Germany is often wrongly portrayed as ‘being boring’. From Husum to Berchtesgaden, rich culture and enchantingly diverse flora and fauna span more than 1000 kilometers. Photographers, especially the landscape variety, tend to overlook this point. In this article we would like to eliminate all misconceptions and introduce you to the most beautiful photo locations Germany has to offer.
Selections, as in every case, come from the selector’s personal opinion and are thus deeply subjective. We at Mountain Moments are naturally in love with mountains and mountainous landscapes, so they may be a little overrepresented. :)
We would like to, not only inspire you to bring your unique eye to these well known photo spots but also to adventure out and find your own hidden gems.
The most attractive landscapes in Germany attract photographers like magnets. Commonly, photographers in Germany’s most photographic places usually find their lenses pointed at beautiful landscapes. It is therefore not surprising that Neuschwanstein Castle, Heidelberg’s old town or Zugspitze – Germany’s largest mountain – are a little crowded. Exclusivity these days can only be found through adventuring outwards.
It is important to us that you observe the following basic rules when searching for a photo location:
- Don’t leave any garbage! In case of doubt, leave the photo spot cleaner than the condition in which you found it.
- Always follow the special rules on site: Some of the photo spots mentioned are located on private property, treat them as if they were your own property and treat the owners with respect and gratitude. Some specific rules apply to publicating photographs of these locations, you should follow them as well.
- Respects other photographers, people, animals and nature. We only have one life and one planet, it would be a pity if we couldn’t enjoy the beauty of nature together, as well as not preserving it for posterity.
The 10 most beautiful photo spots in Germany
Moselle valley – Moselle loop (moselschleife)
The Moselle cycle path wonders through the picturesque Moselle valley – along the meandering river that gives it its name. Many castles, fortresses, bridges and quaint little wine growing villages wait to be found here especially between Cochem and Trier. Those who have not yet indulged Bacchus – the god of wine, will do so, sooner or later, here.
To the left and right of the Moselle river, the world-famous fertile hillsides are steeply sloped. This has not stopped the region’s wine growers from hand sculpting their vineyards into the hillsides and creating some of the tastiest wines the world has to offer.
The best time to photograph this landscape is in late summer through to autumn, when the vines gleam orange and yellow, sometimes accompanied by a photographically exciting fog that forms over the Moselle river in the right conditions.
The best-known photo spots are located at, or above, the Moselle loop near the town of Bremm. The area around Cochem, especially the vineyards and small winegrowing villages, are also top landscapes to capture. The main difficulty, for pleasure-oriented landscape photographers, is probably surviving the hangovers from drinking too much wine ;).
To get to this viewpoint just follow the local directions from the town of Bremm, up the hill and through to the vineyards.
Alternative: Saar loop
Neuschwanstein Castle – Germany’s Dream Castle
Germany is a wonderland of castles and palaces. Neuschwanstein Castle – a fairytale castle par excellence – lies in the Bavarian foothills of the Alps and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
If you are on a holiday in the Alps driving along the windy Fernpass, you might want to take the short detour at the Austrian border. Germany’s dream castle is only 10 minutes away by car.
Sure, it’s teeming with tourists and is photographically no uncharted territory. Nevertheless, the view of the castle from almost all sides is a cultural treat that is unique in the known world. Especially in autumn when the first snow already blankets the higher regions of the Alps, or after a fresh snowfall, Neuschwanstein Castle unfolds its dreamlike character on your landscape photographs.
You can just stroll around here for ever and bask in the glorious views. Take a hike up the mountain after a visit to the castle. Generally speaking, there are several really excellent photo spots here. You will not have a problem finding any of them.
If you want the best photography experience and nail your perfect photo, book a private photo tour with us. Milky way above the castle? The best sunset location? We show you the best spots and tailor the tour specific to your needs.
Alternatives: Fürst-Pückler-Park in Bad Muskau, Saxony
We also hold one of our popular group photo workshops nearby, which includes hiking and an overnight stay in a traditional hut. Connect with likeminded photographers and explore the best photo spots with us. The Bavarian foothills of the Alps are probably our favourite region in Germany – not without reason.
Heidelberg – Germany’s most beautiful Old Town
The town of Heidelberg is not a secret photographic tip. The city, located in the southwest of Germany, is known beyond its borders for its idyllic location, its renowned university and its mild climate. As an original Heidelberg citizen, there’s a tiny bit of homeland pride involved when I state: Heidelberg must have been seen and photographed before.
Our favorite photo spots offer these spectacular photographic opportunities:
- The Old Town with its enthroned castle
- The Philosophenweg – philosophers way
- The Neckar Valley with the Old Bridge
If you go to any of these three photo spots, plan to be busy for at least 3-4 hours. There so are many small, hidden spots in the old town and the Philosophenweg, time will surely run away before you can find them all.
Burg Eltz – Germany’s model castle
Eltz Castle has been a magical photo location ever since its fame grew on Instagram. The hidden castle is the only one in the region to have been spared the raids and destruction of WW2. Hidden in a small picturesque tributary of the Moselle river, Eltz Castle has an almost magical energy due to its location.
Probably the most famous and popular perspective is directly on the main access bridge – even before sunrise you will rarely be the only photographer here. Please note the flight ban on drones and the fact that you are not allowed to sell pictures commercially – the castle and grounds are privately owned.
Elbe Sandstone Mountains
One would think that the Elb Sandstone Mountains are located somewhere in New Zealand, Africa or some other magical place on the furthest tip of the earth – but actually they are here in the middle of the “boring” German state of Saxony. The bizarre rock formations, deep gorges and gates form a unique natural allure that attracts photographers from all over the world, especially in autumn.
When the morning fog wafts and sweeps across the ‘Bastei’ rock formation – and bridge of the same name – the forest underneath shimmers in autumn colours. Every camera sensor literally just melts away. The Elbe Sandstone Mountain stretches along the upper reaches of the Elbe River. It serves as a natural border between Germany and the Czech Republic. The German part is also known as Saxon Switzerland.
Herzogstand – Kochelsee in Bavaria
It is not without reason that we offer a unique photo workshop here. Although Bavaria’s Alps are only a small part of the entire Alpine arc, they are unsurprisingly suitable for photography. Due to the gondola and easy access from the bustling city of Munich and other surrounding towns, this area swarms with hoards of photographers every year.
The popular region around Lake Kochelsee and Lake Walchensee have been exhaustively shot. This exquisite alpine location is a known get away of Kaiser Wilhelm who created accommodation here in the form of a small shelter to enjoy the serenity of this magical place. Nowadays the Herzogstand summit can be reached with a cable car ride and a 30-minute hike.
The view from Herzogstand is completely breathtaking and will never fall short in an international comparison to the most beautiful viewpoints worldwide.
Alternatively, there are other mountain hiking tours in the region with no less impressive views such as Benediktenwand mountain ridge.
Germany’s highest mountain attracts thousands of tourists every day. You hover at about 3,000 meters above things here. Those who cannot manage the difficult ascent on foot can take the cable car from Ehrwald (Austria) or Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the summit.
On beautiful weekend days the summit is heavily overcrowded. The view is nevertheless breathtaking. Experienced mountain hikers won’t be caught taking one of the well-known climbs to Zugspitze. Ironically, the only climb that goes over the “Gatterl“ is an easy one.
Alternative: The Allgäu Alps in the mountainous area of Oberstdorf
Rakotz bridge (Devils Bridge)
Without the magic imaginations of famous landscape and sports photographers, the blossoming Azaleas and Rhododendrons of Park Kromlau would have a hard time being photographed in this ballet of sights. The Rakotzbrücke, known popularly as the devil’s bridge, has achieved extraordinary fame in recent photographic history thanks to its fairytale-like shape and its location in a small artificial lake.
Important: The bridge is not an actual bridge to walk on, but a work of art – an artefact made of basalt columns brought into shape. Entering this work of art is forbidden – even if photographer Lorenz Holder has won a well-known photo competition with such a photo: Please don’t copy his work.
Berchtesgaden region – Ramsau, Königssee, Obersee, Hinteresee
In the Berchtesgaden, visitors encounter a wonderful combination of mountain culture and nature . This market town lies in the southeastern corner of Upper Bavaria, at the foot of the 2713 meter high Watzmann mountain.
Both the Königssee lake – advertised as Germany’s cleanest lake and the Obersee lake – with its classic fisherman’s hut, form fascinating landscapes with the dividing mountain walls serving as a majestic backdrop. From a rented boat, you can take great photos of the pilgrimage church St. Bartholomä with Watzmann’s east wall in the background.
Alternatives: The church in Ramsau and the Hintersee are other popular photo motifs that can be found in the Area.
Germany’s Skylines: Cologne and Dresden
At the end of the Second World War, Germany’s cities were in a difficult position. During the bombardments, many picturesque inner cities fell victim to bomb impacts and fires. The intactness of Cologne’s Cathedral is probably more to be blamed on the pragmatic attitude of the pilots searching for orientation than on the often described miracle. Landscape photographers often target the cathedral together with the Hohenzollern Bridge, but like the ww2 pilots, they leave it as it stands.
Dresden suffered similar destruction to Cologne. It is therefore all the more astonishing that the Dresden skyline and so-called “Dresden Florence on the Elbe” reappear in their eternal glory. Especially at dusk, landscape photographers will find many interesting photo motifs on the banks of the Elbe river– the most rewarding being the skyline in its full splendour – photographed from the opposite river bank.
Our favourite place among the Bavarian and Alpine lakes is the Geroldsee lake. A classic postcard motif with its alpine huts on pastured lands, a perfectly formed lake and a view of the impressive Karwendel massif.
Our tips for beautiful places in Germany are ideal for a weekend packed full of landscape photography. Please also consider the environmental aspect: Try to save energy by travelling in carpools or, as far as possible, by public transport. Those who travel particularly far should also consider staying on site for several days rather than just a weekend. In our experience, time is one of the most important design tools in photography anyway.
Important: When taking photographs here, please pay attention to the environment and property in general. This photo spot is located on privately owned ground.
Tip: Would you like to learn how to photograph the most beautiful places in Germany? Take a look at our current photo course dates. Unable to find a suitable date? Contact us directly for your exclusive photo course.
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Hi, i am Marius, i love exploring the mountains and nature. Friends say, i know the mountains better than most locals, but actually i get lost all the time while photographing ;). Read more about the Mountain Moments Team.