Say auf wiedersehen to your guidebooks, some of the most interesting sights in Germany aren’t on the mainstream tourist radar. From urban waterfalls and inner-city oases to underground museums and local libations, here are just a few of the hidden gems waiting to be discovered during your next German holiday.
Berlin with a View (and a waterfall!)
Berlin is many things; hilly is not one of them. So finding a spot with a nice view out over the city is no easy feat. If you’re not up for spending hours in line to get up to the observation deck of Fernsehturm or the roof terrace at the futuristic Reichstag Building, we have the perfect option for you. Head to the trendy Kreuzberg district and pay a visit Viktoriapark. This green space is actually the highest natural elevation in Berlin, making it the perfect spot for a picnic watching the sun set over the city below. The best view can be found at the Prussian National monument for the Liberation Wars in the southern edge of the park, a towering structure with a waterfall cascading from its base.
Tour the Mines Under Munich
The German Museum (Deutsches Museum) in Munich is hardly an off-the-beaten path tourist attraction, but you might be surprised when you find out what is hiding below the surface. The Mining Exhibition is a 400-metre long journey through Germany’s mining history that takes you deep below the city. You’ll walk through recreations of actual mining environments, complete with miners, split over three levels connected by sloping ramps and narrow staircases leading you down 35-metres below street level.
Hamburg’s Green Oasis
Hamburg is said to be the “new Berlin”, with a hip and funky vibe that has it moving up the list of must-visit cities in Europe. But, smack dab in the centre of the street art strewn facades and brick-clad buildings of this German city is a flowery oasis that provides the perfect escape from the urban hustle and bustle. Planten un Blomen is a flora-filled cultural mash-up where you can sit under the shade of a Mediterranean fig tree or sip an herbal delight at a Japanese tea house. Exotic plants are in full bloom all around this picturesque park, which even boasts an ice-skating rink during the winter months.
The World’s Largest Wine Barrel in Heidelberg
A small town in the heart of Germany’s Black Forest, Heidelberg is definitely worth a visit. It boasts a beautiful old town filled with colourful Baroque-era houses that give it a characteristically whimsical alpine feel. One of the most famous buildings, however, is the Heidelberg Castle. Now in ruins, it was once the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. The castle is also home to the Tun, the world’s biggest wine barrel, built in 1751, which holds a dizzying 220,000 litres of wine.
An In-Cider Tip for Frankfurt
Beer is to Germany as wine is to France. It is the fuel that keeps this country going, and you’re sure to enjoy a stein or five during your travels across the country. However, if you want to drink like a local in Frankfurt, it’s the regional version of apple cider called ebbelwoi, served from the traditional blue and grey stoneware jug, that should be filling your glass. And, to get some of the best ebbelwoi in the city, head to the Frankfurt’s cider street, Sachsenhausen. Lined with kneipen (taverns), make sure to pop into a couple to enjoy a refreshing drink with the after-work crowd.
Our Travel Directors have many more hidden gems they’d love to share with you. Uncover them all on our Germany holidays.