I’ve never been anywhere in Europe, but my top destination is Germany.
In terms of historic fiction, books that take place during the Third Reich are my favourite. There is something very intriguing about Nazism and to this day, it still blows my mind how Hitler and Goebbels was able to manipulate a country of mass audiences into genocide consent through propaganda- which is, in my eyes, a corrupted and evil rendition of marketing or messaging.
So this is where my fascination with Germany begins, but the country itself is subject to many beautiful wonders, and over the years, I’ve compiled a list of places I want to visit and things I want to do when I get the chance to fly there.
1. Walk through the Holocaust Memorial (Berlin)
The memorial is designed by architect Peter Eisenmann with concrete slabs arranged into a grid structure, attached to an underground “Place of Information”, where visitors can learn more about the holocaust victims. The concrete squares are supposed to get higher as you walk deeper in, and according to Eisenmann, it is supposed to represent “an ordered system that lost touch with human reason”.
It may be strange because I nor my family have any connection to the holocaust, but I feel as if this is a place I need to go to.
2. Celebrate Oktoberfest and buy a beer at Hofbrauhaus (Munich)
Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival celebrating (mostly) beer! Festivals often involve tents, amusement park rides, and waitresses who can carry 15 German beer mugs in one trip. Hofbrauhaus is one of Munich’s oldest beer halls, established in 1589.
3. Take a photo in front of the Brandenburg Gate (Berlin)
The Brandenburg Gate is the only surviving gate of Berlin and used to be the site for protests during the split of Germany, as well as a site for celebration when the wall came down in 1989.
This is one of those “you gotta” tourist attractions. It’ll be fun to include all the other tourists taking the same photo as me.
4. Visit all 5 museums at Museum Island + the Cathedral (Berlin)
Museum Island includes:
- Altes Museum: Greek and Roman artifacts
- Neues Museum: 19th century paintings and sculptures
- Alte Nationalgalerie: prehistoric pieces and Egyptian art
- Bode Museum: Greek and Babylonian antiquities
- Pergamon Museum: sculptures, numismatic collections, paintings
5. Take a photo of the East Side Gallery (Berlin)
Generally, I must walk along the Berlin Wall (or take a segway tour if I think I’m cool enough to pull it off), but I specifically would like to see the East Side Gallery, which is a stretch of the wall that showcases graffiti art.
6. Hike the Heimgarten/Herzogstand (by Munich)
One of my upcoming travel goals is to complete a day hike every time I go to a new country. The Heimgarten/Herzogstand hike is 4-5 hours (1200m up, 400m down) and apparently, it is “easily accessible” from Munich.
7. Eat a “real german pretzel” (anywhere?)
Let me try the real deal here. I will find the most authentic-looking street vendor… or just the closest one.
8. Try a Wiener Schnitzel (also anywhere?)
A Wiener Schnitzel is meat flattened and then covered with flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs and fried in a pan. This is apparently a “must-try”, so even though I am not the biggest fan of veal, I’ll give it a shot. Throw in some German sausages too – any of them – and I think I’m good to go.
9. Visit Rothenburg and Harburg along the Romantic Road (Munich)
In my dream world, I’d be fit enough to do a cycling tour of Romantic Road, but I guess I’ll just have to settle for visiting some of the major stops in this fairy-tale world. Rothenburg looks like it might be even better in the winter when there’s snow.
10. Go shopping and sit in a cafe in Heidelberg Altstadt (Heidelberg)
Heidelberger Altstadt is an old town below the Heidelberg Castle with many baroque buildings, narrow streets, market squares, shops, restaurants, and pubs. I’d like to go inside a bookstore and also to find a souvenir from the market place.
This is all I have for now, but if you have any other recommendations/tips/advice on things to do and see in Germany, please let me know!