Germany open for travel - with care

Tourist travel in Germany is back, but the country’s fourth wave of COVID-19 infections has begun. All travellers arriving in Germany should be able to prove they are fully inoculated with a German-approved vaccine, recently recovered from the virus, or have had a negative test in recent days. New rules are developing and the best advice to travellers is to get fully vaccinated.

Travellers should also be prepared for border checks and the fact that they might have to demonstrate their COVID-free status to enter Germany, its attractions, accommodation and restaurants. Arrivals at the border are liable for COVID-19 testing if unvaccinated.

Germany lifted its pandemic travel warning for most countries on July 1. Travel from Canada is now open, but the US has returned to Germany's list of designated high-risk countries. People travelling from the US, and other high-risk areas such as South Africa, India and the UK, will have to register and get a certificate.

A sharp drop in overall rates of new COVID-19 infections in May and June has reversed, presenting a challenge despite increases in German vaccination numbers. The arrival of the so-called fourth wave of cases conincides with the dominance of the COVID-19 Delta strain among new infections.

German social reopening measures in areas of low COVID-19 incidence include the opening of restaurants - with timed bookings - and hotels, mostly on production of proof of vaccination. Reopening of cultural institutions is accompanied by mask-wearing and other restrictions as well as booked visits. Some German hotel accommodation may remain unavailable to tourist travellers. Restrictions may tighten with the arrival of autumn.

To enter Germany, travellers aged 12 or older must present proof of COVID-19 immunity through negative test results, vaccination or recent recovery on paper or in an electronic document. This must be presented at the border or within 48 hours of arrival. Air travellers must present proof of immunity to their carrier before departure. To use services such as restaurants, overseas visitors will likely be compelled to show a pass on a smartphone.

In many areas 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. 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.

When contemplating visits to Germany, travellers should consult local German consulates or embassies to check rules and requirements for entry and returning home, including any requirements of airlines or transit countries.

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

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.

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Germany travel guide 2021: Solve Regensburg’s hardest riddle

The north portal of Regensburg’s 12th century Schottenkirche St Jakob is one of Germany’s big mysteries.

Its weirdly crafted relief sculptures include otherworldly beasts and inscrutable faces staring down. For most travellers, there’s an oddly pagan feel about the enigmatic entry to this medieval church.

The church, in Jakobstraße, was founded by early Irish monks as part of a Benedictine monastery that acquired their name. Scottish brethren did not take over the site early until the 16th century. The Germans rarely distinguished between the origins of travelling Gaelic monks, who had a formative role in German Christianity.

Setting the scene is the world heritage city of Regensburg. Regensburg, which was part of the Roman world, is older than Germany and older than almost anywhere now in Germany.

The Schottenportal’s ornament is arranged on three levels. At the bottom Mary and Child, centrally enthroned on the left, are set off by an Antichrist figure with hostile beasts on the right. But the pattern of opposites is not consistent on all levels – below Mother and Child a dragon swallows a lion. At the bottom, on the right, are pilgrims and missionaries.

Christ is shown two further times – as an adult on the tympanum above the door, probably with the apostles James and John, and at the centre of the disciples in a frieze at the top. To spreaders of the faith like the Irish monks, the apostles were powerful symbols. Kneeling figures appear around the door jambs and on the left of the middle level. Plants and further beasts complete the picture. But the meanings of most of the figures excite debate and nothing like the Schottenportal puzzle exists in Germany. The theme seems apocalyptic but its design intricacy appears to owe more to the illuminated manuscript designs of early Britain.

About the time the present church was built, the Regensburg monks had spread through many parts of the German-speaking world, especially Franconia, and as far as Kiev. The trade link with Kiev may be represented by a figure on the upper left of the Schottenportal with a vessel cloaked by furs.

The church, consecrated to James and St Gertrud, is part of a pilgrimage way of St James and linked to Europe’s pilgrim network. Its status meant it survived Napoleon’s dissolution of German monasteries, but the buildings were taken over by a seminary later in the 19th century. Today, the Romanesque basilica is little altered. The only sign of modernity is the glass enclosure that protects the precious portal images from the weather.

The Schottenkirche is one highlight among many in Regensburg, an outpost of one empire, centre of another.

One of Germany’s mighty Gothic cathedrals

The Schottenkirche is not the best-known church in Regensburg. The 13th century Gothic cathedral Dom St Peter retains many of its interior treasures and much of its original stained glass. It is one of the great Gothic cathedrals of Germany and, like Cologne’s, took hundreds of years to complete. The spires reach 105m high.

The first church goes back to at least the late 8th century. Parts of a later Romanesque cathedral remain, including a northern tower, and the crypt, where there are episcopal graves and a mysterious burial of 257 medieval skeletons. The present building was begun after a fire in 1273. The structure had a Baroque makeover in the 17th century but was recast as Neogothic in the mid-19th century and finished – again like Cologne’s cathedral – at the beginning of the Prussian empire in 1871.

The cathedral’s interior statues, mainly the angel Gabriel (1280) on the pillars before the main altar, are highly valued. But here is another riddle – is Gabriel laughing or smiling? And why – exultation at the coming of Christ? The nearby statue of Mary is the only hint.

External statues include the pagan emperors Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, Caesar (or Augustus) and Cyrus. But St Peter, placed centrally in his ship, is higher. The triangular porch above the west portal is unusual and much admired.

A new organ was commissioned in 2009 and performances are weekdays at noon. The nearby cathedral information centre at Domplatz 5 is an excellent place for literature or booking church tours.

Ancient houses of God

Evidence of Christianity in Regensburg is even older – and earlier than in most German cities, shown by a clutch of historic churches. A bishopric was operating there in the 8th century, established by St Boniface, but there is a hint of an earlier bishop in the late Roman period. The Romanesque Basilika St Emmeram, a Benedictine abbey church, is like the graveyard of a lost world, with burials going back to the 7th century. The three crypts include St Emmeram, one of the earliest Frankish bishops, St Wolfgang, and the graves of two successors of Charlemagne. The church was redecorated in Baroque after a succession of fires and the Asam brothers, famous for their Bavarian church decoration, provided the intricately worked replacement ceiling. A painted wooden ceiling section tells of St Benedict of Nursia. The church is now a minor basilica.

According to local traditions, the 9th century Alte Kapelle, at Kornmarkt, marks the site where Christianity was introduced to Bavaria. But a Roman church might also have stood here e and Roman stone was used in the building of the spare exterior of the Romanesque basilica. Rococo ceiling frescoes and stucco inside present a contrast.

The 12th century Niedermünsterkirche, in Niedermünstergasse, is another site with earlier history. There are remains of Roman fortifications and churches were built there soon after the Romans’ departure in the 5th century. Early in the 8th century the Frankish bishop St Erhard was buried in the so-called Pfalzkapelle and the powerful Bavarian duke Theodo was interred there soon after. His 10th century successor Heinrich I followed and Heinrich’s widow Judith founded a convent for women of noble status before herself being laid to rest there. Tours of the Roman and medieval archaeology beneath occur twice a week, but in German only – ask at the Domplatz information office.

Behind, and almost contemporary with the cathedral, is the St-Ulrichs-Kirche, first a ducal chapel, then the cathedral parish church. It is one of Germany’s oldest Gothic churches but now a diocesan museum. The earliest artworks inside date from the 11th century. Wall paintings from about 1570 are in an excellent state of preservation and others belong to the 13th century.

Shield of the Roman world

But Regensburg’s importance goes back even further. It was an ancient Celtic settlement, known as Radasbona, at the confluence of the rivers Regen and Danube. A Roman fort appeared during the rule of the emperor Vespasian and late in the 2nd century a legionary camp, Castra Regina, was built for Marcus Aurelius. In this period, with the river Danube as Rome’s northern frontier, Castra Regina was an important strong point. At about 540 by 450 metres, it was designed for up to 6000 troops. This was as far as permanent Roman fortifications reached into Germany.

Parts of Marcus’ fortifications have been exposed at Ernst-Reuter-Platz, not far from today’s central rail station. A segment of its Danube gate, known as Porta Praetoria, is on Unter den Schwibbögen near the cathedral precinct. The gate, which stood about 20 metres high, would have looked like a smaller version of Trier’s Porta Nigra. The north Roman wall can be traced either side. The camp’s other three gates have vanished. Finds from the period, a Porta Praetoria model, and an inscribed slab are in Regensburg’s historical museum.

A well preserved section of early Roman wall is in Adolf-Kolping-Straße, near the base of a rounded tower built at the legionary camp’s north-east corner. Later structures absorbed the east wall and a 70-metre wall section is in the basement of a multi-storey car park at Dachauplatz.

Within the Roman walls, the first town of Regensburg grew. But the name Ratisbon was often applied to it by foreign writers, referring to Raetia, the region and Roman province. The line of the Roman walls remained as fortifications for 1600 years, although outer defences appeared in the medieval period. Part of this is also visible at Ernst-Reuter-Platz.

A bridge between cultures

Of all Regensburg’s superb medieval structures, the mightiest is the impressive 300m stone bridge Steinerne Brücke over the Danube. No city monument meant more to Regensburg’s growth and prosperity than this. Much of the city’s medieval development would have been possible without trade and bridge tolls.

The Romans saw Castra Regina as a frontier, but the medieval German kingdom saw Regensburg’s commercial opportunities. The city was for a long time the only Bavarian crossing over the Danube, in the shape of a wooden bridge built by Charlemagne. No crossing lay to the east until Vienna, making Regensburg and its Danube islands strategic and a stage for portage north of the Alps. This forged links with southern Europe – especially Venice. The city’s connection with Italy was renewed.

The inadequate wooden bridge was supplemented in the mid-12th century by the stone Steinerne Brücke. With 16 arches, it anticipated other great European stone bridges but needed a slight bend to negotiate the river and the Wöhrd islands. Only the city side or south tower Brückturm, the city gatehouse, remains of three originals. The others fell to ice damage – as did some mills that once lined the river bank – and bombardment. A ramp still leads to one of the islands today, replicating an annexe of about 1500.

But one of the city’s symbols, the copy of the stone Bruckmandl statue, remains at the high point, sitting astride a roof and looking into the sun to the south. The original, which sits in the city museum, stood elsewhere on the bridge. Does the Bruckmandl depict the bridge’s anonymous builder anxiously watching the rising cathedral in a competition to finish first? There is a surviving tale about this contest – which does not square with the construction dates of the two – but at any rate the bridge builder need not have worried. His work took only about a decade. Work on the cathedral was still going 700 years later.

Regensburg’s mercantile activity included the important Danube river traffic, including barges with the rich salt trade running up the river from Passau. At Donau-Schiffahrts-Museum on Thundorfer Straße, two historical river craft, in almost original condition, are moored for inspection.

Chief among the city-owned warehouses are the giant 16th century Amberger Stadel and the 17th century salt depot Salzstadel at the Altstadt end of Steinerne Brücke. The 16th century Weinstadel in Keplerstraße and Leerer Beutel, the Bertholdstraße grain depot that now serves as a city gallery, are other monuments to the trade of the Renaissance and after. Leerer Beutel was also the city’s vital food supply during the Thirty Years War and later Bavarian grain embargoes.

Much of Regensburg’s trade story is told by the displays in the Brückturm-Museum next to the old bridge tower. A salt barge exhibit is included.

The past lives everywhere

The Gothic style that dominates the narrow streets of Regensburg’s old town would alone make it memorable.

Many of Regensburg’s tower-houses – medieval residential structures that also served as headquarters for the businesses of their wealthy merchant owners – reached up to nine storeys and some are more or less intact. These Italian inspirations are rare in Germany (travellers can look in nearby Nuremberg or Trier for parallels) and resulted from lack of space. But there were also security benefits for owners in retreating upstairs at any sign of trouble.

It is striking in the close old-town streetscape to find these towers reaching beyond 40 metres. Examples such as the Goldener Turm on Wahlenstraße, which was the precinct of Italian merchants, preserve an impression of the city in the late medieval and Renaissance period.

The towers of the Baumburgerhaus, Kastenmeyer Haus and Löblturm are little changed from their 13th century appearance, though some are missing original upper storeys. These were the goods storage levels, where merchandise was hoisted high and hauled in through the casements.

The Goliathhaus, with a tower not as high but preserving a remarkable exterior fresco of the giant’s great battle with David, combines two artefacts – such large wall paintings were fashionable in the 16th century. Another tower at Haidplatz forms part of the Hotel Goldenes Kreuz. There the emperor Charles V stayed during imperial assemblies and reputedly sired Don Juan d’Austria, born to a local woman and destined to defeat the Turkish Mediterranean fleet in 1571. A Don Juan statue is at Fischgässel.

The Altstadt’s faithful historical character also lives in some of the more colourful old street names. Goldene-Bären-Straße, Schwarze-Bären-Straße, Weiße-Lilien-Gasse and Alter Kornmarkt belong to inns that stood there or reveal historical locations for trade. Blaue-Lilien-Gasse, no more than 3m wide, is typical of the narrow medieval lanes.

At the centre of imperial power

Regensburg was the seat of the Bavarian duchy from the 6th century. From late in the ducal period, the Romanesque Herzhoghof at Alter Kornmarkt survives from the palace complex. The 28m square tower Römerturm, even older, has a base of Roman stone blocks and is joined by the rebuilt medieval arch Schwibbogen.

Regensburg was the capital of the eastern Frankish kingdom and an imperial seat in the 9th century. It became a free city under the Holy Roman empire from the 13th century and separated from Bavaria.

The buildings of the Altes Rathaus at Rathausplatz were home to the imperial diet or Reichstag, which met in the upper hall of the Gothic Reichsaalbau (built 1360) from 1663 until 1806. Representatives came to Regensburg from throughout the Holy Roman empire to resolve complex issues involving the hundreds of separate states and jurisdictions that made up the Holy Roman empire. Today it is interesting to study the seating plan of the tapestried hall, reflecting the many levels of feudal power. Tours are available for visitors here and the adjacent chambers and the cells below.

The diversity of the German territories is neatly represented at the portal of the adjacent corner stairwell – the iron rods showing local standards for length measurement including the ell and the foot – here it was called the shoe (‘Schuch’) – which before the 19th century varied throughout Germany. It was Napoleon who shook up Germany, ended the empire and standardised public measures.

At many of these assemblies the city was represented by the counts and princes Thurn und Taxis, who for 250 years operated the empire’s official postal network. When this lucrative business ended, they took over the St Emmeram abbey as a palace. Today this is another museum complex, replete with state rooms and sumptuous interiors, a treasury and a carriage collection. It has more than 500 rooms.

A prince of knowledge

The astronomer and astrologer Johannes Kepler lived in Regensburg and died there in 1630. A museum collection documenting his life and work is in his former house near the bank of the Danube. Period interiors and instruments and a summary of Kepler’s astronomical work, including a model of his laws of motion.

The Swedish army, during the Thirty Years War, destroyed Kepler’s Regensburg grave because he had acted as astrologer to the opposing imperial general Wallenstein. But this house, and a bust set up near Maximilianstraße, are his memorials.

World heritage wonders

Unlike Regensburg, the streets of Stadtamhof remained part of Bavaria throughout their history. But they are joined to the city by Steinerne Brücke and their joint world heritage status. The area’s beauty lies in an unbroken line of Baroque facades down the sett stones of its main street. The later date of the buildings is due to the widespread destruction caused by bombardment of this unwalled precinct during the Thirty Years War. On Andreasstraße, the contemporary church of St Mang, centre of the Augustinian monastery of St Andreas and St Mang, has rich Rococo interior decoration.

This catalogue of sites justifies UNESCO’s world heritage listing of Regensburg’s old town, the bridge, and the Baroque buildings of the Stadtamhof precinct. The Besucherzentrum Welterbe is a free museum explaining Regensburg’s world heritage significance and preservation policy.

Apart from all this stands a Neoclassical temple in a Romantic spirit. Danube river traffic from Regensburg is not extensive, but a short cruise to nearby Donaustauf provides a chance to visit the Walhalla.

Leo von Klenze modelled the temple on the Parthenon for the 19th century Bavarian king Ludwig I. The king’s project was to collect busts and plaques to an idealised pantheon of great Germanic figures of history, science and the arts. This collection of heroes includes Alfred the Great and other ancient warrior kings, Martin Luther, Copernicus, Mozart, Goethe and Heine. Busts have been added since Ludwig’s death to increase their total to 130, in addition to 65 plaques. It's an ideal place to argue over who has been left out of German history.

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

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Culture Encounters

Jewels of the Past

Berlin

Great Cities of Germany

Lutherstadt Wittenberg

Wittenberg travel guide PDF in 4 pages

More than 500 years after Martin Luther's Reformation, this free guide covers the place where it all began. The town was the cradle of the religious movement that threw off the structures of the Catholic church and shaped new ideas and ways of worship, but also more than a century of bitter conflict that shaped Germany forever.

● Key sites, now world heritage monuments, include Luther's house and the castle

● The church where Luther's revolt began and churches Luther and his associates preached

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

Bonn

Bonn travel guide PDF in 8 pages

Bonn, Germany's Cold War capital of democracy, has one of the longest stories of any German city. Romans and prince-archbishops left their mark in monuments and palaces, but an intriguing variety of churches also shapes one of Germany's greenest and most graceful cities. In the year of Beethoven's 250th birthday, this eight-page travel guide covers plenty of things to do in Bonn.

● The Beethoven-Haus Museum, the Bundeskunsthalle and the Haus der Geschichte, chronicling German's late 20th century return to democracy and - eventually - unity.

● Details of essential services, transport links and fares, accommodation, tours and discount entry deals at museums

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

Füssen

Füssen travel guide PDF for 2020 in 4 pages

Schloß Neuschwanstein, a small town at the foot of the Alps, a world heritage church that has to be seen to be believed, a medieval castle and a Baroque monastery - it's all in Füssen. The medieval town with Roman roots became Europe's centre for luthiers and the jumping-off point for visits to famous Romantic castles nearby.

● How to get to Schloß Neuschwanstein and Schloß Hohenschwangau

● The Wieskirche, a UNESCO-listed Rococo pilgrimage church, is a short ride away

● The town’s castle, churches and museums

Hyperlink access to essential tourist and accommodation information

Eisenach

Eisenach travel guide PDF in 4 pages

The new Raven guide to the Thuringian town, birthplace of Bach and hiding place of Martin Luther early in his revolt against the established church. It is also the site of one of Germany’s great medieval castles, with links to another great German composer, Wagner, and a centre of automobile making.

● Guide to the Wartburg castle

● Guides to the Bach museum of his life and work and museum of car manufacture

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

Koblenz

Koblenz travel guide, new for 2020

Koblenz is a fascinating city with Roman roots and a history shared by France as well as German speakers, shaping a unique Rhenish identity. At the heart of the Rhine UNESCO world heritage area, Koblenz is a short river cruise or train ride from two famous Rhine river castles.

● The city is dominated by the Ehrenbreitstein fortress, reached by the Koblenz cable car across the Rhine near the Moselle junction at Deutsches Eck

● The medieval Marksburg castle and the Romantic Stolzenfels are in easy reach

● The ancient Basilika St Kastor, site of negotiations that partitioned the empire of Charlemagne

● Suggested Koblenz hotels, both central and offering Rhine views

● All the best museums, including the Ehrenbreitstein museums and the experiential Romanticum

Aachen

Aachen travel guide PDF in 5 pages

The Romans developed the hot springs at Aachen, then 1200 years ago the Frankish king Charlemagne set up his court there and the town became the centre of his empire. The 2018 Raven Guide to Aachen is available for free download now.

● A guide to Charlemagne's church, which grew to become the present Aachen cathedral, one of the first world heritage sites

● The Roman and medieval survivals of the city and details of the city tour

● Essential services with hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

Heidelberg

Heidelberg travel guide PDF in 7 pages

The most common description for Heidelberg is Romantic. This comes from its valley location, half-ruined castle and the towered stone bridge crossing the river Neckar.

● Explore Heidelberg’s cobbled streets in search of the essence of the city – Germany’s oldest university, the churches, monuments to its religious struggles, and its restaurants and cafes

● Discover the castle, its history, and the funicular railway that makes the climb – and vantage points above the city – much easier

● Several budget hotel and private hostels that help make Heidelberg accommodation affordable, plus hyperlink access to other accommodation and tourist information sites

● Guides to 27 sites and museums

Bamberg

Bamberg travel guide PDF in 5 pages

The layout of the UNESCO heritage-listed city centre and a range of Baroque and medieval architecture makes Bamberg one of Germany’s most beautiful cities.

● The Romanesque cathedral, the opulent bishops’ Residenz palace, and its Renaissance predecessor dominate the old town

● The old town hall in the middle of the river Regnitz and the mysterious statue Bamberger Reiter attract millions of travellers

● Summaries of 35 historic sites and museums

● Information on tours, parks, food and the arts

● Hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

Würzburg

Würzburg travel guide PDF in 7 pages

The prince-bishops who controlled Würzburg for centuries built wealth, power and influence expressed in Baroque by their huge palace, the UNESCO world-heritage Residenz. Their medieval castle still commands the city, reached by a stone bridge.

● Summaries of Würzburg’s grand residences, the medieval cathedral, churches and other sites

Museums and galleries including one of Europe’s prominent Jewish museums

Tours, essential services, transport links, transit services and fares and food tips

● Hyperlink access to accommodation and further tourist information websites

Goslar

Goslar travel guide PDF in 5 pages

The medieval town has hundreds of colourful half-timbered houses, Romanesque churches and the Kaiserpfalz, one of Germany’s oldest palaces. Its ancient Rammelsberg mines were the source of its wealth and are partly responsible for the town’s world heritage status.

19 sites and museums including the finest town houses

● A town walk and Rammelsberg tour

● Information on transport links plus listings of travel essentials and hyperlink access to further tourist information and accommodation websites

● An excursion to the nearby half-timbered Harz town Wernigerode

Regensburg

Regensburg travel guide PDF in 6 pages

The streets, archways and buildings of this medieval city, which grew from remains of a Roman legionary camp, remain. The range of ancient monuments and its streetscapes justify Regensburg’s world heritage listing.

● One of Germany’s classic Gothic cathedrals, several medieval churches, rare Gothic tower houses and one of Germany’s oldest stone bridges

Almost 30 sites and museums, including the nearby Walhalla gallery of great Germanic figures of history

● Information on essential services, transport links and urban transit and fares plus listings of travel essentials

● Hyperlink access to accommodation websites and further tourist information

Potsdam

Potsdam travel guide in 11 pages

Potsdam is a curious but beautiful mixture of Prussian palaces and military buildings established by its martial rulers. The Stadtschloß palace was the first royal residence and others gradually multiplied in the city's extensive parklands over 250 years. The city’s minorities grew with waves of immigration, leaving the Dutch quarter Holländisches Viertel, a Bohemian district and the Russian colony Siedlung Alexandrowka and its tiny Orthodox church. This guide offers:

● 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 for 2021 in 6 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

● Discover the story of Germany's greatest medieval epic, composed in Passau

● 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