Are you planning a trip to Germany? Make sure you go in the fall! The air is crisp and festival season is in full swing! Find out all the BEST places to visit in Germany in fall.
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Welcome to our series on the Seasons of Germany! We have regaled you with where you should go in summer, spring, and winter, and now we’d like to conclude with our favorite German season of all….Autumn!
Why do we love this season so much? We love the crisp, cool air. We love how the farmers will bring their cows home from the Alps. We love the harvest festivals, like the Pumpkin Fest and the world-famous Oktoberfest. There’s just so much to love about fall in Germany. Don’t just take our word for it, check out what these experienced travel bloggers say!
In this article we’ve listed out the most gorgeous cities and places to go in the country of Germany during the fall season:
Rothenburg ob. Tauber
The Romantic Road
The Teutoburger Wald
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
by Arzo of Arzo Travels
There are beautiful little towns in Germany and then there is Rothenburg ob der Tauber – probably the most beautiful one in Germany. This fairy tale town is probably great to visit all year round – but fall might be the best time to visit as the “crowds of tourists” have left but it might be warm enough for some lovely strolls.
This is in particular great as some places are so pretty and small (like walking the Rothenburg wall which can be quite narrow at some points) that other people would just be annoying. And there are many reasons to stroll this beautiful town in Bavaria – the most colorful houses wait for you to be photographed (including the most famous building, the Plönlein) and some parks with great views invite you to relax.
The Weihnachtsdorf- the Christmas Village – which is open all year, is perfect to get you in the mood for Christmas.
by Christine of Christine Abroad
Burg Eltz is one of the many fairytale castles in Germany. It’s almost as famous as Neuschwanstein Castle, especially in recent years due to the castle going viral from time to time in social media, especially on Instagram.
It has become an Insta Famous spot, and for a good reason. The Eltz Castle is absolutely stunning, and is also one of the only German castles that didn’t get destroyed from wars. It has basically been the same with some added buildings since they started to build it 33 generations ago.
And it doesn’t matter which season you go, it’s always beautiful and the landscape and views are fantastic. Because unlike other castles that are often on the top of hills, the Eltz Castle is beautifully situated in the Eltz Valley, surrounded by forest and rivers.
But autumn is of course spectacular due to the changing colors, also known as the foliage season. You will also avoid a lot of the crowds who come here during the summer months.
To get here it’s best to rent a car, but if you go on weekends, you can also take the Burgenbus 330, or simply walk from the trains station of Hatzenport. It takes around 80 minutes and is about 5.3 kilometers. You can also go by taxi or rent a bike.
The Entrance fee is 10 Euro per adult if you want to go inside the castle. Then you also get the guided tour. If not, you can just look at the castle from the outside as it’s just as spectacular and worth a visit.
by Alex of Swedish Nomad
Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the dreamiest castles one can visit in the world. It has everything one could ever dream of from a castle, and that’s perhaps also why Walt Disney got inspired by this place when creating the Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland. It’s easy to see the similarities, and it’s truly a place for those who likes to visit castles and palaces.
Autumn might just be the best time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle as it’s not as crowded, and the weather is still quite nice. The summer months here are crazy with more than hundreds of thousands visitors from all over the world.
This place is quite small, even though the tourism is well-developed, but it’s best enjoyed without the crowds. And that’s also how King Ludwig II of Bavaria wanted this place to be. He didn’t built it for others to admire, he solely built it for himself with no desire to share it with others.
It’s easy to get here from nearby cities such as Munich or Innsbruck, and there are plenty of tours to join if you don’t want to take the train or rent a car.
NOTE: the only way to get inside the castle is to buy a ticket at the visitor center in Hohenschwangau, these are available to reserve online or buy the same day of your visit. It is highly recommended as it’s necessary to join a guided castle tour in order to walk around inside Neuschwanstein.
Also, no photographs are allowed inside. Once you join the guided tour, you will also get headphones where you can hear the guide talk. There are several languages available for guided tours, but the most common ones are English and German.
I recommend that you stay overnight in the village in order to get here early in the morning. In that way, you can also enjoy the Marienbrücke without the crowds.
The nearby Hohenschwangau Castle is also worth a visit as well as the Museum of the Bavarian Kings, if you want to learn more about the history and rulers.
by David of Travel with Little One
Fall is one of the best times of year to visit Berlin, the capital of Germany. The weather’s not as good as in summer, but the shorter days mean you have longer evenings enjoying the city’s nightlife. It’s also considerably warmer than during the winter, when Berlin can get bitterly cold.
Berlin normally gets a good share of fall colors. It has plenty of parks which are great for autumn walks, including the Tiergarten, just to the west of the Brandenburg Gate. Further west, there’s also Schlosspark Charlottenburg, Tempelhof, and outside the city there’s the Grunewald Forest, which has more beautiful walks and bike ride routes.
The beauty of Berlin during fall is that if the weather is poor there is so much to do indoors. Berlin has so many great museums. Several are concentrated on Museumsinsel – Museum Island – in the middle of the Spree River. There’s also the DDR Museum, which explores everyday life in the old East Germany – this is across the river from the city’s Cathedral, the Berliner Dom.
Check out David’s website.
by Maria of Europe Up Close
Munich is a fabulous city to visit in the Fall. Why you might ask? Well, it is Octoberfest time of course. Starting in the Middle of September and lasting into the first few days of October, Munich turns into the city of Beer – even more than so during other times of the year.
Octoberfest time in Munich is special and a lot of fun, if this is why you came to the city for. A visit to Octoberfest is a great way to get to know Bavarian culture firsthand and mingle with tourists and locals alike.
However, if for whatever reason you don’t plan on visiting Octoberfest, you should avoid Munich during that time at all cost. Hotels are extremely expensive and booked out months in advance, and you run into hoards of, slightly or not so slightly, intoxicated people on the streets of Munich.
But Octoberfest is not the only reason why Munich is a great fall destination. The days are crisp, the air feels fresh, and if you are lucky, you get splendid blue skies and gorgeous views of colorful trees in their yellow, red, and orange dresses. Enjoy the English Garden or head outside of Munich for a day trip and explore the mountains, castles, and lakes of Bavaria, like Konigssee.
by Punita of 100 Cobbled Roads
Munich is the perfect base to explore Ludwig’s fairytale castle, Linderhof Palace, which is just an hour drive through the stunning Romantic Road. Easily one of the most spectacular drives in the world takes you neck-deep into the glory of the stunning Bavarian countryside, where delightful towns and picturesque villages dotting the greenest of green landscapes.
Autumn makes the route and the destination explode with colours. The palace experience starts with a long walk through expansive gardens dotted with lakes and streams. You can literally count each shade of yellow, orange, rust and red. In the middle of this fall paradise, the Linderhof palace stands surrounded by baroque gardens, terraces and waterfall cascades.
The Italian Renaissance architecture of the palace complements the fiery autumn colours of the landscape perfectly. Statues and urns decorate the area. The most fascinating element is the terraced hillock leading to a small pillared temple dedicated to Venus.
Nature lovers can spend hours exploring the vast gardens spread for miles all around. History and art enthusiasts can tour the small palace to learn more about the mix of rococo, baroque, renaissance and classical styles on display. One is reminded of Versailles…not a coincidence since Ludwig was a great fan of French architecture and French royalty.
by Bruna of Maps n Bags
Striking architecture, a selection of excellent museums, and cozy cafes to have a cold beer: Dresden is one of the best places to visit in Germany, especially in the fall because it gains a whole new palette of warm colors.
The Zwinger Palace, inspired by Versailles, is particularly charming with its well-cared inner garden and highly detailed gates. This complex houses a few museums and a cafe on the balcony, which by the way has a perfect view over the garden.
Dresden was almost completely destroyed during WW2, like other German cities, this is why you can see a piece of ruin near the Frauenkirche. This church had to be reconstructed and today it’s the city’s gem. Go inside to see the pastel-colored dome (it’s free).
Besides the places mentioned above, don’t miss the Semperoper (Opera House), a colossal Eclecticism building near the River Elbe which had to be reconstructed a couple of times due to fire and the bombing of Dresden. Also, spend some time in a cozy cafe in the Neumarkt (New Square) while observing the distinctive details of the Frauenkirche.
If you’re staying in Berlin or Leipzig, know that Dresden is a perfect day trip from those places and you can easily visit the attractions in the city center in one day.
by Gábor of Surfing the Planet
If you look for a fairy-tale town to visit this fall in Germany, there’s hardly be a better choice than Heidelberg. On the banks of the Neckar River you will discover one of the most romantic places to visit in Germany with its gorgeous landscape and charming old town.
The main highlight to visit in Heidelberg is the fabulous hilltop castle from the 15th century, and although the castle has been partially destroyed in the 19th century during the 9-year war with the French, it’s still an impressive landmark and an amazing viewpoint.
The Old Town of Heidelberg has several sights you can’t miss. The Old Stone Bridge is one of the most beautiful medieval constructions of this type in Europe, and there are several picturesque squares such as Marktplatz or Karlsplatz, where you can sit down at the terrace of some of the local restaurants to enjoy the vibe of a town full of students.
Finally, if you want to breathe in the intellectual spirit of Heidelberg, the best you can do is to walk on the Philosopher’s Way, a small trail on the hillside. This is where once Goethe, Hegel or Schumann walked and got inspiration while enjoying the amazing views.
Heidelberg is easily accessible by train from either Frankfurt or directly from Frankfurt Airport.
by Erin of Oregon Girl Around the World
An idyllic island nestled off the northeastern coast of Germany, Rügen is a belle of the brilliant Baltic Sea. Popular in summer, this island offers long stretches of sugar fine sand glittering below boardwalks in charming beach resort towns, like Binz. But let the summer crowds head home because fall is a beautiful season and offers many reasons to explore Rügen.
Situated in the Mecklenburg-West Pomeranian region of Germany, Rügen wears autumn’s wardrobe well. Brilliant white chalk cliffs on the easternmost shore at Jasmund National Park near Sassnitz gleam against the russets and golds and coppers clinging to the trees on your descent down to the beach. The blue Baltic shimmers and swells against autumn’s display and offers swoon-worthy imagery.
Bring your camera! And stamina. It is 412 steps down to the beach from the bus drop off at The King’s Seat, or Königsstuhl. Jasmund Nationalpark is the smallest in Germany at only thirty square kilometers. But with hiking paths that wind through UNESCO rated primeval beech forests, the color here come autumn is awesome.
Fall also brings opportunities for exposure to wildlife on Rügen. The island offers sanctuary to migrating cranes flying south for the winter. Between 25,000-60,000 of these majestic fowl can be found resting in fields throughout fall. Exploring outside around Rügen, you might also find otters, swans, eagles and falcons this season.
For tasty eats, head to the harbor in Sassnitz for fresh fischbrötchen right off the boats. These yummy sandwiches are made in crusty white bread rolls filled with – you guessed it – fish. The sandwiches are small enough to try a few or share. Fillings can include locally caught eel, mackerel, crab and can be prepared smoked or fried. A tasty and delicious dish after a fall tour of this pretty island.
by Kristin of Be My Travel Muse
Rakotzbrücke, better known as the Devil’s Bridge, is a storybook bridge that forms a perfect circle from just about any angle, reflecting on the water below like a mirror. The rocks used in the construction seem to stretch right out from hell.
No wonder it’s called the Devils Bridge – the jagged shapes, covered in green moss, create an eerie beauty. If you are a lover of all things strange and unique, be sure to make a trip to Saxony for it.
The easiest and fastest way to get to this bridge is to drive there. You may also take the train to Weißwasser, then take Bus 257 to Kromlau, Gablenz, and walk from there about 1km to the bridge.
This bridge is probably super cool at any time of year, but nothing can compare to the gorgeous fall foliage. It is also the perfect time to visit, as the area isn’t as crowded as in the summertime, and the window of time when it looks good in winter could be very short.
It is important to note that you cannot actually walk across this bridge anymore. In order to preserve it, there are fences around the entrances and signs urging people not to walk across.
If you have seen photos of people jumping or walking on the bridge, either they snuck in and disrespected the rules, or they Photoshopped themselves in. I think for the most part it is the latter.
Check out the website.
by Gloria of Nomadicchica
The Black Forest is one of the most beautiful places to visit during the whole year, but specially in Fall the colors of the trees change so much that turns this into a live spectacle. The Black Forest, or Schwarzwälder Schinken in German, is the region located on the East side of the border with France and the Rhine river.
It’s one of the most visited areas in Germany for good reasons, known not only for its beautiful mountains with dense forests and panoramic views, but also traditional villages making you feel you are walking into a fairy-tale town.
The houses are mainly wooden and hand-painted walls with flowers in their windows and chalets, decorated with cute figures changing every season.
The region is worldwide famous for producing the famous cuckoo clocks since the 1700s. You can find vineyards and several spas around the Baden-Württemberg region.
Considering Germany being mostly a flat land, one of the must do in this region is walking in the mountain range of the Black Forest, and for this there are several trekking routes with different intensity levels.
Perfect for organizing day trips to explore the area walking in nature and experiencing the calm life of the region finishing your hike with a glass of wine or a slice the delicious Black Forest cake, that will taste here way better than you ever tried overseas.
by Barbara of Barbaralicious
Frankfurt is a great city to visit in Germany – no matter what time of the year. But fall is a special season. Here is why: when the sun is flooding the streets with golden light, I can’t help but stand in awe.
Now, imagine going up the Main Tower, a 200 meters-high building, which gives you a spectacular 360 degree view over the city. Or feeling the warmth of the sunlight on your face, while sitting at the Römer, the square next to the Town Hall, and marvel at the medieval buildings, which are the heart of the Old Town.
When the trees are bursting in myriads of shades of red, yellow, and orange, wander along the river Main and have an amazing view of the skyline. Take a photo at the Eiserner Steg (Iron Footbridge) and easily switch between the two sides of the city: the historic center on the northern bank of the river and Sachsenhausen on the southern bank.
Sachsenhausen is the ideal place to get some local food by the way! After your stroll, don’t miss out on Frankfurter Grüne Sauce, a delicious cold sauce of herbs and cream.
Frankfurt is a beautiful city but if you like nature and less busy places, you should absolutely check out the surroundings. Into archeology? Drive to the Saalburg, a reconstructed Roman fort, and immerse yourself in the life of the Roman soldiers.
Enjoy hiking? The Grosser Feldberg (German for “Big Field Mountain”), is the highest peak of the mountain chain Taunus with around 880 meters. Follow the trails and get 100% nature feeling although you’re still super close to the city. And when you make it to the top you will be rewarded with an amazing view.
Want to treat yourself nicely? Make a daytrip to Bad Homburg! The word Bad in German names of cities means that it’s a place known for their thermal baths. In Bad Homburg, you can therefore enjoy history, architecture, beautiful parks AND the spas. If that’s not a great deal I don’t know what is.
by Maria and Rui of Two Find a Way
Small town charm with large city qualities is the mix that makes Augsburg so unique and wonderful to visit. Known for its Renaissance style and complex canal structure (there are over 600 bridges around the center), this beautiful university town is less than an hour away from Munich and very well connected to the rest of Germany.
Augsburg is the third largest city in Bavaria and part of the famous Romantic Road, so not at all a hidden gem, but it still feels very much unspoiled by excessive tourism. Lines are rare, crowds are few and overall the city still feels very much true to itself.
We’ve stayed in the city a few times to visit family living there, so we got to experience a bit of local life. There are plenty of activities going own and attractions to visit. Augsburg is historically famous as the home of two very influential German families, which means there’s no shortage of palaces to marvel at!
Fall is a wonderful time to visit and enjoy the slow pace and Autumn foliage. The days are still relatively long, compared to the Winter time, and the weather is still very much bearable.
One of our favorite places in the city, the Augsburg Western Woods Nature Park, is especially magical in this season! We could honestly spend hours wandering around the park, riding a bike and just taking in all the beauty it has to offer.
In this area you can also find the Botanical Garden, which houses over three thousand different species and the most beautiful Japanese Garden we’ve seen in Europe.
Check out the TwoFindAway website.
by Sophie of Solo Sophie
Düsseldorf is a vibrant German city and can be found lying alongside the River Rhine in Western Germany. The capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, highlights of this city include drinking beer in the old town, where the ‘longest bar in the world’ can be found.
It’s called this thanks to the number of micro-breweries and bars in a small area. Other things to do in Dusseldorf include relaxing in the many green spaces throughout the city, and wandering around the Media Harbour (Medienhafen).
Good to visit all year round; in the spring there’s the blossom, in the summer there’s great weather, while the winter welcomes snow. However, thanks to all the fall foliage and the sheer number of museum and gallery openings, the best time to visit Düsseldorf is probably in the fall!
For those who wish to see the fall leaves, the best way to capture the beauty of autumn is to head to the historic suburb of Kaiserswerth. Home to a 12th-century castle which was commissioned by Barbarossa, it was also in Kaiserswerth where Florence Nightingale worked.
Elsewhere in the city be sure to keep your eyes peeled because beautiful fall leaves can be found around pretty much every turn!
by Anna of My Travel Scrapbook
My favorite city in Germany is the beautiful Baroque city of Dresden in the east. Whilst Dresden is a perfect place to visit in autumn hop on a train and head south for 40 minutes. The city is incredibly lucky to be so close to a gorgeous national park.
Just a short day trip from Dresden, the Sächsische Schweiz is a national park which lies just upstream of the mighty Elbe River. This national park is a truly magical place. The Sächsische Schweiz boasts huge towers of stone, medieval stone bridges, scary caves, incredible hikes and breath-taking views.
You are spoilt for choice when deciding which part of the national park to visit. Catch the train from the city and hop off one of the many stops dotted along the river in the park. There are little ferries to transport you across the Elbe if you wish to hike on the eastern side.
Autumn is one of the best seasons to visit the Sächsische Schweiz. At this time of year, it is not as hot as the sunny summers nor as icy as the snowy winters. Perfect temperatures await you along with dramatic sunsets, not to mention watching the forests turn red, orange and yellow.
See the spectacular Bastei bridge surrounded by orange foliage. Tackle a wilder hike up via ferreta stairs in the pleasant temperatures. Enjoy the sound of the leaves crunching beneath your hiking boots and enjoy the fresh breeze tickle your skin.
You could even unleash your inner artist as you follow the painter’s trail, the Malerweg, to see the views that captured the imaginations of romanticist artists. Whichever path you choose in autumn, you will not be disappointed.
by Sherrie of Travel by A Sherrie Affair
With so many beautiful and rich colors available for your viewing free of charge, fall is my favorite time of year. Germany’s Black Forest as you can imagine has a wonderful display.
Last fall we were able to take a trip to my ancestor’s city of Baden Baden. I must admit seeing the foliage was second to my reasons for visiting Baden Baden, however the colors made the experience even more special.
Our holiday began the 2nd week in October, so we were able to see the beginning of the fall season. We made our way from Frankfurt airport to Baden Baden in an hour and a half, a very easy and enjoyable ride.
A fairy tale like city, located in the Black Forest, we stayed at the famous Brenner’s Park Hotel & Spa with a balcony overlooking the The Lichtenaler Allee. The Lichtenaler Allee is Baden Baden’s park that is known all over Europe as one of the most beautiful parks- it does not disappoint. With so many tree’s, fountains and statues you can just imagine how spectacular the fall season can be here!
Just imagine having your morning cup of coffee with the view in this photo or taking a lovely relaxing stroll through the park. It is no wonder my husband and I would love to return once again in the fall season.
by Kylie of Our Overseas Adventures
Oberammergau is the cutest small town in Bavaria, Germany that is perfect to visit during Fall. Located in the heart of the Bavarian Alps, it’s surrounded by stunning mountains and beautiful trees that provide a wonderful display of color.
The temperature will be just right for exploring the quaint streets full of beautiful buildings, many that are all decorated with hand-painted murals and frescos known as Lüftlmalerei. A speciality of the town includes woodcarving and there are plenty of gorgeous shops with amazing carvings on display and available to purchase.
The town is also famous for its Passion Play which was first performed in 1634. The play came about as a vow the villagers made with God to perform a play depicting the life of Jesus every 10 years if they were spared the effects of the bubonic plague. It apparently worked, and since then on every year ending in a zero, the play is performed (so start planning early!)
Over 2,000 actors, singers and musicians take part in the play with many of them residing in Oberammergau. If you’re visiting outside of when the Passion Play is performed, you can still visit the theatre where it takes place and for a small fee visit the museum which has details of many of the past plays performed and costumes displayed.
Finally to get into an early Christmas spirit, be sure to visit the Käthe Wohlfahrt store, which is right sells wonderful German-themed Christmas decorations.
Don’t forget to check out Kylie’s website.
The Romantic Road
by Adam and Hannah of Getting Stamped
Germany is a country we keep going back, there are so many amazing places to visit. We’ve visited during summer, winter, and fall season. Our favorite time to visit Germany is in the fall and for many reasons. The most appealing is the prices and fewer crowds but the weather and the leaves changing makes it so beautiful.
On our last trip we rented a car for the week a drove Germany’s Romantic Road visiting some of the cutest German towns and of course a few castles too. We loved staying in cute little guesthouses in small quintessential German towns where we got to chat with the locals and hear about life in Germany. Skip the hotels and opt for staying with locals when you can.
Some of our favorite towns on the Romantic Road were Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dinkelsbühl, and Füssen. A trip down the Romantic Road wouldn’t be complete without visiting the famous Neuschwanstein fairytale castle.
*Make sure to purchase your tickets the day in advance they sell out during high season. However, if you visit during the fall you shouldn’t have a problem at all. Make sure to leave time in your day every day for those random stops that aren’t on the route, we found ourselves on several detours wishing we could stay the night.
by Sonal of Drifter Planet
Teutoburger Wald or Teutoburg Forest is a hilly forest in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony states. The epic historical battle of Teutoburg is believed to be fought here. In Autumn, one can see many shades of reds, yellows, and browns in the forest right before the leaves start shedding.
The forest also has water bodies and the foliage reflection looks spectacular in the water. The view of the beechwood foliage is especially lovely from the Velmerstot and Dorenberg hills.
One particular part of Teutoburger Wald that stands out is the Externsteine that’s located on the North East slope of the forest. It is a strange looking yet beautiful rock formation that is a sacred site of the pagan Saxons.
It gets even more interesting because there are little caves in it. There is a pond right next to it and one can see the reflection of the rocks on the water. It is possible to go on top of the Externsteine for a fee and enjoy the view.
The best way to enjoy the Teutoburg forest is on a bicycle because there are many cycling and hiking trails. Do bring a mat here and a little food so that you can enjoy a little picnic next to one of the many waterbodies in Teutoburger Wald.
Check out Sonal’s website.
by Noel of Travel Photo Discovery
Potsdam is just a short train ride from Central Berlin but such an amazing Unesco site to visit. Once the home to the Prussian Kings, the entire city is filled with fantastic castles, royal gardens and parks and a historic central district to explore.
All the royal palaces are worth visiting and you can easily spend the entire day visiting the ornate palaces and royal residences of the German kings who ruled and showed off their prestige and power to the world with their stunning palaces.
If you have a short timeframe to visit check out Sanssouci and the Neues Palais envisioned by Frederick the Great to show off his wealth and power to the rest of the world. Make sure that you visit the royal gardens adjoining the palaces are also spectacular to visit and walk around the splendid garden rooms especially in the springtime when the gardens are filled with glorious colors from annuals and other spring flowers. Check out my visit of Potsdam tour here for more details and images to visiting the area.
by Sarah of Travel Breathe Repeat
Freiburg is a beautiful German city that should definitely be on your list to visit in any season, but it’s especially lovely during fall. It’s located in the southwest of the country near the French border and is often referred to as the gateway to the Black Forest.
It’s surrounded by beautiful nature, and you don’t have to venture too far to see it. In the center of the city is Schlossberg, a once fortified hill. You can hike up it or take a funicular, and once there you’ll have really nice views of the city and access to even more trails.
During the fall, your view and walks will be accented by the red and gold and brown leaves. Freiburg is also known as the sunniest city in Germany, so even if there’s a delightful chill to the air, it will hardly be dreary. In addition to access to the great outdoors, Freiburg had a lot to offer in the city itself as well, including a charming Old Town and very unique canals.
As a university town – youthful and always buzzing – it’s definitely a fun place to be. And due to its proximity to the Alsatian region of France, the food is fabulous. It’s especially known for one of our favorite foods: Flammkuchen – a most delicate, delectable version of pizza. You can read more about Freiburg here.
Wow! Are you ready to start planning your trip to Germany in the fall?
Author Bio: Jim Vail, is a travel, food, and video creator and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 15 years. For many years he lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands, and he’s visited over 90 countries.