Germany advises against unnecessary travel

Widespread and fulfilling tourist travel to Germany seems unlikely before autumn.

A wave of coronavirus infections is current in Germany and other EU countries and travel to Germany that is not essential should be avoided, the government says. Hotel accommodation is not available to tourist travellers. Travel from South Africa, and the French department of Moselle, requires travellers to self-quarantine for 14 days because of high COVID-19 infection rates and the spread of virus variants. The rest of France is considered a high-incidence area and self-quarantine of up to 10 days would be required for arrivals. Border controls with the Czech Republic, Austria's Tirol province and France are in place. The UK and US have been downgraded to "risk" areas, along with parts of Portugal and Spain, and self-quarantine of 10 up to days by incoming travellers would be required.

Travellers entering Germany from areas classified as areas of variant concern, high-risk ("high-incidence") areas, or risk areas must register online before entry by filling in a form at (einreiseanmeldung.de). A PDF response will be sent. This confirmation will be needed before boarding transport to Germany.

When arriving in Germany, travellers aged six or older coming from a range of risk countries (HERE) must bring proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before entry.

Proof of the test result must be on paper or in an electronic document in English, French or German and kept for at least 10 days after entering Germany and be presented within 48 hours of arrival. Travellers who have stayed within a non-German risk zone, high-incidence area or virus variant area within 10 days of arriving from a risk area must self-quarantine for up to 10 days, although a negative test result can shorten this to five.

People in Germany who test positive for COVID-19 face a quarantine of up to two weeks. Quarantine measures are being increasingly strictly enforced. Non-compliance fines can rise to €25,000.

The so-called UK variant of COVID-19 now accounts for about 90% of new infections in Germany. The overall incidence rate of COVID-19 in Germany in mid-April 2021 rose to 160 cases per 100,000 people on a seven-day average. The German government hopes passing national legislation can unify the country's approach to social restrictions, which are normally under the management of Germany's 16 federal states. Widespread national night curfew measures are being discussed.

Current restrictions including mandatory wearing of face masks in public buildings and in shops are in place. On public transport, surgical-grade or FFP2/N95 respirator mask requirements are standard. Restaurants, leisure, cultural and sporting facilities and most shops are closed. The 1.5 metre physical distancing rule from people from other households, or the use of masks where this is impossible in closed rooms, is expected.

Germany's Corona-Warn-App for contact tracing can be downloaded from Germany's Apple and Google Play stores for most iPhones and Android devices.

Further details are available (HERE) Bookmark Raven Travel Guides Germany for your German travel research and stay safe.

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Germany A-Z travel guide 2021: Potsdam (a pleasant surprise of passion and beauty)

Potsdam is not what most travellers would expect from a Prussian city. It must be surrounded by more parklands, palaces, pavilions and lakes than any in Germany. It is fit for the rulers who shaped it that way and presents rare insights into their characters. Potsdam’s attraction lies in telling the story of everyone from kings and their architects to soldiers, immigrants and spies.

Potsdam’s location is fortunate, amid vast green and wooded expanses where the river Havel is a chain of lakes. It was also strategic. But it is man-made landscapes that are the key both to Potsdam’s history and appeal for visitors. It defies the militaristic image of Prussia, although vestiges of militarism can be found.

Potsdam never had to be a Prussian capital like Königsberg or Berlin. But, more than either, it was the home of the Hohenzollern princes who created the most ambitious and vital of German states. In Potsdam these electors, kings and emperors created worlds for their own pleasure and found a place to lavish their energy. Their vision, and the talents of their architects, builders and landscape designers, produced about 150 buildings and green expanses that earned UNESCO world heritage listing in the 1990s. About 20 structures are palaces large and small. The works include contributions from Prussia’s greatest architect, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and leading landscape genius, Peter Joseph Lenné.

Early in the 18th century the first Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm I made Potsdam a garrison town and started work on a wall with town gates and a city canal. The king settled Dutch craftsmen in his town and enlarged it twice, putting an end to the medieval Potsdam.

But Friedrich Wilhelm’s son Frederick the Great saw in Potsdam possibilities for a royal residence in more intimate surroundings than he could hope to enjoy in Berlin. This changed the character of Potsdam and today earns the gratitude of visitors.

Potsdam’s private dream palace

Frederick’s characteristic inspiration and stubbornness show in his summer palace Schloß Sanssouci. His sketches for a small Rococo flourish based on 10 principal chambers suited his informal ethos. But the king's ideas for the palace met resistance from his architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, who protested about its site and impracticalities. Frederick was no slave to fashion, his will won out and Knobelsdorff was eventually sacked, retiring to a grand Potsdam town house in cold internal exile.

Schloß Sanssouci (palace ‘without cares’ – though ‘Sans, souci’ is inscribed beneath the dome and the true meaning is much debated) was seen through to completion by the Dutchman Jan Bouman. As a ruler of the period, Frederick preferred French.

Frederick the Enlightenment thinker required five guest rooms – one fitted out for his friend Voltaire – and a private library. Frederick the flautist required an ornate concert chamber. The artist in Frederick also demanded a picture gallery. His favourite painter was Antoine Watteau, a Rococo pioneer and individualist in the Frederician spirit, and Watteau’s work was represented. The library, Frederick’s exclusive domain, was attached to his apartment, which included a study and audience room.

The palace’s oval-shaped Marmorsaal was the ballroom – although it seems women were never entertained there – and marble columns support a dome with stucco ceiling decorated in acknowledgment of arts and nature. Most of the references are Classical. Its fittings and furnishings today are mostly contemporary with the palace and the armchair where Frederick died remains in his study.

From the palace forecourt the Weinberg – actually a formal terraced vineyard for table grapes – drops away to the water feature Große Fontäne, the hydraulics of which failed Frederick and continued to fail for 100 years. The colonnade on the north side of the palace framed a courtyard and a line of sight to architectural follies on the hill Ruinenberg.

Frederick then developed the oddest European court of the period, modest but earnest in philosophy and the arts and devoid of women. Frederick's queen lived in Berlin.

Schloß Sanssouci remained Frederick’s favourite spot and was his choice as last resting place. But it took more than two centuries for the remains of the king and his beloved greyhounds to find their way to the simple slab graves outside his apartments on the forecourt. The body had been moved about from its first resting place in Potsdam’s Garnisonkirche, which was wrecked in World War II, and found peace only in 1991. But travellers who pay their respects at the grave today – be it with roses or the potatoes the king had championed for his kingdom – are quick to bow to the royal prerogative. The location and the view are hard to match.

Friedrich Ludwig Persius and Ferdinand von Arnim remodelled and plastered Schloß Sanssouci's household wings in the 1840s. In the west wing is the palace kitchen with its imposing stove and equipment from the 19th century.

Schloß Sanssouci’s modest proportions mean its epithet ‘the Prussian Versailles’ is hardly apt. But the 290ha scale of its gardens, known as Park Sanssouci, fits the comparison much better. Later Hohenzollern rulers added further buildings in the landscaped expanses.

Knobelsdorff supplied the first plans for the Weinberg and immediate gardens around Schloß Sanssouci with features such as a garden grotto and an obelisk with mock hieroglyphics erected to mark the entrance at the Hauptallee. Later development took place along the spine of this main pathway. The ridges to the north-west of Schloß Sanssouci could exploit views. Several small island gardens were created around pavilions in the landscape. Today it takes a detailed map to wander the key paths in search of the pavilions and sub-gardens.

A palace for everything

Frederick had several other buildings constructed during his long reign. The Bildergalerie on the terrace immediately east of Schloß Sanssouci was his palace of art, housing a collection of almost 200 Flemish and Dutch Baroque and Italian Renaissance paintings with ornate frames. Completed in the 1760s by Johann Gottfried Büring, it is the oldest such gallery in Germany. Some works remain to show the king’s tastes. Inside and out, allegorical decoration in sculpture and stucco represent Enlightenment ideals in the arts and sciences, although the building’s outer appearance is restrained compared to the opulent interiors, which include marble floors and gilded decoration. The garden outside is in the Dutch style.

It’s not the only Dutch feature. The Historische Mühle near the palace is a late 18th century windmill, rebuilt in the 1990s after a World War II fire. Its predecessor, a 1738 post mill, was called by the practical Frederick “the adornment of the palace”, but according to one story he asked for it to be moved because of its rattling.

The modest scale and delicate touches that express Frederick's personality are also eloquently demonstrated in the Rococo Orient-inspired pavilion Chinesisches Haus.

But the proportions of Schloß Sanssouci would not suffice for his court. In 1768, Frederick had Knobeldorff's 1747 orangery redesigned into the guest palace Neue Kammern by Carl von Gontard and Georg Christian Unger. The Rococo building, like the Bildergalerie, was outwardly simple with rich interiors and banquet rooms and created a symmetrical ensemble with the palace and gallery on the terrace. The central hall was lined with jasper and the ceiling painting depicted Venus. A gallery with gilded wall reliefs was inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses. Two guest apartments were panelled in ornamented wood. Some of the paintings show valuable views of Potsdam in Frederick's lifetime.

Frederick, however infatuated with music, literature and art, also inherited the Prussian martial gene and led his army in 16 battles through several aggressive wars marked by bold strategic gambles. He was almost always in uniform. Later in his career, in an imperious gesture to demonstrate Prussia's magnificence after a narrow triumph in the Seven Years War, Frederick had the weighty Baroque palace Neues Palais built at the other end of the parkland.

Again, Frederick was quarrelsome with the architect – this time Büring – and Gontard took over. When completed in 1769, Neues Palais dwarfed Schloß Sanssouci with a 55m high false dome and 200 chambers. It was Frederick's last Potsdam palace, a monument to the arrival of a new European power and a bid for parity between Potsdam and Versailles. But it was mostly used by guests.

Almost 300 sculpted figures from mythology were on its roof and parapet. A Rococo theatre, banqueting halls and ballrooms were inside – notably the extraordinary Grottensaal with its shell and gem ornament and the more conventional Marmorsaal. The colonnaded Communs complex behind, built in the mid-18th century for staff, featured a triumphal arch and underground passage. A mock temple for the king’s antiquities collection stood in front. Its bombast as a residence kept it in favour with monarchs up to the last Prussian emperor Wilhelm II. Frederick’s palace moat was filled late in the 19th century.

On the ridge west of Schloß Sanssouci, the ornate Drachenhaus was built in 1770 by Gontard for an army grenadier. Based on a picture of Canton’s Ta-Ho Pagoda, it has three upper tiers and gilded dragons mounted on the octagonal tower. The building is now a cafe. The rotunda pavilion Belvedere auf dem Klausberg, the only Neoclassical design for the park commissioned by Frederick, stands commanding the widest view.

Frederick’s successors opened up new areas and sight lines in the park. Lenné's reorganisation in the English landscape style took place from 1828, after which the Park Charlottenhof section south of Hauptallee was added.

Imagination with Italian flair

Friedrich Wilhelm IV was, like his great-great uncle Frederick, a keen builder. But for him Italian influences were far stronger than French. His early 19th century visits to Italy inspired new building ideas for Park Sanssouci and he became fascinated with the possibilities of landscape gardening.

Friedrich Wilhelm IV developed the so-called Marlygarten, or east end of Park Sanssouci. Friedrich Wilhelm saw the complex as connecting the park to the city. While crown prince, he took the opportunity presented by Park Sanssouci’s extension to commission Schloß Charlottenhof (1828), a Classical makeover of an 18th century manor house in which Schinkel collaborated and provided the furnishings. The king, a Romanticist, became one of Schinkel’s chief patrons.

Next came a Florentine villa concept for the Römische Bäder, a recreation of Roman baths. The complex was completed in 1844 as a Romantic ensemble by Persius to designs he produced with Schinkel with the enthusiastic input of Friedrich Wilhelm, now on the throne. First completed was a court gardener’s house, followed by a summer house, bath house and tea pavilion, all beside the Maschinenteich, a pondage for a steam pump.

The idea for the imposing Neue Orangerie on the northern height of the park was sketched by Friedrich Wilhelm himself, combining influences from Rome, the Vatican and Florence. The terraces, with a view over the garden and cascades built in front, were the work of Lenné. The king’s statue is in front, although on the lawn below is a small equestrian statue of Frederick.

In the Marlygarten, the medievalist court church or Friedenskirche (1848) was designed by Persius on the pattern of the early Romanesque basilica of San Clemente in Rome from sketches by Friedrich Wilhelm. A medieval Venetian mosaic was brought to decorate the apse. Eventually the church’s crypt accommodated the king’s grave. The church became part of a monastery-like complex comprising the 1889 mausoleum of Friedrich III and his wife Victoria, daughter of Queen Victoria, and the 1854 Kavalierhaus, also known as Schloß Marly.

Friedrich Wilhelm’s other chief contribution to the Potsdam palaces was the Mediterranean hilltop pavilion Belvedere auf dem Pfingstberg north-east of the city, with twin towers, colonnades and a courtyard pool. Yet the king never completed what was a larger project. The small temple on the slope below, the Neoclassical Pomonatempel (1800), is Schinkel’s first work.

But the most out-of-character building in Potsdam is the Dampfmaschinenhaus (1843) on Breite Straße at the Havel harbour. It was a steam pumphouse designed to look like a mosque. Because Frederick’s Park Sanssouci fountains would not work properly, Friedrich Wilhelm needed steam machinery, supplied by the great Berlin industrialist August Borsig, with hydraulic pumps. The chimney became the minaret of what Potsdamers called the Moschee. The pump system moved Havel water to the Ruinenberg storage above Park Sanssouci to feed the fountains by gravity and still works today. Inspections inside the pumphouse are occasionally offered.

New ideas, new gardens

But, unsatisfied with one royal park, the Hohenzollern princes commissioned further expanses. Frederick's successor Friedrich Wilhelm II wanted to move on from the formal style of Park Sanssouci in favour of English parkland and lakes. The landscape architect Johann August Eyserbeck laid out the first Neuer Garten over 100ha on the shore of Heilger See north of the city from 1787.

There, the artistic Friedrich Wilhelm built his summer palace the Marmorpalais (1791). The two-storey palace by Gontard and Carl Gotthard Langhans has a fairly restrained red-brick Neoclassical appearance with Silesian marble features. But the interiors, shaped by the king's mistress Wilhelmine von Enke, are more opulent and often show English taste. The most notable chambers are the Orientalisches Kabinett and Konzertsaal. The single-storey wings were added later with columns taken from Park Sanssouci.

Arranged around the palace are an orangerie, a kitchen (made to look like a lakeside temple ruin), a dairy and a pyramid used for cold storage. The styles reflect Friedrich Wilhelm's interest in Freemasonry. Lenné remodelled the Neuer Garten parks early in the 19th century.

Later, on the south-east shore of the lake Tiefer See, Park Babelsberg was laid out over more than 100 hectares, masterminded by Lenné. The medievalist palace Schloß Babelsberg, designed by Schinkel after visiting Britain, dominates the scene. It was first of the continent’s Neogothic palaces.

It became a summer residence for the crown prince, later the emperor Wilhelm I, whose princess Augusta took firm views on the project, arguing with both Schinkel and Lenné when it came to park design. The prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau was responsible for much of the garden layout. The palace provides a panorama over the lake Tiefer See and the meandering Havel.

The Neogothic Flatowturm nearby, used as guest accommodation, was modelled on a medieval gate tower in Frankfurt and its 46m lookout provided an even better view. Also nearby is a real medieval building, the Gerichtslaube, a transplanted fragment of the early Berlin Rathaus.

City of contrasts

The city of Potsdam has mostly retained modest proportions. Its Brandenburger Tor provides a focal point for the square Luisenplatz and forms an archway to Brandenburger Straße and its period dormer buildings. The craftsmen who lived here were forced to billet soldiers. Along Charlottenstraße is a section of restored Baroque housing.

But some some buildings are on a bigger scale. The Nikolaikirche at Alter Markt shows the hand of Schinkel, who planned it with the then crown prince – later Friedrich Wilhelm IV – under the Neoclassical influence of St Paul’s in London. Persius worked on the building after Schinkel’s death, but the 78m cupola was completed by Schinkel’s protege Friedrich August Stüler.

Also on Alter Markt is the Altes Rathaus, designed by Jan Bouman under the influence of the Renaissance Classicism of Andrea Palladio. It now houses Potsdam’s city museum. Attached to it by glass is the so-called Knobelsdorff Haus, which the architect designed for his retirement from court. One of several city obelisks stands in front, rebuilt to honour Knobelsdorff, Schinkel, Persius and Gontard.

The Potsdam city palace Stadtschloß was completed by the elector Friedrich Wilhelm in 1669 in Baroque. The Fortunaportal gateway to Alter Markt was added in 1701 and the main structure was redesigned in Rococo by Knobelsdorff as Frederick the Great’s winter residence in preference to Berlin. After post-war demolition it was rebuilt with modern interiors to house the Brandenburg state assembly.

Nearby on Breite Straße are the Hiller-Brandtsche Häuser, which also have a London connection, being modelled on an unrealised Inigo Jones plan for the palace of Whitehall. These are also Palladio inspirations and represent an effort by Frederick the Great to turn Breite Straße into a feature boulevard. The king engaged Unger to redesign the buildings occupied by the merchant Hiller and the tailor Brandt and add a section for soldiers’ barracks in the centre – part of a Prussian trend. Roman-style sculptures and Tuscan and Corinthian columns adorned the facade. It became the most expensive house in Potsdam and was the cue for hundreds of commissions for Unger to build Potsdam buildings. It was rebuilt in the 1830s and the anti-Hitler plotter Henning von Tresckow lived here in the 1920s. It escaped World War II bombing and later restoration used 18th century exterior colours.

More practical was the restored military orphanage, the Großes Militärwaisenhaus. It was built by Frederick’s father Friedrich Wilhelm I and completed in 1724, though Gontard, working for Frederick, later added the tower and cupola. The home soon housed 1500 orphans and continued to operate until the end of World War I.

The Baroque Marstall (1685) at the corner of Schloßstraße and Breite Straße is Potsdam's oldest surviving building. It was built as an orangerie facing the Lustgarten. But Friedrich Wilhelm I had it converted for use as royal stables when he made part of the Lustgarten into a drill ground. It remained in use as stables for more than 200 years but is now a museum of film.

The late Romantic St Peter und Paul Kirche marks the east end of Brandenburger Straße with a tower just over 60m. It has mixed style influences and the altars of its 18th century Baroque predecessor remain. Both churches met the needs of troops and behind the church is a memorial cemetery with the graves of about 400 Soviet soldiers.

Potsdam had been shaped as a military base and asset, but only a few sorry remnants of the city walls remain, along with some dried-out parts of the canals. The gates are a different matter, and there has been much restoration work. As well as the Brandenburger Tor, there is the Nauener Tor, enlarged when round Neogothic towers were added in the mid-18th century. The ornate Tuscan-style Jägertor is the oldest remaining and only one of the city’s seven gates with its original appearance, thanks to recent restoration.

The earliest town wall ran along Charlottenstraße. The toll house at the corner of Lindenstraße was remodelled into the Baroque and Neoclassical guardhouse Alte Wache (1797) for the crown prince’s regiment. Statues of Classical war deities, martial motifs and decoration run along the balustrade and above its arches.

Prussia’s immigrant paradise

The foreign influences in Potsdam lay not just in palace and garden design. The Hohenzollern Prussian rulers had a habit of inviting foreign immigrants and the city became associated with immigration and religious tolerance. In 1685 Friedrich Wilhelm, known as the Great Elector, issued the Edict of Potsdam. This granted persecuted French Protestants sanctuary and freedom of conscience in his domains. His grandson Friedrich Wilhelm I, Prussia’s first king, settled his Dutch craftsmen in and around Mittelstraße in a town quarter still identified as Holländisches Viertel. Today this is marked by more than 100 distinctive red-brick houses of varying size, built in the 1730s and 1740s in contemporary Dutch style. A museum in the Jan Bouman Haus – named for their architect – at Mittelstraße 8 describes the precinct’s history. The grander Dutch-style facades facing Bassinplatz are two generations later.

Frederick the Great invited Bohemian Protestant silk weavers to settle in a part of Babelsberg nearby. They used the district’s former Slavic name Nowawes and today it retains characteristic period housing.

In the 1820s former Russian soldiers who had formed a choir were encouraged to Potsdam by Friedrich Wilhelm III and Lenné laid out the village known as Siedlung Alexandrowka with rural farmstead-style houses and an orchard for them to use. The small Orthodox chapel Alexander-Newski-Gedächtniskirche was built a few hundred metres uphill from the colony to a design by Schinkel, blending Classical elements with the Byzantine-Russian style. There was also a log country house for the king, a grander version of the village houses below.

Babelsberg between the world wars also became the centre of the German motion picture industry. After developing its art during the silent era, UFA studios made many of the first German talkies and launched many international film careers, including that of Marlene Dietrich. The movie precinct has been revived with new studios and film park, for which there is a tour.

The last palace built by the Hohenzollerns was the hunting lodge Schloß Cecilienhof (1917) near the north end of Neuer Garten. It is in the style of an English lodge and was for the crown prince Wilhelm and his princess Cecile. The look is intimate but the residence still totals 176 rooms and is well worth touring.

But Potsdam’s role in history was unfinished after World War II. In a conference held at Cecilienhof in mid-1945, the Allied powers, represented by Truman, Stalin and Churchill (and Churchill’s successor Clement Atlee), confirmed many of the conditions and boundaries for post-war Germany. It was the safest place to meet anywhere near Berlin at the time and the meeting room is set up as a conference memorial.

One of the new frontiers was at Glienicker Brücke, the 1907 bridge that until then had linked Potsdam with Berlin. Soon it was to mark the Soviet-dominated border of East Germany, which was closed to West Berlin in 1961, and became a Cold War border of light and shadow. By this time the bridge's original structure, damaged during World War II, had been largely rebuilt. At this isolated spot the border was a simple line across the middle of the bridge (marked by a pavement insert and sign today), with checkpoint.

At the bridge the Soviet Union handed U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers back to US officials in 1962 after he was shot down on a spy mission over Russia. Its reputation as a site for exchanges of agents and other prisoners grew so that other exchanges were set here in the pages of espionage fiction. An exhibition on the bridge’s history is nearby at Villa Schöningen.

Looking from the Enlightenment to the Cold War and German reunification, Potsdam saw many rulers. Each left their mark, often beautifully and always indelibly. But none more so than the visionaries of the 18th and 19th centuries, Prussia’s golden age.

Potsdam is one of the Jewels of the Past on this website.

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Berlin

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Potsdam

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● An introduction to the delicate Rococo palace Schloß Sanssouci and the palaces and pavilions of Park Sanssouci with brief histories

● The story of Potsdam’s ornate city gates, its Baroque streetscapes and 15 museums

● Details of essential services, transport links and fares, accommodation, food and tours

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

Augsburg

Augsburg travel guide PDF in 6 pages

The wealth and influence of Augsburg’s powerful families brought the Renaissance to Germany at a time when the city was also the site of key events of the Reformation.

● The home of Germany’s onion-domed towers, museums with magnificent works of art, and one of the beautiful Renaissance streets of Germany, the Maximilianstraße

Guides to more than 30 sites, including monuments to Roman settlement

Transport links and fares, food and tours

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

Dinkelsbühl

Dinkelsbühl travel guide PDF in 2 pages

This short guide covers a tiny medieval walled town, left unchanged by a royal decree and now a favourite of artists and a small number of travellers.

● Dinkelsbühl’s town walls and many Gothic and Renaissance buildings keep its atmosphere alive

● Small hotels, pensions and restaurants complement the historical scene

● Essential services, tourist and transport information are included with hyperlinks to accommodation

Lübeck

Lübeck travel guide PDF in 7 pages

Trade made Lübeck the centre of the Baltic and the red-brick Gothic old town its merchant wealth built is now UNESCO world heritage-listed. Its churches, town houses and civic institutions are preserved and restored.

● The commercial and civic culture of the city through guides to 30 sites, museums and galleries

Tours, the best views and food options with other travel essentials

● Information on transport links and transit services including fares

● Hyperlinks to further tourist information and to websites for city accommodation

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg travel guide PDF in 4 pages

Completely walled with more than 40 towers, the cobbled pedestrian streets of the Romantic Road town perched above the Tauber valley are little changed since the 17th century, with medieval and Renaissance half-timbered houses and stone churches.

● The guide includes 17 sites and museums and an excursion to the Franconian open-air museum at nearby Bad Windsheim

● Essential services, transport links, food tips and tours

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and websites for many of the town’s small accommodation houses

Passau

Passau travel guide PDF in 4 pages

The border city of three rivers includes the Baroque cathedral of St Stephan, with one of the world’s largest organs, the fortress Veste Oberhaus and the well preserved old town.

● Descriptions of 13 sites and museums, including the exhibits of Passau’s Roman past and history of glass manufacture

● Details of essential services, transport links and urban buses including fares, accommodation, food, tours and spectacular views

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

Trier

Trier travel guide PDF in 7 pages

The Roman Trier was at one time second only to Rome itself. It was home to one of the most powerful Roman emperors, Constantine the Great, and later to Karl Marx. Signs of its past greatness remain for travellers to marvel at. Germany’s oldest city – and one of its oldest cathedrals – remain and are world-heritage listed.

● Read about the ancient Roman city gate Porta Nigra, the Roman bath complexes, a well-preserved amphitheatre and Constantine’s former imperial palace, plus the buildings of the medieval city

● The guide includes more than 30 sites, churches and museums, with essential services, *transport links, transit and tours

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

Berlin

Berlin travel guide PDF

Get 34 pages of things to do in Berlin free. Berlin is used to crisis, novelty and immigrants – so to visit Berlin is to visit many Berlins. The city that the Enlightenment and industrial progress created survived years of destruction and division.

● Descriptions of places to visit in Berlin including more than 60 historic sites, with guides to walking sections of the Berlin Wall, its museums and its memorials

● A complete guide to what to do in Berlin, including tours, cruises, parks and the best views

● Separate sections for the districts Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Neukölln, Schöneberg-Tempelhof, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Spandau, with local food and accommodation lists and quick guides to essential services

● Summary of major transport links with Berlin

● How to use urban transit services including Berlin U-Bahn and S-Bahn, with their differences and the fares

● Summaries of more than 50 Berlin museums of history, art and culture, and information on all major performance groups including orchestras, opera and theatre

● Short history of the city and its precincts

● Hyperlinks to websites for Berlin hotels and hostels and further tourist information

Hamburg

Hamburg travel guide PDF in 8 pages

Germany’s mighty port city attracts travellers from all over the world and was the departure point for generations of migrants. ● 25 sites, ships, museums, monuments and churches that reflect Hamburg’s maritime and trading traditions

● The UNESCO world heritage Speicherstadt, centre of Hamburg’s former free port

● Essential services are listed with a choice of tours, including port tours

● Information on transport links and extensive urban transit services including fares

● Listings of essential traveller services

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

● The city’s arts and music scene, including opera

Cologne (Köln)

Cologne travel guide PDF in 15 pages

Cologne is Roman, medieval and modern all at once, a city known for piety, carnival and perfume. Travellers can walk the historic centre and the remains of the Roman wall. The guide has been updated for 2019-20 and expanded with new material.

Germany’s mightiest cathedral, which took more than 600 years to complete

● Cologne’s Roman and medieval walls and gates picked out for travellers

● 12 precious Romanesque churches with historical background

● In all, 25 sites and 17 museums of art, history and culture including the Römisch-Germanisches Museum and associated archaeological sites

Transport links and urban transit services including fares

Tours, parks, views, food and performing arts

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

Stuttgart

Stuttgart travel guide PDF in 6 pages

The Baden-Württemberg capital is one of Germany’s beautiful lifestyle cities, surrounded by hills and some of the country’s most beautiful palaces and pleasure pavilions.

● 10 sites including Stuttgart’s castle complexes, Schloß Solitude and the magnificent palaces of Ludwigsburg nearby

● 10 museums and galleries of art

Tours, walks through the city’s extensive parks and views

● Guide to essential services and hyperlinks to tourist information and accommodation house websites and a guide to performance art

Bremen

Bremen travel guide PDF in 8 pages

One of Germany’s oldest cities includes UNESCO world heritage monuments, ornate Renaissance architecture with a regional stamp, the story of world travellers including emigrants to the US and arts precincts with works by some of the most innovative German artists. This guide is updated for 2020.

● The ancient St Petri cathedral and 11 other sites including the giant Roland figure

17 Bremen museums including art and the remarkable Übersee-Museum, with exhibits of the wonders of the continents touched by Bremen’s worldwide trade interests

Transport links and the city’s complicated transit system explained

● Hyperlink access to websites for accommodation houses and further tourist information

Dresden

Dresden travel guide PDF in 11 pages

Twice over the centuries, Dresden has been an amazing place. The first period was the Baroque magnificence of the 17th and 18th centuries. The second is now, with much of the city’s splendour restored.

Dresden's city palaces with their museums and galleries, highlighted by the two Green Vault museums, are among the most remarkable in Germany

● The exquisite, rebuilt Frauenkirche

● The Saxon ducal and royal summer palaces of Pillnitz and Moritzburg

● In all, 30 museums and galleries of art and culture

● Information on tours, essential services, parks and views, food and performing arts

● Details of excursions to the medieval city of Meissen, centre of European porcelain, and the fortress of Königstein

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

Munich (München)

Munich travel guide PDF in 13 pages

Munich was founded by monks and built up by dukes and kings, but became a centre of revolution as well as a home for arts, industry and travellers enjoying the good life.

● Germany’s largest museum, Deutsches Museum, and some of its richest art museums

● The city’s extensive palaces and palace gardens are featured

● Almost 30 museums of history, art and culture

● 30 historic sites in and around the city

● Information on major performance groups including orchestras and opera

Accommodation, food and a guide to essential services including transport links and urban transit services and fares

● A choice of city tours and some of its finest views

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

Nuremberg (Nürnberg)

Nuremberg travel guide PDF in 8 pages

Modern Nuremberg has preserved or restored many walled and historic areas. The city’s leading late medieval citizens were some of the best known German personalities. Then came the Nazis.

● Guides to 20 buildings, historic streets and monuments, among them the Kaiserburg, the castle of early imperial German assemblies

● 13 museums, including Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Germany’s leading cultural history museum

● The courts of the post-World War II war crimes trials, now also a museum

Transport links, urban transit, tours and essential services

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites