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While Germany has endless options for exploration and travel, small and beautiful German villages always seem to capture my heart (and my photography!) the most. There is just something about the cobble stone streets, half timbered houses, corner cafes, and the warm “Gemutlichkeit” (a German way of describing something as “cozy” and welcoming) that I can’t seem to get enough of.
Of course, if you ask two people what the most beautiful places in Germany are, you’ll get two different answers because there really are just that many wonderful villages to wander in Germany. However, this list will be a great start if you are wanting to visit some of the prettiest towns in Germany, whether it be for your Instagram account, a leisure day of sightseeing, or to get a taste of local culture.
So, instead of asking 2 people, I asked some of the best travel bloggers who have visited Deutschland, and here is what we think are some of the most beautiful towns in Germany. Here’s what we all had to say.
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One of the cutest small towns you can visit in Germany is Bad Homburg, one of the many spa towns in Germany. About a hundred years ago, the King of Thailand loved coming to this spa town to enjoy the mild climate and natural springs. Today, you will mostly find local tourists here.
Bad Homburg has everything you would expect from a German town. First, there’s the castle. You can find this majestic building sitting on top of a hill, with the park sprawling out underneath it. Make sure to climb to the top of its white tower to enjoy the view over Bad Homburg and the forest surrounding the town.
Next, you should walk to the Old Town. Here, you will see lots of half-timbered houses. The oldest one dates back to 1505, and they are as crooked and charmingly “German” as you’d expect them to be! Over the past decades, a massive restoration project saved them from collapse, so hopefully, they will stay there for many more centuries.
Besides the Old Town, Bad Homburg also consists of a “New Town”, where you can see lots of baroque architecture. From here, you only need to walk a few minutes until you reach the spa gardens that the King of Thailand loved so much.
If you have enough time, you should go and enjoy the spa at the Kaiser-Wilhelms-Bad. If not, stroll through the gardens to find the two pavilions gifted by Thailand. Or admire the Elisabethenbrunnen, the biggest and most majestic fountain in the park. The spring underneath supposedly produces one of the best mineral waters in Germany.
You can find Bad Homburg just 20 minutes away from Frankfurt. Trains connect the spa town regularly with Frankfurt, so if you’re in the area, make sure to come here on a day trip!
Contributed By Daniel and Ilona from Top Travel Sights
If you’re looking for a picturesque small town in Germany, look no further than Triberg in the Black Forest
With a population of only around 5000 people, it has a LOT to offer and the Black Forest with kids is a great holiday. Not only is it a typical German town, with cute wooden clad buildings, colorful houses and so many bars, restaurants, and cafes you could never visit them all, but there are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Germany here as well. And it won’t take you long walking around to know that Triberg is the Cuckoo Clock capital of the world!
3 of our favorite activities in Triberg include:
Seeing The World’s largest Cuckoo clock: This incredible feat of engineering is 2 STOREYS high. Yes- it’s the CUCKOO CLOCK is the size of an actual building. And the clock really does work! You can see the cuckoo and the clock chime and move twice an hour during daylight hours.
Largest Cuckoo Clock address: Schonachbach 27, D – 78098 Triberg
The world’s smallest Cuckoo clock: There are also many (MANY!) other cuckoo clock shops in Triberg and one shop is home to one of the world’s smallest cuckoo clocks. This tiny clock is just 5 inches tall and is rather cute- even if you’re not a fan of cuckoo clocks. It fits easily into the palm of your hand and the replicas make a fantastic souvenir or gift for someone.
Smallest cuckoo clock address: Hauptstraße 8, 78098 Triberg
If you’d rather do something active than look at cuckoo clocks, why not hike around the tallest waterfall in Germany. The Triberg waterfalls are beautiful and the hike is not difficult- suitable for able-bodied adults and children. Entrance shuts at 5pm and costs around 4€
Triberg Waterfalls: Schönwälder Str. 2, 78098 Triberg
After all that hiking (or clock watching!), be sure to visit one of the cafes and try out the local delicacy- black forest gateau cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte). This cake contains black cherries, chocolate sponge, whipped cream and is topped with more cherries! It’s a must on a visit to the Black Forest!
There are plenty of places to stay in the town or nearby, but you could do your visit in a day if you prefer as well.
Contributed by Kat from Wandering Bird
When it comes to charming villages in Germany, Bacharach certainly hits the spot. Situated in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, Bacharach enjoys a picturesque location nestled between the Rhine River and grapevine-covered hillsides.
Regarded as one of the most preserved and best medieval towns in Germany, and described by Victor Hugo as “one of the world’s prettiest towns”, Bacharach has a big reputation to live up to – and it does!
The town, which, as you would have now realized, is chocolate-box perfect. It is a popular stop on Rhine River cruises but it can also be reached by car or train.
Bacharach’s charm comes from not only its cobbled streets and half-timbered buildings but also from its stunning surroundings. With hillsides covered in lush green vines, and the Rhine meandering alongside it, the town boasts a tranquil location to enjoy a day or more.
In the town center you’ll find numerous attractive buildings including Altes Haus, Alte Münze and Posthof. Dating back to 1368, Altes Haus (which translates as the Old House), features a half-timbered facade and pointed roof tower which is typical of the town. It’s now a restaurant serving traditional German cuisine.
Part of the town’s medieval walls still exist, as do a number of the original arched gates that have survived the centuries. It’s from the town walls that you can enjoy wonderful views over Bacharach, the river, and the surrounding vineyards.
To enjoy these panoramic vistas, stroll along the Stadtmauer Rundweg, a walking path on top of the town walls, to get a glimpse of Bacharach’s landmarks. These include Burg Stahleck, a former castle and fortress (which now houses a Youth Hostel), the Werner Chapel – a ruined 13th-century chapel, the pretty Church of St. Peter, and Postenturm (Post Tower) that can be climbed.
As you can see, there are many reasons to visit the charming town of Bacharach.
Contributed by Carolyn of Holidays to Europe
The charming town of Füssen is located deep in the South of Bavaria, at the foothills of a section of the Alps that separates Germany and Austria. This little town is small but mighty and is a picturesque place to visit. It’s a wonderful place to visit year-round, but it has extra charm in the winter months with its fairy light covered cobbled streets.
Fussen has so much to offer, and the most famous attraction here is the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle: the fairytale castle that oozes history and charm. This is probably one of the most famous castles in all of Germany, but be sure to visit early so you can get tickets before it sells out. That’s not the only delight that Fussen has to offer. You can visit Hohenschwangau Castle, which is another beautiful castle located right next to Neuschwanstein or if you crave beautiful scenery, then take the mountain lift up to the stunning Tegelberg mountain and enjoy a coffee or traditional Bavarian beer surrounded by epic views. If you’re feeling brave you can even paraglide over Neuschwanstein off this mountain.
Or if you seek some romance, why not organize a journey down “romantic road”, then dine in one of the charming restaurants located in Fussen’s town center. The restaurants serve up delicious local delights and there are lots of charming bakeries serving fresh pastries and coffee. You can even buy a souvenir from one of the local shops. The great news is that Fussen is easily accessible since it’s a short drive or a direct train ride from Munich which only takes 2 hours and offers beautiful views during the journey.
Contributed By Cazzy from Dream Big, Travel Far
The UNESCO World Heritage portion of the beautiful Romantic Rhine region of Germany definitely should not be missed. There are so many charming towns and beautiful castles on the Rhine River that this area will keep you mesmerized. Just being in the Rhine Valley brings a sense of relaxation and amazement. I mean, you are literally surrounded by castles and vineyards. How amazing is that?
One of the most charming towns in Germany is Assmannshausen. Assmannshausen is a wonderful little town located right on the edge of the Rhine River. This beautiful town is full of half-timbered houses and is renowned for the magnificent wine that is produced here.
While a lot of the Rhine Valley is known for Riesling wine production, Assmannshausen is known for its Red Assmannshausen wine that it produces. The wine production in this town dates back to 1108! The hillsides are covered with beautiful vineyards that produce this amazing red variety. These hillsides have been given the nickname “hell hill” because of this. The Assmannshausen red wine boasts a beautiful ruby color with notes of cherry, blackberry, and a hint of smoke.
In addition to the fabulous wine in Assmannshausen, the area is also famous for the thermal springs that can be found here. These thermal springs are said to be rich in lithium that is said to have many healing properties. These thermal springs draw visitors from all over the world, making Assmannshausen a fabulous spa getaway destination.
Nature lovers will enjoy the many hiking trails in the area, and foodies will be right at home also. Assmannshausen offers many fabulous restaurants and taverns to choose from. Take time to explore the town and see the incredible 12th-century basilica. Also, be sure and ride the chairlift to the top of the hill to see the beautiful vineyards and the town from above.
Contributed By Michelle from That Texas Couple
The town of Gorlitz is most famous for being the filming location of Wes Anderson’s masterpiece The Grand Budapest Hotel. If you know anything about Wes Anderson’s work, that means you know this place is going to be stunning, and most likely pastel.
The town itself is picture-perfect, with cupcake-frosted buildings that more than live up to Anderson’s reputation for perfection. If you want to see a bit more, travel over the river to Zgorzelec, the town in Poland that is Gorlitz’s near twin.
Though Anderson put it on the map, so to speak, this was not the only time a major Hollywood movie was filmed here. Because the old town is so well-preserved, it has also been used as a filming location for recent films like Inglorious Basterds, The Reader, and The Book Thief.
Make sure you spend time enjoying the atmosphere by walking through the town. The city’s highlights include the Gothic St. Peter’s Church and the Silesian Museum.
Gorlitz is located in southeastern Germany on the Polish border in the German state of Saxony. You can stay here for a few days or visit as a day trip from Berlin or Dresden. If you choose to drive, make sure you bring euro coins to pay for the metered parking in the center of town.
Contributed by Stephanie of History Fan Girl
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
The Romantische Straße, otherwise known in English as the Romantic Road is a picturesque 350km route through the dense forests, meadows, and mountains of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in Germany. Of all the quaint towns along this popular road trip route, the most popular and by far the prettiest is Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Known for its fairytale feel, romantic half-timbered houses, and cobbled lanes, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the most visited towns in all of Germany attracting over 2.5 million visitors each year. 1-2 days in Rothenburg for its Christmas Market is NOT to be missed as well!
Although many come to simply admire the town’s charming atmosphere, Rothenburg ob der Tauber isn’t just a pretty backdrop. This small yet lively medieval town in Northern Bavaria boasts a number of interesting and fun things to do. By far the most popular activity is to take a walk along the historic city walls that encompass the old quarter. Climb the narrow stairs at one of the 6 gates and stroll along this old defense system that has no less than four kilometers of trail to discover. Grab a map from the visitor center and choose to walk the entire route or just a small section, either way, you can enjoy beautiful rooftop views over the town.
If heights aren’t your forte, visit a handful of museums, including the German Christmas Museum which is open all year round; the perfect opportunity to purchase some Christmas themed souvenirs or take part in a fun costume guided tour if you plan to stay the night, with the favorite being The Night Watchmen’s tour.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the top day trips from Nuremberg. Therefore, if you want to avoid some of the massive day tripping crowds, it is highly recommended to stay the night to enjoy the town without the throngs of people, which tend to dissipate around 5pm in the evening and arrive in coachloads around 10am. Early morning is the best time to take the iconic photo of the town’s Plönlein corner.
Contributed By Samantha from The Wandering Wanderluster
If your travels take you to southwestern Germany, be sure to stop in Tübingen, a quintessential German university town. While Tübingen makes an easy day or weekend trip from Stuttgart, and you can see a lot of the city in just one day. Spending a night or two in or near the Altstadt (old town) allows you to really get a feel for and take advantage of everything this cute German town and nearby area have to offer.
To get to know the charms of Tübingen I recommend hiking up to the old castle on the hill for amazing views or just wandering the cobblestoned streets and canal-lined pathways, alleys, and stairways all over the Altstadt and along the Neckar river. Pop into local markets and shops in the many colorful historic half-timber buildings and do as the Germans do and stopping for a fancy ice cream creation – and people watching — at an Eiscafe (sit outside if you ca). Going for a stroll along the idyllic tree-lined Platanenallee on the Neckarinsel (some of the trees are over 200 years old!) is always very romantic or taking a peaceful Stocherkähne boat ride on the Neckar. Other favorite things to do in Tübingen is getting coffee or tea in a bustling student café near Eberhard Karls University (try Schwarzes Schaf), and enjoying a leisurely dinner at one of the many fantastic restaurants in or near the Marktplazt (town square).
If you have the opportunity to visit Tübingen in December, I highly recommend timing your visit so you can attend their ChocolART festival! For one week a year, all kinds of chocolate makers descend on Tübingen to share their chocolate creations in a sprawling outdoor market in the picturesque Altstadt.
Tübingen also makes a great home base to explore the area. Whether by car, bus, or train, you can easily visit nearby Bebenhausen Abbey (you can also hike there from Tübingen), Hohenzollern Castle, Lichtenstein Castle, Stuttgart (the capital of Baden-Württemberg), the waterfall and half-timber houses in Bad Urach, and much more.
Contributed by Cate from My Germany Vacation
It’s impossible to leave Cochem and not be completely enchanted by the charming Mosel River town. It’s a beautiful city convenient to many other destinations but best of all, there are all kinds of things to do in Cochem.
Part of the draw to the town is the river itself and how it adds a layer of quaintness to the city. The river is surrounded by steep hills and intricate rows of wine-producing grapes. The landscape is remarkable and the river adds a serene element that pulls you into Cochem from the moment you arrive. It’s no wonder that visitors love to walk along the Mosel Promenade, one of the main walkways along the banks of the river. A Mosel river cruise is also a perfect activity for anyone visiting the city.
The city is rich with history and has a medieval town center and a castle that looms over the city, making it one of the best medieval towns in Germany. One of the best places to explore in Cochem is the Market Square. It’s full of boutiques, cafes with outdoor seating, and a bubbling fountain. It’s a perfect spot to slow down your pace of travel and enjoy a coffee and pastry or even a full meal. Even though it’s a popular tourist spot – you could people-watch in Market Square for hours.
Another reason the city is so wonderful is the history of wine production in the area. They mostly grow white grapes and produce white and rose wines. You’ll find plenty of wine cellars that offer tastings and most have been producing wine in the region for generations – long before wine tourism was even popular.
Another highlight is climbing the hill to Cochem Castle. It offers sweeping views of the river valley and the city below. It also hosts a restaurant so you can extend your gazing and enjoy a meal or glass of local wine from the castle.
Contributed by Derek and Mike of Robe Trotting
Oberammergau is one of the best small towns in Germany, located in the Ammergau Alps in Bavaria and is world-famous for the centuries-old passion play held here every ten years. But there is a lot of nice things about Oberammergau that are unrelated to the passion play.
The first thing you notice when arriving in Oberammergau is the beautiful wall paintings on the buildings. Most were painted in the 1700s by Franz Seraph Zwinck, a master of this frescoe painting technique. Some of his best work can be seen on the Pilatushaus, the Forsthaus, and the Mußldomahaus.
While the Oberammergau Passion Play is only held every ten years, you can still visit the passion play theatre to learn more about the history of this UNESCO Intangible Heritage which was first performed in 1634.
In the Oberammergau Museum, you’ll learn that many church altars in the USA come from here. The region is well-known for producing exceptional woodcarvers. There are still more than 50 active woodcarvers in and around the town. Between May and October, you can see them practicing their art in a “living workshop” in the Pilatushaus, the center of art and craft in town. Admission is free.
Oberammergau is a stone’s throw from two other must-see attractions set in the beautiful countryside of the Ammergau region. One is “Mad” King Ludwig II’s Linderhof Palace, which is only 14 km away. The mini-Versailles set in the most magnificent garden and park landscape is often overlooked in favor of Neuschwanstein Castle. This is where Ludwig retreated to when he wanted to be alone and where many of his flights of fancy came to life.
Even closer to Oberammergau is the Ettal Abbey, a Benedictine monastery dating to 1330. The Baroque church from the 18th century is a master work by Swiss-Italian architect Enrico Zuccalli, who studied with Bernini. The monastery monks still brew their own beer which can be bought in the adjacent monastery shop.
Contributed By By Linda from Travel Tyrol
Staufen is a small picture-perfect town just 19 kilometers south of Freiburg in Baden-Württemberg Germany and makes a great day trip from Strasbourg France or Stuttgart and would be a great add on to a trip to Europa Park in nearby Rust, Germany.
A picturesque walk to the top of the castle through fields of grapes delivers amazing views reaching as far as France. While you are in town, your visit should include tasting the world-famous Schladerer Schnapps and treating yourself to cake at the famous Cafe Decker. Staufen Castle.
Schladerer has been brewing fruit brandies and schnapps since the mid-1800s. They source all there fruits locally from produces who plant, grow, and make there living in the fields nearby. You can take a tour of the distillery and learn about the process of making one of Germany’s favorite alcoholic drinks, other than beer.
A stroll through the picture-perfect old town area is an experience in itself. A stroll will have you enjoying the scenery and old Häuser (houses). After a whole day of walking around, you could stop by the famous Decker Bakery and try some of the delicious German pastries and coffee on offer.
Contributed By Mark from Wyld Family Travel