The Romantic Road
When it comes to travel, Germany is one of the most underrated countries in Europe. But there is a wealth of cities and countryside attractions that make Germany worth a visit on any European itinerary. Here are the best.
Perhaps the coolest city in Europe, Berlin is one of the most popular places to travel in Germany. With a reasonable cost of living, an abundance of history, and a lively arts and music scene, Berlin offers no shortage of things to keep visitors entertained.
One of the prettiest cities in Germany, Munich is a great place to visit for culture lovers. The city’s many museums have great collections, and the parks and gardens are perfect places to relax in the warmer months. And let’s not forget Oktoberfest, the most famous event of the year in Munich.
Straight out of a fairytale, Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria is one of the most visually arresting sights in Germany. Built high on a mountain, the castle features a number of stunning interiors and great views over the valleys below. If you’re visiting Munich, Neuschwanstein Castle makes a great day trip, and if you have extra time, neighboring Hohenschwangau Castle is equally beautiful.
Up in the north, Hamburg often gets overlooked in favor of Berlin or Munich. But it is one of Germany’s most beautiful cities, and is worth a special trip in its own right. Set on two idyllic lakes, the city offers a wealth of historic buildings as well as some famous modern ones. Summer is a great time to visit, as it allows you to take advantage of the weather and spend time in the city’s beautiful gardens.
Driving the Romantic Road is a highlight of any trip to Germany. Running from north to south through some of the most beautiful parts of Bavaria, the road takes in storybook towns and pretty countryside. Places like Harburg and Dinkelsbuhl are the perfect places to stop, and don’t miss the chance to visit Neuschwanstein Castle at the beginning or end of your trip.
With its famous cathedral and huge annual Christmas markets, Cologne is one of the best places to visit in Germany. December is a great time to go, as it will allow you to take in all of the city’s festive cheer and explore the many markets dotted throughout.
Nuremberg is not often on people’s radar screens when they plan to visit Germany, but it certainly should be. The city has a beautiful historic old town, idyllic river, and famous castle. In the summer months, outdoor markets and beer gardens fill the open spaces, and people gather throughout the city to soak up the sun amongst the flowers. The city has an excellent zoo, too.
Although badly damaged during World War II, Dresden has re-emerged in recent years to become a vibrant city once again. The rebuilt Frauenkirche church is the heart of the city’s old town, and around it are museums and palaces with so much art that it’s hard to believe. Dresden might just be the most underrated city in the most underrated country in Europe.
Berlin at Night
Buses from Berlin to Leipzig are a good, cheap way to travel between the two cities when you are visiting Germany.
A company called Berlin Linien Bus run coach services to Leipzig and other cities throughout Germany and various parts of Europe. Their buses are clean and comfortable, and services are fairly frequent.
Buses from Berlin to Leipzig depart four times a day. Schedules change seasonally, but there are generally two morning departures, one afternoon departure, and one early evening departure. Make sure to check timetables before you travel to ensure that you know when the next service leaves.
Coaches depart from the ZOB am Funkturm, which is the main bus station in Berlin. All buses stop at the Leipzig / Halle airport, and the first and last services of the day also stop at the main train station, or Hauptbahnhof, on Goethestrasse in the Leipzig city centre.
The travel time on this route is 1 hour and 45 minutes to Leipzig airport, and 2 hours and 15 minutes to the train station. If you have a flight, train, or bus connection to make in Leipzig, make sure to leave yourself some extra time in case of unforeseen delays or traffic on the way.
Ticket prices for buses from Berlin to Leipzig start at 9 euros for singles if you book online well in advance of travelling. Otherwise tickets cost 18 euros for singles. Return tickets cost 18 euros if booked well ahead of time, or 32 euros for the regular price. Concession fares are available for those that qualify.
Buses from Nuremberg to Prague are an easy way to get from Germany to the Czech Republic when you are visiting Europe. There are no direct train services between these cities, so the easiest way to get from the historic city in Bavaria to the Czech capital is to travel by coach.
Buses on this route are run by Student Agency and Deutsche Bahn. The former offers services at night, while the latter runs coaches during the day.
Student Agency’s overnight buses from Nuremberg to Prague leave from the the central bus station in Nuremberg and arrive at the Florenc bus station in Prague. From there you can connect to trams and the metro.
The scheduled travel time on these coaches is 4 hours and 10 minutes, but because they originate in Amsterdam, services can run late. As such, make sure to leave yourself time if you plan to connect in Prague.
Tickets for Student Agency buses cost from 37 euros each way if you buy them online ahead of time.
Deutsche Bahn buses leave every hour from the Nuremberg Hauptbahnhof, which is the central train station in the city. They arrive at the Hlavni Nadrazi train station in Prague. It is located right in the heart of the city and offers easy connections to the metro, trams, and buses.
The travel time on these coaches is approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes if there is no traffic. If you are transiting in the Czech Republic, make sure to give yourself extra time in the event of delays on the way.
Single tickets for Deutsche Bahn buses from Nuremberg to Prague start at 19 euros if you buy them online well in advance.