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Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Germany

Germany's Most Unique Sights, Museums, and Hotels


Ice hotels? Vinegar pralines? A museum dedicated to sausages? Discover some unique and fun sights in Germany that you'll love to tell your friends about. Here are some of the best things you didn’t know you could do, see, and eat in Germany.

1. Sleep in an Ice Hotel

Ice Hotel Zugspitze
Photo: ©www.iglu-dorf.com

Think you can find ice hotels only in Scandinavia? On top of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak, adventurous travelers can bundle up in an ice hotel that offers breathtaking views of Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. You can share an igloo, created of snow, ice and sheepskin, with other travelers or cuddle up in a “romantic suite”, which has a private bathroom and a sleeping bag for two. Temperatures are freezing, but the cheese fondue, a drink at the ice bar, and snowshoe hikes will warm your heart (Dorms with up to 6 people start at 99 Euros per person, a suite for two starts at 166 Euros per person; open December – April).

Castles, light houses, and boats - more Unique Hotels in Germany

2. Swim in a Cargo Container Turned Pool

Badeschiff Berlin
Arena Berlin

Moored in the river Spree in Berlin, you'll find one of the most unusual swimming pools in all of Germany: The Badeschiff ("bathing ship"), a floating pool that was created from a huge cargo container. What started as an art project in 2004 is now the coolest place to be on hot summer days. While the kids play in the sand, relax on a sun chair, grab a drink at the open-air bar, or take a yoga class on the banks of the river. In winter, the pool is covered with a translucent shell and turned into an equally unique wellness and sauna area.

Profile about Berlin's Badeschiff

3. Visit a Food Museum

Chocolate Museum Cologne
GNTB/Astrid Schwarz

A great way to get to know Germany is through its food – but you don’t have to eat your way through Schnitzel, sausages, and dumplings to explore Germany’s culinary history. Go to a museum! Seeing, smelling, touching, tasting – a visit to one of Germany’s food museums is a feast for all senses and an adventure for the whole family. Both fun and educational, these mouthwatering museums are dedicated to food and drinks, from Cologne’s Chocolate Museum, and Hamburg’s Spice Museum, to Berlin’s Currywurst Museum.

Best Food Museums in Germany

4. Have Some Sweet Vinegar Treats

Wine Vinegar Estate
Copyright Birge Amondson

On my road trip down the German Wine Route in Rhineland Palatinate, I discovered an overgrown wine estate that manufactured and sold something extraordinary with grapes - but it's now what you think. At Doktorenhof in Venningen, traditional grape varieties from the surrounding vineyards are made into vinegar - and delicious vinegar pralines, coffee, jam, chutney, mustard, aperitifs and digestives. Created according to century-old recipes from around the world, these vinegar creations will tempt your taste buds (and make unique souvenirs!).

Profile of Doktorenhof

5. Climb the Roof of the Olympic Stadium in Munich

Olympic Stadion in Munich, Germany
Allie Caufield

For all adventurous travelers, who are bored with the same old city tours: How about climbing the roof the of an Olympic Stadium? The Olympic Stadium in Munich, which was the site of the 1972 Summer Olympics, offers tours across its sweeping and transparent canopies of acrylic glass, the signature characteristic of the stadium. The light roof design was revolutionary and futuristic for its time and was modeled on the Bavarian Alps - it only seems natural that you can ascend these architectural mountains now. You don't have to be a mountaineer to take part in this 2-hour tour (which is complete with ropes and karabiner), the only thing you need are good shoes and a little courage. You will be rewarded with spectacular views of the stadium and Munich's skyline, and on a clear day, you can even see the Alps.

6. Find Your Roots in Hamburg

Ballinstadt Emigration Museum Hamburg
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Between 1850 and 1939, more than 5 million people from all over Europe emigrated from Hamburg to the New World. The Emigration Museum "Ballinstadt" in Hamburg recreates this life-changing journey on historic grounds; you can visit the original emigration halls, and the extensive interactive exhibition (in English and German) offers a wealth of information about emigration in the 19th and 20th century. Highlight of the museum: You can even trace back the journey of your own family by studying the original passenger lists and the largest genealogical database in the world.

7. Don't Drive

White Chalk Cliffs of Rugen
GNTB/Joachim Messerschmidt

Germany is famous for its Autobahn, but there is one little place in the north of the country where cars are not allowed: The small island of Hideensee, set in the Baltic Sea close to Rügen, is a car-free island, so leave your car in the city of Schaprode, then take a water cab or ferry to Hiddensee and explore the solitude and natural beauty of the rugged island by foot, bike or even horse drawn carriage.

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