There are many national parks in Germany that are perfect for the winter and any of these would be great places to base your Germany vacation around. The hikes there are beautiful and moderately light which is always a huge plus for less adventurous travelers. And amongst the entire country of Germany there are various “states”, each with their own history and cultural significance. Many of these German states are ideal places to vacation in while in Germany!

Decide if you want to jump around the country for short visits to Berlin, Dresden, Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich. In winter, some places have limited services and opening hours, especially in rural areas. For example, in winter, museums or small castles can only be opened on weekends. Of course, mountain regions have a season throughout the year. 

Bavaria is located in the southeast of Germany and is the largest federal state of the country. It probably has more in common with neighboring Austria and Switzerland than with the rest of Germany. It is famous for its leather pants, sausages and beer, but there are many more in this region, with beautiful old cities and breathtaking landscapes. The Neuschwanstein castle in the state is one of the most magical experiences in Germany.

South Saarland is Germany’s second largest country bordering France and Luxembourg. The capital is Saarbrücken, and a very good place to travel. The region’s main attractions include a beautiful view of Saarschleife and red sandstone mountain caves. 

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, a northeastern country with the Baltic Sea coast, is one of the five countries that belonged to eastern Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is one of the most diverse federal states in the country, with many kilometers of coastline, three national parks and many cultural attractions if nature is not high on your list.

Brandenburg is another great German state to explore. It is home to nature parks, landscape gardens, and Nazi ghost stories. The capital of the state is Potsdam, known for its picturesque Dutch quarter, smaller reconstruction of the Brandenburg Gate and Sanssouci Castle. Away from city centers, Spreewald is a romantic sanctuary, and Babelsberg Park offers a piece of England on the Havel. 

Dresden is synonymous with tragedy for many tourists planning a vacation in Germany. But this eastern city has much more to offer than the gruesome history of bombing during World War II. Take a closer look at the Historic Green Crypt and New Green Crypt, as well as the Royal Armory, where the drama of medieval battles seems to be leaping from the screens. 

Berlin is the federal state and capital of Germany. Berlin is closely associated with the history of World War II and the former division of eastern and western Germany during the Cold War. Since the fall of the historic wall in 1991, Berlin has become a large, united city characterized by ethnic differences and rich in monuments, culture and nightlife. Although most of the Berlin Wall has been torn down, there are still some parts near Checkpoint Charlie and the Reichstag. 

River cruises are the best way to see more of Germany on a passenger ship because of the picturesque waterways that meander in the heart of Germany. Choose a river and route to focus on the region and special interest. Take a trip to the Elbe, which begins in Berlin, and explore parts of the country that were East Germany, including the beautiful city of Dresden and its opera house. 

Bremen is located in the north (near Hamburg) and is a smaller city that is worth visiting. The charming Schnoorviertel invites to strolls, and there is a beautiful cathedral on the market square. No matter where you venture in Germany, you will surely have a great cultural experience, as well as plenty of fun of course!