Holiday 2020 • Let it be Germany: dream getaways on your doorstep

We don’t tend to associate our neighbour with summer holidays, but maybe it’s time we reappraised that

Germany might look like a vapid summer destination, but in these coronavirus times of half-opened, half-closed borders, unobvious choices might be the right ones.

Unlike some others (is that the tit for tat of pettiness, we can hear), our neighbouring country to the south is open to all Danish residents.

Vast choice
And it’s no exaggeration to claim that it can surprise tourists with a vast list of holiday options to choose from.

From spa resorts and hiking routes to magical castles and old-fashioned towns, Germany is multi-dimensional, intriguing and worth being discovered.

The best news about Baden-Württemberg is that it is the sunniest region of Germany: with 1,607 sunshine hours a year, tourists stand a great chance of enjoying good weather during their trip. With that being said, it is not surprising that many treat the state as a resort and travel to Baden-Baden, where mineral spas, casinos and hiking through the Black Forest are mixed together to create the ultimate summer destination. This southwestern German state is also famous for its rich landscape: the forest, the Swabian Alb area and the Neckartal Valley. One visit is all that’s needed to find a special place in the hearts of nature- lovers. Other places to visit include the historic cities of Heidelberg and Tübingen, which lie alongside hectic urban centres such as Stuttgart.

The Romantic Road 
The Romantic Road starts south from Würzburg and flows to the small city of Füssen, and then down to the Bavarian Alps. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Germany, and it makes complete sense: the picturesque landscape makes tourists feel like they are driving through a Disney movie set. This feeling reaches its climax when one drives by the Neuschwanstein Castle, which – as it is claimed – served as an inspiration for Walt Disney’s architectural approach to his amusement parks. Do not hesitate to explore small cities that surprise tourists with their folksy charm and long-held traditions.

Berlin and Potsdam
In light of all the coronavirus-related restrictions, maybe this summer is not the perfect time to visit Berlin – a city whose magical nightlife tends to cast a spell on visiting tourists. However, the city still has something to offer: hundreds of museums, lakes and beaches, historic landmarks and so much architectural variety that it is often remarked upon that Berlin looks like five different cities merged into one. Top tips: venture outside Berlin to explore parts of Brandenburg, the federal state that Berlin belongs to, and its capital, the UNESCO World Heritage City of Potsdam, where the Renaissance-style Sanssouci Palace is the perfect place to start.

Thuringia is known for being the home state of Goethe, Schiller and Bach, and also the birthplace of the prominent German art school Bauhaus, which makes it the perfect travel destination for history and art geeks. However, the state also offers a range of activities for active tourism enthusiasts. Germany’s best-known hiking trail, Rennsteig, is located here. Thuringia is the country’s ‘green heart’, and its medieval fortress ruins and surrounding rivers and forests have always been highly popular among tourists.

Although Saxony is filled with lovely historic towns such as Görlitz, Bautzen, Freiberg and Pirna, the main tourist destinations are Dresden and Leipzig, Germany’s cultural centres. While Dresden is famous for its architectural treasures, such as the Baroque-style Zwinger Palace and a Lutheran church that defines the city’s skyline, Leipzig is more likely to attract music lovers as it is the home of Thomanerchor, the prominent boys’ choir.

Lake Constance
Lake Constance lies where Austria, Germany and Switzerland meet and does not legally belong to any of these countries. However, from a coast point of view, Germany has the best part: the lake’s beautiful northern rim. Such cities as Lindau or Konstanz are the best picks if one is looking for a beach holiday in Germany and, as the lake is framed by the Alps, it is also an astonishingly scenic location for summer get-aways. The boat trip on the Bodensee is the main tourist attraction. It takes visitors to the Rhine Falls, one of the biggest waterfalls in Europe, along with islands of Mainau and Reichenau, which are preserved by UNESCO.