There’s one big hardship traveling long-term being a German to the core. And I hate to make this latter statement. But becoming a lobster from February’s early sun and always arriving 5 minutes before the time are things I just don’t get rid of…
As well as my affinity towards beer. And its mostly unsatisfactory representation outside of Ratsherrn’s supply range. It’s my nectar of creativity. It’s what makes me write right now. It’s the scent of my childhood (literally. see point 1).
So, my be(er)st buddy and I go hand in hand. Or glass in hand. It’s time to share some precious secrets where to best enjoy your daily refreshment of your choice (aka seriously, go get that Pilsner). And see these cute towns that undeservingly barely anyone knows!
Photo: zaubervogel / pixelio
Take me back to the start… I was born in Jever, also birthplace to one of Germany’s most popular beers. I think I still couldn’t chew bananas when my dad first let me try a sip. A tiny town in northwest Germany, of which most German’s know the name but have no idea where it actually is. Everyone living beyond the radius of 20 km can’t even pronounce it correctly. Please do me a favor, if you ever go: Jever = [yehfer]. Everything else will make every local’s heart cringe.
So – Jever is known for it’s cute little old town, historic monuments, local art, sights to discover; they all let you get a glance at its almost 1000 years of history. Perfect for an authentic refreshment.
If you’ve ever looked for that cute fisher(wo)men’s town, this is the place. Your pace will automatically slow down strolling along the beachfront with that local homemade ice-cream in your hand, and your thoughts will have space to wander when all you can hear are waves and seagulls. Don’t let them wander too far though, otherwise these nasty birds will quickly relieve you of your sweet treat.
Yep, I’m a fan of the North. My true legacy. But you see, it’s worth it – it’s like walking through a real-life candy world. As if captured in Hänsel & Gretel, eating that gingerbread house. Even if those pictured above are probably a little harder of a nut to crack, Friedrichstadt still makes a good slice of storybook heaven. Between gables and canals, “little Venice” is the cutest destination to finally take out that summer’s dress!
The formation of Heusenstamm is wrapped in historical darkness. Mentioned for the first time in 1211, it was a castle and a village, eventually belonging to the knights of Heusenstamm. What’s left today is a cute little place noone knows. 25 minutes of a train ride from Frankfurt, it makes an ideal day destination, getting away from the big city vibe and lost in those cobbled streets. Of which there are about three, so even hopeless navigators will find their way.
Alright, as far as fairytale towns go, this is the cherry on top of Germany’s (seriously staggering) Schwarzwälderkirschtorte. And if you haven’t had Black Forest Cake, you haven’t been to Germany. But while Rothenburg (don’t forget the ‘ob der Tauber’, or you end up on an endless scavenger hunt through the entire country discovering all the other Rothenburgs) hardly is a secret anymore, its medieval charm will still make you click that camera non-stop. Heaps of cute lil cafés and bars along the way to let you and your electric devices cool down.
Photo: Sven Teschke [CC BY-SA 3.0 de], via Wikimedia Commons
I like those small quirky places. Everyone has been to Heidelberg, Dresden, Konstanz, Rothenburg. But when I stumbled through this lil gem (I literally tripped over my bike cause I was looking everywhere but the street in front of me), I couldn’t help stay longer than I intended, taking in this timbered charm while enjoying that well-deserved Weizenbier. The cobbled streets are lined with cafés that invite you to stay for a second and third round, and all the cute little water fountains along the way help staying hydrated. Can it get any better?
Photo: Pelz [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Magnificently decorated houses have long caused Mittenwald to be celebrated as one of the most beautiful towns in the Bavarian Alps. It doesn’t really get more romantic. Painted facades, ornately carved gables, and the famous 17th century violins made here… Combined with mountain panorama and home-made cake. Like, is this even real?
Famous for its towering romantic 11th century castle, this idyllic riverside town basically comes straight out of a fairytale. Not only good for a chilled glass of amber brew, but a fine stop during your Mosel River valley tour, one of Germany’s best wine regions. Regional cuisine and postcard-like photo opportunities at every crooked corner will make you want to stay and stay and turn your tummy and SD card equally happy’n’full. A nice alternative to more commercial places along the nearby Rhine!
Photo: Berthold Werner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
If famous Rothenburg along the Romantic Road is too much for you, then you’ll definitely fall in love with Dinkelsbühl! All the charm without all the elbowing people fighting for that same perfect photo. A quirky little place in Bavaria with half-timbered buildings, window boxes galore, and announced Germany’s most beautiful old town – the buildings dating back up to the 8th century are really immaculately preserved.
Photo: Kora27 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Füssen is just incredibly beautiful! It marks the end of the above mentioned Romantic Road. Combines mountain panorama with lake scenery. Your camera is going to be working overtime here for sure. Outdoor activities, nature, culture, and an incredibly romantic old town – you can easily participate in a plethora of activities, or simply feast on German food and drink. And Neuschwanstein Castle, just the Walt Disney Castle in real, is just around the corner.
This cute little town in the Harz mountains has luckily been mostly spared from the ravages of WWII and still evokes Middle Ages, considering the 1.600 half-timbered buildings – more than any other town in the country! The perfect place to get lost in narrow cobblestone streets snaking their way through those preserved pieces of history. Quedlinburg has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been ruled by aristocratic women for 800 years as a semi-independet state – cool!
In the mood for some lake scenery? Lindau at Lake Constance will serve you just right. Like a fantasy of what a charming Bavarian lakeside village should look like. Only it’s real. Chill at one of the plenty cafés along the shore and enjoy overlooking the Alps in the distance. I mean, if you’re gaze is not glued to the diverse architecture of the town itself. If all this gets too exhausting, the lake makes for a refreshing swim, and plenty of possibilities for boat or hiking trips allow you to catch some nature breath. Check out Bregenz and hike up until you get a view of the lake!
St. Sebastian’s Church (yep, the one above) is one of the most common pictures blazing from the covers of German brochures and guidebooks. Looking for a quaint, alpine village to spend your days? Look no further! Have your well-deserved time-out. Or not. And instead go swimming, skiing, hiking, star-gazing, whatever you feel like. And yeah, seriously, that church looks beautiful and straight out of a fairytale no matter how many filters that photo has. Grab a take-away beer, sit there on the riverside, feet dangling into the fresh water, and think about how life could get any better…
Photo: Sciarinen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Here we go again, another UNESCO World Heritage Site! Well. As you know already, we folks are not only good with beer, but got some pretty decent wine in our basements. Rüdesheim is one of the most popular Rhine Valley’s wine towns, set along the edge of the mighty river, and famous for the Drosselgasse (yep, above) – lined with half-timbered buildings, cozy restaurants and wine taverns. This is where the music plays and never ends!
Photo: Frans Berkelaar [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Monschau is that Medieval town in the Eifel where old meets new – and one of the best places to get some prime-time people-watching seats at a street-side café. Experience German culture while sipping your Weizenbier, watch everyday life happen before your eyes, and have your camera ready to snap some shots of the different architectural styles! And if you’re now finally fed up to your back teeth with all that half-timber, there are more than 350 exciting hiking trails feeding your adventure spirit instead (don’t asked me who counted them).
So. Germany’s pretty. Took me some traveling around the world to actually realize that. But still, everything’s even prettier with that glass of cold amber brew.
Got something to add? Drop me a line 🙂