Sunday, August 7, 2022

Destinations in Germany

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Regions in Germany

Germany is a federal republic consisting of 16 states (called Bundesländer). Three of these federal states are actually city states: Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg. The federal states can be roughly grouped by geographical areas as shown below, although other groupings exist. For a long time, the division between North and South was most noticeable, but due to the legacy of the Cold War, the division between East and West is now more pronounced.

  • Northern Germany (Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein)
    Windswept hills and popular holiday destinations on the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts
  • Western Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland).
    Wine country and modern cities, strongly characterised by the breathtaking valleys of the Middle Rhine and Moselle.
  • Central Germany (Hesse, Thuringia)
    The green heart of Germany, with some of the most important historical and economic cities and the old Thuringian Forest.
  • Eastern Germany (Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt).
    The eccentric and historic capital Berlin and the reconstruction of the historic city of Dresden, “Florence on the Elbe”.
  • Southern Germany (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria)
    The Black Forest, the Alps and the Oktoberfest. Lederhosen Germany, Dirndls, postcard views and high-tech companies.

Cities in Germany

Germany has many interesting cities for visitors; here are just nine of the most famous destinations. These are mainly the major cities in Germany. Some, like Berlin and Hamburg, stand like urban islands in a more rural landscape, others, like Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, are part of conurbations with other cities.

  • Berlin – The reunited and revitalised German capital, famously divided by the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. Today it is a metropolis of diversity with some of the best clubs, shops, galleries and restaurants in the world. Because of its long history as a divided city, Berlin also has more opera houses and museums per capita than most other places in the world. The Potsdam suburb with its royal palaces and gardens is a place not to be missed when visiting Berlin.
  • Bremen – One of the most important cities in Northern Germany, the Old Market, the Schnoor, the Böttcherstrasse, the quarter and the maritime flair of Bremen and its harbour Bremerhaven (which together form the state of Bremen, the smallest state by size and population) are a great city experience.
  • Cologne – founded 2000 years ago by the Romans and known for its huge cathedral (the second largest in the world), Romanesque churches, archaeological sites and lively old town district. Cologne Carnival is a major event that takes place around February.
  • Dresden – Formerly called Florence on the Elbe, the Frauenkirche (the most beautiful Baroque cathedral outside Italy, destroyed in the war and rebuilt from 1994 to 2005) and the reconstructed historic Old Town, also destroyed in the war. The Zwinger and Residenzschloss museums are unique in the world.
  • Düsseldorf – Germany’s shopping capital, which also presents a great variety of fascinating new architecture. There is a lively nightlife in the old town and on the banks of the Rhine.
  • Frankfurt – magnificent skyline, Europe’s financial and transport centre, home to the European Central Bank (ECB) and a major trade fair. Small reconstructed centre with half-timbered houses, important museums and galleries around the Museumsufer such as the Schirn Kunsthalle, the Städel and the Senckenberg Naturmuseum.
  • Hamburg – the second largest city in Germany, with a metropolitan character surpassed only by Berlin, famous for its harbour as well as its liberal culture. Don’t miss the lively nightlife around St. Pauli with the Reeperbahn and its nightclubs and entertainment venues. Historically one of the Hanseatic cities and then a leading shopping centre, it is still one of Germany’s three “city states”, i.e. a city that is its own federal state.
  • Munich – The beautiful capital of Bavaria, whose motto is “cosmopolitan city with a heart”, the site of the famous Oktoberfest, the Hofbräuhaus, numerous beer gardens and the Alpine Gate.
  • Nuremberg – former imperial city with a medieval touch, whose old town was partially rebuilt after the heavy bombing of the Second World War, including the Gothic Kaiserburg and the main churches. You can also visit the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, the Documentation Centre and Courtroom 600 (site of the Nuremberg war crimes trials).

Other destinations in Germany

  • Baltic coast – kilometres of sandy beaches and seaside resorts with picturesque islands such as Rügen (Germany’s largest island), Hiddensee and Usedom.
  • Bavarian Alps – the famous Neuschwanstein Castle and the best skiing and snowboarding areas in Germany. Endless hikes and mountain bike tours
  • The Black Forest – a region with wide mountain peaks and panoramic views; a paradise for tourists and hikers.
  • East Frisian Islands – twelve islands in the Wadden Sea; Borkum is the largest island in terms of area and population
  • Franconian Switzerland – one of the oldest tourist destinations in Germany, named after the Romantic artists of the early 19th century who said the landscapes had the aesthetic beauty of Switzerland.
  • The Harz Mountains – a low mountain range in the central low mountain range of Germany, famous for its historic silver mines and the picturesque towns of Quedlinburg, Goslar and Wernigerode.
  • Lake Constance – a beautiful corner of Central Europe; it offers visitors water sports and beautiful towns and villages to see
  • Middle Rhine Valley – the part of the Rhine between Bingen/Rüdesheim and Koblenz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the valley is famous for its wines
  • North Frisian Islands – quiet islands with seaside resorts on the North Sea coast, especially Sylt is known for its famous guests and unspoilt landscape

How To Travel To Germany

By plane Major airports and airlines The main airports are Frankfurt (IATA: FRA), Munich (IATA: MUC) and Düsseldorf (IATA: DUS). Berlin-Tegel (IATA: TXL), Cologne (IATA: CGN), Hamburg (IATA: HAM) and Stuttgart (IATA: STR) also have numerous international flights. Frankfurt is the main German hub (and also one of the main European...

How To Travel Around Germany

German transport works with German efficiency, and it's a breeze to get around the country - although you have to pay a high price for top speed (especially if you don't buy your tickets in advance). By far the most popular options are car hire or train travel. If...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Germany

Germany is a member of the Schengen Agreement. There are normally no border controls between the countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. This includes most countries of the European Union and a few other countries.Before boarding an international flight or ship, there is usually an identity check. Sometimes...

Weather & Climate in Germany

The majority of Germany is characterised by a moderate seasonal climate that is dominated by humid western winds. The country lies between the oceanic western European climate and the continental eastern European climate. The climate is tempered by the North Atlantic Drift, the northern extension of the Gulf Stream....

Accommodation & Hotels in Germany

Germany offers almost all types of accommodation, including hotels, guesthouses, youth hostels and camping. You can also consider staying with members of a hospitality exchange network. German mattresses tend to be firmer than American and Japanese mattresses. Bedding is usually simple: one sheet to cover the mattress, one duvet per...

Things To See in Germany

Cultural and historical attractions When one thinks of Germany, beer, lederhosen and alpine hats quickly come to mind, but these stereotypes mainly refer to Bavarian culture and do not represent Germany as a whole. Germany is a large and diverse country, with 16 culturally unique states that have only formed...

Things To Do in Germany

Germany offers a great variety of cultural and sporting activities. Many Germans are members of a sports club. Sport Germany is passionate about football and the GermanFootball Association (DFB) is the largest football association in the world with 6.35 million members (8% of the German population) in more than 25,000 clubs....

Money & Shopping in Germany

Currency in Germany Germany uses the euro. It is one of the many European countries that use this common currency. All euro banknotes and coins are legal tender in all countries. One euro is divided into 100 cents. The official symbol of the euro is € and its ISO code is EUR....

Food & Drinks in Germany

Food in Germany How to get a service In more expensive restaurants, it is more likely that a waiter will accompany you to the entrance and show you to a table. If you get a table, it's yours until you leave. There is no need to rush. Even in country restaurants and...

Festivals & Holidays in Germany

Public holidays in Germany According to the law, "Sundays and public holidays remain protected as days of rest from work and of spiritual upliftment" (Art. 139 WRV, part of the Basic Law via Art. 140 GG). Thus, all Sundays are holidays in a sense - but they are not generally...

Traditions & Customs in Germany

Culture Germans have a reputation for being rigid and strict with the rules, but also for being hard working and efficient. If you are caught breaking the rules, someone will easily point it out to you. The main exception in Germany seems to be the speed limits. More importantly, the German...

Internet & Communications in Germany

Phone The international dialling code for Germany is 49, the dialling code for international calls is 00, the dialling code for local calls is 0. Some number blocks are reserved for a special purpose: Numbers beginning with 010xx allow you to dial another phone provider (see below), 0800 and 00800...

Language & Phrasebook in Germany

The official language in Germany is German (Deutsch). The standard form of German is called "Hochdeutsch". It is understood by everyone and spoken by almost all Germans. However, each region has its own dialects, which can be a problem even for those who speak German well, even for native...

Culture Of Germany

The culture of the German states was shaped by the great intellectual and popular currents in Europe, both religious and secular. Historically, Germany has been called "The Land of Poets and Thinkers" because its writers and philosophers played an important role in the development of Western thought. Germany is known...

History Of Germany

The discovery of the lower jaw of Wall 1 shows that prehistoric man was already present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons in the world were found in a coal mine in Schöningen, where three 380,000-year-old wooden spears were unearthed. The very first...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Germany

Stay safe in Germany Germany is a very safe country. The crime rate is low and the rule of law is strictly enforced. Violent crimes (murder, robbery, rape, assault) are very rare compared to most countries. For example, the murder rate in 2010 was 0.86 cases per 100,000 population, much lower...

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