Berlin is on nearly everyone’s list when traveling to Germany. And given the city’s history, art, and feel-good, hip vibe, it’s easy to see why. While places like East Side Gallery, Brandenburg Gate, and Check-Point Charlie draw the biggest crowds, there are also tons of fantastic things to do in Berlin off the beaten path.
If you want a major dose of holiday cheer in December, head to Germany’s Christmas markets. Warm spiced cider, inviting wooden chalets, and twinkling lights will surely ward off your winter blues. And thanks to the country’s excellent public transit system, visiting Christmas markets in Germany by train is easy and efficient.
Have you ever wished to see a fairy tale come to life? To walk through a woodland castle and view everything as it looked nearly 200 years ago? If so, I’ve got just the destination for you! Situated a mere 30 minutes from Cologne, the charming village of Königswinter is home to one of Germany’s best-preserved castles: Castle Drachenburg.
Cologne (Köln in German) has everything you could want in a European city. Rich history, impressive architecture, beautiful parks, delicious pastries, riverfront dining… the list goes on and on. While it was the awe-inspiring Cologne Cathedral that prompted my visit, I enjoyed Cologne’s quieter parks in equal measure. I designed this custom map and itinerary for two days in Cologne to showcase my favorite parts of the city for first-time visitors.