Germany's most romantic spots

Germany's most romantic spots

Germany isn't just raucous beer halls and meaty meals – it also has so much to offer for a romantic, relaxing honeymoon, whether you're looking for rambles through the Black Forest or a historical escape

Dresden

Often overlooked, Dresden's Altstadt (old town) has a stunning architectural beauty and a great atmosphere. The Procession of Princes is a must-see, where all of Dresden's rulers are depicted on a wall mosaic just behind the city's three churches. Battered by bombs during WW2, the blackened bricks of the original churches were used to construct the new, forming a striking landscape next to the Elbe River. It's also incredibly easy to escape the hubbub of the city - the river leads out into a countryside of seemingly endless green fields, where the three Elbe palaces are perched atop the vineyards that lead up from the river bank.

A good 6km walk or cycle along the river will lead you to a much quieter part of the city, with historical cafes dotting the riverside overlooking the 'Blue Wonder', the blue bridge that connects the town with the other side of the river bank. After a good days' walk building up an appetite, the chilled, bohemian feel of the Neustadt quarter has plenty to offer by way of good, Eastern European-inspired food in the back courtyards of restaurants or the artistic passages decorated with golden squares and jungle scenes.

Potsdam

Just outside of Berlin, Potsdam is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. Beautiful Prussian architecture, affected by war and neglected during divided Germany, has finally been restored to its former glory. Grecian figures and vases top the roofs of pastel-coloured houses, while fountains and columned gates proudly open up the high street - on one end with the Garrison Church and on the other the stunning dome of St Nicholas' Church, which can be seen from all across the city. Spend a day wandering the streets and seek refreshment from the chic German patisseries - pastries for breakfast,kaffee und kuchen(coffee and cake) for lunch.

The real gem of Potsdam, however, is Sanssouci Park, the royal grounds of the tiered Sanssouci Palace and the baroque New Palace. The garden never reveals all of its hidden secrets on one, or even two, visits and makes the perfect setting for a romantic picnic. Find a spot on the banks of the river with the palace behind you and spend an afternoon enjoying the greenery. See if you can make out the golden man on the roof of the jade green Chinese House, the busts of Grecian Gods, the orangerie, the Roman baths and the pavilions dotted around the gardens. A beautiful location for a relaxing weekend getaway.

Baden-Baden

Hidden away in the depths of the Black Forest, Germany's spa town offers some incredible opportunities to spend your honeymoon forgetting your troubles and the rest of the world (who knows, you may not want to go leave?). Start your mornings in the thermal baths of the Caracalla Spa, or with some relaxing spa treatments, followed by an afternoon wandering the old ruins of the Roman baths and the 19th century pump room with its Corinthian pillars and pre-Raphaelite paintings. Enjoy lunch at the cafe, and maybe take a sip of the thermal waters, which are said to have curative powers. Spend the rest of the afternoon walking down the Lichtentaler Allee park and enjoy the trees, the foliage and the calm, or for a more strenuous walk, head up the cobbled streets and steps to the old castle grounds overlooking the town.

Freiburg

If an escape into the hills and mountains of the Black Forest is more what you're after, then Freiburg is a beautiful romantic city that feels more like a historical town on the edges of the wilderness. The gothic cathedral is supposedly the most frightening in Germany, but it has an eerie beauty and a misty, awe-inspiring interior. The market circles the Minster every morning and is a joy to potter around - pick up a cheesecake at the cheesecake stand early on in the morning: it sells out within hours.

The streets are dotted with half-timbered houses and broken up by Bächle - little streams that are cut into the streets that once served as a water supply for the city. Small children now paddle in and draw their boats along these streams, but be careful - it is said that any unmarried person who falls into a Bächle will one day marry a Freiburger! They're also perfect for cooling your aching feet on a hot day, which Freiburg often is. The city is said to have the best weather in Germany and is perfect for a spring ramble through the hills and forests - whether the grassy Schlossberg hill and the historic ruins amongst the trees, or further up on Ludwigshöhe, for a perfect seat to view the sun going down over the city with a piece of Black Forest Gateau.

Heidelberg

Heidelberg is home to the oldest University in Germany (the Alte Aula, the old lecture hall, is very impressive, and the history of the University itself during the World Wars very interesting). The city is a charming mix of 18th century baroque architecture and the old, gothic streets of the city centre. The ruins of the castle which was begun in the 1300s still stand, and there is plenty to see of the old, historical town in the Altstadt. The Market Square is home to one of Germany's most beautiful Christmas markets, an ideal place for a romantic Christmas honeymoon. Heidelberg is perfect for those interested in the old and the old-fashioned - there's even a funicular to the top of the Königstuhl mountain (or it's a good hike through the forest). Burrow into the historicity of the city, enjoy a hot cup ofGlühwein and enjoy this remarkable city that has supported a student population for hundreds of years without losing any of its old-time feel.

 

Image: Ralph Brunner, Deutsche Zentrale Fur Tourismus

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