4 Great Summer Destinations In Germany
4 Great Summer Destinations In Germany

4 Great Summer Destinations In Germany


As if precision-engineered cars and a world-leading beer culture weren’t enough, Germany is also a great – and underrated – place to take a break. From a cool island in the north to buzzy Munich in the south, here are four destinations that could work for four different types of holiday this summer…
Photography SIR SAVIGNY


Sylt is a summer hotspot for Germany’s cool crowd. Having built a reputation as a party spot for those in the know, the island now gets regular comparisons to Saint Tropez – it must be the swanky bars, Michelin-starred restaurants, five-star hotels and sports cars. But Sylt also has a quieter side. On its west coast, you can explore 25 miles of dune-fringed coastline, relaxing under wooden cabanas or trying windsurfing and other water sports. To see everything the island has to offer, we’d recommend hiring bikes and taking to its extensive bicycle network – don’t miss the beaches at Rantum, Südwäldchen and secluded Hörnum Weststrand. There’s also plenty of history to appreciate, as well as interesting architecture in the form of thatched buildings dotted around the island. 

Hit the small village of List to the north and you’ll find independent restaurants, bars and shops – fish restaurant Gosch is a local favourite for the catch of the day and oysters. Kampen is a place to head for fine dining, as is Westerland – Sylt’s largest town is even known for its ‘champagne air’. It’s also a great base from which to launch into some of the island’s best coastal walks. Around and about, other great eateries include Dittmeyer’s, a traditional bistro serving oysters from Germany’s only oyster farm, and Sansibar, set inside a smart beach cabin. For a memorable evening, it doesn’t get better than two Michelin-starred Söl'ring Hof which offers modern Nordic dishes overlooking the dunes. 

Where To Stay


Kampenherz Traumhaftes

Some of Germany’s wealthiest residents have second homes in Sylt, and there are some great Airbnbs on offer. This newly decorated thatched house in Kampen has space for eight guests across four double bedrooms. There’s a spacious living area leading onto an open kitchen/diner, as well as a garden with a terrace and BBQ for al fresco evenings. The sand dunes are a short walk away as is the main town with its restaurants and shops.

From £1,050 per night

Visit Airbnb.co.uk 


Kontorhaus Keitum

Most of the hotels in Sylt are at the luxury end of the business. Just outside Keitum, Kontorhaus is a great choice for groups as the hotel feels more like a series of connected lodges with seven guest rooms. Each one is light and bright, with views of the surrounding meadows and a spacious en-suite. Breakfast is served on the oak dining table in your room and there’s a small café for snacks and light bites. 

From £375 per night

Visit KontorhausSylt.de 

Kontorhaus Keitum

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Outside of Oktoberfest – when six million visitors flock to the city – Munich is a buzzy place full of Bavarian tradition. Germany’s third biggest city has an interesting mix of centuries-old architecture and ultra-modern developments. It’s also home to six of the country’s best breweries as well as world-class galleries and museums, scenic parks (including the Englischer Garten) and lots of traditional restaurants serving hearty Bavarian fare – think bratwurst, slow-roasted meats and schnitzel. A tour and tasting at one of breweries is a must – Hofbräuhaus traces its roots back to the 16th century. Take time to explore landmarks like the former royal castle Schloss Nymphenburg, Marienplatz Square, and Pinakothek der Moderne, Germany’s largest museum of modern art. For typical food, Der Pschorr offers the full works in its oak-panelled food hall – imagine meat stews, goulash, apple strudels and towering pints of beer. For something a little more refined, newcomer Goldmarie is a small place serving dishes like braised beef brisket, slow roasted pork and risottos made with local ingredients.

When in Munich, a day trip to Schloss Neuschwanstein is a must. The 19th-century castle near Füssen was commissioned by King Ludwig II and is one of Germany’s most recognisable landmarks – it’s said to have inspired Walt Disney’s original Disneyland castle. To reach it, you can take a two-hour train from Munich’s Hauptbahnhof (central station), followed by a bus. Tickets sell out quickly, so it’s worth booking ahead if you want a tour of the castle or a horse carriage ride to the top. On the way back, stop at Restaurant Kainz for some more of that local fare, including apple strudel with hot chocolate. 

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Where To Stay


The Flushing Meadows

This hotel is set within a former post office building in the cool neighbourhood of Glockenbach. Attracting an eclectic crowd, the design-led hotel combines modern décor with impressive views – on clear days, you can even catch a glimpse of the Alps. During the summer months, visitors have the option to camp on the hotel's pop-up site or stay in the loft bedrooms within the property. There’s also a rooftop bar for sundowners.

From £100 per night

Visit FlushingMeadowsHotel.com


Louis Hotel

For a lavish weekend break, check into Louis. It’s in a great location – next to the central Marienplatz – and each of its 72 rooms has simple décor, handcrafted furniture and great city views. There’s a restaurant, champagne bar and rooftop terrace, and the hotel concierge can arrange everything from exhibitions to walking tours.

From £245 per night

Visit Louis-Hotel.com

Flushing Meadows


The largest city in Saxony has become known as ‘Berlin’s cooler little sister’. Leipzig is full of young creatives, and you could easily spend a week here taking in the cultural highlights, but it’s ideal for a long weekend. Over the last decade, a string of cool restaurants, cafés, bars and nightclubs have opened, but the city remains most famous for its music and art – classical composer Bach was born here and Bachfest takes place every year. Book a free walking tour of the city to take in its historical sights – including St Nicholas Church, Old City Hall and St Thomas Church – then explore some of the museums including GrassiBach-Museum and Museum der Bildenden Künste, which houses fine art by Monet and Munch. If you want to go out out, the city has a buzzing techno scene: Distillery is the oldest club, while newcomer Institut der Zukunft is considered the Berghain of the city.

There’s no shortage of excellent restaurants in Leipzig. Casual fine dining is best experienced at Planerts with its southeast Asian-inspired plates, while Süss + Salzig serves simple but classic German dishes at lunch. Stop by in the evening for beers and live music. To work off any excesses, head to the Leipziger Auwald for long walks in a nature reserve – or hire a kayak to take out on the lake. 

Clara Pfister/ Unsplash

Where To Stay


Hotel Fregehaus

This small hotel in the city centre feels private as it’s tucked behind a cobbled courtyard. The building itself dates back to the 16th century and has been carefully restored with modern interiors and antique furniture. Guests can stay in one of 17 light and bright rooms, and have breakfast in the lounge – there isn’t a restaurant or bar, but there are plenty of options in the local area.

Rooms from £85 per night

Visit Hotel-Fregehaus.de


Steigenberger Grand Hotel

This is Leipzig’s grande dame hotel, but it’s fantastic value if you want to be in walking distance of the top sights. The Steigenberger has 161 rooms with city views, a restaurant serving German and European dishes, and a bar built around a huge fireplace. One of the main draws is the underground Spa World which has a steam room, sauna and relaxation zone with waterbeds – ideal after a day of sightseeing.

Rooms from £145 per night

Visit HRewards.com

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We couldn't not include Berlin. Despite still bearing the scars of two world wars and a divided past, the city has everything you need for a memorable trip. Today it’s teeming with trendy neighbourhoods, culture, world-class restaurants and a high-octane party scene that’s second to none. One of the best ways to see the sites and landmark buildings is to hire an eclectic scooter or book a walking tour – Free Walking Tour operates excellent trips around the city, led by a local historian. The main tour, which lasts around four hours, passes the TV tower, Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building, Hitler’s bunker site and the Jewish Holocaust Memorial. Other must-sees include Schloss Charlottenburg, the Neues Museum which forms part of a Unesco World Heritage Site, and, of course, what remains of the 160km-long Berlin Wall.

Katz Orange is a slick restaurant in the Mitte district. Try and get a reservation in its atmospheric courtyard to enjoy modern German dishes. Markethalle Neun offers a diverse range of food stalls spanning pasta to BBQ to oysters, while Nobelhart & Schmutzig is known for its fine dining. It also hosts special dinner experiences (known locally as Überall) at places in the city where you wouldn’t normally eat – think artist studios, clubs, churches and factories. Other casual restaurants we rate include Chipperfield Kantine for salads and sandwiches, and the nearby Yumcha Heroes for moreish dumplings, sticky noodles and other southeast Asian dishes.

Sir Savigny

Where To Stay


Wood Stock

If you like the idea of self-catering, Plum Guide has a great selection of chic apartments to choose from. Wood Stock, in the Prenzlauer Berg district, has Danish-inspired interiors and floor-to-ceiling windows. Ideal for couples, there’s a spacious living area, kitchen, marble en-suite bathroom and two balconies which have neighbourhood views.

From £64 per night

Visit PlumGuide.com


Sir Savigny

In Charlottenburg, the trendy literary quarter of the city, hotel Sir Savigny has some of the slickest interiors on this list. Choose a Sir Deluxe room with a courtyard view and make use of the huge rainfall shower. The hotel also has a guest lounge, library and The Butcher, an in-house kitchen which serves meaty options including a decent beef burger. At weekends, there’s a buzzy atmosphere thanks to the resident DJ who sets the vibe with house music.

Rooms from £94 per night

Visit SirHotels.com 

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