There are so many beautiful cities to visit in Germany that one or two trips to the country are not enough. Fairytale Castles, Enchanting Christmas markets, Oktoberfest, splendid medieval towns, delicious cuisines and beer – these are the things synonymous with Germany. In this post, you will find the prettiest cities in Germany, which will let you get glimpses of the above things.
It is perfect for your bucket list as it is a list of the best cities in Germany to visit for first-time travellers.
Also read: 20 Most Beautiful Germany Christmas Markets
Let’s look at the top cities in Germany to visit. Shall we?
MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN GERMANY
Dresden, the capital of Saxony state is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, located on the eastern side. Home to the Kings of Saxony kingdom for many centuries, Dresden was one of the most beautiful European cities renowned for extravagant medieval structures throughout the city, centuries-old traditions and culture and teeming greenery.
But during WWII, Dresden was one of the most bombed cities burning its grandeur to the ground. It has undergone a large-scale renovation, and today, it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Dresden’s Christmas market is also one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, known for its traditional ambience.
Things to do in Dresden
Book a tour of the old town or Altstadt, which is the heart of the town, home to the most fascinating monuments, including the imposing baroque church Dresden Frauenkirche with its huge dome, which is the icon of Dresden.
Visit Dresden Neustadt on the other side of the Elbe River, which is New Dresden. It consists of many Baroque buildings and houses, cafes, restaurants and cheese shops. Take a stroll in one of the cities’ most beautiful park – Großer Garten, also located in Neustadt.
Zwinger Palace is the iconic landmark of the city, one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture influenced by the Versailles in France. It is known for its luxurious interiors, murals, lavish living rooms.
Explore the royal home of the King’s family, or enjoy the stunning views of the city from the impressive Brühl’s Terrace.
Take a guided tour of Zwinger palace to also cover the museums, one of which houses the Sistine’s Madonna.
Also, take a tour of the opera house Semperoper Dresden (with old town tour combo), or even better, book a concert.
If you enjoy museums, you should visit The Albertinum, Old Masters Picture Gallery and The Green Vault – all home to some of the best art collections in the world.
Castle lovers can visit the Moritzburg Castle on an island.
Where to stay in Dresden?
The best areas to stay in Dresden are Inner Altstadt perfect for first-time visitors because of its location close to the attractions. Wilsdruffer Vorstadt and Inner Neustadt are also popular options.
When it comes to beautiful cities in Germany, the capital city Berlin doesn’t pop up usually, but it is one of the best German cities to visit – especially for its diversity, its combination of modernity and the ancient times, the laid-back cosmopolitan vibes attracting artists, music, designers and fashionistas, which makes it stand apart from the other cities in Germany.
Berlin is the largest city and also the most populous in the country. With tons of attractions, activities and tours, there is something for everyone in Berlin.
Things to do in Berlin
Berlin is huge, and you will ideally need two full days to explore. The city boasts of over 175 museums, so museum lovers can spend days just exploring them. The top museums that you should visit are on Museum Island.
Art lovers will enjoy Pergamonmuseum. This group city tour is awesome if you are visiting for the first time.
Explore all the iconic landmarks of the city – the majestic parliament building – Reichstag, the historic landmarks – the Berlin Wall on the east side painted with Graffiti, the Brandenburg Gate, the main squares of Potsdamer and Alexanderplatz.
You can enjoy modern Berlin better through this alternative Berlin walking tour that is fun.
Visit Berlin Cathedral, and pay tributes at the Jewish memorial.
If you want to enjoy a stroll in nature away from the crowds, you should check out Tiergarten.
Go shopping to Kurfürstendamm, the city’s most famous avenue. Enjoy the bustling nightlife in Friedrichshain neighbourhood.
If you’re visiting the city in winter, you’re in for a treat as the city houses some of the biggest Christmas markets in Germany.
Where to stay in Berlin?
Mitte is the most popular neighbourhood, especially for first-time travelers, since it is close to many popular attractions. The other recommended area in Berlin is Friedrichshain.
Cologne, the fourth-largest city, and home to one of the most stunning Cathedrals in the world are one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. If you are looking for a perfect mix of nightlife, architecture and other medieval attractions, Cologne is one of the best cities in Germany to head.
Things to do in Cologne
Explore the icon of the city, the UNESCO heritage listed Kölner Dom or Cologne Cathedral. Walk on the lovely Hohenzollern Bridge, famous for its love padlocks and immerse in the stunning views of the city.
Wander through the cobbled alleys dotted with pretty cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops to reach Altstadt (Old Town) to admire the attractive historical buildings and monuments.
Museum and chocolate lovers shouldn’t miss the riverside Cologne Chocolate Museum, Museum Ludwig that houses extensive works of Picasso, and Wallraf-Richartz Museum.
Take a tour of the 18th-century Brühl Castle. Shop for souvenirs, crafts or clothes at Agnesviertel and the Belgian Quarter.
Where to stay in Cologne?
The areas close to the old quarter and Kölner Dom are popular places to stay in Cologne because of their excellent location close to attractions. If you are looking for great bars, pubs and nightlife, you should remain near Friesenplatz.
Hamburg, located in the northern part of the country and the second-largest, is one of the beautiful cities in Germany.
It is a city where centuries-old traditions, culture and history meet modern glitz, massive green spaces and technology. Also, Hamburg is home to the most number of bridges in the world.
Things to do in Hamburg
For the historic past of Hamburg, check out the old quarter, whose skyline is dominated by the Gothic Town Hall, flanked by other pretty medieval buildings.
For glimpses of modern Hamburg, sign up for a tour of HafenCity, one of the city’s ports bustling with contemporary architectural wonders lining the skyline. Also, check out the concert hall at the heart of this district known for its imposing architectural design.
Explore the impressive Neo-Gothic red-brick architecture of the Speicherstadt warehouse district, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Walk amidst the century-old waterways, tour around one of the harbours along the Elbe and enjoy the views.
Take a stroll in one of the many spacious green parks, or wander in the bohemian streets of Sternschanze. Art and museum lovers will enjoy a visit to The Hamburger Kunsthalle Museum.
Where to stay in Hamburg?
The old town and the modern city centre are both excellent neighbours in Hamburg to pick an accommodation. While the old town is close to many attractions, staying in the city centre will give you easy access to public transport.
Bavaria is one of the most stunning regions in Germany, home to many fairytale villages and towns nestling around the snow-capped Alps, glacial lakes and rolling hills. And the gateway to Bavaria is its capital Munich, the second-most populous city in the country.
Known for its historic annual affair of Oktoberfest, Munich is one the most beautiful cities in Germany to visit. There is so much more than beer in this huge city, where traditions and modernity coexist together.
Things to do in Munich
For ancient beer gardens, shopping, excellent food and a series of impressive renaissance structures with a rich history, Marienplatz or St.Mary’s Square is the place you should head to.
Admire the central attraction, the Neo-Gothic Town Hall, Old town hall, Munich Cathedral and other buildings in the old town close to this square.
Visit the royal mansion of the Bavarian Kings – Munich Residenz, known for its splendour. Museum-lovers will enjoy a visit to the technological German Museum or the Bavarian Museum of History.
Take a stroll, have a picnic, enjoy Munich’s brew or surf in the most famous park in Munich – the stunning Englischer Garten (English Garden).
Enjoy travelling back in time as you sip the best beer and Bavarian cuisines at one of the landmarks of the city – Hofbrauhaus brewery.
Editor’s note: 20 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MUNICH THAT YOU CAN PLAN EASILY
Where to stay in Munich?
Altstadt is the most popular neighbourhood for travelers since it is very close to many attractions, excellent public transport, food and beer garden. But the prices can be high, especially at the last moment, so I’d recommend you book your Munich accommodation in advance.
Most people don’t consider Frankfurt as one of the destinations for travelling, but it is one of the underrated cities when it comes to tourism. The financial centre of the country, Frankfurt, is also one of the best cities to visit in Germany and offers a lot of attractions for everyone.
Things to do in Frankfurt
The most popular attraction in Frankfurt is the ancient Altstadt or the Old Town embellished with fine Gothic-Baroque-Romanesque style architectural buildings. Close to it is the majestic Frankfurt Cathedral.
Visit the main square Römerberg, home to Römer, the iconic 14th-century town hall surrounded by streets home to many shops, cafes, beer gardens and restaurants.
In the evening, enjoy a walk in Palmengarten, a large botanical garden known for its pretty greenhouses.
Where to stay in Frankfurt?
Stuttgart may not be the first choice when you think of exploring German cities, but the capital of Baden-Württemberg state in the southwest has a lot of attractions for tourists.
It is the country’s manufacturing hub for automobiles and also surrounded by vineyards – a unique combination for travelers.
Things to do in Stuttgart
Visit the massive and chic museums of Mercedes-Benz and Porches to take a tour through the history of these companies. You can spend a day just exploring these two museums.
Don’t miss the 19th-century Solitude Palace, one of the historical wonders in the city. If you want a glimpse of Stuttgart’s proud green spaces, check out the lovely parks Schlossgarten, and Killesbergpark.
Killesbergpark is also home to the lovely Killesbergturm tower, from where you can enjoy stunning views of the city’s skyline, along with play areas for kids.
Of course, there are also many beer gardens in the city that you can enjoy.
Where to stay in Stuttgart?
Located on the banks of the Weser River in the northwest, Bremen is one of the prettiest cities in Germany known for its ancient Hanseatic history and culture. Bremen was one of the port towns during the medieval times and centre of trade.
If you are looking for one of the smaller cities where you can enjoy the German food, customs, beer or history, Bremen is the best city in Germany that you should add to your bucket list.
Things to do in Bremen
The top attractions in Bremen are all scattered around the old quarter. Wander through the cobbled alleys of Schnoor known for its extraordinary buildings, cute houses and cafes lining the winding streets. Make your way to the narrow street of Böttcherstraße home to unique architecture.
Reach the Hanseatic buildings, which were the former centre of maritime trade on Bremen Market Square. Admire the lovely Gothic town hall and St. Peter’s Cathedral with its Gothic twin towers close to these structures.
At the centre of the square is the iconic landmark of Bremen, the statue of Roland, a colossal stone figure symbolizing the freedom of trade. You can also find large model ships.
If you enjoy museums, head to The Kunsthalle Bremen museum.
Where to stay in Bremen?
The capital of North Rhine region, Dusseldorf, located on the banks of Rhine river, is one of the multi-personalty cities in the country that you can explore.
Contemporary art, modern architecture, latest trends in fashion, excellent food, museums – all coated with a tinge of medieval history makes Dusseldorf one of the best cities in Germany to visit. Not to forget, the city also hosts wonderful Christmas markets if you are here in winter.
Things to do in Dusseldorf
Königsallee is the best part of the city where you should take a stroll – admire the buildings including cafes, restaurants and bars.
Explore the old town quarter adorned with rich medieval buildings, the Baroque-style Kunstpalast and Schloss Benrath, 18th-century museum.
Where to stay in Dusseldorf?
Nuremberg, the second-largest city Bavaria, is one of the popular cities in Germany that travelers prefer. It is because of its rich history – both the renaissance and pre-war times as the city was the centre of administration and power during that time.
Although many people visit Nuremberg as one of the day trips from Munich, I’d recommend you to spend at least a few days exploring the city as there are plenty of things you can enjoy.
Things to do in Nuremberg
In this city, you can witness the rich culture and natural beauty of Bavaria in everything. The most popular attractions include the old town which is fortified, lined with many medieval monuments like the iconic Frauenkirche, the Gothic church.
Take a tour of the Hauptmarkt, St. Lorenz Church and Schöner Brunnen, a 14th-century fountain and admire the medieval history.
Museum-lovers should visit The Germanisches National Museum, Nuremberg Transport Museum and Albrecht Dürer’s House, a Nuremberg Fachwerkhaus that was the home of German Renaissance artist Albrecht Düre.
Check out the imperial Castle of Nuremberg, and a tour of the Nazi party rally grounds and also the museum.
To know more about the Bavarian traditional arts and crafts, visit Medieval village – Handwerkerhof Nuremberg with craft shops.
Where to stay in Nuremberg?
The Old Town of Nuremberg and Sudstadt are the recommended areas for budget options and for being close to attractions.
Book your stay in Nuremberg on Booking.com | Agoda
MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN GERMANY – OFFBEAT
Leipzig, the most populous city in the state of Saxony, is one of the most beautiful German cities that you should visit. It is one of the underrated cities for travel probably as most don’t add this city to Germany itinerary, which is a shame.
Unlike other destinations, you will find fewer crowds although that’s changing since Leipzig is being dubbed as mini-Berlin. Whether you have only a day or three, there are many attractions and excellent food and nightlife scene in Leipzig that you can’t help enjoying.
Things to do in Leipzig
Leipzig attracts millions of art lovers and museum enthusiasts every year. Start by exploring the old quarter that’s dominated by the Museum of City History Leipzig in the Old Town Hall, New Town Hall and the historic Markt square.
Take a walking tour to hear about the history from a local.
Check out Gothic-styled Nicholas Church. Head to the beautiful Leipzig Panometer to witness a lot of themed shows for a fabulous theatre experience.
Visit the iconic landmark of Leipzig – The Monument to the Battle of the Nations. Art lovers should take a tour of the Grassi Museum.
Where to stay in Leipzig?
Zentrum, the city’s central area, is one of the best locations in Leipzig for first-time travelers.
Mainz, located on the Rhine River, is one of the most enchanting cities in Germany that’s worth adding to your bucket list. Whether you are a history lover or devour art and museums, there is something for everyone in this city.
Mainz is renowned for its iconic half-timbered medieval houses – one of the few rich architectural wonders preserved to this date.
Things to do in Mainz
Explore the old town and the beautiful medieval market squares lined with half-timbered houses. Visit the red sandstone Romanesque Mainz Cathedral dominated by the decorated Octagonal towers. Check out the iconic fountain Marktbrunnen at the centre.
Museum-lovers shouldn’t miss the Gutenberg Museum, dedicated to Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. Among the royal monuments include Biebrich Palace and Mainz citadel worth checking out.
To know more about the local history, you can also visit the architectural and historical Museum of Mainz, itself housed in a renaissance building.
Where to stay in Mainz?
The central area close to the old quarter is a popular neighbourhood for tourists because of its convenient location to many attractions.
Dortmund, a city in the North Rhine-Westphalia region, is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany known as one of the top football destinations. People that love soccer knows about the famous Westfalen Stadium, home to the Borussia soccer team.
But travelers planning a trip to Germany should include Dortmund for many other reasons – rich green gardens and parks, excellent museums and castles.
Things to do in Dortmund
Among the top attractions in Dortmund is the Museum Ostwall, a museum of modern and contemporary art located in the U tower – an iconic landmark.
Visit the Brewery-Museum for local beer history. Check out the 19th-century engineering marvel of Germany – The Henrichenburg boat lift – a unique mechanism of handling boats.
Check out the medieval castle Hohensyburg or the Sigiburg. Witness the stunning panoramic views of Dortmund from the Florianturm tower.
Take a tour of the iconic German Football Museum even if you are not a football fan. Take a walk along the Phoenix-See lake.
Rombergpark botanical garden is an excellent place for people-watching, picnicking or taking a walk amidst all the greenery.
Where to stay in Dortmund?
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