With its renowned nightlife and sprawling shopping district, you’d be forgiven for crossing Hamburg off your itinerary if you’re on a tight budget, but Germany’s second-largest city is surprisingly affordable. In fact, there are plenty of free things to do in Hamburg and it’s quite possible to enjoy a day in the city without spending a euro.
With its sloping cobblestone lanes, timber-framed houses and striking sandstone towers, Nuremberg’s Old Town is postcard Bavaria at its best, and the beautifully preserved medieval center remains the heart of the modern city. The best way to explore the Old Town is on foot, starting in the picturesque Castle Quarter, where the star attraction is the imposing Nuremberg Castle, dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries and once one of the region’s most important imperial castles.
Home to an impressive collection of museums, art galleries and cultural institutions, it’s little surprise that Frankfurt’s Museum Embankment (Museumsufer) is among the city’s top attractions and you could spend weeks exploring all that it has to offer. More than a dozen museums line the Main River in Frankfurt’s historic Sachsenhausen district, housed in a series of elegant 18th century villas, linked by a scenic promenade and fronted by pretty waterfront gardens.
A lively neighborhood situated just north of St Pauli, Hamburg’s Schanzenviertel district, or the ‘Schanze’ as it’s known to locals, is the heart of the city’s alternative scene – a bohemian quarter crammed with art galleries, curio shops and one-of-a-kind cafés. The best way to explore Schanzenviertel is on foot and the main attractions are clustered around the main streets of Schanzenstraße and Sternschanze, which are buzzing with activity both day and night.
With huge fireworks displays, traditional treats like Feuerzangenbowle (spiced mulled wine) and Marzipanschwein (marzipan pigs), and street parties taking off around the country, New Year’s Eve, or ‘Silvester’ as it’s known locally, is the biggest event on the German calendar. Whether you want to join the free festivities in the capital or splash out on a New Year’s cruise along the Rhine, there are plenty of choices for where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Germany – here are a few ideas.
Almost every town and city in Germany hosts one or more Christmas markets and with its strategic location and excellent transport links, Frankfurt makes a good choice for seasonal shoppers, with easy access to the Rhine Valley, Bavaria and the Black Forest. Get your fill of Christmas spirit by adding these 5 Christmas markets around Frankfurt to your itinerary.