Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How Shorter Germany Tours Will Help You Enjoy The Best Of The Country

By Janine Hughes

Western Europe is a paradise for sightseeing. It's bursting with history, fascinating cultures and good food. Best of all is that it's a compact region and some countries can be fully explored in a week or so. Germany, however, requires some time. To truly enjoy its magic, it's a good idea to opt for a variety of short Germany tours.

It's impossible to really experience the fascinating German cities, landscape, history, culture and food in only two weeks. It's best to decide on what you'd like to focus on rather than trying to spend only a day at a destination and then go to the next one. By enjoying the country one bit at a time, you really get to experience all the magic it has to offer.

If you can visit only one place in Germany, let it be the capital. Berlin is one of the world's most magical cities, with plenty of interesting sights, including the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, a huge variety of museums and the remnants of the Berlin Wall. It's best to visit Berlin in summer, when you can explore by bicycle or on foot and when the city is at its most pleasant. This way you can also enjoy the many outdoor festivals held in various city parks.

There are many other cities that are simply must-sees too. Bonn, which used to be the West German capital, is also known as the birthplace of the composer Beethoven. Hamburg has one of the world's busiest harbors. Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart, Cologne and Bremen each has its own character too.

Of course there's more to the country than its cities. In spring or summer, take long hikes in the Black Forest or go rowing on the lakes of the south. When temperatures drop, grab your skiing gear and go to the ski resorts of the Bavarian Alps.

A cruise on the Rhine is a wonderful way to appreciate the countryside. It takes you from the mountainous south to the north, where the land is flat. Along the coast you'll be able to enjoy the beaches and take a dip in the North Sea in the west or the Baltic Sea in the east.

You may also opt for a tour with a theme. For instance, take a wine tour in the Rhineland, where you'll find world-famous vineyards. In the south, the so-called Romantic Road is for you if you want to be transported to a fairytale world with beautiful castles, among them the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle. If you visit the country in late September, the place to be is Munich, when it's Oktoberfest.

There are different ways to find a tour that will be to your liking. Most short tours and day trips can be booked once you're in the region. For boat cruises on the Rhine or an Oktoberfest trip, however, it's best to book online well in advance.

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