Planning a trip to Germany and need some destination inspiration? Here’s my guide to 30+ of the best landmarks in Germany, for your bucket list or itinerary.
From the glitter and glitz of Germany’s lavish palaces to its craggy medieval castles, you can travel through Germany soaking up culture along the way.
Germany is a gorgeous country, blessed with scores of high powered monuments. Germany boasts a heady mix of towering castles, historic landmarks, massive cathedrals, and iconic museums.
Germany is a land steeped in history, with the earth shattering events of WWII defining the country. Germany has magnificent architecture, dazzling art, and culture. The country attracts over 40 million visitors a year.
Many of these must see landmarks in Germany are UNESCO World Heritages sites or designated historic monuments.
They’re located in destinations that could be weekend getaways or mini-vacations in and of themselves. These German landmarks can also be combined to create a customized road trip or itinerary for Germany.
30+ Must See Historic Landmarks and In Germany
Here’s my picks for the top must visit landmarks in Germany, in alphabetical order for ease.
1. Bamburg Town Hall, Bamburg
The beautiful Old Town Hall of Bamberg is a stunning architectural gem dating back to 1462. Perched on an island in the Regnitz River, it exudes a magical charm.
Connected to the town by two stone bridges, it offers picturesque views, especially from the Geyerworthsteg Bridge.
The building itself is a delight, with its vibrant yellow timbers, captivating trompe d’oeil frescoes, and even a cheeky cherub’s leg protruding from the wall. It’s no wonder that it featured in the film The Three Musketeers (2011).
But did you know that the Town Hall’s location has a rebellious backstory? Legend has it that irate citizens, denied land by the ruling bishop-prince, took matters into their own hands.
They created an artificial island by throwing sticks and stakes into the river, building their own floating town hall as a symbol of defiance.
Address: Obere Brücke, 96047 Bamberg
2. Beethoven Monument, Bonn
Ludwig von Beethoven was a German pianist and composer. He’s one of the world’s greatest musical geniuses.
Through sheer force of will and emotion, Beethoven catapulted the music world from Classicism to Romanticism. His tormented life was like a Wagnerian soap opera. The often irascible Beethoven suffered from debilitating deafness, unrequited love, and abject poverty.
Beethoven waas born in Bonn Germany in 1770. He had a musically inclined grandfather and a helicopter father, who was a drunk and yearned for Ludwig to be the next Mozart.
In 1845, in Beethoven’s memory, a bronze monument was erected in Munsterplatz Square. Musician Franz Liszt contributed to the project and composed a cantata for its unveiling. At the statue’s base are four symbols representing the different types of music.
Address: Munsterplatz 5311 Bonn
3. Berlin Cathedral
Berlin Cathedral is an iconic landmark in Germany that’s the largest and most impressive church in Berlin. It was built at the start of the 20th century as a symbol imperial power of Germany. It’s dubbed the “gateway” to Museum Island.
The cathedral is a four story edifice with a massive central dome in green and matching domed twin towers. In style, it’s Neo-Renaissance with some Neo-Baroque elements.
This iteration of the cathedral dates from 1893-1905. The cathedral was damaged in WWII, but reconstructed and restored.
The cathedral is filled with Corinthian columns, marble, gilding, and sculptures. The beautiful dome has colorful mosaics showing Christ’ beatification.
The church is a venue for concerts. Its enormous organ, the Sauer-Organ, is a highlight of the cathedral. On a visit, you can climb to the top of the 225 feet dome and enjoy beautiful views.
Address: Am Lustgarten 10178 Berkine
4. Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall is a historic wall, which once divided East Berlin and West Berlin. Finally falling in 1989, it’s a symbol of Cold War oppression. There are many different ways to see what remains of the Berlin Wall. Throughout Berlin, cobblestones mark where the wall once stood.
One of the best known crossing points of the Berlin Wall was Checkpoint Charlie. Controlled by the Western Allies, the border crossing bore an ominous sign stating “You are leaving the American Sector.” This was the single crossing point for members of the Allied forces and foreigners.
If Checkpoint Charlie is too touristy for you, head to the Berlin Wall Memorial, known in German as the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer. It’s a memorial to the countless men, women and children who died while trying to get across the wall.
The Berlin Wall’s East Side Gallery is the longest and best preserved section of the wall. It’s now a free outdoor art gallery with 105 murals, which were created in 1990 after the borders started to open.
The graffiti style works, painted in 1990, were created as a monument to the fall of the divide.
The most striking and renowned mural is Dmitri Vrubel’s Fraternal Kiss. The mural shows Leonard Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing, based on a real photograph.
Address: Niederkirchnerstrasse 1, 10117 Berlin
5. Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Located at the end of the Pariser Platz, the Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s most iconic landmarks. It was originally built as one of 18 similar fortifications in the early 18th century under Prussian King and Berlin Elector Friedrich Wilhelm II.
The gate was designed in a Neo-Classical style on the place that marked the dividing line between East and West Germany, symbolizing the schism. Affixed to the top is a gilded statue of the Greek goddess of peace, Eirene.
But the Brandenburg Gate hasn’t always been associated with peace. The gate infamously played host to infamous military processions, from Napoleon to the Nazis.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, however, that has changed. Now, the gate is a symbol of unification between Berlin and surrounding regions of the country. In 2000, it was fully restored. Today it serves as one Berlin’s most prominent tourist attractions.
Address: Pariser Platz 10117 Berlin
6. Cochem Castle, Cochem
Cochem is a little gem on the Moselle River in Rhineland Germany. It’s an idyllic riverside town with fairytale architecture.
Cochem is famous for its doughty romantic castle built in the 11th century, officially called Reichsburg Castle. The entire setting looks like something straight out of a movie set.You can either hike or take the shuttle up.
The castle was built in 1130. But its current iteration dates from the 1870s. The castle’s most distinctive feature is its striking four story octagonal tower with mini turrets.
There are 40 minute guided tours. You can inspect the beautiful furnishings inside, courtesy of the Ravene family. The castle also offers killer views of the surrounding countryside.
Address: Schlossstraße 36, 56812 Cochem
7. Cologne Cathedral, Cologne
A hallmark of the Rhine River, the UNESCO-listed Cologne Cathedral is one of Germany’s most stunning sites and its most visited attraction. Finished in 1880, the stone mass is almost 160 meters high.
The cathedral was constructed in a Flamboyant Gothic style, which reflected the Romantic Movement prevalent at the time. The cathedral has a Latin cross shape with side aisles supporting the highest Gothic vault ever built.
Inside, the High Altar is black marble, faced with white marble niches and relief sculptures. The most valuable piece of art is the Shrine of the Three Kings, a reliquary that reputedly contains the relics of the three wise men. The relics make the cathedral an important place of pilgrimage.
There’s also gorgeous stained glass, including a newer piece by famed German artist Gerard Richter. It’s a bit of a miracle that the cathedral escaped WWII with only some damage.
Address: Domkloster 4 50667 Cologne
8. Dachau Concentration Camp, Dachau
The notorious Dachau Concentration Camp is on the outskirts of Munich. It’s about 25 minutes by train from Central Station. Be sure to pick up an audio guide to orient yourself. It’s a vast space.
Dachau played a significant role in having Hilter’s history in Germany. It was one of the first camps set up to hold political prisoners, subversives, Jews, and other “undesirables” during WWII.
There are chilling and disturbing memorials — prisoners cells, death chambers with chemical induction pipes, barbed wire fencing, and a crematorium. You can see bullet marks on the walls. The onsite museums details atrocities the prisoners suffered in this satanic world.
Dachau was liberated in 1945 by the US Army. After liberation, the camp was used by the US Army as an internment camp. It was also the site of the Dachau Trials for German war criminals, a site chosen for its symbolism.
Address: Alte Romerstrasse 75 85221 Dachau
9. Dresden Cathedral, Dresden
Dresden is a delightfully Baroque city, reborn from the ashes of World War II. Dresden Cathedral, known simply as Frauenkirche (the Church of Our Lady), is the star attraction.
The Baroque church was completed in 1743, by architect George Bähr. The famous domed church dominated Dresden’s cityscape for 200 years, before being incinerated in WWII.
For decades the church was a collapsed and blackened ruin, a grim testament to the destruction of war. Over time, and after long debates about its future, money was raised to rebuilt a replica church. It was unveiled in 2005.
The blackened stones from the bombing are set into the cathedral along with new sandstone. Visible imperfections were intentional. Like the Brandenburg Gate, Frauenkirche now stands as a symbol of peace and reunification.
Address: Schlosstrasse 24 01067 Dresden
10. Dresden Opera, Dresden
Dresden Opera House, now called the Semper Opera was also gutted in air attacks on Dresden. The famous opera house reflected Dresden’s former fame as a musical center. it was once directed by Richard Wagner, who called the acoustically perfect venue a “wonder harp.”
The building was designed by German Romantic architect Gottfried Semper in an Italian Neo-Renaissance style. Forty years after the air raid, the opera house was carefully restored over 7 years to the tune of $83 million. It reopened in 1985.
The restoration recreated the pastel wall colors, faux marble columns, decorative motifs, and filigreed ceiling and wall frescos. Atop the opera house is a bronze statue of a quadriga, or chariot drawn by four horses.
Address: Theaterplatz 2, 01067 Dresden
10. Eagle’s Nest, Berchtesgaden National Park
Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest is perched in the clouds on the Kehlstein peak of Berchtesgaden National Park. The mountain aerie was once a private meeting place for the Nazi Party. It’s one of the few remaining monuments that still stands as a legacy of Hitler’s reign of terror.
Historians believe the retreat wasn’t just a scenic getaway. Rather, it was a symbol of absolute power, the crown jewel of the Nazi empire. Set atop one of Germany’s steeped roads, it took 18 months to build.
When the Eagle’s Nest fell to the Allies near the end of WWII, it was viewed as a highly symbolic and important capture. The Allies uncovered a bunker full of hundreds of thousands of bottles of expensive wine and liquors – Hitler’s private stash.
In theory, the Eagle’s Nest was built for Hitler to host and entertain VIP guests of state. But legend holds that Hitler didn’t go there much due to vertigo. Other Nazi officials, however, used the home as a private party pad.
Today, the Eagle’s Nest is a scenic beer garden, as well as a buzzing tourist site open from mid-May to mid-October.
Address: Obersalzberg Berchtesgaden, 83471
11. Eltz Castle, Wierschem
Burg Eltz is one of my favorite castles in Germany, likely for its medieval good looks. The fanciful rural castle sits on a rocky outcrop above the sinuous River Eltz. Eight towers soar, with quaint turrets and oriels.
The fairytale castle escaped damage by wars. Inside, it has has original period furniture. There’s a huge collection of armory, jewelry and artifacts.
The Knight’s Hall, or meeting hall, is the castle’s most important room. The Rodendorf Kitchen gives you a revealing peak of what medieval life was like. The most important work of art is by German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder, Madonna with Child and Grapes.
You can hike from the town, 2. 5 kilometers. From the woods, the castle appears like a mirage. Or, take the shuttle bus from the towns of Münstermaifeld and Wierschem. You visit via a 45 minute guided tour.
You can book a guided day tour of the castle from Frankfurt.
Address: 56294 Wierschem
12. Harburg Castle, Harburg
The town of Harburg is renowned for its magnificent 11th century Harburg Castle. This castle is an absolute gem, standing as one of Germany’s most impressive medieval fortresses and an essential stop along the Romantic Road.
As you approach the castle, perched majestically above the Wornitz River, you’ll be transported back in time to the Middle Ages. Just take a moment to admire those captivating pointy towers and charming crisscross shutters – it’s a sight to behold!
Originally built by the Hohenstaufen emperors of Germany, Harburg Castle offers captivating guided tours that encompass the church, dungeon, granary, and state rooms. While you can explore at your own pace, opting for a guided tour allows you to delve deeper into the castle’s history and even hear fascinating tales of its resident ghosts. Don’t forget to peep through the arrow slits for an extra touch of medieval ambiance.
For an unforgettable experience, consider booking a room for the night and immersing yourself in the castle’s timeless charm. And don’t miss the opportunity to wander through the picturesque Altstadt, where the Stone Bridge offers panoramic views of the river and its surroundings.
Address: Burgstraße 1, 86655 Harburg
13. Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg
Perched on the Neckar River, the pink sandstone of Schloss Heidelberg glistens in the sun. It’s the crown jewel of the university town of Heidelberg. The fastest way to get there is via the funicular tram.
The Gothic castle was once the palace of the Palatine prince electors. It was built, rebuilt, and expanded over 700 years. The castle has been plundered by the French, struck by lightening, and its stones stolen for other buildings.
Heidelberg Castle never regained its former glory, unlike other German castles. Only the Friedrich Building was fully restored.
The castle is practically defunct. The furniture is long gone. But the romantic ruins are nonetheless charming.
One million visitors visit annually. The castle is home to the world’s largest keg, Heidelberger Tun, located in the royal wine cellar.
You can also see model of what the castle once looked like. From the Great Terrace, you have a fine view of the old town and the Neckar River.
Address: Schlosshof 1, 69117 Heidelberg
14. Herrenchiemsee Palace
Ludwig literally built the palace on an island in Lake Chiemsee. Not terribly convenient for builders. But Ludwig only cared for a stunning vista, not convenience.
In 1878, construction began. Herrenchiemsee isn’t an exact replica of Versailles. It has Ludwig’s personal stamp. Though it doesn’t seem like he ever intended to finish it.
Ludwig built two side wings that were to left as shells and only designated 18 of the 70 rooms to be finished. The side wings were actually demolished in 1907.
Your tour starts at the breathtaking Ambassadors Staircase. It’s adorned with vibrant frescoes and crowned by a brilliant glass roof.
Prepare to be mesmerized as you proceed to the State Bedroom and the Hall of Mirrors, both surpassing the grandeur and opulence of Versailles itself.
Regrettably, King Ludwig II of Bavaria only enjoyed the splendors of his Versailles-inspired Herrenchiemsee Palace for a mere 9 nights in September 1885. Despite its short-lived occupancy, Ludwig spared no expense, lavishing over 16.5 million marks on this majestic masterpiece.
To put it into perspective, the cost exceeded that of Ludwig’s own Linderhof Palace twofold and tripled that of Neuschwanstein Castle. It was a project that spiraled beyond control. With his ambitious motto of “build or die,” some speculate that Ludwig’s obsession with grand construction ultimately cost him his life.
Address: 83209 Herrenchiemsee
15. Hohenzollern Castle, Badem-Wurttemberg
Located near Stuttgart in southern Germany, Hohenzollern Castle was once the province of the imperial Hohenzollern kaisers, who ruled Germany from the Middle Ages to WWI. Wilhelm I and II were once German emperors.
The family rebuilt a castle that was in ruins in the early 19th century. The resulting Neo-Gothic fantasy, realized in golden stone and picturesquely set on Mount Hohenzollern, became their ancestral seat. It’s still privately owned by the family.
Hohenzollern is a military structure that was given a civic facelift. It delights the eye with pointy turrets, crenelated walls, and gothic windows.
Inside, you’ll find artifacts of the Hohenzollern dynasty, including statues, busts, portraits, armor, the crown of Wilhem II, and ceremonial swords. A two story chapel has a Neo-Gothic tabernacle. The Hall of Ancestors is painted with the Hohenzollern family tree.
You can hoof it up a very steep hill or take the shuttle bus.
Address: 72379 Burg Hohenzollern
16. Linderhof Palace, Ettal
The enchanting Linderhof Palace was the primary residence of the eccentric King Ludwig II and an absolute must-visit landmark in Germany. Situated within easy reach of Munich, this splendid palace serves as a captivating homage to Ludwig’s three obsessions: Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette, and Richard Wagner.
Step into a realm of opulent rococo design, where mirrors gleam and gold sparkles in abundance. Prepare to be enveloped by a lavish world that knows no limits when it comes to gold leaf.
Despite the relatively compact size of the rooms (compared to other palaces), you may find yourself immersed in a slightly claustrophobic yet undeniably dazzling atmosphere. Don’t miss the awe-inspiring Hall of Mirrors, a true highlight of Linderhof.
Delve into the resplendent dining room. Servants seemingly vanished into thin air thanks to a clever trap door—a disappearing dumbwaiter that effortlessly transported the dining table to and from the kitchen below.
With this ingenious contraption, King Ludwig could enjoy solitary meals with his imaginary medieval companions, conveniently avoiding any real-life conversation.
However, the true allure of Linderhof lies within its magnificent gardens. Ludwig created expansive ornamental gardens divided into five distinct sections, each adorned with captivating architectural follies.
Take a moment to explore the Moorish Kiosk, the Greek Temple, and the breathtaking Venus Grotto, all adding to the splendor of this extraordinary palace.
The Venus Grotto is a man-made cave, complete with a lake, waterfall, and faux stalactites. Dressed as a knight, Ludwig rowed langorously across the lake in a golden clam-shaped boat listening to opera performances. Perhaps the ultimate escapism.
Address: Linderhof 12, 82488 Ettal
17. Lubeck Town Hall, Lubeck
Lubeck is a picturesque town adorned with a captivating array of architectural wonders — including medieval gates, ancient gabled houses, and majestic spires. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the majority of the city exudes an undeniable charm.
Lubeck’s Rathaus, the town hall, is often referred to as a “fairytale in stone.” This exceptional example of Gothic brick architecture, renowned throughout Germany and Europe, stands as a testament to the city’s rich heritage.
Built between 1126 and 1308, the exterior boasts an ornate stairway, while the 15th-century addition of a Renaissance sandstone arcade and staircase enhances its grandeur. Step inside to witness the mesmerizing yellow Gothic ribbed vault.
Marvel at the magnificent Audience Hall, adorned in plush red velvet Rococo. Once a conference room for the Council, it emanates elegance and sophistication. Adorning its walls are ten masterful paintings by Italian artist Stefano Torelli, depicting the virtues of good governance.
Exploring the interior of the Rathaus requires a guided tour, albeit only available in German. Nevertheless, the experience is well worth it, granting you the opportunity to admire 13th-century frescoes and ornate staircases that exude a timeless beauty.
Address: Breite Str. 62, 23552 Lübeck
18. Marienplatz, Munich
Marienplatz is a bustling square with a rich history dating back to the 12th century. It has long served as Munich’s vibrant meeting point. At the heart of this grand square stands the magnificent Neues Rathaus, the city hall.
The striking Gothic facade of the Neues Rathaus is adorned with an array of intricate details, including gargoyles, statues, and vibrant red flowers. To enjoy panoramic views, take the elevator to the top by purchasing a 4 euro ticket at the Tourist Office within the building.
Experience the enchantment of the Glockenspiel, which chimes at 11 am, noon, and 5 pm. For a front-row seat to the performance, grab a spot at Cafe Glockenspiel. Watch in awe as motorized figures dance, joust, and twirl within the tower for a captivating 12-minute spectacle.
To capture an incredible view of the Rathaus and Marienplatz, climb the tower of St. Peters Church, the oldest church in the city. While the church itself may not be particularly remarkable, the 360-degree views from the top are unparalleled.
Keep in mind that the ascent can be cramped and steep, and the narrow terrace at the top leaves little room to move. Expect to shuffle inch by inch along the terrace, savoring the breathtaking vistas.
Address: Marienplatz, 80331 Munich
19. Munich Residence
The Munich Residence is the top attraction in Munich and a famous landmark in Germany. It served as the opulent city palace and seat of government for the influential Wittelsbach dynasty, who ruled Bavaria for over 700 years.
Step into their Versailles-inspired palace adorned with lavish tapestries, ornate Rococo gilt, intriguing reliquaries, and whimsical grottos. The abundance of tapestries may overwhelm your senses, making it hard to fully appreciate each one.
Today, the Residence functions as a museum, showcasing the extravagant decor of a bygone era. It boasts an eclectic mix of architectural styles, including Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neo-Classicism, reflecting its centuries-long reign over Bavaria.
Explore the Residence’s vast interior, which encompasses over 120 rooms. Don’t miss the enchanting Shell Grotto, the captivating Antiquarium, the mesmerizing Ancestral Gallery, the vibrant Green Gallery, and the exquisitely adorned Ornate Room.
The Antiquarium is a magnificent secular Renaissance hall. It stands as the largest and most remarkable of its kind in northern Europe. Built in the 16th century, this 220-foot-long hall once served as a grand banquet hall for festive celebrations.
Address: Residenzstraße 1, 80333 Munich
20. Museum Island, Berlin
Berlin’s Museum Island is a veritable treasure trove, dubbed Berlin’s Acropolis. The island houses a unique complex of buildings above the Spree River.
There are five beautifully restored museums — the Pergamon Museum, the Bode Museum, the Neues Museum (new museum), the Alte National Gallery (old picture gallery), and the Altes Museum (old museum).
The art work and artifacts on Museum Island span 6,000 years. They include Greek, Etruscan, Roman, and medieval antiquities.
The Altes Museum displays ancient Greek and Roman artifacts amid a massive rotunda full of statuary. The Alte National Gallery looks like a raised Roman temple. It houses the largest collection of 19th century paintings and sculptures in Germany.
The Neues Museum houses prehistoric pieces and Egyptian art, including the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti.
The Bode Museum was built in a Neo-Baroque style, with a beautiful domed hall. The Bode houses sculptures from the Italian Renaissance and Mannerist periods, including ones by Canova and Donatello. It also has a first rate collection of Byzantine art.
Perhaps the star attraction of Museum Island is the beautiful Pergamon Museum. It’s a monumental building, built between 1907-30. It was designed to be a quintessentially German museum, housing classical antiquities from Central Europe.
The star is the stunning Pergamon Altar, which the Nazis used as inspiration for their Zeppelin field in Nuremberg. You can also admire the Market Gate from Miletus, the Ishtar Gate from Babylon (which you reach via the stunning Processional Way decorated with lion mosaics), and a wooden dome from Spain’s Alhambra.
Address: Breite Street 13089 Berlin
21. Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany’s most famous landmark, stands proudly in the Alpine landscape, cloaked in shimmering limestone. With its majestic turrets, captivating interior, and an intriguing historical narrative, Neuschwanstein exudes romance and charm, embodying a fairy tale brought to life by the visionary King Ludwig.
The castle was meticulously constructed over 24 years. It showcases the enchanting architecture of the 19th-century Romantic style, adorned with an array of towers, gables, turrets, and balconies.
Step inside to discover a vibrant world of colors and captivating depictions from Richard Wagner’s operas, with the Throne Room, Singer’s Hall, and Ludwig’s opulent bedroom being the highlights.
To ensure your visit, it’s advisable to reserve your admission in advance. While the guided tour may feel a bit rushed and lacking in details, my guide to Neuschwanstein Castle provides helpful tips for making the most of your experience. Although you may long to linger within the castle’s walls, time constraints restrict the duration of the tour.
After exploring the castle, take a short 10-15 minute hike to Marienbrücke, where you’ll be rewarded with the iconic postcard view of Neuschwanstein. Legend has it that King Ludwig would visit this bridge during his nocturnal sleigh rides, savoring the enchanting candlelight emanating from the Singer’s Hall.
Address: Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau
22. Nuremberg Castle, Nuremberg
Nuremberg Castle is an imposing medieval fortress atop a sandstone hill. This iconic landmark in Germany commands both the cityscape and the attention of visitors.
While its origins trace back to around 1,000 AD, much of what stands today dates from the 15th century onwards, with archaeological evidence suggesting its existence as early as 1050.
For five centuries, from 1050 to 1571, Nuremberg Castle served as the residence for emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, who roamed from castle to castle in the absence of fixed capital cities.
Within the castle complex, the Double Chapel, originating from the 11th century, stands as a testament to its ancient heritage. The imperial staterooms date from the 16th and 17th centuries.
They offer a glimpse into the opulent spaces once inhabited by emperors. Don’t miss the Imperial Castle Museum, where military enthusiasts can immerse themselves in a collection of medieval armor and a fascinating array of a thousand swords.
During World War II, Nuremberg Castle endured heavy damage, with only the imperial chapel miraculously surviving the bombings. After the war, the castle was faithfully restored to its former glory, showcasing the resilience and determination of the city.
Address: Auf der Burg 13, D-90403 Nürnberg
23. Nazi Party Rally Grounds, Nuremberg
For history enthusiasts, a guided day tour from Munich to explore Nuremberg’s Third Reich sites is a must. The Rally Grounds were designed by Hitler’s favored architect Albert Speer.
The expansive rally ground stretches an impressive length equivalent to 12 football fields. Here, the charismatic but demagogic Hitler delivered his racist speeches from the monumental “Zeppelin” grandstand, leaving an indelible mark on history.
Congress Hall, an iconic structure, was where the Nazis staged meticulously choreographed party rallies. Today, it houses the Documentation Center, a modern museum opened in 2001.
Inside, the gripping permanent exhibit titled “Fascination and Terror” provides an unflinching account of the Nazi party’s ascent to power and the horrors it unleashed.
As you conclude your visit, a suspended viewing point offers a chilling opportunity to stand in the very spot where the Führer once addressed fervent crowds, offering a glimpse into the disturbing collective madness of that era.
Nuremberg is committed to preserving and maintaining the site until 2025, ensuring its historical significance endures. Although the city does not seek to recreate the structures demolished after World War II, the preservation efforts serve as a poignant reminder of the events that transpired during this dark chapter of history.
Address: Bayernstraße 110, 90478 Nuremberg
24. Nymphenburg Palace, Munich
Nymphenburg Palace is a splendid summer residence located just 30 minutes outside Munich. This landmark in germany served as the luxurious retreat for the esteemed Wittelsbach dynasty. Its construction was initiated to commemorate the birth of a Bavarian heir.
This 17th-century architectural marvel, Schloss Nymphenburg, ranks among the largest palaces in Europe. With its grand villa and expansive wings, it boasts meticulously crafted parquet floors, vividly painted ceilings, an abundance of paintings, and lavishly adorned period rooms.
Within the central villa, two standout attractions captivate visitors. The enchanting Stone Hall dazzles with its frescoes depicting nymphs, while the Gallery of Beauties showcases King Ludwig I’s remarkable portraits of captivating women.
In the sprawling Nymphenburg Palace Park, you’ll find charming miniature palaces, known as follies. They provided an escape for the Wittelsbachs when courtly life became overwhelming. Among them, the shimmering Amalienburg stands out as a shining example of Rococo architecture, representing the pinnacle of elegance in Germany.
Address: Schloß Nymphenburg 1, 80638 München
25. Odeonsplatz, Munich
Dating from the 19th century, Munich’s Odeonplatz is still largely unchanged. The focal point of the square is the Feldherrnhalle, or Field Marshall’s Hall.
It’s also known as the Hall of the Bavarian Generals. The hall was built by King Ludwig I in 1841-44 to honor the Bavarian army. The hall is a covered exterior gallery, copied from the famous Loggia dei Lanzi in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence.
Historically, Field Marshall’s Hall is important. It was the site of the famous 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler’s failed coup d’etat. Hitler wound up imprisoned and wrote Mein Kampf in jail.
Later, the loggia was the site of Nazi rallies. There, SS recruits took an oath of allegiance to Hitler. Nowadays, it’s the site of festivals and beer drinking.
Address: Odeonspl. 1, 80539 Munich
26. Regensburg Cathedral, Regensburg
Regensburg is affectionately known as the “northernmost Italy. It exudes charm with its picturesque skyline adorned with lofty towers and inviting beer gardens. However, the true gem of Regensburg is its 13th century Gothic cathedral, a striking landmark in Germany and visible from every corner of the town.
Standing proudly over the old town, the majestic Regensburg Cathedral, or St. Peters Cathedral, captures the attention of all who behold it. Originally inspired by the grandeur of Notre Dame in Paris, the cathedral underwent a transformation when King Ludwig I decided to grace it with two colossal spires.
Constructed in the High Gothic style between the 13th and 16th centuries, the cathedral experienced a touch of Baroque influence in the early 17th century. However, King Ludwig I, in his quest for authenticity, replaced the Baroque dome with a magnificent Gothic ribbed vault.
As you step inside, you’ll encounter sculptures depicting the Devil and the Devil’s Grandmother, capturing the imagination with their intricate details. Notably, the Smiling Angel, a significant element of an annunciation scene, showcases its ethereal beauty.
Don’t miss the exquisite stained glass windows dating back to the 14th century. They add a touch of vibrant splendor to the cathedral’s interior.
Address: Domplatz 1, 93047 Regensburg
27. Reichstag, Berlin
Like so much in Germany, the Reichstag has a dramatic history. It’s been burned, bombed, and rebuilt. Now, it’s the modern home of the German parliament.
Inaugurated in the 1890s, the parliament building was initially dismissed as a “chatting house for monkeys.” When World War I ended, the German Republic was proclaimed from the Reichstag.
In 1933, the building was gutted by fire. Hitler blamed the communists to consolidate his power. As World War II drew to a close, the Nazis made their final stand here. The bombed out building stood like a ruined ghost through the Cold War.
Built by by Norman Foster, the Reichstag is one of Berlin’s most iconic buildings. Its most distinctive feature is a glittering glass dome (used instead of the old stone dome). It’s a futuristic construction of mirrors and glass.
The dome also serves as an important symbol — that the people are keeping a watchful eye on the legislators. You can walk up via a long sloping ramp, which spirals up to the dome. Or, take a lift for beautiful panoramic city views.
Address: Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin
28. Romer Building, Frankfurt
Situated on the Romerplatz, the Romer Building is Frankfurt’s most important landmark. Originally built in the 15th century, it served as Frankfurt’s town hall for 600 years. Today, the Romer is mostly used as a venue for weddings and official functions.
Frankfurt’s Gothic timber framed old town was bombed during WWII, destroying most of the old quarter. What you see today is a recreation of the historical blueprints, called the “new old town.” Construction began in the 1950s. Now, the area is Disney-pretty.
The Romer is in the heart of the new old town. It consists of nine interconnected buildings and six courtyards. The most famous part is the three peaked Neo-Gothic eastern facade.
Inside, Emperor Hall is where emperors were coronated in the middle ages. The hall comes complete with 52 portraits of the Roman emperors.
Address: Römerberg 23, 60311 Frankfurt am Main
29. Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam
This 18th century palace is synonymous with Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. Sanssouci is a French word that means “without concern.” That’s how Frederick envisioned his palace — as a private retreat where he could escape the pomp and circumstance of court life and the burdens of royal duty.
Like the Wurzburg Residence, Sanssouci is sometimes considered the Versailles of Berlin. However, it’s much smaller than Versailles and built in a French-influenced Rococo style.
Inside, you know you’re in a king’s residence. It’s elegant and refined. Scarcely a patch of wall is undecorated. The mastermind behind Sanssouci was Georg Wenzelaus von Knobelsdorff.
The palace gardens are also exquisite with fountains, vineyards, and Baroque terraces. The park also contains the grand Neues Palace and the exotic Chinese House.
Address: Maulbeerallee, 14469 Potsdam
30. Ulm Minster, Ulm
Who can resist a superlative? Ulm Minster is the largest Protestant church in Germany and boasts the tallest church tower in the world (not counting the unfinished Sagrada Familia in beautiful Barcelona). The church attracts devotees from all over Germany.
Construction began in 1377 and didn’t finish until 1890 — insane dimensions aren’t conducive to quick church building. But it was worth the wait for its beautiful Gothic architecture and interior artwork.
If you’re extremely ambitious, hike up the 768 steps (gulp!) of the Ulm tower for uninterrupted views over the town. It might take you a day to recover. You’ll at least need bratwurst and beer.
Address: Münsterplatz 21, 89073 Ulm
31. Wieskirche Church, Wies
Wieskirche is a UNESCO-listed Rococo pilgrimage church located in the village of Wies. It’s an absolute must-see landmark along Germany’s enchanting Romantic Road.
From the outside, it appears as a simple church nestled peacefully in a lush green meadow. However, once you step inside, you are transported into a world of radiant light and awe-inspiring Bavarian Rococo splendor.
Dating back to 1738, the Wieskirche holds a captivating tale of a supposed miracle witnessed by a farmer—a wooden statue of Christ shedding tears. This extraordinary event attracted countless pilgrims, with over a million visitors annually today.
n 1745, the talented brothers Johann Baptist and Dominikus Zimmermann were commissioned to construct a magnificent pilgrimage church on the site, a venture that nearly bankrupted the Steingaden Abbey due to its colossal cost.
As you enter, the grandeur of Wieskirche, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, unfolds before your eyes. Eight pristine white pillars elegantly support a magnificent cupola.
A delicate pastel oval fresco, adorned with intricate stucco embellishments and gilded sculptures, becomes the centerpiece of this architectural marvel. Pay special attention to the altar, featuring the statue of the Scourged Savior, the very figure that sparked the pilgrimage’s inception.
Address: Wies 12, 86989 Steingaden
32. Wurzburg Residence, Wurzburg
Wurzburg is a charming UNESCO town in northern Bavaria that offers more than just its picturesque medieval streets. It proudly boasts the renowned Wurzburg Residence, a palace of exquisite grandeur and a must visit landmark in Germany.
Inspired by the grandeur of Versailles, this opulent palace was the residence of the Wurzburg bishop-kings who sought to create a mesmerizing spectacle.
Referred to as the “German Versailles,” the palace served as the former abode of the Wurzburg bishop-princes, influential figures who held both secular and religious authority.
In 1720, Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn commissioned the construction of this remarkable residence, a project that spanned 60 years.
Visitors will be captivated by the intricate stucco work, the magnificent frescoes adorning the walls by the renowned Italian Rococo artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, and the resplendent White Hall, among the many highlights awaiting exploration within the palace’s walls.
Address: Residenzplatz 2, 97070 Würzburg
I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to the most famous landmark in Germany. You may enjoy these other Germany travel guides and resources:
- Most Beautiful Towns in Germany
- 10 Day Itinerary for Bavaria
- 4 Day Itinerary for Munich
- 1 Day Itinerary for Munich
- Guide To Rothenburg ob der Tauber
- Guide To Bavaria’s Romantic Road
- Guide To Neuschwanstein Castle
- Guide To Bavaria’s Castles
- Tips for Visiting Germany
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