5 Best Small Towns of Germany
Germany is one of the most in-demand tourist attractions in the world, as tourists from the world over flock to experience the history, culture, and sense of grandeur embodied in the big cities of Berlin: Munich, Frankfurt, and Cologne, and they have been the most popular destinations for tourists; Germany also boasts some of the most charming medieval small towns in Europe.
Here is our pick of the 5 Best Small Towns of Germany that should be on your travel itinerary.
One of the oldest settlements in the region, it’s home to a number of impressive medieval structures, including the ruins of an old moated castle, a historic town hall, and a wine cellar, Kellereihof, which is part of the old Roman City Walls, now serving as the local museum. Located near the border of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemburg, it’s easily accessible from many of the historic cities in the area as well as the famed Rhineland vineyards.
Germany’s sunniest and warmest city, blessed with some 2,000 hours of sunshine each year, is known for its small streams called Bachle that run through the old town as well as its story-book feel with cobblestone lanes and gabled townhouses. In addition to spectacular scenery, Freiburg is popular for its delicious cuisine. Local farms turn into small pop-up eateries throughout the summer, serving their own wine and food. Griestal Strausse is in a vineyard, just a few winding roads outside the village of Opfingen. You’ll find a lot more than beer and sausage here; menus offer local specialties in huge portions, like Spätzle, Bragele, and Bibiliskase, a light quark with fresh herbs, on wood-fire baked bread.
Picturesque narrow streets lined with preserved half-timbered houses, where all the restaurants and hotels in summer have tables outside, making dining al fresco a joy given the gorgeous vistas and fresh air; and, the town also hosts an annual open-air music festival that draws visitors from across Europe. In its famous Christmas Market, wooden huts are packed like stockings, offering everything from hand-carved nutcrackers and elaborate music boxes to ginger cookies and mulled wine.
This ridiculously charming place just north of the Harz Mountains still evokes the Middle Ages. As it managed to survive World War II unscathed, you’ll find some of the best-preserved medieval and Renaissance buildings in Europe. A perfect spot to get lost in an afternoon and feel as if you’ve stepped into another time, you’ll walk through rambling cobblestoned streets that snake their way around countless, red-roofed half-timber houses, ancient buildings, and then suddenly, situated on a sandstone cliff, is the more than a thousand-year-old Romanesque collegiate church, St. Servatius, which towers as an imposing landmark over the city.
Cochem is an idyllic riverside little town that is famous for its towering romantic castle built in the 11th century. The setting looks like something straight out of a fairytale, with photo opportunities at every turn. While taking a “grape tour” of the Mosel River Valley, be sure to stop by and see its towering castle with a thousand-year-old history. The town itself boasts medieval town gates and beautiful churches as well as narrow streets and winding alleys, lined with lovingly-restored half-timbered houses with slate roofs.
Pro Tip: If you’re planning to visit these 5 Best Small Towns of Germany, make sure to do your research first; also try looking to book your flights using online travel agencies as they tend to, on average, reduce airfare costs by about 43%, a few good ones being Flighthub.com, Travelocity.com, JustFly.com or Expedia.com.