Photo of a girl smiling and dressed in black. She is on a bridge with locks hanged onto it. A church and the river are in the background.

Day trips in Germany

Being on exchange in a new city means being close to cities you may have never seen, or heard of, before. Travelling during your exchange is a fun weekend activity to take advantage of your surroundings. In this blog I will talk a bit about three day trips I did while on exchange in Germany.

1. Nuremberg

A city that I knew nothing about before deciding to visit, Nuremberg proved to be a very beautiful place to spend a sunny day in. I took a bus from Heidelberg for very cheap at 6 in the morning and about three hours later I woke up next to the fortress that surrounds the old town. The first sights I saw were the train station that is quite impressive from the outside and then walked right to the Frauentorturm, the former main gate in the Nuremberg city wall. Today, it stands as a representation of the medieval architecture of the city and is filled with cafes an artisanal shops. It’s strategic placement allowed me to pass right though it and step towards the old town.

I was surprised by the aesthetics of the city. Every new street that I passed by, every turn I took, I was met with beautiful German architecture. My next stop was the Hauptmarkt. The square was filled with all types of caravans, all offering fresh produce as they had barely opened that morning. I saw a few selling fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers and various types of finger foods. In the square there was also the Schoner Brunnen, a fountain that can be admired while you try some of the local sausages sold in the Hauptmarkt. I then visited a few churches, admired the river and wandered around the old town. The weather was really on my side and seeing all the greenery around the old walls of the city was beautiful. Definitely worth going for a day trip!

Image of a river and a blue sky. There is a bridge with abuilding over the river and some trees on the side of the building.
Photo: Amelia Irimies

2. Frankfurt

A more known city of Germany which I was told very mixed opinions about. Some truly hate it and find it a place to avoid while others say it’s beautiful. I must side with the second group of people as my visit was very enjoyable.

The city stands out through its sky scrapers juxtaposing with traditional German architecture. The streets were filled with people playing instruments, stands with handmade jewelry and all types of souvenir shops. I enjoyed the old part of the city, especially the Römerberg area. It gave me a better picture of what architectural elements are part of traditional German buildings. I especially like the pointy roof tops. I also visited the old bridge and the main street and just generally got a feel of the city by walking around and enjoying some local cuisine.

Image of a old square in Frankfurt. Traditional German building are seen on the left and a church tower can be seen on the right. People are sitting down at tables.
Photo: Amelia Irimies

3. Stuttgart

This was rather a half-day trip as I visited this city ore because of a museum. My family was visiting me and my brother, who’s very passionate about cars, begged us to go to the Porsche museum.

The museum was a very new experience for me as I was mostly used to dusty history museums or quiet art galleries. However, this museum was shiny, loud and bright. Even before you enter you are greeted by some very interesting architectural choices with the building being oddly shaped and geometrical and features a mirror ceiling above the entrance. The inside of the museum continues to surprise you with the structure of the building and the sterile yet not cold atmosphere. The cars are displayed in chronological order and the audio-guide walks you through each milestone in the history of Porsche. The cars are all perfectly polished and the light and white floors really make every detail stand out. We then also walked around a bit in the center of the city but there was nothing that truly stood out to me. Whether or not you are a fan of cars, the museum is definitely worth seeing but the city is not something I would call a must-do.

Photo of a vintage Porsche car model. The car is white and has two  red ace symbols painted on it. The wheels are thin and black.
Photo: Amelia Irimies

Compared to Stockholm, Heidelberg is surrounded by other nearby, densely populated cities, allowing you to enjoy day trips easily. Just 2 hours by train and you find yourself surrounded by a totally different atmosphere and landscape. If you do visit Germany, make sure you take advantage of this fact!

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