Which country is cheaper, France or Germany?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Should I visit Germany or France? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which country has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.
|Museums & Attractions|
|Culture & History|
Both France and Germany are popular tourist destinations in Western Europe. Both countries are relatively expensive, but in general, France is a bit more costly than Germany. Both countries have their own unique culture and cuisine, and each country has a lot to offer visitors.
Both France and Germany are also easy countries to visit with extensive transportation networks and an elaborate tourist network. There are hostels and budget accommodation options throughout each country and no shortage of independent travelers to meet. Both countries are also popular study abroad destinations, so if you're a student, there are likely to be a diverse group of students around.
Germany is a large, historic, and modern country. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for museums, theater, adventure travel, and national parks.
At the heart of Europe, Germany is one of the largest countries on the continent and offers visitors a wealth of history, art, and culture mixed with modern attractions and beautiful natural scenery. The large cities offer museums, nightlife, theatre, and cultural activities, while the countryside is diverse with wine regions, gorgeous mountains, winding rivers, national parks, and historic towns.
France is a cultural, romantic, and prosperous country. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the mountains, shopping, museums, and theater.
France is actually the most visited country in the world, and it's easy to see why. Offering amazing food, deep history, beautiful coastlines, wine regions, world-class cities, and small villages, this amazing and diverse country offers something for everyone.
Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Germany and France. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Both Germany and France offer a variety of museums and places of interest, but France generally has more to choose from.
The museums and tourist attractions in France are world-renowned. Some of the world's best museums can be found in the major cities. The Louvre in Paris can't be missed, as it offers a huge collection of art, historical artifacts, and cultural items that would take several days to peruse. But it's only one of many museums in the city of lights, as it's also possible to see other major art exhibits around town. Additionally, other major cities offer plenty of museum options as well. Especially Lyon which has several marionette puppet museums, a cinema museum, and the large Musee de Confluences which focuses on humanity.
Paris: One of the most world famous landmarks is the Eiffel Tower. The city is also home to the world renowned Louvre, Notre-Dame, and Palais Garnier Opera House. In addition to the many iconic sights, there are beautiful buildings and hidden gems throughout the city.
Lyon: There are many world class museums and historic landmarks in the city including Musée des Beaux Arts, Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine, and Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière.
Avignon: The town is filled with historical landmarks such as Palais des Papes, Pont Saint Bénézet, Musée du Petit Palais, and Basilique Métropolitaine Notre-Dame des Doms.
Versailles: The palace is filled with history and impressive items relating to the royal family. Within and near the palace you should make sure you see the Gardens of Versailles, Grand Trianon, the Hall of Mirrors, and the Royal Opera of Versailles.
Arles: It's a small town but it's filled with Roman ruins and remarkable landmarks. Popular sights include L'Amphithéâtre Romain, Les Alyscamps, Cloître Saint-Trophime, and Théâtre Antique.
Many visitors head to Germany specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. With thousands of museums, it might be difficult to decide where to go first. Some of the best museums in Germany include the Museum Island area of Berlin which showcases a combination of art and ancient history, the Mercedes-Benz museum dedicated to the automobile, Zwinger Palace in Dresden which hosts historic art and antique weapons, the German Museum in Munich which focuses on Science, and the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg. Plenty more can be found in every corner of the country, though.
Berlin: Famous landmarks include the rebuilt Reichstag, the Berlin Wall Memorial, and Berliner Fernsehturm. Many of the city's oldest and most famous museums are found on Museum Island, where you'll find the Pergamon Museum, the James Simon Gallery, the Altes Museum, and the Neues Museum, among others.
Nuremberg: It's well established on the tourist circuit and it's easy to see why. The history and charm, combined with interesting sights make it a top place to visit in Germany. Make sure you check out Kaiserburg, the Nuremberg Trials Memorial, and Germanisches National Museum.
Würzburg: The Franconian city is known for its history and architecture. One of the most well know sights is the 18th-century Residenz palace. Other attractions in town include the Martin von Wagner Museum, the Würzburg Court Gardens, the Marienberg Fortress, and the Würzburg Cathedral & Museum.
Generally, France offers a larger array of history, arts, and cutlure for travelers than Germany.
With a long list of famous historical and cultural attractions, France brings in many visitors. It's hard to find a country with more cultural and historical destinations. Starting with Paris, you'll find multiple museums, monuments, cathedrals, and other attractions that showcase the history and art of France as well as Europe as a whole. But Paris is not the only place, as other major cities such as Lyon and Marseille offer similar historical and artistic experiences in their museums, theatre productions, and architecture. Furthermore, even the small towns in the countryside have historic sights such as the numerous chateaus, castles, winery villages, and more.
Germany has many famous historic and cultural sights and attractions worth visiting, and is one of the main reasons why poeple come here. With a deep and rich history, Germany's cities and small towns showcase a variety of architecture, art, theatre, cultural traditions, and more to visitors and locals alike. Many of the big cities are home to not just art museums, but also museums that provide insight into German and European history, technology, food, and its people. Even the small towns across the country offer their own piece of history and art, as the countryside is dotted with castles and ancient ruins showcasing medieval times, Roman history, and modern periods up to and after the major wars.
France is considered to have more larger cities than Germany.
With plenty of activities and things to do in the big cities, France draws plenty of visitors. With multiple large cities, anyone looking to explore museums, history, restaurants, and attractions will easily find it all in France. And Paris is just the beginning, as Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, and others offer charming streets filled with art, architecture, museums, nightlife, and more.
As Germany has many big cities, visitors will find plenty to do. Berlin, the capital, offers a diverse set of urban experiences from museums and historical sights to iconic modern music, trendy fashions, delicious cuisine, and more. Other larger cities include Munich, Cologne and Bonn, Hamburg, and Frankfurt, just to name a few. Each has its own personality while still offering typical big city amenities and attractions such as museums, beautiful architecture, fine dining, nightlife, and nice hotels.
Germany and France are somewhat similar when it comes to visiting the great smaller towns and villages.
Because Germany offers so many small towns with a variety of charming activities, it attracts plenty of visitors for a good reason. One of the main attractions to many regions of Germany is the large number of small, beautiful towns. Many of these towns, especially those along the Rhine river, in Bavaria, and in the Black Forest, are extremely scenic and historic. Visitors to these towns experience history, culture, great cuisine, fun activities, wine tasting, mountain views, and more. Some of the most scenic towns in Germany include Quedlinburg, Cochem, Rottach-Egern, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Fussen, Bamberg, and Gorlitz, although there are many others that are also popular.
See also The Best Day Trips from Munich.
Since France offers plenty of small towns and villages with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. Travelers could easily spend their entire trip in the small towns in the French countryside. Many of the most charming small towns are in the wine regions of Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, Provence, and others. Visitors to these towns will find historic architecture surrounded by beautiful agricultural landscapes along with delicious food and friendly locals. Some have their own history dating back centuries, too.
With more venues to choose from, France is more regarded as a theater destination.
While in town, many visitors enjoy seeing a show in France. In Paris, the opera and the ballet are very popular attractions. And if you're looking for something not as sophisticated, a number of review and musical shows provide fun options as well. Also, there's the theatre productions, too. Furthermore, you'll find many other great theatre productions all around France in the heart of Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, Lille, Strasbourg, and more.
Paris: There are world class theaters as well as smaller local venues where you can enjoy a show.
Germany offers a number of shows and performances. Opera, ballet, performance art, and live plays are all very popular and commonly found in the big cities of Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg, and others. Many of the theatres which host events are historic buildings themselves, making the experiences that much more exciting.
Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in France a bit more than Germany.
For foodies, France is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The food here is second to none. French food has earned its reputation over the centuries as being gourmet, elegant, delicious, diverse, and gluttonous. From the fine dining restaurants of Paris and Lyon to the farm-fresh cafes in the small towns, to the abundance of wine in Burgundy or Bordeaux, we promise that you won't go hungry. Every city is proud of the food they serve, and you'll find regional specials throughout the nation, too.
Paris: There are countless local restaurants, markets, and patisseries to explore. Make sure you try the steak tartare, pate, and macarons.
Marseille: It's famous for its bouillabaisse, which is a hearty seafood soup that was once affordable but is now quite pricey.
Lyon: Known as "the Gastronomic Capital of the World" this city stands above the rest when it comes to Michelin star restaurants (there are 17!), fresh ingredients, and unique local flavors. Favorite local dishes include pâté en croûte, rosette de Lyon, and saucisson brioché.
Toulouse: There are many unique regional recipes that make use of poultry, cold meats, and foie gras. Toulouse sausage, cassoulet, Poulet à la Toulousaine, and Foie gras d’oie are all popular local dishes.
Nice: The cuisine brings together fresh regional ingredients and mixes Provençal and Niçoise flavors. You'll find a lot of Italian influence as well. Fresh seafood is the thing to try while you're in town, but other local favorites include socca, Ratatouille, and Salade niçoise.
Dining out in Germany is an experience not to be missed. German food traditionally consists of meat and potatoes, along with beer, naturally. But in recent decades the food scene in the major cities has exploded. So, while you definitely should try the bratwurst and other related sausages along with schnitzel (breaded fried pork) and spatzle (egg noodles), you can also find modern cuisine from Germany and abroad in almost every town across the country. Modern chefs, especially in the big cities, are catering to the modern local German population, as well as tourists, with gourmet food in a variety of restaurant styles. But of course, while in Germany you still need to try the potato pancakes, rabbit stew, pork knuckle, and roast beef stew. And wash it all down with some local German beer, of course! You'll find a wide variety of beer styles, flavors, and brewing techniques all around the regions of this beer-loving country.
Baden-Baden: There are Michelin starred restaurants and many opportunities to sip wine and sample local cuisine. Many consider the Baden cuisine to be among the best in Germany. You'll find wine, sausages, game meat, poultry, and more. Make sure you try the Rehrücken Baden-Baden (Roe Deer), Käsespätzle (cheese spatzle), and Schäufele (pig's shoulder).
If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find great options in both Germany and France.
The nightlife in Germany has something for everybody. Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and other major cities offer plenty of nightlife options such as bars, clubs, pubs, concerts, theatre productions, and a variety of other options for both tourists and locals alike. Out in the smaller cities and rural areas, nightlife might be limited to the local bar, but it's still not hard to find some of that delicious German beer no matter where you visit.
Berlin: The nightlife scene here is legendary. There are club nights that last for days, bars and parties that appeal to every personality, and a diversity of venues that you can choose from. You'll find the classic techno warehouses, but there are also modern dance clubs, bunker parties, and raves.
Munich: The city has a young and vibrant population that keep the nightlife scene active and fun. There are many bars and clubs around town, but the city is also famous for Oktoberfest during the months of September and October.
France offers plenty to do in the evening. While Paris is the obvious choice for its bars, clubs, theatre, and shows, the rest of France offers plenty of nightlife, too. The other major cities each have their own vibe, especially along the southern coastal destinations of Marseille, Nice, and Biarritz where beach-goers turn towards nightclubs at sundown. Even some of the smaller cities in the wine regions offer then own nightlife experiences after a day of tastings.
Paris: Head to Pigalle or the Latin Quarter for some of the city's best nightlife. There are all-night parties, cabarets, and exclusive night clubs that you can experience.
Marseille: Much of the city's nightlife is centered around being outdoors. Whether you're on the beach or hanging out at a rooftop bar, Marseille is a magical place.
Nice: The city has some of the best nightlife on the Cote d'Azur. You'll find a number of nightclubs along the seaside as well a bars and pubs in the Old Town. Some of the best clubs are along Promenade des Anglais.
Saint-Tropez: It is a place to see and be seen, so if you're looking for A-list celebrities, glamourous yacht parties, and ritzy dance clubs, then this is your place. While the nightlife scene is filled with extravagance, there are still laid back clubs where you can sip a cocktail in style. The best season to come and party is during the summer months, but you'll still find plenty to do throughout the year.
See also Paris Party Hostels.
France tends to offer a wider variety of resorts than Germany.
With a selection of resorts, France makes a nice vacation spot. The beach areas on the southern and western coastline are home to numerous resorts, especially once you get away from the historic towns and move a bit further along the coast. Plenty more ski resorts can be found in the mountains, too, and are especially busy during the winter months. Numerous destinations in the interior of France also offer resort-like amenities, such as the options near Disneyland Paris or some of the historic castles which have been renovated into hotels.
Nice: The city has boutique hotels as well high end luxury resorts. Popular options include Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée, Hôtel Suisse, and AC Hotel by Marriott.
Cannes: The city is filled with luxury resorts and elegant hotels. Among the best are Hôtel Martinez, Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic, and Five Seas Hotel.
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc: The region has 5 ski resorts (Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere and Le Brevent), making it an excellent ski destination.
Saint-Tropez: Luxury and extravagance is what this resort town is all about. If you have the money to spend, you'll have no trouble finding a glamourous villa or luxury hotel where you can relax, party, or soak up the French Riviera sun.
You might not think of Germany as a resort destination, but it has a few places. As this country is more about history, culture, and large cities mixed in with historic towns, resorts are not as popular with travelers as they are in other countries. However, plenty of ski resorts can be found in the Alps and other mountain areas in the south. Additionally, a number of large resort hotels can be found throughout the country in popular tourist areas. Some of these resorts are near amusement park areas (such as Legoland and Europa-Park), while others are more adult-focused and centered around wellness and spas.
Most people pick France for its beaches over Germany.
Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in France. The southern, Mediterranean coast of France offers plenty of beaches with gorgeous sand, blue water, warm weather, and historical towns. Whether you stay in a larger town with restaurants, hotels, history, and nightlife, or move further along to the quieter spots, you'll enjoy plenty of clear skies with equally clear water and that special French Riviera feeling. Some of the most popular beach destinations in this part of France include Nice, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, and Marseille. Along the Atlantic coast, you'll find even more diversity. The northern coastline is a bit colder and historic, while in the south you can find even more warm-weather beach vacation towns such as Biarritz and the surrounding resort towns close to Spain.
You'll find a beach in Germany. Germany actually has a very long and extensive coastline along the North Sea and Baltic Sea. But as you might expect, this is not the warmest part of the world, so swimming and beach activities are limited to the warmest months. But despite this, Germany offers some beautiful stretches of coastline such as Hiddensee Island, Rugen Island, Juist Island, Sylt Beach, and more. Many of these beach towns have wide sandy beaches lined with dunes and sea grasses, plus natural areas for nice walks, local restaurants, and plenty of seaside activities. Also, some of the larger lakes inland have beach areas with fun activities, too.
France often provides a better shopping experience than Germany.
France is well-known for its shopping. Paris quickly comes to mind as one of the best shopping cities in the world, as it offers multiple neighborhoods each with their own vibe and personality. But other major cities, as well as the resort areas on the coast, showcase diverse and trendy boutiques where everyone can find something they like.
Paris: Some of the best areas for shopping are Boulevard Haussmann and the Grands Boulevards, the Marais, and Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysées. The city is iconic for its fashion scene and world class shopping venues.
Lille: The city is filled with shopping opportunities. Almost any store you could want is in or around the old town and the two main shopping centers in town are McArthur Glen and A l'Usine. Also by the train station is a shopping mall.
Aix-en-Provence: It has some of the best shopping in France outside of Paris. There are many shopping streets where you can pick up trendy fashions or boutique local finds. Head to Rue Marius Reynard, Les Allées Provençales, or Rue Clemenceau for some of the best shopping.
Cannes: With its many affluent visitors, the shopping scene in town is filled with luxury brands and posh boutiques. Perfume and porcelain are both popular things to buy in the area.
Saint-Tropez: Surrounded by luxury, shopping is a must in this glamourous resort town. There are international luxury brands as well as local designer boutiques. Whether you're looking for yachting clothes, cigars, jewelry, or perfume, this is one of the best shopping destinations along the Cote d'Azur. Art is a particularly popular item to purchase while you're in town.
Many visitors go to Germany to go shopping. Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg, and other large cities in Germany offer plenty of trendy and authentic shopping experiences. From high-end fashion to grunge to casual to hipster, the cities of Germany offer something for everyone.
Berlin: Bookshops, flea markets, luxury boutiques and artisan shops all make up the shopping scene in the city. Kurfürstendamm is one of the most famous shopping districts in the city.
Munich: There are many pedestrian areas and shopping centers where you can find everything from luxury items to bargain finds.
Germany is usually the more popular destination around Christmas.
Germany is a world class destination for shoppers. Germany lights up at Christmas, as the large cities of Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Nuremburg, Dresden, and others host a variety of activities, put up large trees, adorn public buildings with lights, host concerts in their cathedrals, and offers shows, ice skating, and more. Plenty of smaller cities and small towns in the countryside do the same, combining the snowy landscape, alpine architecture, and holiday spirit into one large festive atmosphere in winter.
Cologne: Cologne is one of the top Christmas destinations in Germany. You'll find many different markets spread around town that offer ice skating, curling, warm drinks, and local dishes. Foodies will appreciate the many samplings of local holiday favorites while shoppers will be able to pick up gifts and Christmas decorations that are locally made.
France is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. Plenty of cities and towns put up lights and trees with Christmas decorations, host festivals and shows, and organize festive markets. While larger cities such as Paris are always popular, smaller towns are equally as beautiful and visited. Strasbourg, Dijon, Reims, Tours, and Lille are just a few of the destinations which organize extravagant holiday celebrations for residents and visitors alike.
Paris: The city of lights really proves itself around the holiday season. In addition to checking out the Christmas lights, it's fun to go window shopping or check out one of the city's Christmas markets.
Germany is generally considered to be a better destination for browsing through Christmas markets.
The holiday season is a very popular time to visit Germany because of the beautiful Christmas markets. As Germany has been hosting Christmas markets in some of its towns for hundreds of years, it's no surprise that they are so popular with locals and visitors alike. Some of the best markets are in Nuremburg, Dresden, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Konstanz, and Bamberg. But also keep in mind that almost every town in Germany has some sort of Christmas market or festival from November until Christmas, so you can easily hop from place to place on the train if you want to see more than one. In fact, this is what many visitors do.
Cologne: Cologne is one of the top Christmas market destinations in Germany. You'll find many different markets spread around town that offer ice skating, curling, warm drinks, and local dishes. Foodies will appreciate the many samplings of local holiday favorites while shoppers will be able to pick up gifts and Christmas decorations that are locally made.
France offers plenty of Christmas markets. It would be hard to visit all of the destinations hosting markets in France, as there are so many. Strasbourg is home to the Christkindelsmarik, the oldest Christmas Market in Europe, and it sprawls through many of the winding streets and alleyways of the city. Reims also has a terrific market worth visiting, as it is one of the largest in northern France. You'll find food, drinks, gifts, ice skating, and Santa's Grotto. Colmar is another town hosting five different markets which all blend together into one large festive atmosphere. Other popular towns with markets include Lille, Dijon, Sarlat, Annecy, Metz, Mulhouse, and others.
For skiing and winter sports, both Germany and France provide great options.
Visitors travel far to experience snow skiing in Germany. As Germany borders the Alps in the south, you'll find a large number of ski resorts in this area. Some of the best and most popular include Alpsee-Grunten, Arber, Winklmoosalm-Steinplatte, Oberstdorf, Winterberg, and Oberjoch Bad Hindelan. There are many others that also provide extensive ski and snowboarding routes along with luxurious accommodation options (or budget-friendly), and delicious cuisine.
France is a well-known ski destination which attracts visitors from far and wide. The French Alps are quite popular for skiing and snowboarding during the winter months. Some of of the more popular places include Chamonix, Tignes, Val-d'Isere, La Clusaz, and others nearby. Experienced skiers and snowboarders will be quite pleased with the amenities and variety of ski runs in this region of France, as the Alps are second to none when it comes to skiing.
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc: It is one of the most famous and best ski areas in the world. There are 5 ski resorts in the area (Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere and Le Brevent) and many options for expert skiers. You can take the Aiguille du Midi cable car from the middle of town to the top of the 3840 meter peak.
Germany is generally considered to be a better destination for hiking.
You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Germany. From the Alps in the south to the Baltic Sea coastline in the north, plenty of amazing hiking trails can be found throughout Germany. Some of the best include Painters' Way in the Elbe Mountains, the Rheinsteig Trail along the Rhine River in western Germany, Triberg Waterfalls in the Black Forest, and Partnachklamm Gorge in the Reintal Valley in Bavaria. But there are many more places to explore, as Germany is home to 16 national parks plus a number of wilderness and mountain regions.
Many people include a hike when visiting France. A diverse set of hiking options is available for travelers here, as you'll find great trails from the Alps to the Pyrenees to the hills in the wine regions to the beautiful coastlines. In the summer months, the Alps and Pyrenees are especially welcoming to hikers, as these winter ski areas become warm and active with visitors. Also, when exploring the wine regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, or the Loire Valley, don't forget to take a break from wine and history to admire the beautiful landscapes on foot.
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc: Filled with panoramic views and breathtaking natural scenes, the hiking is among the best in the world. Some of the best hikes in the area include Plan de l'Aiguille - Montenvers Train Mer de Glace, Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve Hiking, and any of the "Glacier Views" Hikes.
If you're interested in visiting great national parks, Germany and France both offer plenty of spots.
Visiting the national parks is a popular activity when in Germany. Some of the most popular national parks here include Berchtesgaden National Park in Bavaria, Jasmund National Park in the northeast, Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, and Black Forest National Park. Germany has 16 national parks with landscapes ranging from the mountains to the sea to the forests. Hiking, horseback riding, camping, adventure sports, and bird watching are popular activities in the parks, almost all of which are very accessible from nearby towns and cities.
Many visitors go to France to see the national parks. Visitors looking to escape to the wilderness can find plenty of parks to see, especially in the rugged mountainous regions. A few of the best include Pyrenees national park and Vanoise national park, both of which are known for their hiking and beautiful mountain scenery. Elsewhere in France, Le Perche natural regional park in Normandy and Armorique natural regional park in Brittany offer beautiful natural landscapes with a touch of history.
If adventure travel is what you're looking for, both Germany and France have great options.
The adventure travel experiences in Germany are worth exploring, even if they are limited to certain areas. Some of the most popular adventure activities in the country include mountain climbing and rock climbing, horseback riding, paragliding, ropes courses and zip lines, snow skiing, and river rafting. As Germany is a large country with a diverse landscape, every region offers something exciting to visitors.
France is a pretty good destination for adventure travel with a good array of experiences. Across this diverse country, you can find plenty of adventurous activities if you're looking for a break from the history, wine, and food that brings in most travelers. Horseback riding, hiking, canyoning, rock climbing, rafting, and snow skiing are popular activities in the mountain regions, especially around the Alps in the east. Skydiving and bungee jumping are also popular in the countryside. Water sports, surfing, and kayaking are popular along the coastline as well.
Both Germany and France have some great mountain areas to explore.
Germany offers beautiful mountain scenery for visitors, and is one of the main attractions. The southern regions are home to the Alps, and in Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg you'll find gorgeous scenery mixed with historic towns, clear lakes, and cultural activities that make this part of Germany that much more exciting. Hiking, horseback riding, adventure sports, and more can all be found here. The Elbe mountains in the southeastern region near the Czech border are also gorgeous, and more hiking and sightseeing opportunities can be found here as well.
France is an extremely popular destination for those interested in visiting the mountains. The two main mountain ranges are the Alps in the southeast and the Pyrenees in the southwest. Furthermore, you'll find more hilly areas with great scenery along the southern coast and also near the German border on the east. While the Alps are the highest, the Pyrenees and other regions still offer plenty of amazing views as well as activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and adventure sports.
Overall, France is considered to offer more watersports activities and attractions to visitors.
The watersports and seaside activities and attractions of France are worth experiencing. With a very long stretch of coastline on both the Atlantic and Mediterranean, as well as a huge array of rivers and lakes, there's no shortage of watersports here. Surfing is popular along both coasts, and not just where the water is clear and blue. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular, as is kayaking, canoeing, and boating on the ocean, sea, and rivers.
Germany does offer some watersports. While the sea on the north coast is a bit cold most of the year, many of the watersports in Germany take place inland on the lakes and rivers. Windsurfing and kitesurfing are popular both on the coast and inland on the larger lakes. Kayaking, canoeing, and fishing are also popular on these rivers and lakes, especially in the mountainous regions where the waters are clean and clear and the scenery is beautiful.
While France and Germany both have plenty of outdoor activities, overall Germany is considered to be better for travelers seeking outdoor adventures.
The outdoor activities and experiences of Germany attract many visitors. With no shortage of outdoor activities, Germany offers a great deal of variety to visitors. The mountains in the southern regions near the Alps are very popular for outdoor enthusiast looking for hiking, climbing, skiing, camping, fishing, and more. Also, numerous national parks and other wilderness areas can be found in all corners of the country where travelers can find even more to do in the forests and coastline and rivers of the country. Some of the best areas for outdoor activities include Baden-Baden, Eifel, the Rhine Valley, and the Bergstrasse.
France is a great destination for participating in outdoor activities. The countryside that normally draws a crowd to see the vineyards and castles also offers plenty of other activities for visitors. From hiking through the beautiful landscapes to horseback riding to rafting and kayaking, there's something for everyone here. Many of these activities are also kid-friendly, and it's easy to find a day tour or rent equipment on your own for whatever you choose.
You can't go wrong planning a road trip in either Germany or France.
Germany is a very popular destination for those that love to take road trips. The autobahns of Germany make for a terrific way of getting around the country. If you have a car, multiple road trips options throughout the country are very popular, and make it easy to see the Alps and Elbe mountains, the Black Forest, the small towns along the rivers, and the numerous castles. Visitors could easily spend weeks exploring everything from the cities to the national parks to the mountain peaks. A road trip is a great way to see Germany.
Taking a road trip through France is very good way to see the countryside and smaller destinations. As the roads and highways here can take you anywhere fairly quickly, many visitors to France will hire a car and leave the major cities to venture into the countryside. The wine regions of Burgundy, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, and Alsace are popular destinations, as you can see the vineyards, chateaus, castles, and historic towns intermixed with beautiful mountains, rivers, and the French countryside.
Kids will enjoy a visit to either Germany or France.
As it has a large number of activities for kids, Germany is a very family-friendly destination. Families with kids will find plenty of activities here from theme parks to historic castles to kid-friendly museums. Almost every major city has some sort of theme park or water park nearby, along with easy to reach historical castles and small towns with fun shops and activities. Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the premier castles which inspired the Disney castles, but it's just one of many. Theme parks such as Phantasialand, Europa-Park, Heide-Park, Legoland, Movie Park Germany, and more. Add on the old medieval towns with their city walls, bratwurst-filled restaurants, and interesting local museums, and the kids will get a fill of history and culture, too. Finally, the mountain ranges to the south offer unique outdoor and adventure activities that the whole family will love such as hiking, horseback riding, ropes courses, and more.
Bonn: Just outside of the town is the Haribo factory outlet store where you can pick up a number of sweet treats and spend some time exploring with the kids. Another favorite activity for the whole family is a trip to nearby Phantasialand. This is one of the best amusement parks in Germany and it has many rides for teens and younger kids alike. In town, you'll find playgrounds and kid-friendly museums. Kids will also love a visit to Schloss Drachenburg Castle.
France is one of the most popular family destinations. Plenty of activities for families and kids can be found in almost every corner of the country. The coastal areas in the south draw families for the beaches and resorts, while the mountains bring families for outdoor activities mixed with history and culture. The larger cities offer plenty of fun as well in the form of museums, theme parks, great food, and large parks.
Paris: Check out Jardin du Luxembourg, or one of the city's many playgrounds. Also grab a treat at one of the city's many patisseries. And of course, there's Disneyland Paris.
Saint-Tropez: With great beaches, several amusement parks, waterparks, and even Marineland, there are an endless supply of activities for kids. There's also a zoo and nature reserve for wildlife enthusiasts. For adventure lovers, there are a number of different watersports to try and if the weather isn't cooperating, there are a few good museums and other indoor activities as well.
Couples will find a longer list of romantic activities in France than Germany.
France makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. So many destinations in this large country are perfect for couples looking to get away on a romantic trip, or even a honeymoon. Paris is the obvious choice, as the city of lights oozes romance with fine restaurants, historic architecture, theatre productions, and hidden alleyways. But other destinations are terrific for couples as well, such as the coast, the mountains, the wine regions, and the small towns.
Paris: A city filled with romance, you really can't find a more ideal destination for a European honeymoon or a couple's getaway.
Nice: The old town is filled with romance and charm. You can also take a walk along the Promenade Des Anglais or soak up the romantic countryside that surrounds the town.
Reims: This romantic area is perfect for couples who enjoy wine and history. There is beautiful architecture as well as wine tours and breathtaking hot air balloon rides. Visiting the Champagne Houses is a must for any couple visiting the area.
La Rochelle: This beautiful coastal town is seeped in history. There are beautiful squares, romantic parks, and cobblestone streets that you can wander down. It's also nice to take a coastal walk before grabbing dinner at a local seafood restaurant.
Cannes: It's grand hotels and luxury beach clubs make this a perfect romantic destination. There are world class restaurants, a vibrant nightlife scene, and many romantic spots around town that make for a memorable honeymoon or couple's getaway.
Germany is a good country for couples to visit. Many couples seek out the smaller towns and mountain regions of Germany as romantic destinations. In Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg, the southern regions, couples can find small mountain towns along rivers and lakes with views of the Alps. Also, wineries and vineyards are popular in Germany, as the quality of the wine is matched by the beauty of the landscape and quaintness of the small towns. River cruises, ski resorts, and historic cities are also popular options. A few of the best include Heidelberg, Berchtesgaden, Dresden, Fussen (Neuschwanstein Castle), and the Black Forest.
Bamberg: Filled with scenic bridges, beautiful gardens, and historic architecture, this is a top destination for a couples getaway. You can enjoy gondola rides and fine dining on a romantic weekend away.
See also Hostels for Solo Travellers, Couples, and Groups in Cologne, Hostels in Hamburg for Solo Travellers, Couples, & Groups, and Hostels in Munich for Solo Travellers, Female Travellers, & Couples.
Most people consider Germany to be better for backpackers than France.
Backpackers come from all over to visit Germany. While this country is generally expensive, many affordable options can be found by those looking to save money. While the larger cities have hostels and other budget-friendly activities, the smaller towns also offer affordable amenities for younger travelers or those looking to plan their own route on a tight budget. Using public transit to save money is also a great way to get around, as Germany's rail system and the city's transit systems are top-notch.
Berlin: The city has no shortage of hostels to choose from, many of which organize activities and tours that guests can enjoy.
Munich: The city has many fun hostels that often host events and activities for guests. It's easy to meet other backpackers and take advantage of the nightlife around town.
France is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. It's easy to find budget accommodation in most cities and towns, although the overall in this Western European country tend to be high. But the sheer diversity of sights and destinations means that budget travelers or backpackers can find low cost food, activities, and accommodations in most places around the country.
Paris: It's a big city, so it's easy to get lost in the chaos, but there are many hostels and other backpacker hangouts around town.
Most students consider France to be the better destination than Germany.
France is a very popular country for students and younger travelers. With multiple large universities, this country hosts many students every year as both tourists and study-abroad participants. From the large cities to the small towns, it's easy to get around as a student, especially since many hostels and museums offer discounts for anyone under 26. Also, the nightlife is terrific in many of the major cities such as Paris, Lyon, and Nice.
Paris: The city is one of the most popular destinations for international and study abroad students.
Lyon: It is a very livable city with many fun cultural activities for students. There are many different entertainment options during the day, and during the evening there are plenty of places to hang out.
Montpellier: Montpellier is a popular university town that is home to many trendy university students. It's also where you'll find the youngest population of any city in France.
See also Free Things to do in Paris.
Germany is a good country to visit for students. As a large country, plenty of universities offer programs for students that come to study from countries around the world. Also, most of these universities are located in towns and cities with plenty of nightlife options and other activities for students and younger travelers.
Berlin: With it's rich culture and eclectic creative side, this city appeals to many international students. There's also a great social scene that is perfect for university students.
Munich: The city is an economic hub for both Germany and Europe, so it attracts employees from around the world. There are many wonderful university programs, including a great business school in town. The city's multicultural setting makes it great for international students.
Frankfurt: The city offers prestigious universities and a world class education. The economy offers many internships and job opportunities and you'll find students from around the world studying here. Frankfurt is also well connected to the rest of Europe, so it's easy to explore the region.
Germany and France both offer transportation to get you around.
Germany has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the country. The extensive train networks (Deutsche Bahn, among others) connects major cities, small towns, and rural areas so that everywhere is connected and accessible. And once you're in major cities such as Berlin, Cologne, and Munich, you'll find even more local public transit options. Even smaller cities and towns in Germany have their own bus and tram networks to get everyone around quickly. Furthermore, the famous autobahns of Germany can take those who wish to drive around the country quickly as well. On top of all of this, most major cities have airports with multiple international connections on a daily basis.
Is it easy to travel around Germany?
With a huge network, the transit system in France can get you around easily. The French rail system is a terrific way to move around the country quickly and easily. Most small towns are connected to the larger cities by rail, and the larger cities are connected with high-speed rail, too. The airports are also modern and efficient, and offer connections to everywhere in the world. The roads are also great for driving, too.
See also How to Visit the Loire Valley from Paris.
Is it easy to travel around France?
Both Germany and France can feel quite modern and comfortable as they both have an established tourist infrastructure.
People often come to Germany because it is such a comfortable and luxurious destination. As a prosperous and wealthy country, it's easy to relax and enjoy a trip in Germany. Every city and town has a wide range of hotel options at all price ranges with modern amenities and conveniences. You'll also find plenty of restaurants, a great transportation network within and between cities, and well-educated tour guides and staff everywhere you visit.
France is extremely comfortable for travelers as it is a modern destination with plenty of amenities. If you're looking to explore in comfort and luxury, then you'll have no trouble here. As the most visited country in the world, travelers will find a huge number of modern and luxurious hotels, along with great public transport, plenty of taxis and tour companies, and an amazing selection of restaurants and cafes. Even if you're traveling on a budget, the level of comfort and amenities in France is very high.
France generally has a more touristy vibe than Germany.
Many of tourists come to France every year, as it's an extremely popular destination. Since it's the most visited country in the world, no one should be surprised with the number of tourists around major sights and attractions, especially in the more popular areas. Paris, Lyon, the southern coastline, the wine regions, and the French Alps are all quite busy with tourists year-round. So, when visiting, you won't be alone. However, it's also not too hard to escape the crowds as this country is fairly large.
Germany is fairly touristy, with a decent number of visitors coming each year. The most popular tourist destinations in Germany can be very busy, especially during the peak seasons (usually summer). The busiest tourist areas include major cities such as Berlin and Munich, and they see many visitors at their main attractions, museums, and monuments. Also, other major tourist destinations include some of the castles in the countryside, the smaller villages in the Rhine Valley, the Alps, and the Black Forest that offer impressive beauty, the ski resorts during winter, and the various amusement parks around the country. However, the number of tourists can still be manageable at most of these locations and should not dissuade anyone from visiting.
In either Germany or France, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in France than Germany because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 7-14 days is a good amount of time for Germany, and 7-21 days is enough time in France.
Families should spend more time in France than Germany. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in France, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in France than Germany. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in France that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in France than Germany if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in France.
Germany is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.
In France, you'll find museums, theater, and adventure travel. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Most people come for the beaches. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Germany. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. With so much to do, five days is probably not enough time to see everything. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
France is a great place to explore. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, five days is probably not enough for all of it. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
Many travelers enjoy the history and culture, skiing, and nightlife when visiting the modern destination of Germany. This country offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in France. In France, you'll find adventure travel, national parks, and history and culture. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.
Many travelers enjoy the history and culture, skiing, and nightlife when visiting the beautiful destination of Germany. This country offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. If you have two weeks, this is a great place to go. With all of its activities, you can easily fill two weeks here.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in France. In France, you'll find adventure travel, national parks, and history and culture. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Two weeks is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that France has to offer.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Germany is €152, while the average daily cost in France is €233. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each country. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Germany and France in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Germany or France? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.
Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Germany:
Also for Germany, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Some typical examples of transportation costs in France are as follows:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in France:
Prices for flights to both France and Germany change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Germany:
For Germany, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in France:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in France.
For Germany, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Germany.
Here are a few typical costs in France for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Here are a few actual costs in France for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Germany from other travelers:
Also in Germany, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in France are as follows:
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in France:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Germany and France, we can see that France is more expensive. And not only is Germany much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Germany would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Germany and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in France would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in France than you might in Germany.
Although the prices aren't dramatically different, France is slightly more expensive than Germany, particularly in cities like Paris or along the coast. France's accommodation is typically more expensive, even for the most basic hostels, and restaurants tend to be a little pricier. Even transportation is a bit more expensive in France than Germany.
In addition to Paris, coastal towns in France are popular and expensive places to visit for tourists. Tourists flock to these towns, particularly during peak seasons, and drive the costs higher than you might expect.
Even so, there are still deals to be found in France. In Paris, enjoy a discount lunch that offers three small courses for a reasonable price. Head to the countryside where everything is a bit cheaper, or take a bus instead of a train, because buses prices are often more affordable.
In general, the larger cities and most popular destinations are the most expensive places to visit in both Germany and France. In France, Paris can be a bit more expensive than the countryside. Coastal areas are also quite expensive, particularly during peak travel months.
In Germany, cities like Berlin can be a bit more expensive than the countryside. In some cases though, there may only be one hostel and a few small hotels in a town, with just a few restaurants to choose. This lack of competition may drive prices up.
Travel during the shoulder season. Prices inevitably climb during the peak summer months so make sure you visit when the crowds are less.
Stay flexible. If you don't like the city you're in, or find better accommodation for a lower price, but willing to change your plans a little.
Eat in restaurants for lunch and grab a picnic dinner. In both countries, lunch prices are almost always cheaper than dinner prices. On weekdays you can also find discounted lunches that cater to businessmen. Take advantage of these deals and then head to a local market to grab some food for a picnic dinner.
Spend time walking around the city or town you're in. Don't feel like you have to visit all of the most popular sights. Instead spend some time just soaking up the city's atmosphere.
Buses are almost always cheaper than trains, so look into all of your transportation options before buying tickets.
Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.
Germany experiences four seasons with warm summers and cold winters. The mountain ranges in the south are popular with skiers, and as such see quite a bit of snow and cold temperatures in the winter. Summers can be quite warm, especially in the central regions. Spring and autumn are both very pleasant.
The weather in France is fairly predictable, as it sees four seasons. Summers are warm all over, and winters can be cold, especially in the northern areas. The southern coastal areas are not quite as cold in the winter, but they can still be a bit chilly at times. The summer, fall, and spring tend to be the busier times for travelers to visit, with summer being the peak time of year for most of the country.
France and Germany are beautiful countries to visit year around. Temperatures are most comfortable and crowds less intense during the spring and fall seasons. These shoulder seasons are good options if you don't want to pay peak prices and wish to avoid the most intense crowds. If you do plan to visit during the summer months, both France and Germany have several destinations with slightly cooler climates that might be more pleasant.
Winter is a beautiful time to visit both France and Germany. In general, prices tend to be a bit cheaper during this season, but it has become a bit more difficult to get off season discounts in recent years. Even during the cold winter months, many hotels are popular with business travelers or tour groups, which drive up prices. Deals on airline tickets can still be found during these low times. The holiday season around Christmas can also be a more expensive time to visit as vacationers head to both countries.
Both France and Germany during the summer are popular places to visit. The hiking and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Germany this time of year. Also, many travelers come to France for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.
In the summer, Berlin is around the same temperature as Paris. Typically, the summer temperatures in Berlin in July average around 19°C (66°F), and Paris averages at about 20°C (68°F).
In Paris, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Berlin. In the summer, Berlin often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Paris. Berlin gets 227 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Paris receives 241 hours of full sun.
Berlin usually gets less rain in July than Paris. Berlin gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Paris receives 58 mm (2.3 in) of rain this time of the year.
The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Germany and France. Many travelers come to Germany for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to France in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.
In October, Berlin is generally cooler than Paris. Daily temperatures in Berlin average around 10°C (50°F), and Paris fluctuates around 13°C (56°F).
Berlin usually receives less sunshine than Paris during autumn. Berlin gets 106 hours of sunny skies, while Paris receives 127 hours of full sun in the autumn.
In October, Berlin usually receives less rain than Paris. Berlin gets 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain, while Paris receives 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain each month for the autumn.
The winter brings many poeple to Germany as well as France. Many visitors come to Germany in the winter for the skiing, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to France for the skiing, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months.
Paris can be very cold during winter. Berlin can get quite cold in the winter. Berlin is much colder than Paris in the winter. The daily temperature in Berlin averages around -0°C (31°F) in January, and Paris fluctuates around 5°C (40°F).
In the winter, Berlin often gets less sunshine than Paris. Berlin gets 42 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Paris receives 62 hours of full sun.
Berlin usually gets less rain in January than Paris. Berlin gets 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Paris receives 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.
Both France and Germany are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Germany for the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to France because of the beaches and the natural beauty.
In the spring, Berlin is cooler than Paris. Typically, the spring temperatures in Berlin in April average around 9°C (47°F), and Paris averages at about 11°C (52°F).
Berlin usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Paris during spring. Berlin gets 160 hours of sunny skies, while Paris receives 172 hours of full sun in the spring.
In April, Berlin usually receives less rain than Paris. Berlin gets 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Paris receives 50 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the spring.
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||-0°C (31°F)||40 mm (1.6 in)||5°C (40°F)||55 mm (2.2 in)|
|Feb||1°C (33°F)||31 mm (1.2 in)||6°C (42°F)||45 mm (1.8 in)|
|Mar||4°C (40°F)||35 mm (1.4 in)||8°C (47°F)||52 mm (2.1 in)|
|Apr||9°C (47°F)||40 mm (1.6 in)||11°C (52°F)||50 mm (1.9 in)|
|May||14°C (57°F)||52 mm (2 in)||15°C (59°F)||62 mm (2.4 in)|
|Jun||17°C (63°F)||71 mm (2.8 in)||18°C (64°F)||53 mm (2.1 in)|
|Jul||19°C (66°F)||50 mm (2 in)||20°C (68°F)||58 mm (2.3 in)|
|Aug||18°C (65°F)||57 mm (2.2 in)||20°C (67°F)||46 mm (1.8 in)|
|Sep||15°C (59°F)||47 mm (1.9 in)||17°C (63°F)||53 mm (2.1 in)|
|Oct||10°C (50°F)||35 mm (1.4 in)||13°C (56°F)||55 mm (2.2 in)|
|Nov||5°C (41°F)||48 mm (1.9 in)||8°C (47°F)||57 mm (2.2 in)|
|Dec||2°C (35°F)||51 mm (2 in)||5°C (42°F)||55 mm (2.2 in)|
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