Dresden is a city brimming with musical history, from the house where Wagner wrote his Lohengrin opera and the street where a popular violinist was murdered on a tram, to a hall where Mozart once played for the king. Guide and cultural historian Christoph Münch set out to find the city’s forgotten musical past and collected them in his book “Dresden – 500 Places of Music”. Also of interest is the important role the railways played in the city’s cultural and musical development.
Discover our favourite destinations from urban centres to natural beauty
It might seem hard to believe, but in a metropolis like Paris you really don’t have to go far to recharge your batteries in the countryside. Simply jump on the underground or the regional RER. To the east of Paris lies a large wooded area called the Bois de Vincennes, and while many tourists to Paris do find their way here, few visit the fantastic flower park also located here.
There’s a reason why a city’s railway station is often its most iconic landmark. Sure, its grand design or architectural innovation helps to form your first and last impression of your destination, but it’s also the stories it tells that draw you in, the people coming and going, the family reunions, the emotional farewells.
Walls protrude from the tangled undergrowth. Cobblestones cut through the grass with kerbstones delineating old pathways and tracks. Ahead, steps spiral up to what once must have been a grand doorway. A stone plinth stands empty, the statue it once held long since disappeared. Then another plot, this time with a cross – presumably the remnants of an old church. Opposite it, a staircase leads to a former fort. You can still see a tiled bathroom, a relic from a bygone era.
In the early hours of April 16, 1945, the 2.5 million strong Soviet Army began its assault on Berlin in the hope of defeating Nazi Germany once and for all. After 16 days of heavy fighting and at times even hand-to-hand combat, 200,000 soldiers and civilians had lost their lives and much of the city lay in ruins. Despite the devastation, several landmarks and battle scars still survive today scattered across Berlin, serving as an important reminder to the last major offensive of the Second World War in Europe.
The air is thick with cinnamon and cloves, roasted almonds and sweet pastries. Artisans busy themselves selling handmade decorations and handicrafts to curious shoppers. There’s stollen (a traditional sweet bread filled with candied fruits) to fortify you and hot mulled wine to warm you up. The Silesian Christmas Market in Görlitz is full of festive cheer, but Germany’s easternmost town is steeped in history and there’s a lot more here to discover.
Hannover is a major city and cultural hub in northern Germany located on the route between Amsterdam and Berlin or Munich and Hamburg. Famous for its trade fairs and its royal house, Hannover is often overlooked as a destination but at our loss. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should hop off in Hannover and get discovering.
Mulled wine, roasted almonds, local handicrafts… What’s not to love about a good Christmas market? For many, Christmas is the season to be jolly – but ‘tis also the season to be wasteful. In fact, Christmas is the most wasteful time of the year and Christmas markets are often criticised for not being eco-friendly enough.