15 Picturesque Villages and Small Towns In Germany

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A girl in a yellow dress walking in front of a entrance gate to a small town.

Koblenz

Located on the banks of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, Koblenz is everything you could want in a European village, including impressive castles, towering fortresses, and intriguing museums. Start at the Ehrenbreitstein – this is Europe’s second-largest preserved fortress, rising 120 meters above the city for incredible views. 

This 2,000-year-old city and UNESCO World Heritage Site is surrounded by forests, vineyards, and four mountain ranges – you couldn’t ask for more beautiful scenery. On the left bank of the Rhine River is Stolzenfels Castle. This 13th-century castle is straight out of a fairy tale, with leafy courtyards and river views.  

The most notable landmark in Koblenz is the Deutsches Eck, also known as the German Corner, where the Rhine meets the Moselle. While you’re here, you’ll notice the massive statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I on horseback.

Cochem

If you love castles and wineries, you’ll love Cochem, Germany. Situated on the banks of the Moselle River, this picturesque small town of just 5,000 is one of the best villages in Germany and the prettiest towns in Europe, with half-timbered buildings and quaint cobblestone streets. 

While you’re here, you can tour the Reichsburg Cochem (Cochem Castle), an 11th-century hilltop castle. If you love mustard, head to the Mustard Mill Museum to learn more about German mustard-making and try a few samples. A wine tasting is also a must; Vinothek Walter J Oster, right in the center of town, has a fantastic local wine selection made in its vineyards outside the city. 

Boppard

Nestled on the left bank of the Rhine River, Boppard is located in western Germany, just 30 minutes south of Koblenz. Surrounded by medieval walls, this village will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time. 

Boppard is a great village to base yourself in to explore some other areas along the Rhine River, like Eltz Castle and Cochem.

While you’re here, check out the Romanesque Church of St. Severus, dating back to the 12th-13th centuries, and the 14th-century Gothic Carmelite Church.

The Electoral Castle is another must-visit in Boppard, located right in the town center. Dating back to the 14th century, it now houses a museum. Boppard is not as touristy as the other small towns on this list, making it a great destination for a relaxing getaway.

Bacharach

Bacharach, Germany, is another adorable village located on the Rhine River. The best place to start exploring is the Old Town or Altstadt. You can also walk along the old town walls that surround Bacharach for a different view of the Altstadt. The cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, and 15th-century architecture will make you feel like you’re walking through a fairy tale.

Visit Stahleck Castle to get outstanding views of this picturesque town and surrounding area. It’s also a fully functioning hostel, so it’s a great place to stay overnight! 

Rüdesheim am Rhein

Located in the Rhine Valley, Rüdesheim am Rhein is best known for winemaking – especially Riesling. Stroll down the Drosselgasse in the center of town to explore shops and restaurants, then grab a glass of wine from a local tavern.

You can also visit the Rheingau Wine Museum, located in the Brömserburg Castle. This museum details the area’s winemaking history and current winemaking process. Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet is another fun attraction—it showcases a variety of automated musical instruments. 

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Triberg

Nestled in the Schwarzwald-Baar district in the Black Forest, Triberg is one of the most magical places in Germany and one of my favorite German villages. This small village is home to the world’s largest and smallest cuckoo clocks. The largest is almost two stories high! You can watch it chime every hour and half-hour, then take a tour of the inside-there really are 1,000 clocks inside.

Triberg also houses Germany’s largest waterfall – hike the 1.3-mile trail to get there. Afterward, refuel with a piece of Black Forest Gateau, also known as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, sold at nearly every restaurant and bakery in town!

It is a lovely small town in Germany perfect for anyone who loves nature and wants a peek into the Black Forest!

Schiltach

Schiltach, renowned for its well-preserved half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets, is located in the eastern Black Forest and serves as a gateway to outdoor activities in the Black Forest, such as hiking, cycling, and exploring nature trails. 

Although this is a tiny village without a ton to see, it has four museums for visitors – Museum am Markt is one of the best. Located in the town center, it details the history of this area and the people who have lived there for centuries. 

Schiltach is perfect for those looking to get away from the crowds and enjoy outdoor activities in a scenic setting.

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Füssen

Located in Bavaria, just north of the Austrian border on the edge of the Alps, Füssen is one of the best villages in Germany, great for nature lovers. This 700-year-old village is one of the most romantic places in Europe, with a sparkling turquoise river running through town, pastel shopfronts, and cobblestone streets. 

During your stay in Füssen, visiting Neuschwanstein Castle is a must! This castle was the inspiration behind Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Just down the road from the castle, you’ll find a cable car to Tegelberg, which showcases some of the most gorgeous views in Europe.

Mittenwald

Mittenwald is also situated in the Bavarian Alps, showcasing gorgeous mountain landscapes and narrow streets. It is a bustling ski town in the winter but also serves up lovely views and a relaxing atmosphere during summer. 

While exploring the charming old town is a must, this village is best known for the art of classical instrument-making. You can learn more about this history at the Geigenbaumuseum Mittenwald, also known as the Violin-Making Museum. 

Landsberg am lech

Situated on the Lech River in southwestern Bavaria, Landsberg am Lech boasts well-preserved medieval town walls, cobblestone streets, plenty of shops and cafes, and a town hall with interior frescoes. It’s known for its colorful houses along the river and well-preserved town gates. When visiting, start with the Schmalturm, found at the entrance to the city. This Baroque-style tower dates back to the 12th century, and you can admire the gorgeous clock at the top. 

In the center of town is the Marienbrunnen, a fountain built in the 1700s. Enjoy walking the scenic promenade or kayaking in the river (if you are a seasoned pro). No matter where you go in this town, you’ll definitely want your camera! 

Dinkelsbühl

This German town, located in the region of Central Franconia (in Bavaria), is the perfect place to experience the magic of medieval Germany. It is one of the most beautiful villages in Germany along the famous Romantic Road and boasts one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval town centers with stunning medieval architecture. Its beautiful half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets, and well-maintained fortifications create a picturesque and authentic medieval atmosphere.

Start by cycling around the city walls—a green belt leads 3 kilometers around the town, showcasing gorgeous photo ops. Another perfect place to snap a picture of the town is from the tower of St. George’s Church, which towers 222 levels above ground. 

Visiting in Decemeber? The Dinkelsbühl Christmas Market, held during Advent, transforms the town into a festive wonderland with stalls selling crafts, food, and holiday decorations.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

With cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, and gorgeous surroundings, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the best villages in Germany and one of the most beautiful towns in Europe. This medieval town is located in northern Bavaria and is a fantastic day trip from Nuremberg or a pit stop on a longer German road trip. It’s pretty town is a popular tourist destination with plenty of Instagram-able scenery. You can easily see the small town on a day trip, but stay the night if you want to enjoy the streets without gobs of day tourists. 

Spend the day meandering through the charming old town and exploring the well-preserved city walls – there is a covered walkway along the city walls. As you wander through the city, you can join a free walking tour, but be sure to stop into the German Christmas Museum to learn more about the history of Christmas and purchase some Christmas souvenirs to take home. 

Speaking of Christmas, this town has one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Located between the town hall and St. Jakob’s Cathedral, the market has 54 stalls and live music and is adorned with thousands of twinkling lights. 

Nuremberg

Nuremberg is one of the larger towns on this list, but its old town remains a charming and well-preserved village. This city has something for everyone—from history and fairy tale vibes to fantastic food and drink. It’s one of the best villages in Germany!

Walk through the 12th-century walls, then tour the Nuremberg Castle, also known as the Imperial Castle. From the castle tower, you’ll get fantastic views of the city. Spend some time meandering through the old town and enjoy the views of the river canals that cross through it. 

You’ll find several canal-side restaurants and cafes with great Bavarian food and brews. 

If you’re here in the winter, Nuremberg also has an excellent Christmas Market in the main Market Square. Here, you can browse through handmade crafts and gifts, such as nativity scenes and wooden nutcrackers. 

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Wernigerode

Nestled in central Germany’s Harz region, Wernigerode is one of the most charming villages in Germany. With bright, half-timbered buildings, this historic town really lives up to its nickname—”the colorful city on the Harz.”

Wander around the Market Square to admire the colorful buildings and pop into cute shops, boutiques, and cafes. The Kleinstes Haus is also worth a visit—it is the smallest house in Wernigerode, smushed in a 10-foot crack between two normal-sized houses.

If you’re here with the kids, be sure to hike the Fairy Tale Trail, which leads to “Rapunzel’s Castle.” Just outside of town, you can tour the larger Wernigerode Castle to marvel at the 40 rooms and romantic exterior. 

Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg is located in northern Germany, and like many other towns on this list, it’s filled with half-timbered houses – many of them were built during the 1600s and 1700s. Wander around the old town, winding alleyways, and cobblestone streets to get lost for an afternoon. Check out the Town Hall, Market Church Of St Benedict, and the Lindenbein Tower, boasting incredible views of the old town. 

Learn more about this city’s architecture at the Half-Timbered Museum, nestled in a half-timber house from the 1300s! Art lovers can visit the Lyonel-Feininger-Galerie to view an impressive contemporary art collection.

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No matter where your travels take you in Germany, make sure to visit some of these charming small towns-beautiful half-timbered villages is one thing Germany is known for!

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