Gosh this was a hard list to narrow down because we had so many fabulous moments like thermal spas, adorable AirBnbs, and nature walks. Our 2 weeks in Germany were just a perfect way to spend the winter holidays.
But if I had to make a list of the top 10 things that made their mark on me, this would be it!
Dachau Concentration Camp
This was so incredibly moving, solemn, and terrifying at the same time. Unfortunately, the awful terror of the Nazi regime isn’t dead today and that is quite evident in the global media today. Dachau however serves as a reminder and warning of the dangers of humanity:we are capable of great pain but also sweet relief. Never forget the ripple effects small acts of kindness or mercy can have upon the world. Never forget.
Read more: Travel Tips: Dressing for the Cold
Charlemagne (Charles the Great) was an 8th century emperor who based his empire in Aachen. Charlemagne wanted to emulate the old Roman Emperors in artistic style and one of the ways he did that is by building what is today known as the Palatine Chapel. This place had gorgeous mosaics that dazzled at every turn!
Read more: Aachen Dom
Dinner at the Hofbräuhaus
One of the craziest dinners of my life in Munich’s iconic beer house and garden. Liters of beer, pretzels, and sausage who could want more! It was overwhelming to all of our senses: smell, taste, sound, and sight – couldn’t reproduce this night if I wanted to.
Read more: Eating around Germany
This is such an iconic castle, known as the “Disney castle,” we certainly could not miss out! It’s a fairy tale castle that is perfectly nestled in its landscape. It was just as impressive I’m person as I had hoped. Definitely up on anyone’s Germany’s bucket list; perfect day-trip from Munich!
Read more: Tips for visiting Neuschwanstein Castle
New Year’s Eve in Munich’s Olympic Park
I am a New Year’s Eve party pooper. I just don’t like the holiday and I’d much rather be in bed especially with the below zero and fog Munich was experiencing that night buttttt luckily my whole family turned against me and made me go out for a night I will never forget and still cannot believe I lived through!
Read more: Celebrating New Year’s Eve the German Way
I really wanted to travel to the Pergamon Museum to see two images from the AP Art History curriculum: The Pergamon Altar and Akhenaten & Nefertiti and three daughters. Unfortunately, the museum was undergoing extensive renovations and the Pergamon Altar was closed but there were so many incredible sights, like the Gates of Ishtar above, that were out of this world!
Read more: AP Art History Hunting in Germany
So we weren’t originally going to take this day trip from Berlin but I am so glad it is! The Potsdam Palaces are part of a chain of Prussian royal residences part of a UNESCO Site. I can’t begin to describe how overwhelming these palaces were, especially the New Palace. Will and I would love to go back during the summer when nature is in bloom and we are not freezing our butts off walking outside!
Read more: Day trip from Berlin: Potsdam Palace
Vermeer at the Gemäldegalerie Museum
I love Vermeer and this year has been so awesome because I have seen 4 Vermeer paintings in person for the first time ever! I wasn’t even intending to go into this museum but we were killing some time waiting for my family and I am so glad we did! I didn’t get to see much because it was super late and I have to go back. Besides the Vermeers, this museum was super well done.
This seems like something totally silly to put on this list but the thermal baths were such an expected delight especially after the long traveling hours. We had such a great time trying the different water temperatures, saunas, steam rooms, and nude sections of the complex.
Read more: Travel Tips: Traveling with Family
Aachen Christmas Market
There is nothing in the world that sums up the warm feelings of Christmas like German Christmas Markets. Although we only got to experience the markets on their last days, it was still magical. Incredibly yummy and rich food, music, ornaments, and gorgeous evergreen decorations.
Read more: Christmas Mass in Aachen