Start with the Carnival Capital of Germany to explore all this country has to offer

Germany is so much more than sausages and beer. It is a beautiful country steeped in history, from the Romans to the devastation of the Second World War. Germany is an easy country to visit, with great transport links and many different regions offering everything from Oktoberfest to Beethoven. Here are some of the best German cities to visit, starting with the Carnival Capital, Cologne, the ideal gateway to the rest of the country:

Cologne

Flying into Cologne provides the perfect base for exploring the rest of Germany, as well as being close enough to the Netherlands and Belgium to include those in your itinerary too. This is one of the country’s oldest and most beautiful cities, founded by the Romans. The cathedral is a sight to behold, soaring 157 metres into the sky and is the first thing visitors see when they arrive by train. A walk through the old town and along the Rhine is highly recommended. You’ll discover museums, art galleries and the visitor favourite – Cologne Chocolate Museum. Discover the story of the cocoa bean and enjoy the chocolate fountains to conclude. Come during Carnival time, just before Lent and you’ll see why they call Cologne the carnival capital of Germany. For flights to Cologne from Irish Airports, visit https://irelandwestairport.com/

Image credit

Berlin

No visit to Germany would be complete without taking in the capital. After being separated after World War Two, Berlin was reunified in 1990 when the famous wall came down and since then has emerged into a cosmopolitan, arty city with amazing nightlife, history and architecture. Be sure to visit the Reichstag and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, before taking in one of the many cultural festivals held throughout the year, especially the Christmas Markets.

Munich

Known as Munchen, this city is the gateway to the Alps and the capital of the region of Bavaria. Here you’ll experience the traditional German ham hocks and lederhosen, beer festivals and all those things outsiders associate with the best of Germany. You’ll also discover some great museums and architecture, as well as some more quirky attractions like a nudist lawn, surfing canal and the beautiful English Garden.

Image credit

Frankfurt

Frankfurt is a major travel hub for the whole of Europe, but don’t be tempted to pass straight through. Rather, stay a while and take in the incredible new architecture that emerged after the destruction of WWII. The banking sector is home to shiny skyscrapers, with the Main Tower open to sightseers to get an amazing view of the Main River.

Düsseldorf

For those looking for a fun, relaxed vibe, Dusseldorf is the place to be. There is a rich art scene here and the city was also home to composers like Mendelssohn and Schumann. You’ll also find plenty of trade shows here throughout the year, with the world’s largest fashion fair taking place here every January. Visiting at any other time, you can still enjoy the best shopping on the famous Konigsalle. After all that shopping and art-admiring, relax with a local Altbier, the German equivalent of a brown ale. Dusseldorf’s old town has been called the ‘longest bar in the world’, so you’ll be sure to find somewhere perfect to enjoy a drink and watch the world go by.