Top Germany Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews & photos]

Germany Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

752 Germany trips. Compare tour itineraries from 34 tour companies. 1,847 reviews. 4.5/5 avg rating.

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Top Germany Attractions

  • River cruising along the beautiful Rhine, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.
  • Standing in front of the massive Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, once the symbol of the division of East and West Berlin and part of the infamous Berlin Wall.
  • Hiking along the trails of the dense Black Forest.
  • Follow the popular Romantic Road tour route to the old imperial city of Rothenburg - self-guided walking tours make stops at the 13th-century Town Hall, the St. Georgs-Brunnen Fountain and picturesque Plönlein.
  • Visiting the historic city of Lindau, a historic city.
  • Taking in the views from the Zugspitze massif, reachable by cog railway or cable car - walk through the 800-meter-long tunnel and peer out the many viewing windows.
  • Celebrating and meetin new friends over classic German beers during the Oktoberfest.
  • Climbing the 533 steps of the Cologne Cathedral for the best views of Cologne, a quintessential right of passage on a German tour.
  • Enjoying walking or biking and taking in the sites in Heidelberg.
  • Pondering the Berlin Wall itself and reading the names on the wall at Checkpoint Charlie of those who chanced escape.
  • Venture into the Baltic Sea to Rügen, the largest of the German Baltic islands, and explore Jasmund National Park.
  • Touring the ancient town of Bamberg, one of Germany’s best-preserved towns and home to a 13th-century cathedral.
  • Feeling like royalty in one of Europe’s most beautiful castles, the Neuschwanstein Castle, in the town of Füssen.

Germany Tours & Travel Guide

Germany Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Germany is a land of contrasts, where walled Medieval towns coexist with high-speed Mercedes-filled autobahns, and where quaint Black Forest and Bavarian villages share the same soil as ultra-hip Berlin and pulsating cities like Munich and Hamburg.

Rhine River cruises and Moselle River cruises are ever-popular, and the long-defunct "East Germany" has been resurrected -- witness the total rebuilding of Dresden, firebombed during World War II and now a showplace. Heidelberg, Nuremberg, Cologne, Lubeck, Stuttgart, Leipzig -- the list of intriguing German cities is long, but the alluring countryside beckons as well. 

Vast History

History buffs will love visiting Germany. There are a multitude of museums for you to visit to learn about the area. In Berlin, pay your respects at the Holocaust Memorial, or explore the remains of the wall that used to separate East and West Germany.

Many German cities such as Frankfurt and Munich offer walking tours, so make sure to join one to get a new view of the city. While in Munich, visit the Nymphenburg Palace to see where Ludwig was born. 

Medieval Legacies

Germany has its share of castles and medieval villages just waiting to be explored. Stop in Heidelberg to see a 12th century castle and Germany's oldest university. While you're there, take a slow stroll along the river and imagine what life used to be like. While in Munich, treat yourself to a day trip to see the famous Neuschwanstein Castle and soak up the beauty of the Bavarian Alps. You'll feel like you're in a fairy tale (Sleeping Beauty's castle was supposedly based off of it, after all)!

Beer and Bratwurst

When you think Germany, you may think beer, and for a good reason. It's best known for Oktoberfest, a 16-day beer festival which takes places in late September in Munich. Be sure to bring your lederhosen for the experience of a lifetime! After you've had your share of beer, head south to Bavaria to try some mouthwatering sausage. The west side of the country has their share of tasty treats as well. Explore the markets in Cologne to get some German sweets.

Other Areas

Germany is such a big country, so you have a huge selection to choose from when planning your trip. Head to Cologne to see Cologne's Dom, a giant Gothic cathedral that took over 600 years to build. If nature is more up your alley, venture into the Black Forest to learn about its history and its past with cuckoo clocks. For impressive architecture, the gothic town of Rothenburg will amaze you with its cobblestone lanes and 16th century houses. Germany is sure to have something to please everyone!

Festivals in Germany

Despite the stereotypical predilections swirling around about Germans - stern, punctual - they are quite the fun-loving, festival-going bunch.

Here are a few Germany festivals and celebrations to time your Europe tour around: 

1. Oktoberfest in Munich - Granddaddy of all famous German festivals, Oktoberest is a must if you’re in Munich between late September and early October. It’s the largest folk festival in the world, taking over this Bavarian capital for two weeks.

This most quintessential of Germany’s festivals is a top tour attractions for its general merriment, drinking, eating and the chance to visit Munich’s castles and monuments.

Teetotalers, take note: Oktoberfest admission doesn’t require a mug of beer in hand at all times - enjoy the carnival games and rides, eat to your heart’s content and shop for your own traditional German dress clothes.

2. CarnivalYour spring German tour may coincide with what is also called the “Fifth Season” in Germany, the highlight of which is the Rose Monday Parade. The cities most renowned for their Carnival festivities are Cologne, Düsseldorf, Muenster and Mainz.

3. Berlin International Film FestivalFilm buffs flock to the annual film festival for more than 400 movies from around the world, grand parties and special events open to almost anyone.

4. Rhine in FlamesIf you’re taking a river cruise along the Rhine in May and September, look for this festival of lights that illuminates the river banks and the castles, making the whole ambience even more magical.

5. Bach Fest in Leipzig - Music tours in Germany may center on this world-class festival celebrating Johann Sebastien Bach, who lived in Leipzig. Take in a classical performance by celebrated artists in historic venues, including the gorgeous Thomas Church (Thomaskirche). 

6. Wurstmarkt in Bad DürkheimDespite its moniker as “sausage market,” this Rhineland Palatinate festival is the world’s biggest wine festivals. River cruises focusing on the wine-growing regions of the Rhine River won’t want to miss this September festival!

7. Christmas Markets throughout GermanyGet into the holiday spirit with old-fashioned festival fun at holiday markets brimming with homemade treats, mulled wine and traditional song and dance. Read about the most popular German Christmas Markets in our Germany in Winter section.

German Cuisine

Germans love their food as much as their beer - savor late, lingering dinners and soak up the traditional and the haute cuisine throughout your Germany tour. Be sure to try:

  • Spätzle: Pasta lovers, you’ll fawn over this egg, flour and salt dough that puffs up and melts in your mouth when accompanied by meats, soups and Swiss cheeses. The ultimate German comfort food.
  • Schnitzel: Unlike in Austria, where actual law mandates that Wiener Schnitzel be made with veal, in Germany, schnitzel is typically made with pork. Try it with a variety of delicious sauces: Jägerschnitzel (mushroom sauce), Zigeunerschnitzel (bell pepper sauce), Rahmschnitzel (creamy sauce), to name a few. 
  • Fischbrötchen: You’re right, it’s a fish sandwich, but you won’t want to miss this favorite food of northern Germany. Look for fischbrötchen with Bismarck herring, rollmops or salmon from the North and Baltic seas.
  • Currywurst: You’re likely to run across a street food stall during your Germany tour selling currywurst, a popular grilled sausage delicacy, smothered in a ketchup-and-curry-powder sauce. If you’re in Berlin or Hamburg, it’s typically served with fries or a roll. 
  • Bratwurst: With over 1,500 types of sausage made in germany, you won’t run out of options (this seasoned sausage made of pork and veal and typically served with sauerkraut is a street food favorite in just about every German city). Also look for knockwurst (boiled) and Weisswurst (bacon sausage).
  • Potato pancakes: Similar to a latke, typically served with applesauce and sour cream or with eggs for breakfast.
  • Kartoffelkloesse: Traditional German potato dumplings.
  • Sauerkraut: Finely cut, fermented cabbage that is served with just about every sausage you’ll eat in Germany.
  • Apple cake: Buttery pastry filled with apples, spices and raisins.

Top Historical Sites in Germany

  1. Brandenburg Gate - What was once the gateway to Berlin is now a top historical site and a highlight of your Germany tour. Let your expert guide regale you with the story behind the structure that was modeled after the Acropolis in Athens and has now stood for more than 200 years as a symbol of freedom and unity.
  2. Berlin Wall - A top must-see on your history tour of Germany, the Berlin Wall symbolizes the separation of East and West Germany between 1961 and 1989. Gaze upon the remains of the graffiti-adorned wall and learn about its storied history.
  3. Checkpoint CharlieComplementing the Berlin Wall as a popular historic attraction in Germany, this crossing point, where Allied forces were permitted to cross the border, is another important symbol of the Cold War.
  4. Imperial Baths of TrierOutside of Rome, these Ancient Roman baths are among the largest you’ll see anywhere in the world. 
  5. Schwerin Castle - For history and art lovers on Germany tours, this beautiful castle was where the dukes of Mecklenburg lived and now houses local government and a comprehensive art collection, including 17th-century Dutch and Flemish masterpieces.
  6. Neuschwanstein Castle - Been to Disneyland? Now visit one of the most beautiful castles in Germany, Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for more than a few of Disney’s theme park palaces. This must-see attraction tops just about all sightseeing lists in all of Europe.
  7. HolstentorWander through the arched entrance and two round towers of the “Holsten gate,” a favorite historic attraction in Germany. Built in 1464, today it is one of the remaining examples of Germany’s medieval defense. There’s an insightful museum inside to further understand this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  8. Cologne Cathedral - Don’t miss the magnificent Gothic Cologne Cathedral, which began construction in 1248 and took more than 600 years to finish. One of the highlights of the Cologne Cathedral is the Shrine of the Three Magi.

Neuschwanstein Castle

It’s ironic - King Ludwig II built this magnificent castle to step away from the public eye due to his intense shyness. Today, Neuschwanstein Castle is one of Europe’s most popular castles, visited by nearly 1.4 million people every year. Shifting earth and climate factors are contributing to conservation issues with the beautiful castle, but despite some renovation efforts, all rooms are open to the public. 

Music tours of Germany will likely hone in on the fact that King Ludwig II was such a big admirer of renowned composer Richard Wagner that the castle was built in his honor - music lovers will notice that many of the rooms inside are inspired by Wagner’s operatic characters.

This fairytale castle has been the inspiration for many of Disney’s theme park palaces - it’s easy to see why with its picturesque Bavarian Alps location and traditional medieval architecture. At the time of its construction, Neuschwanstein Castle was quite technologically advanced.

Ask your Germany history tour guide about the automatically flushing toilets, water supply and air heating system that were part of the castle’s design. From the castle, it’s easy to explore the popular tourist town, Fussen.

Stroll around the brightly colored Old Town, then drive north along one of Germany’s most popular scenic routes, the Romantic Road, a must-drive stretch with countless traditional German towns and villages to visit.

Read more about the worlds best mountain castles >>

Outdoor Travel in Germany

Germany tours focusing on outdoor and adventure travel can be surprising in their breadth of activities. In a country most often recognized for its history and culture, it’s easy to overlook the natural beauty that lies in just about every corner of the country, from the Alps to the Black Forest.

Here’s a list of top outdoor adventures to have in Germany:

  • Oberstdorf: Hike, ski, ice skate, paragliding and hang-glide in Oberstdorf in southern German’s central Bavaria region. The real stunner here is the Breitachklamm gorge, one of the deepest and most beautiful in Europe.
  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen National Park: Zugspitze is Germany’ highest mountain and home to one of the country’ largest national parks, the Garmisch-Partenkirchen National Park. Hike along the trails of the Wetterstein Mountain Range and zoom up to the Zugspitze summit by cable car or train.
  • Black Forest: The mythical, fairytale-inspiring Black Forest is one of Germany’s most popular outdoor travel destinations with good reason. Sail and surf on the Schluchsee Titisee lakes, hike and bike through the massive fir trees of the forest, canoe on the Rhine River, take a guided ATV tour deep into the woods and cross-country ski in the winter. 
  • Bavarian Forest National Park: For wildlife viewing in Germany, look no further than the 300 kilometers of this vast and stunning park, home to lynx, bison, wolves and wild boars. Walk along the treetops on a 1,300-meter-long wooden walkway. Hike and bike past sweet brooks and stunning mountain vistas.
  • Berchtesgaden National Park: If you’re seeking some of the best hiking in Germany, head to this biosphere reserve and national park, a favorite adventure travel destination in Germany.Hike past thundering waterfalls along the Almbach Gorge trail, climb to Eagle’s Nest, go rock climbing and try paragliding and hang-gliding.
  • Bastei: One of Germany’s most beautiful hiking regions is Malerweg, or Painter’s Way, where you can see the stunning Bastei rock formation. From this renowned sandstone bridge, you can reach the Neurathen fortress and see the famous Elbe Sandstones. 

What to See and Do in Bavaria

Escape the crowds of Frankfurt and Berlin and head to one of Germany’s most beautiful and popular regions: Bavaria.

This is where your quintessential German tour will include traditional cuisine (bratwurst and beer, and lots of it), hiking through pleasant forests, getting to know the locals in rural villages and touring historic castles.

Here are a few of the top things to do in Bavaria:

  1. Visit Munich: Munich is the capital of Bavaria and if you’re on a tour of Germany that includes hiking, you’ll likely access the Alps through this beautiful city. 
  2. See Neuschwanstein Castle: You’ll feel like you’re in Sleeping Beauty’s palace, straight out of Disneyland, at Neuschwanstein, quite possibly the most famous castle in the world. Tour the somewhat gaudy interior, including the over-the-top Minstrels’ Hall. 
  3. Attend Oktoberfest: A fall Germany tour wouldn’t be complete without a day at Oktoberfest, the world’s largest fair with more than six million worldwide attendees. Sing, dance and dine along to merry-making Bavarian bands.
  4. Tour Nuremberg: Take a guided history tour of 950-year-old Nuremberg, home to the Imperial Castle, a romantic Old Town full of half-timbered houses, theSchoner Brunnen fountain (rub it for good luck) and the Nazi Rally Party Grounds. If you tour Germany in the winter, consider including Nuremberg for its famous Christkindlmarkt holiday market. And don’t miss the best Nuremberg food, the signature Rostbratwurst.
  5. Hike the Bavarian Alps: Germany tours focused on outdoor recreation focus on the hiking, biking and skiing opportunities of the Bavarian Alps and Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. Among the ski resort towns to check out are Fussen (close to Neuschwanstein Castle), Berchtesgaden and Oberstdorf.
  6. Visit Eagle’s Nest: The Nazi party gifted Eagle’s Nest (near Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps) to Hitler for his 50th birthday. Today, you can tour this historic sightseeing attractions - atop a mountain, no less - and see its underground bunkers and original brass elevator. 
  7. Bamburg: Some call Bamburg the “Franconian Rome” - German history tours often include this Bavarian town for its huge Old Town center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s a satisfying collegiate vibe here, thanks to the University of Bamberg, as well as a thriving brewery industry - try the Rauchbier (smoked beer)!

Cities in Germany

1. Heidelberg 

One of the prettiest Germany cities, Heidelberg escaped destruction in World War II. Explore the charming, cobblestone streets with your expert guide, snapping photos on the Old Bridge across the placid Neckar River, touring the ruins of Heidelberg Castle and hiking the lush Philosophenweg across the river from the city.

Take time for a visit to the university, one of the world’s best education institutions, which gives the city its scholarly, youthful ambience. 

2. Freiburg

Sunny, warm friendly and brimming with historic and culinary treasures, Freiburg is one of the loveliest cities in Germany. It’s also one of the oldest - during your Freiburg tour, visit the Gothic cathedral, local-run restaurants and breweries and the large weekly farmer’s market in the cathedral square. Festivals run throughout the year - from International Kulturborse in January to a massive Christmas Market. 

3. Hamburg

Include Hamburg in your German tour for its Roman history, World War II stories and modern aerospace and naval industries. Check out one of Hamburg’s most interesting museums, the Miniature Museum, as well as the famous fish market, open early each Sunday at the port.

4. Cologne

Visit one of Germany’s oldest cities, Cologne, which was founded by the Romans and is known for its sky-high cathedral (which also just happens to contain the bones of the Three Kings).

Take a tour of old town and the banks of the Rhine River (many Europe river cruises stop here), pop in to excellent art galleries and museums and most definitely partake in a glass (or two) of the local Kolsch (beer of Cologne). As for festivals, Cologne reigns during Carnival season in Germany with huge parades, festive balls and general merriment before Lent.

5. Munich

Your Bavarian tour will center on Munich, the region’s capital and famous for its Oktoberfest celebrations and multicultural atmosphere. Visit Munich’s beautiful parks and gardens, tour its flea markets, dine on every manner of cuisine, including traditional German food, and snap a photo of the famous Glockenspiel on City Hall.

6. Berlin

Tour Germany’s capital and its biggest city, reunited in 1990 after a Cold War separation into East and West. Head to Mitte for ethnic street food, explore countless museums and art galleries and enjoy some of Germany’s best festivals and certainly its popular Christmas markets.

Your Berlin tour is sure to include the grand Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and the East Side Gallery, a portion of the inner Berlin Wall that has been long preserved and displays years of graffiti art.

7. Dresden 

Extend your Berlin tour to include nearby Dresden, a treasure trove of art and Baroque architecture. Believe it or not, much of the historic center of the city was destroyed during World War II but much has been restored to its former glory.

Top Dresden sights include the Church of Our Lady in Dresden, the Procession of Princes (a huge porcelain mural), the Zwinger Palace and the Bruhlsche Terrasse. Reminisce about your favorite Dresden tour moments at one of the city’s countless biergartens.

8. Dusseldorf

Include Dusseldorf in your tour of the most popular German cities - it’s recognizable by its Gehry and Chipperfield architecture and the whimsical symbol of the Dusseldorfter Radschlager (boy who does cartwheels), seen everywhere throughout the city.

German art tours celebrate the city’s rich art scene, both on stage and on canvas - Robert Schumann and Mendelssohn lived here and Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter graduated from the Dusseldorf Art Academy.

Dusseldorf is also a popular shopping destination in Germany - a huge fashion show takes place here each January and upscale shops line King’s Avenue (known by the locals at Kö). The beer of choice in Dusseldorf, a top-fermenting German-style brown ale called an Altbier.

Germany Reviews & Ratings

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Trusted Customer

Jun 2024

Written on

European Whirl

Saw a lot of wonderful places, but it is not a trip for someone that is sedentary.

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Trusted Customer

Jun 2024

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European Whirl

The European Whirl was amazing! We took our four kids all 18+ and we all loved it. The kids preferred this trip, though we did not have a lot of time in each area, w...

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Sharon Henderson

Jun 2024

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European Whirl

This tour was definitely a whirl. We got a taste of many different countries and wonderful highlights of each. We had some difficulties with our airline and missed...

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