I’ve lived for over a year in Germany but it took me almost that full year before getting around to exploring this beautiful country. Now that I have “seen everything” (as if that were possible), I thought I would share my backpacking guide so you can make the most out of your time in the country.
Frankfurt – 1 day
If you’re flying into Germany, then there’s a good chance it’s to Frankfurt, so that’s where I’m starting this trip. It’s really not a tourist city and there’s not much to see, so only spend one day there to rest up after your flight, get some regional food and then get on with your trip.
Heidelberg – 2 days
This is one of the only places on this list I haven’t been yet but everyone says that it’s a must see for a day or two.
Munich – 4 days
Munich is the capital city of the state of Bavaria. If you have a stereotypical image of Germany in your head it’s usually actually Bavaria with their Lederhosen and funny accents. Read my post here for ideas on what to do there.
Castles and Mountains – 1 day
While you’re in Munich, book a tour to see Germany’s most famous castles and their beautiful mountains. I wrote about my experience here but to sum it all up, it’s super worth it but be prepared for crowds.
Nuremberg – 2 days
I elected to skip Nuremburg when I was traveling but it is one of the few cities people tell me I missed out on when I did my big trip. So I’ll add it to this list so you don’t miss out too. Also between Munich and Nuremberg is Dessau, the first concentration camp and something that may be of interest for your trip.
Prague – 3 days
If you feel like skipping out of the country, Prague is right on the way to Dresden and an incredibly beautiful (and cheep) city. I also have not been there but I thought I would suggest it.
Dresden – 2 days
Dresden is one of my favorite cities in Germany. It’s so picturesque and the architecture is stunning. There’s not a whole lot to do there so I only allotted 2 days but if it were me, I would spend more time there just relaxing and taking in the sights.
Leipzig – 2 day
Leipzig and Dresden are very similar. If you liked one then you’ll like the other. If you didn’t like Dresden then skip Leipzig and go straight over to Berlin. But if you ended up staying extra days in Dresden then you might want to plan on doing the same in Leipzig. If you want to see what all I did there, then check out this post.
Berlin – 5 days
I lived in Berlin for 3 months back in 2015 so I have a bit of a soft spot for it. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten a chance to write an inclusive guide to it yet but you can see some posts about my shorter visits here. Berlin is a very polarizing city; many people love it but many people hate it. From my experience, it’s usually the Germans that hate it and tourists that love it, so I went ahead and put 5 days down. The city is massive with more museums and culture than you could ever hope to see so there is no shortage of things to do there.
Hamburg – 4 days
I was so surprised how much I loved Hamburg when I visited. It’s a little similar to Berlin in that it’s a very big city but it has a totally different vibe. There is lot’s to do in the city so I gave you a couple extra days. If you get bored then I’m sure you could use a day to rest up by this point. Also, Hamburg has amazing shopping for Germany so there’s a day of activity right there.
Bremen/Düsseldorf – 2 days
I have a friend that lives in Bremen so that probably the only reason why I’ve been there. I wouldn’t say it’s the most impressive city on this list so it’s up to you whether or not you want to visit. Similarly, I really wasn’t that impressed with Düsseldorf when I went despite it being a big name in Germany. Of course your interests will vary from mine so I’ll leave them both on the list for you to decide for yourself. Other notable mentions for this time slot or day trips from Düsseldorf/Cologne would be Wuppertal, Munster or Bonn. I;ll let you do your own research there.
Cologne – 2 days
The final stop on my itinerary is Cologne. I put it as the last stop because (in case you didn’t already notice) it completes the circle around Germany I gave you. But I also did so because Cologne has a pretty large airport for itself and it’s near Frankfurt if you want to fly back out of Frankfurt. Aside from that there’s some pretty interesting stuff to see and lots of history.
There you have it! My guide to seeing all of Germany in one month. I think I made it pretty clear where you can cut corners to make your trip shorter. I did my latest trip in 2 week but it didn’t include quite a bit of this list so I think one month seems reasonable. Leave a comment below if you have any questions as to what cities are better suited for your interests or helping you to customize your plans. I’m alway eager to help a fellow traveler.