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For over a thousand years, Germany has been a commanding force in Europe. It sits at the crossroads of several different (and important) trading routes. To this day, commerce and trade is an incredibly important part of the German export-based economic machine. The country’s cars and high-tech products are sought after around the world.

Visitors to Germany frequently come to Bavaria or the Black Forrest looking a fairy tale experience: medieval villages, half-timber houses, beer and bratwurst. There’s plenty of that to go around. However, there’s more to this country than Grimm fairy tales.

World War I and World War II took a devastating toll on Germany and many war sites are now important monuments. As a country, it doesn’t shy away from these difficult and painful topics. The country has the best preserved, best marketed and most thorough collection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Germany has thoughtfully evaluated its contributions to world culture and has systematically preserved those sites all of humanity to enjoy.

Having been around the world many times, this is a country we keep visiting again and again. For us, there’s just so much to see and do in Germany! Here are a few of our favorite German experiences.

A Pilgrimage to the Andechs Monastery in Germany

Sculpture outside Andechs monastery

The sound of Benedictine monks singing could be heard high on the Andechs Hill above the German countryside: “Veritas mea, et misericordia mea, cum ipso: et in nomine meo, exaltabitur, exultabitur, cornu ejus, cornu ejus.” Pilgrims have been visiting the Benedictine monks at the Andechs Abbey here for centuries, however the pilgrims today come for

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Snapshots of Life in Erlangen, Germany

The Markgrafenschloss in Erlangen, Germany.

While this is a company town in the Franconia Valley, Erlangen is also home to an important University. Students gather on the lawns to read or play sports (soccer and a form of tight-rope walking between trees seem to be the favorites). Despite being a workaday factory town that was essentially obliterated in World War

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The Magic of the Nuremberg Christmas Market

Frauenkirches and the main square of the Nuremberg Christmas market, Christkindlesmarkt

the visit to the Nuremberg Christmas market was a charming and romantic experience–where tourists and locals commune together in the cold and embrace the season. To put it simply, Nuremberg’s Christmas markets are absolutely enchanting.

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Four Restaurants To Try In Nuremberg, Germany

Photo of Nuremberg After World War II in the Restaurant Oberkrainer am Hauptmarkt, Nuremberg, Germany

For a small city, Nuremberg (known as Nürnberg in German) has a number of good restaurants, particularly German and local Franconian cuisine.  Here, we review four from our recent trip. The Goldenes Posthorn is located just a block off the central square. It features local Bavarian, Franconian and German specialties. On this trip, we ordered

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The Castles of Mad King Ludwig: Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau

Neuschwanstein Castle in Southern Bavaria

The trip from Munich to the King’s Castles—Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein—in the municipality of Schwangau in Southern Bavaria takes about two hours, but it takes you back in time over 100 years. It is perhaps fitting that these castles lie at the end of Germany’s famed Romantic Road – they perfectly evoke the romantic period. The castles,

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Visiting Dachau Concentration Camp

Front gate of Dachau concentration camp saying "Arbeit Macht Frei" -- "Work makes you free:

Dachau. This place needs no introduction. Since World War II, Dachau has become synonymous with concentration camp, cruelty, and torture. But Dachau is also a real town – a town that was a hip artists colony before the Nazi regime, a town that was a willing provider of supplies to the camp during the brutal

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Bamberg, Germany

The Alte Rathaus in Bamberg, Germany.

Bamberg, Germany isn’t on many people’s travel itineraries, but I was fortunate enough to discover it several years ago. Bamberg had largely escaped damage during World War II and is now preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here are the top 5 things to do in Bamberg!

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