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The best of Germany
It’s been nearly 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall led to the reunification of Germany, brought an optimistic end to the country’s devastating 20th century and gave rise to a whole slew of historically significant, always fun things to do in Germany. Today, this leading European player has seen remarkable resurgence, reconnecting with the rich past that preceded the Third Reich, while painstakingly documenting its fascist and fractured years, and carefully nurturing a thriving contemporary culture. From Carolingian splendour at Aachen Cathedral to the Bauhaus School in Dessau, quintessential Romanticism at the Hamburger Kunsthalle to the anniversary exhibition at Karl Marx’s House in Triere, Germany promises an astonishing historical reach of art, ideas and music. Outdoor travelers are also in for a treat: Whether you head for the Alpine lake of Königssee, the rugged coastline on Rügen or the much-mythologized forests of the Schwarzwald, Germany preserves a state of wilderness hard to find in other European countries. Beyond historic and cultural sites, be sure to eat and drink your way through the best restaurants in Germany. No matter what strikes your fancy, there's no going wrong with our guide to the best things to do in the city. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.
When folks think about the best restaurants in Germany, they conjure images of beers and wurst—lots of both at that—but there is so much more to discover. While a trip to the local pub or bite of traditional wurst can certainly still top your list of things to do, be sure to check out the rest of the country's satiating fare. German grub has always been very diverse and influenced by both neighbouring countries and migrants settling here. The döner kebab we all tuck into at the end of a boozy night out was invented in Berlin, after all. Today’s Germany is full of colourful markets, young chefs putting sustainability first, and modern takes on old favourites. Get ready for a trip through the country's kitchens and the very best dishes found in cities like Hamburg, Berlin and Munich.
There’s something magical about a German winter, which isn’t surprising when you consider how many Christmas traditions originate in the land of the Tannenbaum: the advent calendar, gingerbread (Lebkuchen), Sankt Nikolaus himself and, of course, the Christmas market. In fact, nearly every German town puts on its own Weihnachtsmarkt each year, and the major cities positively brim with them. In a country where Decembers are notoriously grey, the German Christmas market makes perfect sense: a central location where neighbours can eat, drink and be merry under the glow of festive lights, embracing the winter rather than cowering indoors. Market themes may differ, but you’ll always find certain staples: wooden stalls selling mulled wine (Glühwein), sizzling Bratwurst from the grill, candied almonds and roasted chestnuts, plus an array of local craftspeople selling their finest handmade wares. Whether you’re planning to ski in the Bavarian Alps or immerse yourself in the Berlin clubbing scene – surely among the very best things to do in Germany – don’t miss the chance to catch even the frostiest of Deutsche in the Christmas spirit. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Germany