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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Tour of Germany, Week 1

One-week tour of Germany

On July 11th, my parents flew from Chicago to Hamburg to visit me in Germany. This was the first time I had seen them in exactly one year, and I had two whole weeks of activities planned.

I published a blog post just before they arrived with our planned day-by-day itinerary for their summer tour of Germany. For the most part, we kept to this plan. There were a few cities added to list, however. So, here is week one of my parent's summer tour of Germany in pictures.

One-week tour through Germany

Day 1: Arrival

We picked my parents up around noon from the airport in Hamburg. To my embarrassment surprise, all three of us were matching.

Me and my parents

Once we got back to our apartment from the airport, we made Wurstsalat for dinner.


And although my parents were both pretty tired from their journey, Marco and I managed to keep them up until about 10 p.m. by taking a walk through the woods near our apartment.

Hiking through the woods in Lüneburg

Day 2: Lüneburg

For my parent's first full day in Germany, we headed into Lüneburg's city center. We walked through Am Sande, where a Kinderfest was going on, and then through Marktplatz, where the weekly farmer's market was taking place.

Lüneburg Rathaus

Next, we headed over to the old water tower, which offers great views of the city. Oh, and if you are wondering: yes, the church (St. Johanniskirche) is a little crooked. It is not my bad photography.

View from the old Lüneburg water tower

On top of the Lüneburg water tower

Day 3: World Cup Finale

We started off day three with a delicious breakfast buffet at a local restaurant in Lüneburg. Since it was raining, we then just hung out at home the rest of the day until about 3 hours before the World Cup finale. Then, with beer in hand, we headed over to a local club to watch the game.

World Cup Finale 2014

Since they won (as if you didn't already know), we then stayed in the city center celebrating until about 4 a.m.

Germany wins the World Cup! 2014

Auto Corso after World Cup Finale

Day 4: Hamburg

Despite a hard night of partying, we got our butts out of bed the next day and got on a train to Hamburg. Just a short walk from the train station is Hamburg's main square, which is where city hall is located.


Hamburg Rathaus

We then took the subway to the popular neighborhood of St. Pauli, which is home to the infamous red light district located along the Reeperbahn. Marco and my dad went for a short stroll along Herbertstraße, which is a street that only men over 18 are allowed to enter...

Hamburg Subway


Hamburg is especially famous as the second-largest port in all of Europe. So, we also took the ferry along the Elbe to see all of the various ships and wharves located along the shores.

Elbe River in Hamburg

Ferry on the Elbe River

Day 5: Train to Würzburg

The next day, we took a taxi to the train station to catch our ICE (inter-city express) train from Lüneburg to Würzburg. The train ride was 3 hours long, and we arrived in Würzburg around 1 p.m. Marco's father and his girlfriend picked us up at the train station and showed us around the city.

Sightseeing in Würzburg

After some sightseeing in Würzburg, we brought the day to a close at a local beer garden just a short drive from their home near Bamberg.

German Biergarten

Day 6: Munich

On the morning of day five, all six of us made the nearly three-hour drive from Bamberg to Munich in an eight-passenger van. We had a hotel booked for two nights in Munich, meaning that we would be spending three days there.

We got in around 4 p.m. and then went directly into the city center for a little sight-seeing. We swung by the Rathaus to watch the Glockenspiel, and we ate dinner at the Hofbräuhaus.

Munich Rathaus


Day 7: Munich

We started off our full day in Munich with a trip to BMW World, which is located right next to Olympia Park.

BMW Welt

BMW World

Olympia Park, Munich

In the afternoon, we took a stroll the through the beautiful Englischer Garten and enjoyed a nice cold beverage (read: beer) in the beer garden.

When evening rolled around, we headed back toward the city center.

Munich Marktplatz

Munich Rathaus at night

Day 8: Nymphenburg Palace and Garmisch-Partenkirchen

For our last day in Munich, we drove to Nymphenburg Palace. Our parents took a tour of the inside of the residence while Marco and I walked around the grounds.

Nymphenburg Palace

Nymphenburg Palace Gardens and Canal

Originally, the plan was to drive directly back to Bamberg from Nymphenburg Palace. Marco's father and girlfriend decided to surprise us, however, by driving one hour further south to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This quaint little town in the Alps is located right on the border of Austria and is a popular skiing destination due to its proximity to Germany's tallest mountain, Zugspitze.

Streets of Garmisch-Partenkirchen

View of the Alps from Garmisch-Partenkirchen

What cities would you visit if you were to do a one-week tour of Germany?

Make sure to come back on Thursday to see pictures from week 2!


  1. If I were to do a one week tour of Germany.... actually, we just got back from a two week stay in Bayern just a week and a half ago. My husband is half-German so we regularly visit his family there, and by far Deutschland is my favorite European country! We've visited Wurzburg before, and although we've never been to Garmisch, we've been close by in Fuessen and Neuschwanstein. I'm completely biased, but Bayern is definitely the most beautiful part of Germany! ;)

    1. Although I live in Northern Germany, I would definitely agree that Southern Germany is the more beautiful side of the country (just don't tell the Northerners). My boyfriend is from Baden-Württemberg, which makes up the western side of Southern Germany, and I love spending time either there or in Bayern.

    2. Ah, Baden-Württemberg is beautiful, too, though! We watched the World Cup finale in Stuttgart with some dear friends of ours. B-W and Bayern are the only states I have any familiarity with, but hope to go north at some point on our next trips!

  2. Wow how cool!! I lived in Kaiserslautern for 2 years and I loved it! The exploring was the best part :)

    1. Traveling and exploring is definitely the best part about living anywhere in Europe ;)

  3. Oh wow, looks like a very comprehensive and fun trip involving the parents! Thanks for sharing the recap. I've been to some of those places but not all of them... I really want to go to Hamburg and Bamburg.

  4. I really love Bamberg and highly suggest it. Hamburg is cool too, but it always just seems like more of a party city to me (which isn't necessarily my thing). But maybe that is just because I live within 30 minutes of the city, and that is the main reason people from here go there.

  5. Traveling and exploring is definitely the best part about living anywhere in Europe ;)


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