Germany Travel Guides for Backpackers

Shopping in Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt am Main is an elegant mix of old and new. It’s one of the cities in Germany I always like to come back to since it’s never dull, there is always something going on. This time it was a business trip that gave me a chance to explore Frankfurt for two weeks during winter. I was lucky that the timing was ideal to enjoy Carnival events in and around the city. However, the chilly winds of February made most of the sightseeing an arduous pastime so I spent a substantial amount of my free time either in Frankfurt’s numerous engaging museums or bargain hunting. The timing was perfect for that as well since I was just in time for excellent winter discounts. Here is a list of destinations in Frankfurt am Main that shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re in need of some retail therapy.   Zeil The most obvious destination that comes to mind when one thinks about shopping in Frankfurt is definitely the busy Zeil street. The part between the underground stops Hauptwache in the west and Konstablerwache in the east is a wide pedestrian zone brimming with shops and stores of all kinds like Primark, Zara, Peek & Cloppenburg and Pimkie, to name some. Shoe lovers can head to Deichmann, Görz and Salamander among others. In the immediate proximity to Konstablerwache, there is also an open-air market selling fresh produce on Thursdays and Saturdays. Furthermore, if you cross the street and continue to the east, you’ll come upon a few more budget-friendly shops like Kik, as well as numerous reasonably priced restaurants. When your shopping bags get full and your stomach empty, do come by. What awaits you is a wide selection of different cuisines (e.g. Turkish or Thai) competing to indulge your taste buds.   Zeil is also home to a few larger shopping establishments and among them, MyZeil is beyond any doubt the most unique. Even if you don’t intend to buy anything, do enter and take a ride on the longest unsupported escalator in Europe and enjoy the ever-changing view on the architecturally exceptional interior. If you do wish to go on a shopping spree, then expect to come across Bershka, Gant or Adidas. Galeria (Karstadt, Kaufhof) Karstadt is a department store that can also be found on the Zeil street, not very far from MyZeil. If you don’t mind paying through the nose for a high-end handbag, then the ground floor is your destination. If it’s the opposite, you can always hope for discounts – there were some excellent deals when I visited. On the other floors, you can also find clothing, shoes, toys, sporting goods, houseware… Finally, if you are hungry, head to the restaurant on the top of the building and check out their rich offer of food and drinks. On workdays, there are special lunch offers from 11 to 15. The other department store on the Zeil from the Galeria family is Kaufhof. It is quite similar to Karstadt and […]

Visit the Octoberfest in Munich, Germany

In the south of Germany, you find Munich the capital of Bavaria. Traditions and beer are a fundamental part of the city’s picture. Throughout the whole year, you can bump into people wearing typical Bavarian clothing. Man are wearing Lederhosen and women Dirndl Dresses. During the Last Week of September and the first week of October, the whole city is in folklore fever. It seems like almost everyone is wearing traditional gear and the city is decorated in the Bavarian colors blue and white, like the Bavarian sky. Bakery’s sell huge Brezn, a lot of business use this time of the year to place their Bavarian folklore related products. Bavarians call that time of the year the fifth season. And sure, as you already guessed, it’s all about the Octoberfest. Claiming to be the largest folklore festival in the world. Next, to drinking beer from one-liter Glasses, eating chicken and potato salad and dancing to brass band music, there are a lot of parades and traditional happenings. In the following, you can find a guide about an enjoyable visit to the Octoberfest. History Octoberfest was founded when Ludwig I married Princess Therese of Saxony. The festival was in front of the gates of Munich on Theresienwiese (Theresa’s Field). An Area of 42.000 square meters. And the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate together with the royal family. This royal wedding was closed by a horse race. The decision to repeat the race the following years and even include an Agricultural Show in 1811 were the founding stones to Oktoberfest. What to expect now Octoberfest consists of 16 main tents and 22 small tents and every one has its specialties and a whole own theme and tradition. There are a lot of rollercoasters and small stands which offer candy and souvenirs as well. Every year there are around six million visitors and the beer consumption during the 16 days is around seven million Liter. How to prepare The outer most important thing is to fit in, the clothing is really pretty and the perfect souvenir. But make sure to buy proper traditional clothing, people will frown on cheap and too sexy carnivallike costumes. The Dirndl Dress fits all the different body types and manages to only show women’s candy sides. For the Lederhosen it is important to have nice calves. Somehow the women of Munich (Münchnerinen) love these body parts of men. There is even special Lederhosen-Work-Out in the English Garden. For girls, it’s a good thing to have some hair braiding tricks up your sleeve. Another important thing is to keep in mind that during Oktoberfest whole Munich is booked out. So, start searching for a room well in advance. If you want a table reservation in one of the tents you need to be an early bird, too. Finally, the language, even if Munich is in Germany local people talk a dialect called Bavarian. Don’t worry almost everyone speaks English and the Bavarian accent is rather enjoyable. Here […]

Must-Do's in Munich During a Short Visit

Munich is the capital of Bavaria and a federal state of Germany. It is a densely populated city with a lot of interesting buildings and sites to visit making it a perfect spot for a big city holiday. In true German fashion, getting around is easy and efficient so your stay can be more relaxing.   Interesting Must-See’s   Marienplatz The heart of the city is Marienplatz. It is the centre of the city, full of shops, monuments and museums. It is a great spot for shopping for all budgets and tastes. The square houses also many interesting buildings including the two city halls. The Neues Rathaus, the new city hall, is a dominant building that can not be missed once you arrive in the square. The elaborately decorated facade and the domineering tower are a wonder to look at. Definitely worth waiting for is the clock in the tower. With the elaborate figures depicting famous figures from history and 43 bells, the magnificent clock is an attraction on its own. It chimes twice a day, at 11 and 12 o’clock, and at 5 o’clock from March to October. It is worth waiting for it to play and watch the figures moving. The Old City Hall, Altes Rathaus the other important building in the square. The reconstructed Gothic building situated on the east of the square is also worth a visit. Being the square of Saint Mary, Our Lady, there is also Mary’s column, a statue of the Virgin Mary mounted on the Mariensaule.    Nymphenburg Palace Another must-see in Munich is the Nymphenburg Palace, the summer residence of the former rulers of Bavaria. The Baroque palace and the surrounding gardens are definitely worth a visit.   Hofbrauhaus Munchen No visit to any German city is really a visit without a pint of beer, even if you are not a big beer fan. This restaurant and beer house is an important stop for anyone looking for a typical German meal. Although quite crowded, it is still worth it to visit the interior and look at the frescoes covering the ceiling.   Allianz Arena For football fans, the Bayern Munich home ground is a must-see. It is on the way between the city and the airport and it very hard to miss. The giant plastic facade can be seen from miles away. The facade of the stadium intrigues any passerby but tours of the ground are also available.  Photo by Kostya Golinchenko on Unsplash Must-eat in Munich One cannot visit Germany and not have a beer. Being a German city, Munich is home to many local beers to choose from to go with any meal or as a refreshing drink during a day of exploration. A typical dish of weisswurt or schweinshaxe with a brezen are the best accompanying meal to that pint of beer. Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash For breakfast, a pretzel with the weisswurt with a cup of tea or coffee is the way to go. The smell coming from […]

Exploring Berlin: how to get the most out of 3 days

Berlin is one of those cities which you can never get enough. It will be impossible to see all of it in a whole year, but you can get a fair overview of its vibrant cultural atmosphere and history in three days. At least, that was my experience. A couple of months ago, I went to Germany capital city on a work trip and decided to set my arrival 72 hours before my duties start. I must say it was a great choice and gave me a fair amount of time to see all I wanted in my first time. So, here are my recommendations to get to know this amazing place in a short but intense stay: Make an appointment to visit the Bundestag As soon as I knew I will travel to Berlin for a conference, I got into the Bundestag website (also known as Reischtag) and make my appointment to a guided visit. It is a perfect option to get to know German history and it is for free! I chose to go to the lecture, which allowed me to sit on the gallery of the plenary chamber and learn about their political system. If you don’t speak any German (like me), Tuesday is the best day to go, because they offer lectures in English and French. You can continue your visit climbing into the dome, a modern and magnificent architectural work with breathless views of the city. It also has a permanent exhibition with information about all the historical moments this amazing building witnessed. Take a walking tour I know it is possible to make your own wander following indications found online on your phone or laptop, but having guidance from a local is always the best option for me. Most of the tours depart in front of Brandenburger Tor, in the heart of the city, and will show you some of the most representative buildings in Berlin and their history. Don’t buy everything they offer, but try to get as many recommendations from your guide as you can, according to your interests. Make sure you tip them fairly if you choose a free tour. Run (or at least walk) in the Tiergarten My visit to Berlin was at the end of Fall, so the weather was nice enough to go out for a run and the Tiergarten was the best option to do it. I bet is even better if you’re there in Summer or Spring. I departed from my hostel, located a couple of blocks from there, an took the path next to the Spree River, which gave me lovely views in the early morning. It is an amazing park to breath fresh air and to clear your mind, just be careful with all the cyclist who crosses the paths to go to from one side of the city to the other! On my way back, I discovered the memorial to the gypsies murdered in Europe under the Nazi regime and was shocked by this […]

Discover Berlin in a Day

This weekend, my destination is Berlin and – given that I planned to meet up with a particularly wonderful Berliner who I had met on a previous holiday on the Sunday – I really only had Saturday to explore the capital of Germany. Airport and Transfers At 6:30am I am on a plane, chatting with a South African man named Duncan about the visit he is making to see his family in the Berlin suburbs. This is my favourite kind of flight – the type that is spent in the company of an interesting character and seems to pass in an instant (NB: It is a rule of mine to never choose a seat when checking in online for a flight – let the universe decide who it sends to sit next to you, I say). After landing, Duncan shows me where to find the bus and hands me over to the care of a passing German lady, who kindly helps me to navigate my way through the ticket machine menus, until the first €2.50 of my weekend is spent. There are a few choices of bus – the main link between Tegel Airport and the city being the ‘TXL’, which takes you directly to the centre of Berlin. On this occasion, however, I catch the X9, alighting at Zoologischer Garten, in the far West of the city. First Ports of Call Exploring Tiergarten, Brandenburg Gate, and the Reischstag Building It is only 10:03 when I start my walk, map in hand. Here, I am relying on my Lonely Planet pull-out city guide to Berlin. I have highlighted a few museums and galleries to the South of Tiergarten, but so enchanted am I by the sight of the sprawling park on an unusually sunny Saturday morning in Autumn, and aware that I have only three hours until my first pre-booked activity, I decide to instead take a stroll through it. My new, unplanned, walk delivers me to Sowjetisches Ehrenmal Tiergarten, and onto the Holocaust Memorial and Brandenburger Tor. Brandenburger Tor/Brandenburg Gate, complete with a multitude of fellow tourists After devouring a pretzel and a coffee – and having survived my first stilted German conversation with a native, in which it has to be admitted I was not sure whether she was questioning the amount of Euros I had given her, asking whether I required a glass for my bottle of water, or possibly neither – it is time for my first ticketed activity, the Reichstag. Whilst it is possible to turn up unannounced and hope there will be space for you on a tour, it is advisable to register for a visit online. It’s free, and guarantees you entrance at a pre-determined timeslot. During your visit, not only will you learn about the building, its history, and the German parliament, but also gain a great overview of the city as a whole, thanks to an audio-guide who makes the most of the panoramic view from the glass dome. View from […]

Berlin's hidden artistic and cultural treasures

My first two days in Berlin were disappointing. Not because the city had nothing to offer, but because there wasn’t enough time to discover the true Berlin. I’d joined a walking tour that focused on Berlin’s dark past during the Third Reich. We popped into the main, historical points of reference and sure, there was an incredible amount of history. The city was virtually destroyed during the war and Berliners pride themselves on its restoration, but what I saw on my tour seemed a little soulless. I knew there was much more to Berlin, so the next time I had some time off, I decided to spend a full week there. Surely seven days would be sufficient to rediscover the city and figure out what makes it tick. Well, once again, the more I got to know Berlin, the more I wanted to know and the longer I wished to stay. It’s an endless question and an endless answer. Berlin’s hidden treasures Haus Schwarzenberg street-art alley One of my primary aims of this trip was to find Berlin’s unusual, lesser-known street-art. Everyone knows about the East Side Gallery. Fewer people know about an inconspicuous little alleyway right next to the Café Cinema. Haus Schwarzenberg, a non-profit arts organisation, takes up residence in the adjacent building. If you happen upon the alleyway, you’ll discover a dazzling courtyard full of commissioned pieces and paste ups. Although like all street-art the appearance of the alley changes constantly, a painting of Anne Frank, located next to a museum dedicated to her story, has remained intact for over five years. It’s wonderful to see other artists respect the subject matter of the painting. Radisson Hotel Not too far a walk away is the Radisson Blu Hotel. These exist in many parts of Europe, but what you may not know about this one here in Berlin is that it boasts the largest free-standing aquarium in the world! If you’re lucky enough to afford a room here, you can enjoy the aquarium every day. If you’re sneaky enough like me to traipse in for an inconspicuous photograph, then go enjoy it for a moment. Abandoned Berlin Teufelsberg I took a train and two buses to reach the Grunewald forest. It blew my mind, walking through this wintery, gloomy expanse of trees, to think that somewhere in the middle lay Teufelsberg (meaning Devil’s Hill), a hill made of rubble. Originally the area was just mud and marshland, but during World War II, the Nazis constructed a school for military technology on the land. The Allies later attempted to destroy it with explosives, but it proved more effective to just cover it up by dumping rubble from the rest of the city’s devastation. This clearly didn’t fit in with Berlin’s landscaping aesthetic view, so they planted some trees on top and voilà — or as the Germans say, sieh da! (don’t quote me on that translation)— Teufelsberg was born. I think somewhere in the back of my mind I’d […]

Explore Berlin like a Local

Germany’s vibrant capital city was my home for six months this year. A city with its finger on every pulse, Berlin hovers on the cutting edge of contemporary culture – the art, music, theatre and food scenes are spectacular. Whilst in winter Berlin is home to candle-lit bars and Christmas markets, in summer the city comes to life with open-air festivals and crowds of people sipping beer and enjoying the sunshine. Every Berlin bar, restaurant and space has a distinctive mood and concept. In this city of many facets, a reflection of its fragmented past, each area has its own identity and its own quirky social hubs. So you’ve been to the tourist attractions – you’ve visited the East Side Gallery and Checkpoint Charlie and scrutinised the head of Nefertiti and are now ready to experience the locals’ Berlin! Here are some of my favourite places… Kreuzberg/Neukölln Brunch – Geist im Glas (Saturdays & Sundays until 3pm) Geist im Glas is an intimate cocktail bar by night, but at weekends becomes the best brunch place around. Go for their legendary ‘sweet and salty’, combining pancakes with dolce de leche, maple bacon and eggs for a truly decadent breakfast. Restaurant Bastard (brunch until 4.30pm) Recently renovated with the support of devoted customers, Bastard is now back and as great as ever. Try the eggs with goat’s cheese and honey and hot chocolate with a splash of rum. Restaurants – Sage Urban, eye-catching décor and a menu including pizza and antipasti, this was a great discovery on my first night in Berlin. In the summer Sage also has a beach, which hosts vibrant open-air music festivals. Zola Find authentic wood-fired pizzas in this fine Kreuzberg institution. With a cosy interior and a choice of numerous fresh toppings, this is the ultimate Berlin pizza joint. Solar Rooftop Bar and Lounge In search of a view? This stylish rooftop restaurant serves mouth-watering dishes. Sip a cocktail in the bar before or after dinner, overlooking Berlin’s stunning night skyline. Felix Austria An Austrian dinner in the depths of Kreuzberg with Wiener schnitzel, apple strudel and even an almdudler or two (a blissful Austrian herbal lemonade). You could be dining in the Alps. Bars – Nathanja und Heinrich Think wine bottles and dripping wax, this dimly lit bar in Neukölln is a romantic den for drinking and candle-lit conversation. Multilayerladen Hidden away in Kottbusser Tor, this smoky bar has hanging swings for seats. Let your mind drift as you enjoy a beer and play board games late into the night. Dschungel Vines, branches and leaves hang from the ceiling in this low-lit Neukölln haunt and transport you to the depths of a jungle making this a watering hole not to be missed. Dancing – Soda Club Sick of techno? Head to Soda club for a night of timeless salsa and bachata. Begin the evening with a master class before spinning the night away under the neon lights. Summer Picks – Bethanien Freiluftkino (open-air cinema) A Berlin […]

A budget guide to Berlin

Berlin is best known for its clubs and its insane nightlife. Also, Berlin is completely different from the stereotype you might have about Germany and the Germans.  It is best described as a creative and innovative city where people are best described as hard-working, artistic, strong and individualistic. Berlin has got something for everyone. It has many museums, a captivating history, street art everywhere and great music. No wonder that millions of tourists visit every year. If you want to avoid being squashed and do not want to pay twice as much for your beer as Berliners do, please pay close attention. An alternative to expensive hotels There are many ways to travel to Berlin. There are even more ways to stay in Berlin. The city offers a great deal in hotels, hostels, and Airbnb. For this trip, I tried something not many people do, but definitely worth considering: camping. There are several campgrounds around the city. A group of friends and I chose Hotel and City Camping Sud, which has the same owner as the north camping alternative. The price is around 10 euros per night, which is a pretty cheap option in Berlin. The campground is next to a river and has an easy-going and relaxed atmosphere. It also has a bar with a tiny beach attached to it and a small shop to get your breakfast. From the camping, there is a bus once every hour that takes you to the Wannsee station. From there you can take the S-Bahn to basically everywhere in the city. The downside is getting back from the city as buses only start running at 5 in the morning. On the other hand, if you decide to go out and party in the city you probably won’t be heading back before that. The next morning you wake up in your tent and you will experience a true festival feeling. Just play some music and pour a glass of wine by the lake to make your hangover disappear. When playing your cards right, camping definitely makes your trip a budget one! Explore the city’s offbeat lifestyle and (beach) bars Of course, you won’t be hanging out by your tent all the time. Berlin is a city worth exploring, especially during the summer. The whole of Berlin is covered with outdoor activities such as food- and music festivals. So, without paying the expensive fee of an organized festival, you can explore the everyday hangouts that give you a similar experience. Some places though, are a little bit more special than others. For example, Berlin has a number of city beaches. These hip places are a very good option to have a drink at the end of the day. My favorite was the Holzmarkt beach bar. It is a little market with many food stands, wine bars and a little beach near the Spree river. If you want to go there during the busiest hours of the day, no problem. Even on a Saturday afternoon, […]

Best Budget Ways to Explore Munich

Traveling abroad can be an expensive venture between plane tickets, hotels, and food, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to adventure on a budget and still enjoy yourself. Recently, I ventured to Munich, Germany, with my cousin and her friends, and all of us were on a strict budget and were determined to have as much fun as possible. First, I’m going to go ahead and say that since the people I was traveling with were university students, we did indeed book cheap flights with Ryanair and stayed in a dorm-style room at the Euro Youth Hostel. These are honestly the two parts of any trip that I am willing to splurge a bit more on for a comfortable flight and a sound night of sleep, but let me tell you about the other ways we managed to save money in Munich. Transportation If you’re from America where the main mode of transport is a car, then you’ll be as amazed as I was how many different types of transportation the city had to offer. You can bike, take a cable car, hire a taxi, or hop on a bus to name a few. The best (and by far the cheapest mode of transportation) is your own two feet! My phone tracked how much we walked during our trip, and we were averaging close to 15 miles of walking a day. That might sound like a lot, but it was so worth it. We walked all the way from the flea market near the Bavarian Statue to the English Gardens, and it was a fabulous experience. We didn’t have to worry about time schedules for public transportation or finding a particular bus stop in any location. There was no waiting for a bus or squishing onto a crowded cable car. The downsides to saving money this way, though, was that we didn’t get to see all of the city. We were pretty limited in the places that we visited. However, that isn’t to say that we didn’t make the most of where we were. In fact, we stumbled on a ton of historical, Instagram worthy buildings on accident. We were actually trying to find our way to dinner when we found ourselves walking through the main city square called Marienplatz and staring up at beautiful buildings with rich histories. Among these we found were the Munich Residenz (Palace), Frauenkriche (a gothic church), and the Odeonsplatz (a Roman-themed square). Museums My next tip will depend on which days you’re visiting Munich. On Sundays, there really isn’t much to do in the city considering that a lot of the shops (including grocery stores, by the way) are shut. Museums must have seen this opportunity and taken it because most of them are a measly one or two Euro per person for Sunday entry. I will warn that if you want to spend as little as possible, you probably shouldn’t bring a bag with you because most of […]

Things to Do and See in Lübeck, Germany

When it comes to Germany, most foreigners think of (visiting) the bigger cities – Berlin, Cologne, Munich, and Hamburg. It’s understandable because that’s where life thrives here. What most people don’t think about when they hear “Germany” is the place I grew up at – the beach. The country has two shores, the North Sea as well as the Baltic Sea. And at the latter lies Lübeck, a city full of history and beautiful architecture, derived from the time of the Hanse. History in every corner: Remainings of the Hanse period The Hanse was once a big coalition of cities who lived off of maritime traffic and wanted to protect themselves from pirates and other obstacles – and Lübeck is often referred to as its queen. Besides Lübeck, Rostock and Hamburg are other examples of the Hanse coalition. Together, they formed what could be called a little trading empire, and together they thrived. These special roots still can be found in the cities’ names (officially, it’s “Hanse Town Lübeck” or “Hanse Town Hamburg”) as well as in the cities themselves. That goes especially for Lübeck – and if you are interested in this part of history, a visit to the Hanse museum really is worth the while. English guides are available as well as Russian, Swedish and, of course, German. But not only the museum is a reminder of those times. Basically, the entire city is. From the town hall, the salt storehouses, to the famous Holstentor – all these buildings were established in the time of the Hanse. I love to roam the city and just marvel at all of them. You just have to open your eyes a little bit while you wander the streets of the inner city, and you will most certainly find the remembrance of the wealth Lübeck had between the 12th and 16th century. Architecture from the Hanse period can be found nearly everywhere in Lübeck (The right photo shows the Holstentor, Lübeck’s landmark). A hot spot for the youth But today, in the 21st century, Lübeck is a modern city with many ways to spend your time. Since it has its own university and a popular pedestrian area with lots of shopping opportunities, a lot of young people, as well as tourists, are coming to Lübeck every year. That’s why you can find many cafés and bars here as well. My favourite bar to sit down and drink a cocktail at is the Ohana, located at the Hüxstraße. If you’re into vodka, try the Melon Kick cocktail – it’s outstandingly delicious. You can also get yourself something to eat at the Ohana, but if you want some really good regional and not too pricey food, you have to try the Kartoffelspeicher. “Kartoffel” means potato, and that’s exactly what they serve: oven-baked potatoes with every topping imaginable. It sounds like a simple concept, but it really works (If you like potatoes, that is). If you are more into burgers, I can highly recommend going […]

Germany's Most Famous Castle: Schloss Neuschwanstein

The Real-life Disney Castle Just under two hours’ drive south of Munich, nestled into the Bavarian Alps, stands Germany’s very real fairytale castle: Schloss Neuschwanstein. Perched upon a jutting lump of rock, the castle is stunning from the first moment you glimpse it. A vision of glorious white limestone jumps out at you, set against the dark hills and forests that frame it. Your first impression is one of disbelief. It’s not that it looks odd in any way. It is dramatic and has towers seemingly coming out of every inch of its walls. But it is in proportion, and though it looks precarious, the castle is clearly sitting on the mountain. You can just about convince yourself that it isn’t actually floating in the air. The thing is, it just looks almost too like what you dream a castle should look like somehow. It is the very picture of a child’s imagination of a castle. There’s a very good reason as to why: The castle acted as the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. So you have seen a version of the castle numerous times throughout your life. Aside from this, Neuschwanstein has appeared in numerous films (like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Great Escape) and has been visited by more than 61 million people since it opened to the public in 1886. Yet, there is still an aura of mystery about Neuschwanstein. But it’s a mystery well worth the drive. Here are some things you might not know about the castle (and some things you should definitely know before visiting!) How to Get to Neuschwanstein By Car If coming from Munich, you should leave at least two hours to drive down to Neuschwanstein. Most of the drive is on the Autobahn. The last section cuts away from the main roads and winds up towards the mountains through gorgeous scenery. Head for the town of Füssen, and then take the turnoff for Hohenschwangau. Here you will find another beautiful castle. This was the original home of Ludwig’s family, and the young King (well, he was a prince at the time) was born here. By Public Transport Though it is possible to reach Neuschwanstein by public transport, it’s not that easy. Get the train from Munich to Füssen, then get a bus to Hohenschwangau (the small town Neuschwanstein is next to). You should get off at the stop “Hohenschwangau Neuschwanstein Castles, Schwangau”. With a Tour Group If you don’t have access to a car, or if the idea of driving on the notoriously hair-raising Autobahns scares you, then your best bet is to join a bus tour in Munich. You can get day trips from the Bavarian capital down to Neuschwanstein easily enough, and most leave from the Hauptbahnhof (main station). You can get tours just of Neuschwanstein, but the best option is to go on one of the trips that also includes a trip to the nearby palace of Linderhof. Linderhof is another of Ludwig’s creations, and although much […]

First Time in Cologne: Where to Go and What to Do

First: A walk through the centre What is a better way to start your long- awaited trip than a slow stroll through the tourist crowds in the centre?  Well, I have a suggestion… How about passing by the Chocolate museum beforehand? It is definitely worth paying a visit. And for all the nonfans of chocolate, there is a treat for you too. Take a look around because just next to the Chocolate museum there is a beautiful view waiting to be seen. Time to take out your camera! Capture the river Rhine flowing steadily along your side, feel the wind blowing gently towards you, take a minute to enjoy. Now let’s move on. A city is not conquered before you visit its main shopping street. Fortunately, Cologne has a lot to offer on its shopping street and with that, I don’t mean brands, I mean atmosphere. If there is one thing that made me fall in love with Cologne, that would be its street musicians. On every corner- different culture. Authentic and simple. Food for the soul. And if you prefer sightseeing to listening to music, the shopping street is just the right place for your curious eyes. Follow the crowd and you will get to the majestic Cathedral of Saint Peter (Kölner Dom in German). Elevated on 157m above the ground, you can only gaze to the sky and be impressed. To feel even smaller, go inside. Check the stained glasses and the high arches above you. Ideas for spicing up your trip Hop on a boat Why not? Take a random boat while walking along the Rhine river and sail away for a dreamy break from all the walking. And if you want some romance, wait for the night to come. Night lights bring out the most romantic side of every city. Combined with a river and a boat, you get the perfect date out. You can even leave the fancy dinner at a restaurant for some other time and eat a sandwich on the boat instead. And as though that may not sound so appealing, will it be memorable- for sure! Animal lover? Go to the zoo! The zoo on Cologne is only 10 minutes away from the centre if you take a tram. What is more, trams are a great way to see the neighbourhoods without all the fuss and the tourists. Get the city undressed- get away from the centre and see the actual busy life of Cologne. Get lost… This one is a must. Don’t always go with the crowds. After checking all the monuments on your list, turn off your GPS. Follow the tiny streets, enjoy their charm. Find the beauty in street art. Then look at the people. A city has no life without its people. You are part of Cologne’s charm for the weekend. Make it a weekend to remember! Another free afternoon? Off to Bonn. I always like to see at least two cities on a trip- a busy one and a tranquil […]

A quick guide to Hannover: The 10 must-see sights for tourists

Hannover is the 13th biggest city in Germany with about 500,000 people living there and quite some sights for tourists to see. Personally, I have never experienced Hannover from the view of a tourist because I basically grew up there. It was really interesting to change my perspective for this travel guide and I was able to see the city in a different light and even found out things that I didn’t know before. So here is a quick guide to the top ten sights for tourists (or anybody, really) to visit in Hannover. The main train station Here, you can see the main station of Hannover. The picture was taken from the main square in front of it. Maybe it is a little weird to count the main station of a city as a tourist attraction, but in Hannover, it is worth a visit. It counts about 250,000 people travelling daily and – compared to Hannover’s size – it is a rather big station. Now, all of that does not make it a tourist attraction, but the countless shopping opportunities do. The station consists of 3 levels and on 2 of them, you can find many stores like restaurants, drug stores and even clothing stores. And the location of the station is even better: the second you step out of it, you can find yourself in the middle of the city centre with even more shopping opportunities. The “Kröpcke” The so-called “Kröpcke” is part of Hannover’s city centre. It is a public square just 100 meters from the main train station. Usually, it is the busiest part of the city and you’ll see many people hurry in all directions. Right in the middle of that square, you can find a big clock. That’s the typical place to meet for locals. You can spot people waiting for each other at its step at all times. Beneath of all that is the city’s biggest subway station, also called “Kröpcke”. From there, you can basically get anywhere by subway, which – fun fact – is not really a subway. In the downtown area it is underground but outside of the city centre, it is on the street where the cars are driving. The opera Here, you can see the opera of Hannover. Only about 100 meters from the “Kröpcke” you can find the opera. It is a beautiful building with a big square in front of it. The original opera was built from 1845 until 1852. Sadly, it burned down during the Second World War in 1943. After rebuilding it, it was reopened in 1950. Obviously, operas are being shown there, but also ballet and other concerts. The old town Here, you can see one of the narrow streets in the old town part of Hannover with its many bars and little shops. Also part of the city centre is the old town – still within walking distance to the “Kröpcke”. Apart from beautiful old houses, narrow streets, small bars and cobblestones, […]

Things what surprised me most in Berlin

Berlin is the capital city of Germany. And it is also the biggest city in whole Germany, and second biggest city in the European Union (after London). And like any other capital city or some other big city, it is full of tourists. At least it was in September, and I am sure there is, even more, tourists during summer time. But even if there is a lot of tourists, tourist can get a feeling, that the city is actually made only for locals. Of course, it is full of sights to see, interesting culture and so on. However, there is something different, compared to other bigger cities, especially in Europe. And of course, I am going to compare only to the cities I have visited. Here is some tips / ideas / recommendations / etc. I would like to share. Based on the trip I made with one of my best friends in September 2017. You need a cash in Berlin This was maybe the biggest surprise because from my previous experiences from bigger cities (especially in Europe), it has always been possible to pay with a card. In Berlin, it is necessary to carry also cash with you. Many places, even supermarkets, big clothing shops and cafes, if you want to buy with a card, your minimum amount should be 10 euros. No matter, if your total amount is just 5 cents under 10 euros, you must take something else if you still want to buy with a card. I did not figure out the reason for this, so someone more clever could maybe tell me ;D So take a cash with you, or use ATM machine to get some cash. There is usually ATM's near everything. Oh, and Germany is euro country, so if your country has another currency, take this into account! 🙂 I think it can be even cheaper to change money in your home country, or in somewhere in the Berlin city center than at the airport. Pocket dictionary is useful in Germany A map is also useful to have 🙂 You do not need to learn every word from the dictionary beforehand, but maybe try to learn some basic phrases. Or at least when you have a dictionary with you, you can show the word from there and then ask if the person you ask anything, might understand it better. So maybe consider taking English-German dictionary, rather than your own language – German one. I would have been happy in many situations if I could have said something in German. But we did not have a dictionary with us, and neither of us did not speak German. But my cousin actually warned me beforehand, that not everyone speak English, so I was already aware of that. And now I am trying to tell all people same, to be aware of that issue. Even if Berlin is a big city with a lot of tourists, locals will not necessarily speak […]

Winter Wonderland: South of Germany

Snowy Oberstdorf Winter ist bald da! (Winter is almost here!)   It is no doubt that Winter in Europe is one of the most beautiful Winters in the world. Imagine old Castles and medieval Towns covered with snow, it is simply gorgeous in our eyes. Every corner of every city has its own beauty, like a candy to your eyes. I spent 25 years of my life in the sunny Philippines. I was one of those girls who dreamt of seeing snow, play snowballs, do snow angels and even try to know the taste of snow (trust me I tried it hahaha). Then suddenly I left home, flew thousands of miles away and landed in the beautiful country of Germany, where Winter is inevitable. I couldn't contain the happiness in my heart when I witnessed the first-ever snowfall of my life! As if everything was in a slow-motion. It was indeed loved at first sight.   Oberstdorf   I live in the south of Germany, in the region of Bavaria, where during Winter it is the most beautiful place to be (for me though). The name of the town where I live (Dorf, in the German language) is Oberstdorf, it is popular in Germany both Summer and Winter, but most especially during Winter season because of ski-jumping competition.  In fact, it is not just known in Germany but also in the entire world of winter games. World known ski-jumpers and snowboarders come here to compete or even just to have winter vacation.  It is in the south-west of Germany, and Austria is just 5 minutes travel by car or bus.    How to get to Oberstdorf from Munich   From Munich, you could take a direct train to Oberstdorf, which takes around 2 hrs and 40 minutes. You will never miss the train station in Oberstdorf because it is the last stop. But please double check your train schedule because there are also trains, where you need to transfer once or twice. Better to be sure!   Where to stay   In this town, Holiday Apartments (Ferienwohnungen) would be the best choice to stay. It might be a bit pricey but if you book ahead of time, you might get a discount. There are lots of websites where you could book a Ferienwohnung, either you want it direct here in Oberstdorf or in the nearby towns. Nearby towns like Langenwang, Fischen, and Sonthofen caters Ferienwohnungen to tourists for a much cheaper price compared to the one directly in Oberstdorf. You just need to travel by train and bus, which is also no problem because they are always available.   What to do in Oberstdorf   This little Bavarian town is popular the whole year round in Germany. During Summer, tourists come here to do hiking, paragliding, or just simply drinking coffee and enjoying the view. Since Oberstdorf is popular during winter for Skiing, Ski-jumping and Snowboarding, there are Ski schools if you want to have a day course, which you should really do.  […]

A trip through Berlin: It's past, present and future

A city with a lot of history…and so much more! Berlin, Germany; a concrete jungle with a horrifying past and an ugly, long-lasting social and economic divide is the best description I can use to illustrate Berlin at face value. My trip to this city was an emotional eye-opener, to say the least. The purpose of the trip was to give myself a better understanding of the topic I would be writing my coursework on in History A Level; the Holocaust. But this trip and everything I did became much more relevant than getting contextual knowledge just for some essay. In fact, I would say with confidence, a lot of what I did in terms of visiting memorials and the such are integrated into German culture just as much as the typical sightseeing objects, like the Brandenburg Gate or the Reichstag. Bristol to Berlin On arriving into Berlin Schonfield Airport in the midsts of winter, the change of location from my home country, England, was evident through the frozen air which nearly knocked me out upon the first confrontation from the arrivals lounge all the way along the walk to the train station. I cannot say enough that if you go to Berlin in winter, wrap up five times more than you would at home because it is cold, really cold! A prominent point to make with not just Germany but most European countries, in general, is that their public transport is impeccable and actually made the many trips I took on the train during my time here quite enjoyable. Especially when I got to witness and ride the double-decker trains which aren't a common sight in England. The frequency and the affordability of public transport play to any visitor’s advantage as this mode of transport will be your go-to when commuting to all the sights you will want to see across Berlin that you can’t walk to unless you have very good walking boots and stamina to go with them. Even on the outside of the centre, the traffic doesn’t stop and people still fill the streets at all times of night and day. I stayed on the outskirts of the city centre in a hostel on the doorstep of Hauptbahnhof Train Station. If you don’t mind slumming your trip a little in terms of accommodation, then it is the way forward as the money you may have been spending on that little bit nicer accommodation right in the city centre, can go towards day excursions and a few traditional Bratwursts in German restaurants. Fair warning, German beer is fantastic and like no other beer I have come across yet in my travels, but only in small doses! Additionally, being away from the main tourist attractions also allows you as a visitor to really understand Germany and its culture, not just the sights they sell to you. The values of the average German are similar to the English in the sense that they are very prim and proper in […]

Munich on (busker's) budget

It is rather odd to use in the same sentence words “Munich” and “traveling on budget”, because according to popular opinion, Munich is considered rather expensive city. Looking around you see all kinds of fancy monuments, the landscape is well taken care of and who could possibly forget the magnificent Olympic park? My goal was to survive with more or less nothing and if you practice any craft profitable on the streets and know the right places, you could get living costs ridiculously small. Even for a city, where people pay over 500€ for a 10 m³ room in a basement. But you need to know the places and of course, the rules. Accommodation Every backpacker knows that the highest costs during travels are transportation and accommodation. Solving those two little problems might save you a few quids. So as I was biting into my apple, trying to figure out where I could lock up my guitar, I got a text from a friend of mine. I had visited him three years prior and already then he mentioned a place called “The Tent”. Fast google, found the address and took the tram 17 from the main railway station. The place is rather far away from the city center, but to be honest, nothing is too far away in that city. It is big enough to have it all and small enough so you don’t have to take two hours to commute. So, there I was, next to the botanical garden and saw those two white tents. Basically, this place is open from springtime till the end of Oktoberfest. After that they shut down since it is too cold. They have two tents, one filled with 100 bunk beds and another where you can sleep on your own mattress. Also, you can bring your own tent and camp. Unless it is during the festival, they are happy for all the walk-ins. I rarely book anything online, I just show up. There the staff looked at me as if I was an unicorn. Overall I lived there for two weeks and this is really good school of life if you need to get used to stuff changing around you. Imagine: you meet some nice people. You hit it off and have wonderful conversations and laughs together around the campfire that is lit every evening at the sunset. You take your instruments, sing together and after three days, they move on. Or back to wherever they came from. This is happiness and sorrow hand in hand. After few days, it repeats itself. People come and go. I stayed. This teaches perfectly to live in the moment. Transportation Munich has a really good transportation network. subway, trains, trams and buses. Also, it is a city where you are far more likely to be run over by a bike than any other vehicle. I can swear, three years ago there weren’t that many. So I ran my calculations: day ticket with the transport costs 6€60. […]

Berlin: recent history and beautiful sight seen

Arriving at Berlin and at writing a blog Hi, guys! For my first text, debuting on writing a blog, I chose the incredible city of Berlin. I've been there on 2012 and I still fill it when I think about that great trip. It's was my first trip truly backpacking so everything had this great profound meaning to me. History that you can feel So… Berlin is an amazing city! That city made me fall in love for Germany. The history is so alive there. It's, sometimes, so recent that you can feel it in your skin. The city exudes that. It was such a big privilege simply being able to walk there and hear about things I studied in history books and that I, at least, never thought I would see that close. To step on some of the places you only heard about. To look at BERLIN WALL, and touch it! I've done a lot of that, actually… 😀 Touching walls and buildings to experience not only with eyes but to fill it. Little crazy, hum? o.O Anyway, I saw that wall that I watched coming down on the TV news when I was just too young to understand what it meant! Sandman's Free Walking Tour After few days at the city, I decided to do the Sandman's New Europe Free Walking Tour. Great decision, and after that I did it in every city I've been to. When the city didn't have Sandman's I'd try to find the best ratted one at Trip Advisor. The tour started at Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate), in front of Starbucks. Again, I was amazed by the Gate's grandiosity. I felt a lot of that in that city. We walked through lots of places but some of them were somehow unforgettable to me. A simple Parkin Lot At some point, we suddenly got to a parking lot, apparently in the middle of nowhere special. I was paying attention to the guide words (great guide, by the way!) and looking to all sides trying to figure out why we were there. Then he told us that, yes, there, on that parking lot where we were standing, meters below ground, there was the famous bunker were Adolf Hitler hid during the final moments of World War 2 and where he shoot himself in the head. Can you believe that?! I was like “Oh my God! Entrance! Where is it?!” (Just thought that, of course…) But the guide read minds (or, most likely, already heard that question thousands of times) and told us that the exact entrance location is unknown and that it is kept that way to prevent, for example, Hitler's admirers to gather there nowadays.   The Jewish Memorial We also walked by the Jewish Memorial and I remember seeing on the face of my German guide, better said, not on his face, but in his eyes, while he explained the meaning of that place, how much the Holocaust still really matters and, in […]

Esslingen am Neckar: A Lesser Known Touristic Attraction

ESSLINGEN AM NECKAR During my visit of Nürtingen, a part of the German state Baden-Württemberg, and when I was quite bored due to not finding any worth-to-see place around there, I started to look for some close destinations. As I started to take notes of the touristic places I can go by train, I noticed that many of the choices I wrote down were in this place called Esslingen. I immediately left my hostel and took the next train, in an hour I was there: Esslingen with its river, pretty buildings, museums and many ornamental pools.  WHERE IS ESSLINGEN? If you have ever been in Germany or have any knowledge about the country, you probably heard of Stuttgart which is the capital of Baden- Württemberg. East of Stuttgart is Esslingen which takes only ten minutes to go by 'Deutsche Bahn', hence train. Just like Stuttgart which is a well-known city of Germany, Esslingen is alco located in the same state, but rather a hidden gem. WHO? WITH WHOM? WHEN? First of all, if you are a person who is highly picky about the places to visit or you only want to see the most famous ones, chances are you won't feel blessed to be in this city, but if you are a traveller who is into being in different places, exploring the neighborhood, and prefer to stay away from overrated and crowded touristic attractions, Esslingen is a must see place, especially if you are already passing by. I think it is a perfect place for solo travelers in that you won't feel lonely in the crowd but peaceful. I did it solo, no regrets. It was February when I was in Germany, so it was quite cold for me and days were not long enough to spend hours and hours. I left my hands to freeze as I take pictures and still it wasn't worth it since I was smiling at the camera with a big red nose and red cheeks in every single selfie I made, but at least my smile was real. I didn't care about the cold as long as I was somewhere making me feel happy, so if you are there in winter and you are used to cold or simply don't care about it, just go! Still, however, the best time to be in Esslingen would be summer, so that you could spend your whole day more comfortably and find the opportunity to see everywhere you want to in this pretty city. THINGS TO DO IN ESSLINGEN If you are a walker, good news: The streets of Esslingen are very easy to walk on with fewer ramps, so you will never get too tired of walking around. Wherever you go, you will see old houses in different colors. Once you started to walk into the city center, you will see Neckar river on your right surrounded by nicely architectured buildings. This area is called ” Klein-Venedig” aka “Little Venice”, the name of it explains why, […]

Schwarzwald: An Indian in the Black Forest

As a little girl, I used to pretty much salivate for those delicious slices of the ever-famous Black Forest Cake- fluffy, liqueur-rich whipped cream and black cherries sandwiched between intense chocolate sponge, topped with a generous helping of cocoa shavings. Talk about heaven! So you can imagine the sheer delight I felt when I was invited by my best friend, a fellow “wanderess”, to a short and sweet summer vacation in the majestic Schwarzwald (Black Forest) mountain ranges in Germany. Often associated with the Brothers Grimm fairy-tales, the region is peppered with tiny, serene hamlets, trekking routes galore and culinary satisfaction on every street. A ski hub in the winter, Schwarzwald is any nature and/or peace lover’s paradise, at all times of the year. Since it was my first trip to Europe, my joy and curiosity knew no bounds, and here, I will share my unforgettable experience in that precious, tranquil destination. Hinterzarten: The Resort Village Since my lovely host family was Luxembourgish, my trip to the Black Forest kicked off with a 4-hour drive through the smooth but serpentine roads of Germany. I have to admit, as an Indian, the sheer availability of space was unnerving- I was acquainted a lot better with flooding seas of humanity constantly trampling one another. However, any taut bundles of nerves flew out the window as we cruised into the driveway of the quaint and inviting Hotel Kesslermühle. Nestled at the foot of 2 adjacent hills, the hotel faced a vast expanse of lush green meadows and mystical forests, basking in the warm July sun and constantly brushed by a pleasant breeze. Its wooden construction oozed a cabin-like aura, snug and comfortable, and the entire building exuded positive vibes. Hinterzarten had been described to me as an “Old Village”- literally. Being a “climate healing” resort destination, it witnesses scores of senior citizens all throughout the year, besides its meagre population of 3000. Perhaps that is why it remained preserved in its tranquil beauty. We spent 4 days in the hamlet, albeit, 4 very refreshing, relaxing and illuminating days. But what does one do, besides just kick back and chill? Trek through the Forest The beauty of the Black Forest is that it is teeming with both charted and uncharted trekking routes which, no matter where they start, always lead you to equally beautiful sites. One of the best trails we took started right opposite the Kesslermühle, went winding up the hill, past the massive ski-slope and right through the heart of the Black Forest. Rickety bridges, beautiful birds, gushing streams and miniature waterfalls- name it and we passed it until we re-joined the main road that led us to the neighbouring tourist attraction of the Titisee Lake, the total journey around 7 kilometres of a trek, which took us roughly an hour to cover each way. Since we were there in the summer, it was essential to wear fully covered cotton clothes, carry lots of water to be sipped at regular intervals and wear […]

Enjoying Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Welcome to Rothenburg ob der Tauber   I want to introduce you to a wonderful medieval town in Germany. This is a town I visited every year for almost 17 years. This is my favorite town in all of Germany. The name of the town is Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The town is located in the northern part of Bavaria. The phrase “ob der Tauber” translates into over the Tauber Valley. Rothenburg gets its name from many the buildings in the town having red roofs (“rot” means “red). Rothenburg ob der Tauber – A Preserved Medieval Town How to Get There The town is not that large and is fairly remote. Therefore, when using the train, expect to make two stops, depending on which direction you are coming from. If you are coming from the north, such as from Frankfurt, your first stop will be Wurzburg. Then you will take another train to Steinach, then another to Rothenburg. If you are coming from the south, such as from Munich, your first stop will be Treuchlingen, then to Steinach, then to Rothenburg. Please be advised that when leaving Rothenburg by train, Steinach is the only town you can go to. There is one train that literally goes back and forth from Steinach to Rothenburg all day. What to Know About Bringing Your Car Although people bring cars into Rothenburg, I am strongly against this. Visitors bringing cars into the town is frowned upon. This is because of the narrow roads and a large number of people crossing the streets. This small medieval town was really not built for cars. The only ones who should bring cars into the town are shop owners, innkeepers, delivery and taxi drivers, and of course emergency vehicles. If you do bring your car into the town, you can park it in the hotel garage (if it has one) and walk around the town. The town is small enough where you can get from one end to the other by foot. What to See and Do and Where to Eat Rothenburg has its share of restaurants and attractions. The most well-known attraction is the medieval crime museum.The museum tells about crime and punishment in the medieval times. You will find actual torture devices and some devices used for lesser crimes. Some will make you cringe. This may not be suitable for those who scare easily. Rothenburg is not short of restaurants. You will find a restaurant on every street in the town, with varieties of cuisines, including Oriental and Indian. If you are a chicken lover, I recommend the Red Chicken (in German it is Rother Hahn). It is a restaurant as well as a hotel, and you can have a place to stay as well as a place to eat. Menus are on the outside and are in both German and English. You can read the menu and see if you found the restaurant right for you. Many restaurants in Germany have hotels above them. My hotel for […]

Walchensee: The hidden lake in Germany

  Walchensee or Lake Walchen is a beautiful lake nestled in between the peaks of the Heimgarten and the Herzogstand mountains and is one of the most underrated vacation spots in the world. This beautiful lake found in the middle of the Bavarian Alps is a relatively quiet and peaceful touristic attraction. As one of the deepest and largest lakes in Germany, Walchensee offers its' visitors a spectacular view along with fun activities to enjoy. Lake Walchen, with its picturesque view, is not only considered one of the most beautiful places in Bavaria but is also known for being a surfer's paradise. The reason why this breathtaking lake is still not known to many people is because its location made it hidden even from some neighboring citizens. However, now that it has been discovered by you through the internet, it is a place that I highly recommend you to visit and explore.   Herzogstand, Lake view How to get there Once you are in Munich, it is easy to get to Walchensee. You can opt for a train or a bus, or you can even choose to drive to this beautiful location if you are renting a car or have access to your own personal vehicle. Those who are interested in making the journey by train can take the Regional Train Service which provides a direct connection for travelers from Munich to Kochel. This train ride takes approximately one hour and is followed by a short bus ride that takes you to Walchensee. Those who wish to take the scenic drive to Walchensee can do so by using the A95 Freeway. The drive from Munich to Walchensee is also about an hour long.    Things to do in Walchensee   1. Water sports – Swimming, windsurfing and more!   Lake Walchensee   Walchensee offers many different activities for its visitors to enjoy and experience. Visiting this beautiful lake during the summer time allows you to maximize your experience of the lake by going for a swim in the crystal blue waters, going on the boat for a peaceful time of relaxation or simply breathing in the summer air while sipping on some Bavarian beer and enjoying the beautiful view. Walchensee also attracts many windsurfers and sailors as a result of the continuous thermal winds of the summer months. This lake is also of interest to scuba divers because of its crystal clear water that enables visibility up to 40 meters (130 feet).   Windsurfing in Walchensee 2. Ride a bike or take a scenic walk Walchensee is essentially located in a valley which protects this lake from northern and eastern winds. The low mountains on its south shore allow the sun to shine gloriously while giving it a very mild climate, thus making it ideal for tourists to enjoy so many outdoor activities. This pleasing weather makes it perfect for a bike ride by the lake or to […]

5 Easy Tips of Real Disney Castle: Schloß Neuschwanstein, Germany

Disney Castle really exist? You might haven't visited Disney Land yet, but you must have seen their logo in the beginning of their animations like this:   In their logo, there is a castle with the name of the founder of Disney: Walt Disney in the front. But, do you ever know this castle exist in the countryside of Germany? Yes, Disney uses the castle named Schloß Neuschwanstein as a module to designed their logo and even designed Sleeping Beauty's castle based on it. Following we are going to show you 5 helpful tips that could help you to visit this remarkable Disney castle: Schloß Neuschwanstein.   1. Great Deal of Bayern Tickets There is a very economic train ticket you could travel within Bavaria area (one of the areas in Germany) which called “Bayern Tickets.” There are 2 ways you could get this tickets: (1) buy it with tickets machine and (2) buy it at the tickets counters. Please noted that you'll be charge €2 extra services charge if you buy this tickets at tickets counters. The advantages of getting Bayern tickets are (1) you can enjoy unlimited train & public transportation (bus) locally in Bavaria area within ONE DAY. However, you could only board on local city train in the second class cabin, which is NOT valid on the express & long-distance trains. Secondly, you could enjoy (2) group discounts if you are traveling with maximum 5 people/per Bayern ticket. The standard price of Bayern ticket costs a €25/per person. Yet, if you are traveling with 2-5 people, you could get cheaper prices. For example, Bayern ticket only cost  €31/2 people and  €49/5 people. Therefore, if you are traveling with 5 people, you could get the cheapest prices. You only need to write all passengers full name (must be the same shown on your passport) on ONE Bayern ticket. For more information on Bayern ticket, please check here: Bayern Ticket   2. Transportation: How to go to Schloß Neuschwanstein? First of all, the closest train station to Schloß Neuschwanstein is in Fusen, South of Germany. Once you get the ticket, you could board on local train and head to Fusen. From my travel experiences, I bought Bayern ticket in Munich and it took me around 2hrs from Munich to Fusen. I would suggest choosing an early train so that you could spend more time there. When you arrived at Fusen Station, there is a bus station just next to the train station on your right-hand side. You could either board on bus number 73 or 78 and alight at Hohenschwangau Neuschwanstein Castles bus stop. There is an information center in front of the bus stop that you could get map and information. You'll see a direction sign in front of the bus stop when you arrived. Follow the sign to Ticket Center and noted that Neuschwanstein is the Disney castle we are talking about. Noted that there is still a long way to go before you head to the castle itself, so if you need to go for toilet please […]

Berlin’s Best Spots for Photo Ops

Where are the best places for taking photos in Berlin, Germany? As a mobile photography enthusiast (read: Instagram addict!), I tend to live like I travel. That is, I’m always on the lookout for photo inspiration, even when I’m in my home-base of Berlin. Over the last few months, I have been roaming the city’s streets on a mission. I’ve been looking for the best places to take photos in Berlin. Read on to discover the best spots for taking photos in the German capital. These include rooftop bars, parks and gardens, as well as famous monuments from a different perspective. Photogenic parks and reserves in Berlin Last weekend, I joined a photography walking tour, organized by the Instagram group, Official Fan of Berlin. For the first time, I went for a stroll through frost-covered Treptower Park, which runs along the Spree. I snapped (many!) shots of snowy islands, frozen lakes, swan families, ivy-clad bridges and dense forests. As I wandered down Treptower Park’s winding paths, I had the impression of being a million miles away from Germany’s urban capital. As a fellow tour participant said, it was as though we had unwittingly stepped into a fairytale. Getting to Treptower Park is easy, as there is an S-Bahn (or urban train) station right at the entrance.      If you find yourself in Schöneberg, venture over to Volkspark Wilmersdorf-Schöneberg, a few steps away from the city hall where JFK made his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech. This park is divided by an imposing bridge, from which you can snap shots of the lake and green spaces below. While you’re in Schöneberg, you can also grab a coffee at the acclaimed DoubleEye, if you don’t mind waiting in line! Discovering Berlin’s rooftop scene If you’re like me and you have a thing for rooftops, you’re in luck. Berlin has several sky-high terraces and bars, great for snapping shots of the city, cocktail in hand. For a funky rooftop experience, head to Klunkerkranich in Neukölln, with its eclectic décor, sandbox-side seats and very strong espresso martinis. When it comes to a slightly less casual scene, House of Weekend awaits. This lounge/club is known for 16th floor parties. Show up before sunset and dance till well past sunrise. Set high above Alexanderplatz, the terrace affords views of the famous TV Tower and network of trams below. Berlin’s West also has its fair share of photo worthy rooftops. Watch day fade into night at Monkey Bar, named as such for it towers over the Berlin Zoo. A terrace wraps around the four sides of this top floor bar, with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Sights from the rooftop include the Memorial Church, Kurfürstendamm, Tiergarten and the zoo. For dinner and views, consider making reservations at Neni, Monkey Bar’s sister restaurant which is located right next door. For coffee with views over Ku’Damm, Berlin’s designer shopping street, make your way to the newly opened sister café to The Barn, a third-wave roaster that has now taken […]
Load More