Wonderful Amazing Deutschland! Germany happens to be my #1 favorite place on planet earth! and so my favorite thing to do is to travel Germany!

What’s so great about Germany? and why should you travel to Germany?

  • German Food: German food is the very best food!
  • German’s: While very different from Americans, once you get used to the nuances of the German people you’ll grow to love them.
  • Castles: Germany is home to endless castles and if you love them, you’ll never run short on castles to visit in Germany! There are over 20,000 of them! Get ready to visit Germany’s opulent palaces, atmospheric ruins, and fantastically restored fortresses!
  • Natural Beauty: Germany has some to some of the world’s most striking natural beauty. From the towering peaks of the Bavarian Alps, to the dense forests of Germany’s Black Forest, to stunning Alpine lakes, caves, interesting rock formations, and everything in between!

If you have never been to Germany you are in for a treat. On this page is a whole lot of travel Germany inspiration! Plus maps and travel tips to help you plan Epic trips to Germany.

How do I prepare for a trip to Germany? Read this comprehensive guide and you’ll be ready to explore wonderful Deutschland!

about Germany

official name: Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Deutschland!)

time zone: Germany is usually anywhere from 6-9 hours ahead of the US, depending on where you are located. They have one time zone and participate in Daylight Savings Time. They move the clock forward 1 hour on the last Sunday of March, and back on the last Sunday in October. Save yourself a lot of trouble with calculations and just ask Google “what time is it in Germany.”

established: 1871 (After the fall of Rome, the country today known as Germany, was split into 300 different countries. Hence, all of the many castles!) Today the country is comprised of 16 states. After World War II Germany was split into two countries, East and West Germany, from 1945 to 1990.

population: 83.2 million (2021) It’s the European Unions most populous country!

size: 138,000 square miles (1/2 the size of Texas)

3 biggest cities: Berlin (3.65 million) Hamburg (1.8 million) Munich (1.5 million)

Official language: German (Deutsch) of which there are many different dialects. (want to learn a little German before you head over? How to learn a language for travel the easy way)

in case of Emergency: dial 112 for police and medical assistance

German Flag:

German flag, Ultimate Guide to traveling Germany on a budget!
German Flag

Travel Germany Attractions Map

Follow this link to be redirected to an interactive Google Map of Germany’s best attractions.

Germany points of interest by state

Find the best Germany attractions by state to add to your travel itinerary.

states of Germany map

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, for more information see my terms and conditions page.

These are some of the most popular attraction in each state:

  • Bavaria (Bayern)
  • Baden-Württemberg
  • Rhineland-Palatinate (Pfalz) (book a castle hotel on the Rhine River!)
  • Saxony (Sachsen)
    • The Saxon Switzerland National Park
    • Dresden with it’s Baroque architecture
  • Lower-Saxony
    • Bremen (UNESCO World Heritage)
  • Upper Franconia
    • Bamberg (UNESCO World Heritage and smoked beer!)
  • North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen)
    • the famous Cologne Cathedral (UNESCO)
    • Aachen Cathedral (UNESCO)
  • Brandenburg
    • Berlin, Germany’s largest city
    • Dachau Concentration Camp

Must see additions for your Germany Travel Itinerary

Hiking and Biking: Check out the Komoot website to plan out your trail activities. (Germany’s answer to All Trails!)

Booking tours and experiences

My favorite place to book is through Get Your Guide.

Free Germany Itineraries

(struggling to plan your own Germany itinerary? 6 Simple steps for planning your dream trip)

Travel Germany Basics

getting into Germany (legalities)

Do I need I need a Visa to travel to Germany from the US?

US citizens do not need a visa to travel to Germany from the United States. You are permitted to stay in Germany up to 90 days without a visa. For more information check the US Department of State. Non US citizens can check with Germany Visa.org.

ETIAS 

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is an electronic travel authorization for visitors to the European Union or Schengen area who are visa-exempt. (non-Schengen countries requiring ETIAS: Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania with the exception of Ireland, which is part of the Common Travel Area.) This is NOT a visa, rather an authorization to enter. They expect the ETIAS system to be in effect in 2024. For more details check the Travel Europe website or their FAQ page.

Passport validity

In order to enter Germany, you must have two valid pages on your passport and the passport must be valid for “three months beyond planned date of departure from the Schengen area including transit (strictly enforced).” – US Department of State.

Germany travel restrictions and safety concerns

Is traveling in Germany safe?

Germany is one of the safest countries in the world. No matter the the country or the situation, COVID or other pandemic, social or political instability, crime against tourists, the US Department of State is your best resource for keeping yourself safe and informed.

enroll in Smart Step Services

Consider enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) travel advisory program to receive security updates on the country you will be traveling to and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

top 10 major German airports (listed in order by size):

  • Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA)
  • Airport Berlin Brandenburg Berlin (BER)
  • Munich Airport (MUC)
  • Düsseldorf Airport (DUS)
  • Berlin-Tegel Airport Berlin (TXL)
  • Hamburg Airport (HAM)
  • Stuttgart Airport (STR)
  • Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN)
  • Hannover Airport (HAJ)
  • Nuremberg Airport (NUE)

(source: World Data Info)

Travel Germany Airports Map
Travel Germany Airports Map

surrounding countries

There are 9 countries that border Germany, making it easy to add them into your Germany travel itinerary. All 9 are Schengen countries, meaning you are free to move between them without showing a passport or stopping at border control.

staying connected

You’ll want to stay connected while in Germany. Be sure to read my Germany travel tips article for information on the best ways to use your phone to stay connected.

what to buy in Germany

Popular options include cuckoo clocks, beer steins, nutcrackers…get a complete list in my Ultimate Guide to German Souvenirs!

what to eat in Germany

German is know for it’s beer, pretzels, wurst, and schnitzel but that’s just the beginning! Find out all about the best German foods that you simply must try!

One of my favorite German “snacks.”

german currywurst with french fries pommes curry ketchup and mayo
delicious currywurst with Pommes! (fries!)

where to stay in Germany

Accommodations in Germany run the gamut from luxury accommodations to hostels. You can find them all on Booking.com! For vacation rentals my favorite place to book is VRBO. My favorite option? a castle hotel on the Rhine River!

(if you use these links to book your stay it helps me fund this website. Danke!)

Getting around Germany

by car

I like to drive when traveling in Germany. It’s a joy to drive in Germany except for the infamous autobahn! There are SOME parts of the autobahn without a speed limit but good luck trying to get up speed with all of the construction and traffic! To avoid frustration, I try to avoid the autobahn!

Can I drive in Germany with a US Driver’s License?

You can drive in Germany for up to six months on a US Driver’s License, per the US Embassy in Germany. (see the website on possible extensions)

Rules of the Road:

I was raised as a military dependent and so prefer to use this Germany drivers test manual from the US Military.

International Driving Permit

You MAY need an International Driving Permit. These “permits” have no legal value. An IDP is simply a translation of your license onto a form so that your information can be quickly and easy located by authorities who may not speak English.

If you have a US driver’s license you do not need a IDP. However, if you happen to have contact with a German policeman whose English is not the best it may come in handy. Also, most rental car companies say they require one but I have yet to be asked for one. I travel with one anyway, just to be safe. You can get one at your local AAA office for around $25.

by train

Train travel is easy and efficient in Germany. The Deutsche Bahn (DB) is the National Railway of Germany. Check their website for transit schedules (including bus schedules) maps, info on rail passes, and to check schedules. And don’t forget to download their VERY helpful app! I also like Rome2Rio for planning public transit routes.

ICE trains are the fastest and most expensive. IC and EC trails are slower but less expensive.

German Rail map for train travel
German Rail map for train travel (photo: Maps Germany)

by bus

Buses are slower but cheaper! Check the DB or Rome2Rio websites.

Money Talk

The official currency of Germany is the Euro. The Euro is divided into Cents. You can check current exchange rates at Google Finance.

Euros European Currency of the European Union
Euros. Currency of the European Union

How much money do I need to travel to Germany?

You can get by on as little as $40 per day for meals and accommodations (Hostels and cheap eats.) I expect to spend around $75 per day for accommodations, and around $25 for food for a total of about $100 per day for meals and accommodations. (more for big cities)

tips on affording a trip to Germany

Be sure to check out my ultimate guide on how to travel to Germany on a Budget. It has great tips on how to save on everything from transportation, accommodations, flights, food and drink, discount cards, inexpensive ways to stay connected while your there, free things to do in Germany, the least expensive time to travel there, and more.

MORE Germany travel basics

I have an article that goes into traveling to Germany in even greater depth: Germany travel tips: Ultimate Guide for traveling in Germany for the first time. Things included in the article you wont find here:

  • details on getting cash
  • wattage and how to use your electronics in Germany
  • when is the best time to visit Germany?
  • festivals and events
  • a few of the most common German travel phrases
  • shopping
  • safety tips
  • and a whole lot more!

Lonely Planet Germany Video

Lonely Planet Germany

(Germany blog feed)

The Latest Germany Blog articles:

Germany blog articles to inspire your next adventure:

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  • Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castle: everything you need to know!
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