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Beautiful old towns in Germany

    Marburg

    Photo: Marburg.

    This is my collection of beautiful old historic towns in Germany to use for planning trips. These are places I have either been to, or have on my to-do-list (sadly most are on the latter). This is a work in progress which I will update as I find more examples to add, so it is far from all inclusive.

    The big cities in Germany were almost all heavily damaged in the war (and often rebuilt rather badly), but many smaller towns escaped destruction, and some were rebuilt so well that you would hardly know what had happened.

    There are endless beautiful old towns all over Germany The tricky part is stringing them together (especially by public transport). Some of these are an easy 20 minute train ride from big cities, in other cases arrival by public transport but might be a very slow and require a number of changes across multiple trains and buses.

    Map

    I am sure there must be more places in the north of Germany, but my research/experience seems to throw up mostly the south.

    List of towns

    • Bacharach. This was the most impressive of the Middle Rhine Valley towns that I visited.
    • Bad Urach.
    • Bamberg.
    • Bautzen.
    • Blaubeuren.
    • Celle.
    • Cochem.
    • Constance.
    • Dinkelsbühl.
    • Erfurt.
    • Esslingen am Neckar.
    • Freiburg im Breisgau. Mostly rebuilt after the war, but they did a very good job. I have written more extensively about the Black Forest in this post.
    • Gengenbach.
    • Goslar.
    • Gross Comburg.
    • Gundelsheim. And many of the other wine villages along the Neckar.
    • Hall (Schwäbisch).
    • Heidelberg.
    • Heppenheim.
    • Holm.
    • Husum.
    • Idstein.
    • Korbach.
    • Lauenburg an der Elbe.
    • Lindau.
    • Lübeck.
    • Lüneburg.
    • Marburg. A surprisingly extensive old town that survived the war almost totally untouched.
    • Meersburg.
    • Merkendorf.
    • Miltenberg.
    • Monschau.
    • Mühlhausen.
    • Nördlingen. One of the best examples of remaining city walls.
    • Northeim.
    • Quedlinburg.
    • Regensburg. One of the biggest cities to escape destruction.
    • Rheda-Wiedenbrück.
    • Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It might have been saved from destruction in ground fighting, but it was actually quite badly damaged by an aerial bombing raid.
    • Rüdesheim am Rhine.
    • Sigmaringen.
    • Stralsund.
    • Tübingen.
    • Weikersheim.
    • Wernigerode.
    • Wismar.
    • Wolfach. And the neighbouring villages in the valley such as Hausach, Schiltach.
    • Wurzburg.

    Didn’t make the list

    I haven’t included these, but you might like them.

    • Dresden. I really liked it as a city and it makes a good base for the region, but the reconstructed old town just feels too clean and polished.
    • Hildesheim. Almost totally destroyed in the war.
    • Mittenwald. A nice village, but the Luftmälderei is too sickly sweet for my taste.
    • Nuremburg. Some impressive remains (like the castle), but much of it is rebuilt or post-war.

    Resources

    For some more ideas:

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