A Tour Through Historic Germany

I was so excited to visit Germany to learn about a new culture and explore the country where my husband spent a year of his childhood. We flew directly from Chicago to Frankfurt before making our way to Darmstadt, the city we would call home for the next week.

Outdoor Cafe at the Ratskeller in Darmstadt Germany

I had always pictured post-WWII Germany to be gray and sad. Instead, I was shocked to find beauty and culture everywhere we explored. Darmstadt has the most beautiful gardens and interesting museums, and I particularly loved visiting the Prinz Georg Garten and the Orangerie. I love that people eat outside in all weather all over Europe. On our first morning in the city we enjoyed a lovely brunch with views of the town square and Rathaus.

Pool in Front of the Mathildenhohe in Darmstadt Germany
Bicycle in Darmstadt Germany
Street Sign in Darmstadt Germany
Visiting Prinz Georg Garten in Darmstadt Germany

We took a little day trip to Baden-Baden and climbed the Altes Schloss, where the view took my breath away. One of my favorite things about being in Europe is that one can spontaneously decide to visit another country and be there within hours, even minutes. During our week in Germany we decided to overnight in Switzerland. We rented a car, drove the speed-limitless autobahn, and made a wrong turn on our way to Zurich, leaving us to cross the Rhine and travel into France for a total of three countries in one day!

View of Baden Baden Germany from Above
Tourists in Freiburg Germany

On our way back to Darmstadt we stopped in Heidelberg and climbed to the top of the infamous castle. We made it just before sunset and had the absolute best light of the day for pictures.

Stone Facade at the Heidelberg Castle
Detail at Heidelberg Castle
Weathered Stone Wall at Heidelberg Castle
Overlooking Heidelberg Germany

On another day trip we took the train to Rudesheim and Wiesbaden. Rudesheim was definitely the most touristy place we visited, but the gondola ride over wine country and the water made it all worthwhile. We bought a mini bottle of champagne at the bottom station and took the cable car up to the top of the hill over the beautiful, rolling acres of vines. I loved getting to see the official state buildings in Weisbaden, and their downtown area held such old world charm.

Scenic View from Rudesheim Germany
Window Flowers in Rudesheim Germany
Busy Street in Rudesheim Germany


Dieburger Strasse 241, 64287
Darmstadt, Germany

The Details

  • While in Darmstadt, we suggest stopping by a few of the many museums like Orangerie and the Prinz Georgs Garten.
  • If a trip to Baden-Baden is in your itinerary, be sure to visit the Altes Schloss.
  • No trip to Heidelberg is complete without an afternoon at the famed Heidelberg Castle.
  • We explored Rudesheim by gondola and highly recommend a ride with Seilbahn, taking one high above the vineyards.

Emilia Jane is an award winning editorial wedding photographer and blogger based in Chicago and New York City who loves to travel and appreciates well crafted cocktails.

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  1. Emilia Jane Avatar

    Thank you so much for the beautiful feature! <3

  2. Alex Butts Avatar

    Great shots. I live smack in this region of Germany so it was fun to hear from a visitors perspective. Although, I’m shocked you didn’t find Heidelberg to be the most touristy; you must’ve caught it on a lucky off-day.

  3. Flavio Avatar

    “Post-WWII Germany gray and sad”… that tells us a lot what sort of poor, uninformed traveller you are in fact!
    “A wrong turn on the way to Zurich… and landed somewhere in France”: Sounds like a wrong turn on the way from Detroit to Chicago and landed in Los Angeles! Wow, definitely not a savvy driver sitting in the car…
    “Weisbaden” never heard that name. Did you mean “Wiesbaden”?
    Well, I must say your tales of unconvincing tours across Europe full of inaccuracies are really baffling. Would not recommend you as a tourist guide! Eeeek!

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