Beyond Beer: The Best Travel Spots In Germany

When it comes to culture, food, and local flavor, Germany has a great deal going for it. And yet it can’t seem to shake its reputation as being the beer capital of the world, serving up plates of heavy food with little sign of development.

Things are about to change. Across the country, Germans have been changing what it means to travel in the local area, and now there are so many things worth checking out. From local eateries to niche producers, the Germans know what they’re doing and when it comes to food, you can take a pretty tasty tour of the local landscape.

If you’re heading to Hamburg any time soon, the first thing you should check out is the waterfront. The port town is surrounded by large stretches of water and dotted along the shores are a great deal of beauty spots and eating places that remain open, whatever the weather. While stretches of the river Elbe can be enjoyed if the sun is out, the sheer number of bars and restaurants in the area makes it easy to enjoy the area at any time of year. If you’re looking for a local experience, try making a beeline for Strandperle. This beach bar serves up a fine selection of fish-based dishes, all to be washed down with great local cocktails. Pull up a pew and watch as the boats go by.

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Traveling to Berlin when on a European journey is practically a rite of passage, but if you’re looking for something a little different from the usual hipster suspects, try checking out the Hotel Adlon Kempinski bar. While drinks here might be a little pricier than at your usual dive bar, the surroundings more than make up for it. Located within a stone’s throw of the Brandenburg Gate, the hotel offers up some of the most picturesque views in the local area. Choose your drink from the fine menu and recline in style.

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Elsewhere in Germany there’s a great deal to be seen and tasted, and when you’re in the vicinity of Bamberg, it’s a great opportunity to try a slice of local culture. A world heritage town, Bamberg is one of the most picturesque areas you might see on your travels, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the eating spots more than deliver. If you can’t distinguish the heritage buildings from one another, try searching for Schlenkerla. Situated inside a 17th century building, the brewhouse is a great place to take in the sights of the nearby cathedral as you sample a local brew. If you want to pull out the big guns, try opting for a traditional Bavarian breakfast. With a plate of pretzels, sweet mustard, and white pudding, you aren’t likely to go hungry.

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As well as offering up some of the most beautiful architecture in Germany, Cologne is packed to the rafters with local culture that is just waiting to be sampled. If you want to know what it’s all about, try checking out Papa Joe’s Jazz Bar. As its name suggests, the bar is a music hangout with a traditional concert being put on almost every night. Opt for a beer and get there early; seats fill up fast and you’re going to want to see the show.

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While you might head to Bremen for its Brothers Grimm histories, you’re likely to stay for the food and drinks scene. The town does offer up its traditional watering holes, but if you look for them, you can still stumble across a contemporary bar or two in the winding streets. Heartbreak Hotel is always a good shout, one of the liveliest spots in the city. If the graffiti-laden walls don’t do it for you, the DJ probably will. The spot is renowned for its music and even after guests have left, discs can be heard spinning throughout the night.

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Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.