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48 Hours in Germany

If you’ve got just 48 hours in Germany, it can be hard to know where to start. Discover the must-see landmarks and hidden gems that make Germany a must-visit destination with Sainsbury’s Bank’s top tips.

The best places to visit in Germany

Germany is a country steeped in history with a diverse culture and breathtaking landscapes to boot. It offers an exciting blend of the old and the new so there’s something for every kind of traveller. Discover medieval castles, bustling cities and historic landmarks aplenty and with amazing public transport links it’s easy to see a couple of places  in a weekend. 

Whether you're drawn to the architectural splendour of Berlin, the traditional beer halls of Munich, or the historic charm of Heidelberg, there's something for everyone in this vibrant hub of Europe. Below are a few ideas of the must-see places you can visit on your trip. 

Discover Berlin’s Iconic Landmarks

Berlin is a vibrant capital city that’s bursting with world-class museums and landmarks. Start your journey at the Brandenburg Gate, a reminder of the Cold War and divisions this city once faced. Then, visit the Holocaust Memorial, where you can learn about the horrors of the Second World War. Next, marvel at the Reichstag Building, with its striking glass dome offering panoramic views of the city. And if time allows, spend some time admiring the colourful murals on what’s left of the Berlin Wall.

For efficient travel, Berlin's public transportation system is quick and reliable. Hop on its network of buses, trams and trains to get between attractions quickly and make the most of your time there. 

Experience Munich’s Bavarian charm

Start your Munich adventure at Marienplatz, the city's central square, home to the iconic Glockenspiel. Then, visit the Nymphenburg Palace, a baroque masterpiece with stunning gardens to walk around. For a touch of nature, stroll through the English Garden, one of the largest urban parks in the world, where you might even catch surfers riding the Eisbach wave.

As Bavaria’s capital, be sure to indulge in traditional Bavarian cuisine and visit a beer hall or two. Hofbräuhaus, Munich's most famous beer hall, offers an authentic experience with hearty dishes like sausages and schnitzel, as well as pretzels, paired with locally brewed beer. 

Visit the Cologne Cathedral

Cologne is a historic city perched on the Rhine River. It’s renowned for its stunning Gothic cathedral, the Kölner Dom. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a symbol of the city's rich history. For breathtaking views, climb the 533 steps to the tower's observation platform.

After exploring the cathedral, wander through Cologne’s Old Town cobblestone streets and historic buildings. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed morning or afternoon on your Germany trip. A visit to Cologne, with its mix of monumental history and scenic beauty, can be comfortably enjoyed in a couple of hours.

Road trip along the Romantic Road

The Romantic Road is a scenic route that winds through some of Germany's most picturesque towns. It stretches 354km from Würzburg to Füssen and is dotted with medieval towns, fairy-tale castles, and rolling vineyards.

Key stops along the way include:

  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber, renowned for its medieval architecture and charming cobblestone streets. 
  • Dinkelsbühl, another medieval gem, captivates visitors with its colourful houses. 
  • And finally, Füssen, home to museums, castles, and the famous Neuschwanstein Castle.

Rent a car to explore the Romantic Road at your own pace or join a guided coach tour for stress-free travel. A day can be enough to enjoy the highlights, but you may need a little more time to enjoy it all. 

Explore the Black Forest

The Black Forest, a natural haven in southwestern Germany, is famed for its woodlands and rolling hills. This enchanting region is a must visit for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Hike through the forest’s extensive trails for breathtaking views and a chance to connect with nature. Visit Triberg Waterfall - Germany's highest - cascading 163 metres over seven levels. Afterwards, you can explore quaint villages like Triberg and Baden-Baden to admire traditional architecture and local crafts.

Sample indulgent Black Forest cake and the savoury Black Forest ham, which are the local delicacies. Spending half a day in the Black Forest allows time for a hike in the forest or exploring some of the easier to reach attractions.

Admire the art in Dresden

Dresden is a treasure trove of architecture and art. Nestled along the Elbe River, key sites include the Zwinger Palace, an opulent building housing impressive art collections and beautiful gardens. The Frauenkirche, a stunning reconstruction of a historic church, stands as a symbol of resilience and architectural splendour. The Green Vault showcases a dazzling array of treasure – from jewellery and trophies, to ornaments and artworks.

To make the most of Dresden, go for a combination ticket which allows you to visit multiple museums and galleries at a reduced price. 

Enjoy Hamburg’s Maritime Heritage

Hamburg, Germany's bustling port city, is known for its maritime heritage and is brimming with attractions. Home to over 50 museums and 40 theatres, tourists are spoilt for choice. Key sites to explore include:

  • Speicherstadt, the largest warehouse district in the world, where you can wander through historic red-brick buildings and canals. 
  • Miniatur Wunderland, the world's largest model railway exhibition, that captivates visitors of all ages with its intricate displays.
  • The Elbphilharmonie, a striking concert hall with panoramic views, which represents Hamburg's contemporary architecture.

To truly experience Hamburg, take a harbour boat tour and get a whole new perspective on the city's port and skyline. Don't miss the chance to tuck into local seafood delicacies, such as fresh fish sandwiches and North Sea specialties. A half-day stay in Hamburg provides a delightful glimpse into its maritime culture.

Travel Money for your trip to Germany

Germany’s currency is the euro. Make sure you’re fully prepared for your holiday by collecting euros before you travel. You can buy euros with Sainsbury’s Bank at one of our travel money bureaux, or order your euros online or by phone

It’s ideal to have cash ready for your trip to Germany. Card is widely accepted but in many instances cash may be preferred, especially in the smaller towns and cities. 

The Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money Card is a safe and secure way to take your money to Germany. Not only can you pay by card to avoid extra charges, but you can also use it to withdraw cash at ATMs without incurring any additional fees from your bank (some ATM operators may charge an extra fee). You can load money directly onto your app, and you’re ready to go.   

Sorting travel insurance for your trip to Germany

Make sure you’re prepared for your Germany adventure by taking out travel insurance before you go. It can cover you for things like medical care, loss and theft should the worst happen. With Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance, you can choose the right level of cover for your trip, whether you’re on a city break or a more active trip. 


How many days is enough to see Germany?

It depends on the type of trip you’re making and how much of Germany you’d like to see. If you want to take in a city, you can probably do it in a weekend. A longer road trip to multiple locations might not be possible in 48 hours, you might want to extend your trip so you can take it at a slower pace. 

Is 48 hours enough in Berlin?

There’s so much to see and do in Germany’s capital city, but it’s possible to see the highlights in 48 hours. The key is planning your trip beforehand to make sure you have time to visit your must-see attractions – whether that’s the museums and architecture or the city’s famous nightlife.

How many days can I be in Germany without a visa?

People visiting Germany from the UK can spend 90 days in any 180-day period in the country. This is plenty of time for holidays, but if you have a second home or are planning to move to Germany you will need to apply for a residence permit.