Discovering Deutschland: 7 Reasons to Visit Germany
There are hundreds (millions, probably) of reasons you should visit Germany, but you’re busy, so we narrowed it down to 7.
by EF Ultimate Break
From fairytale castles on Bavarian hills to vibrant urban nightlife, every corner of this diverse nation offers a unique experience that's bound to entice. So, is Germany worth visiting? Obviously, YES. A trip to Germany serves up a little bit of everything and a whole lotta mems. Let’s dig in, shall we?
1. Neuschwanstein Castle
Perched on a hill in the Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein Castle checks two boxes right away—architectural grandeur and romantic fantasy. Approaching the castle, you’ll feel like you’re actually stepping into a fairy tale. And if it looks familiar, then you might be Sleeping Beauty, or at least a fan of her castle at Disneyland. But unlike its amusement park counterpart, there’s never been a Disney princess living inside Neuschwanstein. Actually, nobody has ever lived in the castle, including the man who commissioned it, King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Ludwig died before the construction was complete, and after his death in 1886, the castle became a museum.
King Ludwig, often remembered as an eccentric and reclusive man, was fascinated by the fantastical and imaginative. He built this castle, not as a fortress, but as a personal retreat. We like to think of it as a Bavarian king’s version of a small cabin getaway.
Outside the castle, a hike to Mary’s Bridge is a must. You’ll get unparalleled views of the castle against a backdrop of rolling hills and the Alpsee lake. This view alone answers the question, “Why should I visit Germany?” Inside ain’t bad either, with intricate and opulent spaces that reflect King Ludwig’s imagination, like Throne Hall, Singers Hall, the King’s Bedroom, and more.
2. Englischer Garten
If you’re in Munich (which you totally should be, here you go: Munich: City Experience), you’ve got to check out Englischer Garten. As one of the world's largest urban parks, the garden spans over 900 acres, offering a verdant sanctuary within the heart of the city. This park is more than just grass and trees—it’s meandering streams, Zen gardens, and serene lakes.
If we told you one of our favorite things about Munich is seeing the surfers, you might ask us to double check our geography. But then we’d take you to Eisbachwelle, the most unique spot in all of Englischer Garten. A river wave in the middle of an urban park? No wonder it’s become a world-famous hotspot for river surfing. There’s just something surreal and unexpected about witnessing it for yourself, and it’s yet another reason you should visit Germany…like, ASAP.
Once you’ve oohed and aahed to your heart’s content, there’s plenty more to enjoy in this urban oasis. Have a picnic with a side of people watching, visit the Japanese Tea House, or make your way to Monopteros, a neo-classical temple with panoramic views of the park.
You’ll find that Englischer Garten isn’t just a park—it’s an invitation to slow down, connect with nature, and contemplate whether you could get away with building a treehouse to move in full-time.
It should come as no surprise that the world’s largest beer festival is on our list of reasons you should visit Germany. If this iconic event isn’t on your bucket list, stop reading this right now and add it. We’re serious. *Pause* Great, thanks for that. Maybe you’re not a big beer drinker, so it hasn’t been on your radar. That’s fair, but Oktoberfest is about sooo more than just beer. It’s a cultural event that brings people together from all over the world to celebrate German heritage and traditions.
It’s hard to describe the scale of Oktoberfest. The festival grounds cover over 100 acres. And if that doesn’t mean much to you, picture about 75 American football fields. There are usually around 14 large beer tents, some of which can hold up to 10,000 people—that’s a lot of beer drinkin’ space. Plus, you’ve got plenty of amusement rides, games, and food stalls (the giant pretzels are elite).
As we mentioned, people come from all over the world. So when you sit down at a table with your beer, you’ll likely be surrounded by a global community where the clinking of steins becomes the universal language. Find some Germans (shouldn’t be hard) who can teach you the songs and dances of Oktoberfest for an even more authentic experience.
Oktoberfest takes place every year from late September to early October in Munich. The city can be quite busy during these few weeks, so plan ahead to make sure you have a place to stay. Or better yet, grab a spot on Oktoberfest in Germany and we’ll take care of everything for you. All you have to do is pack your lederhosen or dirndl.
Oh, and don’t just take it from us. Here’s what Ultimate Break traveler Cecilia had to say about her trip:
“Had the best time exploring Munich even in a downpour. The food is just too good. Oktoberfest itself was insane and amazing. Seriously one of the best trips I've taken and I can't wait to go back!”
4. Berlin nightlife
Berlin and nightlife go together like bratwurst and sauerkraut. When the sun goes down, the city doesn’t go to sleep—it comes alive. Berlin is one of the top cities to visit in Germany, which means, whatever you’re into, you can find it here. Looking for an eclectic bar with unique cocktails? You’ll find one—easily. How ’bout a relaxing night out? Sit back with a drink at one of the many jazz clubs. Or, maybe you came to Germany for beer, because duh. Lucky for you, beer’s kind of a big deal here, so you’ll find beer gardens and beer halls in every part of town.
But if you want the true Berlin nightlife experience, look no further than the underground, electronic music club scene. You may have heard of Berghain, Berlin’s most famous nightclub. It’s notoriously difficult to get into and attracts famous DJs from around the world. But, it’s by no means the only club in town. Head to the Friedrichshain or Kreuzberg neighborhoods for a wide array of options to dance the night away.
Keep in mind, the clubs don’t really get going until 2–3am. Sure, you could go early to beat the crowds, but you wouldn’t get the real experience. Instead, order that after-dinner espresso and hit the bars before you venture out for the main event.
5. Christmas markets
Germany's enchanting Christmas markets, known as "Weihnachtsmärkte," are a major reason to visit the country during the holiday season. These magical markets combine festive traditions, seasonal delights, and the warm spirit of community. And if you think that last part is cheesy, then you’ve clearly never been to a German Christmas market before.
The experience is a feast for the senses—and we mean all of them. One of the first things you’ll notice upon entering one of these markets is the smell. The air is filled with the scent of mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread cookies. As you look around, two words will come to mind: Winter. Wonderland. Stalls are adorned with twinkling lights, decorations line the streets, and unique gifts await at every turn. Hot tip: Use your sense of touch to pick the perfect gift for someone back home.
Follow your nose to one of the many food and drink stalls to try some traditional treats, like bratwursts, stolen (fruitcake), or glühwein (mulled wine). Then, listen closely for the sounds of carolers singing joyful tunes. The holiday spirit is off the charts in these places, trust us.
You’ll find markets in every part of Germany—from the big cities like Berlin and Munich, to the quaint villages where tourist rarely travel. Go and see one for yourself on Christmas Markets: Germany, Italy & Switzerland.
Here’s what Ultimate Break traveler Jennifer had to say about her experience:
“This trip was absolutely lovely!!! It was a great way to get in the holiday spirit. Europe knows how to do Christmas! We had a ton of snow on our trip that really added to the ambience…I also recommend having an extra bag or room in your suitcase if you want to do some shopping at the Christmas markets. I will say though, I didn’t buy anything other than food at the markets and still had a great time.”
6. The food
Still asking yourself why you should visit Germany? Here’s your answer—the food. Exploring German cuisine is a tantalizing journey for the taste buds, and one that reflects the country’s diverse regions and cultural influences. And because of that, eating German food is not just a culinary experience, but a cultural one as well.
At the heart of German cuisine are sausages like Bratwurst, Weisswurst, and Currywurst. These sausages are often served with hearty sides like sauerkraut, red cabbage, and potato dumplings. Are you drooling yet? Beause same.
And who can forget pretzels (“brezeln” in German)? Golden-brown crust, soft interior, perfectly paired with a fresh-from-the-tap beer—now we’re talking. And if a pretzel is a bit too snack-y for your liking, you can’t go wrong with Germany’s iconic schnitzel, a thin cutlet (usually pork or veal) coated in breadcrumbs and fried until crispy.
And if you still have room after all that, Germany's dessert offerings shine brightly. Black Forest Cake, studded with cherries and chocolate shavings, and Apfelstrudel, a delicate apple-filled pastry, exemplify the country's prowess in creating sweet delights.
Whether you're savoring a traditional dish in a cozy Gasthaus (inn/tavern) or exploring modern interpretations in urban eateries, indulging in local cuisine is an absolute must when traveling through Germany.
From the medieval splendor of the Romanesque and Gothic architecture to the remnants of the Berlin Wall that once divided a nation, Germany's history is palpable. The country has been part of so many pivotal moments in human history, including the Renaissance, the Reformation, and both World Wars (NBD).
If you’re a history enthusiast, sites like Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, Munich’s Nymphenburg Palace, and Neuschwanstein Castle offer glimpses into a variety of periods and architectural styles. The haunting history of the Holocaust is remembered at poignant memorials like the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and Dachau Memorial Site, a former Nazi concentration camp.
Germany's history isn't limited to museums and monuments. Traveling through the country is an immersive experience that can be felt by simply strolling through charming towns, engaging with locals, and eating foods passed down through generations.
Visiting Germany is an opportunity to connect with the past and witness the nation's journey toward unity, innovation, and progress. No matter if it’s the medieval towns or the modern cities that pull you in, Germany will teach you a thing or two without really even trying.
As you can see, Germany is more than a destination. Whether you're wandering through the corridors of Neuschwanstein Castle, watching the surfers ride waves at Englischer Garten, clinking steins at Oktoberfest, or savoring traditional cuisine, you're immersing yourself in an authentic cultural experience. Prost to that!