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Seven Trips for a Bank Holiday Weekend in Germany

Lisa-Kristin Erdt

Dreamlike landscapes, endless beaches or majestic mountains: the most beautiful destinations don’t always have to be a plane ride away. Here are seven excellent destinations for a bank holiday weekend in Germany.

Freiburg im Breisgau

A little mediterranean feeling – but in Germany? Yes, please! In the middle of the sun-drenched south-west lies Freiburg im Breisgau. Here southern temperatures herald the arrival of spring while it is still snowing elsewhere. The picturesque old town is a sight to behold and the imposing Freiburg Minster is impossible to miss. You just have to go inside, as the tower offers a breathtaking view over the city. Speaking of the Rhine. Who needs the sea when you can drift along the Rhine on a relaxing paddle tour or race the rapids on a riverside hike?

View of the tower of Freiburg Minster rising into the blue sky
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And the icing on the cake. Just a stone’s throw away, Basel in Switzerland and romantic Colmar in France await visitors with their very own charm and countless leisure options.


Admittedly, it takes a few days to explore the Chiemsee-Alpenland region to get to know everything worth seeing. However, a bank holiday weekend is a good start to discover the “Bavarian Sea” with its cozy villages and panoramic mountain peaks. If you want to take a break after a mountain tour to the Kampenwand or the Wendelstein, sip a freshly tapped beer in nearby Rosenheim or in the stately town of Wasserburg.

Four boats lying on the shore of a mountain lake
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Saxon Switzerland

Well, Saxon Switzerland is no longer an insider tip. On the other hand, the romantic gorges and dramatic rock formations in the east of Germany are a natural spectacle that can’t go unnamed here, right? Our tip: set up camp in Pirna, which is not only worth a visit itself with its sandstone buildings, but is also an ideal starting point for exploring the mountains.

Wooded rock formation in Saxon Switzerland, a popular excursion destination, even on long weekends
Sangga Rima Roman Selia/unsplash

Pirna-Liebethal is the starting point of the famous Malerweg, the main hiking trail through the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. It has been voted the most beautiful hiking trail in Germany. From here, it is also not far to pretty Rathen, from where you can take the Basteiweg trail to the famous Bastei Bridge. And if you still have a day to spare, you should take a detour to Bad Schandau. The Kirnitzsch Valley Railway chugs along here for around eight kilometers through a wonderful natural paradise to the Lichtenhain Waterfall.

Some houses in the old town of Pirna


Fresh sea air, beaches as far as the eye can see and, above all, no car noise. On Langeoog, one of the seven East Frisian islands, the wind blows away all thoughts of everyday life. Because of its 14 kilometers of unspoilt sandy beaches, the island is often referred to as the “longest sandpit in the world”.

A beach on Langeoog with colorful beach chairs
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Langeoog’s water tower is a real eye catcher and stands in the middle of a vast, typically Frisian dune landscape. In summer, the place is teeming with tourists, so it’s better to come at Whitsun or in the fall and enjoy a steaming cup of tea on the beach, wrapped up tightly. Fancy a change? Island hopping is not only possible in the Caribbean, but also in East Frisia. For example on the neighboring island of Norderney. And if the wind is too strong, you can spend the day in one of the many beach hotels with wellness facilities.

The water tower on Langeoog, a popular excursion destination even on long weekends
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Thuringian Forest

When the sun sinks behind the treetops in the Thuringian Forest, the poetic mood of Goethe’s “Wanderer’s Night Song” is literally palpable. The green region is characterized by extensive forests, clear mountain streams and flower-filled mountain meadows. But it’s not just nature that is worth discovering. Thuringia also has cultural treasures to offer, including the historic city of Weimar. It is famous for its rich cultural history with sights such as the Goethe House, the Schiller House and the historic city center, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Extensive view of a wooded low mountain range
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For gourmets: if you can cross the pleasure of a genuine Thuringian grilled sausage off your list, take it to the next level with exquisite Thuringian regional cuisine at AnnA.

Beilstein on the Moselle

Beilstein on the Moselle is a discovery that definitely belongs on the bucket list of destinations in Germany. Nestled in green vineyards and surrounded by medieval flair, the small town can compete with the most beautiful vacation resorts in the world. Excursions to the historic Metternich Castle and visits to romantic vineyards in the surrounding area make the weekend perfect. Active people will also get their money’s worth. Beilstein is the perfect starting point for a bike tour. For example on the 21-kilometre route along the Moselle promenade to Cochem. Alternatively, you can take the boat to Cochem and back.

Beilstein on the Moselle in the autumn evening sun
Kyle Patel/unsplash

Meersburg on Lake Constance

Looking out over the blue waters of Lake Constance, you could almost think you were somewhere in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean-style lakeside promenade in idyllic Meersburg completes the picture. With all the brightly colored half-timbered houses, small boutiques, narrow streets and cozy cafés, you ask yourself: did I really travel so far? A visit to Meersburg Castle also allows you to travel back in time to the Middle Ages. It is the oldest inhabited castle in Germany and its location high above the lake. That makes it one of the biggest attractions on Lake Constance.

View of Meersburg from Lake Constance
Gabriele Lässer/pixabay

Other excursion destinations in the surrounding area include the urban city of Constance directly on Lake Constance for a change of scenery. Or the village of Sipplingen – a postcard idyll on the northern shore that promises relaxation and numerous hiking trails with breathtaking views.