Germany: one of the most culturally-famous, economically advanced, frequently-visited countries in the world. From great beer to pretzels and sausages, Germany has cranked out some really popular foods over the centuries! I have traveled all around Germany, and there are so many places in this country to fall in love with. The cultures in the northern and southern parts of the country are strikingly different, yet equally beautifully and fun. This post will list the 5 best cities to visit in Germany in 2022.
If you are looking for a majestic city that dates back to the Roman Empire, Cologne is one that you don’t want to miss. As one of the formerly most important cities in the northern part of the Roman Empire, Cologne has some really cool and unique architectural masterpieces to check out. Of course, the most iconic structure in Cologne is its cathedral, the Kölner Dom, which has been gracing postcards for centuries.
Cologne is located along the Rhine River, which has made it a commercial hub since its founding centuries ago. You’ll find great dining, accommodations, shopping, and history – including a former KBG operation center. For the full inside scoop on Cologne, be sure to check out my Cologne travel guide, which has all that you need to know to plan a trip to Cologne.
Hamburg is Germany’s second biggest city and one that certainly belongs on this list. Its growth and significance can largely be attributed to its massive port at the mouth of the River Elbe, and its fame among tourists can be attributed to the gorgeous architecture and fun activities that have sprung up all around the city. From traditional areas like the port to newer, hipper areas like Hafencity, Hamburg has a lot going on that can appeal to just about anyone.
Since World War II, Hamburg has done a really great job of reinventing itself simply as a cool place to be. There are a lot of young people in this city, and their presence has helped to make Hamburg a really trendy place to visit and live. The universities in and around Hamburg are some of the best in Germany, too, attracting a very international crowd from every corner of the globe.
3. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
If you’re looking for a dose of quaint and adorable, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the place in Germany for you. This small Bavarian city is located just a couple of hours from Munich and is the type of place that can sweep just about anyone off of their feet – especially during the shoulder seasons when the streets aren’t as packed with tourists.
This walled-in city packs a real punch. From great traditional restaurants to an iconic clock tower in the central square, a walk around Rothenburg ob der Tauber instantly launches you back in time. While Rothenburg ob der Tauber probably isn’t big enough to merit its own trip from another country, it makes a great day trip or weekend getaway from nearby cities in Germany or France! If you are visiting another one of Germany’s major cities, a side-trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber is well worth it. If you decide to visit, make sure you read my Rothenburg ob der Tauber travel guide.
Berlin may have just missed out on the top spot on this list, but that doesn’t take away from how cool this place is. Berlin is one of the most unique cities I have visited. Its history as a divided city is plainly on display, and its historical significance from even before the World Wars is very evident. Berlin is the capital of Germany, too, which means it is absolutely stuffed with cool museums and things to do.
From really cool things to see like the Brandenburg Gate to more sad memorials like the Berlin Wall and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin has a little piece of history for everyone. On top of that, the city has grown a really edgy vibe, and its craft beer scene is among the best in the world. Berlin is in many ways a melting pot of all of Germany, making it one of the most well-rounded German cities to visit. For more information on Berlin, make sure to read my Berlin travel guide.
The decision to put Munich at the top of this list was not easy. Berlin gives it a real run for its money, and both are among my favorite cities in the world. What really puts Munich over the top, in my opinion, is its roots in Bavaria. Southern Germany has a really unique and distinct culture, and the architecture is gorgeous. Munich also is the home of Germany’s best soccer team year after year, making this the best city to catch a sporting event in all of Germany.
As the home of Oktoberfest every September, beer is clearly a central point of Bavarian culture. The food, the wide squares and parks, and the traditions that fill this city are as beautiful as they are distinct, and I think Munich is the most unique of Germany’s major cities. If you were to pick one place to visit in Germany, I would recommend that you choose Munich as that place. I think of Munich as the most “traditional” major city in Germany, which means that its unique culture is well-preserved and fully on display. For more information on Munich, be sure to read my Munich travel guide.
Thanks for reading my post on the top 5 best cities to visit in Germany. Hopefully this list helps you plan the best places to visit on your next trip to this culturally diverse European nation. If you have any questions about visiting Germany at all, don’t hesitate to reach out – we’ve got you covered.