7 Days in Germany Itinerary: the Best of Germany by Rail
Germany’s range of cosmopolitan interspersed with it’s picturesque landscapes and important twentieth-century history have made the country a favorite among various sorts of travelers: from the backpackers and hikers to the more classy tourists. But if there’s one thing to note about this stunning European country, it’s that just like most of it’s other Western-European counterparts, it’s nearly impossible to have visited the vast expanses of the land in as short as a few days. Germany packs a punch no matter what part you visit, but it’s a lot more rewarding to travel to the north and south, to the far reaches of the east and west, before you make up your mind about where you’d like to come back! We have a 7 days in Germany itinerary crafted specially for those who would like to explore the best of the country in an easy manner.
7 Days Tour Germany by Train?
Whilst Germany has some of the world’s best transportation systems, hold your horses before you pre-plan your 7 days in Germany itinerary and book all your train to and fro in one go! Just like any other country, Germany is full of surprises and you may end up missing out on some fun if you decide to go in too stringent with your plans. Our recommendation? Try getting a Eurail Pass instead.
You have the luxury of getting on the train anywhere and at any given time, minus the effort of buying a ticket every single time at the counter. Plus, a Eurail Pass in Germany can help you be spontaneous and flexible with your plans- after all, what’s the fun if your itinerary bogs you down?
If you’re looking to visit Germany and would like to visit more than the highly globalized, cosmopolitan capital, check out our recommendations for these cities’ itineraries!
Day 1 – Munich
Capital to the landlocked state of Bavaria, Munich is one of those rare cities in the world where the modern and the traditional sit side by side, in a happy mix of tall modern minimalist buildings and nineteenth century monuments.
Check out St. Peter’s Church for an unobstructed view of the city, and of the Alps, if you’re lucky to experience a clear day! The Viktualienmarkt is a great place to shop and eat, before you head to the Jewish Museum and the Asamkirche.
Whilst the Jewish Museum is an important relic of the Second World War, the Asamkirche dates back to the Baroque era and is well known for it’s intricate interiors. Head to the Frauenkirch before you hop on to your next destination with your German rail pass!
What you must absolutely do in Munich?
- Munich’s Rathaus on Marienplatz is an architectural masterpiece. The remarkable courtyard is just ideal for getting away from the crowds.
- A leisurely walk in the Hofgarten.
- Sign up for Munich’s original pub crawl.
- Munich is not just about striking buildings and warm people. The city is also great for discovering vibrant street art scene. So keep your phone ready.
- A quick stopover at the Odeonplatz Square.
- Discover Munich’s beer culture at Viktualienmarkt.
- Get out of the city centre and visit Schloss Nymphenburg.
- Relax at Isar stone beach – an ideal summer spot with a gorgeous view.
Day 2 & 3 – Black Forest, Lake Constance, the Alps
Known most popularly as the birthplace of the Grimm Brothers Tales, the Black Forest is a dense forest bordering France. Known for it’s spas, the forest often opens up into hamlets with noteworthy Gothic architecture. You can easily spend a few days here – the views will enchant you completely.
Visit Lake Constance, also called Bodensee by the locals, whilst in the area. The 53-km long lake borders Switzerland, Germany and Austria and is home to a variety of fauna. Get gorgeous views of the Alps from here, and on your way back to Staufen or Freiburg with your German rail pass, where you can spend the night.
What you must absolutely do in Black Forest?
- Start your Black Forest break by sampling the delectable Black Forest Cake.
- Explore the charming town of Triberg and take a quick stop at Germany’s highest waterfalls.
- Go boating on Lake Titisee.
- Feast your eyes on the endless collection of German Cuckoo clocks at House of 1000 Clocks, Triberg.
- Hike up the Schlossberg at Freiburg town.
- Sample a house beer at Feierling.
Day 4 – Neuschwanstein and other Castles
A Germany itinerary is nothing if not for it’s stunning castles. It’s a good idea to spend a day just visiting Neuschwanstein and other castles in the area. This 19-century Romanesque Revival castle sits atop Fussen and is testimony to the skilled workmanship of it’s era.
Other castles in the area are equally enchanting, and warrant a visit. Two other castles that you can explore post visiting Neuschwanstein are Hohenschwangau and Linderhof. You could stay the night either in Fussen, or in Reutte, and hop on your next train destination early morning- minus train tickets for Germany, of course- your Eurail pass will cover that!
What you must absolutely do in Fussen (Neuschwanstein)?
- Catch the glimpse of Neuschwanstein from Marienbrücke.
- Eat at Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein.
- Take a stroll around Fussen’s city centre.
- Soak in the countryside Bavarian beauty.
- Step inside the Hohenschwangau Castle.
- Taste the most delectable cakes at Konditorei Kurcafe.
Day 5 – Rothenburg ob Der Tauber
Follow the Romantic Road tour as you tread through the gorgeous town of Rothenburg into the nearby towns of Augsburg and Wurzburg. The birthplace of many enchanted Disney tales, Rothenburg is a magical town that deserves at least a day’s visit. Trip down the medieval era as the charming town on the Romantic Road has capacity to enchant you completely. The pristine Bavarian landscapes make for a postcard perfect holiday stay in Germany.
When in Rothenburg, wander aimlessly from one place to another. You’ll get endless fabulous photography opportunities at every step of the way in this Bavarian town. Your 7 days Germany itinerary will be incomplete without a visit to this dreamy town.
What you absolutely must do in Rothenburg?
- Explore the old town/Rathaus.
- Take the original nightwatchman tour (with Hans George).
- Climb the citywall and walk the 2.5 miles stretch.
- Click a picture at the iconic Plönlein corner (the fairytale home that the town is famous for).
- Step inside Käthe Wohlfahrt store. You can recognize it by the big red and black delivery truck parked right in front of the store.
- Spend a peaceful afternoon/evening at the Castle Garden.
- Grab some pizza and cocktails at Vito or Cafe Michelangelo.
Make sure you tick this off your 7 days in Germany itinerary! You wouldn’t be disappointed even for a second.
Day 6 – Wurzburg
This small city nestled in the Bavarian region boasts of some of the coolest rococo and Baroque architecture. Apart from it’s massive repute as a prime manufacturer of wine, the 18th-century Residenz Palace attracts a huge part of it’s tourism. Visit to admire it’s dainty frescoes and ornate tapestries! Wurzburg is always buzzing with so much life and energy. It feels simply great to sit in the outdoor cafes and people watch at times.
What you must absolutely do in Wurzburg?
- Head straight to the Würzburg Residence.
- Just behind the Residenz, discover the Court Garden.
- Pour yourself a glass of wine at the Old Main Bridge. The statues of saints on the bridge might remind you of Charles Bridge in Prague.
- Watch the bustling life at the market square and step inside the St. Mary’s Chapel.
- Do not miss eating Falafel at Veggie Bros – a tiny but kitschy cafe with great healthy food options.
- Hike up to the Käppele (Church on the Hill) for spectacular panoramic views of Wurzburg. Be prepared for a 25-minutes steep walk uphill to the fortress.
Day 7 – Nuremberg
The second-largest city in the Bavarian region, after the capital Munich, Nuremberg is known primarily for the Frauenkirche, a 14th-century Gothic church, and the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg. Wander around to the Haupmarkt, the central square, and check out the stunning fountain with tier after tier of exquisitely carved figures. Better, if you are visiting Nuremberg especially during the Christmas time. It hosts the biggest Christmas market of Germany and is something to watch out for.
What you must absolutely do in Nuremberg?
- Head to the Kaiserburg Castle for pretty city views.
- A picture of Schöner Brunnen is a must.
- Visit the city’s largest church – St. Lorenz.
- Take a stroll around the Hauptmarkt. The picturesque city square hosts the biggest Christmas Market in Bavaria.
- Treat yourself to some drinks at Cafe Bar Katz.
This 7 days in Germany itinerary is simply perfect for those who are in the country for a laidback family vacation or a relaxed honeymoon. The quaint little German towns on the Romantic Road are sure to enchant you completely.
More Days in Germany?
With just enough spare time on your hands, consider visiting Dresden, capital of the Saxony. The city attracts hoardes of tourists with an eye for museums. Apart from the exquisite architecture, you could also spend time learning about the city’s difficult past – the Second World War bombing of Dresden proved to be a landmark event in the history of the War. Dresden is also known for it’s charming oh-so-European cafes and bistros!
Once you’re done with Dresden, hop on your next train to Hamburg, and check out this major port city for a day. The city’s central boulevard, connecting the Old Town with the New Town, is iconic and worthy of a couple minutes of focused photography! You can also try eating at nice Hamburg cafes and restaurants.
Add Hamburg and Dresden in your 10 days in Germany itinerary without any second thoughts. The baroque city of Dresden will make for an amazing stopover.
Should You Tour Germany by Train?
We have been very fortunate to tour Germany by car as well as train. While driving on Germany’s autobahn and other cobbled streets is fantastic experience to say the least but there is certain charm to traveling from one state to another via the rail network as well.
German trains are fast and quite reliable. And with a Eurail Germany Pass, you can get unlimited train travel on all trains operated by the private national railway, the Deutsche Bahn including the super-fast ICE trains. We loved traveling on the ICE trains for they are fast, fully air-conditioned and equipped with laptop connections, and dining cars. Since we had a global Eurail Pass, it was so easy for us to hop onto any German rail at any time without having to worry about anything.
Now there is an overwhelming range of Eurail passes at disposal for travelers and they have to decide according to their plans as in which pass they would like to invest. If your plan is just to discover Germany and its various states, then stick to Eurail German Pass. But if your idea is to country hop to Austria, Paris, Amsterdam or Brussels, then definitely get yourself a Global Eurail Pass.
Visiting Germany has never been this rewarding. While previously it involved intricate itineraries, with a German rail pass you can hop on and hop off as and when you like, and make the most of what the country has to offer.
**We would like to thank Eurail for making this trip possible and providing us with global passes to explore Europe on our on whim. All opinions are unbiased and based on our own experiences using the passes.**