German Cities


The old Franconia emperor and bishop city of Bamberg is located on the banks of the Regnitz. The city first appears in documents in 902. The distinctive cityscape is marked by a thousand years of architecture. Like ancient Rome, Bamberg was built on seven hills. Because of its excellent preservation, the historic Old Town was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1993.

Sights in Bamberg
The center of Bamberg is the 13th century Bamberg Cathedral located in the Old City, whose four towers accent the cityscape. Masterpieces of medieval sculpture grace the interior of the cathedral, like the world-famous Bamberg Rider. Romantic fishermen’s houses are the dominant sights in ‘Little Venice’. The State Gallery has found a home in the magnificently furnished New Residence. The Historical Museum can be visited in the Old Court. A stroll to the former Benedictine monastery, St. Michael’s Abbey, or to the idyllic Domgrund park is recommended. On the highest of the seven hills above Bamberg stands the Altenburg, a castle regarded as one of the city’s symbols. Villa Concordia, built in the 18th century, gives artists a chance to present their artworks. Geyerswörth Palace in the Old City was built in the 16th century as a moated palace and today serves as an office building, which in no way detracts from its charm. Among the most important buildings in the city center is the Old City Hall, which has enchanted visitors with its Rococo style since the 18th century and houses a porcelain exhibit.



Cologne developed from a Roman settlement and was already an important Hanseatic city in the early middle ages. Today the old cathedral city is widely known as an exposition center and art capital. The greatest number of visitors doubtlessly converges on Cologne at carnival time: when the so-called “fifth season” begins, one meets countless “Jecken” (carnival revelers) in the streets, who love it to take part in the world-famous festival.

Sightseeing in Cologne
Not far from the left bank of the Rhine towers Cologne Cathedral, one of the largest and most impressive European cathedrals. The Roman-Germanic Museum displays world-class excavation objects. The Old City disposes of winding streets and idyllic squares. In front of City Hall there is a glass pyramid, which offers a view of a mikvah, a ritual Jewish immersion bath. Lovers of sweets will surely want to visit the Cologne Chocolate Museum. The Botanical Garden and the Rhine Cable Car are other points of attraction. The Museum Ludwig displays art from the 20th and 21st centuries. In the Sculpture Park one can admire numerous sculptures by nationally and internationally known artists.

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The capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia received its town charter in 1288. The Prince Elector Johann Wilhelm chose Dusseldorf as his Royal Residence and made the city a cultural center. Today the city on the Lower Rhine is known for its elegant shops and quaint taverns. The Dusseldorf Old City is referred to as the “world’s longest bar” because of its numerous pubs and beer halls. Exclusive stores and restaurants line the Königsallee. One can also take long strolls along the River Rhine Promenade.

Sights to see in Dusseldorf
Dusseldorf’s rich museum landscape has much to please visitors. Interesting sightseeing tours are offered by the City Museum, the Seafaring Museum, the Neanderthal Museum, the Film Museum, the Mustard Museum, the Museum of Natural History, various art collections and many other attractions. A major point of interest for vacationers is Benrath Palace in the south of the city, with its spacious palace grounds. Rest and recreation can be enjoyed in the Rhine Park or Unterbach Lake, featuring sport and leisure opportunities. From the Rhine Tower there is an impressive view over the city. On a guided tour of the Esprit Arena, sport fans can look behind the scenes of a multi-functional arena.




Frankfurt was first mentioned in 794 as a royal palatinate. The city underwent rapid economic development and is known to history as the town where Emperors were crowned. Today, one encounters numerous contrasts in “Mainhattan.” Modern skyscrapers stand not far from the lovingly restored Old City. The Römerberg represents the center of the Old Town. A shopping stroll through Frankfurt must include the “Freßgass,” an up-market shopping street. Nostalgia is evoked by the Old Sachsenhausen quarter south of the Main River, which features quaint little pubs where the regional cider, so-called “Appelwoi,” is served.

Sightseeing in Frankfurt
The Römer is Frankfurt’s trademark. The old City Hall consists of eleven formerly separate medieval houses dating from the 14th century. Nearby St. Paul’s Church was the site of the first German National Assembly. Among Frankfurt’s most magnificent buildings is the Old Opera House. Frankfurt is known above all for its airport and Stock Exchange, which can be visited. A further trademark is the Goethe House, built by the famous poet’s father, which was long the family residence. The skyline of “Mainhattan” is dominated by the Main Tower skyscraper, from which visitors to the city can enjoy a magnificent view of Frankfurt and its surroundings. The Imperial Cathedral documents the importance of the city for Royal Coronations in the Holy Roman Empire.

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Hanover© Dorothee Kiesow / Travanto


The Lower Saxon metropolis of Hanover is an important industrial and trade fair center. The present area of the city stems from an old market settlement. The city is first mentioned in a document under the name of ‘Hanovere’ in the 12th century. With over half a million residents, Hanover is one of the 15 largest German cities. As the capital city of Lower Saxony, it is also the seat of the Lower Saxon state parliament. Hanover is important and known above all for the numerous trade fairs that are held in the great Exhibition Center.

Sights to see in Hanover
All the sights in the city center can be explored by following a “red thread.” The red guideline links 36 points in the city center. Regarded as the symbol of Hanover is the City Hall, built on beech-wood piles. Also worth seeing is the classical opera house. With the Lower Saxon State Museum, the Kestner Museum or the Sprengel Museum, Hanover offers a rich program for visitors. Spacious green areas like Masch Park, Lönspark or the Eilenriede City Forest are attractive for outings. As well, the Herrenhäuser Gardens or the Zoo, already founded in the 17th century, are worth a side-trip.






Lüneburg© Petra Kestner / Travanto


The old salt and Hanseatic city of Lüneburg grew up around a castle complex built in 951. Due to the city’s salt deposits, used to pickle fish from the North and Baltic Seas, Lüneburg was admitted to the Hanseatic League and became an important trading center in North Germany. In the 16th century, Lüneburg was one of the richest North German cities. Today the university plays an important role in the city of over 70,000 residents.

Things to see in Lüneburg
The stately domestic architecture of the Old Town testifies to its former prosperity. On the marketplace stands the City Hall, adorned with statuary. The richly furnished interior rooms can be viewed during guided tours. The “Old Crane” is Lüneburg’s symbol and in the Middle Ages served for loading salt. The German Salt Museum stands on the grounds of a former salt works. The Lüneburg Salt-Thermal Bath is the center of the health resort. The Lüne Monastery was founded in the 12th century and is open to tourists. The three main churches, St. John’s, St. Michael’s and St. Nicholas’, were built in the brick Gothic style between the 13th and 15th centuries. We find nature at its best in Lüneburg Heath Nature Park.

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Munich, the capital city of Bavaria, was founded in 1158 by Heinrich the Lion, and shortly thereafter became the Residence of the royal Wittelsbach family. Today, Bavarian informality and good cheer prevail on the Isar river, especially when the annual Oktoberfest is held and attracts visitors from around the world. With over 1.3 million residents, Munich is the third-largest city in Germany after Berlin and Hamburg.

Sights in Munich
The living heart of the Old City beats on the crowded Marienplatz town square. At the New City Hall, the famous clock figures and chimes attract tourists each day at noon. Bavarian delicacies and culinary treats from around the world change hands in the nearby food market. Anyone who visits Munich should also try the famous Hofbräuhaus beer hall and take a stroll through the English Garden, built in the 18th century according to the pattern of English gardens. The Hellabrunn Zoological Garden thrills old and young. In the Olympic Park, built for the 1972 Olympic Games, there are various sport facilities for athletic events. Art lovers find world-renowned old masters in the Alte Pinakothek museum. Munich is also known for the two towers of the Church of Our Lady, the Gothic cathedral of the archdiocese of Munich. Technology fans get their money’s worth in the German Museum and in the BMW Museum, which tells the history of the famous automobile company. In the Bavarian Film Studio, original film sets can be seen and various movie theaters and shows are offered.

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The Cathedral and University City of Münster forms the center of the Münster region and is located in Northwestern North Rhine-Westphalia. Because of its numerous churches, the city on the Dortmund-Ems Canal is called the “Lower German Rome.” The diocese of Münster was founded in the late 8th century by Charlemagne. Until 1803 Münster was the center of an ecclesiastical principality. In the city center the Principal Market, surrounded by gabled buildings, is a popular place to visit. There stands the Gothic City Hall, where in the mid-17th century a partial settlement of the Thirty Years’ War was signed between Spain and the Netherlands.

Worth seeing in Münster
Münster is worth seeing in every season. St. Paul’s Cathedral is among the largest church buildings in Westphalia and is simultaneously the city’s symbol. The Westphalia State Museum informs visitors on the art and cultural history of the region. Art lovers will get their money’s worth in the Picasso Museum in the Old City. Here over 800 lithographs document the artist’s works. Also an attention-getter is Münster Palace, which today serves as the University’s main building. As well the Überwasser Church should not be skipped when visiting the city. Inside one finds numerous sacral art treasures. And if one wants to take an excursion suitable for persons of all ages, the Allwetterzoo houses a great variety of native and exotic animals.
Nuremberg© Ingrid Gaerdes / Travanto


The charming Franconian city of Nuremberg is located in the Middle Franconian Basin. It first appears in the records in 1050. Today, the city on the Pegnitz River unites many different qualities and is popularly known as the city of the Master Singers (“Meistersingerstadt”) or Dürer’s city. With 500,000 residents, Nuremberg is the second largest city in Bavaria.

Worth seeing in Nuremberg
The “Schöner Brunnen“ (Beautiful Fountain) at the Main Marketplace is eye-catching. Every day at noon one can watch the moving figures (“Männleinlaufen”) of the mechanical clock on the Church of Our Lady. Nuremberg Castle towers above the roofs of the Old Town. The interior of the Castle can be visited. Below the Castle, at the Tiergärtner Gate, the Albrecht Dürer House was reconstructed and made accessible to the public as a museum. With the German National Museum, Nuremberg possesses the largest art and cultural historical collection in Germany. Other interesting museums are the New Museum of Nuremberg, the Industrial Culture Museum, the Toy Museum and the interactive hands-on “Tower of the Senses” Museum. The NS Party Rally Grounds (“Reichsparteigelände”) Documentary Center features exhibits on the history of Nuremberg in the Third Reich.




Ruhr region© Wilhelm Böllhoff / Travanto

Ruhr Region

With five million residents, the Ruhr Region has the largest German concentration of population. In the twentieth century, there was a shift in the region from a ‘coal scuttle’ to a diversified experience landscape. The sooty chimneys of the steel mills have given way to an incomparable cultural landscape. Numerous industrial monuments and museums keep alive the memory of the Ruhr Region’s history.

Things to see in the Ruhr Region
In Bochum, visitors to the German Mining Museum can experience the former mining technology in operation. The Ruhr Region has been widely known for years for the popular musical “Starlight Express,” performed in a theater built especially for this purpose in Bochum. Exciting cultural and athletic events are also on the program of the Westphalian halls of Dortmund. In addition, vacationers can admire a priceless carved altar in St. Peter’s Church and stroll through Romberg Park. Bottrop does justice to its reputation as a green city in the Ruhr Region. Culture enthusiasts will definitely have to visit the “Quadrat” Museum Center. One can enjoy a beautiful view of Bottrop from the “Tetraeder” outlook, the symbol of the city. Large and small cinema enthusiasts will enjoy the Movie Park in Bottrop Kirchhellen. The steel industry once held sway in Duisburg. Today the Rhine-Ruhr Harbor dominates the surroundings. As well, the city of Essen is another center of attraction in the Ruhr Region. The city boasts of brilliantly designed buildings by the renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.
Schwerin© Christoph Stoffer / Travanto


Schwerin, the state capital of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, can look back on an eventful history as the former Residence of the Mecklenburg dukes. The settlement was apparently founded between 600 and 1000 BC. In Slavic times a castle was built there, around which settlements grew up. Schwerin Castle was later constructed. With fewer than 100,000 residents, Schwerin is Germany’s smallest state capital.

Things to see in Schwerin
The most famous sight and the symbol of Schwerin is the Castle. This structure, with its many towers and gables, evokes an almost fairytale atmosphere. Dotted with numerous sculptures, the castle gardens were laid out in the baroque style. Lavishly restored domestic architecture can be seen in the Schwerin marketplace. Schwerin Cathedral is one of the most important North German brick Gothic buildings. The Pfaffenteich offers inviting possibilities for a romantic stroll. In the Old Garden, the State Museum offers a valuable art collection. From the television tower, visitors enjoy a wonderful view of Schwerin and its surroundings. In the Schwerin Zoo, one can see about 120 different species of animals gathered from around the world. The Schleswig-Holstein House is a cultural center offering frequent exhibitions and events.





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