It definitely doesn’t suck to travel as an American. With 174 different countries to visit without a visa, much of the globe is waiting anyone to see from the United States. And Germany just so happens to be one of those nations. What do you need to know before you head there, and where should visit? Skyscanner’s here to help you with all of that, but let’s start off with some travel info you’ll need.
You’ll need at least three months of validity past your planned date of departure.
Tourist visa required
Thanks to the Schengen Agreement, visas aren’t required for stays under 90 days.
Blank passport pages
You have two blank pages in your passport? Yes? Good, because you’ll need them for an entry stamp.
Currency restrictions for entry/visit
For those that like to make it rain at a moment’s notice, you can enter & exit Germany with 10,000 Euros.
Safety and security
Most of the country is perfectly safe. The State Department says we should be cautious at expatriate hangouts (bars, restaurants, etc.). You could also run into some hooligans, often “skinheads,” that can harass or attack folks they think aren’t from Germany. Also, stay away from buying the counterfeit and pirated goods on sale since you can’t bring them back into the country. Any other concerns can be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
Well, that takes care of some main points for traveling to Germany. Now it’s time to show you just a few of the many cool things to do in Deutschland.
1. Go to Oktoberfest in Munich
When it comes to partying, Munich does it big. Oktoberfest is two weeks’ worth of beer, music, and fun in September and early October. The brew isn’t the only reason to come to this festival that’s been going strong since 1810. You can enjoy the fairground rides and all types of food. If you have any more questions, check out our Oktoberfest guide.
2. Head to Berlin to walk around Brandenburg Gate
When Brandenburg Gate was built in 1791 it was a symbol of peace. But the Gate helped divide East and West Berlin during the Cold War. Now this iconic landmark serves as a tourist attraction that you can walk around and under it to get a good look at what now serves as a symbol of the country’s unification.
3. Enter a fantasy world at Neuschwanstein Castle
There may not be a more famous castle in the world that Neuschwanstein Castle. Mad King Ludwig’s majestic creation is as cuts an incredible image as it leaps from the trees with the Alps as a sublime backdrop. And if you think it looks like it came right out of a Disney movie, it’s because it was the inspiration for many of the castles in its films.
4. Go for a stroll down Romantic Road
Stretching for 220 miles between Würzburg and Füssen, the Romantic Road is one of the top scenic routes in Germany and the world. This road has all you could want – gorgeous German scenery, historic hotels, castles, medieval towns, and restaurants that you’ll keep talking about at home for years.
5. Get in the holiday spirit at Nuremberg’s Christmas Market
If you’re in Nuremberg from late November to Christmas Eve, you’ll want to experience the world-famous Christkindlesmarkt (Christmas Market). The No. 1 Christmas City in Germany is just too cool to pass up with its one-of-a-kind atmosphere in the shadow of the majestic imperial castle towering above. This open-air market features almost 200 shops with everything from comfort foods to holiday-themed goodies.
6. See the Berlin Wall for yourself
For almost three decades, the Berlin Wall split the city (and effectively the entire nation) in two. Most of the concrete partition is gone, but what remains is an important fixture to the city. Tourists must go take the Berlin Wall Trail, which lets them walk or bike around 14 different sections with info points that detail the story of the wall.
7. Get lost in the Black Forest
Outdoor enthusiasts will want to make this part of their bucket list. Rolling hills, crystal clear babbling brooks, lush forestry and small villages make up this area near the borders of France and Switzerland. You’ve got your choice of hiking, biking or driving to see the region. We highly recommend taking a train ride to see a lot of forest. And maybe a slice or three of decadent Black Forest Cake at a nearby village.
8. Fall in love with the Rhine
We’re pretty sure there isn’t a single spot along the Rhine River that couldn’t be the cover a tourism brochure. You’ll see massive gothic cathedrals, regal castles, and some really good wineries.
9. Check out the Zwinger Palace in Dresden
Would it be too far to say this place has swag? The Zwinger Palace is one Germany’s greatest examples of Baroque architecture ever built. From the elaborate pavilions to the “Nymphs’ Bath” to the courtyard gardens, the Zwinger has no problem showing off. Now it’s a museum that gives visitors a jaw-dropping good time.
10. Spend some time in Germany’s oldest city
Mosey down to the banks of the Moselle River to find Germany’s oldest city. Trier started out as a Roman colony in 16 B.C., but now this UNESCO World Heritage site gives visitors a pristine look at days gone by. One of the better spots to take a look at is Porta Nigra, the largest Roman gate that’s north of the Alps. A trip to the Trier Cathedral might be a bit busy with pilgrims coming to see the Holy Robe, which is supposed to be the garment Jesus wore when crucified.