Staycation in Germany: 2021 bucket list
Staying here in Germany for summer 2021? Never fear - IamExpat has compiled a list of some of the wonderful places to explore in the federal republic this summer, just for you!
Visit some of the country’s famous castles
While Germany is known for its traditional food, wonderful beer, and world-class carmakers, the country also offers something else which is truly special - castles! Germany boasts over 20.000 castles, each with their own unique history and grandeur.
The country’s most famous castle, Neuschwanstein, is located in southwestern Bavaria, and attracts more than 1,4 million visitors every year, who come to ogle at the building’s stunning hill-top exterior, and grand rooms.
Another popular destination is Hohenzollern Castle. Situated in Baden-Württemberg, Hohenzollern Castle lies on top of Mount Hohenzollern, and gives its visitors beautiful views across the Swabian Jura. The site has been home to two previous castles before the structure that can be seen today was created - the first castle to stand on the site was sieged and destroyed, while the second fell into disrepair. Visitors that come to the area can choose to explore the long history of the Hohenzollern Castle and its surrounding area, or simply admire the beautiful structure, and take in its 140 intricately decorated rooms.
While these are two of the most famous castles that Germany has to offer, the country is of course home to many more, in every federal state. With gorgeous surroundings and extravagant architecture, adults and children alike will be transfixed by these little pockets of German history - a truly enjoyable trip for the whole family!
Go wine tasting in the Middle Rhine region
If you’re looking for a grown-up weekend away, there’s truly no better way to relax and unwind than with a fine glass of local wine. Wine tasting is one of life’s little luxuries, and the Middle Rhine region is internationally renowned for it. Vineyards and plantations have been grown alongside the Rhine since Roman times, and the Germans have come to be the eighth largest producer of wine in the world today!
The Middle Rhine region provides the perfect conditions for producing wine, which makes for many vineyards settled near each other along the riverside. Visitors can tour between the different sites with ease, all while enjoying the wonderful Rhineside scenery. There are even E-bike group tours that cycle from vineyard to vineyard - just make sure you don’t drink too much!
Visit the German Alps
The German Alps are not only beautiful, but they’re also well equipped for a camping trip or family vacation. Whether you like mountain biking, watersports, or simply just taking in the warm sunny weather, the Alps offer something to everyone’s taste. One of the most popular Alpine towns is Füssen, well-known for its stunning scenery and located a mere kilometre from the Austrian border - it’s not quite a weekend abroad, but it almost is!
Another popular German Alpine town is Lindau. Lindau sits on an island in Lake Constance, providing beautiful views across the water and mountains. The town borders the Austrian state of Vorarlberg and the Swiss cantons of St. Gallen and Thurgau. The town has good public transport for those coming south by train or bus, and there is an airport nearby for those who do not fancy long-distance driving.
Hit some of Berlin’s alternative restaurants and cafes
Think you’re cool enough to make it in Berlin? There’s only one way to find out! The city is known for its eclectic aesthetic and uber-cool coffee spots, and is a truly great place to spend a few days exploring and awakening your internal hipster self.
From popular eateries to the city’s alternative nightlife, Berlin offers many new and unique experiences, and makes the perfect destination for a German staycation. The city is a great place to do a food tour, and explore some of the region's wonderful local cuisine.
Even if you’re not looking to check out the capital’s alternative scene, there are plenty of conventional tourist hotspots where visitors and Berliners alike enjoy spending time. The city boasts a collection of interesting museums and historical sites, with many options for young children to enjoy too.
Walk along one of Germany’s stunning beaches
If you’re still missing the idea of summer on the beach, never fear - the German beaches are here! The country has a surprising amount of truly stunning seaside destinations, where you can sit in the sunshine and take in the fresh sea air.
The country’s northern coast is home to many of the nation’s best beaches, and there are also several German islands with incredible clear blue water.
Westerland Beach, on the northernmost German island of Sylt, is one of the most luxurious seaside resorts that the country has to offer. Dubbed "the Monaco of Germany" by some, the area boasts around 40 kilometres of white sandy beaches, and is a romantic spot for couples in particular.
For the more adventurous beach-lovers, Fehmarn Island in the Baltic sea is a hotspot for wind- and kitesurfers. The location of the island makes for great winds for surfers as well, so long as the sea isn’t too choppy.
There are also may beaches located more conveniently on the German mainland - a very popular one being Warnemünde Beach, situated near Rostock, with plenty of hotels, restaurants, parks and even a cruise terminal!
Time to enjoy the summer!
Now that you have plenty of options this year, it’s time to get out and enjoy the sun - happy summer 2021!
Of course, like most things in the past year, changes in Germany's coronavirus measures may mean that some of these places need to close temporarily if local outbreaks occur, so it’s always best to double check for COVID-19 updates online or in your federal state.