Efficient 10 Day Germany Itinerary – By Train, From a Local + Map

Author Carina Klein
Carina
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TL;DR

This is the mother of all Germany itineraries. Our Germany 10 day itinerary was crafted with German efficiency. The fast paced Germany train itinerary will bring you to 8 destinations in 10 days!

We love exploring our home country Germany by train. Last year, we finally visited our 16th and last Bundesland (Federal State) and thought it was high time that we shared our Germany by train itinerary.

Our Germany in 10 days itinerary is extremely efficient– after all, we’re Germans. We move around most days and use our moving days for stopovers.

This itinerary for Germany is perfect for your first time in Germany as it brings you to the highlights from north to south and from east to west like

  • Hamburg
  • Berlin
  • Munich

As well as amazing hidden gems like

  • Schwerin
  • Goslar and the Harz Mountains

10 Days in Germany Itinerary

Germany Itinerary by Train Map

10-Day Germany Itinerary Day 1: Hamburg

Hamburg is Germany's northernmost metropolis and the first stop on your Germany trip itinerary. Its flair is undoubtedly maritime. The Port of Hamburg is the largest in Germany and the third largest in Europe. Boats are a part of the public transport system. Fish is a staple in the cuisine – go ahead and try Labskaus when you’re there.

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Bucketlist2life tip: In case your visit falls on a Sunday, head to the Fishmarket in the morning.

Like in every city, a guided walking tour is your best option to get an overview. Most tours cover the highlights

  • Townhall
  • St. Nikolai Church
  • St. Michael's Church
  • Elbphilharmonie
  • Speicherstadt
  • The harbour front

For a great free viewpoint head up the Elbphilharmonie.

Don’t miss out on exploring Hamburg from the water on a port tour.

If you’re feeling active, you can rent a paddle boat and check out the Alster River and its many channels.

Hamburg is notorious for its nightlife. The red light district is called the Reeperbahn and is absolutely worth a visit. After you’ve checked out the sex shops, strip clubs and prostitutes, you can head for a drink here or in the super alternative Schanzen Quarter.

Picture of View from the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
View from the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

10-Day Germany Itinerary Day 2: Hamburg to Berlin, Stop in Schwerin

On your way from Hamburg to Berlin, make a quick pit stop in Schwerin. Store your luggage at Schwerin Main Station and start exploring.

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Bucketlist2life tip: All big German train stations have convenient luggage storage facilities.

The main event in Schwerin is the castle. It’s located on an island and one of the nicest castles we’ve ever been to. You can check out the gardens (for free) and the inside (for a fee).

The historic town centre of Schwerin is super charming. Make sure to check out

  • Schwerin Cathedral
  • Market Square and the old town hall
  • Mecklenburgstrasse with the old post office
  • Buschstraße & the three narrow alleys
  • Alter Garten with the Mecklenburg Theater & Museum

A boat ride, either on the Schweriner See or on the small Pfaffenteich is well worth your time as well.

Head to Berlin in the evening to have two full days in the capital of Germany.

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Bucketlist2life tip: The trains to Berlin leave every 2 hours. For us, 4 hours was the perfect time window for Schwerin.

How to Get from Hamburg to Schwerin by Train

You can either take a fast train (ICE) or a regional train to Schwerin. There’s not much of a time difference so I would make a decision based on the price which should be cheaper in the regional train. If you want to store your luggage, you need to exit Schwerin main station. If you take the regional train and don’t want to store your luggage, you can also exit Schwerin Mitte.

How to Get from Schwerin to Berlin by Train

Every two hours, there’s a direct regional train from Schwerin to Berlin.

Picture of Schwerin Castle
Schwerin Castle

10-Day Germany Itinerary Day 3: Berlin

Two days is the bare minimum you need in Berlin.

Start day 1 with a guided walking tour to make the most of your time.

Head to Alexanderplatz and climb the TV Tower to get an overview of the city.

Afterwards, head down Unter den Linden and make your way to the Regierungsviertel where you can find the Reichstag and the German Chancellery, the seats of German power.

In the afternoon, rest your feet doing a cruise on the River Spree. If you still have some energy left, check out Gendarmenmarkt and Checkpoint Charlie.

Picture of River Spree Berlin
River Spree Berlin

10-Day Germany Itinerary Day 4: Berlin

Today, head outside of the city centre to explore the posh Charlottenburg in the west and the hip Friedrichshain in the east.

10-Day Germany Itinerary Day 5: Goslar

Goslar still flies under the radar for most international tourists. On your visit, you will see a typical (ok maybe on the more beautiful side of typical) German town.

The whole old town of Goslar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s lovely to stroll through all the half-timbered houses. There are English guided tours.

The Kaiserpfalz (Imperial Palace) is the highlight of the old town. Erected between 1040 and 1050, German and European history was written here at numerous Reichs- und Hoftage for more than 200 years.

Another World Heritage Site is the Rammelsberg Mine. Here, you can ride the mine train into the mountain, just like the miners did.

Its location in the Harz Mountains offers opportunities for winter sports. Bocksberg can be reached by bus. In summer, there’s a summer toboggan run and a zip line.

How to Get from Berlin to Goslar by Train

Using a regional train will take you around 4 hours. A fast train will take you around 3 hours.

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Bucketlist2life tip: If you take a fast train you have to change trains in Hannover, Lower Saxony . If you have some time and energy to spare, you can make a quick beeline to the Kröpcke.
Picture of Bucketlist2life in the Harz Mountains in winter
Bucketlist2life in the Harz Mountains in winter

10-Day Germany Itinerary Day 6: Dresden

Dresden might be a bit out of the way but its beauty makes it well worth a visit.

The city of Dresden is known for its stunning baroque architecture and palaces. There are English guided tours to give you an overview of the city.

You absolutely should not miss the

  • Zwinger Palace with its amazing museums (we love the Old Masters Picture Gallery)
  • Residenzschloss Palace
  • Fürstenzug mural
  • Semperoper (Semper Opera House)
  • Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)
  • Brühl’s Terrace overlooking the Elbe River, also dubbed “The Balcony of Europe”.

For a more alternative side of Dresden, you can head across the Elbe River to the Neustadt or New Town.

How to Get from Goslar to Dresden by Train

Expect to travel around 4.5 hours. Taking a fast train will not save you much time here but a regional train might save you a lot of money. You definitely have to change trains in Halle and probably in Leipzig as well. We’ll explore Leipzig next 😉

Picture of Semperoper Dresden
Semperoper Dresden

10-Day Germany Itinerary Day 7: Dresden & Leipzig

There are two reasons to go to Leipzig: It breaks down the journey from Dresden to Bamberg and it’s well worth a visit on its own.

Check out the final sights in Dresden before you make the quick journey to Leipzig.

You can either use this day as a semi-rest day or do some Leipzig sightseeing. Like always, we recommend a guided walking tour.

Other things we personally like in Leipzig are

  • The view from Panorama Tower
  • The Haus der Geschichte - Zeitgeschichtliches Forum teaches you about the history of the GDR - completely for free!

If you don’t mind heading out of the city centre, the Völkerschlachtdenkmal is worth a visit as well.

End your day with local food and drinks at the Barfußgäßchen also called Drallewatsch (going out in the Saxonian dialect).

How to Get from Dresden to Leipzig by Train

You could take a fast train but direct regional trains leave roughly every hour and are much more affordable.

Picture of View from Panorama Tower Leipzig
View from Panorama Tower Leipzig

10-Day Germany Itinerary Day 8: Leipzig to Munich, Stop in Bamberg

You know the drill by now. Take the fast train to Bamberg, store your luggage at the train station, and start exploring.

Bamberg completely blew us away. The whole town is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is super historical.

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Bucketlist2life fun fact: You can still use a map from medieval times to get around the city centre so little has changed.

Currently, English walking tours only take place on Saturdays. The highlights of Bamberg include:

  • Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)
  • Alte Hofhaltung (Old Court)
  • Bamberg Cathedral
  • Church of Our Lady
  • New Residence
  • The baroque St.Martin's Church

A bit further away from the city centre, the Altenburg offers amazing views.

Bamberg is also a town of beers. There’s a total of 11 breweries in Bamberg. Our favourite was Schlenkerla as they offer a super unique Rauchweizen (smoked wheat beer).

As the old town is absolutely stunning but rather small, head on to Munich in the evening to have a full day in the Bavarian metropolis.

How to Get from Leipzig to Bamberg by Train

High super fast ICE brings you from Leipzig to Bamberg in 1.5 hours. It’s your best option to don’t waste any time.

How to Get from Bamberg to Munich by Train

Take the fast train as it will get you from Bamberg to Munich in under 2 hours.

Picture of Altes Rathaus, Bamberg
Altes Rathaus, Bamberg

10-Day Germany Itinerary Day 9: Munich

Internationally, Munich might be most famous for the Oktoberfest but there is much more to this Bavarian city. Only some of our highlights are:

  • The beautiful historic city centre with Frauenkirche, Alter Peter, Marienplatz, and New City Hall.
  • The Residenz Castle.
  • Feast at Viktualienmarkt.
  • Stroll through Englischer Garten and check out the surfers at Eisbachwelle.
  • Shop till you drop at Kaufingerstraße und Neuhauser Straße (don’t miss the Stachus).
  • Pinakotheken art museums.
  • Check out the view from the tower of the New City Hall.

A bit further away from the centre, Nymphenburg Castle and the Olympiapark are worth a visit.

Of course, you should also have a beer at Hofbräuhaus.

Picture of Marienplatz Munich
Marienplatz Munich

10-Day Germany Itinerary Day 10: Neuschwanstein Castle

A disclaimer: We have not personally visited Neuschwanstein Castle and it’s one of our biggest travel regrets.

It’s Germany’s very own Walt Disney Castle and is probably on top of your Germany bucketlist – as it should be! This day trip is the perfect last stop for your trip to Germany itinerary.

How to Get from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle by Train

You first have to take a direct regional train to Füssen. From Füssen, a bus leaves to Hohenschwangau where Neuschwanstein Castle is located.

It should take you around 3 hours per way.

In case you’re tired of German trains or generally just tired at this point, a tour is a much more convenient option:

Germany Travel Itinerary Helpful Notes

  • Both Hamburg and Munich have international airports. We have crafted our efficient 10 day Germany itinerary as a one-way trip starting in the north and ending in the south.
  • When you plan a Trip to Germany, you can find the train schedules and prices here.
  • You can (and should) book your tickets online and in advance. Especially if you decide to take the fast trains (ICE, Inter City Express), the prices skyrocket the closer you get to your travel date.
  • You are not guaranteed a seat on German trains. You can pay for a seat on the fast trains.
  • You need coins for the luggage lockers.
  • Most train stations are within walking distance of the city centre.
Picture of Trains in Germany
Trains in Germany

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