As a travel destination, Germany is both overlooked and undersold.
Whole swathes of this diverse, visually-appealing nation are surprisingly unfamiliar to international travellers. Thumb through the travel sections of newspapers and magazines and the same old, same old appear: city-breaks in Berlin, Munich’s Oktoberfest, the Black Forest, Rhine cruises, Christmas markets, and that’s about it. It seems that, to most of us, Germany is a cliché. Beer and autobahns, oompah bands and Wurst.
It is as if the rest of Germany didn’t exist.
And yet Europe’s third-largest and most populous country has some of its most immaculately preserved towns and cities, some of its finest hotel accommodation, and some of its most stunning scenery, all the way from the silken sandy beaches along the Baltic Coast in the north to the snow-capped mountains of the Bavarian Alps in the south, via a plethora of vineyards (around the Rhine and the Moselle), dreamy orchards (Altes Land, by Hamburg), sumptuous farmland (the Allgäu), intricate lakeland (Mecklenburg) and immaculate semi-medieval towns and villages (along the Romantic Road).
Its cycle routes are unbeatable, its hiking trails supremely organized, and it has a selection of Europe’s greatest rivers in the Rhine, the Elbe and the Danube.
Its people are hospitable and honest, its food is hearty and healthy, its transport infrastructure is fast and easy to comprehend, and it is almost invariably good value, in shops, in hotels, in restaurants.
Parts of it feel like the Netherlands, but without the overcrowding. Parts of it feel like Italy, but without the noisy Vespas. There’s bits of it that could well be France, without the language barrier, and other bits that could equally be in Switzerland, but without the exorbitant prices.
So what’s not to like?
An advent calendar of tourism gems
The idea of this website is to lift the lid on a selection of treasures in Europe’s fourth-most visited nation (after Spain, France and Italy). Or else think of it as a sort of advent calendar of tourism gems, where behind each window is a destination, or a travel idea, that we think is worthy of your attention.
Our selection of inspirations and destinations is as broad as the nation itself and includes everything from great cycle trails to antique paddlesteamers, from factory visits to sandy islands, from brewery hotels to castles and mountain huts. Some may be relatively mainstream – for we like clichés, too – while others are hand-crafted and unique. Some may be enough to justify a complete visit; some may just be a side-trip while you’re in the region, but they’ve all been hand-selected by us for being truly Wunderbar!
So find something you think sounds interesting, read what we say about it, and make your plans accordingly. We’re sure you’ll discover that Germany is Wunderbar!, too.