Rooji's Germany trip
If you followed my journey, you know now that Germany was the country where I decided to share my tips and travel inspiration to as many courageous tigers as possible. I personally know how hard it was to decide this big step of a life on the road and want to inspire other shy tigers to follow in my footsteps and even do it much better than me.
Here are a couple of smart tips for a great Germany travel adventure.
My first view of Hamburg was the enormous sun-soaked building of the Elbphilharmonie. Looking like a spaceship, this 110-meter buildings can be visited for free. From there, I slowly walked the many bridges from Speicherstadt, whose red-bricked buildings used to be once the headquarters of big trade companies from around the world. I ended up in the HanseViertel, with its many shops and great restaurants busy with both tourists and locals. I asked them what is the most famous thing to see in Hamburg, and they all recommended to have a look at the City Hall - the Rathaus, how is it called in German. And what a great place it is with its small details of the facade and the impressive interior halls that can also be visited for free. Seriously, this Hamburg is a real blast.
But my curious mind was craving for more, and I’ve spent the next couple of hours at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, trying to understand the well-kept secrets of the modern art. A new love was born, for art, and I promised myself to try to see as many museums as possible in all the new destinations I was ready to discover during my lifelong journey. But it was time to close and unfortunately, I had to leave for now. Hungrily, I ended up in the hip St.George area where the smell of good food from all over the world was an invitation to explore.
Here I was, me, the humble Tiger Rooji with his huge world travel to-do-list...
Less than one hour away by train from Hamburg, Lüneburg has all the perfect ingredients of a fairytale town. A city not affected by the WWII bombings, its beautiful buildings can be best admired when walking the streets around Ritter and Rote Straße, or Am Markt. Take a look at the intricate architecture of the city hall and the interesting buildings around. If you want to grab a snack to upload your energy for the day, I recommend the historical Hesse Bäckerei on Willy Brandt Straße 2.
If interested in the recent industrial history of Lüneburg, the Alte Kran, an old mill from the 19th century, can offer some interesting insights. The neighbouring area offers more than one perfect spot for a lunch outdoors. Another local attraction that you should include on your travel list is the Salt Museum, a museum created inside a former mine.
If you travel to Berlin from Hamburg, you can pay as low as less than 20 EURO using a special ticket available at the Deutsche Bahn ticket offices. In two hours, you reach the German capital with the fast speed train and such a trip is always for the win.
Berlin is a huge city and you may need a couple of days to spend in order to really see at least most of its beautiful sightseeing.
For the first timers, the first day can be used for checking out the famous local attractions: Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden, Alexanderplatz and its famous TV Tower - where there is a restaurant too, Potsdamer Platz and its bold architecture. For shopping lovers, the Ku’damm avenue, rightly compared to Champs Elysée offers luxury shopping offers galore. If you are into vintage alternative shopping, the newly Bikini Berlin, a couple of meters away from the iconic KaDeWe store.
For the culture lovers, visiting the Museuminsel, a complex of museums covering history, classical arts and antiquities can easily be the program for a full day of immersion into the European culture. If you want to find out more about the recent history of Germany and Berlin, the DDR Museum, featuring daily life in former communist Germany and the Spy Museum telling - what else - spy stories during the Cold War, are strongly recommended.
Nature lovers would love to walk through the Tiergarten, a huge park covering more neighbourhoods, maybe with a short visit to the iconic Sigersäule for a great view over Berlin. In the summertime, a boat tour on Spree will show you the beauty and challenges of the city that never stops inventing itself.
For the food lovers, the many food markets, such as Markthalle IX, are inviting the visitors to exquisite tastings at affordable prices. The lovers of everything Asian food will rejoice to check the generous offer on Kantstrasse, close to the Zoo, while the districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg are ready to satisfy all the tastes and food requirements - vegan and vegetarian included.
If you visit Berlin with children, the Zoologische Garten is the most recommended entertainment, but you can also give a try to the Tierpark, on the other side of Berlin, an open-air zoo offering a very diverse selection of animals in a special environment. The LEGO Museum in Potsdamer Platz is another must-see and play for the little Lego lovers ones, while the Domäne Dahlem in the Western part of the city is great for a half-day of nature exploration outdoors. At the weekend, there are truck tours around the property too.
With Berlin, is always easy to start and hard to stop. There are so many things to do and see that you either need to move here - at least for a little while - or come over and over again. Berlin will always welcome you!
From Zoologische Garten train station, take the S-Bahn until Potsdam Hbf. You need an ABC ticket and the journey takes less than one hour. A picturesque little town, Potsdam has lots of travel temptations that will keep you busy for a full day.
Near the train station in the Alt Markt, the newly open Museum Barberini displays a great collection of modern paintings. Close from there, you can book a boat trip on the Havel which will reveal in at least one hour the beauty of this place and the most important sightseeings. Within walking distance, the Dutch Quarter is a great destination for architecture lovers and for some delicious pancakes threats.
The Sansouci Palace and their impressive gardens, outstanding beautiful in the summer, are the must-see. On the other end of Potsdam, the Cecilienhof palace where the future of Europe after WWII was decided, is a recommended destination for history lovers. On your way, have a look at the picturesque Alexandrowska Russian artists’ village, with its cute wooden houses with colourful flowers on the windowsills.
If you are visiting with children, you may also include the Biosphäre Potsdam - which includes an indoors Botanical Gardens and some roaring dinosaurs, or the Babelsberg Film Studios which promises amazing roller coasting entertainment.
If it is one single place you want to visit in the South of Germany, Munich is the best choice ever. You can reach it by the fast ICE train from Berlin in less than 5 hours. The price of the ICE trip Berlin-Munich starts from 50 EUR. With a Deutsche Bahn card, you can get significant discount and access to special tickets deals that can save you between 25 and 50% of the original prices. Surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape, this eclectic multicultural city offers everything for every single taste: from nature wanderings in the English Gardens to museums and outdoor entertainment, especially if you plan to visit during the famous Oktoberfest beer festival.
Outside the festival time, Viktualienmarkt remains a good place to have a local beer and accompanied by some local dishes. The city hall in the always busy Marienplatz is one of the most interesting buildings around, and from the top of its towers, you can see as far as neighbouring Austria.
For a perfect immersion into the local arts and culture, the Munich Residence can be a good and intensive beginning. The Deutsches Museum - the German Museum - can be your next level of understanding the complex German history or the Alte Pinakothek - if you are really a serious painting lover or the Glyptothek, for the sculpture fans.
For curious children and their parents too, the Toys museum - Spielzeugmuseum - is always great as it is not only about toys, about also about the histories of people playing with these toys and their education.
The former Olympic village is a great attraction that can be easily reached by train. If you want to be mobile, you can buy a one-day ticket which gives you the freedom to hop on and off the public transportation as often as you want for less than 10 EUR.
Finish your stay in style, with a long visit at the Schloss Nymphenburg and its gardens.
Talking about castles, if you are curious and in love with fairytale castles, the so-called Disney castle, Neuschwanstein Castle, and the equally beautiful Hohenschwangau are only a couple of hours away. Another beautiful castle, Linderhof, can be reached in around 2 hours by train and bus, by using the Bayern Ticket.
But Germany means much more than that and I can’t wait to share more tips and adventures? Are you interested in a specific German travel destination? Rooji is ready to have it covered for you! Let us know what do you think and where would you love to go next to Germany!