13 Books About Germany For Your Germany Vacation

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If you’re excitedly waiting for your trip to Germany to begin, want to know more about German food, culture, language and history, or are looking for a fun way to prepare your kids for your trip, check out these books about Germany!

Berlin Wall mural
Photo: Pixabay

#1 – Germany – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

Culture Smart! Germany offers valuable insight into the German way of life and how to be a sensitive guest while traveling there. This compact book helps travelers have a richer and more meaningful experience in Germany through a better understanding of local culture and their hosts. The tips on etiquette and communicating in this book will also help travelers navigate unfamiliar situations in Germany.

This is the cultural guide I always buy when I travel! You can get this book in paperback or on Kindle. I highly recommend bringing this book with you so you can read it before and throughout your trip.

Deutsch spelled on wooden cubes

#2 – Rick Steves German Phrase Book & Dictionary (Rick Steves Travel Guide)

If you’re not sure you’ll have a consistent connection to google translate on your phone while traveling, tuck this pocket-size phrase book in your day bag — or download the Kindle version to your phone! This pocket phrase book is an informative, concise, and practical book with German words and phrases that travelers can use in a variety of situations.

This essential travelers’ guide contains an English-German and German-English dictionary, tips for small talk and local lingo, key phrases with phonetic spelling useful for everyday circumstances, and a tear-out cheat sheet to practice the German language. Get it here in hard copy or on Kindle.

Rather use an app to learn some German? Try Duolingo! I use it to keep up my French and Spanish skills and it’s a lot of fun.

Alpine lake

#3 – National Geographic Complete National Parks of Europe: 460 Parks, Including Flora and Fauna, Historic Sites, Scenic Hiking Trails, and More

This highly rated book is a comprehensive guide for discovering Europe’s wilderness from Croatia’s coastline to Scotland’s highlands to Germany’s beautiful forests. It contains photos, maps, and tips for 460 national parks of Europe. Offering a glimpse of walking trails, thousands of species in Germany’s Bavarian forests, breathtaking tours, and much more, this book is an inspiring and informative guide that will help you experience wilderness adventure in Europe, including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. If you’re interested in nature, get this beautiful and informative book about Europe’s national parks here.

#4 – Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales

Reacquaint yourself with the legendary fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm! This edition includes the stories of Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and many more. These tales begin with the familiar “once upon a time”, but have an unexpected and enchanting ending. Get this book in hard copy or Kindle here.

Grim's Fairy Tales book on table with fruits and berries

#5 – Kids’ Travel Guide – Germany: The fun way to discover Germany – especially for kids (Kids’ Travel Guide series)

The Kids’ Travel Guide — Germany is a unique travel guide and activity book especially designed for children. This educational book is a fun and entertaining way to discover Germany’s geography, flags history, food, culture, and many more. Parents can also participate in the children’s activities to learn more about Germany. Get this book in hard copy or on Kindle here!

#6 – There Are Lots of Places to See in Germany! Geography Book for Children

This book makes studying the geography of Germany fun for children. This books’ combination of easy-to-read texts and vibrant images will help your child increase their understanding of Germany’s geography and get excited about your upcoming trip. You can get this book in hard copy or Kindle here.

#8 – Berlin & Wanderlust: An Adult Coloring Book

This paperback book offers a collection of coloring patterns featuring Berlin. It’s perfect for relaxation and stress relief while getting ready for your big trip to Germany. The original designs have two copies, for two chances to color. Get this adult coloring book here!

People toasting with wine glasses

#9 – The Wines of Germany

If you’re interested in German wine, this is the book for you! The author explores 13 wine regions, as well as German wine laws. Get this book in hard copy or Kindle here!

#11 – Beyond Bratwurst: A History of Food in Germany

This book explores German food through the lens of culture, geography, and traditions. If you’d like to know more about food and drink like beer, bread, Stollen, and Lebkuchen, get this book in hard copy or on Kindle!

German sausage on bread with mustard

#10 – A Concise History of Germany

If you’re looking for a book about German history from the early middle ages to the early 2000s, this is a good one. I read this book back in college! Whether you read it before or after your trip to Germany, you can get the paperback version here.

German Christmas market

#12 – A Very German Christmas: The Greatest Austrian, Swiss and German Holiday Stories of All Time

This book is a collection of traditional and contemporary holiday stories from Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. It contains classic works by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Rainer Maria Rilke, Thomas Mann and Arthur Schnitzler, as well as more recent tales by writers like Heinrich Böll, Peter Stamm and Martin Suter. You can get this book in hard copy or on Kindle here.

#13 – Short Stories in German for Beginners: Read for pleasure at your level, expand your vocabulary and learn German the fun way!

Want to practice your German before your trip to Germany? This collection of eight German short stories is written for young and adult learners who’d like to practice their beginner to intermediate German language skills by reading science fiction, crime, history, and thrillers. You can get a hard copy, audio copy or Kindle copy of this book here!

Image of 13 Books About Germany guide

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Here’s how we can help you plan your perfect trip in 2024

GERMANY TRAVEL PLANNER: Just getting started? Have questions about Germany’s confusing train tickets or how to find the best guided tours? Not sure which parts of Germany should be in your itinerary (and what to leave out)? Our Germany Travel Planner answers those questions and more via how-to videos, our interactive Germany Planning Map, City Cheatsheets, and MUCH more. Click here to unlock the best of Germany the easy way!

GERMANY TRAVEL CONSULT: Feeling overwhelmed? Itinerary just not coming together? Wonder if a few tweaks would take your trip to the next level? Book a Mini or Full consult with Cate! She’ll help you create or tweak your itinerary, recommend train tickets/passes, hotels, things to do, guided tours, show you how to buy train tickets, orient you to specific cities, help you plan out day trips, and answer your Germany travel questions.

ACCOMMODATIONS: We recommend using Booking.com since they have widest range of accommodations available from hostels, boutique hotels, luxury chains, aparthotels, at the best prices. Check out our accommodation guides for specific recommended hotels.

WHAT TO PACK: If you’re bringing your phone, be sure to bring this plug adapter, this power bank, and this wrist strap. They’ve been lifesavers for us! You can see our other packing essentials here and here.

TICKETS & TOURS: For guided tours, day trips, private tours, and skip-the-line tickets, Get Your Guide is our go-to!

TRAINS & BUSES: To research train schedules and buy tickets or a Germany Rail Pass, we recommend the official Deutsche Bahn (German Rail System) website (and download their DB Navigator app). For buses, look at FlixBus , which offers tickets for routes within Germany and to other European countries. FlixBus is often cheaper than trains but can take longer.

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