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Europe

11 Best FAIRYTALE-LIKE Places to Visit in Germany for First-Timers

Dec 9, 2023

Europe

11 Best FAIRYTALE-LIKE Places to Visit in Germany for First-Timers

Dec 9, 2023

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Oh, Germany. With your moody weather and fairytale views, you captured my heart. I mean it!

I had the opportunity to road trip through Central Europe for two weeks, and Germany wowed me in more ways than I can count.

I always thought I had to be in a glacier-saturated country like Canada to see Gatorade blue lakes, but wow was I wrong!

If you’re planning a trip to Europe soon and Germany is not on your list, add it now!

We’ll start with the best places to visit in Germany for fairytale vibes and end with some tips for your trip!

Disclaimer: Hey explorer! This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small percentage of each purchase made through my links. I only ever recommend products I believe in and appreciate your support if you decide to use my links—thank you!

The Best Places to Visit in Germany 

#1 Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle lies on an 855-meter high mountain called Hohenzollern, named after the royal family that lived in the castle.

It’s one of the prettiest sites I’ve ever seen architecturally and one of the best castles in Germany!

Should you arrive early in the morning, you can take a short trail up to the entrance and walk around the courtyard.

When you’re ready for some more adventure, visit one of the castles surrounding trails!

The trails are where folks go hiking and mountain biking.

#2 Frankfurt

Frankfurt is a large city known for its frankfurters — sausages.

Frankfurt, often referred to as the financial heart of Germany, offers a unique blend of modern dynamism and rich cultural heritage.


This bustling metropolis is known for its futuristic skyline dominated by some of Europe’s tallest skyscrapers, earning it the nickname “Mainhattan” – a play on its location along the Main River and resemblance to New York’s Manhattan.

I suggest stopping at the waterfront and enjoying one of the many beer gardens waiting for you.

#3 Eltz Castle

The Eltz Castle, otherwise known as Burg Eltz, is one of the more popular attractions in this area, and for a good reason!

Eltz ended up being one of the best parts of our two week Central Europe road trip and will for sure be a highlight in your list of places to visit in Germany.

The castle looks like something straight out of a fairy-tale.

Make sure you walk around the enter castle perimeter! Lush meadow and greenery surround it.

Wanderer Tip: I suggest catching Eltz Castle for sunrise. You’ll have the whole place to yourself, and you’ll have some of the best light for photos.

#4 Hangeseilbrukcke Geierlay 

Hangeseilbrücke Geierlay, nestled in the picturesque landscape of Germany’s Hunsrück Mountains, is a must-visit for anyone seeking adventure and natural beauty.

As one of Germany’s longest suspension bridges, stretching an impressive 360 meters, it offers breathtaking views of the lush green valleys and rolling hills below.

With its sturdy mesh construction, the bridge provides a thrilling yet safe experience for walkers of all ages.

The surrounding area is a haven for hikers, with well-marked trails leading through dense forests and past quaint villages, making Geierlay a destination and a gateway to exploring the heart of Germany’s great outdoors.

Read Next: Best camera for travel bloggers

#5 Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a gem in the Bavarian Alps, is a destination that beautifully encapsulates the essence of Germany’s alpine culture and natural splendor.

Renowned as a winter sports paradise, it’s famously the site of the 1936 Winter Olympics. In the warmer months, it transforms into a hiker’s and climber’s haven, with trails leading to breathtaking vistas like the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak.

The town is a delightful blend of traditional Bavarian architecture, cozy eateries, and lively beer gardens. Its cultural charm is evident in its frescoed buildings, local festivals, and the warm hospitality of its residents.

Whether you’re seeking thrilling outdoor activities or a peaceful retreat into nature, Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers a uniquely enriching experience.

I loved visiting this lush gorge there!

Partnachklamm takes about 30min to hike through. Once you get to the end, there is a beach area you can use to relax.

The entrance fee is cash only. 

Wanderer Tip: This gorge can get busy in the afternoon. If you want to explore it with fewer crowds, go when it opens at 8AM or go after lunch time.

#6 Neuschwanstein Castle 

Of all the castles, this was one of my favorite places to visit in Germany!

Neuschwanstein Castle, often hailed as the epitome of fairy-tale architecture, is a sight in the Bavarian Alps. This 19th-century palace, built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, has inspired awe and wonder in millions of visitors.

Perched on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau, the castle presents an enchanting picture with its towering white limestone façades and blue turrets that seem to touch the sky.

Inside, the castle is equally magnificent, with opulent rooms that reflect Ludwig’s fascination with medieval legends and Wagnerian operas.

The surrounding landscapes are similarly captivating, offering panoramic views of the Alps and the pristine Alpsee Lake.

Neuschwanstein is not just a castle; it’s a journey into a dreamlike world, making it an unmissable destination for anyone traveling through Germany.

Wanderer Tip: I suggest visiting the castle for sunset- that’s when some of the best light is.

#7 Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle, nestled in the scenic Bavarian Alps near the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, is a jewel of historical and architectural significance.

This 19th-century palace, once the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, is steeped in history and royal charm.

Unlike its more famous neighbor, Hohenschwangau exudes a sense of warmth and lived-in grandeur, with its richly decorated interior that includes original medieval furniture and frescoes depicting Germanic myths and legends.

The castle is set against a backdrop of lush forests and rugged mountains, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the nearby Alpsee Lake.

Visitors can enjoy guided tours that provide insights into the Bavarian royal family’s life and the castle’s fascinating history.

Wanderer Tip: One of my favorite views of this castle is actual from Neuschwanstein Castle!

#8 Eibsee

This lake is somewhat touristy, but it’s still a beautiful spot for pictures!

Eibsee, located at the base of Germany’s highest peak, Zugspitze, is a breathtaking alpine lake known for its clear, greenish-blue waters and stunning mountain backdrop.

It’s a perfect spot for leisurely walks, swimming, boating, and paddleboarding. In winter, the lake transforms into a serene snowy wonderland.

This hidden gem offers a tranquil escape and mesmerizing views, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts in the Bavarian Alps.

If you don’t want to spend a bunch of time directly on the lakefront, you can bike along the scenic outdoor spaces in the area.

#9 Suspension Bridge Reiter Alpe Mountains Klausbachtal

Bavaria has vast mountains, suspension bridges and a whole ton of natural beauties to explore!

My group and I found this cute suspension bridge tucked away on the hills and I LOVED it.

The Suspension Bridge in the Reiter Alpe Mountains, over the Klausbachtal valley, is a thrilling destination for hikers and adventure enthusiasts.

Offering panoramic Alpine views and a direct connection to diverse hiking trails, this bridge provides a unique and exhilarating way to experience the natural beauty of the area.

It’s a perfect spot for those seeking a mix of adventure and scenic landscapes in the heart of the mountains.

#10 Berchtesgaden National Park

Berchtesgaden National Park is a spectacular natural sanctuary in the Bavarian Alps near the Austrian border.

Known for its breathtaking landscapes, the park features rugged mountains, deep forests, and pristine lakes, most notably the emerald-green Königssee.

This area is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities like hiking, mountain climbing, and boating on the Königssee.

To get into the park, you must navigate yourself to the port near the park entrance.

I recommend getting the earliest boat! From there, you’ll take a short boat ride to your destination.

The butterflies in the area seriously landed on me about five times, which made the whole day feel extra magical.

#11 Obersee

My group and I went to the park to see Obersee.

Obersee, a serene and picturesque lake in Bavaria, Germany, is known for its crystal-clear waters and tranquil setting.

Nestled in the Berchtesgaden National Park, it’s accessible via a scenic hike from the Königssee.

Surrounded by steep cliffs and lush greenery, Obersee offers a peaceful retreat and stunning natural beauty, ideal for photography and nature walks.

This hidden gem is a must-visit for those seeking a quiet escape in the German Alps.

From lake Obersee, you can hike to Röthbachfall, the waterfall you can see in the distance when at the lakefront.

Best Time of Year to Visit Germany

So when should you plan your fairytale trip to Germany? I went in May and June, which I can highly recommend!

I get into some more details below.

Winter  — Tons of people prefer to go to Germany in winter because of the Christmas markets – I know it’s on my bucket list! I can only imagine what this beautiful country would look like with a dusting of snow.

Spring — Spring can be a great time to go to Germany, but the weather seems to be hit or miss. If you’re into moody photography and rain, then this is the time of year for you!

Summer — Summer can be by far the busiest time of year to visit Germany, but that’s because the weather is so beautiful! As I said, I chose to go in early summer (late May to June) because this time of year isn’t nearly as busy as it can be.

Fall — I’ve been DYYYYING to go to Germany in the fall because the leaves changing look so beautiful! The weather can be hit or miss, but I would deal with it for some fall goodness.

How Long to Stay in Germany

How long to stay in Germany depends on what you want to do.

Some folks make a 2 week trip out of it, where as I did 5 days because I was busy visiting sooooo mnay other countries.

For the places I list in this blog, I think you only need 5-6 days, though!

Getting to Germany

For my Europe trip, I flew into Zurich, BUT you can 100% start you adventure in Germany. Below are the best airports to get you there.

  • Frankfurt Airport
  • Munich Airport
  • Berlin Tegel Airport
  • Hamburg Airport

During my trip, some of my favorite destinations were near Frankfurt. Hopefully the map I provide of our route will help you decide what airport will work for you!

Currency in Germany

In Germany, the Euro is the main form of currency.

Before you go, I highly recommend pulling some Euros from your bank! A few of the destinations on list require cash for entrance fees.

However, you can also get by with a credit card that doesn’t charge transaction fees for using it internationally. I use the Chase Sapphire!

Map of the Best Places to Visit in Germany

As promised, here is the map! Feel free to use this as a resource when you’re making a list of places to visit in Germany.

Click here for a liver version of the map!

keen targhee hiking boots

Keen Targhees

blue diamond trekking poles

Trekking Poles

copper hydroflask water bottle

Hydroflask

Hat

gray osprey tempest pack

Osprey Pack

elta md sunscreen

Sunscreen

Overall

Which fairytale location are you hitting first?

Let me know which of these best places to visit in Germany ended up on your bucket list!

Oh, Germany. With your moody weather and fairytale views, you captured my heart. I mean it!

I had the opportunity to road trip through Central Europe for two weeks, and Germany wowed me in more ways than I can count.

I always thought I had to be in a glacier-saturated country like Canada to see Gatorade blue lakes, but wow was I wrong!

If you’re planning a trip to Europe soon and Germany is not on your list, add it now!

We’ll start with the best places to visit in Germany for fairytale vibes and end with some tips for your trip!

Disclaimer: Hey explorer! This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small percentage of each purchase made through my links. I only ever recommend products I believe in and appreciate your support if you decide to use my links—thank you!

The Best Places to Visit in Germany 

#1 Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle lies on an 855-meter high mountain called Hohenzollern, named after the royal family that lived in the castle.

It’s one of the prettiest sites I’ve ever seen architecturally and one of the best castles in Germany!

Should you arrive early in the morning, you can take a short trail up to the entrance and walk around the courtyard.

When you’re ready for some more adventure, visit one of the castles surrounding trails!

The trails are where folks go hiking and mountain biking.

#2 Frankfurt

Frankfurt is a large city known for its frankfurters — sausages.

Frankfurt, often referred to as the financial heart of Germany, offers a unique blend of modern dynamism and rich cultural heritage.


This bustling metropolis is known for its futuristic skyline dominated by some of Europe’s tallest skyscrapers, earning it the nickname “Mainhattan” – a play on its location along the Main River and resemblance to New York’s Manhattan.

I suggest stopping at the waterfront and enjoying one of the many beer gardens waiting for you.

#3 Eltz Castle

The Eltz Castle, otherwise known as Burg Eltz, is one of the more popular attractions in this area, and for a good reason!

Eltz ended up being one of the best parts of our two week Central Europe road trip and will for sure be a highlight in your list of places to visit in Germany.

The castle looks like something straight out of a fairy-tale.

Make sure you walk around the enter castle perimeter! Lush meadow and greenery surround it.

Wanderer Tip: I suggest catching Eltz Castle for sunrise. You’ll have the whole place to yourself, and you’ll have some of the best light for photos.

#4 Hangeseilbrukcke Geierlay 

Hangeseilbrücke Geierlay, nestled in the picturesque landscape of Germany’s Hunsrück Mountains, is a must-visit for anyone seeking adventure and natural beauty.

As one of Germany’s longest suspension bridges, stretching an impressive 360 meters, it offers breathtaking views of the lush green valleys and rolling hills below.

With its sturdy mesh construction, the bridge provides a thrilling yet safe experience for walkers of all ages.

The surrounding area is a haven for hikers, with well-marked trails leading through dense forests and past quaint villages, making Geierlay a destination and a gateway to exploring the heart of Germany’s great outdoors.

Read Next: Best camera for travel bloggers

#5 Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a gem in the Bavarian Alps, is a destination that beautifully encapsulates the essence of Germany’s alpine culture and natural splendor.

Renowned as a winter sports paradise, it’s famously the site of the 1936 Winter Olympics. In the warmer months, it transforms into a hiker’s and climber’s haven, with trails leading to breathtaking vistas like the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak.

The town is a delightful blend of traditional Bavarian architecture, cozy eateries, and lively beer gardens. Its cultural charm is evident in its frescoed buildings, local festivals, and the warm hospitality of its residents.

Whether you’re seeking thrilling outdoor activities or a peaceful retreat into nature, Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers a uniquely enriching experience.

I loved visiting this lush gorge there!

Partnachklamm takes about 30min to hike through. Once you get to the end, there is a beach area you can use to relax.

The entrance fee is cash only. 

Wanderer Tip: This gorge can get busy in the afternoon. If you want to explore it with fewer crowds, go when it opens at 8AM or go after lunch time.

#6 Neuschwanstein Castle 

Of all the castles, this was one of my favorite places to visit in Germany!

Neuschwanstein Castle, often hailed as the epitome of fairy-tale architecture, is a sight in the Bavarian Alps. This 19th-century palace, built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, has inspired awe and wonder in millions of visitors.

Perched on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau, the castle presents an enchanting picture with its towering white limestone façades and blue turrets that seem to touch the sky.

Inside, the castle is equally magnificent, with opulent rooms that reflect Ludwig’s fascination with medieval legends and Wagnerian operas.

The surrounding landscapes are similarly captivating, offering panoramic views of the Alps and the pristine Alpsee Lake.

Neuschwanstein is not just a castle; it’s a journey into a dreamlike world, making it an unmissable destination for anyone traveling through Germany.

Wanderer Tip: I suggest visiting the castle for sunset- that’s when some of the best light is.

#7 Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle, nestled in the scenic Bavarian Alps near the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, is a jewel of historical and architectural significance.

This 19th-century palace, once the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, is steeped in history and royal charm.

Unlike its more famous neighbor, Hohenschwangau exudes a sense of warmth and lived-in grandeur, with its richly decorated interior that includes original medieval furniture and frescoes depicting Germanic myths and legends.

The castle is set against a backdrop of lush forests and rugged mountains, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the nearby Alpsee Lake.

Visitors can enjoy guided tours that provide insights into the Bavarian royal family’s life and the castle’s fascinating history.

Wanderer Tip: One of my favorite views of this castle is actual from Neuschwanstein Castle!

#8 Eibsee

This lake is somewhat touristy, but it’s still a beautiful spot for pictures!

Eibsee, located at the base of Germany’s highest peak, Zugspitze, is a breathtaking alpine lake known for its clear, greenish-blue waters and stunning mountain backdrop.

It’s a perfect spot for leisurely walks, swimming, boating, and paddleboarding. In winter, the lake transforms into a serene snowy wonderland.

This hidden gem offers a tranquil escape and mesmerizing views, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts in the Bavarian Alps.

If you don’t want to spend a bunch of time directly on the lakefront, you can bike along the scenic outdoor spaces in the area.

#9 Suspension Bridge Reiter Alpe Mountains Klausbachtal

Bavaria has vast mountains, suspension bridges and a whole ton of natural beauties to explore!

My group and I found this cute suspension bridge tucked away on the hills and I LOVED it.

The Suspension Bridge in the Reiter Alpe Mountains, over the Klausbachtal valley, is a thrilling destination for hikers and adventure enthusiasts.

Offering panoramic Alpine views and a direct connection to diverse hiking trails, this bridge provides a unique and exhilarating way to experience the natural beauty of the area.

It’s a perfect spot for those seeking a mix of adventure and scenic landscapes in the heart of the mountains.

#10 Berchtesgaden National Park

Berchtesgaden National Park is a spectacular natural sanctuary in the Bavarian Alps near the Austrian border.

Known for its breathtaking landscapes, the park features rugged mountains, deep forests, and pristine lakes, most notably the emerald-green Königssee.

This area is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities like hiking, mountain climbing, and boating on the Königssee.

To get into the park, you must navigate yourself to the port near the park entrance.

I recommend getting the earliest boat! From there, you’ll take a short boat ride to your destination.

The butterflies in the area seriously landed on me about five times, which made the whole day feel extra magical.

#11 Obersee

My group and I went to the park to see Obersee.

Obersee, a serene and picturesque lake in Bavaria, Germany, is known for its crystal-clear waters and tranquil setting.

Nestled in the Berchtesgaden National Park, it’s accessible via a scenic hike from the Königssee.

Surrounded by steep cliffs and lush greenery, Obersee offers a peaceful retreat and stunning natural beauty, ideal for photography and nature walks.

This hidden gem is a must-visit for those seeking a quiet escape in the German Alps.

From lake Obersee, you can hike to Röthbachfall, the waterfall you can see in the distance when at the lakefront.

Best Time of Year to Visit Germany

So when should you plan your fairytale trip to Germany? I went in May and June, which I can highly recommend!

I get into some more details below.

Winter  — Tons of people prefer to go to Germany in winter because of the Christmas markets – I know it’s on my bucket list! I can only imagine what this beautiful country would look like with a dusting of snow.

Spring — Spring can be a great time to go to Germany, but the weather seems to be hit or miss. If you’re into moody photography and rain, then this is the time of year for you!

Summer — Summer can be by far the busiest time of year to visit Germany, but that’s because the weather is so beautiful! As I said, I chose to go in early summer (late May to June) because this time of year isn’t nearly as busy as it can be.

Fall — I’ve been DYYYYING to go to Germany in the fall because the leaves changing look so beautiful! The weather can be hit or miss, but I would deal with it for some fall goodness.

How Long to Stay in Germany

How long to stay in Germany depends on what you want to do.

Some folks make a 2 week trip out of it, where as I did 5 days because I was busy visiting sooooo mnay other countries.

For the places I list in this blog, I think you only need 5-6 days, though!

Getting to Germany

For my Europe trip, I flew into Zurich, BUT you can 100% start you adventure in Germany. Below are the best airports to get you there.

  • Frankfurt Airport
  • Munich Airport
  • Berlin Tegel Airport
  • Hamburg Airport

During my trip, some of my favorite destinations were near Frankfurt. Hopefully the map I provide of our route will help you decide what airport will work for you!

Currency in Germany

In Germany, the Euro is the main form of currency.

Before you go, I highly recommend pulling some Euros from your bank! A few of the destinations on list require cash for entrance fees.

However, you can also get by with a credit card that doesn’t charge transaction fees for using it internationally. I use the Chase Sapphire!

Map of the Best Places to Visit in Germany

As promised, here is the map! Feel free to use this as a resource when you’re making a list of places to visit in Germany.

Click here for a liver version of the map!

keen targhee hiking boots

Keen Targhees

blue diamond trekking poles

Trekking Poles

copper hydroflask water bottle

Hydroflask

Hat

gray osprey tempest pack

Osprey Pack

elta md sunscreen

Sunscreen

Overall

Which fairytale location are you hitting first?

Let me know which of these best places to visit in Germany ended up on your bucket list!

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  1. Emily says:

    Hi! Love this itinerary.. I was wondering what you did for transportation on this trip? Did you drive yourself? If so, what was driving in Germany like?

  2. Trijit says:

    Very beautifully described and as a biker I am looking for a motorcycle trip here. Is there any motorcycle renting company?

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