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Away from the tourist routes: the editors of reveal insider tips for your next trip to Germany., 10.07.2018
The Chiemsee in the Alpine foothills
The Chiemsee in the Alpine foothills © dpa

Lake and mountains in Prien am Chiemsee

The charm of the region reveals itself best on a bike ride around the “Bavarian Sea”. E-bikes are available at the bike station at the port of Prien. So off you go: heading north, the 30 kilometre long route via Gstadt and Seebruck to Chieming, always with a view of the imposing “Kampenwand”, leads to the 1,669 metre high summit in the Chiemgau Alps. Return the rental bike in Chieming and board the ferry to the idyllic Fraueninsel. Then on to the Herreninsel for the highlight of the tour: Herrenchiemsee Castle. King Ludwig II surpassed even his model of Versailles in pomp. After the crossing to Prien treat yourself to a “Bayrisch Hell” (a light beer) and a hearty snack.

Palatial: Herrenchiemsee Castle
Palatial: Herrenchiemsee Castle © Martin Orth

Marburg, the fairy-tale city on the Lahn

The old Landgrafenschloss towers high above the small town full of nooks and crannies in central Hesse. The brothers Grimm were already inspired by the charm of Marburg. Picturesque half-timbered houses and the late-Gothic town hall on the market place characterize the Upper Town, where pleasant cafés and pubs abound. Along with the Elisabeth Church, the Spiegelslustturm auf den Lahnbergen is one of Marburg’s landmarks. From up there you have a fantastic view over the city. The Lahn ripples quietly through the valley, lined with meadows where students take a break in good weather.

In Marburg’s Old Town
In Marburg’s Old Town © dpa

Spectacular silence on the Wadden Sea

The Wadden Sea of the North Sea is not of course an insider tip. But this place is. It is located in Keitum, a dreamy district on the east coast of the island of Sylt. Ingiwai and Am Tipkenhoog are the streets names here. But you leave them to one side. Seek the path "Am Kliff", if possible on a warm summer evening. Here is a slightly weathered bench. At the twilight hour you have a great view of the wide ebb-and-flood landscape. A little bird chirping, a few clouds. And nothing else. Can silence be spectacular? Here it is.

Sunset over the Wadden Sea on the coast of Sylt
Sunset over the Wadden Sea on the coast of Sylt © Janet Schayan

On the bike freeway through the Ruhr area

The Ruhr area still doesn’t have a particularly good reputation in Germany: the former heart of the European coal and steel industry is looked upon as grey, drab, somehow a little behind the times. That this isn’t so you can learn on the Radschnellweg Ruhr 1 (RS1) (Bike Expressway Ruhr 1). Where freight trains used to transport coal, you can now cycle through the countryside, over the Ruhr River and past the cities of the region. When the road is completed, it will be 101 kilometres long and run from Hamm to Duisburg. With such distances, it’s good to know there are even service areas on the bike highway!

The Ruhr bike expressway goes along the city viaduct in Mühlheim
The Ruhr bike expressway goes along the city viaduct in Mühlheim © AGFS/Peter Obenaus

Dresden’s other side

You’ve marvelled at the Frauenkirche, Semperoper and the art treasures in Green Vault? Great! And now out of the hustle and bustle. Take the tram to Schillerplatz, cross the "Blue Wonder", Dresden’s most famous bridge, and explore the picturesque suburb of Loschwitz. Takethe funicular railway to the viewing platform and enjoy the panoramic views of the city and the Elbe Valley. Then stroll through winding streets of the villa district “Weißer Hirsch” downhill to the Elbe. If you are light on your feet, take a walk along the northern Elbuferweg back to the city, with a view of the silhouette of new and old Dresden.

View of Dresden and the Elbe
View of Dresden and the Elbe © dpa