Cultural Germany

Romantic Road, (Romantische Straße), South Germany – For 225 mi, from the river Main to the German Alps, there exists an almost fairy tale land of half timbered fachwerk houses, arched gateways, cobblestoned villages and the walled towns of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen. Welcome to the Romantic Route, Bavaria’s number 1 attraction. En route are some of Germany’s most famous castles and baroque palaces. Starting at historic Würzburg, the route goes all the way to the foot of the Alps at Neuschwanstein. The landscape is just as varied, changing from placid fields and river valleys to dramatic mountain vistas.


Built as either summer residences or seats of power, German castles outdo the rest in splendour, size and flamboyance. Compulsory for those who love medieval architecture and lore.

Neuschwanstein, Füssen – Sleeping beauty could just be around the corner. The poster child of castles, the Neuschwanstein was built by whimsical King Ludwig II and draws millions every year.

Würzburg Residenz – The seat of the prince-bishops of Würzburg, the palace is known for its brilliant zigzagging Treppenhaus (Staircase) topped by the world’s biggest ceiling fresco, painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg – The university town’s best known landmark, the castle is an example of Renaissance architecture.

Sanssoucci, Postdam – ‘No worries’ is the translation of the name in French. Summer home of King Frederick the Great, it is often called the “Versailles of Prussia”.

Albrechtsburg, Dresden – Towering over the river and town, this wonderful Gothic castle is Germany's oldest castle and was constructed in the 15th century.

Glücksburg Castle, Glücksburg – A moated castle, it was the summer home of the King of Denmark and the seat of the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein. Another jewel of Renaissance architecture.

Music Festivals

There is no shortage of music festivals in the land of Beethoven and Wagner.

Beethoven Festival, Bonn (August/September) – Every year, the works of Germany’s most celebrated musical genius are performed and interpreted by leading musicians at this festival. The venues are selected to reflect the year’s theme.

Bayrueth Festival (July/August) – Conceived by Richard Wagner himself, this festival is conducted at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which was also designed by him. His works are performed by internationally renowned names and tickets are sold out months in advance.

Bach Festival, Leipzig (June) – Held at The Church of St. Thomas, this festival pays tribute to the greatest of Baroque composers. The green vistas of Leipzig and surroundings only add to the magic. The list extends to techno, rock, heavy metal et al, at festivals like the Fusion festival (June), Melt, Rock am Ring (June, July) and the Wacken Open Air festival (August).

Concentration Camps

The dark side of German history serves as a reminder of both the bestiality and bravery of men and women. Be prepared to be humbled, moved and profoundly disturbed.

Dachau Camp Memorial Site, Munich – Set up to house political opponents of Hitler, the Dachau camp witnessed the interring of over 2,00,000 prisoners, of which nearly 42,000 were killed. It was also a school for the SS men to be trained in violence. See the living quarters, read the stories and follow the ‘Path of the Prisoners’, the route by which the victims came to the concentration camp.

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin – Another testament to the brutality of the Third Reich, this camp outside Berlin was designed to be the prototype for other camps. Apart from the heart wrenching stories of torture, death, starvation and illness, Sachsenhausen was also the site of the Nazi’s infamous currency counterfeiting operation. Jewish artisans and printers were forced to print fake British and American notes.

Ravensbrück Women’s Camp, Berlin – The biggest women’s camp set up by Himmler, the Ravensbrück story was largely forgotten in the aftermath of the war. Recent decades have seen noble efforts to resurrect stories of these brave women, many of whom were non-Jews. Of the 1,30,000 that passed through these gates, only 15,000 survived till the end. Ironically, the camp is situated on the shores of a lake, in seemingly placid environs.

Buchenwald, Weimar – One of the largest Nazi camps in the Third Reich, it housed religious and political prisoners, Roma and Sinti, Freemasons, Jehovah's Witnesses and prisoners of war as well. It is infamous for its notorious commandant Karl Otto Koch and his gruesome wife Ilse. Buchenwald was also the place where inmates were literally worked to death.

Footprint Favorites

Walking Trails

Bad Schandau

Nestled by the River Elbe in the Saxony region of Germany, Bad Schandau, with its inviting terrains and picturesque trails will offering you treats at almost every turn.




Beer is the word. Not by the mug, but by the litre. Get your lederhosen and Dirndl, and head to Munich for the ultimate intoxication!


Footprint Special – Personalized tours in the Rhine Valley along with cruise on the Rhine River; Special appointments at spa town of Baden Baden