Visitors to Germany find vibrant cities with amazing historic architecture, as well as enchanting medieval villages. Germany is romantic with its castles, palaces and abbeys, yet there are also opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors here, strolling the pretty, forested countryside.
Germany tours typically begin and end in the international hub of Frankfurt. This is a city of contrasts: glistening skyscrapers are next to timber-framed buildings, and pubs serving steins of beer down the street from upscale sushi joints. Munich is a quintessential Bavarian city: don't miss the city's most famous beer garden, the Hofbrauhuas. Another important landmark is the New Town Hall with its working carillon (Glockenspiel) dating back to 1908. Nearby is Neuschwanstein Castle, King Ludwig's fairy-tale estate that inspired the design of Disney's Cinderella castles.
To the far north is Hamburg, which has long been an important seaport in Europe; the Fish Market down at the docks has been a place of trade since 1703. In Berlin, see remnants of the Berlin Wall, which divided East and West Berlin from 1961 to 1989; the Checkpoint Charlie museum is absolutely fascinating. A Germany vacation might also include a visit to Cologne, with its absolutely stunning and majestic gothic Cathedral.
The few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are a particularly delightful time to experience holiday traditions and decorations in Germany. That is when you can tour the authentic Christmas Markets found throughout the country. These traditional, open-air markets have a festive air, with locals and visitors coming together in the town square to sample mulled wine, savor gingerbread and shop for hand-made wooden gifts, woolen goods and other treasures. Many Germany tours have special Christmas Market itineraries that focus on these wonderful events.