Saturday, 11 September 2021

The time to (re)explore Germany is now

The launch of Singapore’s first Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) to Germany was, for many, the most exciting announcement of the year. Now, frequent visitors are quickly remembering all the things they love most. Also, those who haven’t made it yet are excited to finally check the country off of their bucket lists.

While there are currently no entry restrictions into Germany for Singapore residents, it’s important to review the VTL page to find out the steps you need to take for VTL flights. Once all of that has been sorted, it’s time for the fun part. So where to begin?

In Frankfurt, a trip can kick off with a wander down the charming centuries-old streets along the River Main. For an old-school German dining experience, seats are arranged under the trees at Speisekammer, where hearty classics such as schweinelendchen mit äpfeln (grilled pork tenderloin with apples) and schnitzel (crispy breaded cutlets) are served. For a great view of the skyline, early evening can be spent on a river cruise.

Southeast, in what’s widely dubbed “Italy’s northernmost city”, Munich gives off a much more Mediterranean vibe. A day can be spent wandering the wide boulevards and street-side eateries. A visit to the central daily food market Viktualienmarkt or the less-crowded Elisabethmarkt in Schwabing is essential for foodies. Bavarian delicacies can be enjoyed at Augustiner Bräustuben, Munich’s oldest independent brewery. As it’s often noted as one of the world’s greatest beer and brewing capitals of Europe, those keen to further explore the local beer scene can plan a bar crawl to sample exciting craft beers.

As one of the most commonly noted travel trends for 2021 has been a desire for open spaces and remote destinations, we looked into what’s taking place outside of the city centres. Similar to wild swimming in England, islandeering in Germany is something that’s been leading travellers off the beaten path.

With impressive sandbanks in rivers and rugged rocks in mountain lakes, luckily the German islands waiting to be discovered are not limited to the North and Baltic seas — many can be easily accessed from Frankfurt or Munich. After arriving at these new shores, you can swim, hike and bike its lengths and breadths. And while you may not have the opportunity to unearth chests of golds, you’ll still find views and experiences to be treasured.

Islands near Frankfurt  

Row along Germany’s biggest river loop in the Rhine. Photo credit: Islandeering Deutschland / Hansjörg Ransmayer


This nature reserve is located within Germany’s biggest river loop in the Rhine and became an island when a new straightened riverbed was dug to provide a shorter shipping route avoiding the loop. Whether you’re outdoorsy or you just need a breather, the bird sanctuary and nature reserve within the German state of Hesse is a great destination during both winter and summer months. With around 60km of cycling and hiking trails, Kühkopf island is one of the most well-developed reserves in southern Hesse. Fishing, horseback riding and bird watching can all be enjoyed before heading to the water where you can canoe or row along the original looped course of the river.
Distance from Frankfurt Airport: 40km

The Pfalzgrafenstein castle was built by King Ludwig in 1326. Photo credit: Shutterstock


Perched in the middle of the Rhine River near the German town of Kaub, the Pfalzgrafenstein castle overlooks a picturesque setting. This tiny stronghold was built by King Ludwig in 1326 to collect tolls from passing ships and became a profitable source of income for many feudal lords over several centuries. A pointed fortification wall at its southern tip makes it look like a ship itself. It protects the ancient building from ice floes which drift downriver in winter crashing into Pfalzgrafenstein and could otherwise cause damage. The fortress is a two-hour drive from Frankfurt and can only be reached by a local ferry from Kaub.
Distance from Frankfurt Airport: 75km

Journey to Rettbergsaue island on the Tamara ferry. Photo credit: Islandeering Deutschland / Hansjörg Ransmayer


With a length of around 3km and a width of up to 300m, this is one of the largest islands in the Rhine. Its white sandy beaches, lawns, playgrounds, football, basketball, volleyball and badminton courts make this island a great spot for children and families. While swimming isn’t officially permitted, many do anyway, especially at a shallow lagoon on the western tip of the islet. There’s also a campsite there with showers. A large part of it (90% of its total area) is a nature reserve. Until recently the only way to reach it was by ferry while a new bridge crossing the Rhine and Rettbergsaue was being built. The Schiersteinbrücke is now open and includes a bike lane onto the island.
Distance from Frankfurt Airport: 75km

FOR GREAT DAY TRIPS FROM FRANKFURT: Explore medieval towns, thermal springs, vineyards and more

Islands near Munich  

Visit a garden designed for King Maximilian II on Roseninsel (Rose Island). Photo credit: Shutterstock


German landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné and engineer Jakob Kreuter created this summer retreat for King Maximilian II of Bavaria. He had acquired this picturesque little island in Lake Starnberg just south of Munich in 1850. They built him a Bavarian-style royal villa. Think alpine hut meets Neuschwanstein castle. The focal point of its garden is a circular rose bed with hundreds of rose plants, which gave the island its name. Twice a year, in mid-June and mid-August, the plants go into an impressive display of scented blooms. Perfect time for a visit.
Distance from Munich International Airport: 70km

The Eibsee is considered one of Germany’s most beautiful lakes. Photo credit: Islandeering Deutschland / Hansjörg Ransmayer


The Eibsee with its clear waters and alpine panorama is considered one of Germany’s most beautiful lakes. There must have been quite the big bang when one day about 4000 years ago, the entire northern flank of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, collapsed into the lake. It was likely the most massive landslide in the entire Bavaria Alpine region ever. The result: some of the fallen rocks now form seven beautiful islands.  You can either swim to them or rent a  boat. Guided tours are also available around the lake which allows visitors to learn more about each island.
Distance from Munich International Airport: 70km

FOR THE BEST PARKS IN MUNICH: Explore the Bavarian capital’s green gardens and public parks

Please check the respective locations’ websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about. 

Information on travel advisories is accurate as of press time. For the latest travel advisory updates, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

All images were taken before COVID-19. Island photos are courtesy of Islandeering Deutschland, a new book celebrating 60 German isles.

To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights, visit

The post The time to (re)explore Germany is now appeared first on SilverKris.

from SilverKris

No comments:

Post a Comment