The 10 Best Small Towns in Germany
Germany is brimming with great little towns and villages, at once colorful, charming, and atmospheric. Each has something distinctive to offer: half-timbered houses, Gothic churches, Romanesque gems, cobbled squares, scenic settings. And here are the pick of the bunch: the 10 loveliest, most visitable, greatest, and best small towns of Germany.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber (Bavaria) is everybody’s favorite medieval town. It is still completely surrounded by its defensive town wall with many towers and other buildings intact. Although swamped by tourists on weekends and in the high season, it is a town absolutely worth seeing.
Quedlinburg (Saxony-Anhalt), north of the Harz Mountains, is filled with half-timbered houses and has a marvelous Romanesque church built shortly after the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire of German States. It is a great town to simply stroll around aimlessly.
Celle (Lower Saxony) has an amazing old town center with half-timbered houses in perfect condition. Most are from the 16th to 18th century.
Hildesheim (Lower Saxony) is mostly modern, but its Market Square is surrounded by some of the most impressive half-timbered buildings in Germany. The town also has a couple of excellent Romanesque churches.
In nearby Goslar (Lower Saxony), the half-timbered buildings are mostly authentic. It has an impressive reconstructed Romanesque Pfalz (Imperial Palace).
Hann. Münden (Lower Saxony) is a lovely small town where the Rivers Wera and Fulda converge to form the Weser. It has many half-timbered buildings and a Weser Renaissance town hall.
Lübeck (Schleswig-Holstein) is not small by any definition, but its amazing old town on an island in the River Trave is. It has marvelous examples of brick Gothic architecture.
Marburg (Hesse) has a lovely old town with half-timbered buildings and the first Gothic church on German soil. The castle towers over the town and the River Lahn and is well worth a visit.
Limburg (Hesse), farther down the River Lahn, is another town with an historic, half-timbered center and a marvelous Late Romanesque Cathedral.
Berchtesgaden (Bavaria) is a lovely town. With the Alps on three sides, the natural setting and surroundings lift it above the average.
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