Germany Travel Guide

Once per decade since 1634, the Bavarian village of Oberammergau has put on the Passion Play—a performance that recounts the life of Jesus. The next show is in 2010. Tickets are hard to get, but are included on itineraries from Tauck.

Steinmetz is another of the valley’s young stars. Though he’s 31 now, he bottled his first vintage at 20. His father had a heart attack while Steinmetz was at viticultural school in Trier, and he assumed complete operation of the winery.

Four billion dollars and five years were sunk into the building of this supposed future-scape just so that one of its main squares—Marlene-Dietrich-Platz, mind you—could host a McDonald’s, a Starbucks, a sad-looking casino, and Mamma Mia!, the musical.

Start the morning in the 543-acre park in the city's center. Walk along the shaded paths to wind up at the Brandenburg Gate.

New York architect Peter Eisenman's haunting field of concrete pillars.

What to Expect: On the Friday before Advent, the golden Christmas Angel appears on the high gallery of the medieval Frauenkirche to recite the opening prologue for one of the biggest and most famous Christmas markets of them all.

The Academy’s villa is located in the near-distant suburb of Wannsee, across the lake from the House of the Wannsee Conference, where the Final Solution to the so-called “Jewish Problem” was signed. The estate had been owned by a Jewish banker who fled the country during the 1930’s.

This shop brims with funky, feminine togs by designer Fenja Ludwig.

Stop for coffee and cake on the 11th-century castle’s terrace, with a view of the red-roofed village below.

One-of-a-kind shop with art and furnishings made of 100 percent wool felt.

Starchitect Daniel Libeskind’s boldly designed museum building—an angular assemblage of zinc-coated panels that’s been called both visionary and blasphemous—houses exhibits that pay powerful tribute to both the devastation and hope of the Jewish people.

The Reichstag, with its transparent Norman Foster dome and top-notch collection of contemporary art (cue Gerhard Richter’s stunning interpretation of the German flag in the lobby), is a blessing upon the urban grid and a serious statement about Western democracy’s chances of survival.

Located in Tiergarten, the Gemäldegalerie is one of the most highly regarded museums in Germany. The museum’s collection, founded in 1830, contains European art dating from the 13th through the 18th century.

Oranienstrasse in Kreuzberg, the former center of radical West Berlin, is now one big sidewalk café spiced with kebab shops and leading-edge, cheap-chic boutiques like this one.

Lucky Lufthansa passengers with first-class tickets or rewards program ID can take advantage of one of the biggest and highest-tech lounges on the Continent.