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1. EXPLORE BERLIN BY SEGWAY
See Berlin by Segway. Take three hours to whizz past all the significant sites with a fully English speaking tour guide. From Checkpoint Charlie to Brandenburg Gate and the last remaining segment of the Berlin Wall, get educated while testing the speedometer of a Segway!
HOT Tip: Segway tours run come rain or shine. Most companies will provide a poncho in wet weather but you’d be wise to take your own rain jacket as well.
2. ENJOY CANADIAN PIZZA IN A CANOE
Eating pizza might seem more Italian than German, but Berlin’s Ron Telesky is the quirkiest and coolest pizza joint in the city. Described as Canadian pizza, the ingredients reflect the proprietor’s fond memories of working in Toronto. Choose from a delicious (albeit non-conventional) mix of candied walnuts, mango and even hot maple sauce. And the best bit? Outside you can sit and eat in a canoe!
HOT Tip: Try the house speciality; pizza with potato, sweet potato, sour cream and maple syrup, salami and vegetables.
3. INDULGE IN GERMAN BEER IN MUNICH'S MARKET SQUARE
Wet your whistle in Munich’s whimsical Hofbräukeller beer garden. Set beneath the enchanting canopy of dense chestnut trees, it’s part of a lively market square comprising restaurants, cafes and stores – and quite the fashionable meeting ground for Munich’s ‘in’ crowd. Order a generous goblet of beer, take a seat at one of the wooden pews and the music from local bands will fill your ears.
HOT Tip:This one phrase will serve you well throughout Germany: ‘Ein bier bitte’ which means ‘a beer please’.
4. SAMPLE A GLASS OF APPLE WINE 150-YEARS IN THE MAKING
While in Frankfurt, cross the bridge in the direction of Alt-Sachsenhausen and seek-out a bar called Dauth Schneider. Located down an old cobblestone street, you’ll be sitting in the cellar of a 150-year old tavern.
HOT Tip:Order a glass of apple wine – or Apfelwein. They’ve been pressing their apples every autumn for a century and a half.
5. BRACE YOURSELF FOR A PUB CRAWL IN DUSSELDORF'S OLD TOWN
Get your groove on in Dusseldorf's The Altstadt (Old Town). Referred to as the longest bar in the world, the Altstadt is flushed with over 300 bars, taverns and drinking holes, all of which are (supposedly) connected to one another. Now that’s a bar crawl!
HOT Tip: Try a signature German dish; pork knuckle. Boiled and then baked, it’s a fatty chunk of meat and tendons, with browned fat and flavoursome skin. The perfect complement to Germany’s brutish beers.
6. TAKE A POIGNANT VISIT TO A FORMER STASI PRISON
Not one you’ll often find in the guide books, history comes alive with a tour of Gedenkstaette Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen – the former Stasi prison where those who opposed the German Democratic Republic were incarcerated. Immaculately preserved with gun towers and barbed wire walls.
HOT Tip: Observe over 120 interrogation rooms and the notorious U-Boat wing; with its windowless cells where the harsh florescent lights were kept on 24/7.
7. EAT HAMBURGERS IN HAMBURG. IT'D BE RUDE NOT TO
Go on, do it. Bite into an enormous hamburger from Hamburg. There are numerous burger establishments to tempt you, from cheap street-eats to upmarket brasseries, simply follow your nose. Once refuelled you can embark on a bike tour of the city. Work up an appetite and you’ll have the perfect excuse to indulge in another burger!
HOT tip: Not a fan of meat? Hamburg's first 100% vegan fast food restaurant is located in the St. Pauli quarter. ‘Befried’ serves burgers, kebabs and even Germany's famous curry wurst.
8. ENJOY MOLTEN BOWLS OF HOT CHOCOLATE IN COLOGNE
Like chocolate? Who doesn’t? Cologne is Germany’s chocolate capital and at one time the second biggest chocolate producer in the world. Make a B-line for the Imhoff-Stollwerck Museum, or for those without a German mother tongue – the chocolate museum. It’s the ship-shaped building of glass and metal situated on the River Rhine.
HOT Tip: Finish off with a frothy hot chocolate (no powder here, it’s made with pure molten chocolate) while sitting on the museum’s river-backed terrace.
9. BITE INTO GOOEY PRETZELS AT THE PARK
Pick up a Laugensemmel and take it to the Englischer Garten for lunch. Sound like double-Dutch? Well actually it’s German, but the Laugensemmel is a deliciously squidgy baked delight typical to South Germany. Made from pretzel dough and stuffed with cheese, ham or salami. The Englischer Garten Englischer Garten (or English Garden) is one of the world's largest public parks, replete with lush lawns, ornate pavilions and serene water-spots. Together, they’re magical!
HOT Tip: In Munich the best Laugensemmel can be found at Cafe Crème. Find it at 24 Reichenbachstrasse -close to Munich's best clothes and furniture shops.
10. PEOPLE WATCH ALONG DUSSELDORF'S TREE-LINED PROMENADE
Take a brisk walk along the 1.5km tree-lined embankment of Düsseldorf's Rhine Embankment Promenade. Flanked by cafes, eateries, art galleries and boutique shops, it fringes the Rhine and offers wonderful views across the river.
HOT Tip:The promenade runs from the New Harbour to the Theodor Heuss bridge. Stop en route at one of the many riverside benches and watch the river boats glide by.
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