Beer gardens and big city style, yet also provincial and with an alpine backdrop. Dawdle around the Marienplatz, spy all the beautiful people striding around with such purpose, and always retire to one of the many beer houses. Munich is also famous for some obscure beer festival in September and October which nobody is interested in.
Ah, the Rhine. So much has been written and sung about this river and the towns which spread out from its banks. Cologne is a fun-loving city where the locals waste hours sitting in bars and cafes drinking KÃ¶lsch from skinny glasses. Carnival is big here, the twin-spired cathedral world famous, and there’s shopping, shopping, shopping.
‘Mainhattan’ is considered boring, dull, the streets littered with bankers and the skyline dominated by stainless steel skyscrapers. It’s all true, but Frankfurt also has the delightful RÃ¶merberg, the old centre of the city, some excellent museums, some fine bars in Sachsenhausen, and apple wine by the barrel.
They say Americans who travel to Europe visit Paris, Florence, Venice and Heidelberg. The city, beautiful and picturesque in its own right with a romantic castle and a lovely old town, is now embedded in the unconscious of the unimaginative everywhere and thus gets hordes of tourists throughout the year. White buses roll into the city like strings of sausages, spewing out one group after another for a quick 30 minute photo session. The city is breathtaking but almost impossible to enjoy.
Other German Cities
Take your pick: Freiberg, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Dresden, DÃ¼sseldorf, LÃ¼beck, Rostock, Stuttgart, Fulda, and Trier all have something to offer and are worth visiting. It’s always the case that if you travel off the well worn path, you will be rewarded.
Into the German Countryside
The Alps are in the south, but you can also ski and hike in the Harz Mountains and in the Thuringian Forset. There are many fine lakes, including the Lake of Constance and Lake MÃ¼ritz, and a surprising number of white sand beaches along the Baltic Sea coast. To be sure, Germans value their forests and natural areas, so you are never far from a forest to walk in or a lake to swim in.