If You Are In Germany To Attend The UEFA Euro 2024, Then Make A Trip To These Offbeat Places

Here is a list of offbeat regions in Germany you can explore if you are visiting the country for the UEFA European Football Championship
If you love architecture, the more than 20,000 castles will surely make you happy
If you love architecture, the more than 20,000 castles will surely make you happyShutterstock

Germany is a country full of beautiful sights and an enduring history. It's a place where every kind of traveller would find something to love. If you love architecture, the more than 20,000 castles will surely make you happy; if beer is your choice of beverage, then a month-long fest dedicated solely to the drink will be something for you to rejoice in. And, of course, we cannot talk about Germany without talking about football. So all of you visiting the country for the ongoing UEFA championships would have not just the beloved sport, but also many beautiful places and experiences to enjoy.

Here are some offbeat regions in Germany for you to explore if you are visiting the country for the UEFA European Football Championship.

Saxony

Rakotz Bridge or Devil's Bridge in Saxony
Rakotz Bridge or Devil's Bridge in SaxonyShutterstock

Saxony is a treasure trove of natural beauty and historical richness. From picturesque hilltop castles and Dresden, its state capital, to the rugged Saxon Switzerland mountains and the meandering Elbe River, Saxony offers diverse attractions. Explore beyond the main sights to discover Leipzig, a hub of contemporary art and nightlife alongside centuries-old traditions. The Ore Mountain range (Erzgebirge), bordering the Czech Republic, transforms into a ski destination in winter and a haven for mountain biking enthusiasts year-round.

Instagram-worthy spots like Görlitz, famed for its medieval allure featured in films like "The Reader," and Kromlau Park with the Rakotzbrücke (devil's bridge) add to the region's charm. Dresden, known as the "Florence of the North," showcases a baroque cityscape postwar reconstruction, highlighted by landmarks like the Zwinger palace, Frauenkirche, and Old Masters Picture Gallery. Less than an hour away, Sächsische Schweiz (Saxon Switzerland) is a glittery escape with its rock formations, valleys, and waterfalls, immortalised by Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich.

Where to Stay: Dresden's Limehome (doubles from €72) offers sleek apart-hotel accommodations with designer furnishings conveniently located near major attractions. In Leipzig, Fregehaus (doubles from €90 room-only) provides a charming boutique hotel experience within a 16th-century building. For eco-conscious travellers, Bio Village Schmilka (doubles from €144 B&B) offers sustainably built accommodations and eco-restaurants on the edge of Saxon Switzerland National Park.

Meersburg

Meersburg is a pedestrian-friendly village boasts two castles
Meersburg is a pedestrian-friendly village boasts two castles Shutterstock

Meersburg in Baden-Württemberg retains its medieval charm and historic allure, nestled on the scenic shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee), where Germany, Switzerland, and Austria converge. This pedestrian-friendly village boasts two castles – the Altes Schloss (Old Castle) dating back to the 7th century, making it Germany's oldest inhabited castle, and the 'new' castle – both once residences of the prince bishops of Konstanz. Winemaking traditions here date to the 13th century, flourishing on sunny slopes above the lake. Meersburg hosts two wine festivals annually, celebrating local vintages and regional culture. The Vineum Bodensee museum in the upper town offers insights into the area's viticulture history.

Where to Stay: Accommodations in Meersburg range from lakeside hotels to historic inns nestled along the steep hillside. Hotel & Gästehaus Seehof (from INR 15,000) and Hotel Löwen-Weinstube (from INR 12,000) are some great options. The old town descends via steps and alleys to the lake promenade and main street in the lower town, offering convenient access to local attractions and scenic views of Lake Constance.

Franconia

Franconia covers about 6,000 square miles of nature parks, historic cities, and UNESCO heritage sites
Franconia covers about 6,000 square miles of nature parks, historic cities, and UNESCO heritage sitesShutterstock

While Bavaria is well-known, its northern sub-region, Franconia (Franken in German), boasts a distinct cultural and linguistic heritage. Spanning across Bavaria into parts of Baden-Württemberg, southern Thuringia, and Hesse, Franconia covers about 6,000 square miles of nature parks, historic cities, and UNESCO heritage sites. Highlights include Bamberg's medieval old city, Bayreuth's Margravial Opera House, and Bad Kissingen, recognised as one of UNESCO's "great spa towns of Europe." Würzburg's Residenz palace and the Limes, an ancient Roman border wall, also add to the region's historical allure.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Tauber Cycle Path offers a five-star biking route along the Tauber Valley from Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Wertheim, passing vineyards, forests, and meadows. The Altmühl River, Germany's slowest river, winds through Altmühltal Nature Park, offering canoe trips amidst castles, palaces, and archaeological finds like the Archaeopteryx bird fossils. Culinary delights abound, featuring Franconian wines, renowned beers (including smoked beer), local venison, line-caught carp, and seasonal asparagus.

Where to Stay: Gasthof Drei Linden in Bamberg (doubles from INR 7,150) offers cosy rooms, a restaurant serving local and international dishes, and friendly service. Five Reasons in Nuremberg (doubles from INR 8,050 for a two-night minimum) provides bright rooms with oak floors, a sleek bar-lounge, and a communal kitchen. Villa Mittermeier in Rothenburg ob der Tauber (doubles from INR 9,920) offers stylish accommodations and dining options, including a chic restaurant and wine cellar.

Mosel

Burg Eltz, perched in the hills above the Mosel river is one of the most beautiful castles of Europe
Burg Eltz, perched in the hills above the Mosel river is one of the most beautiful castles of EuropeShutterstock

The Mosel River stretches 150 miles from Perl, on the border with France and Luxembourg, to Koblenz, offering breathtaking views of steep, vine-covered hillsides, medieval villages, hilltop castles straight out of fairytales, and occasional art nouveau villas. This region enjoys a sunny climate reminiscent of the Mediterranean, which is ideal for producing some of Germany's finest wines, particularly Rieslings, cultivated for centuries by Weingüter, who uphold traditional, labour-intensive methods. Numerous trails wind through the steep riverbanks, including the Bremmer Calmont, Europe's steepest vineyard. Hiking options vary from leisurely riverside strolls to challenging treks through terraced vineyards. The Mosel Cycle Path runs from Perl to Koblenz, with a starting point in Trier for shorter rides. Boat tours along the Mosel Valley depart from charming towns and villages such as Cochem, Bernkastel-Kues, Trier, and Traben-Trarbach.

Where to Stay: In Trier, the art nouveau Hotel Villa Hügel (doubles from INR 17,800 B&B), originally built in 1914 for a winemaking family, features a restaurant, outdoor and indoor pools, and saunas. Hotel Karl Noss in Cochem (hotel-noss-cochem.de, rooms from INR 11,900 B&B) offers rooms overlooking the Mosel and vineyards, along with a restaurant and cafe-bar. For a taste of local wines and regional dishes, visit the Straußwirtschaft taverns, such as Daniel Bach in Cochem.

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