Berlin: For centuries, Berlin has lived and breathed Kultur, and today’s German capital - with some of the continent’s best visual and performing arts - has lost none of that cultural appeal. Enjoy panoramic views from the dome of the Reichstag building; see the ancient treasures of the Pergamon Museum; visit the new Gemäldegalerie whose Old Masters collection includes Cranach, Holbein, Memling and Dürer. German art of the 20th century will soon be back home at the New National Gallery, a glass Bauhaus treasure by Mies van der Rohe. The excitement of rebuilding and unifying Berlin has drawn today’s master architects/builders from Renzo Piano to Daniel Libeskind, designer of the Jewish Museum. Locator: 210 mi. northwest of Prague; 380 mi. east of Warsaw.
Munich: This fun-loving capital of Bavaria has a flair for fashion and gemütlichkeit. For art lovers, there are architectural treasures such as the landmark Frauenkirche, whose church towers are capped by onion-shaped cupolas. Not-to-miss museums include the Deutsches Museum, often referred to as “Germany’s Smithsonian,” and the Residenz Museum, a 100-room palace.
Dresden: Newly restored, Dresden has regained its reputation as a perfectly gorgeous German city. Its Zwinger Palace contains the Old Masters Picture Gallery and the Porcelain Museum, while gold, silver and jewelry are on display in the Grünes Gewölbe. Locator: 120 mi. south of Berlin; 90 mi. northwest of Prague
Meissen: Home to the Staatliche Porzellan Manufaktur, Europe’s first porcelain factory, built in 1710. Porcelain is still being produced here, and over 2,000 pieces are on display in the museum’s exhibition hall. Locator: 15 mi. northwest of Dresden, 120 miles south of Berlin
Heidelberg: Celebrated in The Student Prince, romantic Heidelberg is the oldest university town in Germany. Its world-famous and majestic Heidelberg Castle, built between the 13th and 17th centuries, towers above the town, while in the city is the palatial Residenz Museum. Locator: 50 mi. south of Frankfurt\
Regensburg: This most perfectly preserved Romanesque and Gothic city in Germany is located on the Danube, and two of its noblest landmarks are the Stone Bridge and St. Peter’s Cathedral. In warm weather, cruises go to Walhalla, a neoclassical temple bankrolled by King Ludwig I. Locator: 80 mi. north of Munich
Rothenburg: Perhaps the most enchanting town along the “Romantic Road,” medieval Rothenburg offers a walk through history signposted by old houses, towns and gateways. Among its treasured sites are the frescoed, 16th century Altes Rathaus (town hall), the Altar of the Holy Blood in St. Jacob’s church, the Reichsstadt Museum in the Dominican convent. Locator: 110 mi. southeast of Frankfurt