Are you planning a trip to beautiful Germany? Don’t forget to visit these 23 most famous Landmarks in Germany!
Culture, art, history, quaint villages, and fantastical castles all await you on a sightseeing journey through Germany!
No matter how far and wide you travel throughout this beautiful country, you’ll no doubt bump into one of the countless German landmarks we outline in this guide. Ranging from natural landmarks to man-made monuments, castles, and sights, you’ll never get bored exploring all these wonderful attractions scattered throughout the country.
In this post, we’ll outline some of the best and most famous landmarks of Germany to inspire you to include these on your next German travel itinerary!
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23 Famous Landmarks of Germany
By Cosette from KarsTravels
The beautiful Hohenschwangau Castle is located in Southern Germany. Built for Crown Prince Maximilian of Bavaria in the years 1832 to 1837. It’s a castle in Neogothic style, with yellow-coloured outside walls. Which gives it a bit of a dreamy look. German mythology and the symbol of the swan dominate the decorations. The inside of the castle is in Biedermeier style.
Admire the castle from the outside, since it’s built on a hill you can see it well from several viewpoints. Take a guided tour of the castle (the only way to see the inside) and be mesmerized by all the beautiful paintings on the walls.
The castle lies across the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle, in the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen. It’s close to the border with Austria in Bayern.
You’re not allowed to take photos of the inside. Tickets can be bought at the ticket centre in the village or online. The guided tours take 45 minutes. There’s no parking near the castle, park at parking lot P4 in the village. From here it’s a 20-minute uphill hike, or you can take a carriage to the entrance.
By Martina from PlacesofJuma
Probably one of the landmarks in Germany most worth seeing is definitely the Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland, a real natural jewel in the south near Dresden. Especially outdoor fans, nature lovers and photographers love this picturesque area: Countless hiking trails lead through breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, through deep gorges, green fairytale forests and to spectacular viewpoints of the Elbe Mountains there.
The absolute highlight for many vacationers is a visit to the world-famous Bastei Bridge. This amazing landmark is a stone bridge that connects quite extraordinary rock formations. The scenery is so unique and special that about 1.5 million visitors from all over the world come every year to experience this impressive attraction.
From the Bastei Bridge, the rock drops steeply over 194 meters to the Elbe River. From there you have a stunning view over the Elbe Valley and over to the rocky needles of the mountains.
In any case, it is worth spending a few days in this region. On top of the famous Bastei Bridge, there are many other great things to do in the area! Interesting is to visit the Königsstein Fortress or go on a bike tour along the beautiful Elbe River and you can take a hike along the famous Malerweg Route. Really cool is also a tour on the nostalgic steamboat and the Schandau baths are also worth a visit.
The easiest way to reach the Bastei Bridge is by car or rental car. The nearest international airport is in Dresden about 45 kilometres away.
Berlin Brandenburg Gate
By Ali from Berlin Travel Tips
Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor in German) is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Berlin and Germany, and it’s a great place to stop for photos. Built in the late 1700s, it’s younger than the medieval gates in many other German cities, but it’s no less impressive.
During the Cold War when Berlin was split into East and West, Brandenburger Tor sat along the border on the east side. When the Berlin Wall was constructed, the Soviets isolated the gate so that it was inaccessible to people on both sides. The gate came to represent the division that kept Berlin communities apart.
President Reagan’s famous Berlin Wall speech, when he said “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”, took place in front of the west side of Brandenburger Tor. East Berlin residents could hear the speech from the other side of the gate.
Once the Berlin Wall fell and the two sides of the city were reunited, this famous gate came to represent unity. It is often used as a symbol of Germany.
Today Brandenburger Tor is a major German landmark that should be included on your Berlin bucket list. It’s located at the western end of Unter den Linden, a major road with many of the city’s attractions. You can easily reach it by Ubahn or Sbahn to the Brandenburger Tor station.
Worlds Largest Cuckoo clock near Triberg
By LeAnna from WanderInGermany
The Black Forest in Germany is often described as a beautiful, mystical place with fairy tale villages, gorgeous nature and…Cuckoo Clocks! Yes, Germany is known for creating the original Cuckoo Clock and it was said to be invented in the rolling hills of the Blackforest, not far from the famous Triberg Waterfalls.
About a 3-minute drive from the small village of Triberg at the Eble Uhren-Park is what is considered the world’s largest cuckoo clock! While there are numerous clocks throughout the black forest that are on the sides of entire buildings, this clock is actually a fully functioning, traditionally built cuckoo clock. It was built using the blueprints of clocks made hundreds of years ago in the region, but then just scaled almost 60 times the usual size!
It is 15 feet tall and the actual cuckoo bird, that pops out twice an hour to chirp the time, weighs over 300 pounds! There are fully functional gears inside that you can see yourself and the pendulum is 26 feet long and still swings to the beat of time!
While the clock itself doesn’t take much time to see (you’ll want to make sure to arrive at the top of the hour to see it chime), there is a small museum inside that only takes a few minutes to walk through and of course, there is plenty to do nearby in the Black Forest itself as well.
Location: Schonachbach 27, Schonach im Schwarzwald
Zwinger in Dresden
By Alina from World of Lina
Another one of the best landmarks in Germany is the Zwinger which can be found in the beautiful city of Dresden.
This palatial complex with wonderful gardens is one of the most important buildings of the Baroque period in Germany. It’s home to internationally renowned museums such as the Porcelain Collection and the Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments.
First built as an orangery in 1709, the Zwinger soon developed into a place of history, culture and festivals. The only things left from its former function as an orangery are the little orange trees which give the Zwinger an extra Mediterranean flair from May to October.
Due to its very central location, the Zwinger is easily reachable by public transport. Moreover, it’s just a stone’s throw from other famous sights including Dresden Castle and the Semperoper. Entry to the inner courtyard, the outdoor galleries and the gardens is free, however, if you want to visit some of the museums you need to buy tickets that you can buy directly on-site.
Frauenkirche in Munich
By Mia from Walk a While with Me
Munich is filled with some of the best landmarks in Germany, from Neues Rathaus (the New Town Hall) to Nymphenburg Palace. But from the cluster of spectacular sights scattered around Munich, one building stands apart from the crowd: Frauenkirche.
Also known as the “Church of Our Lady,” Frauenkirche is one of the most popular and beloved buildings in Munich; in fact, the locals adore it so much that they voted to prohibit building anything taller than Frauenkirche! To this day, Frauenkirche remains an iconic feature of Munich’s skyline.
Frauenkirche also displays an extraordinary mix of styles; built in the late 15th century, this late gothic church has twin towers with Renaissance-style domes. One of the best things to do in Frauenkirche is to climb the south tower, to admire the stunning panoramic views of the city.
Visiting Frauenkirche is free, and it is well-located in the heart of Altstadt, the old town of Munich. It’s only 4 minutes away from Marienplatz, both of which are essential stops on a self-guided walking tour of Munich! It is open Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm, and Sunday from 9:30 am to 8 pm
By Rachel from Rachel’s Ruminations
While the Berlin Wall as a whole came down in 1989, there are still plenty of remnants in Berlin as well as places to learn more about it, thus remaining one of the most famous German landmarks. To start with, notice the brick line in the pavement that winds through the city; this marks the path of where the wall used to be.
Much of the wide strip of land – the wall was actually two walls, with a strip of no-man’s land in between – has been repurposed in various ways. However, at the Berlin Wall Memorial, you can see some remaining sections of the wall and a restored piece with watchtowers. This bit of former no-man’s land has been converted into a strip of park, but the park is a museum of sorts as well, with multimedia information stations and markings showing where people built tunnels to escape East Germany. The museum continues into Nordbahnhof metro station with an exhibit about “ghost stations.”
Other sites related to the Berlin Wall:
- Checkpoint Charlie on Friedrichstraße is the best-known (and most-touristed) point in the former wall, with a small museum to go with it.
- The Palace of Tears next to Friedrichstraße train station is a preserved train station hall with a very moving exhibit about East Germans who were lucky enough to leave legally.
- East Side Gallery on Muhlenstraße is the name for a fully-graffitied section of the wall that’s more than a kilometre long.
- The Wall Museum, right next to East Side Gallery, is a new museum showing the history of the wall as well as of the division of Germany.
- The DDR Museum gives a clear idea of what life was like in East Berlin and East Germany as a whole.
- The Stasi Museum is in a chillingly ordinary office building and explains how the Stasi security apparatus kept East Germans under control.
By Jorge & Cláudia from Travel Drafts
Cologne’s Cathedral, the Dom, is one of Germany’s most famous and visited landmarks. This impressive Gothic Church is located in the city of Cologne in the North of Germany. Construction started in 1248 but it was only finished in 1880 following its original plans. It was classified as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1996.
The cathedral has two huge spires of 157 meters high, making it the second tallest church in Europe. Besides being extremely tall the Cathedral is beautiful, with a thoroughly decorated facade. It is surrounded by beautiful stained glass windows. Inside the Cathedral you will find an impressive medieval choir and several arcades.
If you are up to it you can climb 533 stone steps of the spiral staircase to a viewing platform about 100 meters (330 ft) above the ground and enjoy the beautiful skyline of Cologne.
The Dom is open from 6 am to 8 pm, but during service hours it is not advisable to visit. It doesn’t have an entrance fee and you can take pictures without a flash. It is without a doubt a landmark you don’t want to miss.
By Veronika from Travel Geekery
Reichstag in Berlin belongs to one of the most famous buildings and institutions in the whole of Germany. The parliament building is located on the banks of the River Spree, between the sleek government district and just around the corner from the equally famous Brandenburg Gate.
Reichstag is referred to as Bundestag as well. It comprises an old structure and a newish glass dome by the world-known architect Norman Foster.
While the area around the Bundestag is pleasant enough, you should definitely check out its interior too. For that, you must register in advance on the official website. The entrance itself is free. Most of the building is used for parliamentary sessions and as actual offices of the MPs, so those are not part of the tour.
The highlight anyway is the dome. It offers a spiral walkway up to the rooftop of Reichstag. And the views from there are marvellous. This is what everybody comes for – for the opportunity to see Berlin from this angle and to check out the unique glass dome.
Being one of Germany’s landmarks that you have to visit, the Reichstag definitely cannot be left out when you plan your trip to Berlin!
By Sydney from A World In Reach
One of the most iconic and historic landmarks in Germany is Checkpoint Charlie, the most famous crossing point between East and West Berlin
During Germany’s division, Berlin was a city divided by the Berlin Wall. In order to cross from one side to the other, you had to do so at one of the three checkpoints. Checkpoint Charlie, located in the centre of Berlin, was the most famous.
The crossing was the only one where Allied diplomats and foreign tourists could cross into East Germany, and it was the site of many escapes for East Germans wishing to flee into West Germany.
Today, Checkpoint Charlie is one of Berlin’s most famous tourist attractions. It serves as a reminder of the division during the Cold War as well as a monument to those who died while attempting to cross the Berlin Wall. At the site of the border crossing, you can visit a replica of the famous guardhouse and the sign marking the checkpoint. Nearby, you can visit the Mauer Museum, where you can learn more about Germany’s division, the Berlin Wall, and more.
By Chris from Amateur Traveler
Wartburg Castle, which sits on a hill above the city of Eisenach, Germany is a beautiful castle, but it also has an interesting place in German history which earned it its UNESCO designation as a World Heritage Site.
Visitors to the castle can visit the room where Martin Luther was hidden after he failed to submit to the Catholic church leaders at the Diet of Worms. He was supposedly “kidnapped by highwaymen” after that meeting, but in reality, he was whisked away by the guards of Frederick the Wise and hidden here as a knight.
While he was at the castle he translated the bible into German. This was significant not only religiously, but the German bible became a significant influence on standardizing the German language.
One room of the castle has murals which picture a possibly mythical minstrel contest in the Middle Ages that was depicted in both works by the Brothers Grimm and in an opera by Wagner.
Student festivals at Wartburg Castle in the 1800s are considered to be the beginning of the German Unification movement.
Even if you don’t care a bit about history, this is a wonderfully preserved castle that dates back to 1067 with wonderful views of the countryside around Eisenach. The region of Thuringia, the city of Eisenach and Wartburg Castle are a great addition to a road trip in Germany.
Römerberg in Frankfurt’s Old Town Center
By Moumita and Sankha from Chasing the Long Road
Located in Frankfurt, Römerberg is one of the best-known landmarks in Germany. This iconic public square lies at the heart of Frankfurt Old town and is home to many medieval buildings – most notably the Römer, which has been used as a city hall for more than 600 years.
Walk into this historic square and marvel at the gable-roofed colourful buildings that make it extremely photogenic and unique. These houses have been beautifully renovated after being significantly damaged during World War II. Also, take a look at the Fountain of Justice – a bronze sculpture that stands in the middle of the square.
From the tower of Frankfurt Cathedral, which lies very close to Römerberg, you would get to see the stunning medieval buildings of this square perfectly juxtaposed with the skyscrapers in the city skyline.
This bustling square is home to many trade fairs and popular events. Frankfurt Christmas Market, one of the oldest Christmas Market in Europe, is held in this square during Christmas.
From Frankfurt Airport, it takes about half an hour by train (S-Bahn) to reach Römerberg.
Burg Eltz Castle
By Michelle from That Texas Couple
A list of well-known German Landmarks is not complete without including some of the castles of the Rhine and Mosel Valley. One of the most famous castles of this region is the Burg Eltz Castle.
A visit to Burg Eltz Castle and forest is like being transported to a fairytale in the middle ages. This meticulously preserved castle has not only been in the same family for 850 years, but it has also remained unharmed by the wars of the past.
The beautiful castle sits atop a 70 m high rock in the Mosel Valley and is surrounded by lush, beautiful forestland. The eight towers and half-timbered architecture make Burg Eltz a picturesque castle.
Visitors are allowed to participate in a guided tour of the castle to learn all about the history and to see the original artwork, furnishings, and artefacts housed here. The guided tour includes visiting the Armoury, the Lower and Upper Hall, the Dressing Room, the Study, the Elector’s Room, the Knight’s Hall, and more. Each room tells a history of the castle and displays ornate furnishings and décor.
Burg Eltz Castle is easy to reach by car or bus from Munstermaifield and Wierschem. On weekends and holidays, you can also take the OPBN “Burgenbus” (Castle Bus) from Moselle.
By Renee of Dream Plan Experience
At the most southern tip of Germany, straddling both Austria and Switzerland sits Lake Constance. This popular year-round holiday destination offers the perfect combination of a beautiful lake, charming towns, castles and delightful gardens all with the backdrop of the majestic Alps. This natural landmark in Germany was formed during the ice age by the downward erosion of the Rhine Glacier.
Konstanz, the largest town on Lake Constance, dates back to the 7th century. The most historic building is the cathedral, Konstanz Minster. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb the 193 steps to the observation deck for panoramic views of the city and Lake Constance.
On the opposite side of Lake Constance, is Meersburg. The name literally translates to ‘Castle on the Sea’ and is home to two castles, the oldest being a well-preserved 7th-century medieval fortress. Stroll the quaint winding streets of the old town that are chock full of tiny shops and cafés.
One of the most popular attractions around Lake Constance is the spectacular 110-acre flower island of Mainau. This island is home to over a million flowers and plants that change with the seasons. The Mainau castle, built in the 1700s, serves as a regal backdrop to the beautiful gardens.
By Trijit Mallick from Dog Travel Buff
Berlin Cathedral, located in central Berlin, is the biggest church in Berlin and one of the most popular landmarks in Germany. The current building of the cathedral (which is also known as the Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church) was completed in 1905.
The Berlin Cathedral was the main burial place of the Hohenzollern dynasty until 1918. Although it is known as Berlin Cathedral, you will be surprised to know that it has never been the seat of a bishop. You can see the amazing artwork of the cathedral from inside as well as from outside. The combination of white marble and onyx marble makes the interior more striking. The walls and ceiling are equally beautiful.
You must go to the viewing platform to get the best view of central Berlin. You have to climb to the upper dome via 270 steps and enjoy the 360° panoramic view of the city from the ‘Dome Walkway’. You can see Museum Island, Unter den Linden, Hackescher Markt, and Alexanderplatz from the 100-meter high platform.
The admission fee is €7 per adult and €5 per student and is well worth it.
East Side Gallery in Berlin
By Jen from The Trusted Traveller
The East Side Gallery in Berlin is a permanent open-air gallery painted on the oldest surviving part of the Berlin Wall in East Berlin. This riverside gallery was first established in 1990, not long after the fall of the wall, when 118 artists from 21 countries came together to create history.
Today around 100 paintings have survived with sections having been preserved and replicated where needed over the years due to erosion, vandalism and development.
On your visit, you’ll notice most of the artworks convey highly political messages which was a sign of the times. It is said that the gallery is a memorial to freedom, depicting the changing time and an expression of hope, looking towards the future.
The gallery is located along the river Spree on Muhlenstrasse near the Berliner Mauer. The closest train station is Berlin Ostbahnhof giving you easy access from downtown Berlin.
By Paulina from Paulina On The Road
Deutsches Eck, also known as the German Corner, is a headland in Koblenz, Germany. It is popularly known for the spot where the Mosel River meets the Rhine. It was named after a local commandery of the Teutonic Order. In 1987, a monumental equestrian statue of William 1 was erected at the location, which is when it became popular for the statue and one of the most famous monuments in Germany.
Travellers can relax here, surrounded by water, with the calming atmosphere, scenic views, and witnessing the historical place. The replica of the first German emperor is worth inspecting. It is the statue of the emperor riding a horse on an elegant pedestal.
Apart from seeing the river meet and the iconic statue, travellers have to witness the three parts of the Berlin Wall constructed beside the monument. Take time to look at the massive German flag hoisted here. Along with that, there are also flags of 16 states of the country.
After that, head to the calm streets of Koblenz and experience the iconic and historic town of Germany. In addition to Deutsches Eck, exploring churches, castles and palaces are among the best things to do in Koblenz.
By Phil from JOURNICATION Travel Blog
A literally outstanding German sight is the Loreley Rock in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Upper Middle Rhine Valley.
Along with the many castles and palaces, the rock is the main attraction and attracts countless visitors every year. Either to the rock itself on the right bank of the Rhine or to the viewpoint “Maria Ruh” on the left bank of the Rhine near the small Rhine Heights village of Urbar.
The Loreley Rock marks one of the narrowest parts of the already narrow Rhine valley. Over the centuries, many ships have capsized here because of the strong current, reefs and whirlpools. The place is still very challenging for ships today, there are still tugboats that help out.
For this reason, the legend of the Loreley was born. In it, the Loreley is a picture-perfect blonde woman sitting high up on the rock combing her hair. The skippers in their boats only have eyes for the woman. They look up and no longer at the dangerous parts of the river – and sink.
Dom in Trier
By Alexander from Travel Your Memories
Also known as the little Rome of Germany, Trier is home to one of Germany’s most iconic buildings, the Dom. There are a lot of things to do in Tier, of which the Dom is one of the highlights. This Dom is located in the historic centre of Trier on the Domfreihof square.
When you walk from the main street in the direction of the Dom and you arrive at the square you will be greeted by this impressive building. The Dom was built in 326 by Emperor Constantine the Great. This is the same period that the Romans started working on St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
The Dom is the oldest cathedral in Germany. You can visit the Dom daily for free. Once inside you will notice that the cathedral is gigantic, it is traditionally decorated with statues, colours, and artwork of Jesus. At the back of the cathedral, you will find the treasury room, this is interesting to visit if you want to know more about the cathedral.
Next to the Dom, you can visit the Liebfrauenkirche, the great thing about this place is the garden at the back of the church. From the garden, you have a beautiful view of the Dom and the church.
The nicest and best thing you can do when you visit the Dom is to sit on one of the benches in the square. This square is surrounded by beautiful buildings and due to a couple of terraces, it is very cosy. When the weather is nice you can get good ice creams at Christis – Eis & Kaffee.
Jewish Museum in Berlin
By Paulina from UKeveryday
The Jewish Museum in Berlin is one of the best museums to visit in Germany. It impresses with its deconstructivist architecture and concept of design. The main idea of famous architect Daniel Libeskind was to keep Jewish history in the memory of Berlin.
Visiting Jewish Museum is something that you will remember for a long time. Daniel Libeskind created very emotional spaces in the building. One of them is the installation of 10,000 iron faces which symbolise the Holocaust. Visitors can understand Jewish history by walking through empty corridors with little light. Narrow windows seem to be random from the outside, but their arrangement is well-designed.
This unusual experience doesn’t end in the building. Next to Jewish Museum, you will find the Garden of Exile with a field of concrete columns. All pillars are set on a sloped foundation and filled with soil that allows for willow oak trees to grow. The idea to represent the history of Jewish people and have memorable experiences was definitely achieved in one of the most famous museums of Berlin.
Theresienwiese (Oktoberfest venue)
By Bec from Wyld Family Travel
While the Theresienwiese may not be one of Germany’s most famous landmarks, the festival that is held there yearly is one that everyone would know…Oktoberfest.
So many people have this festival at the top of their Germany bucket list and many believe it is only a massive beer-drinking marathon of a festival but that is completely wrong. This top Munich activity was started to celebrate the engagement of a royal couple and has now spanned hundreds of years of celebrations. Originally held well outside of the city centre in a field (called Theresienwiese and now lovingly shortened to Weisn) you will now find that Octoberfest is well and truly within the city limits of Munich.
Starting in the third week of September and ending on the first Sunday of October all roads in Munich lead to Theresienwiese during this time.
Once you are visiting Oktoberfest in Munich you will be surprised at what a magnificent family-friendly festival it is. Don’t get us wrong there is a massive amount of people who only go for the beer and a minute few that do drink themselves into oblivion but you will find during the day many families wandering the Theresienwiese in full Bavarian traditional dress enjoying themselves.
At Oktoberfest, you will find the top Munich breweries have a large tent set up with their emblems emblazoned all over. Many people arrive early to secure their favourite seats in the tents and later in the day, you will find food, steins and Ompa bands setting the tempo for the remainder of the day, into the early hours of the morning. If the large beer tents are not for you. you will easily find a plethora of smaller food stalls as well as some carnival-style foods too if full Bavarian cuisine is not for you.
Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg
By Helen from Helen on Her Holidays
Opened in 2017, the Elbphilharmonie is one of the newest landmarks in Germany. The building, which holds a cutting-edge concert hall and luxury hotel, sits at the end of Hamburg’s historic and UNESCO-listed Speicherstadt neighbourhood and juts out into the Elbe river like a huge, shiny ship.
The concert hall hosts world-famous performers, but you can see the view from the Elbphilharmonie’s viewing platform even if you don’t have a ticket for a show. Visiting the Elbphilharmonie’s viewing deck is one of the top things to do in Hamburg so it’s best to book tickets in advance from the website.
The viewing deck wraps around the building, giving stunning views across the Elbe, the container docks, the warehouses of the Speicherstadt and Hamburg’s other landmarks, including the towers of the Michel and St Nikolai churches.
The viewing deck is accessed by one of the world’s most unusual escalators. It’s arched in the middle so you can’t see the end, giving the sensation of it being endless, and it is the longest in Europe. The walls are covered in glittering discs and the whole experience is quite space-age.
Munich Rathaus Glockenspiel
By Melissa from Parenthood and Passports
Located in the heart of the Bavarian capital of Munich, the Rathaus Glockenspiel is one of Europe’s most famous clock towers. Three times each day, at 11 a.m., noon, and 5 p.m. the animated clock comes to life. For 12 minutes, the characters on the clock twirl, and dance, and joust as they spin around in the tower of the New Town Hall. Crowds gather in the popular Marienplatz square to watch the performance, which is one of the best things to do in Munich.
Created in 1908, the clock tower, or glockenspiel consists of 43 bells and 32 life-size figures. During the clock’s animated performance, the characters depict two separate historical stories. The top half of the clock tells a story of the marriage of a Bavarian duke and his duchess.
Simultaneously, the characters on the bottom section of the clock tell the story of the barrel makers who danced through the streets in 1517, celebrating the end of a plague that ravished the region.