Prepare to explore beautiful Germany beyond its usual sites. Germany certainly has many famous sights that are always worth a visit, but why not explore its more unusual places off the beaten path that you won’t read about in every travel guide? Such gems can be found across the country and will make your trip extra special.
Be close to the stars at the Winkl-Moosalm
With a 360-degree panoramic view at the height of 1,200 meters, the Winkel-moosalm, the first Dark Sky Reserve in the Chiemgau Alps, is great for summer hiking and winter skiing. When darkness falls, an unparalleled firmament appears on clear alpine nights. It’s possible on guided tours to spot details of the Milky Way, galactic nebulae or red giants. Astronomers give live explanations of space using a special laser pointer for extra clarity.
Germany’s largest floating museum
North of Berlin on the Baltic coast is Rostock, one of Germany’s most important port cities. The 160-meter-long Dresden, a cargo ship from the GDR era, is moored here, and today it is Germany’s largest floating museum. It documents the history of shipbuilding from the Slavic dugout to computer-based production in modern shipyards. Maritime history is further depicted through paintings and other artifacts in the International Maritime Museum in the former Kaispeicher B warehouse in Hamburg. Model-making fans will be impressed by 50,000 miniatures of everything from coastal cargo liners to cruise ships.
You decide: Is this art? Have a look at the Hall of Fame in Frankfurt
The authorities used to come down hard on sprayers, but today graffitists are often recognized as artists, and the powers that be are more relaxed about their activities. Some places suddenly decided that urban sprayers should have dedicated spaces for their creative compositions. The Ratswegkreisel Hall of Fame in Frankfurt is one of them. Countless graffiti, from the funny to the revolutionary to the satirical, has ignited an explosion of urban art here. Beyond this dedicated area, at Frankfurt’s Ostendstraße S-Bahn station, you can see world-famous graffiti artist Case Ma’Claim’s recurring element of “running hands”.
Hedeby: A heritage from the Norse people
Schleswig, a small town on the Schlei inlet in Schleswig-Holstein, dates to the 9th century and became German territory in 1864. The Vikings who used to live in the region expanded their settlement into a gigantic stronghold: Hedeby, the former trade hub where merchants from all over the world met between the 8th and 12th centuries. Often fought over, Hedeby was ultimately destroyed. However, the Viking Age lives on today in the Haithabu Viking Museum Busdorf. Home to fascinating original artifacts and a village of reconstructed huts, a visit here will transport you back to early urban life some 1,000 years ago. Added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2018, the still somewhat unknown history of the Norse people is a trip beyond the usual tourist hotspots in Germany.