Our suggested route starts in Heidelberg, but depending on where you’re coming from, you can of course start your trip at any point. The city is best known for its 14th century university, which attracts many local and international students. Many influential thinkers have studied, lived, and worked here. Nowhere else in Germany are as many smart heads in one pile as there.
Above the city is Heidelberg Castle. The adjoining castle garden and the rest of the city center exude a romantic flair and invite you to stroll and marvel at the architecture. The choice of restaurants in the city is enormous, so be sure to take some time (and money) to at least spoil yourself in a chic restaurant. The scenery makes everything even nicer.
With so much romance you could think of a couples’ holiday, but it doesn't have to be like that at all. In Lotte-The Backpacker right in the old town, you can easily meet other backpackers. For a bed in the dorm you’ll pay €24
The journey continues to Freiburg in the Black Forest. The journey takes about 2 hours by car and the city at the French border can also be reached very easily by bus.
The old town of Freiburg is similarly picturesque as Heidelberg with its charming narrow streets and the half-timbered houses. This architectural style is typical for the area on the border to France. Especially in spring and summer the city with its many green spaces can be enjoyed in all its facets. In winter, Christmas markets are held in various squares. When the old town is slightly sugared by the snow, it looks even more romantic, and the mulled wine tastes even better!
The most famous buildings are the Freiburg Cathedral, which rises between all the other buildings, the Kanonenplatz, and the Schlossberg, from which you will have a great view over the whole city.
The region around the Black Forest has a very pleasant climate, so there are also some wineries around. During a hike, you should definitely stop in and reward yourself with a glass of wine.
A popular hostel is the Black Forest Hostel. A bed in a dorm is available for €28 per night.
Your journey now takes you even further south to Lake Constance and the beautiful city of Constance. The picturesque town has always been a magnet for tourists because of its unique location. As the largest city on Lake Constance, it is a hub for business and tourism, yet you are always close to nature.
What would a visit to Constance be without a boat trip across the lake? If you would like to be a little active, you can rent a bike, ride it for a while and then take a boat to get back in comfort. In summer, the water temperature is between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius: the perfect cooling off after a short bike ride.
The city also has a lot to offer culturally. The theatre stage in Constance is the longest in the country. The first plays were performed here in 1607. In the spring and summer months, there are concerts and events almost daily, often open air.
In the Aqua Hostel you can not only get a relatively cheap bed in a dorm (25€ per night), but you can also get information about all upcoming events.
Füssen still lies in the south, but a little further east towards the Austrian border. Füssen is located in the Allgäu on the border to Tyrol, so now you will be able to know the typical Bavarian culture.
Füssen connects mountains, lakes, and castles like no other city in Germany. The world-famous castle Neuschwanstein from the 19th century is located outside the city and is a real fairy tale castle. You should definitely take enough time for an excursion there, because it is a sight that you do not want to miss. Not far away you will find Hohenschwangau Castle, which is hard to miss with its bright yellow facade.
With so much exploring, you will no doubt get a little hot. How convenient that Füssen is directly located on the Forggensee so you can refresh yourself royally after visiting the castles or going on a hike.
The Old Kings Hostel is located in the middle of the charming old town. A bed in a dorm will cost you 25€.
So far, the journey has been through charming little towns, so it's time for a big city: Munich is calling! With public transport it takes about 2 hours to the city centre.
With 1.5 million inhabitants, Munich is by far the largest city in Bavaria. It combines Bavarian lifestyle with nature and still has a very international flair, as it is also the commercial centre in the south of the country.
Probably the most famous event in the region is the Oktoberfest, where millions of visitors flock to the city every year to drink a glass or two of beer in more or less traditional costumes. But to drink beer and feel a little Bavarian, you don't necessarily have to come at the most stressful time of the year. In the countless beer houses in the city, you can taste the hearty cuisine and delicious beer all year round.
In the old-town one repeatedly finds some hidden alleyways and green areas away from the usual tourist streams. Although it is a big city, one gets quickly out of the city and finds oneself in untouched nature.
As an international city, the nightlife is of course lively and welcoming to anyone who wishes to dance the night away.
As cheap accommodation, we recommend wombat's city Hostel. A bed in a dorm is available for €27 a night.
The next section includes the longest journey so far. It goes from Munich to Dresden. The capital of Saxony has experienced a real boom in recent years and has become a popular place to live for young people. Dresden shines above all with its baroque buildings, especially the Frauenkirche in the city centre. The church was lovingly rebuilt after the Second World War in order to do justice to the original from 1743.
The Zwinger, a palace in Renaissance style similar to the Palace of Versailles in France, is the symbol of the city. Also dating from the 18th century, it now houses galleries and studios.
The Elbe is the lifeline of the city. On the riverbank there are many cafes, where you can relax and enjoy the evening, especially in the summer months. The Loschwitz Bridge, which connects the two districts of Loschwitz and Blasewitz, is the pride of the city and is affectionately called "The Blue Wonder".
In the city centre you will find the Hostel Lollis. Here it’s €16 for a bed in a dorm.
Would a trip to Germany even be possible without a visit to the capital? Exactly. That's why we're going to Berlin next. It's only about 3 hours by bus.
If you have never been to Berlin before, you should definitely reserve a few days for visiting it, as there is a lot to do. First of all, there are all the top sights you can't miss, like the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building, the Berlin Cathedral and Checkpoint Charlie. In order not to get lost, it is recommended to book a walking tour. These always offer the best routes to see as much as possible and you also get an incredible amount of insider information.
But what also makes Berlin special is the colourful mix of cultures and the many exciting people who have made the city their home. The hippest districts are Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg. Here you'll find cosy cafes, cool bars, second-hand shops and international restaurants. With so much multiculturalism, you feel like you're a long way from home. The nightlife of Berlin is of course legendary as well. So maybe you should plan a hangover day.
There are plenty of hostels in Berlin. Our favourite is the St. Christopher's Inn. There's a lot going on here, but it's not a typical party hostel, so for €12 per night you'll definitely get your well-deserved sleep.
Your journey takes you from the actual capital city to the capital city of the north, Hamburg. For the trip you need only about 2 hours by bus.
The Pearl of the North is located on the Alster and is crossed by hundreds of canals. This is how the famous Speicherstadt was built, consisting of brick houses that still serve as storage rooms for the goods delivered by ships. The city's newest landmark is the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, whose completion was delayed until 2016. Now the people of Hamburg are very proud of it. Fans of musicals should definitely dedicate an evening to seeing a performance. Just the crossing by boat is an experience itself.
The city centre of Hamburg has even more treasures in store for you, such as the St. Michaelis Church, whose tower will give you a great view over the city and the Alster Valley. From the Landungsbrücken you can take boat trips or just watch the hustle and bustle at the landing stages while having a fish sandwich.
If you like to party, you will find everything your heart desires in the St. Pauli district and definitely like-minded people.
Accommodation in Hamburg is often not that cheap. At Generator Hamburg you can get a bed in a dorm for €23 per night.
Last but not least, the trip takes us to the metropolis on the Rhine: Cologne. Depending on whether you travel by bus or train, the journey takes about 5 hours.
You will soon notice: Cologne is something very special and the locals are never tired of emphasizing this. It starts with the fact that you will probably have difficulties to understand the language. But that doesn't matter, because in Cologne they are relaxed and open-minded.
To find your way through the city, it is best to always orientate yourself by the tops of the Cologne Cathedral, because you can see them from almost everywhere.
And what would Cologne be without carnival? If you would call yourself a carnival fan, a visit at this time is ideal for you. On the other hand, even many locals find carnival too much and prefer to leave the city. Let's see if you dare.
To end your trip properly, there is only one thing left: a Kölsch.
The Hostel: shared flat is a cosy accommodation in the city centre. For one night in a dorm you pay €28.