When it comes to visiting Germany, travelers mostly pick the big cities - Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt often spring to mind first. But Germany offers so much more than that, and there are many superb (smaller, cheaper, and less touristy) German cities that are well worth a visit. Here the best underrated German cities that you shouldn’t miss on your next trip.
Potsdam is just a quick train ride away from Berlin, and most of the city’s parks and palaces have UNESCO World Heritage status; one of the most famous sites is the rococo palace Sanssouci and its ornate royal park, which is filled with cascading terraces, fountains, and statues. Another must-see for history buffs is Cecilienhof, the site of the Potsdam Conference in 1945, where Stalin, Churchill and Truman decided to divide Germany into different occupation zones.
Located in the southwestern corner of Germany, right across the borders of France and Switzerland, the thriving university town of Freiburg is famous for its spas, local cuisine, and wines. The city is the gate way to the Black Forest, but before you head into Germany’s most famous holiday region, take your time and explore Freiburg and its spectacular Minster, the historical merchant’s houses, medieval squares, and many laid-back restaurants, wine bars, and cafes.
Bremen is often associated with four animals riding piggyback – the characters from the Brother’s Grimm fairy tale “The Bremen Town Musicians”, and their bronze statue on Bremen’s main square is one of the city’s most photographed attractions. But Bremen offers much more: The city, located in the North of Germany and once a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, is home to a unique street built completely in Art Nouveau style, a medieval quarter, one of the finest art museums in Germany (Bremer Kunsthalle), and the Bremen Town Hall, one of the most important examples of Brick Gothic architecture in Europe.
The capital of Thuringia in the East of Germany was founded as a Catholic diocese in 742; filled with historic townhouses, cathedrals, monasteries, and the oldest inhabited bridge in Europe, the Kraemerbruecke, Erfurt still has the feeling of a medieval university town. The city’s most famous resident was Martin Luther, who studied at Erfurt University and lived as a monk in the Augustinian Monastery.