Germany Favorite Tips by Paul2001
Germany Favorites: 553 reviews and 476 photos
Favorite thing: Germany has many great medieval cities and towns. Out of the lot Regensburg is probably the best preserved large town. This is because by a stroke of luck it suffered very little of the damaged the Second World War inflicted upon other German cities such as Wursburg and Nuremburg. Regensburg situation on the Danube River and its many centuries old building gives it a majestic feel that only a few cities of similar size can compare too. So highly thought of is Regensburg, that in July 2006 it placed on the World Heritage List for it's historical and cultural signifiance.
Fondest memory: There is such a large array of medieval structures in Regensburg to visit that it can easily take a couple of days to see them. In this photograph you can see Regensburg magnificant St Peter's Cathedral and the oldest stone bridge(dating from the 12th century) in Germany.
Costumed townfolk, Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Favorite thing: Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the most touristed small towns in all of Europe let alone Germany. This is because it is reputedly the best preserved town in Europe. Hence it seems to be overloaded with the bus tour crowd which will not make your journey here very peaceful. Still I recommend that you do come and visit because it is as close as you can get to getting how medieval Europe looked.
The town itself has a very dramatic setting as it sits on a rocky escarpment over the River Tauber. Battlements were strategically placed along the escarpment to protect the town from invaders. Like alot of well preserved towns in Europe its owes its lack of development of modern architecture for the fact that like Brugge and Siena it fell onto economic decline. Hence there was little in the way of new building over the years. It started to become a tourist attraction in the 19th century when travelers fell in love with its uniqueness. Rothenburg ob der Tauber does not have many must-sees other than a few small but interesting museums. However it does have a very interesting atmosphere because of the abundance of medieval architecture.
Fondest memory: I visited Rothenburg ob der Tauber on daytrip from Nuremberg. This was probably a mistake as it was a 2.5 hours train journey to the town. I recommend by way of hindsight that you stay in the town itself or from Wurzburg which is 60km to the north.
I excepted that the town would be over touristed and I was right. However much to my surprise there was some sort of historical festival going on in the town when I arrived. Many of the townsfolk where dressed up in period costume and partaking in demonstrations of historical life in the town including a mock trial of a woman for adultry. There were also many dancers and musicans playing medieval instruments. One dancer dressed as a hag kissed me not once but twice and then discarded her mask to reveal that she was actually quite attractive. It was all lots of fun and surprisinly inexpensive with regards to food and beverages. I hated tearing myself away from it all and returning to Nuremberg.
Castle on the shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee)
Favorite thing: An array of ferries cruiseships ply their way up and down the banks of Lake Constance. I highly recommend that you take one because I found it to be both relaxing and visually splendid experience. These cruiseships make their way from port to port many of which are important tourist centres were you can stop for a couple of hours to explore the sites.
Because of the awkward scheduling of the cruiseboat, I actually took a bus to Friedrichshafen from Lindau where I was based and caught the boat there. From I cruised to Meersburg and the Unterukldingen Lake Dwellings Open Air Museum. Along the way you can see numerous castles along the banks of the lake, some of which have been turned into hotels. The one problem that I had with the cruiseboats is that the schedules cannot fit into a itinerary that will allow you to see everything that is worth seeing on the shores of the Bodensee hence you should consider making more than one trip.
Castle on the Rhine
Favorite thing: Probably one of my favourite experiences in Germany was my Rhine cruise. For most people such a journey means traveling by boat from the town of Bingen down river to the city of Koblenz. It is much more practical to take the route in this direction as because the Rhine has a strong current, a trip in the opposite direction is more time consuming. Knowing this in advance, I took the train from Koblenz, where I was staying, a picked up the boat in Bingen(a mildly interesting town). The cruise from Bingen to Koblenz takes about three hours. This journey is made through the stunning Rhine gorge. A guide on my boat gave out information on each sight in English as we passed them along the river.
Fondest memory: The scenery along the wooded gorge is fantastic. You pass picturesque little towns on the river banks and awesome castles that sit high on the slopes of the gorge. It is possible to hop of the boat at anytime as I did at St. Goar and visit the towns and castles. Transportation up and down the river is plentiful with ferries, trains and buses running frequently. The only problem I had with my journey was that it heavy rain I experienced once I reached St. Goar.
I have included more pictures of my cruise up the Rhine in a travelogue section.
Lindau with the Mangturn in the Foreground.
Favorite thing: Lindau is a superb base for those wishing to tour the region around the Bodensee. The town itself sits on a small island just of the shoreline of the Bodensee. It is connected to the mainland by a causeway by which trains and buses reach the island.
The town has numerous sights that are worth visiting such as the Mangturn, the Altes Rathaus (the old town hall) and the regional museum.
I highly recommend that if you visit Lindau that you book your hotel room in advance. I managed to get the last room available in town by way of the tourist office.
Fondest memory: The harbour is a great place to stroll around and relax while watching the cruise ships stream in and out.
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