresden Zwinger (a Baroque-style palace) and Dresden Royal Palace (a Renaissance landmark where the Fürstenzug, the world's largest porcelain picture, resides). If you prefer modern architecture, head to Kunsthofpassage to gaze at its quirky buildings, one of which has singing drainpipes. And those visiting during festive season can't miss Striezelmarkt, one of Germany's oldest and largest Christmas markets.

best german cities to visit in february

This city in southwestern Germany is well known for housing the country's oldest university. However, its good looks and superb location along the Neckar River also make it a great destination to enjoy old-world character and a small-town ambiance. To see as much of this beautiful city as possible, take a long stroll through Heidelberg's old town and across its picturesque Old Bridge. Then, ride the funicular railway to Heidelberg Castle, and continue on to Königstuhl for impressive views. Additional must-see sights to add to your vacation itinerary include the Philosopher's Walk, Heidelberg Zoo and the Student Prison at Heidelberg University.

best german cities to visit in february

Boasting elaborate churches and palaces around every corner, Würzburg is a photographer's paradise. From the Baroque-style Würzburg Residence to the Romanesque Würzburg Cathedral, there are countless buildings worth exploring. Not only can travelers enjoy beautiful architecture, they can expect manicured gardens and parks, such as Ringpark and the University of Würzburg's Botanical Garden, along with numerous vineyards and estates offering wine tastings (Würzburg is located in Germany's Franken wine region). When you're not sipping on delicious vino, consider snapping a photo of Würzburg's iconic Old Main Bridge.

best german cities to visit in february

Home to Germany's largest cruise port, the Elbe river and numerous canals flowing through the city center, Hamburg is a great place to explore by boat. But for those on foot, many top attractions are clustered in the heart of the city, including the Alter Elbtunnel and Planten un Blomen park. Speicherstadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site worth visiting, offers Miniatur Wunderland, the world's largest model railway system that enraptures visitors of all ages. Plus, Hamburg is a haven for music lovers with its impressive Elbphilharmonie complex, which features two concert halls and a plaza with sweeping city views.

best german cities to visit in february

Saxon Switzerland National Park stands out for its collection of unique rock formations. You'll find sandstone structures, which come in various shapes and sizes, scattered throughout the park, along with scenic gorges and the winding Elbe river. Saxon Switzerland's most popular attraction is undoubtedly the Bastei Bridge, which is surrounded by stately formations and provides incredible views of the area. Other fascinating spots worth visiting include Painters' Way (the Malerweg trail), the Elbe Cycle Route and Felsenbühne Rathen, an open-air theater built into the park's rocks.

best german cities to visit in february

Leipzig offers an array of attractions and activities (think: various museums, an impressive zoo and top-notch nightlife venues) to satisfy both residents and visitors. Prioritize visits to the Monument to the Battle of the Nations, which celebrates Napoleon Bonaparte's defeat and retreat from the city, and the unique Panometer, a converted gasometer-turned-gallery that features 360-degree art installations. If you're a music lover, also save time for exploring the Leipzig Music Trail and seeing St. Thomas Church, which houses Johann Sebastian Bach's remains.

best german cities to visit in february

Though Neuschwanstein Castle was never meant for visitors, it has become one of Germany's most popular tourist attractions. King Ludwig II commissioned the castle as a place of refuge from public life. Today, more than 1 million people stroll through the property every year. The castle's Romanesque Revival-style is certainly romantic; in fact, it inspired Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. But what elevates this castle to bucket list status is its unbelievable setting, perched in the Bavarian Alps. From the castle, travelers can get an eyeful of the surrounding mountains, Alpine lakes and striking foliage (especially during fall).

best german cities to visit in february

Frankfurt is best known as the financial capital of the eurozone thanks to it housing the European Central Bank, but don't assume the city is nothing more than a concrete jungle. Frankfurt doubles as a tourist-friendly destination with all kinds of attractions. Here, you'll find the Frankfurt Museum Embankment, a riverside perimeter that comprises dozens of museums, including the popular Städel Museum. Other noteworthy sights include the city's colorful old town, the Main Tower observation deck and the Palmengarten, a beautiful botanical garden.

best german cities to visit in february

Head to this small medieval city in northern Bavaria to feel as if you've stepped back in time. Bamberg is famous for housing notable Enlightenment-era writers and philosophers like E.T.A. Hoffmann and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Plus, Bamberg boasts a gorgeous location along the Regnitz river and a collection of exquisite architectural beauties, including the Romanesque and Gothic Bamberg Cathedral and the Old Town Hall. But no visit would be complete without seeing the dreamy rose garden at the New Residence palace.

best german cities to visit in february

Primarily known for its winemaking capabilities, Rüdesheim am Rhein is a small village located at the base of the Taunus Mountains in Germany's Upper Middle Rhine Valley. While you'll surely want to spend the majority of your time here sampling Rüdesheim am Rhein's famous riesling, you should save time for other activities as well. The restaurant- and market-lined Drosselgasse alley is a perfect place to hear live music, and you'd be remiss to skip the one-of-a-kind Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet during your trip. Another worthwhile activity is a castle cruise along the Rhine River.

best german cities to visit in february

The second-largest city in Bavaria, Nuremberg is a must-visit destination due to its well-preserved history (both medieval and more recent). The city's darker World War II connections are on display at the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds and the Memorium Nuremberg Trials museum. Go further back in time with a visit to the vast, all-encompassing Germanisches Nationalmuseum, which includes artwork from prehistoric times to today. Then, wind your way through old town's endearing streets, where you'll find half-timbered houses, a 14th-century fountain and the imposing Imperial Castle, which dates back to the days of the Roman Empire.

best german cities to visit in february

Located roughly 20 miles southwest of bustling Berlin, Potsdam makes for a perfect day trip. The city offers a quieter, more serene atmosphere complete with parks and eye-catching historical landmarks. The city's most popular attraction, Sanssouci Palace, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site so breathtaking that it is often compared to Versailles. The palace's name means "without a care," so plan on spending unhurried hours there taking in its splendor and the surrounding grounds. You'll also want to save time for visiting the Museum Barberini and strolling through the charming Dutch Quarter.

best german cities to visit in february

Sitting on the banks of the Rhine River about 80 miles northwest of Frankfurt, Koblenz is overlooked by the hilltop Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. This idyllic setting is an added bonus to the city's strong cultural offerings, which range from institutions like the DB Museum Koblenz and the Ludwig Museum Koblenz to sights like the German Corner. You should also make time for a ride on the Koblenz Cable Car, which offers panoramic views of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Plus, with access to both the Rhine and Moselle rivers, Koblenz is an excellent destination for a river cruise (many routes take travelers past vineyards, castles and more).

best german cities to visit in february

Upon first glance, Lübeck might look like any other mid-size German city. However, this northern destination with Nordic beauty holds plenty of historical significance, so much so that UNESCO designated it a World Heritage Site. Between the 12th and 16th centuries, Lübeck was considered one of Europe's most important trading ports. The city still remains a hub for maritime commerce with its location on the Baltic Sea. After learning more about Lübeck's maritime roots at the European Hansemuseum, travelers can check out the stately Holsten Gate in the city's charming old town or explore its many waterways during a boat tour.

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best german cities to visit in february

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Germany in Winter – 18 Most Beautiful Cities & Places to Visit

Eltz Castle - Mosel Valley - Best winter destinations in Germany

Germany in winter is a magical icy wonderland with cities coated in snow and mountain ranges just begging to be explored. The rugged natural landscapes that in summer are perfect for hiking, are transformed into picture-perfect icescapes and an adrenaline junkie’s dream.

While Germany’s cities such as Berlin and Cologne are great to visit all year round, some of the best places to visit in Germany in winter are arguably up in the Alps and across Bavaria. Garmisch Partenkirchen, Goslar and the Harz Mountains all feature snow and blue skies making them perfect for skiing, snowboarding and ice-skating.

Baden-Baden and Baiersbronn in the Black Forest are also beautiful in winter, with their quaint houses and church steeples being dusted with a coating of snow.

Another highlight of Germany in winter is, of course, the Christmas Markets that grace the streets of towns and cities across the country from October to January. These traditional markets were the original place to stock up on handmade Christmas gifts and to drinking steaming cups of warm glugwein!

While Christmas Markets have now taken off in countries all across Europe, Germany’s markets will always be the original and the best!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that should you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission.

Table of Contents

#1 Nuremberg

Where to go in Germany in winter - Nuremberg

Contributed by Jenny of TraveLynn Family

#2 Baden Baden

Baden Baden - Where to go in Germany in winter

#3 Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber - Where to go in Germany in winter=

Contributed by Carolyn of Holidays to Europe

For a great winter getaway in Germany, why not visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber ?  This fairytale town is one of the most photographed in Germany and it is even prettier in winter when it is blanketed in snow.

One of the main attractions in Rothenburg during winter is Reiterlesmarkt , the town’s Christmas market which dates back to the 15 th century.  Held in the main square, this is where locals and visitors gather to chat, enjoy traditional Christmas specialties like mulled wine and roasted chestnuts, and browse the market stalls.

The Christmas market is held from 29 November until 23 December but if you can’t visit Rothenburg during this time, don’t despair.  There are plenty of other things to enjoy during your winter visit. One must-do is a visit to the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Village and German Christmas Museum.

This is the perfect place to purchase a unique souvenir to remind you of Rothenburg and to add to your Christmas ornament collection.

A great way to learn more about the history of Rothenburg ob der Tauber whilst being entertained at the same time is by joining the Nightwatchman’s tour.  Each evening (mid-March to early January), the Nightwatchman conducts a one-hour walking tour of the tour.

For great views of the town, its fortified walls and the surrounding Tauber Valley, climb the 220 steps up the City Tower, and make sure time to visit St. Jacob’s Cathedral to see its impressive wooden altar. Before you leave town, be sure to head to Plonlein.

This small square near the Kobolzeller Gate is Rothenburg’s most famous site and, with snow dusting the rooftops, it makes a charming winter scene.

#4 Mosel Valley

Contributed by Paulina of Paulina on the Road

The Mosel Valley is one of the prettiest destinations in Germany especially in winter. Not only will there by plenty of Christmas Markets, but the snow covered hills, the castles and vineyards will be a great place to explore.

#5 Franconia Switzerland

Franconia Switzerland - Best places to visit in Germany in winter

Contributed by Lena of Lena on the move

The region of Franconia Switzerland in northern Bavaria is a favorite among both locals and tourists all year round. While most people love activities like rock climbing, hiking or exploring caves in summer, this region has a lot to offer in winter as well.

Outdoor lovers can enjoy winter hiking on well-groomed trails and may even go on one of the famous beer trails leading from one brewery to the next. Culture enthusiasts and photographers alike will love spending time in either some of the charming villages in Franconia Switzerland or the UNESCO city of Bamberg.

Bamberg is part of the Franconian Switzerland region and probably one of the most romantic towns in Bavaria. With its medieval Old Town, traditional breweries and gorgeous river branches surrounded by public parks and forests, Bamberg is the perfect getaway destination.

Especially in winter, the snowy cobbled alleys and white snow-coated roofs of the century-old buildings will make for an excellent photo destination.

After a bit of sightseeing, you can warm up with some hot chocolate or coffee in one of the cozy cafés, followed by a few pints of Franconian beer in one of Bamberg’s nine unique breweries right in the city center.

By the way, if you come during December, a traditional Christmas market with various stands of hot punch, ginger bread and Christmas gifts takes over Maxplatz (Max Square) in the heart of the Old Town and will make your winter getaway in Bamberg unforgettable.

#6 Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe - Best winter destinations in Germany

Contributed by Shandos of Travelnuity

The Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe on the outskirts of Kassel is one of the most amazing parks in  Germany , inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. A mixture of baroque and English garden landscaping, the park is constructed on a steep hillside meaning that a series of water cascades and fountains are included in its design.

During summertime, the cascades are switched on for shows twice a week. But after visiting both in the middle of summer and early winter, I must admit the park has a certain charm during wintertime that isn’t apparent when you are visiting as part of the crowds during summer.

Ideally visit in winter when snow has already fallen, lending a magical atmosphere to the park. And thanks to its higher elevation there is likely to be a dusting of snow in the park even when down below in Kassel the streets are snow-free.

Highlights include the artificial ruins of the Roman aqueduct and the Teufelsbrücke (Devil’s Bridge), especially when they are encrusted with icicles. Just be careful if you plan to walk up the stairs of the giant cascades, which can be icy.

Don’t miss stopping at the biergarten of the Kaskadenwirtschaft Grischäfer near the bottom of the giant cascades, if it is open. During the lead up to Christmas naturally it offers warming mugs of glühwein.

#7 Tübingen

Tübingen -Best places to visit in Germany in winter

Contributed by Kristin of Be My Travel Muse

One of my favorite things to do in Germany in the winter is visiting the Christmas markets. Out of all of the  German Christmas markets  I’ve been, Tübingen Market is one of my favorites. Brace yourselves and don your stretchiest pair of pants because this Christmas market is all about chocolate!

Expect to find chocolate in every form imaginable – hot chocolate, spicy chocolate, vegan chocolate (yay!), chocolate cake, chocolate spread, chocolate covered fruit, and chocolate booze. If you can imagine it, you can find it there.

This is a popular Christmas market that begins the week leading into the second weekend of December. To get there, you can take the train to Tübingen Hbf, and walk about 10 minutes across the bridge to your left.

Entrance is free, and I highly recommend getting there early and staying until the lights come on at night in the town square, projecting designs onto each of the adorable buildings. I adore this little town at any time of year but at Christmas, it really comes alive.

#8 Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Best places to visit in Germany in winter

Contributed by Elisa of France Bucket List

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a fantastic winter getaway in  Germany  for nature lovers. Located at 94 km from Munich (1.5 hours by train), one of the main hubs in  Germany , Garmisch- Partenkirchen is very easy to reach from many  German  cities but also  people visiting France  can travel to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for a weekend getaway thanks to the fast TGV connection Paris – Munich.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen was originally two small towns in the Bavarian Alps, Garmisch, and Partenkirchen, which were united in 1935 for the Olympic Games following the wishes of Hitler.

The result is two cute historical centers, each one with a different character. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is one of the best places for skiing in  Germany , and its fancy ski station, not far from the town center, has ski slopes for all levels.

Non-skiers can enjoy beautiful hikes, also in the winter, and admire the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in  Germany . The Zugspitze is very easy to reach from Garmisch-Partenkirchen thanks to the centenary Zahnradbahn (cable railway), a special train designed to climb big slopes.

At sunset, when the ski area is closed, it is possible to enjoy the last hours of the town’s spa, with indoor pools (also a waves pool!), sauna and different body treatments. Finally, visitors will be happy to have a stroll downtown with a colorful architecture, and cute cafes and bars perfect for a hot chocolate or a gluhwein.

#9 Konstanz

Konstanz - Best winter destinations in Germany

Contributed by Wendy of the Nomadic Vegan

#10 Cologne

Cologne -German cities to visit in winter

Contributed by Sabrina of Moon & Honey Travel 

#11 Goslar and Harz Mountains

Goslar -German cities to visit in winter

Contributed by Vicki of Vicki Viaja

Neuwachstein castle - Best places to visit in Germany in winter

If you’re looking for a winter getaway in Germany that’s magical, peaceful and beautiful, then Fussen should be on top of your list. Fussen is located in Bavaria and is home to the stunning Neuwachstein castle, which is said to have been the castle which inspired the famous Sleeping Beauty Castle of Disney.

It’s a stunning castle in which you can explore both inside and outside and learn all about King Ludwig. It’s also got another brilliant castle known as Hohenschwangau castle next to it and they’re both possible to see in one day.

But the castles aren’t the only reason to visit Fussen. The town of Fussen itself is a beautiful, quaint town, and during winter the streets are lit up with beautiful fairy lights. The roads are lined with local restaurants, and the local bakeries serve up the famous Schneeball dessert in a whole host of flavours.

There is even a random Irish bar in this little small town that plays music on certain nights. When the snow falls in Fussen, the whole place comes alive, and there is no more perfect place to stay than one of the log cabins in the area.

Winter is also the perfect time in Fussen to explore the Tegelberg ski lift. Even if you are not skiing or parasailing (another popular activity), a trip up to walk along the snow on the mountain top is worth it.

You can have snowball fights, follow the snow trails, then stop for a German beer (or coffee) at the restaurant on top with stunning panoramic views on offer. Fussen is truly one of the best places to visit in Germany for a winter getaway and you’ll find yourself wanting to return.

Berlin - German cities to visit in winter

Contributed by Stephanie Craig of History Fangirl

Berlin is a fabulous winter destination because so many of the great things to do are indoors or winter themed. Obviously, the Berlin Christmas markets are famous and make the city a great place to visit at the end of November through December. Some are even open until New Years (though not all).

Finally, in a city known for its amazing local and international cuisine, you’ll find there are fabulous restaurants all over the city where you can escape the cold and enjoy truly great dining experiences. This is true for every price point, and for almost every kind of cuisine you might desire.

#14 Winter hiking at the Hornisgrinde

Hornisgrinde - Where to go in Germany in winter

Contributed by Gloria Apara of  Nomadicchica

The Black Forest or Schwarzwälder Schinken as in German, is one of the most visited areas in Germany not only for its worldwide famous cuckoo clocks producers, but also for the delicious food and outdoor activities.

Being the region with the highest mountains, it was here where hiking was created as we know it today, when first hiking maps where published at the end of the 19th century.

This region located on the East side of the border with France and the Rhine river is one of the most beautiful places to visit during the whole year. Especially charming during winter, when the beautiful mountains with dense forests and great panoramic views turns into an enchanted white territory and as you walk around the winter decorated traditional villages making you feel you are walking into a fairytale town.

Visiting during winter is a great idea! It’s when they are less rainy days in this region, being February the driest month, what it makes it perfect to do a day trip and do a little hike in the Hornisgrinde.

The Hornisgrinde, with 1,164 m (3,820 ft) is the highest mountain in the Northern Black Forest in Germany. Parts of its plateau area are part of a 95 hectares Hornisgrinde-Biberkessel Natural Reserve since 1992, it’s the wetlands area, naturally treeless and covered by low vegetation and you find a wooden path for those wanting to do a leisure walk, and there’s also paths for more challenging mountain bike tours and intense hikes.

#15 Hamburg

Hamburg -German cities to visit in winter

contributed by Inma of A World to Travel

#16 Bamberg

Bamberg -Best places to visit in Germany in winter

Contributed by Elaine & David of  Show Them The Globe

Located in central Germany, the World Heritage town of Bamberg is a perfect option for a winter getaway. Despite being relatively small, there are many fun things to see and do in the quintessential German medieval town. Bamberg is easily explored on foot and we loved wandering through the maze of streets and alleys.

One of the best reasons for visiting Bamberg in the winter is the amazing Christmas market that is held in the Maxplatz Square in the centre of the town. With a stunning nativity scene and plentiful arts, crafts, food and drinks, Bamberg is the perfect spot to get into the holiday spirit.

Bamberg is steeped in history and the magnificent buildings date back hundreds of years with much of the town declared a UNESCO World Heritage. The most iconic building is the Old Town Hall, Altes Rathaus, which sits in the middle of the Regnitz River and has stunning baroque architecture.

The 11th Century Bamberg Cathedral is another highlight due to its medieval design and extensive art collection.  A tour of the Neue Residenz, a 17th-century palace with stunning tapestries and ornate frescoes, is a must and its marvellous Imperial Hall is wonderful to see.

Bamberg is famous for its beer and has the highest concentration of breweries of any town in the world! Our favourite was the tavern Klosterbräu which serves its own brews together with several of Bamberg’s best-known beers.

Bremen -German cities to visit in winter

Contributed by Katie of  Two Wandering Soles

Located just an hour and a half from Hamburg by train, Bremen is a great stop on a winter tour of Germany. Famous as the birthplace of the Bremen Town Musicians, a Brother’s Grimm fairytale, this charming town comes alive in the winter months.

With not one – but two – Christmas Markets in town, you’ll find no shortage of Christmas cheer. The market in the Town Square is not to be missed. Take a break and warm up with a mug of gluhwein, hot mulled wine, tasty pastries, and hearty sausages. And don’t miss the view from above from the windows of the historic town hall.

It’s not just the view over the town square that has earned this building, called the Rathaus, the honor of being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The woodcarvings and historic architecture you’ll find inside are truly impressive and well worth a look.

And if you want a different spin on Christmas Markets, head near the water where you’ll find a Medieval Christmas Market.

Stroll the narrow and charming streets of the Schnoor neighborhood and admire the centuries-old houses dusted with snow. When your fingers and toes start to get cold, step inside one of the many quaint cafes and warm up with some local fare or a pot of tea. Teestuebchen im Schnoor is a good choice for a cozy atmosphere and a good selection of hot drinks and baked goods.

#18 Baiersbronn

Baiersbronn- Best winter destinations in Germany

Contributed by Yulia of That’s what she had

A little town of Baiersbronn is an amazing destination all year round, but winter makes this place truly special. The town is located in the northern part of the Black Forrest, in between hills, surrounded by grand trees. In winter, when trees are covered in snow, the village looks straight out of a brothers Grimm’s fairy tale.

Visiting Baiersbronn in winter means you can indulge in activities like cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, tobogganing, and hiking. The region features 550 kilometers of hiking trails. While some of them might be closed off due to the amount of snow, you are still bound to hike for hours and hours on end before you’ll have to turn around.

After hours of hiking and skiing, visit one of the spa resorts near Baiersbronn that feature steam rooms, massage, and relaxation therapies. Take it from a Russian girl, there’s nothing better than a steam room followed by a cup of hot herbal tea when it’s cold outside.

On top of all that, Baiersbronn is a great destination for food lovers. A town of only 15 000 people boasts three restaurants with Michelin stars (eight stars in total!). Torsten Michel, Claus-Peter Lumpp, and Jörg Sackmann, the Michelin-starred chefs, are well-known far beyond Baiesbronn and Bavaria. If a day of hiking, spa, and Michelin-starred meals doesn’t make you excited about winter, I don’t know what will!

These destinations are just a selection of the best places to visit in Germany in winter and your choice will depend on whether you want to hit the slopes or to enjoy the cozy comforts of the Christmas Markets. Even when not covered in snow, Germany’s towns are peaceful and picturesque in winter, with crisp, clear days making for ideal photographic conditions.

The cold temperatures of Germany in winter shouldn’t put you off though as the Germans certainly know how to help you warm up, with mulled wine and hearty stews being the order of the day.

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Germany in February: A Complete Guide!

Gushy winds, cold breeze and unpredictable rains, this is Germany in February. While most of them refrain from planning a trip during February, this land of ideas has more to offer. With no second thoughts, dive deep to unravel the secret to an unforgettable holiday. Want to fill your social media handle with amazing pictures? The snow-filled mountain caps and wilting leaves are just perfect for an ambient photographic background. Do not forget to take your kids along. They are simply going to love it!!

However, solo trips are also nothing lesser. Enjoying one’s own company portrays self-love and provides a great escape from the chaotic world.

Weather in Germany – February

February is one of the coldest months in Germany. The temperatures range from -1°C to 2°C. Sudden showers are also expected to occur during the day. Weather in Frankfurt, Germany in February remains around 4°C to 7°C. With such low temperatures, is it even possible to have a fruitful holiday experience? Yes!! It definitely is. Put on your jackets and get ready folks. Let’s start the raid!

  • Maximum Temperature: 4°C
  • Minimum Temperature: -1°C
  • The dark month with an average of 72 hours of sunshine
  • Sudden rainfall possible

Rain showers in Germany in February

What to pack for Germany in February

As said before, February in Germany can be too cold. Carry thicker clothing to make you feel warm and vibe along.

  • Thermal Garments

It’s the ideal time to flaunt your wardrobe and accessories. Fancy hats, stylish coolers, boots and what not? Get them all here and look fab!

Also read: 10 Most Romantic Cities in Germany For a mesmerising Vacation

Places to visit in Germany in February

  • The Bavarian Alps
  • Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Pergamon Museum
  • Phantasia Land

Also read: Why you should experience Sky Diving in Germany

1. The Bavarian Alps

Located in South Germany, Bavarian Alps is the right pick for a top-notch skiing experience. Wear your ski boots and you are all set for a swish through the snow. These ranges in Germany witness early sunsets around 5:15 PM in February. Among several skiing areas, Zugspitz and Garmisch Classic are the popular ones and are known to offer a wide choice of winter sports. Worried if skiing is the right choice for you? Got you! It is made sure that right from beginners to professionals have a momentous skiing experience.

  • Operating time: 08:30 AM to 4:45 PM

Germany in February

2. Neuschwanstein Castle

Yes, dreamy castles like those in fantasies do exist! A 30-minute tour inside the Neuschwanstein castle is nothing less than a jaw-dropping experience. The dome of the castle topped with snow is a sight to vouch for. One of the easiest ways to reach Neuschwanstein is a 2-hour drive by road from Munich.

  • Entry fee – 13 euros (adults)
  • Better to book slots in advance

Also read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Germany – The Land of Castles And History

Neuschwanstein castle, Germany

3. Pergamon Museum

The Pergamon museum is home to a variety of Babylonian art. Some of the famous art pieces of this museum include Stattuete of a Praying man from Assur and Ishtar Gate of Babylon. Children below the age of 18 need not pay an entry fee while adults are charged 12 euros.

  • Timings: 10 AM to 6 PM (Tuesday – Sunday)
  • Holiday on Monday

Germany in February

4. Phantasia Land

How about hopping into a theme park for some amazing rides? Phantasia Land has got the best attraction for you and your fam. Some of the famous ones include the Black Mamba and a visit to the mystery castle. Restaurants inside the premises offer all kinds of cuisines to satisfy the foodie in you. Have a splash into the water rides and make your February, the perfect Phantasia holiday!

  • City: Bruhl, Germany
  • Ticket price: 47 euros to 57 euros, free for children aged below 4

phantasia land

Events in Germany in February

Did you know that February is the month for various carnivals (known as Karneval/Fasching in Germany) and film festivals? The vibrant arena and cheerful crowd on the streets are something you should never miss.

1. Cologne Carnival

Traditionally known as the period of merry-making, the Cologne Carnival is held during the second and third weeks of February. One could have an alluring sight of the sumptuous parade on the streets and this is one of the biggest festivals in the country.

Also read: 8 Best Things to Do in Cologne, Germany For a Spectacular Vacation

Cologne Carnival Germany

2. International Film Festival, Berlin

The International Film Festival is hosted every February in Germany. This is an attempt to encourage both successful and budding individuals from the film industry. A royal vibe is brought into the sets of the festival with awards being announced for every category of filmmaking. Having completed 73 successful years as of 2024, this film festival (74th year) is expected to reach great heights and recognize talents from multiple facets.

Film Festival

Frequently Asked Questions about Germany in February

February is the coldest month in Germany where temperatures can drop up to -1 C. However that will not affect your holiday. There are winter sporting sites and festivals to keep you entertained. It also experiences less crowding letting you explore places at budgeted prices.

Skiing and hoarding are available for both novices and professionals in various areas. A cable car is a go-to ride option to witness a mesmerizing high-altitude view.

February in Germany is the season for various carnivals and film festivals. So grab your snack and sit back to enjoy!

Well, as you can see February in Germany is quite awesome to explore. Comfortable clothing and perfect planning are all you need to make it a memorable holiday. Plan your trip with Pickyourtrail which presents to you a great deal of Germany tour packages to match your interests. Guess what? You can customise your Germany itinerary as per your preferences. Our ultimate Germany guide will help you arrive at conclusions based on recommendations and the popularity of destinations. With everything at the click of a button, you are now ready to rejoice in your dreamy vacay with us.

Check-Out Our Top-Selling Germany Tour Packages

Germany Honeymoon Tour packages , Germany Beach Tour Packages , Germany Family Tour Packages , Germany Budget trip packages .

Check Out Germany in Other Months

Germany in January | Germany in February | Germany in April | Germany in May | Germany in June | Germany in July | Germany in August | Germany in September | Germany in October | Germany in November | Germany in December

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Sruthi Suresh

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Best Places to Visit in Bavaria in Winter

Last Winter, I was determined to get the most out of my snow boots, so I planned a road trip aroung Bavaria in February to soak up the last of the year’s snow. Unfortunately we don’t get much snow in Berlin, so visiting Bavaria in Winter was my best chance to experience the season properly. In only a few days, it’s possible to craft a Bavaria itinerary that will show you the best of the region – from the capital city of Munich, to Germany’s highest peak, and back to one of its most picturesque lakes.

Here are a ton of things to do in Bavaria, especially during the Winter months which sees far less tourism than in the summer. Plus tips on what to pack for Germany in Winter, what to expect for the weather, and some general tips on making the most out of your trip to Bavaria!

Some links in this post are to affiliate sites. If you purchase something through them, I may earn a small comission — which costs you nothing! I am very grateful when you use my links to make a purchase.

Where to stay in Bavaria, Germany

Bavaria is a large region, and there are several interesting pockets of things to do in the region. This guide is mostly focused on the eastern part, centered in Berchtesgaden . However, the western part is also interesting, centered in Garmisch-Partenkirchen . Both towns make great bases to explore the area. It just depends on which area you are most interested to explore. If you want to stay somewhere more urban, and just do day trips, you can also base yourself in Munich . You could stay in this area for weeks and not see it all, so just pick the top spots you want to see and plan your Bavaria itinerary around that!

View from the breakfast room at our hotel Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Berchtesgaden

Tours in and around Bavaria in Winter (from Munich)

In general, I’m a big fan of doing my trips as road trips. However, if you don’t feel comfortable driving in icy conditions, it’s possible you might want to join a tour instead. Or maybe you just prefer to get some information from a guide while you travel. Both are perfectly valid reasons to opt for a tour. Here are tours for visiting many of the sights on this Bavaria itinerary.

  • Neuschwanstein Castle – Neuschwanstein is famously known as the model castle for Cinderella’s castle. It looks positively gorgeous covered in snow and is well-worth visting if you have the time.
  • Salzburg – Not technically Bavaria but right across the border in Austria, Salzburg is a beautiful and compact European city, making it perfect for a day trip. Most famous as the location where Sound of Music ’s “Do Re Mi” song was filmed.
  • Munich Walking Tour – Most people start in Munich when visiting the region, and it’s a city rich in history so definitely worth spending some time to get to know it better!
  • Berchtesgaden and Eagle's Nest – In Winter this tour doesn’t visit Eagle’s Nest, as the visibility is often not very good. Instead it goes into the salt mines, which is one of the reasons this region is so famous.
  • Zugspitze: Germany's highest peak – I’ve never been but it’s a big one on my list! You can take a cable car to the top and peer out from the top of the highest mountain Germany.
  • Königssee – In English, it means “King’s Lake”, this beautiful lake is surrounded by mountains and has a number of breathtaking hikes around it. You can take a boat ride to a church located on the opposite shore of the lake.

What to pack for Bavaria in Winter

For the most part, you just need to be ready to deal with heavy snow depending on when you are here. You only need a couple of basics to ensure you stay dry and also safe if you’ll be hiking. Most of these might be no-brainers, but better to be safe than sorry!

  • Warm winter hat – Look for a hat with thermal lining inside for true warmth.
  • Warm winter scarf – Wool or cashmere are both cozy options.
  • Warm winter coat – I’m personally addicted to Fjallraven parkas, I own two of them!
  • Thick wool socks – Tall enough to keep some of your legs warm.
  • Water-proof boots – I love my Sorel Women's Snow Boots . I fell in a river in Iceland with them and my feet stayed dry! Literally nothing is worse than having wet feet when it’s cold.
  • Crampons (spikes for your shoes) – Must-have for safe hiking in winter! I own and love dearly this pair of Snowline Pro crampons . The large size fits perfectly over my Sorel boots.

I am not joking when I say there is a lot of snow! Especially if you plan to do some hiking, prepare for that South German weather. In some places we had snow up to our knees while hiking around Königssee.

Where to go in Bavaria in Winter

Alright, enough preparation, let’s dive into the best places to visit in Bavaria, Germany during Winter. Now, all of these locations can also be visited in the Summer, and one thing to keep in mind when it comes to scenic views is that the weather can also be very cloudy. But when the skies are clear, it is totally beautiful!

Neuschwanstein Castle

Eagle’s nest, obersalzberg, deutsche alpenstrasse, ramsau church, gaststätte st bartholomä.

Let’s just get this one out of the way, now shall we? Munich is perhaps the most famous city in Germany, and as the capital of Bavaria it’s an ultra-popular place for people to visit. You’ve got all kinds of excellent things to do in Munich, ranging from seeing historical sights in town, going to a number of popular museums, eating traditional Southern German food, or visiting the biggest beer hall in the country. In general, if you like beer, you’re going to love this part of the country – it’s not uncommon to drink an entire liter of beer at a time 🍻

Munich is also quite friendly for English-speaking travelers, has a great public transit system, and is extremely safe. That said, it’s a bit on the more expensive side when it comes to accommodation. If you’re planning to stay in Munich, check out my post on Munich in Winter for a long this of things to do in Munich and specific recommendations!

View from St. Peter’s church, looking out over the Town Hall (Rathaus) and Church of Our Dear Lady (Frauenkirche).

best german cities to visit in february

Winter is a fabulous time to visit Munich, the capital of Bavaria in Germany. You'll find fluffy snow, hearty food, and a number of activites that are extra special during the Winter season.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Another popular location from which to explore Bavaria is Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a resort town in the German countryside. Unfortunately, I’ve never been to this town so I can’t provide a lot of personal information on what to do here. But I wanted to include it, and the two main sights nearby, to make this guide as complete as possible. Especially because these two sights, Neuschwanstein Castle and Zugspitze , are two of the most famous sights in all of Germany.

This is the fairytail castle’s design inspired Disney’s Cinderella , which is probably why the castle looks familiar to you. Besides being represented on screen, the castle was home to King Ludwig II of Bavaria. If you decide to go to Schloss Nymphenburg in Munich, that palace was owned by the same family, the Wittelsbach family. King Ludwig II is famous for being deposed for hereditary insanity and the mysterious conditions surrounding his death.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Germany Tourism (@germanytourism) on Dec 10, 2016 at 10:17am PST

Reaching Neuschwanstein can be done either by public transit or guided tour from Munich. From the Munich main station, it takes about 2 1/2 hours and costs roughly 56€ to reach Füsse, from which you then need to transfer to a bus which lasts about 10 minutes. Once you arrive, there is a final step to get to the castle – by foot for 40 minutes, by bus for 2.60€, or by horse-drawn carriage. You can find information about the trains on the Deutsche Bahn website and even purchase tickets. You will get a better deal the earlier you book!

If that sounds like a lot of work, you can also simply take a tour directly to Neuschwanstein . You will still need to walk for the last part, but that’s okay because the walk offers the best spots for photos of the castle!

As I’ve already mentioned, Zugspitz is famous for being the highest point in all of Germany. You can take a cable car to the top to enjoy the view over countless mountain tops. It’s possible to cross over the German-Austrian border a number of times if you fancy that. Finally, you can also grab a bite to eat at an Alpine hut at the top. While it is possible to reach Zugspitze by public transit, if you aren’t confident doing that, you can also take a guided tour to Zugspitz from Munich .

Sadly I haven’t been to Zugspitz but it’s definitely something I would prioritize in Bavaria if I didn’t live in Germany full-time 😉

Berchtesgaden

Moving on to Berchtesgaden, an excellect location from which to explore the eastern part of Bavaria. I really enjoyed my stay at Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten because it had a spacious balcony and wonderful view over the town below. I could also walk to dinner from the hotel, and there was plenty of parking available across the street.

To give you an idea, this was the view we had from our balcony! So many cute little houses, forests, and mountains. On other days the view was better but sadly I didn’t get any photos of it.

So, what is Berchtesgaden famous for? Well, as the area is so beautiful, it’s perhaps best known for being a favorite spot of Hitler. He used to pass time in the Summer here with his extended family, and even built a base called Das Kehlsteinhaus , known in English as Eagle's Nest . Read on to the next section to learn more about this spot!

If you want to try local food in the area, I can higly recommend Gasthof zur Schießstätte . What I don’t know is how good their English is, but the food was excellent and it’s a local institution. They have photos on the walls from over the many years, and people who have lives in the town for decades use this as their meeting point. The owner showed us loads of photos from earlier times when his family was growing up. My recommendation is to try the Schnitzel if you eat meat, or the Knödel if you are vegetarian (they have many choices of filling).

So, as I was saying, Berchtesgaden is famous for being on of the favorite Summer spots of Hitler. Today you can visit mountain-top base he built, called Eagle’s Nest, which now houses a restaurant with panoramic views of the area. Unfortunately, according to the official website the interior is not open during the Winter (only from mid-May to mid-October), but it’s still possible to see from the outside during the Winter. If it’s a clear day you may be rewarded with amazing views.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Germany Tourism (@germanytourism) on Jan 4, 2018 at 8:00am PST

Across the river from Berchtesgaden is Obersalzberg. Again, somewhere with majest views if you happen to visit on a clear day, but unfortunately for us, it was rather cloudy when we were driving around the area. One point of interest here is the Dokumentationszentrum Obersalzberg . The admission price is just 3€, though I would not say that you need to spend a lot of time here. Be sure to check the official website because the opening hours do change in Summer vs. Winter.

Now that we’ve explored the area directly surrounding Berchtesgaden, we can continue a bit further afield. We’re going to see some sweet, small churches as well as stopping by the Koenigssee. An interesting fact is that if you want to, you can actually travel between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Berchtesgaden entirely using the Deutsche Alpenstrasse (known in English as the “German Alpine Way”).

But in this stretch, we can use the street to simply get from Berchtesgaden to Königssee. Either take the same route back, or visit a couple of the churches the area is known for.

Even more spectacular in clear weather, Königssee’s name means “King’s Lake”. Mountains on all sides act like a crown for the silent, still water, which starts to stir only as a boat traverses its surface. If you ask me, this lake is the crown jewel of the trip with its gorgeous natural beauty.

Plus, it’s surprisingly quick to reach Koenigssee from Munich .

Photo taken from the Viewpoint at Malerwinkel

There are a lot of things to do around the lake, including taking a boat to St. Bartholomew’s guesthouse (see below), plus going on a number of hikes. When we went in the winter we tried to visit the so-called Ice Chapel but it was snowed in. Otherwise, for beautiful views (like what you see above), hike to Viewpoint at Malerwinkel on this side of the lake. Once you cross, you can also hike to Archenkanzel which is a much higher viewpoint (I have not done it, and I am not sure if it’s accessible in the Winter so best to ask around!).

Remember to buy crampons for this hike , the path can be VERY icy in winter to make it to the top!

Unfortunately, it does not seem to be possible to reach the lake by public transit. Your best option is either to rent a car, or you can take a guided tour to Königssee from Munich . If you don’t go with an organized tour and decide to drive yourself, check out the official boat tour website for information like boat timetable, price list, and a map of the area. The timetable changes in Winter vs. Summer so be sure to check it out closer to your trip for accurate information.

After taking the boat across the lake, you’ll arrive at Gaststätte St Bartholomä . It used to be a place where Roman Catholics came on a pilgrimage, and was build in the 1690’s. Nearby is a hunting lodge which now houses a restaurant, which you might be dying for after doing some hiking on this side of the lake. Walk around for tons of great photo opportunities!

Be sure that you’re also prepared with your camera when coming over the lake on your boat ride to catch a picture of St. Bartholomew’s reflecting in the lake. Arrive early for the boat ride to catch the best seats for this photo!

Leaving the Königssee area, we’re going to wrap up our trip by visiting two of the most photographed churches in the area, starting with Ramsau Church. As you enter the town, you will find parking along the river where you can place your car. However the best photos are to be taken from across the river, like you see in the picture below. If you’re lucky, you’ll also see mountains peaking out from behind the church!

You can both enter the church, and take a walk around the cemetary. You’ll see memorials for the sons of families in this town who died in the second World War.

Another popular church for photography is the Maria Gern , which is painted a pleasant shade of pink and is extremely tiny inside! Spend some time here to walk around and pick the best angle for your photo. Unfortunately some of the best photos can be taken from the middle of the street, so be careful to listen for cars when you are taking pictures.

If you happen to return in the Summer, or you’re in the mood for a winter hike, you can do a bit of hiking around here on a path known for wildflowers. It also offers a really nice view of the church as well.

General tips for Winter in Germany

Visiting Germany in Winter is not so different than visiting plenty of other places in Europe during this time. You need to be prepared for a good amount of snow, and if driving, you need to have proper snow tires and hopefully some experience driving on icy roads.

In Winter in Germany, it tends to get dark rather early (around 4:00PM), so be mindful of the time you spend at each location if you want to catch it during daylight. Generally speaking, you’re doing yourself a favor if you start your day early to make sure of the limited daylight.

On whole, the region can be a mix of cloudy or sunny. It’s certain got more sun than other parts of Germany in Winter, but you shouldn’t expect clear skies all the time. If possible, leave a bit of flexibility in your schedule so you can do the scenic places on clear days.

Where would you like to visit most in Bavaria?

Share it in the comments , I’m hoping to return in the Summer at some point to see the other side of this beautiful region of Germany!

Author

About the author

Hi there! I'm Monica, an American expat living in Germany for over six years and using every opportunity to explore the world from my homebase in Berlin. My goal is to capture my memories in photos and posts that show how easy it is to start from scratch and travel the world by working abroad.

Follow along on Instagram , Twitter , Bloglovin , & Facebook .

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Heading to Germany? Your trip is sure to take you to at least one of Germany's top 10 cities whether you are flying into Frankfurt's Airport, breathing in the sea air in Hamburg, or enjoying typical Bavarian gemütlichkeit in Munich . With a history spanning from tribal villages to Roman times to the disastrous events of World War II, Germany has emerged as a world power with much to see.

The country is easy to traverse by train, autobahn, or plane. Germany encompasses both the low-brow of beer and sausage to the high-brow of the finest minds like composers Bach and Beethoven to writers Goethe, Schiller, and brothers Grimm. That's not even mentioning its world-famous Oktoberfest or magical Christmas markets .

Our list of the best cities in Germany showcases the diversity of this eclectic country. Discover the best of German cities from the most charming altstadts (old towns) to progressive city centers.

 Taylor McIntyre / TripSavvy

Berlin is the capital and the biggest city in Germany. After being separated into East and West Germany during the Cold War, Berlin was reunited in 1990. It quickly emerged as a cosmopolitan, international city beloved for its avante-garde art, museums, architecture, history, and nightlife .

Iconic structures like the Fernsehturm (TV Tower), Reichstag (government building), and G edächtniskirche (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church ) have become symbols for the country, not just Berlin.

But despite its many attractions, it can be difficult to navigate Berlin. But if you keep an open mind and travel outside of the central neighborhood of Mitte , this is one of the coolest places in the world. From its multicultural street food to one-of-a-kind accommodations, Berlin will expand your definition of what a trip to Germany can be.

Berlin is also the host to some of the best festivals in Germany every year. Experience an array of cultures during Karneval der Kulturen , or the somewhat-tamed rebellion of Labor Day. At Christmas time, the city is at its most traditional with some of the best Christmas Markets in the country.

Munich is known in Germany as  München . It is the capital of Bavaria and gateway to the Alps. This quintessential German city is the land of lederhosen, giant schweinshaxe (ham hocks), and Oktoberfest. The people have their own proud accent, history, and traditions. Many Müncheners count themselves as Bavarian first, and German second. This is what most people think of when they think of Germany.

The city offers first-class museums and regal German architecture like Marienplatz and its famed glockenspiel, as well as the Nymphenburg Palace . Munich is fancy, but that doesn't mean the people don't know how to have fun. This is also the home of favorite locations like the English Garden .

Not to be missed is the city's world-famous beer. A beloved export, it is best enjoyed in the city; in its traditional beer halls , biergartens , or within the glorious beer tents of Oktoberfest. With more than six million visitors every year, it is just one of the beer festivals held here each year.

TripSavvy / Christopher Larson

Thanks to its International Airport , Frankfurt is the major travel hub for Germany and much of Europe. Many travelers arrive in this modern city and pass right through, but Frankfurt is worth stopping for.

Largely destroyed in WWII, Frankfurt was the rare German city that decided not to recreate the past but emerge anew. It is the financial center of the country with its own stock market ( Deutsche Börse ) and gleaming skyscrapers. Its Main Tower is the only high-rise open to the public and offers unbeatable views of the city skyline as well as its namesake, the Main River.

If you hanker for something traditional in this modern forest, explore the recreated city center of the Römerberg . Home to the City Hall (the Römer ) which dates back to 1405, it is bordered with quaint half-timbered houses. For the best of Frankfurt's traditional drink, apfelwein (or ebbelwoi ), cross the river into the Sachsenhausen neighborhood

Frankfurt is host to many important events and conventions, such as the ​ International Book Fair in October. Started in 1949, it is the biggest book fair in the world.

Hamburg is the country's second-largest city located in the North of Germany. Several waterways run through its center and Hamburg has more bridges than Amsterdam and Venice combined. It boasts one of the biggest harbors in the world and still embraces its gritty, sailor past.

This is most apparent in its red-light district of the Reeperbahn . Complete with seedy bars and shops selling stripper boots, this is also a hot spot for clubs and music and the place the Beatles got their start.

The surrounding area of St. Pauli is also worth a visit. Spend time on the harbor with an early morning visit to the Fischmarkt (fish market). This meeting place for locals and tourists alike was started in 1703 and sells the freshest fish, flowers, and spices with a side of live entertainment. Nearby HafenCity has been newly built up and offers the latest in shopping and dining.

If you hanker for the classic, stick to the city center with its elegant neoclassical rathaus (city hall) and its fine shopping street of Mönckebergstraße , affectionately known as Mö .

TripSavvy / Christopher Larson

Cologne (or Köln), founded by the Romans, is one of Germany's oldest cities. The soaring Cathedral of Cologne is the centerpiece with dual towers reaching 157-meters into the sky and can be seen from all over the city. Located right next to the train station, it is the first things visitors see and they never take their eyes off it.

From here, walk through the old town and on the western shore of the Rhine River. Colorful 19th century houses and ice cream cafes are the background for an idyllic stroll. Cologne's art galleries and excellent museums mark every corner.

After all that walking, Cologne provides the perfect refreshment. Kölsch is the beer of Cologne. Served in endless rotation in small glasses, the people of Cologne rarely drink any other beer.

If your preferred vice is chocolate, Cologne has the museum for you. The Chocolate Museum covers the long history of turning cocoa beans into chocolate and finishes with the most delicious of fountains.

Clearly, there are plenty of places to have a good time in Cologne but there is no reason to limit yourself. If you visit Cologne for Carnival , the party overtakes the entire city. Cologne is the undisputed Carnival king in Germany. Coming right before Lent, the whole city goes a little nuts with city-wide parades, balls, and public spectacles.

TripSavvy / Christopher Larson 

Just a short distance from Berlin , Dresden is called the "Florence of the Elbe". Known for its baroque architecture and world-renowned art treasures, it is so picturesque you might not realize about 80% of Dresden’s historic center was destroyed in World War II. Landmarks have been rebuilt to their former splendor like the exemplary Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady in Dresden), royal Zwinger Palace, and Fürstenzug (Procession of Princes, the largest porcelain mural in the world). Walk along the Brühlsche Terrasse and admire the restored grandeur.

That said, the newer sections of Dresden are enjoying a renaissance. Dresden off the beaten path reveals the younger, more alternative side of the city from a series of art-filled courtyards to the inspiration for Kurt Vonnegut’s "Slaughterhouse-Five" to the most exotic cigarette factory.

No matter if your interest is in the old or new, everyone can agree that a good time can be had at Dresden's many biergartens .

Leipzig is another popular day trip from Berlin , but there are enough attractions to make it a top stop.

Located at the meeting point of three rivers, this has been the meeting point for great minds. Goethe was a student in Leipzig, Bach worked here as a cantor, and Martin Luther debated here.

Today, the New Leipzig school brings a fresh perspective into the art world. And a visit to Leipzig's 1743 Gewandhaus Orchestra proves art is alive in this great German city. If you prefer the culinary arts, Auerbachs Keller is one of the oldest restaurants in the country and was a favorite of Goethe as well as locals today.

Besides being a center for German art and culture, the city also became famous in Germany’s recent history. Leipzig demonstrators initiated the peaceful revolution, which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Like Dresden, low rents and a rebellious spirit continue to draw a youthful counterculture. This subversive streak can be observed in its avante-garde kabarett that pokes at standard political structures.

Heidelberg is one of the few German cities that wasn't destroyed in World War II. This means that plenty of old-world charm fills the narrow cobblestone streets and baroque city center, epitomizing Germany's romantic period of the 18th century.

It is one of the most picturesque destinations in Germany. Visitors enjoy stunning views from the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) that crosses the Neckar River, back at the city from the Philosophenweg (Philosopher's Way), and above it all from the ruins of the once-grand Heidelberg castle . This inspiring environment allowed Mark Twain to finish his novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , here.

Heidelberg has inspired many other great minds that have taken residence at Heidelberg University, the oldest university in the country. It is one of the most renowned universities in the world, but that doesn't mean the students don't know how to party. Heidelberg maintains a youthful atmosphere among the academic environment with great bars and restaurants and even a former student prison.

Düsseldorf is a cosmopolitan city with a playful vibe. A symbol for the city is the Düsseldorfer Radschläger (the boy who does cartwheels) and his image can be seen throughout the city on souvenirs and statues. The works of architect greats like Gehry and Chipperfield also mark the cityscape.

Düsseldorf is known for its rich art scene which has produced many greats. It is home to composer Robert Schumann as well as the Düsseldorf Art Academy, responsible for well-known graduates like Joseph Beuys, Jörg Immendorff, and Gerhard Richter.

A center for trade, Düsseldorf hosts shows throughout the year. Gallery Düsseldorf is one of the world’s biggest fashion trade fairs that takes place every January . But buyers can shop year-round on Königsallee (King’s Avenue), known as Kö by locals.

After some serious shopping, settle down with an Altbier , a German-style brown ale. It is top-fermenting like British pale ales and can be enjoyed in classic pubs like Fuechschen, Schumacher, Schluessel, or Uerige. The altstadt (old town) has been referred to as the "longest bar in the world" with the party truly never stopping during Carnival.

Stuttgart in southwest Germany is undeservedly underrated. It is a car lovers' dream , features modern architecture, and has some of the biggest beer festivals in Germany (outside of Oktoberfest).

Stuttgart is home to two of the greatest car brands in the world, Mercedes and Porsche. Production takes place nearby and there are world-class car museums for both companies. 

The city itself has a great blend of architecture with a baroque center in Schlossplatz with the Neues Schloss (New Palace) from the early 1800s. Against the classic landscape, there are contemporary elements like staircases of metal and glass. This city had the world's first telecommunications tower, Fernsehturm Stuttgart (TV Tower) and that still dominates the skyline. Stuttgart even has a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the buildings of famed architect Le Corbusier .

One of its most exciting structures is open to the public. Stuttgart's public library is a haven for readers and architect fans alike. Its luminescent, state-of-the-art design is Instagram ready and it is a great service for its citizens with over 500,000 media units.

Twice a year, Stuttgart puts on the party with an epic beer fest. Cannstatter Volksfest (Stuttgart Beer Festival) and Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest.

Germany Guide: Planning Your Trip

Best Underrated Cities in Germany

Beer Regions in Germany

The Best Festivals in Germany

Guide to Hamburg

The Top 11 Things to Do in Stuttgart, Germany

The Best Hostels in Germany

15 Fun Things to Do in Dusseldorf, Germany

Spring in Germany: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

The Best Time to Visit Cologne

Your Trip to Frankfurt: The Complete Guide

How to Get to Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Events in Germany in February

Lübeck: Planning Your Trip

The Best UNESCO Sites in Germany

The Top 23 Things to Do in Munich

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24 Best Cities To Visit in Germany

Updated on  January 11, 2024  

In this article, we've picked the must-see cities in Germany – whether you love nature, want to dance in a new club every night, enjoy checking out art in galleries & castles, or plan to eat your way through a town ! Here are the best German cities to visit!

Top Cities To Visit In Germany

Berlin, the capital and largest city of Germany, is like the cool kid on the block, always changing and full of surprises. This place has it all – from a wild nightlife and art, to historic sites.

For those fascinated by German history specifically, no trip is complete without walking along remnants of the Berlin Wall at East Side Gallery or visiting Checkpoint Charlie – a symbol of Cold War tensions between East and West Germany.

Berlin is also home to the Museum Island – a UNESCO World Heritage site of five outstanding museums including Pergamon Museum, owner of the Collection of Classical Antiquities – one of the most important collections of Greek and Roman art in the world. [ 1 ]

It's not just history – Berlin's also at the forefront of music. The nightlife here is legendary, especially in spots like Kreuzberg and Neukölln. For instance, Berghain & Panorama Bar is  known as one of the best clubs in the world.

While many associate Munich with Oktoberfest, the soaring prices and the swarm of over three million tourists hunting for beer don't appeal to everyone. [ 2 ]

And beyond their world-famous festivals, Munich is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, filled with museums, green spaces and stunning architecture. 

In Munich's old town, there's a huge and beautiful square called Marienplatz. The Neues Rathaus, a stunning neo-gothic building, looks like something from a postcard. It's also the home of the famous Munich Glockenspiel, a big mechanical clock that attract crowds daily, with moving figures and chimes that tell stories from the past.

Nature in Munich is made up of beautiful green parks. The Englischer Garten is one of the world's largest urban parks, with meadows, lakes, and walking trails.

The Isar River also adds to the natural beauty, perfect for riverside strolls and outdoor activities. The nearby Bavarian Alps, just an hour away, makes Munich very attractive as a base to explore the most gorgeous landscapes in Germany too.

Some iconic Bavarian food specialties include pretzels, sausages, sauerkraut, and dishes like Schweinshaxe (roasted pork knuckle) and Weißwurst (white sausage). The refreshing Bavarian beer is also well-known around the world.

And lastly, it's not uncommon to see people in Munich wearing lederhosen (traditional Bavarian leather breeches) as regular everyday clothes!

Frankfurt got hit hard in World War II, but instead of rebuilding the past, it decided to start afresh, a move that's reflected by tall skyscrapers sweeping the city skyline.

Better known as the financial center of Europe, and a major European hub with a huge airport, some may be surprised that Frankfurt is more than just a city of concrete.

Down by the river, the Frankfurt Museum Embankment has tons of museums, including the famous Städel Museum.

For a sip of Frankfurt's traditional drink, apfelwein (or ebbelwoi ), head across to the Old Sachsenhausen. You'll find old-style cider pubs in timber-framed houses among narrow lanes.

The Römerberg square in the city center was wrecked during the war but has been fixed up. The Römer City Hall, dating back to 1405, is there, surrounded by cute half-timbered houses.

While you're around, check out Kleinmarkthalle, the beating heart of this city that's been around since 1879! It's one of Frankfurt's best flea markets, offering a bit of everything from cured meat to fresh cheese.

Hamburg , the second-largest city in Germany, is a thriving port city in northern Germany. It's known for a network of canals, including the Elbe River, flowing through the city. 

It's no wonder people call it the "Venice of the North" .

Hamburg has plenty to offer, like the Alter Elbtunnel and Planten un Blomen park. The Speicherstadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the world's largest warehouse district, with buildings supported by oak logs. [ 3 ]

Near the Elbe River at Landungsbrücken piers, you can grab a fish sandwich while watching big cruise ships and container vessels go by.

The city is also famous for its red-light district, Reeperbahn , where you'll find seedy bars and lively music clubs – it's where the Beatles got their start!

One of Hamburg's biggest events is the yearly Schlagermove parade, which celebrates German pop music from the 70s. This eccentric festival is the world's biggest event of its kind, attracting half a million attendees from Germany and nearby countries! [ 4 ]

With Roman origins, Cologne is one of Germany's oldest (and the fourth largest) cities.

It's most famous landmark is undoubtably the Cologne Cathedral, an impressive masterpiece of Gothic architecture that took over 600 years to complete. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it survived 14 bombings in World War II. [ 5 ]

The Old Town, west of the cathedral along the Rhine River, is perfect for relaxing strolls along its cobblestone streets. You'll find charming squares, colorful 19th-century houses, and traditional pubs serving the local Kölsch beer. For those with a sweet tooth, a visit to the nearby Chocolate Museum is a must.

Few of the most visited cities in Germany match the vibrant party atmosphere of Cologne (except perhaps Berlin). Most trendy bars and clubs are concentrated in the city center, as well as neighborhoods like the Belgian Quarter, Friesen Quarter, and Ehrenfeld.

Consider planning your trip in February to be in time for Cologne's Carnival celebration, a massive festival with parades, parties, and locals dressed in elaborate costumes all over town.

Düsseldorf , the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, is often hailed as Germany’s fashion epicenter. The iconic Königsallee, an enchanting boulevard lined with gleaming boutiques and glitzy designer stores, attracts many serious shoppers.

Around here, there's an unspoken rule to dress in a stylish manner, even on more casual days. Therefore the city is commonly perceived as a little posh . However, peek beneath the surface, and you'll uncover an impressive alternative art scene and nightlife.

In fact, Düsseldorf's Old Town, is known as "the longest bar in the world". It hosts over 300 bars and nightclubs where you can sample the local Altbier and Killepitsch . The Kiefernstrasse neighborhood is a canvas of street art from head to toe.

For those looking for something more modern, a series of avant-garde buildings (and trendy restaurants) can be uncovered at the newly-renovated Medienhafen. Then there's the prestigious Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, a world-class modern and contemporary art museum.

Travelers may be surprised to discover a full-fledged Japanese quarter in Düsseldorf, which organically formed over time as Japanese businesses and residents gathered in the area. This isn't just a row of shops; it's a neighborhood teeming with Japanese restaurants, shops, and community spaces.

Stuttgart, the expensive capital and largest city of Baden-Württemberg, is an underrated destination. Granted, it was heavily bombed during World War II and hastily rebuilt, but you can definitely have a fun time here.

Car lovers will love that it's home to two of the world's leading car brands, Mercedes and Porsche. Museums for both companies are world-class, and showcase some of the most iconic cars ever made!

The city also has its own contributions to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list – two houses designed by Le Corbusier, now a museum, aimed to demonstrate functional and cost-effective urban housing.

Two of Germany's largest beer festivals outside of Oktoberfest occur in Stuttgart too. Twice a year, the city transforms into a party scene with the Cannstatter Volksfest (Stuttgart Beer Festival) and Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest .

Finally, if you ever find yourself visiting Stuttgart, you might want to squeeze in a visit to one of the surrounding beautiful towns. The picturesque Tübingen, just a 40-minute train ride away, is a small fairytale German town just waiting to be explored.

While many may associate Nuremberg primarily with the infamous Nuremberg Trials, this city has so much more to offer.

This city in Germany is dotted with medieval architecture, such as stone towers, Gothic churches, postcard-perfect streets, and an impressive hilltop castle.

The largest Christmas market in Germany is found here too, where one cannot miss taking home some of the famous Lebkuchen, a special gingerbread made in Nuremberg.

Also, take some time to discover Nuremberg's 600-year-old Nürnberger Felsengänge (Rock Passages), originally beer storage tunnels. In World War II, they became shelters during heavy bombings due to the city's strategic importance to the Nazis.

If you want to dive deeper into history, then explore Nuremberg's former Nazi rally grounds on a guided tour. You'll learn about Hitler's rise to power and the manipulation of minds by the Nazi Party during this crucial historical period.

This idyllic top German city is one of the country's most famous student towns, known to have inspired several poets, painters, philosophers, and writers. Mark Twain, for instance, wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn during his time in the city.

Home to Germany's oldest university, a popular point of interest is the Philosopher’s Walk, a path often frequented by earlier philosophers and professors.

But more than a college town, Heidelberg is known for the gorgeous Heidelberger Schloss, a 16th-century palace that sits atop a hill overlooking the city.

The best way to see the city is to take a stroll through Heidelberg's Old Town, then across the Old Bridge. Follow up with a ride on the mountain railway to Heidelberg Castle, and then Königstuhl for views of the city and the Neckar river.

Set along the picturesque Elbe River, Dresden is known for beautiful architecture and rich cultural heritage. It's no surprise then that the city is often referred to as the "Florence on the Elbe" .

Despite being heavily impacted by World War II bombings, Dresden has since been restored to its former glory.

The city has many well-known museums, including the Green Vault, which houses tons of precious gems, jewelry, and fine art.

One of its most popular landmarks is the Zwinger Palace – a breath-taking Baroque complex that today houses museums like the Porzellansammlung (porcelain museum).

The Semper Opera House in Dresden holds the title of Germany's most famous opera house, home to one of the world's oldest and most distinguished orchestras.

If you visit during the festive season, check out the Striezelmarkt. It's regularly voted the best Christmas market in German-speaking countries. [ 6 ]

Leipzig is fast becoming Germany's rising star in the art scene – in fact, many call it the "New Berlin". Budget-friendly rents, lots of green spaces, and a thriving nightlife create the perfect haven for the young and creative.

For instance, there's the Japanisches Haus (Japanese House), a not-for-profit community project that offers exhibitions, communal cooking nights, as well as music and art events.

Leipzig is also host to many interesting festivals, including the world’s largest Goth festival and an international balloon festival.

To enjoy the nightlife, head to the alternative student district, Karl-Leibknecht-Strasse, lovingly called “KarLi”.

For music lovers, Leipzig boasts an impressive musical heritage as the birthplace of Richard Wagner and a place where Bach, Mendelssohn, and others made significant contributions to the world of music.

Some of Germany’s oldest and most remarkable structures can also be found here, such as the Napoleonic Monument to the Battle of the Nations and the Reichsgericht, the former high court of the Reich.

The city of Bonn is only a 20 minutes train ride from Cologne. Although it was once the former capital of Germany, this small city in Germany is often overlooked by travelers. However, that would be a mistake, as it has many hidden gems just waiting to be explored.

First of all, it's most famous as the birthplace of Beethoven. The Beethovenhaus, the house in which the great composer was born in and grew up, is a fascinating attraction.

Within its walls, fans can discover treasures like his love letters, ear trumpet, travel desk and a piano crafted for him in Vienna.

Bonn also is home to two of Germany's major art museums—the Bonn Museum of Modern Art and the Bundeskunsthalle , also known as the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The beloved gummy bears we're all familiar with have their roots in this quiet town too! Founded in Bonn in 1920, the HARIBO factory outlet in Bad Godesberg is a must-visit stop to stock up on your favorite gummy varieties.

Gracing the banks of the Weser River, Bremen is a town that exudes beauty and history.

Just a quick train hop from Hamburg, the moment you set foot in this Hanseatic city, it's as if you've walked into the magical pages of a storybook.

Adding to the whimsy is Bremen Windmill (Mühle Am Wall), a windmill right in the heart of the town. Operating since 1540, it stands as one of the world's oldest working windmills. I suggest you climb to the top for a lovely 360 degree view of the city.

The Schnoor Quarter, Bremen's ancient district, was once the residence of river fishermen and boatmen. Exploring the quaint houses and narrow alleys makes it seem like you've journeyed to different century.

Interestingly, Bremen has a unique love for kale. Kale paired with Pinkel Wurst (a smoked sausage made with oatmeal), is one of the favorite meals here. Kale is so beloved around here that there are even kale tours, called "Kohlfahrten".

Located in the sunny southwest of Germany, Freiburg is a destination not to be missed, especially when exploring the Black Forest area.

The town shines as one of Germany's sunniest cities, and the locals mirror that sunny disposition! Indeed, in this small town the atmosphere is a lot more laid-back compared to most.

Featuring one of Germany's loveliest Old Towns and graced with its own mountain, Schauinsland, this town is a hidden treasure.

A trip on Germany's longest circulating cable car brings you to the top of Schauinsland. There, you'll find a mesmerizing view of the Black Forest Mountains, valleys, the Rhine Valley, the Vosges Mountains, and the Swiss Alps.

An intriguing feature of Freiburg is the presence of bächle , gutters on the pavements carrying river water from the Dreisam.

Locals chat with friends while dipping their feet in the water, and children playfully hop in and out – and tradition holds that stepping into a bächle means marrying someone from Freiburg!

Founded as a garrison 2000 years ago, Mainz has a history marked by war and religion. In fact, the church held as much sway as secular rulers in governing Mainz.

That's why exploring the Mainz citadel, the St Martins Cathedral (with over 1,000 years of history), and the Church St Stefan is worthwhile – they offer glimpses into the city's turbulent history.

But aside from all that, today the tourist city in Germany is known for its joie de vivre (or "joy of living"), characterized by the welcoming nature of its people and a relaxed way of life.

The annual festival, Meenzer Fassenacht, is a months-long citywide carnival celebration in Mainz, known for colorful parades, costumes, and often including humorous commentary on current events.

One particularly notable landmark in the city is the Gutenberg Museum, which celebrates Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the printing press. The museum's prized possessions include two original Gutenberg Bibles, printed in the mid-15th century!

Apart from being known for its historical significance, Mainz also holds the title as the wine capital of Germany due to its vineyards and location in a major wine region.

Despite being labeled as "average" by some, Hannover proves to be more attractive than one would expect.

This must-visit city in Germany is famous for its expansive green areas, including the gorgeous Herrenhäuser Gärten, a baroque park. It's pretty all year long, and in the summer, there's a cabaret festival, Kleines Fest im großen Garten, complete with fireworks.

Erlebnis Zoo, also called the Adventure Zoo, is one of Germany's most fascinating zoos. It features unique themes like a children's zoo, African savannah, Indian rainforest, mountain habitat, and even an Australian Outback area!

As the capital of Lower Saxony, Hannover went from ruling Great Britain to near-destruction during WWII. For example, The Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall), dating to Wilhelm II's era, offers a unique diagonal lift to the dome, providing stunning city views.

Hannover also hosts the world's largest marksmen festival, a 500-year tradition where marksmen awaken their fellows at 4 AM with lively fanfare every July.

Positioned on the Havel River near Berlin, Potsdam serves as the capital of Brandenburg and is best known for its historical role as the seat of the Prussian government.

The Baroque vision crafted by the Prussian kings in Potsdam has led to UNESCO World Heritage status for its palaces and parks today.

Sanssouci Palace, designed by Friedrich the Great and a grand example of rococo architecture, is Potsdam's most famous attraction. The name "sans souci (without worry)" reflects Friedrich's desire to escape worries in this summer retreat he personally designed.

Don't forget to set aside time to explore Cecilienhof Country House, the site of the historic Potsdam Conference!

Another must-visit is the UNESCO-listed Alexandrowka Russian Colony, just north of the city center. Originally commissioned to commemorate Czar Alexander I, it hosts a cafe, museum, small shops, and a Russian restaurant, and a festive Russian Christmas Market in December.

Don't miss the Holländisches Viertel (Dutch Quarter), with 134 red Dutch brick buildings attracting Dutch craftsmen for Potsdam's expansion; it's now the largest Dutch housing development outside the Netherlands!

Roughly 10 miles east of Germany's Luxembourg border, this ancient city is a treat for history enthusiasts.

As a matter of fact, it proudly hosts nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Germany's oldest Gothic church, the 13th-century Church of Our Lady (Liebfrauenkirche) - the most of any of the most visited cities in Germany.

Founded by the Romans in 16 B.C., Trier is also home to numerous impeccably preserved Roman landmarks such as St. Peter's Cathedral, Porta Nigra, the Basilica of Constantine, and the Imperial Baths, earning it the name 'Rome of the North' .

If you know of Karl Marx, the revolutionary communist, Trier also happens to be his birthplace. A museum details his early life in Germany, his pioneering ideas, their influence on history, and his exile in London.

Trier is also a gateway to one of Europe's most scenic regions – Moselle Valley. This not only promises amazing views, but some of the best white wines in Germany made from Riesling grapes!

Regensburg in eastern Bavaria is one of the oldest towns in Germany, having been founded by the Romans in 179 AD.

Roaming around the medieval old town, you'll find most of Regensburg's must-see spots; St. Peter's Cathedral, Haidplatz Square, and the Stone Bridge from the 12th century – each representing the remarkable art, architecture, and engineering of the time.

Right across from the Old Town Hall is Cafe Prinzess, Germany’s first coffee house from 1686!

As a popular student town, Regensburg has an active pub and bar culture. One popular area for nightlife is the Alter Kornmarkt , where you can find a mix of students and locals.

Another interesting attraction in Regensburg is the world's oldest sausage kitchen still in operation today! The Wurstkuchl dates back to the 16th century, feeding construction workers with grilled sausages, sauerkraut, and beer.

Wiesbaden, the capital of the German state of Hesse, stands as one of Europe's oldest spa towns, with 26 natural hot springs.

The town gained widespread fame during the 18th and 19th centuries, attracting famous figures such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Brahms, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, alongside royalty.

Today, the old traditional spa Kaiser Friedrich and a more modern version, Aukammtal Thermal Baths, continue to accept customers.

One can also visit a thermal spring, the Kochbrunnen. Said to be a source of thermal water with many health benefits, feel free to get a taste from one of the free-flowing spouts!

Your trip to Wiesbaden wouldn't be complete without a stop at the Marktkirche on Schlossplatz. This imposing red church, once the largest brick church in the Duchy, reaches nearly 100 meters in height!

A paradise for photographers, Würzburg is a picturesque hidden gem located in Bavaria. The city is celebrated for its opulent baroque and rococo architecture around every corner, such as the 18th century Residenz palace.

Dominating Würzburg's skyline, the Marienberg Fortress stands proudly on a hill, its origins tracing back to the 12th century. As a museum, visitors can tour the castle's different rooms and exhibits.

As it happens, Würzburg sits in the heart of the Franconian wine region, which has some of the finest white wines. The town is dotted with wine bars, cellars, and wineries, where you can sip delicious vino all day.

In between enjoying fine wines, why not take a detour to one of the city's sausage stands? The city's famous sausage is Winzerbratwurst - a wood-grilled sausage featuring white Franken wine, spicier meat, and paired with bread and mustard.

Definitely add Würzburg to your list of most beautiful cities in Germany.

Once an industrial hub in western Germany, Essen's industrial heritage is best explored at the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From gigantic mining machines to museums and restaurants, one can spend a full day of exploration at this former coal mine complex.

South of Essen sits Villa Hugel, a lavish castle constructed by Alfred Krupp, a shrewd but eccentric businessman. You can tour its "modern amenities" such as interior heating and cooling systems, which was well ahead of its time.

But Essen isn't an industrial wasteland, in fact it held the title of Green Capital of Europe in 2017. Over 50% of the city comprises green spaces and water! [ 7 ]

When things get too hectic, you can unwind at one of Grugapark's themed gardens or stop by Lake Baldeney for relaxing by the water or engaging in water sports.

Lübeck, one of Germany's largest Baltic seaports, held the prestigious position as the capital of the Hanseatic League for many centuries.

This German city's historical significance, as well its preserved medieval structures, led to a well-deserved UNESCO designation. The city's stunning skyline, characterized by seven Gothic-style church towers, resembles something out of a fairytale!

Strolling through the old, narrow streets of the Old Town unveils landmarks such as the iconic Lübeck Cathedral, the 12th-century Town Hall, and the famous Holstentor , the old city gate.

And don't overlook the Museum Harbor; it's one of Lübeck's most picturesque locations. You can catch the sunset along the waterfront, explore old Hanseatic warehouses, and take a tour of vintage ships repurposed into an open-air museum.

For an experience that's off-the-beaten-track, you might want to visit Germany's smallest state capital, Schwerin, located in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

About a quarter of the city's area is taken up by blue lakes, making it a paradise for water sport fans.

An unavoidable attraction in Schwerin is the magnificent Schwerin Castle, an incredible 1,000-year-old palace that "floats" out of Schwerin Lake. It's the city's main landmark, and one of Germany's most beautiful castles – and trust me, photos simply don't do it justice.

And Schwerin's Old Town, too, is like a postcard come to life. As you wander through its streets, keep an eye out for the Lion Monument and the 14th-century City Hall, there are great stories behind them.

There's also a decent coffee house culture here, so make time to stop by one of their cozy cafes!

Conclusion: Top Germany Cities To Visit

From famous major cities like Berlin and Munich, to little-known picturesque gems like Heidelberg and Potsdam, each of our top Germany cities has their own exciting mix of cool buildings, museums, places to shop, things to do at night, and must-try local dishes.

Perhaps you'd want to search for ancient Roman ruins in Cologne, sample apple wine in Frankfurt, or splash around in a charming Freiburg bächle . This helpful list will help you decide what cities to visit in Germany!

References:

1: Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin - UNESCO World Heritage Centre, retrieved from https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/896/ 2: Munich: key tourism figures 2021 | Statista, retrived from https://www.statista.com/statistics/569562/key-figures-tourism-munich-germany/ 3: Speicherstadt UNESCO Site Hamburg - hamburg.com, retrived from https://www.hamburg.com/architecture/11748606/speicherstadt 4: Schlagermove Music Parade - hamburg.com, retrived from https://www.hamburg.com/events/parades-and-funfairs/11790156/schlagermove/ 5: In the Ruins of Cologne | The National WWII Museum | New Orleans, retrived from https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/ruins-cologne 6: Dresden Striezelmarkt, retrieved from https://striezelmarkt.dresden.de/en/ 7: Essen European Green Capital 2017, retrieved from https://www.sustaineurope.com/essen-european-green-capital-2017-29062017.html

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About the Author

Stephan Drescher

Stephan Drescher, founder of germanytravel.blog, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.

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The Most Beautiful Destinations to Visit in Germany This Winter

Winter market in Berlins historic centre

Think of a European country at Christmas time and chances are high you’ll picture Germany . The Christmas-tree custom has its roots here, in the late Middle Ages, and experts have traced the first Christkindlmarkt , or winter street market, back to Saxony in 1384. Even beyond the festive period, Germany is a spectacular winter destination – reliably snowy, atmospheric and appetising. Here are Culture Trip’s picks for the best German places to enjoy a winter wonderland.

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Zugspitze peak

South of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in Bavaria, and surrounded by lesser peaks, Zugspitze is – at 2,962m (9,718ft) – Germany’s highest mountain. Winter-sports enthusiasts in their thousands descend annually for skiing and snowboarding, but if you’re not that bold, there are gentler pursuits, including sledding, cross-country skiing and the intriguing Bavarian pastime of Eisstockschießen, which is similar to curling. If even that sounds too active, sit back and admire the views from your chalet over a relaxing tot of schnapps.

Partnachklamm

The spectacular Partnachklamm

The Partnach Gorge is the most spectacular natural wonder in Garmisch-Partenkirchen – arguably in the whole of Bavaria. The main attraction is the parade of rock flanks, whittled by the course of the River Partnach into gullies and caverns – there are cascades you can walk behind, and tunnels to enter. Popular with whitewater rafters in warmer months, Partnachklamm freezes in winter, forming giant jagged curtains of icicles. There are atmospheric torch-lit hikes after dark, lined with snow-laden trees – making the place feel surreal.

The Allgäu

Welcome to southern Germany’s poster-pretty region of castles, meadows and Wagnerian-grand mountain peaks. In summer it sees lots of cyclists and hikers, here for lungfuls of fresh, clean air. In winter it is a winter-sports paradise. There are attractive lodges in cutesy villages (Oberstdorf, Oberstaufen), and pistes – more than 500km (311mi) worth – blanketed in perfect powder snow to flatter even novice skiers and snowboarders. You’ve got eight ski regions to choose from. Sound too energetic? There are also more than 1,500km (932mi) of cross-country ski trails, helping you explore at leisure. Pronunciation note: with the umlaut over the ‘a’, you say ‘Allgoy’, the same as ‘boy’.

Cologne Christmas markets

Cologne for Christmas

Germans love their festive markets and in Cologne , the fourth-biggest city in the country, they pull out all the stops. The most famous of its selection is the one by the cathedral – ask the way to Roncalliplatz, or follow the spicy smell of glühwein (mulled wine). Traditionally open from the last week of November until the day before Christmas Eve, they sell everything that you could imagine to get you into the festive spirit – giant gingerbread hearts bearing piped-icing messages, aromatic candles, wild and woolly hats and mantlepiece ornaments made of screws. It’s fun just to wander among the pretty buden (huts), feeling Christmassy among the glittery lights. Head to Neumarkt for the oldest Christmas market in Cologne: the Angel’s Market.

Kathedrale Sanctissimae Trinitatis Dresden

Winter in Dresden is all about stollen and truly cold weather. The cake can be bought all over Germany, but for a memorably delicious moment you want to try the Dresdner Christstollen – here, in the capital of the eastern state of Saxony. It’s a gorgeous concoction of raisins, butter, sweet and bitter almonds, candied orange and lemon peel, all kneaded into a heavy, yeasty dough that’s baked until golden. This is a fabulous city at anytime of the year, but in winter, with snow rendering everything quiet and still, it feels like a magic fairyland. If you don’t feel like getting frozen toes walking around, you could take a paddle-steamer tour of the city along the Elbe River.

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Baiersbronn

Sleighing in the Black Forest

In the heart of the Black Forest, the southern region of Baiersbronn attracts winter-loving extreme-sports types like lines of iron filings to a powerful magnet. The scenery under snow is sensational – all white-powdered fir trees and distant peaks bruised on the sky. There are hundreds of dedicated trails for you to hike, or tackle on cross-country skis, and you’ll be rewarded for your exertions. Baiersbronn – a tiny town of 16,000 inhabitants – has eight Michelin stars, which is twice as many per head as Paris.

The Harz Mountains

Steam train in the Harz Mountains

You visit the Harz – Germany’s northernmost low mountain range – to drink in its natural beauty: its meadows, transparent lakes, pine forests and deeply carved valleys. And what better way to travel through the region than aboard a time-warped train? The villages of Wernigerode, Nordhausen and Quedlinburg are connected by the narrow-gauge Harzer Schmalspurbahnen, a functioning steam train. Its primary purpose is to transport local residents from A to B, but a by-product of its labours is the endless scenery – the chocolate-box beauty of Harz – scrolling past the windows as you sit and gaze out.

Schönau am Königssee

Schonau am Konigssee, Germany

Incurable romantics love Schönau am Königssee in winter. Just a few kilometres over the Berchtesgaden Alps from Austria, it’s a friendly community and a spectacular part of the world, beside its famous lake: when the temperature plummets, the long, thin Königssee freezes into a shimmering, frozen mirror – unrecognisable from its summer-green incarnation. It has more than 20km (12 miles) of tracks – for both regular and speed skating. And while your adrenaline’s up, note that Schönau am Königssee is also home to the oldest permanent bobsled, luge and skeleton track in the world.

View of Heidelberg, Germany

The famed university city of Heidelberg , which sits beside the Neckar River, is worth a visit at any time of the year. Throw on a layer of snow, dial back the daylight hours to eight max – and it’s a cosy winter wonderland that’ll have you tingling with festive spirit. Heidelberg Christmas Market brings the town alive, sending aromas of cinnamon-laced mulled wine and roasting-hot chestnuts wafting through the narrow alleys. Simply walk around and inhale the heady atmosphere as you browse for presents. When you get cold, duck into landmark Cáfe Knösel for a hot chocolate and warm apple strudel with whipped cream.

A view of the Christmas market and St. Gangolf church

Birthplace of Karl Marx and proud possessor of multiple Roman ruins, Trier – Germany’s oldest city, right by the Luxembourg border – is a weekend-break winner. And in winter its beauty shines through – just experience the Christmas Market. Stroll the scores of festively decorated stalls in Hauptmarkt, the main square, beneath the magnificent cathedral. Stop to scoff portions of steaming bratwurst (traditional German sausage), gingerbread and potato pancakes. Shop for hand-blown glassware, aromatic candles and carved toys. Do allow time for some good-old-fashioned sightseeing, too – among the many ancient attractions is the Porta Nigra, the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps.

Houses in Monschau

The Eifel region in the northwestern state of Nordrhein Westphalia is rural and extremely beautiful. Here you’ll find Monschau , a small resort town 30km (19mi) south of Aachen , right on the Belgian border. Whatever the season it looks as if it has been frozen in time, with its dramatic red-and-black half-timbered buildings. In winter it’s a beauty, with the much-loved festive market filling the air with the sounds of carols and the smells of spiced mulled wine. Take time to look around – you could visit the coffee roaster, the mustard mill and one of the many fantastic bakery-cafes – or take a hike in the snow-dusted forests that spread out in every direction.

Leipzig Tower Clock at the Old Town Square Marktplatz

Schiller wrote his Ode to Joy in Saxony’s sea-level city, and there’s plenty to be happy about in wintry Leipzig , from icy parks with snowy monuments to palm-edged pools in the domed Sachsen-Therme wellness centre. Average temperatures hover around freezing and the Renaissance Rathaus gleams in frosty sunshine and towers over twinkly market stalls after dark. If it’s just too grey out, enter the late-gothic Thomaskirche to catch a rousing concert, say, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. The composer led the already-centuries-old choir here for decades. Now he lies buried beneath the tiled floor.

Christmas Market in Mitte, Berlin

Warm trams, snowy forest walks, candlelit cafes and an efficient fleet of snowploughs make Berlin a frost-tastic destination. Vintage buses roll through the Grunewald in the western city, and an ice-breaking ferry crosses the frozen Wannsee. Christmas markets are pungent with roasting chestnuts and flaming rum-soaked sugar-loaves being turned into Feuerzangenbowle (a traditional German drink). Watch fire jugglers on cobbled Gendarmenmarkt, or bobsleigh down one of Europe’s largest mobile snow-tubing track at the annual Winter World in Potsdamer Platz. There’s also the sport of Alpine curling, if you’re game.

St. Michael’s Church in Hamburg

Every festive whim is catered for in the northern port city of Hamburg : you can have your winter wonderland with gingerbread and glühwein at cheery markets; or with currywurst and cabaret while bar-crawling through the smoky clubs on Reeperbahn. Go for strip shows (that’s right) at the adults-only Santa Pauli market or maintain standards with an advent concert in white-and-gold St Michael’s Church. Skate round the city’s largest outdoor ice rink in the central Planten un Blomen park: it’s got DJs at weekends, and everyone drinks cream-topped hot chocolate in the cafe next door.

Children playing in the snow in Munich

On bright snowy days, the sparkling parks and palaces turn Bavaria’s capital into a Narnian fantasy. Climb the 299 steps to the top of St Peter’s Church bell tower for amazing views across snow-dusted roofs and towers. Or slide down the little temple-topped hill in the Christmas-card-pretty Englischer Garten. Warm up in a glorious Baroque church, an art nouveau opera house or one of more than 50 museums – don’t miss the Instagram-able Deichtorhallen, which were built as fruit markets in the early 20th century and now constitute some of Europe’s biggest spaces for contemporary art.

Christmas market in the city center of Bremen

Bremen is a postcard-perfect North German gem, with lamplit cobbled alleys and fanciful brick gables, half-timbered shopfronts and steeply pitched red tiles. Just add winter for the authentic Christmas-card look. The town is rich in seasonal customs: there’s the schnapps-fuelled Kohlfahrt (kale – or cabbage – walk) to celebrate the local veggies; and Europe’s biggest samba carnival. Stop off for eggnog-style eierpunsch and bratwurst with grünkohl (kale) in the medieval waterfront Christmas market where wood smoke and roasting spices transport you back in time.

People walking on the ice of a frozen Lake Constance

On the willow-softened shores of Bodensee – Lake Constance in English – the old city of Konstanz attracts seasonal visitors for both winter sports and gemütliche (cosy) cafes in the Altstadt (Old Town). Head out onto Germany’s largest lake for a glühwein-laced festive cruise or cross the Rhine for snowboarding in the neighbouring Swiss mountains. Heat up again in the lakeside thermal baths with a view of the snowy Alps looming over the misty, mineral-rich water.

Baden-Baden

The Stiftskirche Baden-Baden

Europe’s steepest funicular railway climbs out of Baden-Baden up wooded Merkur Mountain, for views across the ancient spa town and the snowy hills beyond. Ruined Schloss Hohenbaden crowns a rewardingly wintry Black Forest hike before local chocolate truffles with coffee make you feel warm and comfy again back in town. As the city’s bath-related name suggests, Baden-Baden’s hot springs first attracted the Romans to the area, and you can still bathe in the bubbling thermal waters or relax in a sea-salt grotto, with saline stalactites.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Street in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany

The two towns that hosted the 1936 Winter Olympics tempt visitors with steamy cafes – after winter strolls or horse-drawn sleigh rides against a mountainous backdrop – past half-timbered houses with carved wooden shutters and balconies. Stop off for home-made cakes and home-roasted coffee at Wildkaffee near the station – or stock up on melt-in-the-mouth pralines at nearby Chocolaterie Amelie – before heading for the Olympic ice-skating stadium to work on your toe loops and double axels.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria

It’s the ultimate Disney-esque fantasy: in fact hilltop Schloss Neuschwanstein, with its white pencil towers and turrets, inspired Cinderella’s cartoon castle, now endlessly familiar as both legend and logo. In (mercifully less-crowded) winter, it looks especially spectacular with the whitened woods and peaks behind, making those snowy selfies even more magical. Take refuge, as Mad King Ludwig II did, in this gilded recreation of medieval stories. And, when you’ve had your fill of Wagnerian motifs, ring the changes with creamy hot chocolate and apple strudel at one of the many adorably kitsch cafes in the village below.

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Discover the 20+ Best Cities in Germany to Visit

Germany, a country renowned for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. With its charming villages, majestic castles, and bustling cities, Germany offers a treasure trove of experiences for every kind of explorer. So fasten your seatbelts, embrace your wanderlust, and let’s dive into the enchanting world of the best cities in Germany to visit.

From the cultural hub of Berlin to the picturesque beauty of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, we will unravel the diverse tapestry of Germany’s cities, each offering a unique blend of architectural wonders, cultural treasures, and culinary delights.

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Discover the 20+ Best Cities in Germany to Visit: Unveiling the Country’s Treasures

You might be wondering where to go in Germany and to be honest, there are many choices to choose from. There are a lot of hidden treasures within Germany which makes Germany an interesting place to visit . There are several German cities and it’s really difficult to break down which are the best, but this is a list as someone who has lived in Germany for almost 2 years and the cities I find should be on anyone’s bucket list while in Germany. Here is a list of the best cities in Germany to visit. 

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Berlin: Where History Meets Modernity

Image of the Brandenburg gate with a copper statue of a chariot of horses on a cart at the top that had turned green from age.

As the capital and cultural heart of Germany, Berlin stands as a vibrant metropolis that seamlessly blends history with modernity. It is one of the top cities in Germany to visit. Berlin is the largest city in Germany with almost 3.8 million residents. There are a lot of amazing things to do and places to visit in Berlin such as the Brandenburg Gate, an enduring symbol of the city’s unity. Then you have the Berlin Wall, one of Berlin’s top attractions and a poignant reminder of Germany’s past division.

You can immerse yourself in world-class museums like the Pergamon Museum and Museum Island. Berlin also offers a vibrant nightlife scene, explore trendy neighborhoods like Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, and sample mouthwatering street food at the bustling markets . 

Berlin offers a captivating blend of history, art, and vibrant energy that will leave you spellbound. Berlin is a location that offers it all to anyone who is visiting. It has something for everyone which makes it one of the most visited cities in Germany. Whether you only have one day in Berlin or a week in Berlin, it should be added to your bucket list.

Munich: Bavarian Charm and Festive Delights

Hofbrau Large Tent at Oktoberfest

Munich, the capital of Bavaria, enchants visitors with its warm hospitality, traditional charm, and festive spirit, and one of the best places to visit in Germany during fall. Visit the splendid Nymphenburg Palace, with its lavish gardens and opulent interiors. Wander through the picturesque English Garden, one of the largest urban parks in the world.

The city has a rich beer culture by visiting the legendary Hofbräuhaus and partaking in the Oktoberfest festivities . Explore the charming streets of the Altstadt (Old Town) and marvel at the stunning architecture of the Frauenkirche. Munich’s blend of history, culture, and culinary delights makes it a must-visit destination and one of the best cities in Germany to live in.

Hamburg: A Maritime Metropolis

Hamburg's City Hall

Situated on the banks of the Elbe River, Hamburg entices visitors with its maritime charm and vibrant atmosphere. Hamburg is located in the north of Germany and is a city not too far from Berlin. You can explore the historic warehouse district of Speicherstadt, a UNESCO World Heritage site adorned with red-brick buildings and narrow canals. It’s most famous for it’s Miniatur Wunderland that we saw during our Hamburg one day itinerary .

Take a boat tour through the bustling harbor and witness the city’s maritime heritage firsthand. Stroll along the vibrant waterfront promenade of Landungsbrücken, where fresh seafood stalls and live entertainment await. Admire the beautiful architecture within the city including the Elbphilharmonie concert hall.

Image of a model of the Last Vegas Strip at Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg - Best Cities in Germany to Visit

One of my favorite things to do in Hamburg is to visit the Miniatur Wunderland, the world’s largest model railway exhibition. This is a great location and one of Germany’s top travel destinations to visit especially if you have little ones or you just love trains. It was a place where my father-in-law and husband really enjoyed themselves. Don’t miss out on the special ladybug and millennium falcon speeding through at the airport in Miniatur Wunderland. 

Hamburg’s unique blend of history, culture, and waterfront allure will leave a lasting impression.

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Frankfurt: Where Tradition Meets Modernity

Alstadt in Frankfurt Germany - Best Cities in Germany to Visit

Known as Germany’s financial hub, Frankfurt showcases a fascinating contrast between towering skyscrapers and historical landmarks. Begin your journey at the reconstructed Altstadt, where beautifully restored medieval buildings offer a glimpse into the city’s past. In Frankfurt, is the Goethe House, the birthplace of Germany’s most famous writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The vibrant Museum Embankment, home to renowned museums like the Städel Museum and the German Architecture Museum is something you shouldn’t miss. You can also take a leisurely walk along the Main River, soaking in the picturesque views and enjoying the city’s vibrant atmosphere. Frankfurt’s blend of old-world charm and contemporary architecture will captivate your senses.

Cologne: Gothic Grandeur and Festive Celebrations

Cologne,  also known as Koln in German, captivates visitors with its awe-inspiring Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the world’s largest Gothic cathedrals. Cologne is one of the German cities you shouldn’t miss. Marvel at its intricate architecture and climb the tower for panoramic views of the city.

Learn about Roman history by exploring the Roman-Germanic Museum. Wander through the charming streets of the Altstadt, where quaint shops and lively pubs await. Don’t miss the vibrant atmosphere of the annual Cologne Carnival, a joyous celebration of music, dance, and colorful costumes. Cologne’s unique blend of historical grandeur and vibrant celebrations make it a city worth exploring.

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Dresden: Baroque Beauty on the Elbe

Dresden, once known as the “Florence on the Elbe,” offers a wealth of architectural treasures. Begin exploring the Zwinger Palace, an exquisite example of Baroque architecture that houses museums and art collections. Stroll along the picturesque riverfront of the Elbe and marvel at the stunning architecture, including the Semper Opera House and the Dresden Castle.

The Frauenkirche is a magnificent Baroque church that has been meticulously reconstructed after its destruction during World War II. Explore the Neustadt district, with its vibrant street art and eclectic mix of shops and cafes. Dresden’s blend of cultural heritage and scenic beauty creates an unforgettable experience.

Heidelberg : Romanticism and Intellectualism

The Old Bridge in Heidelberg

Nestled on the banks of the Neckar River, Heidelberg is a city of romanticism and intellectualism. This is honestly one of the best places and one of my favorite cities to visit within Germany as it offers an array of culture, food, and just a great atmosphere for a small town which makes it worth visiting. 

One of the most iconic things to do in Heidelberg is the Heidelberg Castle, which is perched majestically over the city and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. You can explore the charming Altstadt, with its cobblestone streets, vibrant market squares, and picturesque buildings. Wander through the grounds of Heidelberg University, one of the oldest universities in Germany, and soak in the vibrant student atmosphere. 

Don’t miss the Philosophers’ Walk, a scenic trail that offers panoramic views of the city and the river. Heidelberg’s blend of history, romance, and intellectual allure will leave you captivated.

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Leipzig: Music and Literature Haven

Leipzig, a city renowned for its music and literary heritage, is a cultural haven waiting to be discovered. Walk in the footsteps of Johann Sebastian Bach at the St. Thomas Church, where he served as a cantor. Immerse yourself in the artistic ambiance of the Spinnerei art district, housed in a former cotton mill and now home to galleries, studios, and creative spaces.

The Bach Museum and the Mendelssohn House, are probably this city’s most visited attractions that pay homage to two of the city’s most celebrated composers. Explore the vibrant Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse, a bustling street lined with shops, cafes, and bars. Leipzig’s artistic spirit and cultural heritage make it a city brimming with inspiration.

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Nuremberg: Medieval Marvels and Historical Significance

Nuremberg offers a glimpse into Germany’s medieval past and its role during World War II. Begin your exploration at the imposing Nuremberg Castle, one of many historic landmarks, a magnificent fortress that overlooks the city. Wander through the enchanting streets of the Old Town, where beautifully preserved medieval buildings and charming market squares transport you back in time.

Visit the Documentation Center, located at the site of the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, to gain insights into Nuremberg’s role during World War II. Don’t miss the world-famous Christkindlesmarkt, one of Germany’s oldest and most traditional Christmas markets and popular things to do in Nuremberg . Nuremberg’s blend of historical significance and cultural traditions creates a captivating experience.

Stuttgart: Automotive Heritage and Cultural Gems

Stuttgart , nestled in a picturesque valley, is not only an automotive hub but also a city of cultural gems. Explore the fascinating Mercedes-Benz Museum, tracing the history of one of the world’s most renowned car manufacturers. Wander through the beautiful Wilhelma Zoo and Botanical Garden, home to a stunning collection of plants and exotic animals.

Stuttgart State Opera is renowned for its world-class performances. Indulge in the city’s culinary delights by sampling Swabian specialties like Maultaschen and Spätzle. Stuttgart’s unique blend of automotive heritage, natural beauty, and cultural offerings will leave you enthralled.

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Bremen: Fairytale Charm and Maritime Heritage

Bremen, a city with a fairytale-like charm, is home to the iconic Bremen Town Musicians statue and the UNESCO-listed Town Hall. Explore the enchanting Altstadt, with its narrow cobblestone streets and historical buildings. Visit the Bremen Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic architecture.

Embark on a river cruise along the Weser River, taking in the scenic beauty and learning about Bremen’s maritime heritage. Be sure to see the Roland Statue, a symbol of the city’s independence, and the Schnoor quarter, a picturesque neighborhood with narrow alleyways and timber-framed houses. Bremen’s blend of fairytale charm and maritime heritage creates a whimsical and captivating atmosphere.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber: A Medieval Gem

Rothenberg ob der Tauber in Germany

This is a charming town that should not be left out of Germany’s Famous Landmarks . At Rothenburg ob der Tauber, you will step into the enchanting world, a medieval gem that seems frozen in time. Wander through the well-preserved medieval architecture , walls, and towers that surround the city, offering panoramic views of the charming rooftops and the surrounding countryside that make it one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. 

Surrounding the city is a gate that has a pathway that allows you to see the town from above. You can explore the picturesque streets of the Altstadt, with its half-timbered houses and flower-filled window boxes. Visit the iconic Plönlein, a small square framed by medieval buildings and captured in countless postcard images. 

The area is quite famous during Christmas in Germany , so don’t miss the Christmas Museum, which celebrates the city’s renowned Christmas market and the festive spirit that permeates Rothenburg throughout the year. Rothenburg ob der Tauber’s medieval beauty and idyllic charm make it a destination straight out of a fairytale and is one of the best places to visit in Germany.

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Düsseldorf: Art, Fashion, and Cosmopolitan Flair

Düsseldorf, the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, exudes a cosmopolitan vibe with its art scene, fashion industry, and dynamic atmosphere. Visit the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, home to a world-class collection of modern and contemporary art. Stroll along the vibrant Königsallee, a boulevard with luxury boutiques and designer stores.

The MediaHarbor, is a revitalized district that combines sleek modern architecture with a bustling waterfront. Immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant nightlife, with trendy bars and clubs in the Altstadt. Düsseldorf’s blend of art, fashion, and cosmopolitan flair creates an urban experience like no other.

Hannover: Green Spaces and Royal Heritage

Hannover, the capital of Lower Saxony, surprises visitors with its abundance of green spaces and royal heritage. Explore the magnificent Herrenhausen Gardens, a Baroque masterpiece featuring meticulously landscaped gardens, fountains, and a stunning palace. Visit the charming Altstadt, with its half-timbered houses and quaint shops. Discover the city’s historical significance by visiting the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen and the Herrenhausen Palace Museum.

If you love the outdoors, the Maschsee is a beautiful lake offering recreational activities and a vibrant waterfront atmosphere. Hannover’s fusion of natural beauty, historical significance, and cultural offerings will leave you rejuvenated.

Freiburg: Gateway to the Black Forest

Situated at the edge of the Black Forest, Freiburg offers a perfect blend of medieval charm and natural beauty. Explore the picturesque Altstadt, with its narrow streets, colorful houses, and lively market squares. If you enjoy architecture, the Freiburg Minster is a stunning Gothic cathedral that dominates the city skyline.

There are many rivers in Germany including the Dreisam River and soak in the tranquil ambiance of the surrounding landscape. Embark on a scenic drive through the Black Forest, immersing yourself in its dense forests, scenic trails, and charming villages. Freiburg’s combination of historical beauty and proximity to the Black Forest makes it a gateway to unforgettable adventures.

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Rostock: Hanseatic History and Baltic Coastline

Rostock, a Hanseatic city on the Baltic Sea, invites visitors to uncover its historical treasures and enjoy its coastal beauty. Explore the charming Altstadt, with its medieval gabled houses and beautiful market square. Visit St. Mary’s Church, an impressive Gothic church that dominates the cityscape.

The Warnemünde Promenade is lined with colorful beachfront buildings and offers stunning views of the Baltic Sea. Indulge in fresh seafood at the bustling fish market and sample Rostock’s traditional beer, the Rostocker Pils. Rostock’s blend of Hanseatic history and coastal charm creates a relaxing and picturesque getaway.

Bonn: Beethoven’s Birthplace and Cultural Delights

Bonn, the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven, celebrates its rich musical heritage while offering a wealth of cultural delights. Visiting places in Germany like the Beethoven House, a museum dedicated to the life and works of the famous composer, is one of the best places to visit in Germany for students studying music. Explore the picturesque streets of the Altstadt, with its elegant buildings and charming cafes.

Learn about art and history at the Bundeskunsthalle and the Haus der Geschichte museums. Take a leisurely walk along the Rhine promenade, enjoying the views of the river and the cityscape. Bonn’s blend of musical heritage, cultural offerings, and scenic beauty makes it a city that resonates with both history buffs and art enthusiasts.

Lübeck: Hanseatic Splendor and Marzipan Delights

Lübeck, a UNESCO World Heritage site, captivates visitors with its well-preserved Hanseatic architecture and delectable marzipan treats. Explore the Altstadt, a maze of narrow streets and historical buildings that transport you back to the days of the Hanseatic League. Visit the Holstentor, the city’s iconic gate that stands as a symbol of Lübeck’s past wealth and power.

Indulge in the city’s famous marzipan at the Niederegger marzipan factory and explore the Marzipan Museum. Don’t miss the breathtaking St. Mary’s Church, one of the largest brick Gothic churches in Europe. Lübeck’s blend of Hanseatic splendor and sweet delights creates an unforgettable experience.

Würzburg: Baroque Opulence and Wine Traditions

Würzburg, located in the heart of Franconian wine country, invites visitors to marvel at its baroque opulence and indulge in its wine traditions. Explore the UNESCO-listed Würzburg Residence, a magnificent palace adorned with stunning frescoes and lavish gardens.

The Alte Mainbrücke is a historic bridge that offers panoramic views of the city and the vineyards. Embark on a wine-tasting tour and savor the region’s famous Franconian wines. Visit the Marienberg Fortress, perched on a hill overlooking the city, and enjoy the panoramic views of the Main River.

Würzburg’s blend of architectural beauty and wine culture creates a memorable experience.

Augsburg: Historical Significance and Renaissance Splendor

Augsburg, one of the oldest cities in Germany, entices visitors with its historical significance and Renaissance splendor. Explore the Fuggerei, the world’s oldest social housing complex, established in the 16th century. Marvel at the Augsburg Cathedral, is a stunning example of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Visit the Golden Hall in the Town Hall, adorned with intricate frescoes and gilded decorations.

Take in city’s artistic heritage at the Augsburg Art Museum. Wander through the charming streets of the Altstadt, with its beautifully preserved buildings and bustling marketplaces. Augsburg’s blend of history, art, and architectural beauty creates a captivating journey through time.

Regensburg: Medieval Splendor and Architectural Marvels

One of the oldest cities within Germany with a Roman past and the former Bavarian capital. Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage site, invites visitors to step into a world of medieval splendor and architectural marvels. Explore the well-preserved Altstadt, with its narrow cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and charming squares.

Marvel at the iconic Regensburg Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture that dominates the city’s skyline. Visit the historic Stone Bridge, an impressive 12th-century structure that spans the Danube River.

Schwerin: Fairy Tale Beauty and Lake Splendor

Located in Northeast Germany, this is a city that is often overlooked by the larger and more famous cities in the surrounding care. The Schwerin palace alone is one reason you should visit this beautiful city. Although it’s not Neuschwanstein Castle, it’s definitely a castle worth visiting. It’s a great place to grab some local seafood and visit the many beautiful lakes within the area.

Don’t miss the annual Schwerin Castle Festival, a grand celebration that showcases music, theater, and artistic performances against the backdrop of the magnificent castle. The festival draws visitors from near and far, adding an extra touch of magic to the city’s already enchanting atmosphere.

Thoughts on the Best Cities in Germany to Visit

Germany, with its diverse cities and rich cultural heritage, and long history, offers a captivating tapestry of experiences for travelers. From the historical significance of Berlin to the medieval charm of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, each of the best cities in Germany to visit reveals a unique blend of architectural marvels, cultural treasures, and culinary delights.

Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant energy of Berlin, the baroque opulence of Dresden, or the fairytale charm of Bremen, the most beautiful cities in Germany has something to offer every kind of explorer.

So, pack your bags, embrace the wanderlust, and embark on a remarkable journey through the best cities in Germany. Let the country’s cultural and historical treasures unfold before your eyes, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

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Hey, I'm NieNie, also known as Stephanie – a California native of hapa heritage (an American with a mix of Korean and German) with an enduring love for travel. Transitioning from my expat life in South Korea to embracing the experience of living in Germany, while also frequenting visits to my family in the Philippines, I'm documenting my adventure as a plus-size woman immersing herself in diverse cultures. Join me on Adventures with NieNie for travel tips, cultural insights, and inspiring stories from South Korea, the Philippines, and Germany. Let's embark on this adventure together!

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8 of the best places to visit in Germany

May 9, 2024 • 6 min read

best german cities to visit in february

Plan your trip to Germany with this guide to the best places to visit Westend61 / Getty Images

At the heart of Western Europe  is  Germany , a boundless feast for travelers.

Its endless variety of historic yet cutting-edge cities, romantic forests, and cultural riches can often make the task of planning a visit daunting. It would take a lifetime to see all of this fascinating country’s highlights, so take it slow and make a start with our guide to the very best places to visit in Germany.

1. The Middle Rhine Valley (the Rhine Gorge)

As the Rhine , Germany’s second-longest river, flows south from Koblenz , it cuts a gorge through a gasp-inducing landscape of vineyards and castles. The stretch between Koblenz and Rüdesheim, known as the Oberes Mittelrheintal (Upper Middle Rhine Valley) is so special it won UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2002.

A land heavily contested over the centuries, the Oberes Mittelrheintal harbors wonderful castles like  Pfalzgrafstein ,  Burg Rheinstein ,  Burg Reichenstein and Koblenz’s mighty Festung Ehrenbreitstein .

Planning tip:  Make time to visit some of the many wineries and wine bars here. We recommend Bingen’s Weingut Georg Breuer,   Alte Weinstube Zum Hubertus in Koblenz and Zum Grünen Baum in Bacharach.

Illuminated view of a large cathedral next to a river with a bridge crossing

2. Cologne 

Cologne (Köln) is known for its liberal climate and its wealth of historic sights. Taking its name from the Romans (who founded it in the first century CE as Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium), it’s been a major center of German history for centuries.

The most tangible symbol of Cologne’s importance and the essential sight is its magnificent 13th-century Gothic cathedral. The Kölner Dom  is Germany’s largest church, and was also Europe’s highest building until eclipsed by the  Eiffel Tower . Other must-see historical and cultural attractions include the  Römisch-Germanisches (Romano-Germanic) Museum and the sublime collection of 13th- to the 19th-century European art at the  Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud . 

Planning tip:  Pick up a  KölnCard  at the  Cologne Tourist Board office (adjacent to the cathedral) or at any KVB or DB ticket machines. A 24-hour individual ticket (€9) gets you unlimited public transport and up to 50% off at many cultural attractions, restaurants and shops.

Looking for more budget tips? Here's our money-saving guide to visiting Germany

A series of white cliffs leading down to a beach

3. The Baltic Coast

Northern Germany’s Baltic Coast represents a side of the country not many visitors anticipate. The indented southern coast of the Baltic Sea hides great swathes of pure sand, susurrating pines and pristine nature sanctuaries. Highlights include the former Hanseatic power Stralsund, a classic of red-brick Gothic gabled architecture; the sheer cliffs of  Jasmund National Park  on Rügen Island ; and the birdlife and beauty of the Darss-Zingst Peninsula.

Driving in Germany? Here are the best road trips

A medieval town with cobbled streets

4. Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Perhaps the most enchanting village along the entire 400km (250 miles) of the Romantic Road ,  Rothenburg ob der Tauber (meaning “above the Tauber river”) is a wonderfully preserved example of a medieval German village. Strict heritage protection ensures that every turn reveals meandering cobbled lanes, glimpses of the intact city walls and venerable churches. See the local treasures collected in the  Reichsstadtmuseum , housed in a former Dominican convent, and the  Alt-Rothenburger Handwerkerhaus , where weavers, potters and other craftspeople ply their trade as they have done for over seven centuries.

A woman stands in a room admiring the arched, heavlily decorated ceiling

5. Munich and the Bavarian Alps

Munich (München), the capital of the Free State of Bavaria (Freistaat Bayern) is the city most visitors associate with “classic” German culture – for while Germany is in fact a patchwork of cultures and dialects, it’s often the Bavarian model of Bierkellers , Bratwurst and Lederhosen that outsiders have in mind. Munich is no cliché, though: Germany’s third-largest city is a center of high-tech manufacturing and cutting-edge culture, as well as the gateway to the magnificent Bavarian Alps .

Essential sights and experiences include the  Residenzmuseum , the former palace of Bavaria’s ruling Wittelsbach dynasty; the museum-packed  Kunstareal district; and the gracious 17th-century Schloss Nymphenburg . An easy drive south of Munich lie the forested mountains, photogenic villages and ski- and spa-resorts of the beautiful Bavarian Alps.

Planning tip:  Oktoberfest  – the beer festival that starts each year in September – is synonymous with Munich, and is the busiest and most expensive time to visit. Accommodations are booked solid long in advance, so plan ahead.

Time your visit to Munich right with this seasonal guide

Objects on display at the Bauhaus Museum, Weimar, Thuringia, Germany

6. Erfurt and Weimar

The proximate central-German cities of  Erfurt and Weimar represent an astonishing concentration of cultural achievement and historic significance. Erfurt, capital of Thuringia , has one of Germany’s loveliest medieval centers, while Weimar stands tall as the capital of the eponymous 20th-century Republic, and before that the home of cultural luminaries such as Bach, Goethe, Schiller and Nietzsche.

Erfurt’s essential sights include its  cathedral , where Martin Luther was ordained, and the vast, baroque  Zitadelle Petersberg . In Weimar, make time for the Goethe-Nationalmuseum , in a building that was the author’s home of 50 years; the UNESCO-listed Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek ; and the modernist treasures of the Bauhaus Museum , which also originated here.

A river, lined with traditional houses, runs through a small town

7. The Black Forest

Bordering France and Switzerland , the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) is a vast woodland of more than 6000 sq km (2316 sq miles). From its spruce-swaddled slopes to deep valleys broken by silvery lakes and traditional villages and farmsteads, this diverse rural playground just begs to be explored by car, cycle or foot.

If you’re pressed for time, a drive along the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse ( Black Forest High Road ) from Baden-Baden to Freudenstadt unfurls a series of gorgeous vistas. If you have more time, consider hiking the 40km (25-mile)  Panoramaweg or the 12km (7.5-mile)  Feldberg–Steig to the forest’s highest peak. Population centers you should definitely include on your visit include Triberg, with its waterfall and cuckoo clocks; the laid-back university town of Freiburg ; and Alpirsbach, with its 11th-century Benedictine monastery .

Planning tip: While travelers are naturally drawn to the Black Forest’s great outdoors, it would be a mistake to overlook the region’s excellent cuisine. There’s Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest gâteau), of course – while lesser-known specialities include venison Baden-Baden , smoked Schwartzwalder Schinken (ham) and skinless lange rote (long red) sausages from Freiburg.

Don't miss Germany's best flavors with this guide to food and drink

Two stylish DJs performing together late into the night at a colourful open air nightclub in Berlin

No list of German highlights would be complete without the country’s capital and dynamic cultural engine room. Germany’s most populous city,  Berlin is a bountiful beast of a place, with some of the country’s definitive museums, dining, art and – perhaps above all – nightlife.

Boisterous Berlin has long had a bohemian streak. While you should definitely make time to for cultural highlights like the Mies van der Rohe–designed Neue Nationalgalerie and the treasure trove that is Museumsinsel (Museum Island), those seeking a party will surely find it in iconic venues like  Berghain and  Pratergarten , where beer and bonhomie have flowed together since 1837. As ever, Berlin’s party people continue to innovate . 

Planning tip:  Before you hit town, get yourself a Berlin Welcome Card online. It's available for varying periods of time, from 48-hours to 6-days, and gives unlimited rides on public transport , free entry to more than 30 top attractions plus up to 50% off entry to over 150 more, as well as other benefits.

Explore Berlin one neighborhood at a time with our guide

This article was first published Jun 3, 2021 and updated May 9, 2024.

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10 Best Places to Visit During Winter in Germany [2024]

Germany in winter

Germany is a  beautiful country  to visit any time of year, but it's incredibly stunning during winter when the snow starts to fall. From fairytale castles to spectacular natural landscapes, winter is the perfect time to explore all Germany offers. Look no further if you're looking for a winter wonderland full of snowy landscapes and ski resorts!

We've compiled a list of the ten best places to visit in Germany during winter. These destinations will enchant you, from the Black Forest to the Bavarian Alps! Here are ten of our favorites.

The Black Forest

The  Black Forest  is a magical place to visit during winter. With its snow-capped trees and fairytale villages, it's easy to see why this region is so popular with visitors worldwide. If you're looking for a winter wonderland full of activities, the Black Forest has plenty to offer. You can go skiing or snowboarding in one of the many ski resorts, ice skating on one of the many frozen lakes, or even take a sleigh ride through the picturesque villages.

The Bavarian Alps

The  Bavarian Alps  are some of the most beautiful mountains in Germany. They're perfect for a winter getaway if you want to do some snowboarding. There are also plenty of cozy mountain lodges where you can enjoy a warm meal or drink after a day on the slopes.

The Rhine Valley

The  Rhine Valley  is one of Germany's most popular tourist destinations, and for a good reason. This picturesque region is full of charming medieval towns, castles, and vineyards. The best way to explore the valley is by taking a leisurely river cruise down the Rhine River. You'll be able to take in all the sights and sounds of this beautiful region from the comfort of your ship.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

This charming town is located in the Bavarian Alps and is a popular destination for winter sports. If you're looking for a place to go for fun activities,  Garmisch-Partenkirchen  is the perfect place for you. There are also plenty of other activities in this picturesque town, such as ice skating, sledding, and hiking.

The best way to get around Garmisch-Partenkirchen is by taking the local bus lines or cable cars. The buses run regularly and will take you anywhere you need to go within the town.

The best time to visit Garmisch-Partenkirchen is from December to February. However, consider that accommodation prices will be higher during this time. If you want to save money, consider visiting during the shoulder season (March-April or October-November). You'll still be able to enjoy all the winter activities this town has to offer without the crowds and inflated prices.

If you're looking for a place to stay, plenty of hotels and Airbnb options are available. 

A few hostels are also located in the town center for those on a budget. During the winter months, the town comes alive with festive Christmas markets. You'll find handmade gifts, traditional foods, and warm drinks to enjoy as you stroll through the market stalls. Make sure to try some of the  local specialties , such as  Lebkuchen  (gingerbread),  Christstollen  (fruitcake), and  Glühwein  (mulled wine).

The Harz Mountains

The  Harz Mountains  are a great place to visit during winter if you're looking for some adventure. With its ski resorts, hiking trails, and scenic cable cars, there's something for everyone in this beautiful region.

Oberstdorf  is an excellent option for a winter getaway. This town is located in the Bavarian Alps and is home to several ski resorts in Germany. Many hotels and Airbnb options are also available, making it an excellent choice for budget-minded travelers.

While in Oberstdorf, visit the Nebelhornbahn Cable Car, which takes you to the top of Mount Nebelhorn. From here, you'll enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You can also go hiking or cross-country skiing in the nearby national park.

Füssen  is a small town located in Bavaria, southern Germany. The best time to visit Füssen was during the winter when the snow blanketed the whole city and the Christmas markets were open. There are a few ski resorts nearby if you're looking for action-packed fun. The most popular attraction in Füssen is the Hohes Schloss, a castle on a hill overlooking the town.

Winterberg  is a small town in the Sauerland region of Germany and is home to several ski resorts and snowfalls. The city is also home to a few other attractions, including the Kahler Asten, a mountain with an elevation of 841.9 meters, and the Winterberg Zoo.

Dresden  is a beautiful city located in eastern Germany. It's best known for its baroque architecture and stunning Christmas markets. Dresden is the perfect place to visit if you're looking for a festive winter getaway.

You can explore the city's many Christmas markets, go ice skating in front of the famous Semper Opera House, or take a stroll through the quaint old town center. Dresden is best visited during the winter when the Christmas markets are in full swing, and the city comes alive with holiday cheer.

Zugspitze  is a mountain in the Bavarian Alps and is the highest peak in Germany. It's best visited in the winter when the ski resorts are open and the snow is at its best. Zugspitze is also home to several restaurants and bars, making it a great place to spend a day or two.

Although the list of best places to visit during winter in Germany is quite long, you should keep a few things in mind when traveling during this time of year.

1. Make sure to pack warm clothes. The temperatures in Germany can be pretty chilly during the winter months, so it's best to pack a few friendly clothing items.

2. Be prepared for snow and icy conditions. Germany experiences some of its heaviest snowfall during winter, so it's best to be prepared for snowy conditions.

3. When traveling to ski resorts, check the snow conditions. Many ski resorts close if there is not enough snow on the ground.

4. If you're not a fan of cold weather, consider visiting Germany during the spring or summer months. The temperatures are much milder, and there is still plenty to see and do.

These are just some of Germany's best places to visit during winter. Germany is the perfect destination if you're looking for a winter getaway full of festive cheer, snow-capped mountains, and plenty of outdoor activities. With so many great places to visit, you'll never be short on things to do. So pack your bags and head to Germany for an unforgettable winter vacation.

Do you want to know the best places to travel to in Germany?

Check out our Toursim in Germany page for more information!

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16 Best Places to Visit in Germany in Winter in 2023

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Germany is wonderful at any time of the year. It was the very first European country that we ever explored and for that very reason, it will have a piece of our hearts forever. I mean, who doesn’t love fairy-tale castles, schnitzels, medieval towns, and history and it’s even better – when it’s sprinkled with snow? So here are the best places to visit in Germany in winter.

16 Best places to visit in Germany in Winter

Best places to visit in Germany in winter guide

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This list of the best places to visit in Germany winters is compiled with the help of travelers and local bloggers from Germany . We hope you enjoy this list!

But, let’s look into the winter temperatures and packing for Germany first. 

Weather and Packing for Germany in Winter 

Germany is neither too hot nor too cold in the winter. The climate of Germany is moderately continental. It does experience cold winters with a daily average temperature of around 0 °C (32 °F). So that’s fairly warm compared to where we live.

Winter landscape in the Bavarian Alps with the famous Parish Church of St. Sebastian in the village of Ramsau, Nationalpark Berchtesgadener Land

Northwestern and coastal Germany have a maritime climate – with mild and cloudy winters.

TEMPERATURES IN GERMANY IN WINTER  ❄️

Here is what you should pack for your trip to Germany in winter

  • Parka or winter jacket  – In different parts of Germany, gets pretty cold in winter and it is colder in the evenings. Carry and wear a warm parka or winter jacket. Check out this winter jacket from North Face
  • Winter boots – Wear winter boots in Germany as you are out and about exploring Christmas markets or if you plan to indulge in outdoor activities. Stay warm. Ensure your boots are at-least ankle length, waterproof, and have a good grip.  Get these Ugg boots for Germany
  • Warm/woolen socks
  • Gloves 
  • Scarf  – I LOVE blanket scarves. They will keep you warm and cozy.  Check out this warm plaid scarf here
  • Beanie or warm hat  – Super important to keep your head and ears warm.  Check this warm beanie here
  • Thermal pants and tops (or long johns) – Thermal inner tops and pants aka long johns are super handy in European winters. Shop our favorite from Amazon
  • 1-3 pretty sweaters  (depending on the length of stay) 
  • Carry moisturizer with up to 24-hour hydration –  Shop my favorite Body Shop Vitamin E moisturizer
  • Add a nice woolen sweater dress or a black dress for German Christmas events, special dinners, or New Year celebrations.

1. Munich in Winter

By Norman from Années de Pèlerinage.com

Munich - Best cities to visit in Germany in winter

Munich is one of the best places to visit in Germany in winter. Being a local, I know I am a bit biased, but let me explain.

First of all, there is much more snow in the German south than in Hamburg or Berlin. All those half timbered houses and castles just look so much prettier with a little white dusting, don’t you think?

You can also indulge in winter activities like ice skating at the Olympiapark München.

Munich also has over 70 museums. If it’s too cold outside, you can easily escape by marveling at pictures from Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, or Rafael inside the Alte Pinakothek.

As an alternative, you could also visit one of the 5 palaces within the city limits. Nymphenburg Castle looks extra pretty on a sunny winter day, while the marvelous greenhouses of the adjacent botanical garden will keep you occupied when it’s a bit too dreary outside.

englische garten münchen in winter

If you are visiting in December, you can stroll across Munich’s famous Christmas markets and get your fill of German sausages, gingerbread, cookies, and mulled wine.

The real deal-breaker, however, is the many day trips you can take. The German Alps are very close, so you could possibly go skiing.

Or you can take the train/bus to Neuschwanstein Castle (the place that inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle). There are just so many  things to do in Munich in Winter !

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL : TYRP Munchen City Center Hotel | Book hotels in Munich

✅ MUNICH TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Search Munich tours and activities

Read: A 5 day Munich Itinerary, with a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle

2. Berlin in Winter

By Julie of The Red Headed Traveler

Berlin Christmas market

There’s no escaping the fact that Berlin in winter is cold and that you’ll probably want to limit your walks along the Spree River.  But traveling to the German capital in wintertime also means fewer crowds, which makes visiting its many incredible attractions that much more enjoyable.

In the beginning weeks of winter, the sun sets quite early so a visit earlier in the day to the East Side Gallery, an open-air space located in the former East Berlin, is recommended for maximum visibility.

Berlin Germany in winter

It consists of a series of murals painted directly on a 1300 meter long remnant of the Berlin Wall.

If you’re hungry after walking the gallery and want to get warm, stop in Scheers Schnitzel, a short walk from the underground station. Just know that in Germany, schnitzel is made with pork, not veal as in Austria .

Two museums that are ideal for escaping the plummeting temperatures once it’s dark and also for understanding modern German history are the Topography of Terror and the DDR Museum.

Reichstag Best places to visit in Germany in winter

The first is located on the former site of the SS/Gestapo Headquarters and explains the heinous story of the Nazis.  The second shows what everyday life was like in the former German Democratic Republic.

Winters in Berlin are amazing due to the traditional German Christmas markets. In each and every neighborhood of Berlin, you will find a market to enjoy Christmas fairy lights, local exhibitions, and food.

Most popular markets are set up in the Spandau, Alexanderplatz, and Charlottenburg neighborhoods. 

Berlin Christmas Market

German Christmas markets are set up at the end of November, and many go on as far as mid-January.

The perfect hotel for your winter getaway in terms of cost and location is the Grand Hyatt Berlin . The rooms are spacious and it’s within walking distance of many of the city’s most well-known attractions including the most famous of all, the Brandenburg Gate.

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL : Grand Hyatt Berlin | Search hotels in Berlin

✅ BERLIN TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Search for activities in Berlin here

3. Berchtesgaden National Park in Winter

Panoramic view of beautiful winter wonderland mountain scenery in the Alps with pilgrimage church of Maria Gern and famous Watzmann summit in the background

Berchtesgaden National Park is a protected area located in the Bavarian Alps, only a 3 hour train ride away from Munich and one of Germany’s most incredible natural parks.

If you’re planning to visit Berchtesgaden National Park during winter, get ready for a breathtaking panorama: snow-covered fields with crystal clear streams, frozen lakes, and mountain views of Watzmann massif. 

The main points of interest within the park are Konigssee Lake – by far one of the most beautiful in Germany – Mount Watzmann (the third highest peak in Germany), Johannisbach Valley, and Kehlsteinhaus (Hitler’s former mountain retreat. Eagle’s Nest is not open in winter).

During winter, you can go skiing or snowboarding in the resorts located in Obersalzberg. Or, if you prefer to stay away from the slopes, a walk through the park with some snowshoes is one of the most peaceful and beautiful ways to experience it.

Stay at the no-frills Haus Wimbachtal near the Berchtesgaden National Park with free parking and wifi. 

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Haus Wimbachtal (Ramsau)

4. Trier in Winter

Christmas Market in Trier

On the banks of the Moselle, in southwest Germany, lies Trier – one of Germany’s oldest cities.

With settlements dating back to Roman times, it’s a treasure trove of 2 000 years old buildings and monuments. Its picturesque cobblestone streets and plazas are part of why it’s been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986.

Trier is known for being the oldest city in Germany and one of the oldest cities north of the Alps. It’s also home to some of the oldest churches in Germany, like the 14th-century Roman Catholic Church St Gangolf, which has been an important pilgrimage site for centuries. 

The Porta Nigra, Trier’s most iconic landmark and the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps, is also another must-see.

Trier in winter brings with it a special kind of charm – from its snow-covered cobblestone streets to its Christmas market, this city has something for everyone. With fewer visitors than in warmer months, you can more easily explore all the attractions and get a taste of the traditional German Christmas atmosphere.

For those looking for old-world charm, luxury, comfort, and great service, Hotel Villa Hügel is a great option. Located just outside the city centre in an elegant villa surrounded by nature, it’s a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of Trier; yet with easy access to all the sights.

At Villa Hügel you will be able to enjoy a traditional German atmosphere and explore Trier at your own pace. Whether it’s visiting the Christmas markets, exploring the old city centre or just going for walks in nature, this hotel is a great base from which to do it. 

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel Villa Hügel

5. Nuremberg Christmas Market

By Henar from Wander Wings

Nuremberg Germany in winter

Nuremberg, situated about 2 hours by train north of Munich, is a must for all contemporary history aficionados. It was considered to be the most German city in Germany, which lead to its almost-complete destruction in 1945.

However, well before its key role during World War II, Nuremberg was already an important social, cultural, and economic hub since its origins.

It was home to figures such as Albrecht Dürer, as well as being a media centre with 21 printing houses during Martin Luther’s time helping the propagation of his messages of Reformation, among other things. Here you can find one of the best museums in German-speaking culture and history in the world.

Other than its historical relevance, Nuremberg is also a popular winter destination for its world-renowned Christmas market (“Christkindlmarkt”). Its origin is unknown but it’s believed to date back to the 1600s.

Nuremberg Christmas Markets

It takes place every year in the market square from the last Friday prior to the first Sunday of Advent and runs until the 24th of December (unless it’s a Sunday).

It can be chilly during the winter months but enjoying the warm mulled wine in good company and taking in the spirit of the season is an experience you won’t forget, especially if you’re lucky to catch a snowy day.

If you are only visiting Nuremberg for a day, make sure to start by taking a stroll through the old town and climbing up the castle to enjoy the stunning views over the city, it is a must for anyone visiting the Bavarian city and will give you a great overview of where things are.

A great place to stay during your visit is the Five Reasons Hotel & Hostel , in the old town. Here you’ll find both private and dorm rooms, so you’ll surely find something for yourself.  

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL : Five Reasons Hotel & Hostel | Search hotels in Nuremberg

✅ NUREMBERG TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Book tours in Nuremberg 

Read: How to take a day trip from Munich to Nuremberg  

6. Cologne (Koln) in Winter

By Shang from Zip and Go

Cologne in Winter Germany

While it is easy to miss Cologne and opt for bigger cities like Berlin and Munich, it would be a shame if you never set foot here.

Cologne is well known for its Romanesque churches, its beautiful setting beside the Rhine River, and a wonderful mixture of culture and history.

The Cathedral, also known as Kolner Dom, is a MUST visit in Cologne. It is an easy walk from the colorful Old Town. 

As the largest of the 12 Romanesque churches in Cologne, and also one of the largest churches in Europe, this towering Gothic masterpiece dominates the Cologne Skyline and contains some of the most important treasures of Germany. 

Step inside and climb the 533 to the top of the South Tower for a panoramic view of the city. This scene is as beautiful as it gets. 

Cologne Christmas Markets

At the heart of Cologne is the Old Town, which was miraculously rebuilt after the atrocities of World War II. 

Almost all of the city centre was destroyed, but through the perseverance of the Germans, the entire Old Town was recreated to the minute details. 

Come in here to witness for yourself both the amazing work done by modern builders and also appreciate how beautiful the original Old Town would look.

Here, you can walk through the cobblestoned alleys or stroll along the Rhine River, and when it is too cold outside, hop into one of the numerous quirky and vibrant cafes that line the streets. And not to forget the Cologne Christmas markets are a crowd-puller in the winter!

The best place to stay in Cologne has got to be somewhere in the city center since it keeps you close to most of the attractions and provides lots of convenience and connectivity to the entire city.

We recommend the Maritim Hotel Koln  – well priced and with great views across the city and the River Rhine.

There is so much more to discover in Cologne, as it really should make your list of cities to visit in Europe!

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL : Maritim Hotel Koln | Search hotels in Koln/Cologne

✅ COLOGNE TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Book activities here

7. Bamberg in Winter

Bamberg in winter

In the north of Bavaria , at about 3 hours by train from Munich, you’ll find the city of Bamberg. A UNESCO World Heritage site in the heart of Germany and part of the Roman remains route through Bavaria.

With an old town made of cute half-timbered houses along cobblestone streets, Bamberg is known for being one of the few cities in Germany that remained almost undamaged during the war.

Besides its stunning old town, cathedral, and castle, its centuries-old family-owned breweries and their unique smoked beer are another reason for many visitors to stop by, besides its stunning architecture, of course!

Bamberg is great to visit at any time of the year, but winter is particularly nice. With fewer visitors than in the warmer months and the possibility of catching the city in the snow with its channels, bridges, and boats, Bamberg is a looker. 

After all, it has a little Venice right in the centre. And in December, the Christmas spirit takes over the whole city with multiple Christmas markets spread all over town.

The Alt-Ringlein Restaurant-Hotel right in the centre of the old town is a good option.

Right across Aecht Schlenkerla, one of the oldest and most popular smoked beer breweries and beer halls in Bamberg, and around the corner from the Cathedral and little Venice, it’s a prime spot to explore the old town.  

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL : Alt-Ringlein Restaurant-Hotel | Search hotels in Bamberg 

✅ BAMBERG TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Book activities in Bamberg

8. Baden Baden in Winter

Christmas Market in Baden Baden

Baden-Baden is a spa town located right between the Black Forest and the Vosges Mountains in the southwestern part of Germany. It’s only an hour by train from nearby Strasbourg, France, which makes it easy to explore both countries during your trip.

In winter, Baden-Baden comes alive with a festive spirit, thanks to its multiple Christmas markets spread all over town.

The best thing about Baden-Baden is its abundance of grand 19th-century architecture and natural thermal springs, which make it a great destination for winter holidays.

Whether you want to soak in the hot springs or explore its nearby nature parks, there’s something for everyone in this charming city.

And if the cold gets too much, you can always take shelter in one of its many cafes and restaurants, or get some last-minute Christmas shopping done at local boutiques and galleries.

For accommodation, Hotel Belle Époque is a great spot to stay. Not only is it located right in the centre of town but also offers views over the city. You’ll be able to explore everything Baden-Baden has to offer while still feeling cozy and relaxed.

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel Belle Époque

9. Hamburg in Winter

By Jenni from Chilling with Lucas

Hamburg Christmas Markets

Hamburg is full of breathtaking architecture, shops, and restaurants. During winter, the Christmas markets are a fabulous addition to your Hamburg itinerary .

They are just wonderful to explore, like a magical winter wonderland with plenty of gifts and crafts to browse as well as fabulous food and drinks. 

To explore Hamburg intimately, we highly recommend getting a Hamburg card as it allows unlimited travel by bus, train, and harbor ferry. It also gives you up to 30% discount on Harbour tours, Alster trips, and city tours.

You also get up to a 50% discount on various attractions and museums. Up to 28% discount on selected musicals, theatre, restaurants, and coffee shops. 

During your winter visit, ensure you visit the St Nikolai church, it was the world’s tallest building from 1874 to 1876, and it remains Hamburg’s second-tallest structure.

You can take a glass lift to a 76.3m-high viewing platform inside the surviving spire for views of Hamburg’s centre, put into context of the wartime destruction. The architecture and detailing of it are absolutely stunning. 

A harbor tour is also a great way to admire the city lights in comfort. Our enthusiastic tour guide also had everyone laughing. 

Hamburg Christmas Markets

Hamburg is the second-largest cocoa import harbor in Europe so a trip to the Chocoversum chocolate museum is a must. You take a tour around the museum, learn about the way various chocolates are made, and get to have a few samples too.

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL : Ibis Styles Hamburg Alster City | Book hotels in Hamburg 

✅ HAMBURG TOURS & ACTIVITIES:   Search activities in Hamburg 

10. Zugspitze in Winter

By Darek from darekandgosia

Who would not want to stand on the roof of Germany, their highest peak, look around and see a sea of mountain peaks covered with a thick layer of snow?

Ready to visit Zugspitze? Just attach skis or a board and ride on the white glacial lying between mountain peaks – this is the must-visit place for winter sports (along with Belchen aka Black Forest) and Harz Mountains!

How to get to Zugspitze ? The answer is simple – on the train! Yes, yes, this is not a mistake!

Zugspitze in winter

The Germans really showed off – you can go by train almost to the top. All you have to do is jump on a cog railway, which goes up inside the mountain – it’s are great experience itself! However, for the last section (about 400 m vertically) you have to take a cable car.

Zugspitze is the highest and the only glacier ski resort in Germany. In the skiing season, which lasts here for half a year, snow is therefore guaranteed.

What’s more interesting, you can be sure that it will be natural snow, because at this height German law prohibits the production of artificial snow.

There are 21 kilometres (13 miles) of ski runs to cover, which are always perfectly prepared during the ski season and are great both for skiing and snowboarding.

We highly recommend booking the Eibsee Hotel as your base. It’s not only located at the bottom of Zugspitze but also next to Eibsee Lake – one of the best lakes in Germany. 

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL : Eibsee Hotel | Search hotels in Grainau/Zugspitze

✅ ZUGSPITZE TOURS & ACTIVITIES :  Book tours in Zugspitze

11. Fussen and Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

By Dayna from Happily Ever Travels

Neuschwanstein Castle in winter

Did you know that the castle that inspired Disneyland’s princess castle is a real castle in Germany? If the Neuschwanstein Castle wasn’t on your bucket list before, it will be now!

And somehow this castle becomes even more magical when surrounded by snow in the winter. This whole area along with the view of the Bavarian Alps is absolutely beautiful, and only a few hours away from Munich.

There are also two other castles nearby as well, one in Fussen and the Schwangau Castle in Hohenschwangau, which is just around the corner from Neuschwanstein. 

The castle is open year-round and you can buy tickets online in advance to go inside. The only difference is that the amazing views that you normally would visit to take pictures of the castle are closed during the winter. 

Fussen in winter

However, if you’d still like to get to those Instagram viewpoints even during winter, you must read about visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in winter without missing anything! 

If you’re looking to get a little bit of that winter magic that Europe provides, there is no better place than Neuschwanstein Castle!

There are cheap hotels in Fussen, just a short bus ride from the castles. However, if you’d like to stay closer to Neuschwanstein Castle, we recommend the Romantic Pension-Albrecht Hotel . 

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL : Romantic Pension-Albrecht Hotel  | Book hotels in and around Fussen

✅ DAY TOUR TO NEUSCHWANSTEIN FROM MUNICH : Check out this day tour here 

Read: Guide to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

12. Stuttgart Winter and Christmas Markets

Stuttgart Christmas - Best places to visit in Germany in winter

Founded in the 10th century, Stuttgart is home to Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. Stuttgart is the sixth-largest city in Germany and is located in the southwestern part of the country. 

Winters in Stuttgart are slightly continental – it is cold, but not freezing cold. The Christmas markets in Stuttgart attract a lot of tourists in winter to the now modern city. The entire city turns into a fairytale of sorts with lights, festivities, and carols. 

Other than the festive markets, visit the Porsche Museum and Mercedes-Benz Museum, as they are open in winter. For history lovers, head to Landesmuseum Württemberg – to admire the remnants of Celtic armor, Roman swords, and jeweled crowns. 

Stuttgart is home to the second-largest complex of mineral springs in Europe, and winters are the best time to cozy up and enjoy the warm and healing waters. 

Stuttgart is also a convenient base for exploring those nearby cities in Baden-Württemberg.

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Book hotels in Stuttgart

✅ STUTTGART TOURS & ACTIVITIES : Search activities in Stuttgart

13. Bavarian Forest National Park in Winter

Located in the southeast of Germany, Bavarian Forest National Park is one of the oldest protected areas in Europe. 

Known as the Bayerischer Wald locally, the park covers an area of 242.2 sq km and it’s full of lush green forests, deep valleys, pristine lakes, and crystal clear rivers.

In wintertime, the Bavarian forest takes on a whole new personality: snow-covered trees and pine needles, frozen lakes, and streams that look like glass. A fairytale setting, perfect for enjoying nature in all its glory!

The National Park has a lot of activities to offer throughout the year: from winter hiking and snowshoeing to cross country skiing.

With two primary ski resorts to choose from, you can hit the slopes and experience the thrill of winter sports. Tickets are available for around 40 euros, offering great value for your adventure. 

Don’t worry about transportation, as a convenient ski bus connects Silberburg Ski Area to Grosser Arber Ski Resort in the Bavarian Forest. 

The Bavarian Forest is a beautiful place to enjoy the winter season and discover Germany’s wild side! Plus it is located about a 2.50-hour drive away from Munich. 

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL : Wellnesshotel Riedlberg (in Drachselsried)

Read: 3 days in Munich itinerary

14. Rhine Valley in Winter

By Paulina from Paulina On the Road

Rhine Valley in winter

The Rhine Valley is a stunning region in Germany, running along the banks of one of Europe’s longest and most important rivers.

In winter, it gets particularly magical as snow covers its forests and vineyards, making it an ideal destination for those looking to enjoy the beauty of nature without going too far from civilization. 

Some of the best villages in the Rhine Valley to visit during winter are Bacharach, Boppard, Bingen, and St. Goar.

During the winter months, almost every single Rhine village hosts its own Christmas Market. 

Set in narrow, cobblestone paved streets, it’s the perfect place to enjoy some mulled wine and German sausages. It’s said that mulled wine in the Rhine Valley is some of the best you can get in Germany as the region is famous for its top-notch wines.

The region is also known for its picturesque castles and ruins along the river banks – an ideal spot to take beautiful photos!

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL : Book hotels near Rhine Valley

✅ DAY TOUR TO RHINE VALLEY FROM FRANKFURT: Book a day tour to Rhine Valley here

15. Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Winter

Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Winter

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is another great destination for a winter holiday. Located right on Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, this charming Bavarian town has plenty to offer.

Its Alpine setting is perfect for those looking for a more outdoorsy getaway. Skiing and snowboarding are the top activities here, but there are also plenty of hiking trails to explore in the area.

And if you don’t want to spend all your time outdoors, you can also take a look at the spectacular old town and its traditional buildings. The city centre is home to the iconic Wankbahn cable car and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

If you’re looking for accommodation, Hotel Sonnenbichl in Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers a great stay with excellent views of the nearby mountains and a cozy, homely atmosphere.

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel Sonnenbichl in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

16. Mittenwald in Winter

Mittenwald in winter

Just a couple of hours’ drive south from Munich, you’ll find Mittenwald. A tiny Alpine village set against the majestic Karwendel mountains and known for its violin-making tradition. 

In fact, you can visit some of the old workshops around town to witness how they make musical instruments by hand in an ancient craft practiced since the mid-17th century.

The winter months in Mittenwald are a magical time. With its snow-covered houses and the majestic Karwendel mountain range, it looks like something out of a fairy tale.

If you’re into winter sports, Mittenwald is the perfect spot for some back country skiing and snowshoeing in pristine wilderness – with a view! The hikes around Mittenwald are also great to explore the Karwendel mountain range during the colder months of the year.

For cozy accommodation right in the centre of Mittenwald, you can opt for Alpenhotel Rieger . With wooden floors and alpine-style décor, it’s a 3-star hotel with a spa area and they also offer free parking and buffet breakfast!

✅ RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Alpenhotel Rieger

No matter where you’re looking to stay, Germany has plenty of winter options for everyone. From charming small towns to vibrant cities, and from outdoor activities to cozy cafes – you’re sure to find something you love!

And let’s not forget about all the delicious German food – from the classic sausages to the local cheeses, Germany has plenty of gastronomic delights for you to discover! 

Visiting Germany in Winter | FAQ & Travel Guide

best german cities to visit in february

How cold is Germany in winter?

German winters can be quite cold, with temperatures in December and January often dropping below zero. Although the average temperature across Germany is around 5°C (41°F), it will feel much colder due to the wind chill factor.

The coldest cities in Germany are usually located in the north of the country, such as Berlin where temperatures can drop to -10°C (14°F) and below. In the south, cities like Munich can experience temperatures of around 0-2°C (32-36°F).

The colder months tend to start in December and last until March, although snow is not always present across the entire country during this time. Cities closer to the Alps or the North Sea will typically experience more snow than other cities in Germany.

Overall, German winters can be quite cold but there are plenty of things to do and enjoy during the colder months! Whether you’re visiting one of the many Christmas markets or curling up with a blanket and watching the snow fall, winter in Germany is truly beautiful.

Is Germany expensive in winter?

If you’re considering a trip to Germany during the winter, you’re in for a treat! It’s a great time to travel with the added bonus of lower costs and fewer crowds compared to the bustling summer season.

Germany can be an affordable destination for travelers, depending on your budget. Accommodation prices vary greatly and are generally cheaper in the winter months due to lower demand.

Generally speaking, food is also quite affordable – you can get a hearty meal at a local restaurant for around €10-15 (USD$12-17). Drinks can also be quite reasonably priced, with a beer costing around €3-4 (USD$ 3.50-5).

Transportation prices also vary depending on the city and type of transport. For example, a single bus ride in Berlin can cost around €3 (USD$3.40) or an all-day ticket for one person is around €8 (USD$9).

Which month is very cold in Germany?

December, January, and February are typically the coldest months in Germany. 

Temperatures across the country tend to hover around 5°C (41°F) during these months, although they can drop to -10°C (14°F) or below depending on where you are located. 

Does it snow in Germany at Christmas?

The answer to this question depends on where you are in Germany during the Christmas season. Generally speaking, cities near the Alps or the North Sea such as Munich and Hamburg experience more snow than other parts of the country.

In the south, towns like Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberstdorf are known for their ski resorts which offer plenty of snow during the cold winter months.

Best Places to visit in Germany in Winter

In the east, cities like Berlin and Dresden tend to experience less snow than other parts of the country, although they still get some flakes during Christmas time.

Overall, your chances of experiencing a white Christmas in Germany depend largely on where you decide to spend it! If you are visiting a city, most likely you may encounter a wet Christmas instead of a white one. 

What do you wear in Germany in winter?

When visiting Germany in winter, it is essential to pack for the cold weather. A good coat, scarf, and gloves should be at the top of your list as temperatures can drop to -10°C (14°F) depending on the city. 

Sturdy shoes are also recommended due to wet and icy surfaces. It’s also important to note that most of the major attractions remain open in winter, although some may close a few hours earlier than usual due to reduced sunlight hours. Therefore, it is advised to check opening times before visiting any sites.

Other items to consider packing for Germany in winter include hats, scarves, sweaters, and thermals – these will all help keep you warm while exploring the country. 

If you plan on visiting any outdoor attractions, waterproof clothing such as snow boots and a coat may be necessary.

Must pack the following

  • Merino Wool Sweater
  • Dark Jeans or Pants and leggings
  • Insulated Puffer Jacket or Parka
  • Winter boots and warm socks

What is there to do in Germany in winter?

Here is what you can explore in Germany in winter

  • Visit traditional Christmas Markets in Stuttgart, Trier, Nuremberg 
  • Hit festive cities (and learn about their history) – Munich, Berlin
  • Go skiing and enjoy snow-related activities in the Bavarian Alps 
  • Soak in the winter landscape at the Rhine Valley and Berchtesgaden
  • Visit castles and palaces like the Neuschwanstein Castle

Should I visit Germany in winter or summer?

Both seasons have something different to offer – so it all depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for!

Winter is a great time to visit if you’re looking for something cozy and magical. From Christmas markets to snow-covered forests, this season has plenty of unique experiences to offer. 

Although it can be quite cold, the atmosphere of winter in Germany is truly special! It is also not a busy tourist season like the summers. 

Summer, on the other hand, offers a more active holiday with plenty of outdoor activities to explore. From hiking and biking to swimming and sunbathing, there are lots of things to enjoy during this season. 

Fall and spring are great as it’s a shoulder season, and there are fewer crowds in popular destinations. This time of year also brings out some unique festivals such as Oktoberfest. 

Is it worth visiting Germany in winter?

Absolutely! Regardless of whether you’re a winter sports enthusiast or just looking for some great cultural experiences, Germany in winter is worth every bit of effort.

The cities are beautifully decorated with festive lights and decorations, the Christmas markets are buzzing with visitors, and there’s plenty to do – from skiing to snowshoeing to exploring quaint Bavarian towns.

If you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience, Germany in winter is definitely the place to be. The crisp air and stunning snow-capped mountain views make for some truly breathtaking scenery, while the hot chocolate, gluhwein, and delicious local dishes will warm your heart – and of course your belly!

Essential Travel Tips for Germany in Winter 

We hope you enjoyed this list of best German cities to visit in winter, here are some quick tips to help you prepare for your travel. 

Planning your trip to Europe – If this is your first-ever trip to Europe, consider reading our Europe 101 guide.

Schengen Visa – If you require a visa to travel to Europe, most likely it is the Schengen Visa (for those belonging to the Euro Zone or EU, doesn’t include the UK). Read our guide to applying for Schengen Visa.

Travel Insurance – Don’t forget to insure your trip. Get Travel Insurance quotes from Safety Wing here.

Get a free quote for Safety Wing Travel Insurance

German Cities & Germany Travel Resources 

  • Munich Itinerary – Itinerary guide for 3 to 7 days in Munich
  • Munich on a Budget – Free things to do in Munich 
  • Dachau Bavaria – Guide to visiting Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
  • Central Europe in 2 weeks with Germany – Visit Munich, Budapest, Prague and Vienna in 14 days
  • Europe – Get our 27 Europe in one week itinerary samples

Europe in winter – Here are seasonal European resources that might interest you

  • Winter Destinations – Destinations to visit in Europe winter for Christmas markets, skiing or winter sun
  • Winter sun destinations – Winter sun destinations for December to February
  • Places to visit in February – Best places you must visit in Europe in February

Pin: Best cities to visit in Germany in Winter

Mayuri is the founder & editor of ToSomePlaceNew. An Indian-Canadian globetrotter, she has traveled to over 100 cities and 40+ countries.

Mayuri has a graduate degree in History and is an MBA. She loves traveling the world particularly Europe, capturing historical nuances, and discussing that over a cup of coffee with her husband, Salil. 

She has lived in Portugal, Canada and India.

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16 fantastic places to visit in europe in february.

Arctic Cathedral with snow around it

Are you looking for an unforgettable February getaway in Europe? Myself and other expert travel bloggers have put together this list of the best place to visit in Europe in February in this post!

There’s so much to see in Europe, even in the middle of winter.

While it’s certainly not the warmest month of the year, you don’t need brilliant sunny weather to enjoy Europe.

February is an excellent time to explore the continent’s fascinating culture, rich history and breathtaking landscapes.

It may be cold and frosty in some parts of Europe, but there are chances to make the most of this with snowsports; plus many places on the continent look like winter wonderlands when covered in a blanket of glistening white snow!

Warm up by taking a dip in a geothermal pool in Iceland or take a boat through the frozen Norwegian fjords.

Alternatively, take a city break – perhaps for a romantic Valentine’s getaway to admire Gothic architecture in cities like Paris, or enjoy the Barcelona carnival and other festivities throughout the continent. 

The hours of sunshine per day are increasing all over Europe, and you can enjoy the winter sun in the Canary Islands and other Southern Europe destinations. 

In this blog post, I’ve asked some expert travel bloggers about their favourite places to visit in Europe in February. 

We’ll highlight some of the best places to visit in Europe during this month and explain why it’s the perfect time to visit many destinations!

This blog post may contain affiliate links. 

Table of Contents

Places to visit in Europe in February

The best places to visit in Europe in February include Western Europe capitals like Paris, destinations like Tromsø to chase the northern lights and cities such as Venice and Barcelona where you can bask in carnival celebrations during Mardi Gras.

Tromsø, Norway

View of the Arctic Cathedral, Tromso bridge and the mountains in the background.

Tromsø, located in northern Norway, is often renowned as the unofficial capital city of the Arctic!

A fascinating destination for travelers looking for a winter wonderland experience, Tromso is ideal in February for northern lights chasing and seeing the Arctic as its coldest – the way everyone imagines it to be!

Tromso city has a vibrant cultural scene, with many museums and galleries, such as the Polar Museum and Troll Museum, showcasing the region’s history and customs.

Lit up buildings in Tromso with a reflection over the water

6th February is Sami National Day in Norway – this is a celebration for the Sami (Indigenous Norwegian) people to honor their rich history, heritage and culture.

There are plenty of celebrations in the city during this time, including the Arctic market and reindeer racing championships; one of the best ways to see reindeer in Tromsø !

Reindeer at a Sami camp, grazing in the snow

You can enjoy a plethora of winter activities on offer in the surroundings around Tromsø too. Enjoy cross-country or downhill skiing, snowshoe to epic viewpoints or go dog sledding across the epic landscape. 

If you need to warm up, head to Pust sauna.

Swimming in the chilly arctic waters in February, outside of Pust sauna

This is a small sauna (it must be booked in advance), where you can warm up and then jump straight into the Arctic waters.

It’s a chilly 2°C (35.6°F) in February, but it’s an invigorating way to start the day – it’s definitely one of the best Tromsø winter activities !

Check out the best places to visit in Norway in winter here!

Cadiz, Spain

February is the perfect time of the year to travel to the port city of Cadiz in southern Spain.

When February rolls around, the carnival of Cadiz fills up the streets with parades and festive tourists and locals.

In fact, this is the oldest carnival in Spain – it dates back to when Cadiz traded with the New World and Venice.

The sailors saw Venice Carnival and wanted to create something similar at home and so they did – but with a local twist!

Besides the daytime parades, you’ll see groups of singers caroling on street corners – they’re usually singing comedy about the city!

There are also concerts in the big squares in town.

Going to the carnival is truly one of the best things to do in Cadiz , but as one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, there is a lot more to see if you plan your visit well!

Historic buildings in Cadiz, spread out in a panorama, with blue sea and sky in the background.

Cadiz Cathedral is the most prominent attraction in Cadiz and you can climb the clock tower – from the top, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the city.

But you’ll find even better views at Torre Tavira, the highest and only watchtower you can visit.

You can also stroll along the coastline to explore the city’s two castles, Santa Catalina Castle and San Sebastian Castle.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, the comfortable Hotel Boutique Convento Cádiz is a stylish boutique hotel in the heart of the city centre. 

By Linn from Amused by Andalucia

Zakopane, Poland

Are you seeking snow? 

Enjoy the winter season in February by visiting Zakopane, Poland.

Tatra mountain landscape of zakopane with wooden cottages. Panoramic beautiful winter inspirational landscape view.

This is a small mountain town located in the majestic Tatra Mountains and is an absolute winter paradise for outdoor adventurers – as well as anyone who is looking to experience pure relaxation.

The small town is home to several ski resorts, making it a crowd-favorite destination for anyone looking to ski or snowboard.

Alternatively, if you prefer to take in local culture, walk along Krupowki Street.

Here, you’ll find plenty of stalls selling hand-crafted goods, souvenirs, traditional foods, and all sorts of clothes.

When you’re ready to relax, warm up at one of the nearby thermal pools . The water temperature of these pools is about 90-98°F and it’s sourced directly from the mountains!

If you’re looking for places to stay, choose the Aries Hotel and Spa. This hotel boasts all the necessary amenities to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible!

By Kristin from Global Travel Escapades

Check out my guide to visiting Zakopane in winter here!

Helsinki, Finland

Senate Square in Helsinki, with darkening sky above and snow on the ground.

The capital of Finland, Helsinki is located by the coast of the Baltic Sea.

With a rich history and strong cultural influence, it has been nicknamed the “Daughter of the Baltic”. While it’s cold in the winter months, it’s one of the best places to visit in Europe in February! 

The snowy period in Helsinki can last for five to six months – from the end of October to mid-April and the average temperature hovers around freezing throughout February.

It is easy to plan a winter itinerary in Helsinki; there are so many unique activities to do and keep warm. It’s the best month to visit a traditional Finnish Sauna and get warmed up before heading out and exploring!

Take a walk in the city center and discover the many world-class art and history museums, including the Ateneum, Kiasma, National Museum, and the Design Museum in the Design District. All these museums offer free entry with a Helsinki Card .

Helsinki is also filled with interesting architecture such as the Tempopeliaukio Kirkko is a Lutheran Church carved into solid granite, featuring an impressive pipe organ. To go a bit further, take a ferry and sail across the frozen harbor to Suomenlinna, one of the most important heritage sites in Finland.

The Helsinki Cathedral is the city’s iconic landmark, and no visit to the capital is complete without taking pictures of the building. There are a number of popular attractions around Senate Square. Hop on the SkyWheel Helsinki, it is the only observation wheel in the world with a SkySauna.

Hotel F6 is a hip and chic boutique hotel in the city center and it’s within a short walking distance of Senate Square.

By Kenny from Knycx Journeying

Paris, France

Gothic architecture illuminated against the dark sky in Paris.

Paris is a rare city that is magnificent to visit year-round — with so much beauty and plenty of outdoor and indoor attractions, Paris never quite has an off-season.

This is one reason why Paris is particularly delightful in February. It’s one of the least touristed months of the year, which means you won’t have to fight huge crowds to get into the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay, and you can get a glimpse of the more typical Parisian lifestyle.

Spend your days getting lost in the culture-rich, boutique-filled streets of Marais, the best area to stay in Paris — or head St. Germain to cafe-hop in the steps of Hemingway or Sartre, or wander the steep winding streets of Montmartre that are straight out of Amélie.

And if you’re looking for a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day, you can’t do better than Paris! This is the chance to splurge on something special, like an evening of champagne tasting or tickets to the spectacular show at the Moulin Rouge.

Just be warned that visiting Paris in February may ruin the city for you — after seeing how good this month is, you might never want to return in summer!

By Kate from Adventurous Kate

Venice, Italy

Sunset over a canal of Venice with buidlings on either side

Venice is worth visiting all year round, but February is the month when the most eagerly awaited event of the year takes place: Carnival!

The Venetian Carnival is one of the most famous Carnivals in the world and Venetians have celebrated it since the year 1094.

During this month, hoards of tourists pour into the ‘calli’ (narrow streets) of the city, transforming them into a whirlwind of colorful masks and costumes capable of reviving even the greyest of winter days.

Around this time of the year, temperatures are between 6°C (42.8°F) and 10°C (50°F) and rainy days are normal.

The best things to do in Venice include the chance to try local foods such as the cicchetti and fritole veneziane , which is a typical Carnival treat.

Aside from the Carnival, another good reason to be in Venice in February, is for Valentine’s Day.

During Valentine’s Day, you can ride a gondola to see the city from a unique perspective with your other half.

Then at the end of the ride, watch the sunset from the Rialto Bridge, which is the most famous bridge in Venice. For the most extravagant stay, check out the Palazzo Experimental, a contemporary style 4-star hotel with canal views.

By Maddalena from Venice Travel Tips

Santorini, Greece

The beautiful white buildings of Santorini against the bright blue Mediterranean waters.

With stunning views of the Aegean Sea, warmer weather than many other places in the continent, fewer crowds, lower prices than the summer months and vibrant culture, Santorini is an ideal February destination.

It might be windy at that time of the year, but still, you can expect lots of sunshine!

In February, the beaches in Santorini are nearly empty and perfect to soak up some sun in silence.

Another plus is the green, lush vegetation on the island, which make the whole scenery absolutely stunning – even more beautiful than in the summer months!

The mild Mediterranean climate during this time of year makes Santorini Island an ideal spot for outdoor activities.

You can explore Oia without any crowds, visit amazing archaeological sites or take a boat tour to the neighboring islands.

You’ll still find plenty of restaurants and bars open in February, along with shops and markets that offer unique local products – like creamy Greek feta cheese and Kalamata olives!

By Martina from PlacesofJuma

Hamburg, Germany

A view over Hamburg city, with the church on the left, with a dusting of snow covering it.

One of the best places to visit in Europe in February is Hamburg, Germany.

Although it is the second largest city in Germany and has countless fascinating attractions, it is often overlooked by cities like Munich, Berlin, and Frankfurt. It’s also easy to get to, with its own international airport.

Hamburg has a chocolate museum, zoo, and many parks and outdoor spaces.

There are also a lot of free things to do in Hamburg , which is ideal if you’re traveling on a budget.

Don’t miss the Speicherstadt district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s largest complex of warehouses, spanning an area of 260,000 square meters.

February in particular is a good time to visit Hamburg because it is much less crowded. At the end of February, the city also celebrates Carnival, where you’ll see masks, costumes, parades, and lots of beer. Many venues will also have live music.

For your February trip, consider staying at the Citadines Michel Hamburg. It’s in a great location; within walking distance of attractions and public transportation stations.

By Vicky from Buddy The Traveling Monkey

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Cortina d'Ampezzo, a city in Italy, with buildings on either side and a church tower in the background.

Located in the Italian Dolomites, Cortina d’Ampezzo is a fantastic European destination to visit in February.

There are many things to do in Cortina in February, such as winter sports, skiing, riding cable cars and exploring the picturesque town.

Cortina has a great vibe in February and is covered in snow – in fact, February is the snowiest month in Cortina with over 330mm of snow falling!

Cortina has some of the best skiing in the Alps with more than 120 kilometers/ 75 miles of slopes. If you want a change from skiing you can try snowshoeing, snowboarding or even tobogganing!

Even if you aren’t keen on snow sports, definitely go on the cable car up to the mountains – the views from the top are absolutely stunning and there are even some restaurants at the top!

If you’d prefer to admire the mountains from below, visit the pedestrianised Corso Italia – Cortina’s main street.

Cortina is lively with plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars with terraces where you can enjoy the views with an Aperol spritz, hot chocolate, mulled wine or the winter drink Bombardino (an Italian egg nog)! February is peak season in Cortina so book your accommodation in advance! Hotel Cortina comes highly recommended. 

By Catrina from 24 Hours Layover

Viareggio, Italy

Viareggo in Italy, with boats on either side of the canal.

A lovely coastal city situated in Tuscany, Viareggio livens up in February during carnival festivities.

Competing with Venice for the crown of the most famous carnival in Italy and Europe, Viareggio has one of the largest celebrations in Italy. The parade has a very ancient history, with the first one held in 1873.

The celebrations take place from February and reach their peak on the last Saturday, after Ash Wednesday.

Huge and colored chariots invade the city’s most famous road, the hyped pedestrian road along the docks and seaside resorts.

The festivities start during the afternoon with the parade and last long after the sunset when the party goes on in the bars and nightclubs in the area.

To celebrate this tradition you can taste one of the best deserts in the area, c hiacchere . Literally translated as “gossip”, these delicious fried biscuits are made with the same dough as pizza and covered with icing sugar.

Some variations add chocolate on top or also pistachio cream.

Without a doubt, Viareggio is one of the best destinations to visit in February for the incredible Carnival!

But don’t miss the surrounding areas while you’re in Viareggio. 

Even though the beach looks less attractive in Winter, there are many other locations to visit on a day trip without crowds, such as Henraux abandoned marble quarry or Villa Reale di Marlia , and Lucca.

By Anita from Anita Beyond the Sea

Matera, Italy

Matera in Italy

Famous for its more than 1600 stone-carved cave dwellings (including cave churches and homes) and hundreds of stone buildings (such as stone-cut monasteries, stone palaces, and stone houses),  the stone-carved Matera is one of the most spectacular places on earth – and it’s a fantastic place to visit in February!

Today many cave homes are turned into cave hotels, cave restaurants, and cave cafes and shops in Matera. 

There are lots of  things to do in Matera , including visiting some of the most famous cave churches, dining in a romantic cave restaurant, and sleeping in a cave hotel or a stone-carved palace like Palazzo Gattini Luxury Hotel.

Magical Matera was the filming location of No Time to Die , the latest James Bond movie – the movie’s main protagonists slept in the gorgeous Palazzo Gattini in Matera.

Palazzo Gattini Luxury Hotel has elegant rooms, stone bathrooms, a wellness center set in an ancient cistern, and a thermal pool.

Matera and the Palazzo Gattini Luxury Hotel are perfect places for couples to have the most magical Valentine’s Day!

As Matera is in the sunny Basilicata region near the heel of the Italian boot, the average daily high in Matera in February is 13°C (55°F) and there is more sunshine than many other places in Italy and the rest of Europe. After all, Matera is in the sun-kissed Italian south!

Matera gets fewer crowds in February than in summer, the peak of tourist season.

For the same reason, accommodations in Matera are cheaper in February than during the high tourist season.

By Milijana from World Travel Connector

Nice, France

A main square of Nice in France, with black and white tiles and the pink and yellow buildings in the background.

Located on the French Riviera, Nice is one of France’s most popular tourist destinations and is well-known for its beautiful climate and architecture.

The weather in Nice is mild and breezy in winter, although it’s warmer than other destinations in Northern Europe. 

The city rarely gets snow, but rain is fairly common. 

So why visit in February? Well, the Carnaval de Nice takes place during this month.

This is a must-see event on the French Riviera and it takes place every February with the festivities lasting for two weeks.

The carnival features a colorful parade of floats, with each representing a different theme and accompanied by performers, bands, and dancers. There are also giant puppets!

After the day’s events, you can enjoy fireworks displays in the evening. You’ll enjoy watching the carnival floats light up in a colorful festive atmosphere.

Outside of the carnival are numerous other activities to enjoy while in Nice.

The city’s popular attractions include the Promenade des Anglais, a famous seafront walkway along the Mediterranean Sea.

Visitors can also explore the city’s old town ( Vieux Nice ), which features pastel-colored homes, narrow streets, and art galleries.

If you’re visiting Nice during carnival season, it’s recommended to reserve your hotel in advance before they are fully booked.

Here’s a list of the  best hotels in Nice to choose from – a favorite is the mid-range, cozy and comfortable Hotel Florence Nice .

By Imee from Journey to France

Vik, Iceland

reynisfjara beach in Iceland

If you’re looking for a wintery getaway, Vik in Southern Iceland is lovely in February. 

Located along the southern coastline of Iceland, this tiny fishing village has a lot to offer, from the picturesque center to the sweeping surrounding landscapes.

Come winter, the small town is likely to be blanketed in snow, making the scenery look that much more magical!

Vik is most famous for Reynisfjara, the most famous black sand beach in Iceland .

Reynisfjara is known for its jet-black sand, rugged sea stacks and columnar basalt cliff sides, jutting out of the beach.

During the wintertime, the waves on the beach are quite rough and the wind can be quite gusty, so be sure to bring along plenty of layers to keep you warm!

Another amazing winter experience in Vik is to head to the nearby Katla Ice Cave, which actually forms between the Kötlujökull glacier and the volatile Katla Volcano.

On a tour here, you’ll be able to walk across barren volcanic fields, see the cave’s jaw-droppingly blue walls of ice, and potentially even hike on the glacier!

While Vik has plenty to explore during the day, the real magic appears (if you’re lucky!) at night in February.

Due to its remote location and limited light pollution, Vik is one of the best places in Iceland to see the Northern Lights dance across the night sky; as February still has relatively long, dark nights, you’re in for a higher chance of seeing them! 

While you’re in the village, stay at Hotel Vik i Myrdal, which perfectly marries modern design with Nordic coziness.

By Jessica from Uprooted Traveler

Check out my three-day Iceland in winter itinerary here!

Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a fantastic destination any time of year, but visiting in February is definitely something special.

Catalonia is significantly warmer and sunnier than many other European destinations during this time of year, making it perfect for those looking to escape the gray winter in other parts of the world.

Enjoy the sun with a long walk on the beach, or take a hiking tour from Barcelona to admire the beautiful nature in the surrounding area.

While Barcelona’s always busy, in February, there are significantly fewer tourists in the city.

Take advantage of the tranquility for beautiful photos without crowds in the background, lower prices, and shorter queues in front of the sights.

View of the city from Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain

If you’re looking for events, head to Sitges, an idyllic coastal town just 20 minutes from Barcelona. It hosts an exciting Carnival celebration, considered one of the most colorful and crazy in the area.

Barcelona also has a lot to offer in terms of cuisine in February. Besides the typical Catalan dishes, you should not miss an authentic calçotada .

The so-called Calçots, a Catalan spring onion, are grilled and eaten with a delicious sauce of nuts and peppers – a taste sensation! 

By Vicki from Vicki Viaja

Lanzarote, Spain

Central old square with San Gines church in Arrecife city on Lanzarote island in Spain

If you want to escape Europe’s cold weather in February, head to the Canary Islands, or more specifically, Lanzarote! 

Lanzarote, the easternmost island of the Canary Islands archipelago, is a year-round destination known for its stunning volcanic landscapes, beautiful sandy beaches, and warm weather.

February is a wonderful time to visit the island (as is December , January and any other month of the year!).

Although it’s not the warmest month, the weather is mild and sunny without being too hot, making it ideal for exploring the island’s many natural wonders and outdoor activities.

best german cities to visit in february

One of the most popular attractions on this Canary Island is Timanfaya National Park , where you can explore the island’s volcanic terrain and take a guided tour of the park’s stunning landscapes.

The park’s geothermal activity is an incredible sight to behold, with a dramatic erupting geyser. In fact, Timanfaya is Lanzarote’s only active volcano, although it hasn’t erupted since 1730!

Lanzarote has plenty of pristine beaches to choose from, including Famara Beach, on the north coast and the beaches of Playa Blanca on the south coast.

Central square with old church Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in Teguise village on the sunset on lanzarote island

Lanzarote is also home to several charming towns and villages, such as the capital, Arrecife, and the picturesque village of Yaiza.

Explore the island’s rich history and culture by visiting its many museums and galleries, such as the César Manrique Foundation, which showcases the works of the famous Lanzarote artist and architect.

Bergen, Norway

The historic wooden buildings of Bergen that sit next to the fjord

Bergen is located on the west coast of Norway and is a beautiful and charming city that’s worth visiting year-round.

In February, there isn’t much snow (it happens occasionally, but there’s much more rain!), but this means that you can still get out and about to see the fjords without freezing!

It’s the perfect destination for gastronomy, as the seafood is at its freshest in the winter months. Bergen is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, mainly for its fish! 

You can make the most of the seasons in Bergen in February – Nordnes Sjøbad offers the chance to take a dip in the chilly water – while it’s cold, it’s extremely refreshing and revitalizing, and you can warm up straight away in the sauna or thermal pool!

Swimming in a fjord at Nordnes Baths in Bergen in February

There are also plenty of indoor attractions including the Bryggen Museum which focuses on the city’s complex history and the Bergen Maritime Museum where you’ll learn all about the seafaring history of the western Norwegian city! 

If you do want cooler weather, just head up to the top of Mount Fløyen, where you can enjoy beautiful birds-eye views of the city and walk through the Troll Forest, which is often blanketed with snow! 

View over the historic houses of Bergen with clouds in the sky.

Or, take a train to the nearby city of Voss, which is a prime destination for snow sports. 

Additionally, Bergen is much quieter than in the summer months, when cruise ships dock in the city, and prices are better too (which is welcome in expensive Scandinavia!). 

Visiting February in winter FAQs

best german cities to visit in february

Where in Europe is the warmest in February?

You’ll find mild weather in Southern Europe, most notably the Canary Islands, South Spain, Southern Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Nowhere in Europe is particularly hot, but as a general rule of thumb, the further south you go, the more mild temperatures you’ll find!

Which part of Europe is best to visit in February?

It depends on what type of trip you want! You’ll find beautiful beaches and more hours of sunshine in Southern Europe, but head to Northern Europe for more winter wonderlands. Or, visit European cities and enjoy Medieval architecture and buzzing culture. The beautiful city of Paris is a good first stop! 

Is February a cheap month to travel?

February can be a cheap month to visit a range of destinations in Europe. It can be the coldest month in some places, but as long as you pack some warm clothes it’s worth visiting the continent to enjoy the budget-friendly prices and smaller crowds!

Where is hot and cheap in February?

If you’re looking for somewhere that’s budget-friendly and has plenty of sunshine in February, I recommend the south coast of Turkey. Generally, Turkey is an affordable country, and it also has pleasant temperatures throughout the cooler months. Lots of towns and cities on the south coast have fascinating cultural heritage too! 

Which European city is warm in February?

Cities like Malaga and Antalya are warm in February; although don’t expect the entire month to be hot and sunny! However, you will have some days with beautiful weather where you can sit outside, enjoying drinks and local food and even have a few beach days!

What are the best places to visit in February for sun?

The best places to visit in Europe for mild winters include Southern Europe destinations like Turkey, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Malta and Cyprus. Although February certainly isn’t the warmest month in these countries, you’ll often find beautiful weather in these destinations! 

Are you ready to spend February in Europe? 

This list of popular destinations in Europe in February is all you need to plan a fun winter trip to the continent!

Whether you fancy skiing in the continent’s mountains, visiting islands with plenty of sunshine or enjoying historical attractions in some of the region’s major cities (without the crowds!), there should be a vacation destination for you on this list! 

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Claire Martin

Claire is an expert in exploring Europe in the winter! She's from the UK and has been to over 20 countries on the continent in the winter season. She loves every bit of Europe in the cooler months, including finding winter sunshine in Spain, skiing in the Alps and the charm of the Nordic countries in the festive season.

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17 Incredible European Locations to Experience in February

Looking for a European excursion this February, but aren't quite sure where to go? There are plenty of unique and exciting options depending on your adventure level and budget. In this article, travel enthusiast Emma Braby shares her favorite European locations to experience in the month of February.

Emma Travel Author Photo

By Emma Braby

Last updated: March 5, 2024

14 min read

The Colosseum situated in Rome, Italy, depicted on a white winter day. The surroundings are covered in a layer of snow, extending to the trees in the vicinity. Numerous visitors are observed around the Colosseum.

So, you’ve got January out of the way , and you’re itching for a vacation. February is cold, but it’s a beautiful time of year when you might catch the first glimpse of Spring. Plus, February is the month of carnival and other charming celebrations. Europe is a diverse continent with plenty of destinations for all kinds of breaks.

If you’re seeking a snowy escape, head to northern Europe, where you’ll find popular ski resorts. Perhaps you’re desperate for some winter sun. If so, there are plenty of Mediterranean spots with sea and sand aplenty. Or maybe you’re looking for a romantic city getaway? In Europe, you’re spoilt for choice.

From the awe-inspiring architecture of Austria to the romantic city of Rome, I’ve chosen my favorite places to visit in Europe this February. There are some obvious options, like Venice in Italy, and some lesser-known destinations, like Menton in France. And with plenty of fun-filled events going on, February is a great time to explore. So, let’s take a close look.

Berlin, Germany

A landscape photograph capturing Berliner Dom Cathedral on a snowy day. The image showcases the iconic cathedral against a backdrop of winter weather conditions, with snow covering the surrounding landscape. The architectural details of the cathedral, including its domes and spires, are visible amidst the wintry scene.

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, DDR Museum, East Side Gallery

Peak Season

Late Spring to Early Fall (May to September)

Germany is known for its cold winters, and the capital city of Berlin is no different. Having lived in Germany for over a year, I know Germans love spending evenings and weekends socializing outside under warm lamps. There are few tourists in February because of the colder weather, but for me, the cold weather makes Germany even more charming.

In the last two weeks of February, the annual Berlin Film Festival, the Berlinale, takes place. So, if you’re a film buff, this is a no-brainer. Spot stars on the red carpet, watch an acclaimed film or wander through the European Film Market. This is a ticketed event and can sell out quickly.

If films aren’t your thing, take advantage of the quieter season and visit attractions such as the Reichstag Building, Charlottenburg Palace, or the Berlin TV Tower. You must register to visit the Reichstag Building even though it is free, but if you can visit, please do. This beautiful building offering panoramic views over the city was the highlight of my trip!

Bern, Switzerland

An aerial view capturing the nocturnal cityscape of Bern, Switzerland. The image displays streets illuminated by yellow lanterns, creating a warm glow against the dark backdrop. The roofs of houses are covered with snow.

Zytglogge clock, Federal Palace, Bern Munster, Bear Park, UNESCO Old Town, Einstein House

Summer (June to August)

Bern is the capital of Switzerland, one of the most picturesque cities on the continent. Sure, Switzerland is cold in February, but the days are drawing out, allowing you more time to explore. The old town of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a largely medieval city with a charming atmosphere. Bern is a small city by European standards, and you could easily explore it in a few days.

The old town is elevated and sits beside the sparkling blue Aare River. Together, the tall sandstone buildings and the ground-floor arcades make the longest-covered shopping promenade in the world. Enjoy the many attractions, and climb up the 254 steps to the top of the Bern Cathedral for amazing views.

During your explorations of the city, be sure to look for the 11 famous Renaissance fountains sprinkled throughout the city. If you’re in Bern on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday, you’re in for a treat. This is when the Bern Carnival kicks off by waking the town’s bear from hibernation, and performers and processions fill the streets.

Brussels, Belgium

A view of Cinquantenaire Park covered with snow in Brussels. The image captures the park's landscape blanketed in snow, and few people are visible in the scene. The sky is clear with white clouds.

Explore Brussels’ Grand Place, Atomium, and Sablon District, Savor Chocolates, Waffles

Brussels is Belgium’s capital city, famous for its rich history and archaeological landmarks. The Grand Palace is just that, exceptionally grand, and it’s one of those buildings you have to see in person to appreciate its splendor. Sitting in front of the market square, this place is steeped in history. If you’re looking to splash the cash on retail therapy, head to Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert.

It’s also renowned for its beer, chocolate, and gastronomical scene. So, if you’re a foodie like me, you’ll love Brussels no matter the time of year you visit! But in February, when it’s cold outside, it doesn’t get much better than warming up with hearty food and a tasty beer after a day of exploring.

For several evenings in February, usually in the second to third week, Brussel’s Festival of Lights illuminates the city. Follow the lights and journey through the city with artistic and playful installations. It’s an incredible show, and much of it is free. However, some interactive activities require a small fee to participate.

Cinque Terre, Italy

A panoramic view capturing the coastal landscape of Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre, featuring the sea and the vibrant facades of houses along the shoreline. The image showcases the characteristic architecture of the region, with multicolored houses lining the waterfront. The sea is visible in the foreground.

Explore Cinque Terre’s Coastal Villages, Hike Sentiero Azzurro, Savor Local Seafood

Cinque Terre translates to “five towns,” and this destination is a string of five historic fishing villages sitting on the cliff faces overlooking the ocean. Monterosso is the largest village, and I recommend staying here during February as many of the restaurants and other attractions remain open during the off-season. The five towns are within walking distance, so you can hike along the scenic coastline and visit them all.

Vernazza is the most popular of the five villages, and many guest houses remain open. Colored houses surround the harbor, a postcard-perfect place to visit.  Corniglia is at the heart of the five towns but is also the quietest for those seeking a super relaxing trip.

Riomaggiore also has a beautiful harbor and is the best place to watch the sunset colors dance over the town. Lastly, Manarola also has a tiny harbor full of colorful boats, and it is here that many locals sunbathe and cliff jump. Watch them from a cozy café or join in. Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful Mediterranean spots.

Cinque Terre is surrounded by picturesque mountains and is used to cultivate olives and grapes. This region, Liguria, is famous for its wine, pesto, and seafood and enjoys highs of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Travelers looking for a picturesque and relaxing atmosphere with plenty of hiking routes full of tasty food and friendly locals will fall in love for sure!

Cologne, Germany

A winter cityscape featuring the Cologne Cathedral amid a snowy backdrop. The image captures the iconic cathedral's towering spires and intricate architecture against a serene, snow-covered urban environment.

Cologne Cathedral, Old Town, Rhine Promenade, Chocolate Museum, Art, Rhine Cruise

Christmas Market (Late November to December)

Cologne is one of the best German cities to visit in February, and that’s because it hosts a carnival that rivals many of the others in Europe. It’s undoubtedly the largest carnival in Germany, so the locals call the week-long celebration “the crazy days.” So, if you want to party German style, Cologne could be the destination for you.

Another reason to visit in February is to avoid the hustle and bustle of tourist season. Cologne Cathedral, also known as Kolner Dom , is one of the most impressive cathedrals I have ever stepped into. It is the largest Gothic church in northern Europe and took over six centuries to build. If you can climb the breathtaking 533 steps up the tower, I strongly recommend it for incredible panoramic views.

The temperature in February floats between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and snow is still possible, so be sure to wrap up warm. Thankfully, Cologne is home to the famous Lindt chocolate museum and factory. Stroll across the river and treat yourself to one of the best hot chocolates you’ll ever have!

Dubrovnik, Croatia

A view of Dubrovnik, Croatia, depicted in the image with a prominent pier featuring various boats and ships. The cityscape reveals buildings with characteristic red roofs against an overcast sky.

Explore Dubrovnik’s Old Town, City Walls, Cathedral, Rector’s Palace, Stradun, Lokrum Island

Dubrovnik is a hugely popular destination in the summer. It boasts medieval history, incredible beaches, turquoise sea, and warm temperatures, which is why so many holidaymakers travel here. It can get very crowded, though, which is why you should consider Dubrovnik during the off-season. And there are many reasons why February should be the month you visit.

On the 2 nd of February, the locals begin their celebrations of the Patron Saint of Dubrovnik, St. Blaise. The festivities carry on into the 3rd of February, which is the Day of the City of Dubrovnik, one of the most important dates of the year. Processions, releasing of doves, performances, and parties are for all to enjoy, and it’s the best time to see Dubrovnik in its most authentic way. Mid-February is also the time for carnival, so be sure to join in the fun!

The walled city is imposing, but you’ll find beautiful Renaissance and Baroque architecture inside. See the city and walk along the walls to glimpse the fortresses, battlements, and patchwork red roofs. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is beautiful and full of attractions to keep you busy.

One of the best ways to see the city and nearby islands is at Dubrovnik’s Panorama Restaurant , high up on the rockside. Take the cable car up and dine over the sparkling ocean. You’ve got a much better chance of securing a window seat and romantic meal in Feb, too. And with high February temperatures of 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you can feel summer arriving.

Florence, Italy

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence depicted after a snowfall during winter, as viewed from Piazzale Michelangelo. The image captures the iconic cathedral and its surroundings covered in snow. The architectural features of the cathedral, including the iconic dome and Giotto's Campanile, are visible against the winter landscape.

Florence Cathedral, Uffizi Gallery, Michelangelo’s David, Ponte Vecchio, Oltrarno streets

Spring (April to June)

What better way to spend the month of love than at Europe’s open-air Museum of Renaissance Art? Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region in Italy and is home to historical landmarks like the Florence Duomo, Uffizi Gallery (home to the world’s largest collection of Italian Renaissance art), and Palazzo Pitti. What’s more, during February, there aren’t many tourists about. So, you can explore this romantic city at your own pace.

The Florence Carnival is one of the longest celebrations in Europe, starting in the first week of February and coming to an end in the first week of March. With giant papier-mâché floats and energetic performances, there’s never a dull day in Florence during February.

Every year since 2005, Florence has also hosted the Florence Craft Chocolate Fair in the middle of February for a week. Held in the Piazza Santa Croce, chocolate artists from all over the world gather here and celebrate everything chocolate. With unique flavors and plenty of samples to try, it’s a tasty treat for chocolate lovers.

The temperatures in February hover between 40 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is pleasant enough to explore without freezing over. There’s little chance of snow in February, but you might encounter rain, so be sure to pack waterproofs. However you choose to spend your trip to Florence, end your day with a stroll around the romantically lit streets and a hearty Italian meal.

Istanbul, Turkey

A drone photograph capturing winter landscapes along the Bosporus in Istanbul, Turkey. The image features the iconic Istanbul Icons Bridge and Towers, presenting a visual panorama of the city's architectural elements.

Nne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, van Gogh Museum, Scenic Canals, Jordaan, Dam Square

Istanbul is the capital city of Turkey and is on the European side of the country. Although Istanbul isn’t as warm as the other destinations on my list, it allows the charm of the Turkish capital to fill the chilly winter air. The beautiful call to prayer rings through the streets, and it’s a charming city to visit in February.

Avoid the heated crowds of the summer and visit Istanbul’s historic buildings like Hagia Sophia, Topaki Palace, and Sultanahmet Mosque. Revel in their beauty without being hurried along by other admirers. After a day of exploring, why not treat yourself to a warm and steamy retreat in a Turkish Bath or Hammam?

For a truly unique experience, head to the Grand Bazaar and the sprawling markets that offer local artisanal work and other goods. It is one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets, with over 4,000 shops and stalls selling everything you could dream of. The colors and aromas are an exploding feast for the senses.

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

A view of the small island of La Graciosa from the Mirador del Rio on Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain. The image captures the landscape with La Graciosa in the distance, showcasing its topography and coastal features.

Timanfaya Park, Jameos Del Agua, Cueva de Los Verdes, Playa Papagayo, La Geria Wine

Winter Months (December to March)

For anyone looking to escape the cold winter weather, Lanzarote is a top choice. Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands, and it is my favorite. February is still cold compared to the summer, and you’ll need to pack layers. But with temperatures hovering around 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, it is typically warmer than other European destinations.

The beaches are usually deserted except for a few locals, and you might have it all to yourself in February. I stayed near Playa Blanca, one of the few sandy beaches on this volcanic island. The capital of Lanzarote is Arrecife, and this charming town offers the vibrancy of city life without the scores of tourists.

If you’re looking for a more energetic activity, explore Timanfaya National Park . This is Lanazarote’s only active volcano, and you can explore the volcanic terrain on foot or by camel ride. Thankfully, it hasn’t erupted since 1824, but watch out for the erupting geysers!

Menton, France

A photograph depicting the beach in Menton, France, set against the city backdrop. The image showcases the sandy shore and coastline with minimal foreground activity. In the background, the cityscape of Menton is visible.

Basilica, Jardin Serre de la Madone, Lemon Festival, Jean Cocteau Museum, Beaches

Menton is one of the lesser-known destinations on my list, but it is a beautiful resort that deserves much more attention than it receives. Menton sits on the French Riviera, and thanks to its broad and shallow bay, coupled with shelter from the surrounding hills, it has its own microclimate. This means it is nearly always a couple of degrees warmer than other Cote d’Azur resorts.

This warmer climate means horticulture thrives here and is one of Europe’s leading citrus fruit growers. And in mid-February, for two weeks, locals host the world-famous Menton Lemon Festival, or Fete du Citron as it’s known in France. The carnival procession parades through the streets with entertainers. But the star of the show are the giant figures made almost entirely from lemons.

In addition to the parades, there are other spectacular events to enjoy, too. A candle-lit procession fills the streets every Thursday night, followed by fireworks. And each Friday evening, the Jardins de Bioves are illuminated by a brilliant light show. If you’re looking for a more peaceful moment, head to the golden bay and take a moment to soak up the tranquility of the February sea. The pastel-colored houses are a beautiful bonus.

Nice, France

An aerial drone view capturing the coastline of Nice, located on the French Riviera, on a sunny day. The image provides an expansive overview of the coastal landscape, extending from the azure Mediterranean waters to the city's architectural structures.

Promenade Des Anglais, Vieux Nice, Place Masséna, Museums, Beaches, Cuisine

Nice sits on the French Riviera, and it is one of the most popular destinations on the coast of southern France. The temperatures during February are mild, warm enough to venture outside without too many layers, but probably not warm enough to take a dip in the sea. Although some of the hardy locals do!

In February, the Carnival de Nice takes place, and it is one of the most popular and important winter events on the Cote d’Azur. It provides visitors with two weeks of celebrations with live performers from across the globe, pretty flower parades, and firework displays. This is a family-friendly event for families looking to bring the crew.

Aside from the carnival, there are plenty of other attractions to enjoy in the less busy winter season. The city’s old town, Vieux Nice, with pastel-colored homes and many art galleries, is a haven for art lovers. Or enjoy a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais and find a cozy café to enjoy the views of the winter Mediterranean Sea.

Paris, France

A view of the Eiffel Tower covered in snow, situated in the heart of Paris. The iconic landmark is depicted against a wintry backdrop, with the square below capturing the seasonal conditions. The surroundings are dusted with snow.

Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre-Dame, Seine Stroll, Montmartre, Musée d’Orsay, Sainte-Chapelle

Paris features in many of my top European lists, but I couldn’t not mention Paris as a place to visit in February. As one of the most romantic cities on the continent, if not the most romantic, how could it not get a mention? No matter what time you visit Paris, it’s a beautiful city with plenty of must-see attractions . But in February, the romantic atmosphere is on fire!

Thankfully, February is still the low season for tourists, which means you can enjoy top attractions like the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum without having to compete with the flocking travelers. And because of this, the locals come out to enjoy their city too, so it’s a fantastic way to meet locals and soak up the authentic Parisian atmosphere.

If you’re looking for a romantic evening, head to the Eiffel Tower at night and enjoy the city of twinkling lights at the champagne bar. Or book yourself some tickets to see the sensual show, the Moulin Rouge. Alternatively, wander through the winding streets of the bohemian Montmartre or seek out the many historic cafes in the Latin Quarter.

Prague, Czech Republic

The image captures a winter scene of Snowy Prague Lesser Town, featuring Prague Castle and Charles Bridge above the River Vltava in the Czech Republic.

Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Lesser Town, Petrin Hill, National Museum

February in Prague is not the best time of year to work on your European tan, but it’s the perfect time to explore the city without the jostling crowds in the humid heat. The average daily temperature in February is around 35 degrees, so packing thermals is a must. Lower temps mean lower tourist numbers, so it’s a brilliant choice if you can brave the cold.

Prague is one of the most romantic cities in Europe, so what better time to visit during the month of love? The mix of striking neo-renaissance and baroque architecture, illuminated stone bridges over the river, and plenty of restaurants offering outdoor heating make it feel intimate. A river cruise is one of the best things to do in Prague!

And don’t forget the carnivals, and Prague offers plenty. This city hosts the Prague Bohemian Carnival, one of Europe’s largest, and takes place at the end of the month. The procession takes you through the squares full of live music, costume characters, and food and drink.

The Zabijacka Festival celebrates pork, and restaurants offer a wide range of winter-warming dishes. The Matejska Festival is a family-friendly event that provides entertainment for several weeks in mid-February. The Mala Inventura Festival celebrates dance with plenty of performances to enjoy. There’s so much more, so be sure to check out the local tourism site for dates and other festivals. Prague has a vibrant nightlife, too, so it’s a top destination for anyone looking for a party city break.

Rome, Italy

A view capturing the Colosseum covered in snow, with bright weather conditions and snowfall. The iconic structure is surrounded by snow-laden trees along the street, presenting a winter scene.

Colosseum, Vatican City, Spanish Steps, Trastevere, and More

Rome is one of the busiest European cities in the summer , with tourists flocking from all over the world hoping to glimpse some of the best Roman ruins. As you might imagine, summertime in Rome is hot, humid, and crazy busy. So why not explore this incredible city and everything it has to offer in the cooler and less crowded month of February?

With an average daily temperature of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s not too hot and not too cold. As the month of love, whisking your loved one, or even yourself, away to this romantic city is an excellent idea for some much-needed rest and recuperation. With cheaper accommodation and airfare, you have extra cash to splash on your visit.

Head to the world’s largest Roman amphitheater, the Colosseum, and enjoy the arena in peace. Or visit the world’s smallest country, the Vatican City, and top attractions like the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St Peter’s Basilica. Usually, in the summer, these attractions are full of tourists packed shoulder to shoulder like sardines. But in February, you can marvel at them at your own pace.

The month of love should be enjoyed, not rushed. In February, the locals come out to enjoy their city without hoards of visitors. Use this time to explore the city at its finest and dine in authentic restaurants. Enjoy unhurried conversations with the locals and, as they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Seville, Spain

A side view capturing the architectural features of Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain. The image showcases the square's distinct design within the city center. Architectural elements include arched bridges and detailed balustrades, contributing to the aesthetic appeal of the plaza.

Explore Seville’s Alcazar, Cathedral, Plaza De España, Metropol Parasol, Santa Cruz, Triana

Seville is a major city in Spain, landlocked in the southwest. Seville has a special place in my heart, and it is a super romantic city that certainly leaves a mark on your heart. Seville is full of grand monuments and fantastic architecture, and the fresh scent of jasmine fills the atmosphere. Even in February, the blue skies and terracotta accents make you feel warm inside.

The lower temps see tourists thin out in winter, making it a fantastic time to explore. I visited in the height of summer, and in February, and for me, February won hands down. Visiting the Alcazar, Cathedral, and Plaza de Espana in February allows tourists to enjoy the sites without the humidity and crowds.

The Parque de Maria Luisa is a tranquil and romantic place to relax for a few hours. Even in February, the orange trees and the South American influence and plants provide a vibrant and warming feel. Stroll along the Guadalquivir River and pick up a tapas-inspired winter picnic. The average daytime temperature in February hovers around 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can reach up to 65. Making Seville a top choice if you want to escape the winter chills.

Venice, Italy

 A top-view photograph depicting a snow-covered Venice, Italy. The image captures the snowy rooftops of the city's buildings, presenting a serene winter scene.

Explore St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, and Rialto Bridge

This is one of the only options on my list, where February is one of the busiest times to visit. And that’s because the Venetians celebrate their world-famous Venetian Carnival in February. This is one of the most famous carnivals in the world, and it has been going since 1094. The most popular carnival treat is “fritole veneziane,” a sweet bread rolled with fruits and nuts and deep fried. It’s so tasty!

Every year, locals and tourists flock to the narrow streets to be inspired by the party of color and costumes and, of course, the elaborate masks. A handful of traditional mask-maker shops are dotted around the island, where you can purchase wearable masks for the carnival or as a souvenir. I bought a beautiful cream ceramic mask surrounded by leather with gold jewels as a souvenir. The authentic masks from Venezia Maschere are stunning, and mine still hangs proudly on my gallery wall.

If you’re seeking a destination with few tourists or are not keen on carnival, I wouldn’t recommend Venice in February or early March, as you cannot escape it. The carnival attracts around three million visitors every year. Instead, try visiting in January or another off-season month. But Venice is one of my favorite destinations in Europe, and everyone should visit it at least once in their lifetime.

Vienna, Austria

A view of the upper Schloss Belvedere from the palace gardens in Vienna. The image captures the iconic palace against a winter backdrop, with the park blanketed in snow. The architectural features of the Belvedere, including its characteristic facade, are visible in the photograph.

Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Belvedere Palace, Kunsthistorisches Museum

February in Vienna is ball season, which runs from the end of January to the start of March. Vienesse balls offer visitors a chance to visit opulent venues, sling on a glitzy gown or smart suit, and join in traditional dances. Although balls are held all year round, February is the best time to join in on such a memorable event. Some of the best include the Ball of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Opera Ball.

Another of the best things to do in Vienna in February is to visit the Wiener Eistraum, one of the world’s biggest ice rinks. You’ll also find two levels to skate on, with the Sky Rink offering a 110-meter-long ramp and a unique experience. Listen to the sounds of the waltz and glide past the city hall, which completes the fairytale setting.

Explore the city itself without having to fight off the huge crowds. The Schonbrunn Palace, Hofburg, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien are popular attractions showcasing the city’s extravagant history and architecture. Temperatures average 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, so you’ll need to wrap up warm.

Final Thoughts

There are so many places to visit in Europe during the month of love. Even though winter and the colder temperatures remain, the low tourist season means you can explore the city at a more laid-back pace. Whether you’re hitting the slopes in the Alps or partying away at a carnival, February is a fabulous time to explore Europe.

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The Best Places to Travel in Europe in February

February might be one of the most underrated months to travel to Europe — between smaller crowds and great deals on flights and hotels, this can be one of the best times to head across the pond. Maybe you want to visit Paris for a romantic Valentine's Day getaway, or maybe you want to plan an active vacation in the beautiful Swiss Alps (complete with skiing and fondue). With so many culturally-rich cities and picture-perfect small towns , there's a European destination for every kind of traveler this winter.

These are the best places to travel in Europe in February to take advantage of great deals and fewer crowds.

Madeira, Portugal

If you want to avoid the cold and wet weather that hits much of Europe in February, visit the island of Madeira, which sits in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa.

This environment makes Madeira the perfect place for outdoor activities, even during the winter months. Try hiking Ponta de São Lourenço, which is a nature reserve filled with red-streaked volcanic rocks that offers majestic views of the ocean. Or, if you don't want to hike, but still want amazing views, visit the Cabo Girão Skywalk, which is a clear platform that hangs off of Europe's highest cliff— definitely not for those afraid of heights. Be sure to sample some of the area's wine while you're here, too. Head to Blandy's Wine Lodge, where you can take a tour and find out how this region's wine is made.

You can also try paragliding, or even the famous street tobogganing. Plus, if you visit at the end of February, you can take part in the Carnival festivities.

Prague, Czech Republic

Explore the winding streets of Prague's Old Town to admire the pastel-colored buildings this February. Take a walk down Karlova Street, which historically was the way Bohemian kings traveled to their coronations, and check out the local shops selling glassware, wooden toys, painted eggs, puppets, and other crafts that make great gifts.

Warm up from the cold by visiting one of the city's museums, like the Prague Jewish Museum, the National Museum, or the Museum of Beer. For a unique experience, check out the Franz Kafka Museum, which is devoted to the famous writer. Unwind at one of the city's luxurious hotels.

Zurich, Switzerland

Stephanie Pollak/Travel + Leisure

If you want to hit the slopes and explore a wintry wonderland this February, consider visiting Zurich. Take a day trip to a nearby ski resort to take advantage of this region's mountainous terrain — head to Flumserberg for family fun and beginner slopes, or visit Stoos, which has the classic Swiss scenery you would expect. Amden offers sledding and skiing, and Rigi even has snowshoeing trails and hot springs.

When you want to take a break from skiing, you can wander through the Old Town or visit the Kunsthaus Zürich, a fine arts museum, or Löwenbräu Areal, a remodeled brewery that now houses 2 modern art museums. While you're in Switzerland, be sure to sample some fondue — hop on The Fondue Tram, which takes you on a two-hour ride around Zurich while you eat to your heart's content.

Montvalezan, France

Explore the ski resorts here on the French-Italian border this February for amazing terrain and even better views. Try La Rosière, which is kid-friendly and offers border-free skiing between France and Italy, or visit the bigger Les Arcs resort area to take advantage of night skiing, luge tracks, and a ski waterslide .

Paris, France

Paris is an obvious choice for a Valentine's Day trip across the pond. The city is known as the most romantic in the world, and it certainly won't disappoint if you decide to visit this winter.

Plus, February is often the cheapest month to fly to Paris, and you can enjoy off-season hotel prices and fewer crowds at the big attractions. Skip the lines and still get a chance to see some of the most popular tourist sites in the world , including the Eiffel Tower, Versailles Palace, and the Arc de Triomphe.

One night, take a Seine dinner cruise, where a heated boat will take you down the iconic river that flows through the center of the city. Consider booking a ticket to performances at the famous Moulin Rouge or Opéra Garnier for another exciting night in Paris.

Kyrenia, Cyprus

You won't find snow in Kyrenia, Cyprus this February, where the temperature sticks around 60 degrees. This city, located on the northern side of the island, has plenty to offer travelers, even during the off-season.

Visit the white-sand beaches at Alagadi Beach, famous for its turtles, or head to Escape Beach, where you can try volleyball or scuba diving. Wander around the cobblestoned waterfront, and stop for a meal at The Cabin Restaurant & Bar Lapta or Lagoon Fish Restaurant for delicious seafood.

Be sure to check out the famous Kyrenia Castle and the Shipwreck Museum, which houses a well-preserved shipwreck that sunk 2,300 years ago.

Madrid, Spain

Rory Fuller/Travel + Leisure

Take advantage of smaller crowds and explore the many museums that this historic city has to offer. Be sure to pay a visit to the Prado Museum, the main Spanish national art museum; the Reina Sofia Museum, which displays 20th-century art; the Museo del Romanticismo, which is devoted to Romantic period art; and the Sorolla Museum, which features work by the artist Joaquín Sorolla.

At the end of February, Madrid hosts its annual Carnival celebration, which features parades, parties, and the famous tradition of burying of the sardines.

Nice, France

This beautiful city on the French Riviera is most popular from May through September, so visiting during winter gives guests the opportunity to explore without the crowds. February usually sees temperatures in the 50s, so you won't be able to swim in the stunning blue waters, but there's still plenty to do in this chic city.

Take a stroll or bike ride along the famous beachfront Promenade des Anglais. Then visit the Parc du Chateau, with beautiful greenery as far as the eye can see. Be sure to wander through the Old Town, where you'll find brightly-colored buildings and streets filled with cafes and restaurants.

Reykjavik, Iceland

It might sound crazy to head to a country like Iceland in the heart of winter, but the long, cold nights provide the perfect opportunity to see the northern lights. If you're lucky enough to have clear night skies and an active aurora, you can see the other-worldly green glow from anywhere in the city. Head outside the city center to see the lights more clearly — try Grótta island on the western tip of the Reykjavík peninsula, Laugarnestangi, or Mosfellsheiði for amazing views.

The winter is also a great time to do snow-specific activities, such as ice caving and glacier hiking. After a day out in the snow, take advantage of the area's hot springs and geothermal pools — try the Instagram-famous Blue Lagoon or the Nauthólsvík geothermal beach.

Venice, Italy

In the winter, this romantic Italian city is shrouded in mist, making it even more picturesque and mysterious. Explore the canals and winding alleyways on foot or on a traditional gondola, and then warm up at at a cafe. Be sure to try the region's specialty, cicchetti, which are Italian small plates.

The Carnival of Venice will take place this month, too, making February a perfect time to visit. This festival has a history spanning more than 700 years and the streets are filled with food booths, live performances, parades, and parties.

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The 27 Best Places to Visit in Germany

  • David Angel

About the author: David Angel is a British photographer, writer and historian with 30+years experience exploring Europe. His work regularly appears in global media including the BBC, Condé Nast Traveler, and The Guardian.

Welcome to my guide to the best places to visit in Germany, drawn from a great many visits to the country going back four decades.

Germany is an astounding country, one I can never let go of and which will never let go of me either. Its cultural wealth never ceases to surprise me.

It has everything from the chocolate box villages of the Black Forest and Rhineland to the cutting edge of Berlin. And then there are its landscapes, from the lush Mosel to the snowy beauty of the Bavarian Alps in the far south.

I’ve been extraordinarily fortunate to have been visiting Germany for 40 years, including many visits to my best friend from my university days who is from Hamburg.

We have also made numerous trips across the border from our base in Prague over the last few years.

So I hope you enjoy my guide to the best places to visit in Germany and that it gives you lots of inspiration.

image of a pinterest pin with the words best places to visit in Germany on a backdrop of a picture of a Bavarian Alps town and a lady walking past graffiti on a wall in Berlin

Table of Contents

Best Places To Visit In Germany: Our Top 25 Picks

1. berlin   .

image of brandenburg gate berlin

Germany’s capital Berlin is one of the great cities of Europe.  It’s gritty rather than pretty, a large urban sprawl that once spanned East and West. The former Prussian capital has a few grand buildings and landmarks like the iconic Brandenburg Gate, but above all Berlin was shaped by the 20 th century and two of its three main conflicts.  

The result is one of the most compelling cities in Europe, indeed the planet. It’s bursting with creativity, with flourishing arts, outstanding museums, and nightlife. You’ll also discover superb architecture, from the Jewish Museum to its World Heritage-listed Modernist housing estates.  

Above all, it’s one of the best places in Europe to visit for anyone with an interest in 20th-century history and the Cold War.  The Berlin Wall is the obvious place to begin, but several excellent museums also show what life was like for the millions living behind it.   

Berlin is also one of the best places in the world to enjoy Turkish food! We often stick to Turkish food there, as it’s some of the best we have eaten outside Turkey.  

Don’t miss – Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wall and East Side Gallery, Museum Island, Holocaust Memorial, the Reichstag, The Topography of Terror, the Jewish Museum, Checkpoint Charlie Museum, DDR Museum, the Stasi Museum, the Berlin Spy Museum 

Nice to see – Kulturforum, East Side Gallery, Schloss Charlottenburg, Berliner Dom, Glienicke Bridge (Bridge of Spies), Gendarmenmarkt, The Topography of Terror, Hohenschönhausen Memorial, Olympiastadion 

Best neighbourhoods to explore – Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Tiergarten 

How many days – 3-4 days minimum 

Best day trip – Potsdam, Havelland, Spreewald and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp 

See also : Berlin Landmarks and Photographing Berlin

image of the bundestag, formerly known as the reichstag in berlin germany

2. Neuschwanstein Castle and Füssen  

image of neuschwanstein castle germany

The fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most recognisable symbols of Germany. ‘Mad’ (extravagant is a much kinder word) King Ludwig decided to build the Castle in 1869 in the foothills of the Alps. It was an enormous undertaking which, sadly, wasn’t completed when he died in 1886. 

Unsurprisingly it’s on many people’s Germany bucket list. It’s one of the most lavish historicist (medieval influenced) castles of the 19 th century, and its location surrounded by forests and mountains is nothing short of astounding.  

Don’t Miss: The interior, which can only be visited on a guided tour.  

Nice to see:   Nearby Hohenschwangau Castle and the pretty town of Füssen  

Good to know: Unfortunately they don’t let you take photos inside.

How Many Days : One 

Day trips: Oberammergau village 

3. Potsdam  

image of sanssouci park potsdam germany

Potsdam is the most popular day trip from Berlin, an easy one-hour trip on the S7 train from the centre. The small city is the former Prussian royal seat, and its World Heritage-listed Baroque parks, gardens, and palaces are spread out over a large area.

The city centre is also full of stunning buildings, from a mosque-inspired pumping station to one of Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s finest churches.  You could comfortably visit Potsdam’s main attraction, spectacular Sanssouci Park, in a day. But you may find yourself wishing you had a little longer.   

Don’t Miss : Sans Souci Park and Palace, including Neues Palais and Chinese House; Nikolaikirche; Dutch Quarter; Brandenburg Gate; Schloss Cecilienhof 

Nice to see: Museum B arberini, Alexandrowka Russian Colony, Filmmuseum Babelsberg, Lindenstrasse Memorial, and the ‘Mosque’ Pumping Station 

How Much Time Do You Need: Most visitors only spare one day, but you could easily spend three days in Potsdam. 

Best time to visit Potsdam: You can visit Potsdam throughout the year. We’ve been in May and October, both of which were ideal. 

4. Munich   

The Bavarian capital Munich is one of Europe’s great cities, and one of the more traditional of the major German cities.  It’s a city with many layers of history to uncover. The Wittelsbachs ruled the city and Bavaria for 800 years, leaving a vast legacy from Gothic churches to the Rococo Residenz Palace. Many of the main sights are within a short walk of the Marienplatz.   

Munich is also the city of the Oktoberfest beer festival, with traditional lederhosen costumes and all. At the other end of the scale, it’s a technical powerhouse, as the Deutsches Museum and BMW Museum demonstrate.  

Munich makes an outstanding base for day trips across  Bavaria and into Austria.  

Don’t Miss – Marienplatz, the view from St Peter’s Church Tower; The Residenz, Hofbräuhaus; Oktoberfest; English Garden; Frauenkirche; Deutsches Museum; Nymphenburg Palace 

Nice to see – BMW Museum, Olympic Stadium, Tower and Park; Lake Starnburg; Bavarian State Opera; White Rose Memorial; Teddy Bear Museum; Glockenspiel; Museum for Unusual Collections.  

How many days – a few days and use it as a base to see some of the most beautiful places in Southern Germany. 

Best day trips – Dachau Concentration Camp, Landshut, Fussen, Nuremberg, Lake Eibsee, Salzburg, Regensburg, Augsburg 

5. Rothenburg ob Der Tauber and the Romantic Road   

image of rothenburg ob der tauber germany

For many visitors, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, in northern Bavaria, IS Germany. The Plönlein, the junction of two medieval streets with a crooked yellow house, shouts,’’ GERMANY’’ louder than any other image of the country, so it’s top of many people’s lists of places to visit in Germany.   

Much of Rothenburg is like this, full of fairytale medieval architecture, with half-timbered houses, fortified town walls, brick-gabled townhouses, essentially the whole works.   

Rothenburg is one of the main stops on the Romantic Road, which runs north to south from Nuremberg to the Alps. It passes through many more small historic towns and villages, including Dinkelsbühl, an hour to the south.    

Don’t Miss – Plönlein, Town Wall Walk, Town Hall Tower, Marktplatz, Night Watch Man Tour, Jakobskirche 

Nice to see – Double Bridge, German Christmas Museum, Middle Ages Criminal Museum  

How many days – Two 

Best day trips – Nuremberg, Schwäbisch Hall, Würzburg, Dinkelsbühl 

6. Dresden  

Image of the Frauenkirche Dresden at sunset

Dresden is one of Germany’s culturally richest and architecturally most beautiful cities. Its skyline of Baroque towers and spires was long considered one of the finest in Europe, and it held some of the outstanding art collections on the continent.    

In February 1945 the city was destroyed by an intensive Allied bombing raid and ensuing firestorm. Everything was painstakingly rebuilt, culminating in the completion of the iconic Frauenkirche church in 2005.  

Dresden is a little off the beaten path for English-speaking tourists, but one of the most rewarding cities in Germany to visit.  There are a whole host of places to visit nearby, in eastern Saxony and around the Czech border, so it’s somewhere you could easily linger for a while. 

Don’t Miss – Frauenkirche, Zwinger Palace, Residenzschloss, Albertinum Gallery, Brühlsche Terrasse, Grünes Gewolbe, and a paddle steamer trip from the old town to Pillnitz Palace  And climb the tower of the Kreuzkirche, another of the Baroque churches in Dresden , for exceptional views of the city.

Nice to see – The Grosser Garten, Schloss Moritzburg, Military History Museum, German Hygiene Museum, Neustadt, Dresden Zoo, and a show at Semperoper one of Germany’s most famous opera houses. The Stasi Museum Dresden is also one of the best in the former East Germany.  

How many days – three days is enough to see the city – you’ll need more time to see the attractions nearby. 

Best day trips – Pirna (don’t miss the DDR museum), Meissen, Radebeul, Bautzen , Bad Schandau, the Bastei Bridge , Saxon Switzerland, Leipzig, Chemnitz, Freiberg.  You can also get to Prague in 2 ½ hours by bus or train.  

7. Cologne (Köln)  

image of gross st martin church cologne germany

Cologne is one of the ‘big four’ cities of Germany (along with Berlin, Munich and Hamburg). It’s on the doorstep of the Ruhr industrial area but has long been a city with a strong reputation in the arts and media. 

The city is over 2,000 years old and was an important Roman centre second only to Trier. It’s best known for its astonishing Gothic cathedral, which took over 600 years to build, and has twelve superb Romanesque churches, all of which precede it. 

Cologne is also home to one of the best Christmas markets in Germany, and the best Lent Carnival celebrations in the country. The city lets its hair down on Rosenmontag, the Monday before Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of Lent, with a parade through the centre.  

Don’t Miss Cologne Cathedral and the Shrine of the Three Kings; Gross St Martin Church; Römisch-Germanisches Museum; St Gereon’s Church; Köln-Triangle Panorama; Kolumba Museum   

Nice To See: St Ursula’s Church and the other Romanesque churches in the city; Schnütgen Museum; Käthe-Kollwitz Museum; Museum Ludwig 

How Many Days – two to three days ideally 

Best Day Trips – Bonn, Düsseldorf, Brühl, Aachen, Monschau 

8. Rhine Valley   

image of people enjoying a drink at gunderodehaus oberwesel germany

The Upper Middle Rhine Valley, between Rüdesheim and Koblenz, is one of Europe’s most famous and beautiful landscapes.   For 40 miles (65 km) the Rhine winds its way through a steep-sided gorge. Medieval half-timbered villages, forests, hilltop castles and vertiginous vineyards complete the scene.  

A few myths and legends along the way helped it become one of the focal points of the early 19 th century Romantic Revival, its castles restored, making the Rhine Gorge one of the most popular early European tourist destinations. 

Sit back with a glass of local Riesling and take a boat cruise along the river, or perhaps hike to some of the amazing viewpoints in the hills above.  

Don’t Miss – Rüdesheim, Bacharach , Boppard, Oberwesel , Braubach , and Marksburg Castle ; St Goar , the Loreley Cliff, and Rheinfels Castle; Pfalzgrafenstein Castle ; at least one Rhine River cruise and plenty of local wine. 

Nice to see – Kaub, Koblenz, Bingen, Lahnstein and the ‘Feuding Brothers’ Castles near Kamp-Bornhofen 

How many days – 3 or 4 minimum – a week if you want to take things slowly 

Best day trips – Cologne, Limburg an der Lahn 

image of altes haus winery bacharach rhineland germany

9. Mosel Valley   

image of reichsburg castle cochem germany

The Mosel Valley isn’t as renowned as its neighbour the Rhine, but it’s a beautiful part of Germany and every bit as worthy of your time. 

It has many similar elements to the Rhine Valley. There are many small half-timbered villages, most surrounded by steep vineyards and overlooked by a ruined medieval castle. Yet the landscape is more open and spacious than the Rhine Gorge, with breathtaking views at every bend of the river. 

The Mosel is a wonderful place to slow down, with great walks, easy riverside cycling, and scenic boat trips. If you take time to enjoy the excellent wine, you could easily spend a couple of weeks there. 

Don’t Miss – Cochem , Beilstein , Traben-Trarbach, Bernkastel-Kues, Burg Eltz.  

Nice to see – Ediger-Eller, Zell, Bremm, Alken 

How many days – 3 days  

Day Trips: Trier, Luxembourg, Maria Laach Abbey, Rhine Valley 

image of half-timbered buildings in beilstein mosel valley germany

10. Hamburg  

image of rathaus or town hall hamburg germany

Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest city. Along with Berlin it has long been one of the most vibrant and progressive cities in the country. 

It’s a great port city, once one of the mainstays of the Hanseatic League, with a worldliness and famously liberal attitudes born out of centuries of being a maritime melting pot. 

Its vast warehouse district, the Speicherstadt (‘Spice City’) bears witness to this, and its port on the River Elbe is a must-see. It’s the third largest in Europe, and has recently been joined by the superb Elbphilarmonie Concert Hall.  It’s also Germany’s musical and theatre capital.  

I’ve always appreciated Hamburg’s progressive side. It has long been strongly supportive of the LGBTQ community, with the St. Georg district full of popular gay bars. An old law from 1999 that made it possible for gay couples to unofficially marry long before the rest of Germany made it legal. 

It’s also renowned for its red-light district around the Reeperbahn. It was in the clubs around there that The Beatles learned their skills which made them the biggest band in the world a few years later. 

Don’t Miss: The Speicherstadt warehouse district, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Expressionist Chilehaus building; a tour of or concert in the Elbphilharmonie; St Michaelis Church; Miniatur Wunderland, the largest model railway system in the world; Rathaus (city hall); a harbour boat trip ( hafenrundfahrt ) from St Pauli-Landungsbrücken; Hamburg’s restored oldest street, Deichstrasse;  and follow in the footsteps of the Beatles, who honed their craft in clubs around the infamous Reeperbahn.  

Nice to see – Take a walk along the Elbe River;  Alster lakes and park; St Nicholas Church Memorial; Kunsthalle; U-Boot Museum; International Maritime Museum; Planten und Blomen Park; Cold War Submarine 434;  Övelgonne city beach. 

Best neighborhoods to explore – Shabby and chic St. Pauli, Lively Schanzenviertel brimming with bars and vintage shops, Ottesen former working-class neighbourhood now one of Hamburg’s most popular quarters. St Georg – trendy district and LGBQT hub.  

How many days do you need?   Two days bare minimum. You can see a lot of the sites in a day but we recommend spending two days or more so you can explore the neighbourhoods in Hamburg. For popular sites like the Miniatur Wunderland, you will need to book in advance.  

Best day trips: the riverside village of Blankenese; Ratzeburg; Luneburg Heath in July and August; Lübeck. 

Top tip – If you don’t want to do a boat cruise a cheaper option and very popular with tourists is the HVV ferry No. 62, from Landungsbrücken to Finkenwerder. The single ticket costs €3.60.  

See also: One Day in Hamburg

image of speicherstadt hamburg germany

11. Leipzig   

image of new town hall leipzig germany

Leipzig has become one of the hippest cities in Germany in recent years. As rents have risen in Berlin, so many young creative people have moved out, many to Leipzig, which has benefited and become more vibrant. The green, hip vibrant city is often called the next Berlin.

Hugely important in the history of music it was home to Wagner and Bach. Saxony’s coolest city is home to young creatives who have moved from the fast-gentrifying Berlin.   

Leipzig has a hugely important role in music. Johann Sebastian Bach was choirmaster at the Thomaskirche for many years, and Felix Mendelssohn and Richard Wagner were also from the city.   

Leipzig played a massive part in the peaceful revolution which brought down the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain in 1989.

A monument stands outside the Nikolaikirche, commemorating where it began with Monday evening prayer meetings and, later, candlelit processions. 

Within weeks of the 40th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic’s establishment, the state that spied on its own people was critically undermined 

Don’t Miss – The Old Guildhall of Leipzig and Leipzig Museum of Local History; St Thomas Church (Thomaskirche); St Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche); Museum in der Runden Ecke (shows how the secret police of the DDR, the Stasi, worked); Auerbachs Keller (a historic restaurant made famous by Goethe who placed some scenes of “Faust” there); Coffe Baum, one of the oldest coffee houses in the world, founded in 1711 

Nice to see – Monument to the Battle of the Nations; Maedler Passage, Porsche factory tour (must book in advance); Grassi Museum  

Best day trips – Colditz, Naumburg, Torgau, Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, Weimar, Erfurt, Dresden 

12. Görlitz  

image of old town hall tower gorlitz germany

Görlitz is one of the hidden gems of Saxony and eastern Germany, one of the few cities in the region to escape wartime destruction. It’s on the Polish border, with part of the city – Zgorzelec – on the Polish side.

It has become more widely known in recent years thanks to having been the location for Wes Anderson’s movie The Gr a nd Bud apest Hotel . The stunning Art Nouveau Kaufhaus (department store) was the setting for this, and is in the process of being refitted for its original purpose, but still open for tours in the meantime. 

This is one of the main draws, but Görlitz has much more. Its architecture – from the 15 th to 19 th centuries – has survived unscathed, from medieval town towers through to the Kaufhaus. 

Its treasures also include the gorgeous Untermarkt, one of the loveliest squares in Germany, with its magnificent Old Town Hall. It has three fine medieval churches and a wealth of discoveries across 500 years of history to be made. 

Don’t Miss – Wandering the streets of the historic old town; Obermarkt (Upper Market), Dreifaltigkeitskirche, (Holy Trinity Church);  Untermarkt (Lower Market) and Old Town Hall; self-guided tour of all the film locations, including the Kaufhaus Department Store; St. Peter and Paul’s church and Sun Organ; Reichenbach Tower for panoramic views of the city.  

Nice to see – Rathaus tower; Barockhaus Museum; cross the old bridge into Poland  

Tip – Cross to the river to Zgorzelec, the Polish part of the town, for a feast at the marvellous Miodmaliny restaurant 

How many days – Two days will give you plenty of time to see the main sights and wander the charming streets 

Best day trips – Bautzen, Zittau, Bad Muskau   

13. Lübeck  

image of lubeck germany

You’ve heard buildings or places being described as a symphony in stone. Well, without a suitable word to alliterate with, the northern German city of Lübeck is a symphony in brick. 

Brick has rarely been so beautiful.   Lübeck was one of the leading lights of the mercantile Hanseatic League, growing mightily wealthy on the back of trade with partner cities as far apart as Bruges, Bergen and Tallinn.  These riches are reflected in its astonishing architecture, from its iconic city gate to its vast churches.  

The city was also home to two giants of German literature, Thomas Mann and Günter Grass. There are museums dedicated to both, well worth seeking out. 

Don’t Miss – Holstentor, Salzspeicher salt warehouses, Rathaus (Town Hall), Petrikirche (St Peter’s Church), Marienkirche, Hanse Museum, St Anne Museum Quarter 

Nice to see – Buddenbrookhaus, Günter Grass Haus 

How many days – two or three 

Best day trips – Travemünde and its superb beaches; Schwerin Castle; Hamburg; Wismar 

14. Wismar, Stralsund and the Baltic Coast  

image of medieval bridge in wismar germany

The Baltic coast of north-east Germany, in the province of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, is relatively unexplored by English-speaking visitors. Which is a pity as it’s one of the most intriguing parts of the country. 

The Baltic is where many Germans go to the seaside.  You’ll find some of the country’s best beaches in the region, and also some of the finest small cities. The Hanseatic League was the region’s trading powerhouse during the Middle ages, and several cities in the area were members.   

These include Wismar, on the western edge, and Stralsund. They both have outstanding brick Gothic architecture, particularly the Rathaus (Town Hall) in Stralsund and Nikolaikirche in Wismar.       

Don’t Miss – Rügen Island, Sellin Beach, Wismar, Stralsund (and its striking waterfront Ozeaneum), Usedom 

Nice to see – Rostock and Warnemünde beach 

How many days – one day for Wismar, two days for Stralsund 

Best day trips – Schwerin Castle 

15. Trier  

image of hauptmarkt trier germany

Trier is the oldest city in Germany, one of the most important regional capitals of the Roman Empire, ruled over its northern lands. 

Trier has some of the outstanding Roman monuments in Europe and was also the first place in the region to embrace Christianity – its Cathedral is also the oldest in Germany. 

Its Old Town is stunning, with an array of wonderful half-timbered houses from late medieval times. Trier is now a relatively small provincial city in the far west of the country, but it’s well worth the journey off the beaten path to discover it.

It’s very underrated, and also makes an excellent base for forays along the Mosel River or into nearby Luxembourg.      

Don’t Miss – Porta Nigra , Kaiserthermen,  Amphitheatre, Constantine’s Basilica, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Trier Cathedral ,  Liebfrauenkirche, Marktplatz   

Nice to see – Roscheider Hof Open Air Museum, St Matthias Church, Toy Museum, Karl Marx Museum 

How many days – 2 

Best day trips – It’s an easy short from Luxembourg. Nearby Saarburg is a gorgeous small town with a castle and a waterfall running through the centre.   

Top Tip – Trier has a wonderful Christmas market. 

See also: 26 Best Things to do in Trier

16. Bavarian Alps: Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Zugspitze  

image of mittenwald in the bavarian alps germany

This part of the Bavarian Alps is only a few miles east of Neuschwanstein Castle, but over an hour’s drive away, and longer by bus. It’s one of the most famous parts of Germany and most visited. It also staggeringly beautiful.

The area around Garmisch-Partenkirchen is breathtaking, with clear green alpine lakes, dark forests, roaring waterfalls and stunning peaks including Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze, which you can ascend by train and cable car via Eibsee lake. 

There are also a few man-made treasures to be found here. The small town of Oberammergau – has many gorgeous houses painted with frescoes, and famously, every 10 years stages a Passion play dramatising the last few days of Jesus’ life. 

The nearby town of Mittenwald is another beauty, with more beautifully painted buildings. And if you have time, try to see Linderhof Palace, another of the extravagances of King Ludwig II. 

Don’t Miss – Garmisch-Partenkirchen; Zugspitze train and cable car; Mittenwald; Linderhof Palace; Oberammergau; Partnachklamm gorge; Lake Eibsee 

Nice to see – Walchensee lake, Kirchdorf Wamberg 

How many days – three or four 

Best day trips – Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau Castle, Innsbruck  

17. Berchtesgaden and Lake Königssee

Image of a church in snow in Ramsau in the Bavarian Alps Germany. One of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe

Even in the Bavarian Alps the Berchtesgadener Land stands out. According to one legend some angels accidentally dropped all the wonders of the world there. It’s one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe , around the small magical alpine town of Berchtesgaden, in southern Bavaria about 20 miles south of Salzburg.  

The scenery first: the mountain setting is spectacular, especially Königssee Lake and Watzmann, the second highest peak in Germany. If you’re there on a clear day, it will blow you away. 

Secondly, there’s the Hitler connection. The genocidal dictator was very taken with the scenery, and had a complex built for him at Obersalzberg with one of the best views in the region. He spent much of his time there, so there will always be a taint of his toxic legacy. 

Must See – Königssee Lake, Eagles Nest (Kehlsteinhaus), Salzbergwerk (Salt Mine), St Sebastian Church in Ramsau; Obersalzberg Documentation Centre; Rossfeld Mountain Road 

Nice to see – Hintersee lake 

How many days – three or more, depending on how much hiking you plan to do 

Best day trips – Salzburg is a quick bus trip 

18. Bremen  

image of statue of roland in bremen germany

Bremen is one of the most underrated cities in Europe , one I’ve long admired having spent a lot of time in Hamburg and this part of northern Germany.  There’s a lot to see, much of it in a small area around the splendid Marktplatz (main square), including the Statue of Roland from 1404 and the World Heritage-listed Town Hall (Rathaus).  

My favourite part of the city is the Schnoorviertel, a former fishermen’s (and red-light) district, its cottages now home to restaurants and boutique shops.   Also check out the red-brick Expressionist architectural wonders of Böttcherstrasse, and the Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, dedicated to an artist who deserves to be far more widely known than she is. 

Don’t Miss – Marktplatz, Statue of Roland, Musicians of Bremen statue, Rathaus (Town Hall), Schnoor district, St Peter’s Cathedral, Böttcherstrasse, Kunsthalle  

Nice to see – Roselius-Haus Museum, Botanika 

How many days – one or two 

Best day trips – Bremerhaven Emigration Museum, Hamburg, Cuxhaven beaches, Jever, Worpswede, East Frisian Islands 

19. Regensburg  

image of regensburg cathedral and old town bavaria germany

Regensburg is in a relatively quiet part of Germany, between Nuremberg and Passau in south-east Bavaria. This isolation may well have proved its salvation: it avoided the destruction wrought elsewhere, and is the best-preserved, most beautiful Gothic city in Germany.  

The superb Cathedral is the obvious place to start, with its splendid west front, twin towers and fine medieval stained glass. 

The entire Old Town (Altstadt) is a World Heritage Site, and my advice is to wander as much of it as time allows. It’s wonderfully preserved, and often the best part of visiting somewhere like this is making your own discoveries, spotting a stunning architectural detail to which no guidebook would ever direct you.    

Don’t Miss – Dom St Peter (Regensburg Cathedral, Old Stone Bridge, City view from cross the Danube, Old Chapel, Thurn und Taxis Palace, Goliathhaus  

Nice to see – Museum of Danube Shipping, Regensburg Museum of History 

Best day trips – Landshut; Walhalla Monument; Nuremberg; Sail down the Danube to Passau a beautiful Baroque city  

20. Bamberg  

image of altes rathaus old town hall bamberg germany

Bamberg is one of the most beautiful small cities in Europe, a wonderfully preserved city in Northern Franconia whose entire Altstadt (Old Town) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

You could easily spend a whole day exploring the Altstadt. Many start at the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), a stunning building straddling two bridges over the River Regnitz. The most famous view is of the medieval timber-framed part, but the sides of it are decorated with remarkable Baroque-era frescoes. 

The rest of the riverside, including the Little Venice row of houses, is also picturesque, and just up the hill the area around the Cathedral (Dom) is packed with places to see, including the opulent Neue Residenz, once home to the powerful prince-bishops of Bamberg. 

Don’t Miss – Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), Cathedral, Bamberg History Museum, Klein Venedig (Little Venice), Ober Pfarre Church, Neue Residenz, and a glass of the local smoked beer  

Nice to see – Diocesan Museum, St Michael’s Monastery, Brewery Museum 

How many days – two – you should stay at least one night to really appreciate it 

Best day trips – Nuremberg, Bayreuth, Coburg, Pottenstein 

21. Nuremberg  

image of nuremberg old town and castle germany

The former Imperial city of Nuremberg (Nürnberg) is one of the best cities to visit in Germany. The iconic Kaiserburg Castle dominates the Old Town, with its streets of half-timbered houses and soaring church spires. 

Nuremberg is packed with museums, including the house where Albrecht Dürer, a colossus of late medieval art, lived for almost 20 years. It’s full of picturesque streets, three outstanding medieval churches and one of the most beautiful bridges in Europe . 

Nuremberg’s history took a dark turn in the 1930s when it was chosen as the site for the Nazi Party’s infamous propaganda rallies.  The Nuremberg Nazi sites in the city suburbs offer a fascinating insight into the country’s past. 

Add in Nuremberg’s gastronomic gift to the world, the famous bratwurst sausage, and one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, and you have one amazing city to discover.     

Don’t Miss – Nuremberg Castle (Kaiserburg), Old Town, Dürer House, Weissgerbergasse, Fembo House Museum, Toy Museum, Nazi Party Rally Grounds, St Sebald’s Church, Frauenkirche, Henkersteg (Hangman’s Bridge), Christmas Market   

Nice to see – DB Museum, Nuremberg Trials Memorial, German National Museum, Art Bunker 

How many days – 2 or 3 

Best things with kids – Toy Museum, Zoo, Playmobil, DB Train Museum 

Best day trips – Bamberg, Regensburg, Bayreuth, Würzburg, Ansbach. Charming town of Lauf an der Pegnitz.

See also: One day in Nuremberg , 2 Days in Nuremberg

image of frauenkirche church nuremberg germany

22. Black Forest   

image of freudenberg black forest germany

The Black Forest (Schwarzwald), in the Baden-Württemberg region of south-western Germany, has long been a hugely popular draw for visitors.  

This is the chocolate-box rural Germany of cuckoo clocks, traditional half-timbered villages, centuries-old farmhouses, flower-laden balconies, lush green valleys, deep dark forests, cows grazing, and enchanting fairy tales.  Not to mention a certain chocolate and cherry cake.  

Freiburg im Breisgau is the main gateway to the Black Forest, and worth at least a day of your time. The region has some great drives, and it’s also worth incorporating some hikes into your itinerary too. 

Don’t Miss – The gorgeous towns of Schiltach, Gengenbach, Haslach, and Calw; the prettiest in the Black Forest;  Triberg Falls and the world’s largest cuckoo clock in Triberg; the Schwarzwaldhochstrase spectacular driving route;  Gutach Black Forest Open-Air Museum; hiking in the Black Forest National Park; Freiburg im Breisgau 

Nice to see – The famous spa town of Baden-Baden, Titisee Lake, Maulbronn Kloster  

How many days – you could easily spend a week or more there. 

23. Quedlinburg  

image of Quedlinburg castle germany

Quedlinburg is half-timbered heaven, a gorgeous medieval and Renaissance town with around 1,300 half-timbered buildings (Fachwerkhäuser). That’s more than anywhere else in the country. 

There are enough things to do in Quedlinburg to keep you there for at least a couple of days. Begin at the Castle, gradually working your way around the Old Town. There are some exceptional Romanesque churches in Quedlinburg , in a region (Saxony-Anhalt) especially rich in them. 

Quedlinburg is also an excellent base for making your first forays into the Harz Mountains, including on the superb local narrow-gauge railway.   

Don’t Miss – Altstadt (Old Town), Castle, St Servatius Church and Crypt, Steinkeikerturm for the view, Half-Timbered Museum, St Benedikti Church 

Nice To See – Klopstock Museum, St Blaise Church, Lyonel Feininger Gallery 

How many days – two minimum 

Day trips – Wernigerode, Brocken Mountain, Harz Mountains Railway (Selketalbahn branch), St Cyriakus Church in Gernrode, Goslar

See Also: The 13 Most Beautiful Streets In Quedlinburg

24. Naumburg Cathedral   

image of the east towers of naumburg cathedral germany

N aumburg Cathedral, in the eastern German region of Saxony- Anhalt, is one of the great German cathedrals. It’s one of six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the region, and a compelling enough reason to go out of your way and include it in your Germany itinerary.   

Much of Naumburg Dom was built on the cusp of the transition between late Romanesque and early Gothic architecture.  

image of statue of uta von ballenstedt in naumburg cathedral germany

Most of the church, including one of the two sets of twin towers, was built in the earlier period. The choir dates from the first phase of Gothic building, and includes the outstanding series of twelve sculptures of the founders of the Dom. One of these is the remarkably vivid figure of Uta von Ballenstedt, one of the most famous statues in Germany.   

See Also: Visiting Naumburg Cathedral – One OF The great German Cathedrals

How many days – one 

Best day trips – Leipzig, Halle an der Saale 

25. Saxon Switzerland  

Image of the Bastei Bridge in Rathen Saxon Switzerland Germany

The Saxon Switzerland National Park is an amazing landscape of soaring sandstone rock columns and forests, a continuation of Bohemian Switzerland and similar ‘rock cities’ further afield across the border in the Czech Republic.  

The river Elbe has helped carve this unique landscape of stunning rock formations, with little canyons, flat-top mountains and picturesque villages like Kurort Rathen. 

Our advice is to combine it with the Bohemian Switzerland over the border. The gateway village of Hřensko is gorgeous, and it’s close to the most popular landmark in the region, the Pravčická Brana rock arch. 

Don’t Miss – Bastei Bridge , Königstein Fortress, Bad Schandau, Kurort Rathen  

Nice to see – Lichtenhainer Waterfall; Kuhstall cave arch and viewpoint; Hřensko  

Best day trips – Dresden, Bautzen , or across the border to the Bohemian Switzerland National Park including Hřensko and Pravčická Brana 

26. Aachen & Aachen Cathedral 

The Dom (Cathedral) of Aachen is one of the greatest churches in the world. Part of it – the Pfalzkapelle, or Palace Chapel – was completed in 800 for Charlemagne, the Frankish king and first Holy Roman Emperor.  

It later became a pilgrimage destination in the 12th century when Charlemagne, who was buried there, was declared a saint. The Cathedral had already acquired other prestigious relics, such as the loincloth worn by Christ when crucified. To see everything, we recommend joining a guided tour. 

The streets around the Cathedral are also worth exploring, and the impressive late Gothic Rathaus also definitely warrants a visit. 

Don’t Miss – Aachen Cathedral, Domschatzkammer (Cathedral Treasury), Rathaus (Town Hall) 

Nice to see – Centre Charlemagne, Suermondt Ludwig Museum, Ludwig Forum  

How many days – One day 

Best day trips – Monschau, Eifel National Park; Valkenburg and Maastricht in the Netherlands 

Top tip – Aachen Christmas market is wonderful 

27. Passau 

image of passau bavaria germany

Passau, often referred to as the “City of Three Rivers,” is a stunning Bavarian town situated at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers. It is also a hugely popular Danube River Cruise stop.  

Passau is in the southeast corner of Germany, close to the Austrian and Czech borders. The city grew rich from trade, much of it in salt from nearby Bohemia, and its wealth is reflected in some of the finest Baroque architecture in this part of Europe.  Much of Passau had to be rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1662.   

Don’t Miss – St Stephen’s Cathedral  (Dom St Stephan), which has the world’s largest organ; the views from Veste Oberhaus, Oberhaussmuseum, Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), Passauer Glasmuseum 

Nice to see – the Danube cycle path, Roman Museum, Heavenly Ladder (321 steps up the hill to Mariahilf Monastery –  

How many days – Two ideally, but you’d get around the main sights in a single day. 

Best day trips – Linz, Austria is just an hour away by train; Regensburg; and the gorgeous Czech town of Cesky Krumlov is less than a two-hour drive away. 

Best Places To Visit In Germany – Final Words

best places to visit in eastern germany image of dresden at duisk from across the river elbe

Germany is an exceptional country to visit, and I’m so fortunate to have been doing so for over 40 years. It has some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe , particularly the Bavarian Alps and Rhine Valley.

Germany also has some of the most compelling cities in Europe. Whether you’re discovering Berlin landmarks or looking up in awe at Cologne Cathedral, there are several lifetimes worth of amazing places to see.

Many of you will be drawn to the half-timbered medieval towns like Rothenburg, Bacharach or Rüdesheim .

And at the other end of the spectrum, there is so much 20th-century history to explore in Germany. The Nuremberg Nazi SItes take you back to one of the darkest times in the century. And places like the Stasi Museum Dresden are a reminder that, for many, the bad times didn’t end there.

And if you’re more curious about the former East Germany, check out my guide to the best places to visit in Eastern Germany .

It’s one of the most fascinating countries in the world to visit. And one of the most rewarding.

Image of David Angel found of Delve into Europe Travel Blog / Website

David Angel is a British photographer, writer and historian. He is a European travel expert with over 30 years’ experience exploring Europe. He has a degree in History from Manchester University, and his work is regularly featured in global media including the BBC, Condé Nast Traveler, The Guardian, The Times, and The Sunday Times.  David is fluent in French and Welsh, and can also converse in Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech and Polish.

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17 Best Cities to Visit in Germany

By Alex Schultz · Last updated on May 4, 2024

With so many amazing things to see and do in Germany , visitors to this fabulous country have their work cut out trying to fit everything in. While it is home to beautiful landscapes and scenery, most visitors head towards Germany’s iconic and impressive cities, which are so full of life. Steeped in history, their ancient streets are home to world-class museums, fine dining options, biergartens (beer gardens), spas and more.

Whether it is beautiful medieval city centers, fairytale castles , impressive cathedrals you are after, or renowned nightlife and trendy hip alternative bars, the best cities in Germany have it all!

17. Wiesbaden

Wiesbaden

Rebuilt after the Second World War, Wiesbaden is now full of lovely neoclassical architecture and leafy parks. One of the oldest spa towns in the whole of the country, its fantastic spas and peaceful wellness centers are the main attraction. Wiesbaden is the perfect place if you are looking to unwind. Lying on the banks of the Rhine, from here you can easily visit the nearby wine regions that produce such fine wines. Wiesbaden is the main base for the US Army in Europe.

16. Regensburg

Regensburg

Dating all the way back to Roman times, Regensburg’s long history means that it has several fine old buildings to visit that are among the best in Bavaria. Its medieval old town is mesmerizingly beautiful, with a towering cathedral and ancient stone bridge. The plethora of outdoor cafes give it a slightly Italian flair. With three universities located in the city, it is a lively yet laidback place, which is definitely fun to experience.

Lubeck

With over a thousand historical buildings dotted around the city, this former member of the powerful Hanseatic League is enchanting. Dating to the 12th Century, its gothic churches and mansions surround the highlight of Lubeck – the lovely Holstentor Gate. Lying on the Trave River, its picturesque setting only adds to its charm. A hidden gem, Lubeck and its old town are well worth an extended visit.

Essen

Built on coal and steel, Essen has now moved to commerce and culture to attract visitors and locals to the city. While its former heavy industries still dominate Essen’s features, you can now visit many great museums which highlight its rich history.

In addition to the cultural attractions, a lovely green belt cuts through the city, and the old medieval part of town is a real adventure to explore.

13. Hannover

Hannover

Often overlooked in favor of nearby Hamburg and Bremen, Hannover has a laid-back way of life and will slowly grow on you – even if it is a slightly drab place due to the hasty reconstruction after WWII. With lots of great museums, a lively arts and culture scene and a massive exhibition center, there are more than enough reasons to spend some time here.

Green spaces dot the city, with the fantastic Herrenhauser Garten being particularly lovely. The largest urban forest in the whole of Europe lies on its outskirts. In summer, its huge computer and technology fairs attract throngs of people to the city.

12. Leipzig

Leipzig

The largest city in Germany’s federal state of Saxony, Leipzig is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene shaped by famous music composers like Bach, Richard Wagner and Felix Mendelssohn. Tourists today can enjoy performances of Bach’s music at the St. Thomas Church where Bach once served as choir leader and is now buried.

In addition to historic sites like the Old Town Hall, the city boasts several impressive structures such as the Napoleonic Monument to the Battle of the Nations and Reichsgericht, the former high court of the Reich. One of Europe’s largest town squares, the Augustusplatz, is situated at the central campus Germany’s second-oldest university.

11. Stuttgart

Stuttgart

Home to Germany’s thriving automobile industry, Stuttgarters are often half-jokingly called ‘stuck up’ by other Germans. While there is certainly a posh and affluent feel to the city, it is actually a welcoming and friendly place.

Despite its large size, Stuttgart has a laidback atmosphere, and residents happily spend their time in its fantastic biergartens or hiking in the nearby hills surrounding the city. With an eclectic mix of architectural styles on show, marvelous museums, and lots of fine dining options, Stuttgart will not disappoint.

10. Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Lying on the banks of the River Neckar, Heidelberg is set amidst a stunning landscape and is home to the oldest university in the country. With beautiful forest surrounding it, the city is particularly known for its incredible red brick castle, which looks out over the houses and river below.

The picturesque Altstadt is magical, thanks in large part to the uniform architectural style that survived WWII. A laidback place, the sizeable university population adds a multicultural and youthful feel to its streets.

9. Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf

One of the wealthiest cities in Germany, there is a posh feel to this modern city, as demonstrated by the banking and fashion industries that call it home. While there is definitely a modern side to Dusseldorf – where innovative and creative architectural styles can be found – the Altstadt highlights more tradition styles in its lovely buildings, which were painstakingly restored after being destroyed in WWII.

Its renovated harbor area is fantastic to witness at night, as lights glimmer alluringly off the Rhine, shimmering off avant-garde and daring buildings. With a pulsating nightlife and a lively arts and culture scene, Dusseldorf is an exciting city.

Bremen

A welcoming and friendly place, Bremen is a great city to visit or live in. Combining modern industries and technology with enchanting old streets and a bewitching Expressionist quarter, Bremen is an intriguing city with a laidback vibe which belies its large size. As well as its beautiful old center and fantastic museums, trendy neighborhoods hide great restaurants, teeming bars and upbeat nightlife options.

7. Nuremberg

Nuremberg

Famous for the Nuremberg Trials which took place here after the Second World War, history drips from every surface. Although it was heavily bombed during WWII, much of the city’s architectural wonders have been restored. Having once acted unofficially as the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, untold riches were drawn to the city, with German kings only adding to its grandeur later on.

This is evidenced by the delightful castle and churches which can be found in the old town. While Nuremberg is worth visiting at any time of year due to its sumptuous beers and bustling nightlife, Christmas is particularly magical, thanks to its sprawling, twinkling Christmas market.

Dresden

It is almost impossible to imagine that Dresden was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War; the city’s beautiful churches, palaces and museums are so striking to behold. Located on the banks of the Elbe, Dresden has a bewitching catalogue of art and architectural styles for you to explore through its fantastic museums and rebuilt streets.

In contrast to its old treasures, the Neustadt has lots of trendy restaurants and bars for visitors to let their hair down in, with many people heading here to enjoy an energetic nightlife scene.

Hamburg

The second largest city in Germany, Hamburg has a bustling port that has welcomed people to its shores to trade and make merry since the Middle Ages. This maritime identity is everywhere you look in the city, as the port and the Elbe River still play a prominent role in its citizens’ lives.

Old and new architectural styles mix together wherever you look; the amazingly modern Elbphilarmonie concert hall is comfortably located next to old brick warehouses. Indeed, music plays an important role in the city’s history, and it is here that the Beatles got their big break.

The nightlife on offer is out of this world and the famous Reeperbahn is where you want to head. Here, you’ll find a seedy red-light district, as well as music clubs, trendy cocktail bars, pulsating discos and more.

4. Frankfurt

Frankfurt

With glittering glass winking at you from its towering skyscrapers, Frankfurt is the business and finance center of Germany and much of Europe. With over 5.5-million people living in the city and its outlying edges, it is a dynamic and lively place with much to offer.

While the modern hub of the city is full of skyscrapers and businessmen, the medieval old town is a charming contrast, as quaint cafes and traditional taverns serve up delicious food and refreshing beers.

Located on the Main River, there are some lovely walks to be had along its banks, while airy parks and peaceful neighborhoods only add to the city’s charm. With a fantastic range of museums to visit and pumping nightlife to enjoy, Frankfurt is a great city to discover.

Cologne

With the impressive cathedral’s twin spires towering above the city, reaching towards the heavens, Cologne is one of the most popular cities to visit in the whole of Germany. History abounds in its ancient streets.

As you stroll around, you’ll find medieval churches interspersed amongst trendy neighborhoods and the picturesque old town. With lots of good museums on offer, as well as fantastic local chocolates, beers and perfumes, Cologne has something for everyone to enjoy.

If you’re feeling particularly amorous, you can always leave a locket declaring your undying love at the Hohenzollernbrucke bridge.

Munich

The heart of Bavaria, Munich is a fantastically wealthy city that perfectly highlights its rich cultural heritage while remaining contemporary at the same time. While visitors descend upon Munich at any time of year, the zenith is obviously during Oktoberfest, when the streets are flowing with beer, and lederhosen-clad people make merry.

Renowned for its art scene, the city has world-class museums as well as numerous royal palaces to gaze upon – not to mention a thriving gastronomic scene to dig into. With a laidback way of life, the Bavarians are welcoming and perfectly happy to show off their local traditions and customs.

See also: Where to Stay in Munich

Reichstag

Germany’s sprawling capital really does have everything you could want from a city. Large green spaces are spread throughout its graffiti-strewn, concrete buildings, while trendy and unique bars, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs are hidden among the grime of this thriving city that is renowned for its nightlife.

See also: Where to Stay in Berlin

With a vibrant cultural and arts scene, museum island is particularly captivating to visit – although that is probably too mainstream for many visitors to the city. Famed for its alternative scene and acceptance that anything goes, simply being in Berlin and experiencing the atmosphere is intoxicating in itself.

Steeped in history, walking along the Berlin Wall and visiting the haunting Holocaust memorial are just two must-do activities in this multicultural and modern city.

Map of cities in Germany

Map of cities in Germany

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30 Best Countries to Visit in February (Fun Spots You Haven’t Thought Of)

Posted on Published: October 17, 2023  - Last updated: March 12, 2024

With spring patiently waiting to arrive, February is the perfect month for a vacation! Whether you’re planning a special Valentine’s Day getaway or looking to find some warm weather, February offers a plethora of options. Here are the best countries to visit in February!

best countries to visit in February view of beach with beach huts and walkway over teal water

This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, see my  disclosures .

Whether your idea of the best place to travel to in February is to say goodbye to the cold and hit the beach beach, or you’re aiming for snowy adventures like skiing and northern lights, this list has a little bit of everything. 

Some of these destinations are in the off season, so you’ll find amazing pricing, which makes it even more fun to travel there! From cities with cobblestone streets to white sandy beaches, you’ll find the best February destinations.

Including countries from all regions of the world, you’re gonna want to start the search for flights!  Let’s dive in!

Countries to visit in February map

From hiking to frozen waterfalls in Finland to taking a safari in Kenya, your February vacation options are truly endless. Use the map below to start planning!

Oh and by the way, I’m continually checking places off my travel bucket list but since I haven’t been everywhere yet, I’ve asked some of my fellow travel writers to help create this list of the best places to vacation in February. Enjoy!

Before you book your trip, be sure to get travel insurance ! While I truly hope you have a fabulous time, you just never know what will happen before or on vacation, and travel insurance can protect your investment.

Best countries to visit in February

Who knew February was such a great time to travel?! This list proves that it just may be the best. With fewer crowds and diverse options it’s up to you to decide the best place to vacation in February for your travel style.

There are sooo many options….let’s go!

1. Seychelles

best February destinations view of beach with rounded rocks and palm leaves

  • Region:  Africa (island in the Indian Ocean)
  • Fly into:  Seychelles International Airport (SEZ)
  • Average temperature:  85F/76F. Approximately 11 days of rain.

One of the best countries to visit in February is the Seychelles. If you are coming from the Northern Hemisphere, you will likely have the winter blues at this point and the Seychelles offers a completely different world during the winter months!

Technically, the Seychelles experience their ‘rainy’ season throughout this time, however, it’s the tropics so you can expect a bit of rain throughout the year, anyway.

One perk of visiting the Seychelles in winter is that the seas are calmer despite the weather being wetter. This is especially important for those taking the ferry to La Digue or Praslin from Mahe (the summer ferries are known to make passengers seasick).

In February, you can find the Seychellois celebrating Carnival. They have BBQs (a Creole favorite!), picnics, and a lot of dancing on the islands. There is also the eco-friendly marathon taking place in February.

The off-season winter months also experience slightly cheaper prices – which is great for those traveling as the Seychelles is not a budget destination . Tours are also easier to book at the last minute.

One tour to avoid missing out on is the Saint-Anne Marine Park and Moyenne Island day trip. This is one of the  best things to do on Mahe  and is a must for any visitor.

If you plan to visit all three main islands (Mahe, La Digue, and Praslin), you should set aside at least 10 days to properly see all the islands. Otherwise, your trip can feel a bit rushed.

Recommended by Megan of Megan Starr

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best countries to visit in February view of reindeer caravan in snowy forest

  • Region: Northern Europe
  • Fly into: Rovaniemi Airport
  • Average temp: 20°F to 29°F

Finland is one of the best vacation spots in February, especially in the Lapland region located in Northern Finland. This whole area is a complete winter wonderland, and you will be guaranteed tons of snow!

Firstly, you will want to base yourself in Rovaniemi, which is the capital of the Lapland region of Finland. It is located right on the Arctic Circle and you can here by train or plane. There are tons of nearby towns, all offering winter wonderland activities.

From winter hiking, frozen waterfalls, reindeer farms, huskies, Finnish Saunas, and ice fishing, there is something for everyone.

Additionally, one of the oldest known Nomadic festivals takes place during February. This is called the Jokkmokk market. It celebrates the traditions of the Sàmi people. During the festival, you’ll be taken back to the Middle Ages, where you can try traditional meals and explore the market stalls.

February is also an incredible time to see the Northern Lights in Lapland! There are plenty of guided tours you can book. By booking a tour, you’ll maximize your chances of seeing the lights as you will be guided by experts. 

Admittedly, the temperatures are definitely low during this time of the year. Just make sure to have extra layers and a big thick coat.

For a  unique place to stay in Rovaniemi, you can consider Apukka Resort, which is well known for its igloo huts! 

Recommended by Samantha of Find Love and Travel 

3. Turks and Caicos (a favorite on this list of best counties to visit in February)

turks and caicos photo of woman walking in ocean bright teal water blue sky and tan sand

  • Region : Caribbean
  • Fly into : Providenciales International Airport
  • Average temp : 82°F high  / 74°F low

One of the absolute best countries to visit in February, Turks and Caicos is nestled in the vibrant Caribbean Sea. With vibrant turquoise water and white-sand beaches, this getaway is a much-needed reprieve from a cold winter.

With a scene that can’t be described in words or photos, the color of the water in Turks and Caicos is truly unbelievable. In fact, it reminds me of the time I visited Banff in summer and saw the water in Moraine Lake – truly jaw-dropping!

Turks and Caicos is a chain of islands, although most people fly into and stay on Providenciales, unless you’re taking a cruise you’ll likely go through Grand Turk.

There’s so many great things to do in Turks and Caicos, including eating delicious food, enjoying water activities and beach hopping! Grace Bay is the best beach in Turks and Caicos, and where most of the luxury hotels are located.

To experience more of the island, go kayaking at Chalk Sound National Park, take a snorkeling tour or try kiteboarding at Long Beach.

Whether you’re looking to relax or craving adventure, Turks and Caicos is the answer to your question, “where to go in February?”

Recommended by me – Nikki of She Saves She Travels

Cairo Egypt pyramids with sand and blue sky

  • Region : North Africa
  • Fly into : Cairo International Airport
  • Average temp : 66 high, 59 low (in F)

Dating back to thousands of years of history,  Egypt  is an ancient and incredible country to visit . The country is home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Natural Wonders of the World, including the Pyramids of Giza.

Cairo, the capital and the largest city of Egypt, has an international airport that connects with major cities around the world. There are also a few cruise lines that stop at Port Said in Cairo. Apart from the international airport in Cairo, there are other smaller airports around the city that you can fly to.

Other than the capital city, there are other ancient and significant cities such as Giza, Memphis, Saqqar, Luxor and Aswan . Throughout these cities you’ll find many historical monuments and are part of the UNESCO Heritage sites.

You need at least one to two weeks to explore and experience what Egypt has to offer. One of the best places to stay is Giza Pyramids View Inn where the rooms offer views of the pyramids.

The best and the peak season in Egypt is during the winter season and February falls in the winter season. Offering pleasant weather when compared to the rest of the month s, Egypt is one of the best countries to visit in February.

During the month, the average temperature ranges between 59 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it ideal to explore the iconic monuments, cruise the Nile River, and scuba dive into the underwater world of the Red Sea. In fact, Egypt also celebrates Abu Simbel Sun Festival in the month of February.

Recommended by Raksha of Solo Passport

stunning waterfall scene in the jungle with teal water in Laos best countries to visit in February

  • Region: Southeast Asia
  • Fly into : Wattay International Airport, Vientiane
  • Average temperature: 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit but it can get much colder in the northern province of Phongsali

February is one of the best months to delve into Laos’ culture and natural wonders. While definitely on the banana pancake trail, Laos sees fewer visitors than Thailand or Vietnam and is a haven for those seeking a more tranquil escape in Southeast Asia.

February is one of the best times to visit as the rain bids its adieu and the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold which makes it excellent for outdoor activities.

In addition to the plethora of activities in February, you will love the country for its gorgeous natural scenery, friendly locals, and delicious cuisine . Places not to miss in Laos are definitely the city of Luang Prabang for its proximity to the  Kuang Si Falls  and Vang Vieng for its beautiful rock formations.

Make sure to leave time to explore lesser-known destinations like the towns of Nong Khiaw and Muang Ngoi.

Furthermore, the Mighty Mekong flows right through Laos. Y ou can enjoy boat trips on this amazing river but also taste local delicacies out of the river like fried Mekong seaweed crackers with chili peppers and garlic.

From Wattay Airport, you can easily reach the center of the capital Vientiane . Busses and trains leave from the capital to every corner of the country.

I would recommend staying for at least four weeks to really immerse yourself in the Lao ambiance and to have enough time to slow travel the country.

A great stay that is high on many travelers’ bucket lists is the Gibbon Experience . Here, you’ll sleep in treehouses high in the canopy of lush forest in the north of Laos.

It’s no secret why Laos is one of the best places to visit in February.

Recommended by Annelies of Travelers & Dreamers

6. Norway (Where to go in February for adventure-lovers!)

where to travel in February view of norway and northern lights green and purple spread across the sky

  • Fly into: Tromsø Airport
  • Average temp: 30° F high, 22° F low 

Norway, and especially the northern portion above the Arctic Circle, is the perfect destination for an adventurous vacation in February. It’s the perfect place to see the northern lights and try other activities like riding a snowmobile or going ice fishing. 

Plan to visit northern Norway for at least 6 days. A longer trip will give you more chances to see the northern lights and will give you time to visit smaller areas like Narvik and Senja.

Unless you’re visiting other countries in northern Europe, plan to start and end your trip in Tromsø, where you’ll find the biggest airport in the region. 

There are weeks during the winter in Norway when Tromsø and other areas see 0 minutes of sunlight each day. By February, the days are starting to get longer and the locals are more friendly . It feels as though the entire region is starting to come back to life as the sun starts to shine longer and longer each day. 

The northern lights are a natural phenomenon , so there’s no way to guarantee that you’ll see them during your visit. You can increase your chances by visiting for several days and visiting areas away from sources of light pollution. 

For a unique and unforgettable experience, you can stay in an arctic dome in northern Norway. If you’re lucky, you might even see the northern lights from your warm bed inside the dome. 

It’s easy to see why Norway makes it on this list of the best places to travel in February!

Recommended by Amber from Amber Everywhere

elephant with tree and hill in distance

  • Region : East Africa
  • Fly into: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO)
  • Average temp: 82°F high, 72°F low

Kenya is one of the best countries to travel to in February. The climate is mild and mostly dry, which is perfect for safari, and the chances of wildlife spotting – including baby animals and a wide variety of birds – is fantastic. February is also a great time of year for hiking and climbing.

You can do a lot during a  12-day action-packed safari trip to Kenya , especially if you use a tour provider like  Sense of Africa .

Most tours begin and end in Nairobi , where you can visit the Giraffe Centre, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Karen Blixen Museum, and more. 

From here, you can tailor your tour to visit (and stay at) various game parks. Some favorites are Samburu National Reserve, Lake Nakuru National Park, and Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Don’t forget to save time to hike at Mount Kenya National Park, home to Africa’s second highest peak.

One of the highlights of any trip to Kenya is the Maasai Mara , which shares the same ecosystem as Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. It is one of the most famous safari destinations in the world.

The Mara is home to an abundance of lions, elephants, giraffes, buffalos, and cheetahs, as well as the elusive leopard and endangered black rhino . Be sure to pack your binoculars!

Here, you can also do a Maasai village tour. On the tour, you’ll practice your high jumps, chant with members of the Maasai tribe, go inside a typical Maasai home, and learn about the Maasai culture.

You can also opt to take a hot air balloon ride over the Mara or have breakfast on a riverbank, while watching hippos and crocodiles swim in the Mara River.

Note that a travel visa is required to enter the country, and the Yellow Fever vaccination is highly recommended.

Recommended by Sara from Travel A-Broads

Best places to visit in February continued…

We’re just getting started! Here are more of the best countries to visit in February – including a few of my favorites!

8. French Polynesia (where to travel in February for warmth!)

vacations for February view of island coast with lush greenery

  • Region : Oceania
  • Fly into: Papeete International Airport 
  • Average temp: 85 high, 75 low

February is the perfect time to visit French Polynesia if you’re looking for an escape from the cold winter weather. During this month, visitors can expect temperatures to range from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a great time to soak up the sun on one of the many perfect beaches.

During the stay, consider exploring Tahiti’s waterfalls before hiking Moorea’s lush trails . You can reach the trails by taking a  ferry from Tahiti to Moorea .  

Then. explore the underwater wonders of Bora Bora or the tranquil lagoons of Rangiroa. Both of which feature crystal clear water and a truly unforgettable experience.

Visitors won’t have to worry about crowds either, since February is considered low season.  This is the perfect time to find deals on airfare and accommodations.

The sights will be less crowded and the beaches may feel empty.  For travelers ready to splurge, check out the Four Seasons Resort in Bora Bora for excellent service and stunning views.

To get to French Polynesia, most travelers fly into Papeete before flying or boating off to the other islands.

If possible, visit this beautiful country for at least a week to experience all that French Polynesia has to offer.

Travelers should note that in the touristy areas, English is common. However, keep in mind that English may not be widely spoken in off the beaten path areas, so brushing up on some basic French phrases is a good idea.

As you can see, French Polynesia is one of the best places to go in February for an unforgettable getaway!

Recommended by Monica of This Rare Earth

9. Guatemala (an underrated destination on this list of best countries to visit in February)

places to go in February view of lake shore with boats and docks with volcanoes in distance

  • Region : Central America
  • Fly into : Guatemala City – La Aurora International Airport (GUA)
  • Average temp : 78°F high  / 56°F low

Guatemala is known as “the land of eternal spring,” with much of the country enjoying pleasant, mild days year-round. However, February may just be the best time to visit, boasting warm, sunny weather in the middle of the dry season.

The nearly perfect weather makes it an ideal time to tackle a hike up one of the volcanoes that the country is known for.

The most famous of these is the trek up Volcan Acatenango, which allows for a unique experience to witness Volcan Fuego . It’s one of the most active volcanoes in all of Central America.

If you prefer less adventurous activities, there’s plenty more that Guatemala has to offer. Spending a few days in Antigua is a must to explore its colonial gems. The city was destroyed by a giant earthquake in 1773 and rebuilt, and its attractions offer a look into its history and resiliency.

After spending some time in Antigua, it’s highly recommended that you head over to Lake Atitlan. There are about a dozen Mayan villages that surround the lake, each offering a different vibe and feel.

You will gain a fascinating look into traditional Mayan culture – and the views of the lake and surrounding volcanoes are unreal.

If you have more time, head over to the ruins of Tikal . These ruins are one of the most important ancient cities of pre-Columbian Mayan civilization.

Another attraction worth visiting is Semuc Champey, a natural monument consisting of a series of cascading turquoise pools nestled in the lush jungle.

No matter how you decide to spend your time in Guatemala, it’ll surely prove to be one of the best February destinations.

Recommended by Caroline of Pictures and Words

10. Maldives (a top choice for the best places to travel in February)

Maldives beach with beach huts and walkway over teal water best countries to visit in February

  • Fly into: Velana International Airport (MLE)
  • Average temperature: between 85°F and 89°F

Are you looking for where to go in February? Add the Maldives to the list! This place is what your screensaver image was showing at least once in your lifetime, and you have probably wondered “Is this place even real?”.

No matter if you decide to have a more active vacation and invest  10 to 14 days in The Maldives , or if you just plan to lay on a beach for at least a week, February is the best time to visit this awesome tropical paradise.

While The Maldives is known as a go-to destination for couples on their honeymoon, I can tell you that you can enjoy it no matter what you are celebrating.

If visiting in February though, and you don’t want to see way too many couples on your trip, avoid Valentine’s Day. Even better, come right after, so you get to enjoy the smaller prices and the absolutely amazing weather.

The highlight of the trip? The absolutely mind-blowing underwater world, for sure! There are few other places in the world with such a diverse underwater landscape.

Be prepared to encounter not only a lot of colorful fish and delicate anemones, but also huge turtles, gorgeous manta rays, and amazing sharks. No matter if you’re a professional diver or you have just bought your snorkeling gear, please learn about the various animals you may encounter.

It’s also important to educate yourself of the potential dangers of the place. It’s your responsibility to protect yourself and the environment.

Recommended by Cristina of Honest Travel Stories

cuba beach best places to vacation in February

  • Region: Caribbean
  • Fly into: Havana or Santiago de Cuba
  • Average temp: 78F

If you are looking for sunny and warm destinations in February, Cuba is the perfect place for you. It’s one of the best hot destinations in February to visit!

Located in the Caribbean, Cuba is famous for many things including classic cars, stunning beaches, cigars, rum and more.

February is one of the best months to visit Cuba . It’s the dry season (no risk of hurricane) and the temperatures are lovely. You can expect an average of 78°F (25°C).

This means that you can enjoy all the best activities in Cuba from the beaches, snorkeling, scuba diving to hiking and sightseeing in cities.

The best way to get there is by plane. There are two main airports, one in Havana and one in Santiago de Cuba but if you opt for a package holiday, you may fly to a smaller one.

Ideally, you’ll need two weeks to explore Cuba. This will give you the opportunity to discover various landscapes and places such as Havana, Vinales, Varadero, Santa Clara, Trinidad and more.

There are a lot of activities that are worth doing but here are some of the highlights. Viñales is by far a must-visit in Cuba. It’s home to loads of tobacco plantations and is perfect for people who want to discover how cigars are made.

Varadero on the other hand is perfect for beach lovers. Here you will discover beautiful beaches with white sand and crystal clear water. It’s a paradise on Earth!

Recommended by Pauline of Beeloved City

12. Netherlands

where to travel in February view of lake and wind mill on sunny day

  • Region : Northern Europe
  • Fly into: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  • Average temp: 46°F high, 32°F low

The  Netherlands  offers a unique getaway experience. It easily makes this list of the best countries to visit in February. You can expect chilly but manageable weather with occasional rain, so packing layers and a waterproof jacket is key .

While the winter climate may be crisp, the atmosphere is anything but dull due to the Carnival celebrations. The festivities are particularly prominent in the southern regions like Limburg and North Brabant , with colorful parades and fantastical costumes.

Getting to the Netherlands is straightforward. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport serves as a major hub for numerous international flights. Once in the country, the highly efficient public transportation system, including trains and buses, makes navigating to different regions easy and convenient.

A week-long trip would allow you to enjoy the Dutch Carnival while also exploring the highlights of the country.

Amsterdam, with its famous canals and museums, and Utrecht, known for its medieval architecture, should be on your list. Rotterdam is another cool option with great architecture and a fun vibe – don’t miss Kinderdijk with its iconic windmills just outside Rotterdam.

If you are staying in Amsterdam, then check out the “Mr. Jordaan” hotel. Its central location offers easy access to the city’s main attractions.

Despite the festivities, February is not peak tourist season, allowing visitors to explore with fewer crowds . However, hotels in towns hosting Carnival festivities might book up quickly. It’s always best to reserve in advance.

Recommended by Jo of World Wild Schooling

13. Indonesia (a bucket list country to visit in February!)

ancient temple with lilly pads and stone walkway in Bali Indonesia best countries to visit in February

  • Fly into: Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali
  • Average temp: 75 to 88 degrees

Indonesia is a perfect destination in February if you’re looking to experience the archipelago without the high-season crowds. 

It is technically a rainy season, but places like Bali, even in rainy times, are great. With showers often occurring mostly at nights, it leaves the days sun-kissed.

Meanwhile, destinations like Raja Ampat boast their best weather, offering crystal-clear visibility for snorkelling and diving.

Direct international flights cater to major hubs like Jakarta and Denpasar . If you’re coming from Europe or the Americas, you might have a layover at popular transit points such as Singapore’s Changi Airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, or even Dubai International Airport.

For a first-time visit to Indonesia, which boasts over 17,000 islands, a 2-week stay is recommended. A typical itinerary might include a few of the best areas in Bali , such as Ubud, Seminyak and Uluwatu.

Be sure to save time for a visit to Java to see the magnificent Borobudur Temple and to climb Mount Bromo. If you have more time, take a trip to Flores for komodo dragons or Sumatra to see the orangutans in their natural habitat.

As for the festivals, February is the time of Chinese New Year,  locally known as “Imlek.” This festival ushers in vibrant street performances, colourful parades, and intricate lantern displays, especially in cities with significant Chinese-Indonesian populations like Jakarta or Surabaya.

Recommended by Mal of Where To Stay Bali

14. Australia

view of Australian coast in February with Bech and tall coastline ridges

  • Region: Oceania
  • Fly into: Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport
  • Average temp: 65-78°F in Sydney; 70-85°F in Brisbane; and 57-77°F in Melbourne.

Australia is, without a doubt, one of the best countries to visit in February.

You’ll be heading Down Under during the country’s summer months, so the weather will be at its best in the most popular areas for tourists. Despite this, the crowds (and prices) will be starting to lower as local children head back to school and international arrivals decrease. 

Given the size of the country (roughly the same area as the continental U.S.!), and the lengthy flight (and subsequent jetlag) to get there, Australia is not country in which to spend a mere few days. Two weeks should be the absolute minimum amount of time you allocate , but if you can stretch it out to a month, you’ll be greatly rewarded.

Sydney is a particularly great spot in February, which is convenient, as most international flights will arrive there. The city’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrations kick off in the middle of a month and last for a whopping 17 days . It’s one of the largest Pride events in the world and you can expect parties, film festivals, parades, art shows, and more.

Down in Melbourne, February provides the perfect climate for driving the Great Ocean Road . This iconic coastal road starts from just outside of the city and is regularly named one of the most scenic in the world.

On the drive, you’ll pass beautiful beaches, lush rainforest, and and rugged cliffs, all the way to the impressive 12 Apostles.

Recommended by Lauren of Everything Victoria

15. Jordan (a fun one on this list of best countries to travel to in February)

best countries to visit in February view of camels laying on sand with mountains in distance

  • Region : Jordan, Middle East
  • Fly into : Queen Alia International Airport in Amman or King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba
  • Average temp : 80°F high, 50°F low

Visiting Jordan in February is a fantastic idea for those looking for a unique Middle Eastern adventure. You can avoid the tourist crowds that flock to Jordan during the high season.

The weather may be a bit chilly in the mornings, but it’s much more comfortable for outdoor activities than the unbearably hot summer months.

Dress in layers, bring sunscreen and a hat. Be sure to respect local customs and dress modestly. Wear a bikini only on the private beaches of your hotel.

The best way to explore the country is to rent a car . A  5-day itinerary to visit the highlights  is recommended to immerse yourself in Jordan’s rich history and natural beauty.

The iconic city of Petra and the desert landscape of Wadi Rum are must-sees . The cooler weather makes exploring these ancient wonders much more enjoyable.

The capital Amman, the ancient city of Jerash and the Dead Sea, where you can float on the water, are also worth a visit. The Red Sea near Aqaba offers great diving.

Don’t forget to try the Jordanian cuisine, especially the delicious falafel. Enjoying the local food and wine is one of the best Jordan travel tips .

Jordan in February promises an unforgettable, crowd-free adventure among the country’s incredible landscapes and historical treasures.

Recommended by Maria of Map and Camera

Best places to vacation in February

Are you a fan of chilly adventures? Or do you prefer relaxing on a warm sunny beach? This vacations for February list has something for everyone. From low crowds to affordable deals, February is THE time to travel! Here are more of the best places to go in February!

best countries to visit in February view of Hawaiian coast with vibrant blue water and road cut into hillside

  • Region: North America
  • Fly into: varies based on state; Lihue, Kona, Honolulu or Kahului in Hawaii
  • Average temp: 79°F high, 68°F low on average for Hawaii (remainder of US varies based on region)

If you’re reading this list of the best countries to travel to in February and are not from the US, then a trip to the states may be perfect for you! While the US is vast and experiences will vary greatly from state to state and within each region, I highly recommend a trip to Hawaii in February!

The weather is amazing during this time of year and the water is warm enough for swimming. Each island in Hawaii has its own appea l. And if you’ve never been, take this Hawaiian island quiz to help you determine which island is best for you.

Taking a trip to the Big Island to see the active volcano is deserving of any bucket list. Soak in the bustling city of Honolulu and the history of Pearl Harbor in Oahu. 

Be at one with nature in Kauai, soaking in amazing hiking views and the stunning NaPali Coast. Maui is home to the incredible adventures along the Road to Hana and Kahekili Highwy.

You really can’t go wrong with visiting any of the Hawaiian islands, especially during the winter!

where to go in February view of bright blue sea and land near Malta

  • Region: Southern Europe
  • Fly into: Malta International Airport (MIA)
  • Average temp : 50-61 degrees

If you are looking for one of the best destinations in February with culture, fascinating history, beautiful architecture, and striking coastlines, then you will love the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta. 

By visiting in February, you will get mild temperatures ranging from 16℃ (61℉) to 10℃ (50℉) and lower lodging prices, given you will be there outside of the summer high season.

To get there, fly into the Malta International Airport. Then, if you have a few days, base yourself in nearby Valletta, the historic and peninsular capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Choose lodging on a pedestrian street, like Merchants Street, at a hotel like Rosselli – AX Privilege , or a street over, at Ursulino Valletta, with its gorgeous rooftop breakfast deck. This is a great guide if you need more ideas on where to stay in Malta .

While in Valletta, wander the streets and visit the Upper Barakka Gardens. Join a city tour to learn about its rich history. Or go on a photo tour highlighting the best views, prettiest doorways, and backdrops in a place improbably overflowing with aesthetic impressiveness. 

Then, take a day or two to get out of the city. Use the affordable Malta bus Explore pass or join a tour to visit the fishing village of Marsaxlokk.

If you have the time, be sure to explore the ancient fortress city of Mdina, or wander the grounds of the megalithic temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra overlooking the sea. 

Then, take the ferry to Gozo, Malta’s second-largest inhabitable island. Spend a few days visiting villages, walking stunning coastlines, and catching breathtaking sunset views from the Gozo Cittadella ramparts using  an itinerary like this one  to guide you.

Recommended by Janice of Gather and Go Travel

18. Argentina (another amazing destination on this list of best places to visit in February)

places to visit in February view of Argentina mountains with snow and lake

  • Region: South America
  • Fly into: Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport
  • Average temp: 77° F high, 67°F  low – but these are rough estimates: the country is very vast and some regions such as Patagonia or Tierra del Fuego can be much colder.

Argentina is by far the best country to visit in February in South America. This is the peak of the summer season; which means more tourists and peak tourist season fares. On the other hand, February is the best month to visit Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.

Your trip will inevitably start in the capital Buenos Aires, known as the Paris of South America. Check out the Casa Rosata, explore the  historic San Telmo , where you can see impromptu tango shows, and La Boca districts and enjoy  the nightlife of Palermo.

If you love nature and hiking, you’ll have to head to Patagonia: catch a flight to Trelew and head to Puerto Madryn to admire the incredible wildlife – summer is the best time to see penguins.

From there, it’s another flight to Ushuaia, the main town in Tierra del Fuego and a perfect base to explore the Tierra del Fuego National Park. One of the best hikes in the region is Laguna Esmeralda.

El Calafate, also in Patagonia, is the best base to explore Perito Moreno and reach El Chalten, the hiking capital of Argentina. It’s here you’ll find the trails to the Laguna Torre and Laguna de los Tres (or Mount Fitzroy). 

If your interest is wine, then a trip to Mendoza and then to Salta is a must . Not far from Salta, the quebradas offer plenty of hiking opportunities, excellent wineries and a unique atmosphere here.

Also north of Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls are on the border with Brazil. Spend at least 2 nights to visit both the Argentine side and the Brazilian side for a full experience.

One of the best tips for those visiting Argentina for the first time is to focus on just one area.  The country is massive, and it will take you multiple trips to visit it. Focus your trip on one region and try to explore locally as much as you can.

Recommended by Claudia of My Adventures Across The World

Aruba's white sand beach in winter time with hotels and boats off shore best countries to visit in February

  • Region:  Caribbean
  • Fly Into:  Queen Beatrix International Airport
  • Average Temp:  86F High, 77F Low

The island of Aruba is one of the best vacation spots in February for a beach getaway.

Aruba is home to beautiful white sand beaches, incredible snorkeling and diving , but the island offers much more than your typical beach getaway. 

Popular activities include sunset cruises, catamaran trips and dinner boat tours. Once you’ve soaked up enough sun on Palm Beach or Eagle Beach, you can try some windsurfing, parasailing or explore other parts of the island.

Arikok National Park cannot be missed . You can explore by taking a jeep tour or renting your own 4×4 to adventure across the wild landscape and limestone cliffs. One of the highlights is the Natural Pool – a small pool protected by the wild waves of the sea.

It’s easy to fly into Queen Beatrix International and take the many  airport transportation options . However, having a car opens up a new world of exploration for the adventurous and independent travelers. 

You can visit Aruba year-round as it sits outside the hurricane belt. F ebruary is also one of the dryer months with rain more likely in October to January . This makes February a popular month to visit, however it is never going to seem as crowded as many of the other islands.

Visit at the beginning of the month and you’ll catch the famous Aruba Carnival . You’ll find exciting events every day until the middle of February!

You’ll need 7 days minimum to enjoy Aruba but that would depend on your beach time. If  want to enjoy the many other activities as well as the world-class beaches then more days are recommended!

Recommended by Jeff of Life of Y

20. Thailand (another favorite on this list of best countries to visit in February)

Thailand beaches longtail boats on beach with sand and teal water looking down best countries to visit in February

  • Region:  Southeast Asia
  • Fly into:  Suvarnabhumi Airport
  • Average temp:  80F high, 70F low

Thailand is undeniably one of the best countries to visit in February. The country offers diverse landscapes, from lush jungles and pristine beaches to bustling cities. Whether you’re seeking tranquility or adventure, you’ll find it here.

The weather is spectacular, with clear skies and more bearable temperatures than other months. February is also the last cool month in Thailand.

One of the most magical events in February is the  Chiang Mai Flower Festival . The streets are transformed into a floral paradise . It’s a vibrant three-day celebration full of parades, garden displays, and traditional dancing.

The best part? Thailand is relatively quieter during February.

To get there, fly into Bangkok. Then, explore the country via domestic flights, trains, or even motorbikes. Bangkok’s bustling markets, historic temples, and vibrant street food are a must-see before you travel to other islands.

For a quieter experience, visit Chiang Rai’s White Temple or explore Ayutthaya’s ancient ruins. Enjoy the turquoise waters of Krabi or relax on the tranquil beaches of Koh Samui.

A two to three-week trip is perfect for getting a taste of Thailand. Consider booking boutique hotels for a more authentic experience, and don’t forget to savor local food at their street markets! It’s one of the best things to do in Thailand!

As you travel to Thailand, pack modest clothes for your temple visits. If you plan to stay longer, arrive earlier rather than later because from March to May, the pollution from their burning season tends to be quite intense.

Recommended by Gladis of Happiness on the Way

best country to visit in February view of city in Spain with old buildings church and sea

  • Fly into: Jerez Airport (XRY) or Seville Airport (SVQ)
  • Average temp: 63 °F high, 52 °F low

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Spain, Cádiz is a great place to visit in February, thanks to the Cádiz Festival. While the rest of Andalusia slumbers in its winter lull, Cádiz comes alive and reveals its most flamboyant side during the second month of the year.

Travelers and locals flock to the Carnaval de Cádiz for its chirpy atmosphere. Expect vibrant parades and costumes as the streets come alive with the sounds of music. It’s one of Spain’s biggest carnivals, known for its clever and satirical performances known as “chirigotas.”

While you’re in this breezy city, it’s the perfect occasion to try some classic Andalusian dishes like  pescaíto frito  (fried fish) and the ever-popular churros.

While the rest of Europe shivers, Cádiz enjoys a mild and pleasant climate in February. Although it’s far from its summer peak temperatures, it’s an ideal destination to escape winter’s cold.

The city appeals to a diverse crowd, from locals to tourists seeking an authentic Spanish experience. Getting  from Seville to Cadiz   is a breeze – it’s just a 1.5-hour train ride away. You can also easily reach it from popular destinations like Malaga or Tarifa.

Besides the festival, Cádiz’s main attraction is its beautiful old town, sitting gracefully in the middle of the bay of Cádiz. Whether you’re visiting its iconic white cathedral, medieval fortress, or the Mercado Central, you’re always just a few steps away from the sea.

Even though the festival lasts for 11 days, it’s a good idea to plan to stay in Cádiz for at least 2 days to fully enjoy its beauty. Afterward, you can keep exploring the many great things to see in Andalusia during its quieter, less busy season.

Even if you don’t plan to stay for the entire 11-day festival, it’s a good idea to spend at least 2 days in Cádiz to enjoy its beauty. Afterward, you can keep exploring the many great things to see in Andalusia in the intimacy of its low season.

Recommended by Iphi of Travel Choreography

22. Curacao (a top choice for the best country to visit in February)

best destinations in February view of white sand beach with teal water in the Caribbean

  • Region:  Caribbean
  • Fly into:  Hato Airport
  • Average temp:  86°F high, 76°F low

Considering a break from winter chills? Curaçao is the perfect place to go in February. With its warm temperatures and sunny weather, it’s easy to see why many choose this Caribbean island.

A big draw in February is the Curaçao Carnival. Streets come alive with music, dancing, and colorful parades.

Locals and tourists enjoy this animated fest, combining traditional beats with modern tunes. It’s not just a party; it’s an experience that brings everyone together, celebrating Curaçao’s unique culture.

But it’s not all about dancing. If you enjoy being active, you might want to  hike in Curaçao . The island offers a mix of gentle seaside paths and more demanding mountain trails. Walking, you’ll spot local plants, birds, and some wildlife.

Thinking of staying for a week? The Baoase Luxury Resort is a top pick . It’s the best option for luxury accommodation in Curaçao, and you will have a treat like nowhere else on the island. However, due to the popularity of the Carnival, it’s important to rserve your stay well in advance.

During your vacation, language won’t be a barrier. Most people in Curacao Island speak Dutch, Papiamentu, and English. You can also use the US dollar for most things which makes shopping and dining out hassle-free!

So, if warm days, lively parties, and natural beauty sound good, Curaçao in February should be on your list!

Recommended by Odo of Caribe Vibes

23. Switzerland

best countries to visit in February  wine and food on table with Swiss alps in distance

  • Region:  Central Europe
  • Fly into:  Zurich or Geneva
  • Average temp:  28-45 F

The Swiss Alps may just be the dreamiest places to visit in February and Switzerland is truly a winter wonderland.

Geneva and Zurich are both accessible airports from most cities in Europe and getting around the county is simple with the fantastic train system.

Switzerland lies at the crossroads of several major European cultures, German, French and Italian. This will provide you with incredible architecture and diversity from the wonderful cities to the small towns.

Pick a few towns that you catch your eye and map out your itinerary – spend a week in Zermatt or enjoy a  three-night train trip  through the country with a new stop each day.

Zermatt is a “must do” when it comes to planning your trip. The famous Matterhorn sits in view of the town and provides phenomenal views.

This town is home to well known ski areas with the Matterhorn in the background and bustling streets. For an incredible hot tub view of the mountain, make sure you consider the beautiful BEAUSiTE Zermatt Hotel for your stay. 

Looking for something quieter and more relaxing? Consider the upscale and luxurious Gstaad . More luxury stores than souvenir shops, this town is a wonderful place to step out of reality.

Make sure to take the gondola up into the mountains and get a table at Bergrestaurant Eggli. Enjoy some cheese fondue and drink wine while appreciating the beauty of the Swiss Alps.

From gorgeous cities to charming chalet lined towns, its hard to go wrong on a getaway to Switzerland.

Recommended by Monica of Maxed Out PTO

Where to go in February continued…

Anyone else looking forward to escaping the cold with these best places to visit in February? Or maybe you are looking to bundle up and avoid the crowds in a chilly country. Whatever you choose, the world awaits!

countries to visit in February Brazil coastline and mountains with city

  • Region:  South America
  • Fly into:  São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport (GRU)
  • Average temp:  72 to 88 degrees F

When it comes to hot weather destinations in winter, one of the best countries to visit in February is Brazil.

Not only is February the height of summer, but it’s also when Brazil’s famous Carnival takes place. Therefore, it’s the best time to experience the country’s festivities, music, dance, and food.

Rio de Janeiro boasts the most iconic Carnival celebrations , but the whole country lights up with street parties, parades, and live concerts. So, no matter where you are, you’ll get a fantastic taste of Brazilian culture during this time.

February is an excellent time to soak up the sun and enjoy Brazil’s 2,000+ pristine beaches. And, although February is the busy season, the warm weather makes it an ideal time for sightseeing.

If you’re in Rio, make sure to visit Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer, and the iconic Copacabana boardwalk, which is most lively at this time of year.

February is also a great time to visit one of the country’s most famous natural wonders, Iguassu Falls. This is the world’s biggest network of waterfalls and is particularly impressive in February, as the water levels are at the highest.

For a truly memorable experience, you can even  see the falls from above  by taking a helicopter tour, or get wet on a speedboat ride down the Iguassu River!

The best way to get to Brazil is by flying to Sao Paolo or Rio de Janeiro, as there are direct flights from many North American and European cities. Once in Brazil, travel is relatively cheap and easy with the option of taking domestic flights or overnight buses.

Because there’s so much to see in Brazil, you really should allow yourself at least 10 days to explore as much as possible.

Recommended by Chanelle of Chasing Chanelle

25. St. Lucia (another top choice for places to go in February)

St. Lucia in the caribbean countries to visit in February with views of large mountain and cove with boat in water palm trees

  • Fly Into:  Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) or George F. L. Charles Airport (SLU)
  • Average Temp:  83 degrees high / 72 degrees low

St. Lucia is a gorgeous island in the Eastern Caribbean Sea. It is an idyllic destination for a February getaway! Its appeal lies not only in its tropical climate but also in the vibrant atmosphere created by local festivals and events. You will have so much fun getting to know this island.

In February, the island hosts the St. Lucia Jazz Festival, attracting music enthusiasts from around the world. The event showcases a mix of local and international artists.

Additionally, you can enjoy music in the street every Friday of the year at the lively Gros Islet Street Party, located along the northern shore of the island.

February is a great time to visit St. Lucia as crowds are low. Peak tourist season picks up in March. Travelers can enjoy the serene beaches and explore attractions without crowds. Visiting the iconic Pitons, the famous volcanic peaks you’ll see in all the guidebooks, is a must.

Most visitors will stay on the West Side of the island near Soufrière or the north side closer to Rodney Bay. The west side is known as honeymooners paradise. The north side is known for lively culture and more affordable accommodations.

Cruise lines like  Virgin Voyages  pull into Castries port on the northern side of the island. Though cruises don’t stay in St. Lucia for long, they can be the most economical way to see the highlights of this fabulous island.

Whether you’re staying for a day or a week, St. Lucia easily fits on this list of the best country to visit in February!

Recommended by Eleanor of Elevate Your Escapes

26. Germany

European city with tall buildings and ornate architecture

  • Region: Central Europe
  • Fly into: Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport (MUC)
  • Average temp: 42°F high, 27°F low

Wondering where to visit in the chilly month of February? Pack your winter woolies for a trip to the ever-charming capital of Bavaria, Munich.

Munich is easily reached by domestic or international flight. Book yourself at least two days for enjoying Bavarian beer hall culture and stunning Old-World buildings.

If fairytale town halls and toasty taverns weren’t enough to entice you, Munich has one of its most beloved traditions in late February – the vibrant Fasching Carnival.

Dating from the 1400’s, there’s special dance routines and a colorful parade of “silly” knights and nimble jesters that journey through the historical center right to the famous Hofbräuhaus. It’s also the perfect excuse to stop in for a stein of golden beer and a hearty schnitzel after the show is done.

The festivities run throughout the month of February; with joyful celebrations reaching their peak from the 19th – 21st . You’ll find the main stages set up at beautiful Marienplatz and the grand Stachus/Karlsplatz, with local performances running all day.

When you’re done enjoying the festival, Munich has so much more to see and do. Try out this carefully curated, self-guided walking tour of Munich – designed to show you around many of the city’s delightful attractions.

Don’t forget your warm winter jacket and comfy walking shoes so you’ll be ready to enjoy Munich without the crowds. Germany is by far one of the best countries to travel to in February!

Recommended by Jenelle of Happy Little Rover

Rome building with statues places to travel to in February

  • Fly into: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
  • Average temp: 57°F high, 38°F low (Rome)

Italy is the best place for a vacation in February if you’re keen on saving money and avoiding crowds.  Aside from skiing areas in Northern Italy , February is in the ‘low season’ in much of the rest of the country so you can score some amazing deals.

You’ll want to stay at least a week – preferably two – to see the most popular Italian cities.  The largest airport in Italy is just outside Rome, so this is the best place to begin your trip. 

Start off your stay in the Eternal City with a  golf cart tour of Rome . This is the best way to see the top sights – from the Colosseum to Trevi Fountain and Rome’s famous piazzas – without wearing yourself out on the first day of your vacation. 

The lower crowds in Italy in February means you’ll have a much easier time getting tickets to top attractions such as the Vatican, or world-class museums like the Uffizi in Florence.

February is of course the season of Carnevale. It’s celebrated all over Italy, but if you want to be a part of a truly amazing Carnevale, head to Venice. Experience the excitement of parades and masquerade balls along with the romance of taking a gondola ride through the canals of Venice. 

And if you’re in Catania, Sicily , don’t miss La Festa di Sant’Agata, which honors the city’s patron saint. This grand festival centers on one of the largest religious processions in the world!

Recommended by Lisa Garrett of Waves and Cobblestones

28. Mexico (convenient destination on this list of best countries to visit in February)

large pyramid in Mexico on sunny day with steps leading up it

  • Fly into: Cancun International Airport
  • Average temp: 83°F high, 66°F low 

Mexico is an amazing destination for a winter trip if you are looking to escape colder climates. Both air and water temperatures are warm in February, which leaves you with plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. 

Most tourists come for the beautiful beaches, refreshing cenotes, and ancient Mayan Ruins. Rainforests of Yucatan are also perfect for wildlife viewing . You would need at least a week to explore everything this region of Mexico has to offer. 

Fly into Cancun as it has the best tourist infrastructure on the peninsula. You have more options for hotels, car rentals, and restaurants than anywhere else in the region. You can choose to take guided tours from Cancun or explore the nearby attractions on your own in a rental car.

The Mayan architecture is the highlight of the  Yucatan Peninsula . Start by visiting Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Arrive as early as possible to enjoy the world famous pyramid with fewer tourists. You can visit a few other archaeological sites nearby, like Uxmal and Tulum.

If you prefer to extend your trip by a few days, it is worth venturing out deeper into the country. You could choose to see Palenque or Calakmul ruins. Hidden in the rainforest, these mysterious ruins attract less people. They are the most remarkable of all Yucatan sites and worth a longer drive.

No matter how you choose to spend your time, the beautiful country of Mexico will be one of the most memorable places to travel to in February.

Recommended by Anastasia of Travel Realist

29. Malaysia

bike and street art in Malaysia in wintertime

  • Fly into:  Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
  • Average temp:  86°F high, 72°F low

Malaysia is a one of the February best holiday destinations. Malaysia offers a lot of different experiences amidst pleasant weather conditions.

Winter – from December to February – is the best time to visit the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur.

The world’s highest twin towers, the Petronas Twin Towers, are a must-visit attraction in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, offering breathtaking views of the capital’s skyline.

To experience Malaysia, combine Kuala Lumpur with other west coast destinations. The charming George Town, on the island of Penang, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can wander through historic streets and indulge in as much street food as you can handle.

Then continue your journey to Langkawi, a tropical paradise where white sandy beaches and lush jungles – including different species of wild monkeys are waiting for you.

If possible, consider staying at least two weeks to combine Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi. However, if you have more time, add the UNESCO World Heritage town Malacca to your itinerary and include  day trips from Kuala Lumpur , too.

You can hike the famous mountain of Gunung Jasar in the Cameron Highlights, hike through one of the oldest rainforests in the world, Taman Negara, and visit the town of Ipoh, where you’ll find one of Malaysia’s biggest cave temples.

Malaysia’s cultural calendar is another reason to visit in February . Both Chinese New Year and Thaipusam are celebrated in this month.

The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is well-connected to most major cities in and beyond SouthEast Asia. Low-cost carrier AirAsia makes domestic travel between Kuala Lumpur and other destinations easy (and cheap).

Malaysia is one of the best countries to visit in February – it’s just a bonus that it’s also affordable!

Recommended by Marlieke of Kuala Lumpur with Kids

30. New Zealand

best countries to visit in February view of town with coast and mountains in distance

  • Fly into: Auckland International Airport
  • Average temp: 75°F high, 60°F low

New Zealand in February is perfect for those seeking an idyllic summer escape. During the last month of Kiwi summer, you’ll find warm and pleasant weather perfect for exploring they country’s beautiful national parks.

While February is still a popular month with visitors, the major summer holiday season has ended and local school holidays are over, so it’s easy to find some secluded spots to relax. 

Spend your time relaxing at the beach, enjoying the long daylight hours, and trying out a variety of outdoor activities. New Zealand is one of the absolute best places to go in February!

Explore geothermal wonders in Rotorua, spend some time enjoying the white, sandy beaches on the east coast, and go  bungy jumping in Queenstown .

Head up north to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds on 6 February to mark the signing of New Zealand’s founding document with ceremonies, cultural performances and food.

Other festivals taking place in February include Napier’s Art Deco Festival, Splore, a festival of art and music, the New Zealand Festival of the Arts and the Wellington Wine and Food Festival. 

A popular way to see the country is by campervan. It’s a relatively affordable way to see New Zealand’s stunning landscapes up close – just check the camping restrictions before you go or stay in holiday park or campsite.

Recommended by Roxanne of Love Queenstown

road and trees along coastline with black rock blue water white waves

Wow! What a list. With so many fun festivals and a diverse range of activities, the options for a February vacation are truly endless! Where will you head this February?

Here’s a quick recap of the best countries to visit in February, in a much quicker fashion!

Absolute best places to travel in February

  • Turks and Caicos
  • French Polynesia
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland
  • New Zealand

Related content you might like: 34 Best Countries to Visit in January (Perfect for Relaxation & Adventure) 34 Incredible Warm Winter Vacations USA (Say Goodbye to the Cold)

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30 incredible vacation spots in February with photos of beach, pyramids and island coastline

Sylvia E. Lester

Sunday 28th of January 2024

Your blog has become my daily dose of positivity and inspiration It's a space that I always look forward to visiting

Monday 29th of January 2024

I'm so glad you found this guide inspiring, and that you love the content :)

Monday 20th of November 2023

Wow! What a blast! I'd like to go to New Zealand so much!

Saturday 2nd of December 2023

Yessss Alona! I hope you make it there soon :)

Sunday 22nd of October 2023

What a great listicle of top countries to visit in February! I'd love to try Finland during this time. Thanks for sharing your recommendations, I'll be saving this for future inspiration!

Oh cool Kelly! Glad you found some inspiration here 🩵

Saturday 21st of October 2023

I think February is one of the best times to visit New Zealand (the later in the month, the better). It's the best temperatures, and you avoid the school holiday traffic.

Ah yes Rhonda! I mean, New Zealand anytime of year sounds awesome but it's definitely deserving of a spot for the month of February, too :)

This is an awesome listm never heard of Turks and Caicos before. The beach locations are stunning. Seychelles and Maldives are at the top of my bucketlist

So glad you found some inspiration Sinjana! Turks and Caicos is one of my absolute favorite Caribbean destinations. Sounds like we both love beachy spots!

18 Best Places to Visit in February in Europe

20 Best Places to Visit in February in Europe

Are you traveling to Europe? Are you seeking the Best Places to Visit in February in Europe ? Though mainly wintry, the month of February is still a good one to explore and enjoy the many wonders that Europe has to offer.

To be able to enjoy most of these resources, it is essential to know just where to go in February in Europe. That is because not every destination you pick at random may give you that end.

We have taken the stress of finding the right destination away from you. We also know the warmest locations in Europe for the winter months .

Accompanying each destination is the specific attractions and niches they confer. Almost all are even more linked posts, from our experiences.

Did you know that seeing the Northern Lights from different locations is a trend? Isn’t that an ideal concept for Valentine’s Day which falls in February?

Table of Contents

What are the 20 Best Places to Visit in February in Europe?

One by one here are the ideal places to visit in February in Europe.

1. Copenhagen, Denmark

Starting with the European cities to visit, Februaries in Copenhagen can get cold. It is subsequently not the place to consider visiting for your outdoor events and activities.

Copenhagen Street Food Strolling & Eating - Best Places to Visit in Europe in February

That can only mean you are paying a visit to the area for the sake of your indoor engagements. When we talk of indoor engagements, Copenhagen has numerous attractions.  

As you stroll out and about this fantastic city, you will find numerous museums , art galleries, eateries , and exhibitions.

These contain plenty of collations that date back to antiquity. Plan your day trip to the city in such a way as to make the most of these facilities.

2. Algarve, Portugal

Located in Portugal’s southernmost region, Algarve is mainly renowned for golden shores and mild weather.

old town of Algarve, Portugal

On account of this, the area is fantastic for sunbathing and other outdoor engagements in the otherwise wintry February. Temperatures here range from 13 – 17 °C and record almost no rainfall.

Matters of weather aside, Algarve also possesses a brilliant landscape, dazzling culinary scene, and rich culture.

Considering the low population of the area, you will enjoy limited congestion, more open beaches, and cheaper accommodation if you choose to spend your time here.

3. Budapest, Hungary

Though cold, February is ironically the driest month of the year for Budapest . Several attractions and resources converge to make it a beautiful place to be in February.

How to Eat the Best Food in Mediterranean Europe Budapest Hungary

The existence of UNESCO World Heritage-listed landmarks and outdoor events are top examples of these.  If you love romance, you have no better venue.

While at the facility, take some of your time also to cruise through the Danube River.

As you do so, you will get to behold the city’s skyline and other breathtaking facilities.

After you are through with your cruises, take some warm baths at the many thermal spas that strew the city center. Don’t forget to taste the local food .

4. Athens, Greece

Athens forms a vital part of the many idyllic islands that lie in and around the Aegean Sea.

Though February is still cold, it does not have a shortage of things to enjoy while in the area.

Things to Do in Athens, Anafiotika, Graffiti, History

The Greek Parthenon, the National Archaeological Museum, and the acropolis are some of the attractions to spend your time at. Allocate time for day trips from Athens .

Complementing these facilities are high-end luxury hotels that contain pleasurable amenities and facilities.

After you are through with your visit to the area, do take time to retreat to these hotels to relax and unwind.

Athens is evolving in an all-season city, among the best ones to visit in Europe in February or any winter month (not only for summer).

5. Lisbon, Portugal

Of all the major European destinations, it is Lisbon that experiences the mildest February weather.

An Insider's Guide to 3 Days in Lisbon

This notwithstanding, you should still put on slowly if you happen to hail from outside Europe.

Temperatures may still be cold and unfriendly at such times.

Though comprising numerous facilities, sightseeing and photography are the main activities that the month of February favors.

Do take a stroll along the streets and capture the shots as you travel by. There are lots of places to visit outside of Lisbon, like Porto , Cascais , Sintra , and more.

Also, read our post for day trips from Lisbon .

Prioritize public transportation systems as they are the most affordable and flexible means.

After you are through, retire to any of the luxury hotels to unwind.

6. Tenerife, Canary Islands

Are you a beach life enthusiast? You need not suspend your beach activities simply because it is wintertime.

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Europe still has you well taken care of. The Tenerife, Canary Islands are the ideal place to go and set up base. ‘But why,’ you may ask? The islands are detached from continental Europe.

They are located to the south, not so far from the North African shoreline.

This location accords it some warmth when the rest of the continent is too cold. Here, you will enjoy abundant sunshine, warm weather, mild seas, and the freedom to sunbathe.

7. Venice, Italy

Venice is generally known to be a party city. Indeed year round, numerous carnivals, festivities, and fun-filled activities are hosted here.

 Venice, Italy

All you have to do is plan early and make your travel arrangements accurate. That is because the area suffers from a phenomenon called ‘over-tourism.’

A visit to the historic city will also take you through the many canals that wind out and about the area. As always, you should also carry along your digital camera to see to it that you miss out at no event at all.  This chic city is too awesome to behold and walk away.

8. Geneva, Switzerland

If gliding, winter sport, and other ice-based sporting activities are your things, have Geneva , Switzerland is your destination of choice.

Best Destinations for Christmas in Europe

The city is situated in areas that experience heavy snow and provide continuous trails where you can just set sail and glide. The month of February is also unique.

It marks the conclusion of La Réserve Genève’s (indoor ice skating rink.)

This is an event that is held in honor of both parents and children.

You can never visit the nation without tasting the chocolates as Switzerland is widely known for the same!

9. St. Moritz, Switzerland

Still in Switzerland, you have this alpine resort town to visit.

St. Moritz, Switzerland

Though suitable for a visit year-round, February is undoubtedly the best time to visit here. It is home to many of Switzerland’s top attractions, snow-capped mountains, tourist sites, and other facilities of repute.

Chief of these is the White Turf horse-racing event.

After you are done with your events, troop down to the stylish, all-suite Carlton Hotel.

Bear in mind that Switzerland is a wealthy country that also experiences higher costs of living.

Be prepared appropriately hence to counter these obstacles as a way forward.

10. Girne (Kyrenia), Cyprus

Cyprus is an island that is not so far away from Greece, Israel, and Egypt.

Girne (Kyrenia), Cyprus

It is hot, owing to its Mediterranean location.

It experiences 320 days of abundant sun yearly. The city is adorned with ancient castles, monasteries, and golden sandy beaches.

Being warmer than much of Europe, this is an excellent place to retreat to if you want to escape the icy winters on the rest of the continents. Some good news!

The island is cheaper than many locations in Europe. You won’t have to spend too much to stay afloat.

11. Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw is the capital city of Poland. It is located pretty close to the North Pole, a fact that makes it pretty cold during winters.

The Old Town of Warsaw

In fact, by February, the place is still too cold as the snow has yet started to recede. Plan a visit here only if you are interested in winter activities.

The city authorities understand this fact only too well. That is why it holds an annual winter exhibition every year. This is the Royal Garden of Light that runs through to the end of the month.

It is definitely in your best interest to time your visit accordingly to coincide with this event.

12. Friedrichshafen, Germany

Situated in Southern Germany, Friedrichshafen is a small city that is nonetheless filled with plenty of leisure and other forms of attractions.

Friedrichshafen, Germany

Each February, a cake design contest is held in the city, an event that brings together top confectionary masters of Germany and beyond.

If you love cakes or simply want to get in the company of many others, this is a place you do not want to miss out on.

Germany is an expensive country, though. You have to set aside a sufficient amount of money to be able to enjoy what it has to offer.  

13. Tuscany, Italy

Are you a lover of wine and other hard drinks? Tuscany, Italy, should be the place you should retreat to. Each February, it holds the Benvenuto Brunello festival.

Things To See in Florence Italy

This event brings together top winemakers for a 4-day event. By visiting the place, you also get to enjoy the many tastes of wine. Did you know that Pisa and Florence belong to this region?

You will also get a chance to ruffle feathers with the who-is-who in the winemaking industry.

Tuscany itself is a serene location that is adorned with rolling hills, lush green vegetation, breathtaking ambiance, and a relatively quiet atmosphere.

14. Nice, France

France is more than in Paris. On the whole, the French Riviera  is the place where you retreat to dodge the otherwise long and dreary winters.

Nice France - Best Places to Visit in Europe in February

Nice, stands tall as the premier destination in the Riviera region.

This beautiful city is located just 20 miles off the Italian border. Its population is also low enough to allow for smooth transportation out and about the area.

The winter temperatures here are also high enough to let you walk out as you may please.

And if you like roaming, the city itself has many attractions you might want to explore. Only be sure that you have a French guide as many people here speak French entirely.

15. Mallorca, Spain

We have already explained that Spain experiences warmer weather because of being located further south of continental Europe.

22 Best Things to Do in Mallorca Holidays - Best Places to Visit in Europe in February

It is a port city whose shoreline is dotted with trees of various species. This is an ideal location for couples who just want to break away and spend some quiet time.

Several facilities are constructed solely for this end. Of these, the adults-only  Pure Salt Port Adriano stands out.

Here, you will get in and enjoy some spacious suites which have balconies attached to them.

It is secluded and private enough to let you do whatever you want without unnecessary interference.

16. Lake District, England

The Lake District , England, is an amalgamation of sleepy villages that are quiet and detached enough for private stays and retreats.

Cycling Lake District of Cumbria, United Kingdom - Best Places to Visit in Europe in February

This is a great place to stay in and enjoy some quiet time. You will behold some beautiful sceneries, breathtaking vegetation, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Other than unwinding, the area is also the right place for matters of photography.

The serene environment gives an excellent background to any serious photographer.

With many commercial airlines mooting the idea of flying here, access to the place is going to be better and more convenient.

That place is considered one of the best places to visit in Europe in February for cycling. It is not the only one, but it is famous for the lake cycling rides.

17. Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monaco is one of those soft-spoken destinations in Europe and the world over.

City center of Monte Carlo, Monaco - visit europe

This notwithstanding, it is still an idyllic location to consider retreating to for a holiday.

The weather in February is neither hot nor cold. This makes getting out a smooth and hassle-free undertaking.

Monaco is widely known for gambling, betting, and casinos.

Thus, it goes that this is the place to get to if you want to try your luck on several issues.

Being rich and developed, expect to part with plenty of money to be able to afford to stay and move around here.

18. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is located at a stone-throw distance from the North Pole.

Northern Europe - Tallinn, Estonia

Its winters are subsequently colder and longer than those of the rest of the continent. On account of this, the entire city is an excellent place to be to experience some winter activities.

Though formidable, this city experiences fewer tourists at this time of the year.

By choosing to spend your February here, you will enjoy the benefits of limited congestion, greater breathing spaces, and the freedom to move around with limited hindrances.

Some winter lights festivals are also held around this time, which you may want to catch.

Conclusion on Where to Go in February in Europe

Our look into the  best places to visit in Europe in February comes to an end here. 

Are you still searching for where to go in Europe in the wintertime?

We now hope that you have obtained the insight you need to make a pleasant and successful trip. Make sure to check weather forecasts . We had some cancellations for activities due to that in a couple of our tours, so we learned the hard way.

This list is bound to change any time soon. We are aware of this fact, only too well.

That is why we are always on the lookout for any changes or improvements that may adversely affect the order and the cities in this list.

Do search this site as we have more posts on the best places to visit in Europe in other than February months like December , January , March (coming soon), and April (check this week). We even have budget-friendly places .

You can also subscribe to our newsletter for all such useful information.

Consider referring to this site in the future for the sake of staying abreast.

In the meantime, we wish you a pleasant trip ahead with the best places to visit in Europe this February.

If this article about the best European cities to visit in February made you want to check the cities on the list, consider checking out the articles below –

  • 10 Best Coldest Countries in Europe For Winter Lovers
  • 5 Exotic Places to Visit in South Europe For Your Next Holiday
  • Cheap Travel Destinations All Over Europe
  • The Warmest Place in Europe for Winter: 10 Best Ideas
  • Cheap City Breaks Best Affordable European Destinations
  • What Best Things To Do in the Italian Riviera in 10 Days Itinerary
  • Best Relaxation Destinations in the USA
  • 10 Great Weekend Getaways for Couples in the US
  • The Country with the Most Castles in the World – Best 8
  • Five Of The World’s Most Beautiful Casinos

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best german cities to visit in february

12 Best Places To Visit In Germany With Family In 2024!

T hinking about visiting Germany with your kids? Looking for the best places to visit in Germany with family in 2024? You’re in the right place!

Germany is a fabulous destination for families. It’s renowned for its rich history, gorgeous landscapes and interesting culture. Its fairy-tale old towns and castles add some magic and its big cities add some vibrancy. All up, Germany is a captivating blend of historical charm and modern appeal.

From landmarks such as the Berlin Wall and Neuschwanstein Castle to the beautiful landscapes of the Rhine Valley and the Black Forest to the great food and ease of getting around, there’s so much to love about traveling in Germany.

Germany isn’t just for adults though. There are many fantastic places to visit in Germany with kids. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the best choices to add to your itinerary.

Why Is A Family Vacation In Germany A Great Idea?

Where to stay in berlin for families, where to stay in nuremberg for families, where to stay in rothenburg for families, where to stay in the rhine valley for families, where to stay in trier for families, where to stay in heidelberg for families, where to stay in europa park for families, where to stay in the black forest for families, where to stay near autostadt for families, where to stay in bremen for families, where to stay in lübeck for families, christmas markets.

Germany is an incredible destination for families for the reasons I mentioned above as well as many others. The fairy-tale castles are sure to capture your kids’ imagination.

A trip to the Berlin Wall can be a great accessible educational opportunity. A walk on cobblestoned streets through a colorful old town will take your kids right back to fairy-tale classics. Families are welcome almost everywhere.

There are, of course, many attractions in Germany for kids. From huge theme parks to children’s museums and fun markets, trains and more, there is a lot to love about traveling to Germany with kids.

The efficient train system and great road network also make it easy to get around and to explore as much of Germany as you like. There’s a great range of accommodation, including many hotels that specifically created for families.

The food can also be quite kid-friendly. It’s easy to enjoy a pretzel or a bratwurst (sausage) almost anywhere which is likely to appeal to even fussy eaters.

All up, it’s a very easy place for a family vacation that your kids won’t forget.

Best Places To Visit In Germany With Family

Here are my top 12 picks of the best places to visit in Germany with kids…

The capital of Germany, Berlin offers a fantastic blend of historical and family-friendly attractions. The Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall are must visits for all and a great learning opportunity for kids.

The DDR Museum is a hands-on way for your family to learn about life in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Berlin is a city with a super interesting past, and there’s no better way for your kids to learn and understand it than in the city itself.

For more family focused attractions in Berlin , the Berlin Zoo is a great place to head with a wide variety of animals. The interactive Legoland Discovery Center is also a favorite among children. Head to the German Spy Museum for lots of fun spy activities, like dressing up and debugging a room.

To let off some steam, make sure you head to Tiergarten. This huge park has plenty of space to roam with historical monuments, six playgrounds and row boats. It’s also home to the zoo. 

I recommend The Circus Apartments in a handy spot in Berlin. They have a variety of apartment options including two and three bedroom, fully self-contained apartments for up to six people.

Click here for more details and the latest prices.

Nuremberg is our pick of the best city to visit in Germany with family. It’s an easy city to explore with a great range of attractions that are easily accessible for families.

The Old Town is the natural place to start with super colorful houses and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle) keeping watch from above. You can also explore the city from underground and see how Nuremberg’s art collections were kept safe during World War II. You can find the Spielzeugmuseum (Toy Museum) in the Old Town with toys from various time periods.

Just outside the Old Town, the Deutsche Bahn Museum is a must visit. It centers on the history of the German Railways with old carriages, videos and more. What kids will really love is the model railway, the chance to take a light railway ride and the interactive play area specifically for kids.

If you have younger kids (10 and under), don’t miss a day out at the Playmobil FunPark. This amusement park with Playmobil theming was one of my 6 and 10 year olds’ favorite places in Germany. There are great playgrounds, pedal boats, water play area, castle area, go karts and more. It’s located just outside of Nuremberg.

You can read more about things to do in Nuremberg here.

We stayed at the Novotel Nuernberg Centre Ville which was perfect for our family. It’s on the edge of the Old Town by the main station and has family rooms. There’s also a great indoor pool, children’s playroom, restaurants and more.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Home to maybe the most photographed old town in Germany, Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber (or just Rothenburg) is a picturesque medieval gem, perfect for exploring with kids.

It’s only a small town, but this is part of its charm. Its colorful buildings, cobblestoned streets and well-preserved town walls will help you feel like you’ve gone back in time. 

The town walls are the perfect place to start exploring. They offer many pretty views, and there are information boards along the way to learn more. It’s a great way for kids to let off some steam while discovering Rothenburg. There are also some playgrounds around the walls.

Another place families will enjoy is the Christmas Museum. It’s located in the Käthe Wohlfahrt Weihnachtsdorf which is a popular chain of Christmas stores that open year round. It’s about the history of Christmas customs with many decorations on display.

A popular place to visit in Rothenburg is the Mittelalterliches Kriminalmuseum (Medieval Crime Museum). It’s located in a building which is 600 years old and covers over 1,000 years of the legal history of Germany and Europe. It focuses on interrogation (torture), crime and punishment.

This museum is for families with teenagers who have an interest – and it is a fascinating museum. I visited without my 6 year old, which was the right choice.

We stayed at the Pension das Lädle which is in the heart of Rothenburg’s Old Town. It has three and four person rooms with separate sleeping areas for kids.

Rhine Valley

The Rhine Valley may be best known for its wines but it’s also a fabulous place to travel to Germany with children. With gorgeous towns, stunning wineries and fairy-tale castles, the whole family will love a trip here.

Start your adventure with a relaxing cruise down the Rhine trying to spot the castles that dot it before driving around and visiting your favorites. Rheinstein Castle is a picturesque place to start or visit Schönburg Castle with its amazing views and slingshot simulator your kids will enjoy.

Of course, you can’t miss out on stopping in the beautiful towns. Bacharach may be the cutest with a town wall to explore, a pretty Old Town and wines to taste. Boppard is another town worth heading to with half-timbered houses, old wine taverns and a Roman fort.

There’s also a fun chairlift in Boppard with great views and nice walks at the top. You can take an easy stroll to Vierseenblick (Four Lakes View). This cool viewpoint is at a horseshoe bend in the Rhine River and gives the illusion that there are four lakes instead of one river.

We stayed at the Rhine Pearl Hideaways which is a building of apartments in the middle of Oberwesel, a picturesque town in the middle of the Rhine Valley. The apartments are modern and perfect for families.

Trier is not just the oldest city in Germany and home to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites but is also a great destination in Germany for children.

Located near the border of Luxembourg and not far from the Rhine Valley, Trier has had human settlement for over 6,000 years. It was an important place in Roman times and you can still see ruins from this time today. These ruins are fun to explore with kids and are great for capturing the imagination.

Start your adventure at Porta Nigra, a second century Roman city gate. It’s the best way to enter the Old Town and is massive. In the Old Town there are pretty streets, Hauptmarkt (the main square), many churches, an antique toy museum and more. Trier Cathedral still has parts from Roman times.

As you head further south, there are more Roman ruins from thermal baths to an amphitheatre. It is worth checking them all out.

For a more hands-on experience, you can also visit Freilichtmuseum Roscheiderhof, an open air museum, about eight kilometers from Trier.

We stayed at Ibis Styles Trier which is right in the center of everything. There are family room options.

Beautiful Heidelberg is definitely one of the places to visit in Germany with children. With its great setting by the Neckar River and surrounded by hills, there are plenty of places for kids to explore and roam.

Heidelberg’s famous ruined castle is a great place to start. You can either walk up here or get a fun cogwheel train up. In addition to exploring the castle area, you can visit the Deutsches Apotheken-Museum (German Pharmacy Museum) inside the castle which covers the history of medical science and pharmacies in Germany. It’s interesting even for young kids with old reconstructed pharmacies, labs and interactive games.

After the castle, consider taking the cogwheel train further up the hill to visit the Walderlebnispfad (Forest Adventure Trail). This is an easy 2 kilometer trail with many activities to do along the way aimed at children. There is also a small, older-style amusement park up there.

Our favorite thing to do in Heidelberg was to head up the opposite hill to explore Heiligenberg, where settlement first started in this area. There are great paths through the forest where you can feel like you are discovering Celtic and Roman ruins, old monasteries and Thingstätte, an amphitheater completed in 1935 by the Nazis to spread propaganda.

We stayed at the Heidelberg Apheartments in the heart of Heidelberg. They offer fully self-contained apartments for up to eight people.

Find more great hotels in Heidelberg here.

Europa-Park – Rust

When you travel to Germany with kids, this theme park is likely to be their favorite place in the country.

Considered one of the best in Europe, Europa Park is massive with 18 themed areas, over 100 attractions, 13 roller coasters, many live shows and so much more. Think Disneyland but with European theming. Most of the themed areas are based on different countries in Europe. There is also a separate water park here called Rulantica.

Even visiting in peak August, we had so much fun here. The kids absolutely loved the more family-friendly roller coasters, getting wet on the splash rides and watching horse shows. The  park’s VirtualLine feature in the app helped to ensure we never lined up for too long and had a great time.

There are many places to eat, stay and more and this is a great way to end a family vacation in Germany. It’s located near the French border between Heidelberg and the Black Forest.

One of the many great things about Europa Park is that there are six hotels adjacent to the park and in the immediate area each with their own theming. If you stay at any of the hotels, you can access the many facilities at all of them and you also get early access to the park.

We stayed at Hotel Castillo Alcazar which was a lot of fun. It has its own entrance directly into the theme park and is themed as a Medieval knight’s castle. There are many family room options, even for larger families.

Black Forest

The Black Forest is definitely a fantastic region to head to when visiting Germany with kids. It’s incredibly scenic with beautiful villages and plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors.

We loved hiking round lakes, swimming outdoors, exploring the towns and visiting picturesque castles like Hohenzollern Castle. You can visit the home of cuckoo clocks in Triberg or peddle your way around Titisee lake on a boat. You can bathe in the thermal pools at Baden-Baden or explore the picturesque Old Town in Freiburg .

Kids will love Badeparadies Schwarzwald Titisee, a big indoor waterpark with an amazing sauna complex for adults. And, of course, no visit is complete without a slice of the famous black forest cake (although technically it doesn’t come from here).

There are so many awesome experiences in the Black Forest for families that you could spend your whole trip in this region alone.

We stayed at the Feldberger Hof Family Hotel in the Black Forest. It’s an all inclusive resort specifically for families and it’s amazing. There are so many family friendly facilities (including an outdoor ropes course, horse riding and indoor pool area with water slides), activities, rooms and great food.

The hotel also includes an attractions pass for the region which gives free or discounted entry to 60 attractions plus public transport.

Autostadt Wolfsburg

Autostadt Wolfsburg is an automobile museum and theme park located in Wolfsburg, Germany. It tells the story of the history and development of automobiles, but also has attractions and activities related to automotive culture. This isn’t a big, dry museum.

Spread over 28 hectares, there are multiple museums, massive car towers, playgrounds, giant slides and various car pavilions. One of the coolest parts is definitely the round, glass, 60 meter towers that store Volkswagen cars ready to be delivered to new homes. It’s fully automated with cars being placed and removed from the tower with ease. You can take a ride up the towers yourself for an up close look.

This place is a whole world with plenty of cars and history to explore. Adults can test drive real vehicles while kids can learn to drive in some very cool miniature ones. There are many interactive exhibits. It’s easy to enjoy a half day here. 

For families, there are also some playgrounds including some huge slides up to 18.5 meters high. There’s a cool shop and plenty of eating options too.

For the full Autostadt experience, it is possible to stay on-site. The Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg Autostadt hotel is located here.

There’s a pool, sauna, two restaurants (Including a three Michelin star option) and a lounge. Rooms cater for up to four people.

If you’re heading to northern Germany, Bremen is a great place to stop for families. At the end of the Fairy Tale Route, Bremen celebrates the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale, the Bremen Town Musicians with a statue of the donkey, dog, cat and rooster from the tale in the main square.

There are also images and statues around town of these creatures and it’s fun to have the kids look out for them. If you aren’t familiar with this story, I recommend that you watch it on YouTube before you go.

The Old Town is fun to explore for all ages with a great main square, the stunning Bremen Cathedral and the laneways of Schnoor and Böttcherstraße. It’s easy to explore by foot. 

The Universum Science Centre is a standout attraction if you visit Germany with kids. It has interactive and educational exhibits which kids will enjoy. 

For a thought-provoking historical site, visit the Bunker Valentin. It’s an absolutely massive World War II submarine factory that has been left standing to illustrate the futility of war.

We stayed at the Best Western Bremen City . It has some great apartment style rooms for families within walking distance of the main attractions.

Also in northern Germany, Lübeck is a charming city home to a picturesque, UNESCO World Heritage listed Old Town. It is a good mix of historical and kid-friendly attractions. 

The best place to start is with a wander through the well-restored Old Town. Encircled by the Trave River, there are many great views, churches, museums and more. A feature of this Old Town are the hidden courtyards. These are courtyards from the Middle Ages accessed via small walkways from the street. We made it a family game to try to spot as many as possible.

The world-class European Hansemuseum is worth visiting and an easy way to learn more about the Hanseatic League which played a big part in Lübeck’s past.

Lübeck is famous for its marzipan so a sugary treat at Cafe Niederegger is the perfect way to end a day of sightseeing. When you have finished exploring Lübeck, consider a trip to Travemünde on the Baltic Sea. Just 20 minutes from Lübeck, it’s the perfect place to have some beach time. It also has a pretty Old Town.

We stayed at Hotel Die Reederin . It’s a gorgeous boutique hotel in Lübeck’s Old Town. It offers a spacious family room option.

My final place to visit in Germany with kids is a special one if you are visiting in late November or December. I recommend you visit as many Christmas markets as you can if you visit at this time of year.

German Christmas Markets are incredibly magical and special. From the traditional food and drinks to the Christmas music and lights, they set the scene for a perfect Christmas.

Many Christmas markets and destinations in Germany have special events perfect for families at this time of year. For example, Quedlinburg has the “largest Advent calendar in Germany”. At 4:30pm every day in the lead up to Christmas, families meet up and search together for one of 24 houses with special Christmas decorations that are open to the public. Inside, there are surprises.

Nuremberg Christmas Market has a special section for kids with old-fashioned rides, crafts and activities. For novelty, head to Cologne for a floating Christmas market on a ship. Munich has a Kinderland section at one of its Christmas markets with special activities and a Christmas Post Office. In Hamburg, you can watch Santa fly overhead in his sleigh!

Christmas is a truly special time in Germany for the whole family so make sure you include plenty of Christmas markets in your itinerary at this time.

Final Thoughts

Germany is a fantastic place to visit for families. There is so much to enjoy here from the great outdoors to the interesting history that surrounds you.

There are plenty of kid-focused attractions, but it’s also easy to visit interesting historical and cultural attractions in a way that is interesting for kids too.

I hope this list helps you have one of your best family vacations in Germany.

Bio: Sharon Gourlay is a full-time blogger and mum of three who loves sharing her love of travel with kids with others, especially when it comes to sharing one of her favorite destinations, Germany! You can find more information to plan your ultimate adventure in Germany at Germany Footsteps .

Thinking about visiting Germany with your kids? Looking for the best places to visit in Germany with family in 2024? You’re in the right place! Germany is a fabulous destination for families. It’s renowned for …   12 Best Places To Visit In Germany With Family In 2024! Read More »

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