Munich, Freiburg or Constance are famous for their pretty corners. But below the Main there are also numerous beautiful southern German towns that are worth seeing. The travel reporter provides ten tips, including some helpful hints.
1. Bernkastel-Kues in Rhineland-Palatinate
There are many beautiful cities and towns along the Moselle, including Bernkastel-Kues. Located on both sides of the Moselle, the town of around 7100 inhabitants invites you to take a stroll through more than 2,000 years of history.
The large half-timbered houses, the early Gothic church of San Michele or the Renaissance town hall on the historic market square are just some of the highlights. The city can also be explored on four signposted “city walks” through winding streets, past shops and along the famous steep slopes of the Riesling.
The ruins of Landshut Castle tower high above the city. A barrier-free circular path with information panels leads around the castle.
2. Cochem on the Moselle in Rhineland-Palatinate
Cochem in Rhineland-Palatinate is the smallest district city in Germany. However, it has a lot to offer. Reichsburg Cochem is enthroned on the castle hill in the middle of the city. The fortress, originally built around 1100, is by far the biggest attraction in the place.
But Cochem’s Old Town also has picture book motifs to offer. These include the town hall on the market square, built in the Baroque style in 1739, the Martinsbrunnen fountain and the old half-timbered houses covered with Moselle slate along the narrow streets.
At the Pinnerkreuz viewpoint at a height of 255 meters, travelers can enjoy the whole city from above thanks to a chairlift.
3. Wadern in the Saarland
The small town of Wadern lies at the foot of the idyllic Hunsrück on the edge of the high forest of the Black Forest. At the castle ruins and Dagstuhl Castle, visitors retrace the footsteps of knights and counts.
In summer, the pretty town center becomes a vibrant cultural hub. Wadern is known for its vast singing scene with eight music clubs and several choirs. The Oettinger Schlösschen is also worth a visit. The graceful baroque building houses the city museum, which tells the first influences of the Romans and the Celts.
Other evidence of bygone times can be found throughout Wadern, including old parish churches, the market fountain from 1770, Münchweiler Castle, and a replica of a 2nd-century Roman burial mound.
4. Ottweiler in the Saarland
With its Renaissance and Baroque period buildings, Ottweiler, the former residence of the Counts of Nassau-Ottweil, is an interesting tourist destination with many attractions. These include the Stengel Pavilion with its Baroque rose garden and the steeple of Ottweiler’s 15th-century Zibbelkapp Church.
Ottweiler is located about 30 kilometers from Saarbrücken on the Blies, a tributary of the Saar.
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A stroll through the winding streets of the quaint Old Town quickly brings tourists to Ottweiler’s origins. Visitors can delve further into local history, for example in a school museum with exhibits from 1000 years of school history and in the city museum with a book printing workshop.
5. Zwingenberg in Hesse
Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, South Rhineland-Palatinate and all that in Hesse, south of the Main is part of southern Germany, is what is said in the 1960 New Brockhaus. Since Zwingenberg is located under the river, this pretty little town also has an insert in this text Find.
The gem on Hessian Bergstraße is the oldest city in the region. The path leads in the direction of the upper town, first past the small castle, to the former seat of the Burgmannen and the current town hall.
The mountain church, which is accessed by a steep staircase, offers a splendid view of the medieval cityscape with dense half-timbered houses over alleys and squares. When you reach the top of the church, which by the way is the oldest building in the history of the city, you look across the expanse of the Hessian Ried to the Rhine plain.
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If you want to enjoy a glass of wine, the Bergstrasse is the place to be. It’s not just the home of red Riesling – more than 600 winemakers press a wide variety of grape varieties in Germany’s smallest wine region, including white Müller-Thurgau and red Dornfelder. In Zwingenberg, for example, the Simon-Bürkle winery invites you to taste its wines, according to “Hessen Tourismus” about the favorite town of Zwingenberg.
6. Blaubeuren in Baden-Württemberg
Blaubeuren is known for its Blautopf, which shines a deep turquoise depending on the incidence of light. The 22-meter deep lake forms the entrance to the Blautopf cave, which contains the largest cave system in the Swabian Jura. But the town itself is also beautiful to see.
The historic center is easy to explore on a walking tour. This takes you approximately 1.5 kilometers through Blaubeuren along 13 pillars, where you can get information about your location and next destination via QR code. So you can discover the beautiful half-timbered houses, winding streets and cute shops on a leisurely stroll. You can also hear Blaubeuren on a tactile model on the church square.
7. Meersburg on Lake Constance in Baden-Württemberg
As the name suggests, Meersburg am Bodensee is located directly on the shores of Lake Constance. Surrounded by vineyards, it is worth taking a bike ride on the lake or a hike in the mountains followed by a wine tasting and a stroll through the winding roads.
There are also numerous cultural monuments in the historic center. Among them are the Red House, the Zum Bären bay window house, the Obertor or the Burgweganlagen. Meersburg Castle is the symbol of the city and is considered to be the oldest inhabited castle in Germany.
8. Berchtesgaden in Bavaria
In the south-east of Bavaria, on the border with Austria, is one of the most famous towns in Germany: Berchtesgaden.
Particularly known is the Watzmann, which exceeds 2700 meters in height and attracts everyone’s attention. But the beautiful national park, deep valleys and crystal clear mountain rivers are also among the most beautiful landscapes in Germany.
About 8000 people live in Berchtesgaden. You can discover the traces of their ancestors in the Berchtesgaden local history museum in the Adelsheim Palace.
9. Füssen in Bavaria
Füssen is located in Bavaria and borders Austria to the south. The city is known for the romantic Neuschwanstein Castle, built on a hill in 1869 for the Bavarian King Ludwig II.
This is by far not all! Füssen has a beautiful old town, well-preserved city walls, a city park, a reservoir and many picturesque lakes and hiking trails through beautiful nature.
But the city also has other destinations to offer. For example, vacationers can explore the tree-lined garden. The highlight of the city park and the local recreation area directly behind the High Castle is the moated castle, a water reservoir that resembles the ruins of a castle.
The place is also ideal for canoeing, cycling and skiing in the winter.
10. Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is located in northern Bavaria. This beautiful town impresses with its medieval architecture. The cobblestone pavement and half-timbered houses still bring visitors back to that time. A well-preserved city wall with enchanting doors and towers makes the urban landscape unique.
Probably the most famous photographic motif in the city is the Plönlein. Translated it means “little square at the fountain”. This includes the yellow half-timbered house in front of the hospital quarter entrance, the fountain in front of the half-timbered solitaire and the two towers of the old city wall.
The Burggarten is also nice as an image. At the lookout point at the castle gate, travelers can get an overview of the Tauber valley. However, there is no longer a castle itself: a billboard explains where the building once stood.
Famous places are the Church of San Giacomo with its late Gothic altarpiece and the medieval town hall, from whose tower you can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire city.