**Guest post by Emily Jones
Still hoping to get a holiday in this year? Although far-flung, sun-drenched, exotic destinations may be a flight to far, Europe offers a host of possibilities. Having handled Covid-19 with its usual excellent planning and efficiency, Germany might just be the place to take that tentative step forward, toward the new normal we all have to get used to.
Travelling now or later in the year allows countries that extra time to deal with any localised spikes of the virus. So travelling around should be relatively problem free, especially by car. Why not use the time between now and your trip to learn some of the local language? You could learn German online using a language app such as Babbel, for example. Did you know German is the most spoken language in Europe? Start planning your different holiday now, and consider adding some of these to your itinerary.
Hiking in the Black Forest
The Black Forest is a region as famous as Germany itself. Mountainous, with dense, dark, evergreen forests from where it gets its name, hiking the many trails conjures up fairy tale scenarios from the Brothers Grimm. Famous for its cuckoo clocks and spas; its picturesque villages and towns, vineyards, and Gothic architecture, the Black Forest is an area that requires longer than just a few hours to really appreciate its wild natural beauty.
Visit a Biergarten in Munich
Beer Gardens are great places to get to know the locals (and practice your German). You can choose from over 200 large and small beer gardens across the city. Consider the Chinesischer Turm (tower), a large park near the city centre. The Hirschau, a large beer garden in the northern end of the English Garden (Englischer Garten), or the Park-Café, a smaller, less touristy beer garden located in the Old Botanical Gardens.
Sample local German cuisine
German cuisine is a mix of the traditional, local, and imported Mediterranean dishes. Snacks include pretzels, and German sausage such as Bratwurst, Bockwurst (frankfurter), Weibwurst, Rostbratwurst, and Knackwurst. In the evening sample dishes such as Sauerbraten (roast beef stew), Rinderroulade (beef roll), Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle), Bratwurst (grilled sausage), or Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) in some of the many friendly restaurants you’ll find around town.
Castles in Germany
In Germany, you have over 20,000 castles to choose from, many dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. With their fairy tale turrets, towers, and moats, phenomenal surrounding countryside, and history often dating back to the middle ages, they make great hotels for that special occasion, or somewhere to base yourself while exploring the local area.
Drive Bavaria’s Romantic Road
If you’re touring by car, then you must travel the 400 km Romantic Road. One of Bavaria’s oldest holiday routes, it guides you through the stunning Taubertal valley, to medieval towns such as Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbühl with their half-timbered houses. Explore the castles Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein on your journey. Then stop off in the old town of Füssen at the end of your journey, to enjoy a little Bavarian hospitality.
Berlin and its culture
If big cities, culture and the arts are your thing, then a stay in the German capital must be on your wish list. From its beginnings in the Middle Ages, to the reunification of Germany in 1990, Berlin continues to play a prominent part in German progression and history. With over 50 theatres, 170 museums, and 300 art galleries, the city has plenty to keep you busy, no matter how long your stay.
Relax in the Thermal Baths in Baden-Baden
Wanting a little relaxing downtime on your travels? Then visit Baden-Baden and its thermal baths. The Wellness Spas of Caracalla, and Friedrichsbad, with the Sea Salt Grotto and Thermal Waters of Baden-Baden pumping over 800,000 litres of thermal waters per day, from 2,000 metres below ground, will refresh and rejuvenate you, for part-two of your post-lockdown holiday in Germany.
Whether you choose to enjoy a German escape now, or later on in the year, by car or plane, you for sure can’t miss these sites! As long as you follow the German health official guidance, you can ensure a safe, healthy trip.