Category Archives: Germany

Beyond Oktoberfest and Hofbrauhaus: Festivals and Beer in Bavaria Germany

Germany is well-known for its beer culture with Munich being home to the long-running Oktoberfest and the world-famous Hofbräuhaus beer hall, both of which attract millions of beer-guzzling tourists each year. However, attending Oktoberfest is not the only way to join in on some sudsy Bavarian fun and there are plenty of other German festivals and ways to experience beer in Bavaria. Hofbräuhaus is the world’s most famous beer hall and one of the oldest beer halls in Germany, regularly packed with rowdy tourists (and brave locals) throughout the year. A pilgrimage to the Hofbräuhaus is worth it, but we suggest that there is more to experience at this famous site than simply drinking beer and eating sausage and we’ll share how you can learn more about the beer culture in Germany here. To get away from the tourists, we suggest that in addition to the popular Hofbräuhaus that you also seek out some Read the Rest…

Our Favorite Castle in Germany: The Mighty Burg Eltz

Burg Eltz best German castle castles in Germany Mosel River

Burg Eltz is the German castle that has impressed us the most and currently holds the title as our favorite castle in Germany. Even in a region where it is almost impossible to not stumble over some ruined castle, this castle really stands out. Burg Eltz sits in a forested green valley alongside the babbling Elzbach Creek in the Mosel Valley, hidden away from the traffic of the main roads. Walking up (or down) to this magnificent castle provides for a really knockout view, as it looks today much as it did in 1540 when the last major part of the castle was built. Unlike the vast majority of castles along the Mosel and Rhine Rivers, this was one of the few that was not destroyed or badly damaged. Its history is quite fascinating as it has been owned within the same family since at least the 12th century and continues Read the Rest…

The Tiny Town of Beilstein Germany: The Sleeping Beauty Along the Mosel River

Beilstein Germany Moselle River Mosel River Cochem Haus Lippman

Beilstein Germany is a tiny town sitting along the peaceful Moselle River (a.k.a. Mosel River in English). Beginning in France, the Moselle River enters Germany near Trier and meanders to Koblenz where it flows into the mighty Rhine River. While not nearly as popular as the Rhine Valley, the Moselle River Valley is a delightful place to visit as both sides of the river are dotted with castles, vineyards, and cute little villages. We sadly only had two days to explore this area, and we chose to stay in Beilstein, known as the “Sleeping Beauty of the Moselle” because of its historic inaccessibility and beautiful setting. We’ll tell you about our explorations in Beilstein, share some tips on getting there, and give you some pros and cons of staying there versus the picturesque and popular Moselle town of Cochem. Basic Information on Beilstein Germany Beilstein is located along the Moselle Read the Rest…

A Visit to the Impressive Gothic Köln Cathedral in Germany

Köln Cathedral Dom Cologne Cathedral church in Germany

Dominating the skyline of Köln (a.k.a. Cologne in English) in Germany, the Köln Cathedral is one of the few structures that remained standing after the vast majority of the city was flattened by aerial bombs during World War II. While construction of this gargantuan Gothic church begun in 1248, the building (including what is today much of the façade) was not actually completed until around 1880 due to a series of wars and lack of funds. Standing in front of this immense and powerful Gothic church is enough to make anyone feel like a tiny church mouse. Given its status as Germany’s largest Gothic church, designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and being a long-held important stop on the Roman Catholic pilgrimage route, it is not surprising that Köln Cathedral is the most visited landmark in all of Germany. We’ll share all the basic information you need to visit Read the Rest…

Getting Naked in Germany: Relaxing at the Friedrichsbad Baths in Baden-Baden

Friedrichsbad baths in Baden Baden naked spa irish roman bath Baden-Baden

The Friedrichsbad Baths, located in Baden-Baden Germany, is an elegant bathing complex that originally opened in 1877 as one of the most modern bathing establishments in Europe. Originally catering to European aristocracy, this beautiful neo-Renaissance style bathing house is still open to all looking to soak in the curative mineral waters or just enjoy a quiet few hours of relaxation. Sitting upon the ruins of baths used by Roman generals, those who visit Friedrichsbad will follow a 17-step Irish-Roman bathing ritual that includes a sequence of hot air baths, steam rooms, showers, pools, and optional massages. Perhaps the best part is that your 2-3 hours here are spent within a steamy haze of marble, brass, colorful titles, and majestic domes. Friedrichsbad is also the place where Ethan and I got up the courage to go completely nude in a co-ed place for the first time. Interested in visiting or just hearing Read the Rest…

Philosophers’ Walk in Heidelberg, Germany

Philosophenweg Philosophers Walk in Heidelberg Philosophers' Way Heidelberg Germany

The Philosophers Walk in Heidelberg, or the Philosophenweg, is a path located on the northern banks of the Neckar River in Heidelberg, Germany. Historically, this was just a simple rough path through the vineyards; however, it would later be renamed Philosophenweg during the Romantic Period because of the many professors and philosophers of Heidelberg who enjoyed the path for its solitude, natural beauty, and great views of the town. Today, this path is still there, complete with gardens and informational plaques, offering lovely views of the Neckar River, Old Town of Heidelberg, and Heidelberg Castle. These views of Heidelberg from along this path are said to have inspired the famous German poets Joseph von Eichendorff and Friedrich Hölderlin in their writings. On our recent trip to Germany, we stopped in Heidelberg specifically to see the views along this path and see if we could indeed find some of that solitude and beauty Read the Rest…

A Guide to Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Planning a Perfect Day in Rothenburg Germany

best things to do Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a cute medieval town in Germany that is the perfect place to spend a day or two. Rothenburg has a lot to offer visitors, including photo-perfect medieval views, tons of shopping, a few interesting museums, a spectacular 500-year-old wood carving, and one of the funniest one-hour walking tours in Germany. Rothenburg is also the place to go if you want to get into the Christmas spirit as it hosts one of the most popular Christmas markets in the world. So if you are planning a trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, we’ll provide you with a good general guide of how to plan a day in Rothenburg, give you our top seven things to do in Rothenburg, and provide tips based on our own visit to Rothenburg. Basic Information about Rothenburg ob der Tauber How to Get Here? You can arrive and depart via car, Read the Rest…

Burg Stahleck in Bacharach, Germany: A Castle Stay at Hostel Prices

Jugendherberge Burg Stahleck in Bacharach, Germany

Our first stay in a hostel was at Jugendherberge Burg Stahleck in Bacharach, Germany along the Rhine River. Not only was it our first hostel stay, it was also our first time sleeping in a castle! That’s right, Burg Stahleck is a 12th-century castle that has been converted into a hostel with over 150 beds. It sits on a hill overlooking the small picturesque German town of Bacharach along the Rhine River. The exterior is all castle, but the interior is all hostel. A castle stay at hostel prices, what could be wrong with that? If you are interested in a stay at Jugendherberge Burg Stahleck or just plan to stop by for a drink to take in the view, we’ll give you the details on how to find the castle, how to book a stay, and share our experiences of spending two nights at this castle hostel located in Read the Rest…

The McRib in Germany

McDonald's McRib in Germany sandwich

Did you know that Germany happens to be the only country that serves the McDonald’s McRib sandwich year round? I bet that interesting fact about the McRib in Germany isn’t in your guidebook! For those of you who don’t know, a McRib consists of a boneless pork patty, barbecue sauce, onions, and pickles served on a long roll that was first introduced by McDonald’s in the 1980’s, but didn’t become part of the permanent menu. McRib sandwiches have a legendary cult following in the United States and the sandwich often appears suddenly on menus to then disappear again with similar gusto with no word on its return. There have been many “Farewell McRib” tours and even a “Save the McRib” campaign, but so far the McRib keeps coming back. While the McRib (and its variations such as a chicken McRib) have made appearances on menus around the world, I believe Read the Rest…

A Guide to Shopping in Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Best Souvenirs from Rothenburg Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber Rothenburg Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a shopping mecca for many visitors to Germany, and we want to share some of our favorite souvenir ideas from our time in Rothenburg. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a small medieval town along Germany’s Romantic Road. The little town offers picture perfect medieval views, but it can also be overrun with hordes of tourists, especially in December and during the Summer months. While there are a number of interesting sights and activities in Rothenburg that should not be missed, this post will focus  on shopping in Rothenburg. In all honestly, neither Ethan nor I are big shoppers when we travel, but we happened to be in Germany at the same time as two loved one’s birthdays and a wedding so we ended up needing to do a bit of shopping during our time in Rothenburg. During our hunt for some perfect gifts, we discovered a Read the Rest…

Bavarian Castle Pass: Is Buying the Bavaria Palace Pass a Good Deal for you?

Bavarian Castle Pass

If your next trip to Germany is going to include spending some time in Bavaria, you may want to consider purchasing the Bavarian Castle Pass (also known as the Bavarian Palace Pass or the Bayern Schloss Pass).  These passes sold by the Bavarian Palace Department cover the admission to over 40 palaces, castles, and other sites within the region of Bavaria. This article will provide you with all the information you need to know about the sites covered by the Bavarian Castle Pass, the different types of passes, how to buy the passes, and how to decide whether or not this would be a good deal for you or not. We’ll also share our personal experience of buying and using the Bavarian Castle Pass. What Castles and Palaces are Included in the Bavarian Castle Pass? Currently, free admission to over 40 palaces, fortresses, castles, and other sites is granted to Read the Rest…

Munich Greeter Program: Explore Munich with a Free Local Tour Guide

Munich Greeter Program

Have you heard of the Munich Greeter Program? If you are planning a trip to Munich, you should definitely check out this program which matches new visitors to the city with a local greeter that will accompany them on a walking tour of the city. Greeters are local people who are passionate about their city and volunteer their time to show visitors an in-depth look at their favorite area of Munich. The idea for the Munich Greeter Program came from a similar program that was first started in New York City, and now many cities worldwide offer these types of volunteer walking tour programs to provide guests with a friendly introduction to their city. We were just in Munich for the first time in May and we used this program to become better acquainted with the city and to be able to get insights from a friendly local. This article Read the Rest…