13 Best Natural Attractions in Germany: Epic National Parks + Landscapes

by Jen
Best Natural Attractions in Germany
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Are you looking for some of the best natural attractions in Germany? Here’s our ultimate bucket list of the most awe-inspiring and iconic natural attractions this dynamic country has to offer. From lush forests and mountains to pristine rivers and lakes, let’s dive in to uncover Germany’s nature at its finest.

Ready to dive into some of Germany’s coolest natural spots? Think less textbook, more epic adventure with snaps that’ll make your Insta pop. We’re talking about places that are more than just pretty postcards – they’re experiences that’ll stick with you, from the chill vibes of Bavarian lakes to the jaw-dropping cliffs of Rügen.

Whether you’re in for some serious hiking or just want to chill and soak up nature in Germany, I’ve got you covered. I’ll spill the beans on the best times to hit these spots, some wallet-friendly tips, and where to find those hidden gems that aren’t on every tourist map.

So, grab your backpack, and let’s get this show on the road. Germany’s natural beauty is calling, and trust me, you don’t want to put it on voicemail!

Best Natural Attractions in Germany

Are you ready to discover the best natural attractions in Germany? This ultimate guide is your first step to building the ultimate itinerary for your next Germany getaway. From the stunningly clear lakes in Bavaria to the beautiful white cliffs of Rügen Island, here’s my list of the most awe-inspiring, exciting and accessible natural attractions that Germany has to offer.

1. A Dreamy Escape into Bavaria’s Heart at Lake Hintersee

Ever dreamed of a place that looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale? Welcome to Lake Hintersee, a slice of paradise tucked away in Bavaria. Crystal-clear waters, mountains reflecting like mirrors, and a tranquility that’s hard to find in our buzzing world. Feel that cool, fresh air and embrace some stunning German scenery.

For the adventurers among you, there’s plenty to do. Kayaking, hiking, or just chilling with a picnic – Lake Hintersee is all about choosing your own adventure. And hey, if you’re into photography, this place is heaven. The best part? It’s pretty much an all-year-round destination. But if you want to catch it at its most magical, autumn’s golden hues are unbeatable.

You should get there early in the morning for a serene German experience, and if you’re driving, there’s a handy parking area nearby. No hefty fees either, just pure nature doing its thing. So, who’s up for a road trip to one of Germany’s natural wonders?

Lake Hintersee is one of the best natural attractions in Germany.
Experience the fairy-tale beauty of Lake Hintersee with crystal-clear waters, mirrored mountains, and serene tranquility.

2. Visit Bavaria’s Hidden Alpine Gem, Schrecksee

Tucked away in the Bavarian Alps lies Schrecksee, an alpine lake that’s still kind of a hidden gem. This spot is a paradise for those who love a good hike with a rewarding view. Imagine trekking through lush trails and being greeted by a serene lake, surrounded by towering peaks. It’s the kind of place that you wouldn’t be surprised to see as a backdrop to a James Bond movie.

Schrecksee is ideal for experienced hikers looking for a challenge and a dose of natural beauty in Germany. The hike up can be tough, but trust me, the view from the top is worth every step. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some of the local wildlife.

Remember to pack a swimsuit – a dip in the lake is the best way to cool off after the hike. Just a heads up, there aren’t many facilities up there, so bring what you need and leave no trace.

This spot is a hit with the young and adventurous crowd, always ready to explore Germany’s nature at its rawest. So, lace up your boots and get ready for an unforgettable journey to Schrecksee!

Explore Schrecksee, a hidden gem rewarding hikers with a serene alpine lake.
Explore Schrecksee, a hidden gem rewarding hikers with a serene alpine lake.

3. Welcome to Rügen Island, Germany’s Coastal Wonderland

Step onto Rügen Island, and you’ll quickly see why it’s a standout among Germany’s natural attractions. This beach getaway is a whole new world of chalk cliffs, lush forests, and historical charm. Explore Germany’s largest island and discover its unique blend of nature and culture.

The real showstopper here is the Königsstuhl, a massive chalk cliff offering breathtaking views of the Baltic Sea. It’s a sight that’ll have your Instagram followers double-tapping in no time. But there’s more – wander through charming seaside resorts like Binz and Sassnitz, where you can dive into the local history and enjoy some fresh seafood.

Rügen is perfect for all seasons. Summer brings the sun worshippers, while autumn and spring are ideal for those who prefer a quieter vibe. And for the history buffs? You’ll find plenty of museums and historical sites that tell the tales of this enchanting island.

Whether you’re a beach lover, a history enthusiast, or just in it for the stunning scenery in Germany, Rügen Island has something for everyone. It’s a place where every visit feels like a new discovery.

Rügen Island offers chalk cliffs, lush forests, and historical charm on its largest island.
Rügen Island offers chalk cliffs, lush forests, and historical charm on its largest island.

4. Mystical Rocks of Legend and Beauty at Externsteine

Alright, let me tell you about Externsteine. We’re talking towering rock formations that look like they’ve been plucked straight out of a myth. This place is like an alternative Stonehenge right in North Rhine-Westphalia.

So, you’re into a bit of mystery and history? Externsteine is your kind of spot. These rocks have stories to tell, and you can literally climb them to get a killer view of the Teutoburg Forest. It’s like being on top of an ancient world. And for the ‘gram? It’s gold.

You can head there any time of the year. But here’s a pro tip: hit it up during the summer solstice. The vibe is unreal – it’s like the rocks wake up. People from all over Europe come to soak in this magical energy.

It’s a total magnet for the young and curious, and history buffs will be in their element. There’s even a little museum nearby where you can nerd out on all the legends and lore surrounding this epic natural wonder in Germany.

Explore Externsteine, towering rock formations that seem plucked from mythic realms.
Explore Externsteine, towering rock formations that seem plucked from mythic realms.

5. Königssee Lake is a Serene Jewel in the Bavarian Alps

Welcome to Königssee Lake, a serene and crystal-clear lake nestled in the heart of the Bavarian Alps. This is a place where the water is so pure, it feels like something out of the Avatar franchise. Surrounded by steep mountain cliffs, Königssee offers a peaceful escape and some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Germany.

Hop on an electric boat and glide over the mirror-like water, where the surrounding mountains and forests reflect beautifully. Don’t miss the famous echo of Königssee, where a trumpet’s sound bounces off the mountain walls in a melody of nature.

Summer is the perfect time to visit, with opportunities for swimming, hiking, and simply soaking in the tranquility. And for those who love a bit of history, the charming St. Bartholomew’s Church on the lake’s shore is a must-see.

Königssee is a hit with nature lovers and photographers, offering a blend of relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re looking to unwind or explore, this lake is a jewel of Germany’s nature that you can’t afford to miss.

Visit the serene Königssee Lake, where crystal-clear waters and steep mountain cliffs create a peaceful escape.
Visit the serene Königssee Lake, where crystal-clear waters and steep mountain cliffs create a peaceful escape.

6. Blautopf is a Mesmerizing Azure Spring in Swabian Jura

Prepare to be mesmerized by Blautopf, a stunning natural spring known for its intense azure blue color. Nestled in the Swabian Jura of Baden-Württemberg, this spring looks as if it could heal the sick, or endow swimmers with magical powers.

The spring’s vivid blue color, which varies in intensity depending on the weather and light conditions, is a sight to behold. It’s a perfect spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. The Blautopf is also the source of the Blau river and has inspired numerous legends and tales throughout history.

Visiting Blautopf is ideal for a day trip, especially if you’re exploring the charming town of Blaubeuren. The area around the spring offers lovely walks and a chance to dive into the local folklore at the Blautopf Museum.

Blautopf attracts a wide range of visitors, from families to solo travelers, all drawn to its unique beauty and the tranquil atmosphere of the surrounding area. It’s a must-visit for anyone seeking a peaceful retreat amidst nature in Germany.

Blautopf is one of the best natural attractions in Germany.
Blautopf is a stunning natural spring known for its intense azure blue color that seemingly holds mystical qualities.

7. Witness the Power of Nature in the Swabian Alps

Discover the cascading beauty of Urach Waterfall, a hidden gem in the Swabian Alps of Baden-Württemberg. Witness the power of nature, where water tumbles down a 50-meter cliff into a serene pool below. It’s a place that combines the thrill of adventure with the tranquility of nature.

The hike to Urach Waterfall is as enchanting as the destination itself. Wander through lush forests and meadows, with the sound of the waterfall growing louder as you approach. It’s an ideal spot for nature lovers, hikers, and anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Spring and early summer are the best times to visit, when the water flow is at its peak, creating a breathtaking spectacle. The area around the waterfall also offers picnic spots, making it a perfect day out for families and groups of friends.

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Urach Waterfall offers a refreshing break and a chance to connect with the natural beauty in Germany. Don’t forget your camera – the waterfall and its surroundings are a photographer’s paradise.

Urach Waterfall is a hidden gem where water tumbles down a 50-meter cliff into a serene pool.
Urach Waterfall is a hidden gem where water tumbles down a 50-meter cliff into a serene pool.

8. Dare to Visit Teufelsmauer (Devil’s Wall)

Discover the Teufelsmauer (Devil’s Wall) in the Harz Mountains, where nature meets legend. This rock formation is a place shrouded in myths that have been passed down through generations. It’s a walk through the pages of folklore, making it a standout natural wonder in Germany.

According to legend, the Devil’s Wall was formed as the devil himself tried to mark his territory to separate it from God’s lands. The striking rock formations, resembling a wall stretching across the landscape, are said to be remnants of this ancient struggle between good and evil.

The best time to visit is during the cooler months of spring or autumn, perfect for exploring the rugged beauty without the crowds. The trail along Teufelsmauer is a journey through history and myth, offering spectacular views and a chance to ponder the tales of old.

It’s especially appealing to young adults and families, offering an adventurous and educational experience in the heart of Germany’s nature. As you traverse this legendary path, let your imagination wander to the time of myths and legends.

Explore the Teufelsmauer (Devil's Wall), a legendary rock formation steeped in myths.
Explore the Teufelsmauer (Devil’s Wall), a legendary rock formation steeped in myths.

9. Experience Elbe Sandstone Mountains

Elbe Sandstone Mountains look like they’ve been hand-carved by giants. This place is a whole other level of awesome. Think towering pillars of rock, deep valleys, and views that’ll have you pinching yourself.

Walking across the Bastei Bridge is like stepping into a fantasy world. You’re up high, on these crazy rock formations, looking out over a landscape that’s all kinds of epic. It’s the kind of spot that makes you wonder if you’re still in Germany or if you’ve wandered into a scene from ‘Lord of the Rings’.

Spring or autumn are the times to go. The weather’s cool, the crowds are thin, and the whole place has this mystical vibe, especially in the mornings when the mist rolls in. Whether you’re a hardcore hiker or just up for a casual stroll, these mountains have got your back with some sweet trails.

So, if you’re into jaw-dropping scenery and want to see nature in Germany doing its thing, the Elbe Sandstone Mountains are your go-to. Trust me, your Instagram won’t know what hit it.

Discover the beauty of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, featuring towering rock pillars, deep valleys, and surreal views.
Discover the beauty of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, featuring towering rock pillars, deep valleys, and surreal views.

10. A Fairytale Landscape Awaits at Saxon Switzerland National Park

Alright, get ready for this – Saxon Switzerland National Park. Ever heard of it? If not, you’re in for a treat. This “city of stone” has been created over millions of years of erosion and wind, which makes it all the more magical.

Imagine towering rock formations, deep valleys, and lush forests. It’s like it’s been made for adventurers and dreamers alike. The park’s star attraction? The Bastei Bridge. Walking on it feels like you’re floating above a kingdom of stone. And the views? Absolutely mind-blowing.

The best part about Saxon Switzerland is that it’s perfect for all seasons. Whether you’re crunching through autumn leaves or catching the springtime bloom, this place never fails to impress. It’s a hit with hikers, climbers, and anyone who’s up for a bit of exploration.

So, if you’re looking to add some magic to your Germany’s nature experience, Saxon Switzerland National Park is where it’s at. Whether you’re capturing epic shots for your feed or just soaking in the views, this place is a must-visit. Trust me, your friends will be green with envy.

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Saxon Switzerland National Park features towering sandstone formations, lush valleys, and pristine natural beauty.
Saxon Switzerland National Park features towering sandstone formations, lush valleys, and pristine natural beauty.

11. A Mystical Journey through The Black Forest

So, you’re thinking about exploring the Black Forest? Great choice! This forest really is like stepping into a storybook. Here’s the scoop on making the most of your enchanted forest adventure.

First off, getting there is a breeze. The Black Forest is super accessible, with towns like Baden-Baden and Freiburg serving as great starting points. You can easily hop on a train or drive into the heart of the forest.

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Now, for the fun part – what to do! Hiking is big here, and there are trails for all levels. Check out the Panoramaweg in Baden-Baden for a leisurely walk or hit the Westweg for a bit of a challenge.

Most trails are free to access, so rent a bike in one of the towns and hit the trails! Fees vary, but they’re pretty reasonable. And for a truly unique experience, visit Mummelsee Lake. It’s shrouded in myths and just a short hike from the Schwarzwaldhochstraße road.

Each season offers something special. Winter’s all about snow-covered landscapes and cozy cabin stays. Spring and summer? Perfect for hiking and cooling off in those hidden forest lakes.

The lush landscapes of the Black Forest showcase dense evergreen forests.
The lush landscapes of the Black Forest showcase dense evergreen forests.

12. Your Ultimate Alpine Playground in the Bavarian Alps

Alright, let’s talk about the Bavarian Alps – not just any mountains, but your ultimate hotspot for all things outdoorsy and awesome. Here’s the lowdown on getting the most out of these majestic peaks.

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First up, Zugspitze – Germany’s highest peak. You can catch a cable car from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and boom, you’re on top of Germany. The view? It’s like your Instagram feed come to life. And guess what? The cable car ride is an adventure in itself. A round-trip ticket will set you back around 60 euros, but it’s worth every cent.

In winter, it’s a snow sports paradise. Think skiing, snowboarding, and sipping hot cocoa with epic mountain views. Come summer, it’s all about hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding. And those Alpine lakes? Perfect for a refreshing swim or a lazy paddleboard session.

Access-wise, the Bavarian Alps are super visitor-friendly. Plenty of trails and activities for all levels, from chill scenic walks to adrenaline-pumping climbs. And the best part? You can find cozy mountain huts along the way for that well-deserved break.

Bavarian Alps is one of the best natural attractions in Germany.
Majestic Bavarian Alps scenery with snow-capped peaks, alpine meadows, and serene lakes.

13. Alpine Adventures in Berchtesgaden National Park

If you’re plotting an escape into nature, Berchtesgaden National Park in the Bavarian Alps is where it’s at. This national park is an alpine wonderland waiting to blow your mind.

Getting here is a piece of cake. Berchtesgaden is super accessible, with buses and trains heading straight into the heart of the park from nearby cities. Driving? Even better. The roads leading in are scenic and well-maintained.

Hiking is the star of the show here, with trails for all levels. Want something easy? The walk around Königssee Lake is chill and stunning. Up for a challenge? The trek to Watzmann peak will test your mettle. And the views? Unreal!

Boat rides on Königssee are a must-do.

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They’re not free, but hey, cruising on one of Germany’s deepest and clearest lakes? Totally worth it. And for history buffs, you have to visit the Eagle’s Nest, a 50th birthday present for one of history’s most evil and notorious dictators.

Berchtesgaden’s got the goods all year round. Summer’s perfect for hiking and lake adventures, while winter turns it into a snowy playground.

Embark on a nature escape with Berchtesgaden National Park—an alpine wonderland ready to captivate your senses.
Embark on a nature escape with Berchtesgaden National Park—an alpine wonderland ready to captivate your senses.
The top natural attractions in Germany for all types of travelers
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