Deutschland, the home of Bratwurst, Oktoberfest, beer, beer and more beer, cuckoo clocks and lederhosen. While all these things are well known and obvious stereotypes when it comes to Germany – This country certainly has much more to offer. Yes, Germany isn’t just for the rowdiest of travellers wanting to experience Oktoberfest or the nightlife of Berlin. There is more to this magnificent country than just cities and vast landscapes. During my recent trip to Europe with Scenic River cruises I was lucky enough to experience another side of Germany, the side that seems as though it was ripped right out of a children’s storybook.
Rudesheim quickly became my favourite German town of them all. It is located on the Rhine river just an hour away from the major city of Frankfurt. This little town has been blessed with the best views of the Rhine (In my opinion.) Rudesheim is such a quirky little town and is well known for it’s famous wine, Riesling – which means you can expect lots of wine tasting! When you travel here opt to take the cable cars up the mountain, from here you can peer across the vinyards and look over the gorgeous Rhine Valley.
Nuremberg doesn’t look like a great deal from the outside, but inside the walls you will find something magnificent. This city is rich in history, being the place of Nuremberg trials in world war 2. It was a major propaganda capital for the Nazi’s and played a massive role in the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler. I would recommend part taking in a world war 2 tour to learn all about the history of Nuremberg. I will warn you that at first site Nuremberg looks like a massive industrial city – nothing like a story book, but in the middle of this industrial city they have done their best to keep in check the old town, which lies behind city walls- It is like an instant step back in time. Interestingly, locals have made it their mission here to use all the sites originally built for the Nazi’s (eg. the rally ground.) for the complete opposite purpose to which they were built, having music festivals and car races there each year to bring joy rather than sadness and to remind everyone that these events will never occur again. Unfortunately the majority of Nuremberg was bombed in world war 2 but you can certainly still find some hidden beauty.
I would consider Rothenburg to be the heart of all of Germany’s fairy tale towns -The gorgeous town of Rothenburg, located along the romantic road and possibly the most Fairy Tale like town of them all. It is often recognised as one of Germany’s greatest medieval towns. It is definitely already on most tourist’s radar, and so while you probably won’t be able to live like a local here, it’s certainly worth a visit to see sights like these.
Bamberg, another gem on Germany’s already extremely bedazzled crown. I travelled here on a Sunday which in future I wouldn’t do again – unlike many major cities, the majority of towns across Germany are completely closed an Sundays (Which is the way I think it should be.) Bamberg has a large abundance of markets and food stalls throughout, many along the river, and if you take a walk up a steep hill past the Cathedral you will find a gorgeous rose garden, a tiny cafe, and an unbeatable view.
Cologne was one of many German towns destroyed by the bombings in world war 2 – and while almost the entirety of Cologne has had to be rebuilt to modern standards, there are still some hidden gems you will discover if you have the time. The Cathedral in Cologne is one of the largest in the world and took over 300 years to build – in here is said to lie the bones of the three wise men (Although apparently there are four bodies in there.) – once a year they celebrate wise men day. The Cathedral is one that will absolutely blow your mind, It is hundreds of years old and yet it has a modern art stain glass window. It really is a gem.
This darling town is not only beautiful for the photographer and fairy tale lover in you, but also the shopper! This little town has all your high end shopping outlets and if i do say so myself – I did splurge a little. You can walk around this Regensburg in approximately 15 minutes but I would budget yourself at least a day here to really experience it.
All of these towns look even better in person, I was able to travel to all of these seamlessly on a Scenic River cruise, with all tours included – all I had to worry about was getting up in the morning and enjoying my holiday. If you would like to experience these Fairy Tale towns for yourself, check out Scenic’s website or contact myself for more information.