There are many beautiful destinations in North Germany, full of historical attractions and stunning natural landscapes. Charming old castles straight out of fairy tales will cast a spell on you and your children. The cities are an incredible mix of the old and the new. Northern Germany has a plethora of lesser-known but unforgettable towns and cities you must visit. Before planning your itinerary, check out some of the best travel destinations in North Germany, which will help to choose the places you want to see the most:
Best travel destinations in North Germany
This is our first pick of one of the must-visit places to visit in northern Germany. Heligoland is an island in the North Sea and is famous for the lack of cars. You have to walk everywhere, and it can be reached only by plane or boat. Take a trip on a Catamaran from Hamburg to visit Heligoland for the day, and check out the local museum. If you’re keen on photography, you’ll love the beautiful island. The Dune island is quite near, where you can enjoy clear waters and fabulous beaches.
Berlin is one of the best travel destinations in North Germany. It is a captivating city and is the intellectual and cultural hub of the country. Visiting the fascinating museums of sculpture, natural history, architecture, art, and science are some of the things to do in Berlin. For a more comprehensive list, scroll down to the end of the article. Also, don’t forget to sample the famed Berlin food, and the buzzing nightclubs when you’re there.
If you’re traveling with kids, or you remember the fairy tale ‘Town Musicians of Bremen’, you definitely have to make a stop in Bremen. The characters of the Brothers Grimm tale have been immortalized as sculptures here. Bremen is undoubtedly one of the top tourist attractions in North Germany due to ancient architecture. The Bremen Cathedral, as well as the UNESCO-listed City Hall, are breathtaking. These two old monuments are supposed to be among the most beautiful in entire Europe.
Wismar, being part of the Hanseatic leagues, had been under Swedish rule too, which give a unique cultural atmosphere to the city. Top tourist attractions in Wismar are the 14th church known as St. Nikolai, a 16th-century Dutch art installation called the Wasserkunst and the 18th century Bauhaus. Things to do in this port city is going on harbor cruises, which are romantic and scenic at sunset.
Hamburg is one of the best travel destinations in North Germany. Here, you will be enthralled by the majestic skyline, which is a blend of historic as well as futuristic architecture. Alter Elbtunnel, constructed in 1911, running under Elbe river, is an amazing example of engineering genius. For art lovers, the city is a treasure trove of art galleries and museums.
It is a World Heritage Site as it can be traced back to the Middle Ages. The Old Town is simply fascinating – it is lined by Renaissance guild homes and romantic alleys crisscross the town. Have to visit it if you want to see the architecture of the Middle Age period.
Harz mountains lie between the Weser and Elbe rivers. Nestling at the foothills of the mountains are many old towns and villages. There are spas in Bad Harzburg, which you can relax in, and take a cable car ride to the peaks of the mountain. Visit the Romanesque castle in Wernigerode and join in the festive mood of the jolly Christmas market in Goslar. Stolberg, Braunlage, and Thale are some other favorite tourist destinations.
Tonning is lovely if you have a sleepy, relaxing, stress-free holiday in mind. It’s near Holland, so influences of that country too are quite notable here. It has many holiday and weekend homes of Germans who spend their holidays here. Take your kids to visit Multimar Wattform, where they can enjoy watching sea life in the many aquariums.
For romantic couples, this place is perfect. It has tons of water canals and is therefore popular as ‘Venice of the North’. Feel the sun warming you as you enjoy a boat ride. It has lots of charming souvenir shops and it’s also great to just walk around.
This island is very popular with tourists and locals. It belongs to Frisian islands and has plenty of beautiful resorts. A short distance away from rustic cottages replete with thatched roofs and open fields is the beach. People usually rent bicycles to explore the island. You have to try the famed fish burger here.
While you’re in North Germany, you have to taste the raw, marinated herring, which the locals eat with potato or salad. And don’t forget to take a photo in a beach basket. These baskets have been around since 1882, and people still use them to gain comfort as well as protection from the elements. A tour of North Germany will be a thrilling and interesting experience, as you will be refreshed by the new and charmed by the ancient architecture.
5 things you must explore in Berlin, Germany
Berlin is a city that has been re-inventing and re-building itself for the past two decades. Although many traces are still left of WWII and the Cold War, Berlin is a destination packed with history and culture for all travelers.
If you’re traveling to Berlin, here are 5 “musts” that you shouldn’t miss!
Brandenburg Gate & Reichstag Parliament Building
The daunting Brandenburg Gate is one of the most recognizable symbols of Berlin and Germany. Built in the late 1700s, many have stood or marched through these gates, including Napoleon to Hitler and John F. Kennedy. Sadly, the gate was left in no man’s land for 30 years when the Berlin Wall was erected. Today, the giant columned structure modeled after the Acropolis in Athens, dominates the end of the Unter den Linden Boulevard at Pariser Platz, a must-visit just as Les Champs-Elysees is a must-visit in Paris.
While you’re at the Brandenburg Gate, be sure to visit the Reichstag Parliament Building, just five minutes away. The Reichstag building was built in the late 1800s and housed the German parliament for just a short time before it was damaged by fire. It remained unused until 1999 when after the reunification of Germany, the seat of the Parliament was moved back to the Reichstag. The dome is one of Berlin’s top visitor’s attractions, offering a 360-degree view of the city and a view of the Parliament meeting below in the Bundestag.
Topography of Terror
There are dozens of museums in Berlin but one of the most sobering is the outdoor Topography of Terror (Niederkirchnerstraße 8). The exhibition is located in the jail cells on the old site of the Gestapo and SS headquarters during the Nazi regime of 1933 to 1945. The site was bombed in 1945 by the Allies, demolished after the war, and then excavated in the 1980s.
Today the site showcases the history of repression of the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 with a large focus on its effect in and around Berlin. Just above the Topography of Terror exhibit is a short stretch of the Berlin Wall. It doesn’t get any more real than this – it was on these grounds that much of the Nazi regime’s oppression and repression stemmed and where many political prisoners were tortured and executed.
Another large part of Berlin’s history is the Cold War and the Berlin Wall, built to divide West Berlin from East Berlin and East Germany from 1961 to 1989. During this period, one to two hundred people died in attempts to escape over the wall.
The wall “fell” in 1989 and today, parts of it can still be seen and is a memorial symbol for freedom. The East Side Gallery is a 1.3km-long stretch of the Berlin Wall on Muhlenstrabe that has been used as a canvas by artists to express freedom and hope. There are approx 100 paintings by artists from around the world on the wall, known as one of the largest and oldest-existing outdoor galleries in the world.
Stroll the Kufurstendamm
Just as a trip to New York City isn’t complete without a stroll down Fifth Ave., a stroll down the Kufurstendamm – or the Ku’damm – is a definite “must.” Since 1875, the Ku’damm has been a popular boulevard for locals and in the 1920s was the center of entertainment and nightlife in Berlin. Today, you’ll find everything from high-end car showrooms, designer fashion stores, hotels, restaurants, and specialty item shops. One of the biggest draws to Ku’damm from tourists is the KaDeWe Berlin, a 60,000 square-meter department store in existence since the early 1900s, rivaling Harrod’s department store in London.
The Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin is one of the most picturesque and architecturally dramatic areas in Berlin. The twinned towering cathedrals: the German Deutscher Dom and the French Franzosische Dom are set facing each other across a grand square where the Konzerthaus Berlin, the home of the Konzerthaus Orchestra in Berlin, is the main draw. Aside from being a major gathering place of locals and tourists during the summer, the Gendarmenmarkt is also the site of one of the largest and best Christmas markets in Germany.
If you go:
Stay at Hecker’s Hotel (Grolmanstrasse 35) just steps from one of the busiest centers of Berlin, Kufurstendamm. For the past 40 years, Hecker’s Hotel continues to offer modern rooms, dramatically-themed suites, and great prices for its proximity to the Ku’damm. Heckers Hotel is a member of Great Hotels of the World Premium Collection. Double rooms start from £122 per night. For more information or to book please visit www.ghotw.com/heckers-hotel.
Get in: Although the railway system in Germany is slightly more expensive than other European countries, it’s also one of the most efficient from traveling from other major cities in Germany and Europe. For rail passes or fare information, go to www.RailEurope.com.