Central Europe Highlights – Part 1

Preface

During the month of June, I spent 3 weeks of it traversing across central Europe. The circular journey commenced in Frankfurt, Germany before I went to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and finally returning to Germany. Overall, the trip was an unforgettable experience where I was able to learn about and discover which countries I enjoyed in order to plan for a longer stay there next time. In the following posts, I hope to share some of the highlights of this trip.

Germany (Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin)

Frankfurter Romerberg is a central and beautiful square in Frankfurt’s old town quarter. The half-timbered buildings and medieval architecture make it very scenic for photography. Unfortunately some of the building facades were under restoration while I was there but it was still nice nonetheless.
Romerberg and DB Bahn.jpg
Catching the Deutsche Bahn Inter-City Express (ICE) from Frankfurt to Munich was a pleasant and smooth experience. Unlike Sydney trains which seem to only reach 150 km/hr or less with frequent stops, these ones can reach speeds up to 300km/hr and have very few stops. They even have WiFi, food and beverage on board!

Marienplatz and Old Town Hall.jpg
Neus Rathaus (New Town Hall) was mistaken to be a cathedral when I set my sights on it. It’s an impressive historical building that was built in a gothic architecture style. It is found in Munich’s city centre, right next to Marienplatz. Marienplatz is a shopping area that is buzzing with tourists. There are a lot of shops, food stalls for bratwursts (German sausage) and beer. You can’t really go to Munich without visiting these two landmarks.

Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate.jpg

Berlin has many attractions, but the two that are definitely worth visiting would be the the Reichstag dome and Brandenburg gate. Designed by Norman Foster and built in 1993, the dome is made of glass and sits on top of the parliament building. It offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding landscape and a mirrored cone in the centre of the dome directs sunlight into the parliament chambers. It is free and open to public visitors. If you do intend on visiting it though, it’s highly recommended that tickets are booked online (minimum 1-2 weeks in advance), as it’ll most definitely save you at least an hour or two of waiting in the queue for next day tickets.

The Brandenburg gate is one of Berlin’s most important monuments with over 200 years of history. It has survived through the reign of Napoleon, the two world wars and the cold war. It is a symbol of prosperity, turmoil and peace. As the Euros 2016 was taking place during the visit, the spectacular view was somewhat obstructed. Still, a very majestic and stunning gate especially when visited at night.

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