Germany officially the Federal Republic of Germany is a country at the intersection of Central and Western Europe.
Germany is a Western European country with a landscape of forests, rivers, mountain ranges and North Sea beaches. It has over 2 millennia of history. Berlin, its capital, is home to art and nightlife scenes, the Brandenburg Gate and many sites relating to WWII. Munich is known for its Oktoberfest and beer halls, including the 16th-century Hofbräuhaus. Frankfurt, with its skyscrapers, houses the European Central Bank.
2:00pm-5:00pm : Alte Pinakothek
Three museums, each highlighting a different period of art, are housed at Alte Pinakothek. The museums are within walking distance of each other, so you can easily explore all three on foot or by bicycle. First, stop by one of the oldest art galleries in the country. It houses a collection of at least 800 masterpieces from the Middle Ages to the end of the Rococo period. Look for works by Durer, Rubens, and da Vinci, among others. Next, visit the gallery that displays about 400 paintings and sculptures from the 19th century. Highlights include works by Monet, Degas, and Renoir. Finally, explore the gallery opened in 2002 to display a vast collection of modern art. Here, you'll find notable pieces by Picasso, Kandinsky, and Warhol. Purchase a day ticket for all three museums online.
5:30pm-6:00pm : Asamkirche
Get a close look at the impressive Late Baroque architecture and intricate detailing of Asamkirche. The tiny church was constructed as a private chapel in the mid-18th century. It features a beautiful main sanctuary of floor-to-ceiling frescoes and ornate Baroque decor. Note the magnificent wax statue of St. Johann Nepomuk in the pillar-enclosed high altar. Look up to see "Life of Saint Neopmuk," the ceiling fresco by Cosmas Daminan Asam. Next door to the church, you can stop by the Asam House to see its South German rococo stucco exterior and ornamentation. The Asam brothers acquired it in 1733.
10:00am-12:00pm : BMW Welt
See the famous carmaker's latest products at BMW Welt. Constructed between 2003 and 2007, the state-of-the-art showroom attracted more than 2 million visitors during its first year alone. The facility is designed to be a marketplace and meeting point for automotive industry professionals, amateur fans, and anyone curious about the finer points of automobile-making. Visit the adjacent museum to learn more about the country's automotive history. The website details the range of guided tours.
12:30pm-4:30pm : Deutsches Museum
Deutsches Museum, the world's largest museum of science and technology, welcomes about 1.5 million visitors each year. You can explore nearly 28,000 objects in 50 science and technology fields. Founded in 1903 on the initiative of engineer Oskar von Miller, the museum's main site is on Museum Island in the Isar river. (Two other spots in the city host additional exhibit spaces.) Explore the museum's interactive exhibits dedicated to natural sciences, telecommunications, tunnel construction, technical toys, astronautics, bridge building, marine navigation, aerospace, and much more. Photography is permitted, so don't forget your camera.
5:00pm-6:00pm : Marienplatz
Soak up the local culture at Marienplatz, the city's main public square since 1158. Today, the square is dominated by the Gothic city hall, which you'll find on the northern side. Ages ago, markets and tournaments were held in this square, which is named after a Marian column standing at its center. The column was built in 1638 in honor of the Virgin Mary, a sign of gratitude for the end of Swedish occupation. Note the city hall's clock tower, which was inspired by the medieval tournaments once held here. It features 43 bells and 32 life-size figures. The bells chime several times a day, and some of the figures dance, prompting passers-by to stop and check their watches. The 85 m (280 ft) tower is open for visitors.
10:00am-12:30pm : English Garden
English Garden is one of the largest public parks in the world. Covering an area of about 370 hectares (910 acres), it stretches from the city center all the way to the northeastern city limits. Originally created in 1789 by inventor and physicist Sir Benjamin Thompson, the park was massively extended and improved by a series of his successors. The park's name refers to a style of informal landscape gardening popular in Britain in the mid-18th century. Wander the area to see a number of eye-catching temples, teahouses, pavilions, and pagodas. The park's main features are its meadows and ponds, which spread over a gently rolling terrain. Relax under the shade of trees or take advantage of nearly 80 km (50 mi) of biking and hiking trails.
1:00pm-4:00pm : Nymphenburg Palace
While millions of tourists flock to the city for its world-famous beer festival, few find their way to the tranquil Nymphenburg Palace. Renowned architect Agostino Barelli designed this sprawling, 200 hectare (490 acre) garden oasis, which was completed in 1675. The palace once served as the summer residence of Bavarian kings. The facade was redesigned in the French Baroque style in 1716, and now is about 700 m (2,300 ft) wide. You can visit both the gardens and their several museums. The most notable one, inside the former royal stables, contains one of the biggest horse carriage collections in Europe. Regular guided tours aren't available, but you can pick up an informative audio guide at the site's entrance.
4:30pm-5:30pm : St. Peter's Church
For a spectacular view of the surrounding city and the distant Alps, climb to the top of St. Peter's Church. This is the oldest church in the inner city. It was built during the Romanesque period on the site of an ancient monastic settlement. The building suffered extensive fire damage in 1327 and was expanded and re-consecrated in 1368. In the early 17th century, the 92 m (302 ft) spire received its Renaissance steeple top. A new Baroque choir was also added. Inside, look at the high altar for the figure of Saint Peter, created by sculptor Erasmus Grasser. Among other masterpieces, you'll find five Gothic paintings by artist Jan Polack and ceiling frescos by painter Johan Baptist Zimmermann.
10:00am-11:00am : Mauermuseum - Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie
Mauermuseum - Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie was German's only Cold War border crossing that permitted foreigners to pass through between 1961 and 1990. Though it once represented the separation of East and West Germany, this spot is now just one of the city's many tourist attractions. The checkpoint achieved mythological status because residents of the city were not allowed to use it. Look for the famous "You Are Now Leaving the American Sector" sign. This iconic marker of the past is one of the most photographed spots in the city. Nearby, you can explore the exhibits of a private museum dedicated to the checkpoint and various Berlin Wall memorabilia.
11:30am-12:30pm : Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Originally opened in 1895, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church today stands as a memorial to the destruction of World War II. This historic chapel was damaged--then almost completely eliminated--by bombings in 1943 and 1945. The remaining Romanesque architecture is in the steeple, which no longer has a pointed roof. The ground floor's memorial hall honors war victims. The people of Berlin preserved the ruins within the monument to represent the rebirth and resilience of postwar Berlin. Guided tours are available.
1:00pm-2:30pm : Reichstag Building
The country's center of political power, Reichstag Building houses the German Parliament. This grand building, designed by architect Paul Wallot in 1894, was renovated and reopened in 1999. Its glass dome, designed by architect Norman Foster, offers panoramic views of the city and is accessible by elevator. You'll almost always encounter a long line waiting for the elevator, especially on sunny days, so plan lots of extra time when visiting this site. Once on top, enjoy 360-degree views and listen to a free audio guide about the building and the surrounding city sites. You can visit the dome and get guided tours of the building only with confirmed reservations secured well in advance. Check the website for details on registering online or in person.
3:00pm-4:30pm : The Holocaust Memorial - Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
One of the most moving and controversial sites in the world, The Holocaust Memorial - Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a massive artwork, covering an entire city block. Designed by architect Peter Eisenman, it features nearly 3,000 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. The work is meant to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and many liken it to an abstract representation of a cemetery. The slabs are approximately 2.4 m (7 ft) long, 1 m (3 ft) wide, and vary in height from 20 cm to 5 m (8 in to 16 ft). They start out at ground level on the outer edges of the memorial and grow taller towards the middle, where the ground slopes downwards. Look for the underground museum, which offers extensive details on the Holocaust and the people who died during it. The site attracts nearly 4 million visitors each year.
5:00pm-6:00pm : Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate was built in the 18th century as a defining symbol of the city, but it ended up in the middle of the no-man’s land separating East and West Germany for the better part of the 20th century. Today, this impressive monument epitomizes European unification and continued peace. It often serves as an attractive backdrop for special events, such as concerts. Architect Carl Gotthard Langhans designed the triumphal arch, finding inspiration in classical Greek architecture. He chose this spot to serve as the entry into the city’s renowned boulevard of linden trees. Artist Johan Gottfried Schadow’s sculpture of a winged goddess commanding a chariot crowns the gate.
10:00am-11:30am : East Side Gallery
To see some truly one-of-a-kind art, take a stroll along East Side Gallery. This 1.3 km (0.8 mi) long stretch of the Berlin Wall is near the center of the city. One of the largest remaining portions of the former border between East and West Germany, this now serves as an international memorial of freedom. You'll see that the remains of the wall are painted with provocative and thought-provoking murals, political and otherwise. This open-air art gallery is a work in progress, so you'll find that creative local artists constantly add new images. Stop by to have your picture taken in front of a living piece of history.
12:00pm-3:00pm : Walking tours
3:30pm-6:00pm : Pergamonmuseum
Offering visitors a rare look into the ancient world, Pergamonmuseum attracts nearly 2 million people each year, making it the most-visited museum in Germany. It features an extensive collection of ancient Greek, Middle-Eastern, and Islamic art and architecture. Located on Museum Island in the heart of the city, this site was designed by architect Alfred Messel and built from 1910 to 1930. The museum contains reconstructed monumental buildings from around the world, including the giant Ishtar Gate and the Market Gate of Miletus. Be sure to see the Pergamon Altar, a massive marble shrine after which the museum is named. Save time by booking your tickets online. Pick up a free audio guide at the entrance.
10:00am-1:30pm : Zoo Berlin
See one of the most comprehensive collections of wild animals in the entire world--nearly 20,000 animals--at Zoo Berlin. The country's oldest and best-known zoo opened in 1844 and covers more than 34 hectares (84 acres). More than 3 million visitors each year come to the zoo and its adjoining aquarium, making it the most-visited site of its kind in all of Europe. The zoo is known worldwide for sheltering endangered animals, such as polar bears and giant pandas. Check the website for feeding times and other special events. You can save a lot of time by purchasing your tickets online.
2:00pm-3:30pm : Potsdamer Platz
An ever-expanding shopping and commercial area, Potsdamer Platz was once trapped in the no-man's-land dividing East and West Germany. At one of the busiest traffic intersections on the continent, the square now attracts visitors with its ultra-modern glass and steel architecture. This spot marks the point where the old road from Potsdam once passed through the city wall of Berlin. Almost totally destroyed during World War II, the square became the largest European building site in the 1990s. Near the square, you can explore a cluster of cultural buildings filled with museums, theaters, and art galleries.
4:00pm-6:00pm : Topography of Terror
Often chilling and always thought-provoking, Topography of Terror is an indoor and outdoor museum documenting the terror tactics used by the Nazi regime. You'll receive sobering insights into the Gestapo and SS activities that kept the city in a permanent state of terror and repression between 1933 and 1945. If visiting between spring and fall, don't miss the most striking of the site's features: an excavated cellar directly under the remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall. Many political prisoners were tortured and executed here (confirm on the website that the exhibit is open during your visit). You can visit three permanent exhibits about the Nazi years at the site's prize-winning documentation center, which opened in 2010. Explore the site on your own, or join a guided walking tour to learn about the Nazi policies at home and the Cold War tensions felt around the world.
7:30am-9:00pm : Riyadh