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What would you say are some of Germany's most underrated destinations? Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Hamburg, Köln, the Rhine Valley, the Romantische Strasse, Neuschwanstein - these are all major standards on the tourist trail. But from my experience traveling around the country, Germany is full of charming historical towns and cities, a good number of which don't get anywhere near the same amount of play in foreign tourist literature. Places like Bamberg, Regensburg and Freiburg spring to mind. I did a daytrip out to Lübeck from Hamburg about two years ago, which - despite its UNESCO status - seemed to be sleepy, laid-back and decidedly untouristy (maybe it was the time of year?). From what I've heard and seen in pictures, Stralsund, Quedlinburg and Leipzig would fit the bill too.

Any other suggestions? I'd love to spend a couple weeks sometime traveling around Germany just hitting places off the beaten path.
Germany has some great small towns. I think any of the town on the Sudliche Weinstrasse would be a good bet. I have also spent some great time in the Pfalzer Wald in a town called Hauenstein. Good place for some quality food, friendly people, fresh air and hiking in the hills and visiting old ruins dating from around 800ad. I have very fond memories of that area. Have a great trip.
Unlike neighboring countries, Germany is very decentralized. While, when in France, one would say you've got to see Paris, and in England, you'd say the same about London, and in Spain it would be Barcelona, Madrid, there is really no place one has got to go in Germany, and get it all in one. That certainly goes for the large cities, but similarly for the smaller towns or regions. Best you try and see it all, but don't expect to do that in just a few weeks. Germany is not a really large country but it is so full of things worthwhile seeing, that you will at best get to see only a small portion even in a few months.

There are so many nice places in Germany that are absolutely underrated and unknown. Among the larger and better known towns, I could recommend places like going from north to south Lubeck, Schwerin, Rostock, Rügen, Münster, Wernigerode, Quedlinburg, Erfurt, Potsdam, Eisenach, Göttingen, Trier, Idar Oberstein, Speyer, Schwetzingen, Heidelberg, Ladenburg, Baden Baden, Strassburg (in German speaking France :-)), Bamberg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Among the Regions that are great are: Wattenmeer (North Sea Coast), Mecklenburger Seenplatte (East Germany), Harz Mountain Range, Weserland (river), Münster, Rhine Valley from Bonn to Mainz, Black Forest, Allgäu incl. Neuschwanstein, and Bodensee.

In between all of this, there are so many thousands of great places and things to see. I don't believe that you can go for more than 10 miles without seeing anything. Two ways to get around Germany, if you REALLY want to see the underrated places: Bicycle and Train, or a combination thereof. Get a Eurrail pass, and you can essentially go everywhere for free. Stay over night at pensions or garni hotels, and you will save a lot of money.

I love to travel in Germany and I don't speak a word of the language. The advice on train plus bicycle is good.
A couple of places I've ended up in by chance that I could recommend are Munster, Emden (Nord See), Aachen, and Detmold (check out the Hermann/Arminius statue). It's a cliche, but wherever I go I'm amazed by the warmth of the people which throws the stereotypes out of the window. Enjoy!
As a matter of facts, Germany sure has some "underrated" destinations. Some small towns are really amazing and show an unqiue atmosphere. One example is Stralsund - a small town located at the baltic sea. It has a wonderful old town. I can higly recommend Stralsund for a short trip:)
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