100 Best Things to do in Germany

“100 Best Things to do in Germany”

via Jen’s Reveiws

Here are the 100 best things to do in Germany that will show you the charm, beauty and cultural diversity of this country.

Germany is rich with surprises and contrasts just waiting to be discovered by the discerning tourist. A country of enchanting little villages nestling between lofty and imposing mountains, fairytale castles and churches and lush vineyards rolling down towards the banks of the Rhine or the Mosel, Germany also boasts of the more rumbustious Munich Beer Festival and the Cologne Carnival, a very fine choice of gateaux, sausages and beer and a powerful and somewhat spooky folkloric tradition.

1. Die Zugspitze

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Located in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen region of Upper Bavaria, the Zugspitze can be accessed by cable car from the Eibsee lake (around ten minutes) or by cogwheel train from Greinau followed by a cable car from the Zugspitzplatt to the summit. There are also five hiking routes for the more intrepid and guided tours with overnight stops are a popular tourist attraction for avid hikers.

At 2.962 metres above sea level, the Zugspitze is not only the highest mountain peak in the Wetterstein mountains, it is the highest peak in Germany. On a clear day, the breathtakingly lovely panorama of the mountain ranges of four neighboring countries – Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland – is clearly visible from its summit. For those who love hiking and/or winter sports, the Zugspitze is definitely a number 1 choice when visiting Germany!

2. The Castle of Neuschwanstein (Munich)

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In 1868, four years after acceding to the throne, the shy and reclusive King Ludwig II commissioned his architects Eduard Riedel and Georg von Dollmann to build him a mediaeval castle where he could hide from his people. Paradoxically, Ludwig himself only lived a few months in the castle before his death in 1886; 7 weeks later the castle was opened to the public and it has been one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions ever since.

Located in Hohenschwangau in the rolling green hills of southern Bavaria, surrounded by blue lakes, Neuschwanstein appears to float in the clouds like some magical castle in a fairytale. From Munich, it can easily be visited as a day trip. Tickets should be booked in advance!

3. Europa Park (Freiburg)

North of Freiburg in Baden-Württemberg in the little village of Rust is the biggest amusement park in the whole of the German-speaking world. In 2015 alone, it boasted 5,5 million visitors and is among the top 5 tourist attractions in Germany worldwide. In 2016, it won the “Golden Ticket Award” as the best amusement park in the world for the third year running. As an additional bonus, it is also open in winter!

With more shows, rides and attractions than one could ever imagine, including the biggest roller coaster in Europe, the Europa Park offers unlimited fun, excitement and entertainment to young and old alike. The Europa Parkc can be accessed from Freiburg by car in around 30 minutes and the closest railway station is Freiburg. Additionally there are a number of airports close by which offer shuttle-bus transport directly to the Europa Park.

4. Oktoberfest (Munich)

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Munich`s flamboyant Oktoberfest is famous the whole world over. Since its inception in 1810 in celebration of the wedding between Ludwig of Bavaria and his bride Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, the Oktoberfest has grown continuously in size and popularity. With its dirndls and its lederhosen, its stalls and diners offering a multitude of German and Bavarian specialties and – of course – its fourteen beer tents offering beer for every taste (and wine, too!), the Oktoberfest is a must for anyone seeking the fun side of Germany.

The Oktoberfest takes place once a year, beginning in September and ending in October, on the famous “Theresienwiese”, otherwise known as “Festwiese”. Travel by public transport from München is recommended owing to lack of parking.

5. Cologne Carnival (Cologne)

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Traditionally, Cologne carnival begins whimsically at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, although the serious partying does not begin until Shrove Thursday. However, when it does, it goes with a bang! Cologne carnival is a celebration, above all, of fancy dress: streets, pubs and restaurants are full of exotic and bizarre costumes, streamers, balloons, practical jokes and laughter. The highlight is a 6 kilometre-long parade through the streets of Cologne on shrove Monday. A colorful, unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Though Cologne carnival is predominantly a street festival, there are plenty of carnival dances, dinners, parties and other indoor events running at the same time to choose from. Street activity during carnival time is at its height in the city center and the old parts of the city, which are accessible by bus or train from Cologne airport within 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Cologne Cathedral (Cologne)

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At the time of its completion in 1880, Cologne Cathedral, with its awe-inspiring twin spires, was the highest building in the world. Even now, at 157m, it dominates the surrounding architecture with ease. Building commenced in 1248 but was halted during the Middle Ages and recommenced in the 19th century. Cologne cathedral reputedly houses the remains of the Three Biblical Magi- which were given to the Archbishop of Cologne by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1164 – and is an important destination for modern-day pilgrims to this day. For this reason, but also because of its being “an exceptional work of human creative genius”, Cologne Cathedral was dubbed an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Cologne cathedral is situated very close to Cologne railway station and is impossible to miss! It is around 25 minutes from Cologne airport by bus or rail.

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**If you were to give advice to future SAS (study abroad students) for your country, what would YOU recommend?!? Post in the comments! ** DB

Study Abroad ~ Paris Sights

Exquisite Sights to see in Paris

“Paris is a place in which we can forget ourselves, reinvent, expunge the dead weight of our past.”

**Michael Simkins

Museums & Palaces

The Louvre

Palace of Versailles

Rodin Museum

Palais Royale 

Musee D’Cluny

Musée d’Orsay

Art 

The Eiffel Tower

Albert Kahn Musée & Jardins

Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris

 

Basilique du Sacre Coeur de Montmartre

Opera National de Paris

Sainte Chapelle

Walking

Le Marais

Ile de la Cite

Place de la Concorde

Canal Saint Martin

Parc de la Villette

Shopping & Fashion

champselise

Triangle d’Or

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Saint-Germain des Prés

Le Bon Marche in Sevres Babylone

Sèvres-Babylone

JB Guanti, 59 Rue de Rennes

Rue de Rennes

Haussmann Saint-Lazare

Haussmann-Saint-Lazare

Le Marais

Adventure

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Roller Skating

Activités nautiques, Bassin de la Villette, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

BASE NAUTIQUE DE LA VILLETTE

Disneyland Paris - Tic et Tac © DR - OTCP

Disneyland Paris

Evasion Verte 1 - Paris - © OTCP - DR

Evasion Verte

Parc Asterix - Spectacle | 630x405 | © OTCP

Parc Asterix

Poisson clown, Aquarium de la Porte Dorée, Paris © DR

AQUARIUM TROPICAL DE LA PORTE DORÉE

Natural Views

Luxembourg Gardens

Jardin des Tuileries

Bois de Boulogne

Jardin des Plantes

Parc Monceau

 

France – Watch Out for the Infamous Paris String or Friendship Bracelet Scam

“France – Watch Out for the Infamous Paris String or Friendship Bracelet Scam”

Via “Corporate Travel Safety”

A Famous Tourist Scam in Paris, France

You’ll find this scam is one of the top  scams in Paris, France. It’s been around for many years, (because it works) and is known as the “Friendship Bracelet Scam” the “Paris String Scam” or by the name given to those who try to commit the scam on you, “Bracelet Pushers.” The scam is committed by who many describe as “string men” or as local Paris merchants call them “con-merchants.” Non-french speaking tourists are targeted the most. While the Paris Friendship Bracelet Scam is popular in Paris, it can also be found at many tourist locations outside of Paris in France too, and to a lesser extent in other countries such as Italy and Spain.

Paris Friendship or String Scam

Where the String Scam Occurs

One of the most common Paris locations where you’ll find the Friendship Bracelet Scam practiced is throughout the Montmartre area.  Specifically the scammers will target tourists and first time visitors as they approach and walk up the giant staircase that leads from the Metro to the Sacre Coeur area of the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur. This is a popular stomping ground for tourists and is Montmartre’s leading tourist attraction, and probably the most-visited church in Paris. Visitors to Paris should also be aware that this scam is also prevalent at many of the Metro lines and stations that  you travel on to get to this location.

The “string men” seem to usually target female tourists (but not always) as they enter the small fenced square below Sacré-Coeur and proceed toward the stairs that run up the hillside.  You can spot the “string men” as they are usually lined up on the sides of the stairs leading to the Sacre-Coeur. These innocent looking people are annoying “con-merchants” who have the “Paris String Scam” honed down to a science.

How the String Scam Plays Out

The scam begins like this. One of the “‘string men” walks up to you and engages you in innocent conversation and will usually say that they want to show you a magic trick.  Before you know it, a “string man” has grabbed your wrist or one or two fingers and encircled it with a homemade bracelet of colored string.

Typically the string men will say something to you like “it’s for the church” or “a gift.”  Sometimes the string men are more polite (they’ll ask the visitor to hold a string) and before you know it, the string men will somehow manage to grab your wrist or fingers and encircle it with a homemade bracelet of colored string, yarn, or other crafty-looking item.

Next, when the string men finish making your new “local Paris string bracelet souvenir,” they will demand payment of around €20 which is quite obviously not what the bracelet is worth. If you fail to pay them, they will doggedly follow you and be VERY insistent that you provide some amount of payment. These “con-merchants” are so demanding, they succeed in intimidating many tourists into paying them because it’s the only way to get rid of them.

Another variation of this scam occurs when the string men find a couple and offer the woman a  friendship bracelet.  When the woman kindly denies, the scammer tells her there is no charge.  To get the scammer to leave them alone, the woman offers her wrist and the scammer ties the “Friendship Bracelet” on her wrist.  A second scammer then appears and offers another “Friendship Bracelet” to the man. The man thinks to himself, “well if they are free why not?” and then he offers his wrist to the scammer.  Once the Friendship Bracelets are tied onto the wrists . . . .

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Viewpoint: Why You Should Act like a Tourist During Your Study Abroad Trip

“Viewpoint: Why You Should Act like a Tourist During Your Study Abroad Trip “

by Kara Sherrer via “USA Today College

(Kara Sherrer)

“You know that looking up at the tall buildings totally gives you away as a tourist, right?”

My father gave me this gem of traveling wisdom during my first trip to New York City. Even though I was almost 18, I still walked around with my neck craned to the sky, in awe of the towering buildings I had seen so many times in movies.

At least, I walked around like this until my father told me that I looked like a tourist. Then I quickly dropped my head, put away my camera and tried my best to keep my eyes on the ground like “real” New Yorkers apparently do.

Acting like a tourist is pretty much taboo in my family. We eat in sketchy dives that serve the best food in town and avoid any spot that attracts swarms of out-of-staters.

As someone who worked as a teenager in the Walt Disney World parks — a tourist town if there ever was one — my father is now the anti-tourist. Everywhere we travel, his ultimate goal is to play it cool and blend in with the locals, and I’ve adapted this same mentality even when I’m traveling alone.

Without a doubt, there are many advantages to acting like a local, such as discovering great yet unknown restaurants, or reducing the odds that you’ll be marked by a pickpocket as easy money.

In fact, one of the major reasons college students study abroad is to immerse themselves in a different culture and to learn to live life like the locals do. And of course, no one likes ignorant, obnoxious tourists, whether they’re traveling here in the U.S. or abroad (the “ugly American” stereotype exists for a reason).

But there’s a time and a place for everything, and sometimes, it’s all right to act like a tourist.

I realized this during the spring, when I took a road trip to Florida with my roommate, then turned around and flew to NYC again for a conference. When I got back from NYC, my father ironically asked me to send him photos of my trip, but all I had was a photo of a colossal sandwich from Carnegie’s Deli.

I immediately regretted that I had spent my trip pretending that visiting NYC was no big deal rather than making a record of my travels, and resolved to do better on my upcoming summer study abroad trip to Italy. . .. .

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Seoul Storytelling Tour

If you are planning your study abroad trip, you might want to see if there are any similar programs organized for tourists there.  Many cities or foreign countries arrange events for their tourists to show them some of the sights in a guided fashion.  Some are even free!  Usually, you can contact the national/city tourism office to see if anything is going on near your destination. **DB

Deceptively Blonde

Gwanghwamun SquareImage of the square mainstreet square of Gwanghwamun leading up to Gyeongbokgung Palace

I so wish I could take my mom to do this, the tour sounds like a lot of fun!

Seoul Metropolitan Government has established the Seoul Storytelling Mission Tour, which runs from July 27 to October 2014. There is a new tour every week, and there will be English, Chinese, and Japanese variations.  

Once every week, international tourists or foreign residents can participate in the tour as it slowly walks them through many of the city’s attractions.  Stops include Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (beautiful area), Gwanghwamun Square (best palace in the city), Yeouido Hangang Park (picnic heaven), and others.  As part of the event, each participant will be given various assignments such as photographing certain locations.  So it’s kind of like a scavenger hunt!

Sign up quick!  Only the first 100 people to register can participate!

DATE: 

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“Cheap Thrills: Traveling London on a Budget”

For the Thousands of Students Heading off abroad to London

“Cheap Thrills: Traveling London on a Budget”

via “Traveler’s Today

“London is one of the most expensive cities in Europe and in the world. While many travelers believe the city can easily burn the pockets, there are now more ways to enjoy it even when on a budget.

Whether it’s a good meal or some of the most unique souvenirs to take back home, here are a few budget-friendly tips when traveling London.

1. Consider fare-hotel bundle discounts

Typically, airfares to London range from $1,000 to $2,500 and accommodations can be as cheap as $12 a night to well over a luxurious stay of $300 per night. A practical advise is to book these early and consider consulting various and accredited travel agencies. . . . .”

 

“Bon Voyage! Arrival: Essential Travel Advice For Your Year Abroad In France”

“Bon Voyage! Arrival: Essential Travel Advice For Your Year Abroad In France”

by Megan Ainsworth via “LS Media”

 

“As I stepped off the Rhone Express tram at Lyon’s huge Part-Dieu train station, I immediately felt a million miles away from home. Surrounded by loud French accents, speeding taxi drivers on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and the scorching sun beaming down on my head, I was overwhelmed. I tentatively crossed the road, struggling with my two drastically overweight suitcases, and made my way towards. . . . “