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Germany's Top 10 Cities - Best Spots for City Breaks in Germany

Discover the Best City Destinations in Germany

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Want to know the best cities in Germany to visit?
This selection of Germany's top cities and destinations gives you a great introduction to the best city vacations Germany has to offer.

Planning on city hopping? Check out the best ways to get around in Germany and how to get from city to city.

1. Berlin

Birge Amondson

Berlin is both the German capital and the biggest city in Germany. After being separated into East and West during the Cold War, Berlin was reunited in 1990; it quickly emerged as the most cosmopolitan and exciting city in Germany for art, architecture, and nightlife.

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2. Munich

Frauenkirche in Munich, Germany
Bastian Stein

Munich, the capital of Bavaria and gateway to the Alps, is one of the most beautiful and green cities in Germany. It offers first class museums and traditional German architecture, a salute to Bavaria's royal past. Get a true taste of Munich's hospitality, culture and world-famous beer at its Oktoberfest, which attracts more than 6 million visitors every year.

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3. Frankfurt

Frankfurt Skyline
Martin Ruegner/Getty Images

Thanks to its International Airport, Frankfurt is the major hub for Germany and Europe. The city is also the financial center of the country, which is reflected in Frankfurt’s gleaming skyscrapers. Frankfurt is host to many important events, among them the International Book Fair in October, the biggest of its kind in the world.

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4. Hamburg

Photo of Hamburg Germany
Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images

Hamburg is the country's second largest city and located in the North of Germany. It boasts one of the biggest harbors in the world and is famous for its legendary nightlife hub "Reeperbahn", which is also home to the city’s red light district. With several waterways running through its center, Hamburg has maritime charm – with more bridges than Amsterdam and Venice combined.

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5. Cologne

Cologne Cathedral and Skyline
Robert Harding/Getty Images

Cologne, founded by the Romans, is one of Germany's oldest cities. The soaring Cathedral of Cologne is the centerpiece of the city and its rich architectural history. Cologne is well-known for its contemporary art scene, excellent museums, and the largest carnival celebrations in Germany.

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6. Dresden

Dresden Elbtal
Sylvio Dittrich/www.dresden-tourist.de

Dresden, spread out on both banks of the river Elbe in Saxony, is also called "Florence at the Elbe", due to its idyllic location, excellent examples of baroque architecture, and world-renowned art treasures. Although 80% of Dresden’s historic center was destroyed in World War II, all landmarks have been rebuilt to their former splendor.

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7. Leipzig

leipzig
LTM/Bader

Leipzig has been home to some of Germany’s best-known artists for a long time; Goethe was a student in Leipzig, Bach worked here as a cantor, and today, the New Leipzig school brings fresh wind into the art world. Besides being a center for German art and culture, the city also became famous in Germany’s recent history, when Leipzig demonstrators initiated the peaceful revolution, which lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

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8. Heidelberg

The Castle of Heidelberg
Peter Adams/ Getty Images

Heidelberg is one of the few German cities that wasn't destroyed in World War II; plenty of old world charm fills the narrow cobble stone streets of its Old Town, which was the center for Germany's romantic period. The ruins of the once grand Heidelberg castle, the oldest university in the country, and the idyllic river valley make Heidelberg one of the most picturesque destinations in Germany.

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9. Weimar

Weimar is the heart of German culture. This city in the East of Germany was home to many of Germany’s artists and thinkers; Goethe, Bach, and Nietzsche, just to name a few, shaped the intellectual zeitgeist of Weimar. The city is also the cradle of the Bauhaus movement, which revolutionized the aesthetics of the 20th century.

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10. Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf in the Rhineland offers an interesting mix of old and new, from traditional breweries to futuristic architecture by Ghery and Chipperfield. It is famous for its luxury shopping street Koenigsallee, and hosts the world’s biggest fashion trade fair. The Düsseldorf Art Academy is an integral part of the city's art scene, and graduated the likes of Joseph Beuys, Jörg Immendorff, and Gerhard Richter.

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