(1) Neuschwanstein Castle: The most famous of all German castles, this Romanesque Revival palace was built in the late 19th century near the Hohenschwangau village in Bavaria. Neuschwanstein means ‘new swan stone castle’ and it was built as a tribute to the famous German composer Richard Wagner and as a personal refuge for the King Ludwig II. The castle makes extensive use of the then-contemporary architecture. The castle was opened to the public immediately after the death of the king, and today over 1.3 million people visit the castle annually.
(2) Berlin: The German capital is a global focal point for enthusiasts interested in politics, culture and science. With a population of 3.4 million people, it is Germany’s biggest city. About a third of the city is covered with parks, rivers and lakes and it has been the German capital since the 13th century. It is both an ancient and a modern city simultaneously. The liberal lifestyle of Berlin, famous as zeitgeist acts as a magnet when it comes to attracting the young from around the world. The world renowned universities in Berlin are also a major tourist attraction.
(3) The Romantic Road: The term refers to a stretch of a highway in southern Germany between Wurzburg and Fussen. It ranges from the River Main in the north to the Alps in the south. The road passes through many villages and towns and passes by many monuments of immense cultural importance including the world famous Neuschwanstein Castle. Gothic cathedrals and ancient churches are strewn along the road and they are also a major tourist attraction and the farmlands are plenty on the road.
(4) The Black Forest: It is a mountain range bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and the south in the Baden-Wurttemberg state in south-western Germany. The area also includes the town of Calw, the birth-town of the famous German author Hermann Hesse. An open air museum named Schwarzwalder Freilichtmuseum Vogtsbauernhof is also a major tourist attraction. The Black Forest was one of the most important areas during the early years of the age of enlightenment and there is also a famous route which traces the horological history of the region.
(5) Cologne: Also spelled as ‘Köln’, the city is famous for two things: (a) cathedrals and (b) fragrance. The city boasts of a dialect and a style unique to the city itself and this is what makes it so popular a tourist destination. The Cologne Cathedral or Kölner Dom is the biggest building of its type in the whole of Germany and more surprising is the fact that it took over 600 years to complete the construction. This is what makes the cathedral look so imposing.
(6) Heidelberg: It is a city on the Neckar River in Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany and it is a unitary authority. The city’s 100-year-old Bergbahn railway is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. This is followed by Neuenheim Market; the bazaar is great for those who are looking for a real German shopping experience. The narrow streets and other historical building are also major tourist attractions in the city.
(7) The Frisian Islands: Also known as the Wadden Sea Islands or Wadden Islands, they form an archipelago along the mainland coast in German Bight. These islands used to be the homeland of Frisian people and now most of the islands are now natural reserves and are protected areas. Tourism is responsible for a large part of the local GDP; it is estimated that around 70% of the population on the island of Texel (Frisian Islands) is related to the tourism industry in one way or another.
(8) Oktoberfest: It is not a city or a building but the world’s largest festival which attracts more than six million people. It is a sixteen-day festival and it is organised in Munich from late September to early October. The festival was scheduled for the first time in 1994 to commemorate the German reunification and for that reason it is also known as the German Unity Day. It is also estimated that 15% of the participants in the festival are from outside the Germany.
(9) Lake Constance: It is a lake on the Rhine at the northern foot of the Alps and comprises of three bodies of water: Obersee, Untersee and Seerhein. The lake is spread across the boundaries of three nations: Germany, Switzerland and Austria. With the length of 63 km and the width of 14 km, this is Europe’s third largest lake and encompasses an area of 570 square kilometres and forms an important source of fresh water to several cities in Germany.
(10) Dachau: The town is situated in the Upper Bavaria in Southern Germany. Although it has only 40,000 inhabitants but still it is one of the most visited tourist places in Germany. The city was founded in the 8th century and it has gained popularity during the 19th and the 20th century due a number of artists like Ludwig Thoma. A concentration camp built during Hitler’s regime is also a place of historical significance in the city.