What has a suspension railway and a fairytale castle got in common? Well, they are both in Germany. That’s where my list of five places to visit in Germany started.
The great thing about being in mainland Europe now is that cities that normally feel *SO* far away when we lived in the UK are now reachable by train (or a short flight). When we visited Billund there were lots of posters in the train stations along the route about taking the train from Copenhagen to Hamburg in Germany for DKK500 (so £55ish!) return. (And it takes about 5 hours, so if we did make the trip it would definitely be an overnight trip, I’d be booking accommodation too)
So if I could get on the train and visit places in Germany. Where would I go? Well, the list has been growing for a while but here are my Top 5 Places to Visit in Germany. So far I’ve seen a section of the Autobahn as we drove to Strasbourg one holiday and a 2 hour stopover in Munich Airport! (Also, I get these aren’t really close to one another and so would probably be multiple trips or some long German Road Trip Adventure)
Miniatur Wunderland and the Historic Port of Hamburg
Well, the train runs straight from Copenhagen to Hamburg, so why not start there. Now model villages aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and maybe they wouldn’t be my first choice but this one has some impressive stats. This one boasts over 12 kilometres of track and nearly 900 trains as part of the network throughout the model village. And if we’ve made it that far – why not explore the historic port? A lot of ships would come along the Elbe River into Hamburg to deliver their cargo. When the Elbe River reaches Hamburg it splits into a number of smaller canals through the southern side of the city. (Maybe a boat tour would be needed too?)
As a kid, I loved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (well at least until the Child Catcher arrived) so to find out that Baron Bomburst’s Castle was an actual real place excited me. But that’s a long way to go to see a castle, so I soon started to create a list of other places to visit. The castle is also the inspiration behind Disney’s Cinderella Castle.
When we were at Billund, we saw the Lego model of the Neuschwanstein Castle in Miniland. I got a bit excited about it and Chris laughed at me for being super nerdy!
Wuppertal Schwebebahn (Suspension Railway)
This was an accidental one in a way. Jaxon and I had been watching videos with my Dad about different railways around the world and one of the ones that came up was a video about the Wuppertal Schwebebahn railway.
The Brandenberg Gate, The Berlin Wall and the Surrounding Area
Having grown up on many different war films thanks to my Dad as well as then studying World War 1 and 2 in History at school, putting actual places to the history has always been something I’ve wanted to do. The Brandenberg Gate is modelled on the Acropolis in Athens. It stands at 28 meters tall and I’m sure if the stones could talk they’d definitely have some stories to tell. It stands a short distance away from the Reichstag, where the German Parliament sit and when the Berlin Wall was still standing, a section of the wall ran alongside the Brandenberg Gate.
When I told someone about wanting to go to the Berlin Wall, they pointed out that there are only tiny bits of it left. Well okay, but it was still significant in history, right? The bits of the Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer) that remain are just concrete walls covered in graffiti and yet they still attract thousands of visitors each year.
Another one of those “further afield” places. Berchtesgaden is a national park in the Bavarian Alps on the Austrian border (in fact it’s not that far away from Salzburg in Austria if you want a field trip to see things like Schloss Mirabell (Mirabell Palace) and many other filming locations from The Sound of Music).