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The largest country in Central Europe and most populous EU state is Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany . It's bordered to the north by Denmark, to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic, to the south by Austria and Switzerland, and to the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. Germany is a federation of 16 states, roughly corresponding to regions with their own distinct and unique cultures. Germany is one of the most influential nations in European culture, and one of the world's main economic powers. Known around the world for its precision engineering and high-tech products, it is equally admired by visitors for its old-world charm and "Gemütlichkeit" (coziness) or hospitality. If you have perceptions of Germany as simply homogeneous, it will surprise you with its many historical regions and much local diversity for its size. (less...) (more...)

Population: 81,147,265 people
Area: 357,022 km2
Highest point: 2,963 m
Coastline: 2,389 km
Life expectancy: 80.32 years
GDP per capita: $39,700
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About Germany

History

From the Holy Roman Empire to Imperial Germany

The roots of German history and culture date back to the Germanic tribes and after that to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Since the early Middle Ages Germany started to split into hundreds of small states. It was the Napoleonic wars that started the process of unification, which ended in 1871, when a large number of previously independent German kingdoms united under Prussian leadership to form the German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich). This incarnation of Germany reached eastward all the way to modern day Klaipeda (Memel) in Lithuania and also encompassed today´s regions of Alsace–Lorraine (France), a small portion of eastern Belgium (Eupen–Malmédy), a small border region in southern Denmark and more than 40% of contemporary Poland. Germany never became a significant colonial power, however it did establish a few small colonies such as Namibia in Africa and Samoa in the Pacific.

Weimar Republic

The empire ended in 1918 when Emperor (Kaiser) Wilhelm II was forced to abdicate the throne at the time of Germany's defeat in World War I (1914–18) and was followed by the short-lived and ill fated Weimar Republic, which tried in vain to completely establish a liberal, democratic regime. However, the young republic was plagued with massive economic problems stemming from the war (such as hyperinflation), in particular due to the massive amounts of reparations that Germany had to pay to the Allies as a result of the Treaty of Versailles (the last of which was only paid off in 2010), as well as disgrace for a humiliating defeat in the First World War. In addition, the treaty forced Germany to give up all its overseas colonies, and also forced Germany to lose some former German lands to other European countries such as France, Poland and Czechoslovakia. As a result, when the Great Depression hit, Germany's economy was crippled and this allowed strong anti-democratic forces to take advantage of the inherent organizational problems of the Weimar Constitution and the Nazis were able to seize power via the ballot box.

Hitler and Nazi Germany

The year 1933 witnessed the rise to power of the nationalistic and racist National Socialist German Workers' (Nazi) Party and its Führer, Adolf Hitler. Under the Nazi dictatorship, democratic institutions were dismantled and the police state was enhanced. Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, handicapped people, socialists, communists, unionists and other groups not fitting into the Nazis' vision of a Greater Germany faced persecution, and were ultimately murdered in death camps. Europe's Jews and Gypsies were marked for total extermination.

Hitler's militaristic ambitions to create a new German Empire in Central and Eastern Europe led to war, successively, with Poland, France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States – despite initial dazzling successes, Germany was unable to withstand the attacks of the Allies and Soviets on two fronts in addition to a smaller third front to the south of the Alps in Italy. Allied bomber raids destroyed nearly every larger German city.

In 1945, Germany was destroyed and had lost its reputation as an intellectual land of freedom and high culture (Land der Dichter und Denker). At the end of the war, by losing 25% of its territory east of the newly Allied imposed Oder-Neisse frontier with Poland, the occupied country was faced with a major refugee crisis with well over 12 million Germans flooding westward into what remained of Germany (20% of the total population). German provinces east of the rivers Oder and Neisse, like Silesia and Pomerania, were entirely cleared of their original population by the Soviets and Poles – most of it an area where there had not been any Polish or even Russian minorities at all. Even more refugees came with the massive numbers of ethnic Germans expelled from their ancient eastern European homelands in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia.

Post-World War II

After the devastating defeat in World War II (1939–45), Germany was divided into four sectors, controlled by British, French, Soviet and US forces. The UK and the US decided to merge their sectors, followed by the French. With the beginning of the Cold War, Germany divided into an eastern part under Soviet control, and a western part which was controlled directly by the Western Allies. The western part was transformed into the Federal Republic of Germany, a democratic country with Bonn as the capital, while the Soviet-controlled zone became the communist/authoritarian Soviet style German Democratic Republic (GDR).

Berlin had a special status as it was divided among the Soviets and the West, with the eastern part serving as the capital of the GDR. The western sectors of Berlin, (West Berlin) was de facto an exclave of the Federal Republic, but formally governed by the Western Allies. The East bled people to the bright lights of the West, many of them expensively and highly trained, and on 13 Aug 1961 the Berlin Wall was erected as part of a heavily guarded frontier system of border fortifications. As a result, hundreds of Germans trying to escape from the communist dictatorship were killed there in the years to come.

In the late 1960s a sincere and strong desire to confront the Nazi past came into being. Student protests beginning in 1968 successfully clamoured for a new Germany. The society became much more liberal, and the totalitarian past was dealt with more transparently than ever before since the foundation of the Federal Republic in 1949. Post-war education had helped put Germany among countries in Europe with the lowest number of people subscribing to Nazi or fascist/authoritarian ideas. Willy Brandt became chancellor in 1969. He made an important contribution towards reconciliation between Germany and the COMECON countries, including important peace gestures toward Poland.

Reunification

Germany was reunited peacefully in 1990, a year after the fall and collapse of the GDR's Nomenklatura regime and the opening of the iron curtain that separated German families by the barrel of a gun for decades. The re-established eastern states joined the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990, a day since celebrated as a national holiday (Tag der Deutschen Einheit, day of "German national unity", or "Reunification Day"). With the reunification, the last post-war limitations to Germany's sovereignty were removed and the US, UK, France and, most importantly, the Soviet Union gave their approval. The German parliament confirmed the 1970 recognition of the German–Polish border, also known as the "Oder–Neisse Line".

The eastern regions still suffer from higher unemployment and a brain-drain but, overall, the reunification process is seen as a success.

Activities

Germany offers virtually every activity you can imagine. Most Germans are members of a sports club and visit cultural events less often. Due to the federal structure every region has its own specific activities.

Sports

Germany is crazy about football and the German Football Association (DFB) is the biggest FA association in the world with 6.35 million members (8% of the German population) in more than 25,000 clubs. Many German football clubs are among the most valuable football brands in Europe, like Borussia Dortmund or FC Bayern Muenchen. Every village has a club and the games are the main social event on weekends. Participation is strongly encouraged.

In the winter many people go skiing in the Alps in Bavaria close to Munich.

Almost every middle-sized German city has a spa (often called Therme) with swimming pools, water slides, hot tubs, saunas, steam baths, sun roofs etc. The sauna areas are coed and people are nude there.

Cultural events

Several theatres in bigger cities play outstanding classical and contemporary plays. Germany prides itself in the wide variety of cultural events and every city works out a cultural agenda.

Classical Music

Germany boasts several world class opera houses (especially Berlin, Bayreuth, and Munich) and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is known as one of the top three orchestras in the world. Germany is considered to have one of the strongest classical music traditions in Europe, with many famous composers such as Bach, Handel (called Händel before he settled in London in 1712), Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms and Wagner originating from Germany.

While France and Italy may have a longer history with opera, Germany too has developed its own unique operatic tradition. German, along with Italian and French, is considered to be one of the main operatic languages, with many famous German-language operas having been composed by famous composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, and Richard Strauss.

Musicals

Musicals are popular in Germany. Although there are some touring productions from time to time, most shows stay in a specific city for a few years. Most shows belong to the company called "Stage Entertainment". The main 'musical cities' are Hamburg (for example The Lion King), Berlin (for example Blue Man Group), Oberhausen (Wicked), Stuttgart (for example Dance of the Vampires), Bochum (Starlight Express) and Cologne. Usually the performances are in German.

Shakespeare

Rather interestingly, William Shakespeare is adored in Germany like almost nowhere else — the Anglosphere included. This can be attributed in large part to Goethe, who fell in love with the Bard's works. If your German is up to it, seeing a performance can be very interesting. According to some Germans, Shakespeare is actually improved in translation, as the language used is more contemporary. Judge for yourself.

Food

How to get service

Unlike in countries like France and the Netherlands, in Germany, at sit-down establishments, you must typically find an available table and sit down before a waiter will greet you (though if you see a member of the staff, do greet them yourself while you are walking in). If you wait to be seated, you are likely to wait a long time and get no service.

German food

German food usually sticks to its roots and a typical dish will consist of meat with some form of potatoes and gravy, accompanied by vegetables or salad. Modern German cuisine has been influenced by other European countries such as Italy and France to become lighter. Dishes show a great local diversity which is interesting to discover.

Since most bigger employers have a canteen for their employees, you will find relatively few sandwich shops and takeaways, and eating-out culture in Germany is dominated by the Gasthaus/Gasthof and restaurants. Putting places to eat into 6 categories gives you a hint about the budget/taste. Starting from the lower end, these are:

Imbiss

'Schnellimbiss' means 'quick snack', and is what you will see on the sign of German stalls and small shops that sell primarily sausage (Wurst) and fries (Pommes Frites). Sausages will include Bratwurst, which is fried and usually a boiled pork sausage. A very German variant is Currywurst: sausage chopped up and covered in spiced ketchup, dusted with curry powder. Beer and often even spirits are available in most Schnellimbisse.

'Döner Kebab' is a Turkish dish of veal, chicken or sometimes lamb stuffed into bread, similar to Greek Gyros and Arab Schawarma. Even though considered Turkish, it's actually a speciality which originated in Germany. According to legend, it was invented by Turkish immigrants in West Berlin during the 1970s. In fact, the 'Döner' is Germany's most loved fast food. The sales numbers of 'Döner' exceed those of McDonald's and Burger King products by far.

Nevertheless, fast food giants like McDonald's, Burger King and Pizza Hut can be found in most towns. Nordsee is a German seafood chain, which offers 'Rollmops' (pickled herrings) and many other fish and seafood snacks. However, many independent seafood snack-bars (most common along the German coasts) offer slightly better and slightly cheaper seafood.

Bakeries and butchers

Germans have no tradition of sandwich shops but you will find that bakeries / butchers sell quite good take away food and are serious competition for the fast food chains. Even the smallest bakeries will sell many sorts of bread or rolls, most of them darker (for example, using wholemeal or rye flour) than the white bread popular around the world and definitely worth a try. Even if they don't already have it prepared, almost all butchers will prepare a sandwich for you if you ask. Some butchers even prepare meals for you. This butcher 'imbiss' is mainly popular in southern Germany, and the quality and freshness of food is usually high.

Biergärten

Here you will get the obvious drink. In traditional beergardens in Bavaria, it is possible to bring your own food if you buy drinks. Most places will offer simple meals. A very good place for beer and Bavarian food is the Biergarten of "Kloster Andechs" close to the Ammersee (round 40 km south of Munich).

Brauhaus

Smaller breweries sell their products straight to the customer and sometimes you will find food there as well, among it usually "Haxe" or "Schweinshaxe" (pig's leg), a distinctively German specialty and probably the best dish in almost every establishment of that sort.

Gasthof/Gasthaus

Probably 50% of all eating places fall into this group. They are mainly family-run businesses that have been owned for generations, comparable to pubs in the UK. You can go there simply for a drink, or to try German food (often with a local flavour). Food quality differs significantly from place to place but the staff will usually give you an indication of the standard; regulations require restaurant owners to indicate certain possibly harmful ingredients (e.g. glutamates/MSG) in footnotes – a menu containing lots of such footnotes usually indicates low quality; if a cheap "Gasthaus" / restaurant is overcrowded with Germans or Asians, this indicates at least sufficient quality (unless the crowd is thanks to an organized coach excursion).

Restaurants

Germany has a wide range of flavors (e.g. German, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Polish, Indian, Italian, French, Spanish, Greek, Turkish, Vietnamese) and almost all styles of the world are represented.

Turkish cuisine in Germany ranges from simple "Döner" shops to mostly family-run restaurants offering a wide variation of usually very cheap (in relation to German price levels) Turkish home cooking.

You will rarely find restaurants catering for special needs within Germany (e.g. kosher restaurants are common only in cities with a notable Jewish population like Berlin), although most restaurants will prepare special meals or variants for you if they are neither relying on convenience foods only nor too fancy. Most restaurants have at least some vegetarian meals. For Muslims it is recommended to stick to Turkish/Arabic restaurants. At some Turkish or Arab food stalls vegetarians might find falafel and baba ganoush to suit their tastes. For not-so-strict Jews the halal Turkish food stalls are also the best option for meat dishes.

In most restaurants in Germany you can choose your own table. You can make reservations (recommended for larger groups and haute cuisine on Saturday nights) and these are marked by reservation cards ("Reserviert"). In expensive restaurants in larger cities you will be expected to make reservations and will be seated by the staff (who will not allow you to choose your table).

Restaurants in commercial areas often offer weekday lunch specials. These are cheap (starting at €5, sometimes including a beverage) options and a good way to sample local food. Specials tend to rotate on a daily or weekly basis, especially when fresh ingredients like fish are involved.

Many restaurants offer all-you-can-eat-buffets where you pay around 10 euros and can eat as much as you want. Drinks are not included in this price.

"XXL-Restaurants" are rising in popularity. These offer mostly standard meat dishes like Schnitzel or Bratwurst in big to inhumane sizes. There is often a dish that is virtually impossible to eat alone (usually bordering 2 kg!) but if you manage to eat everything (and keep it inside), the meal will be free and you'll get a reward. Unlike in other restaurants it is common and encouraged to take leftover food home.

Table manners

At very formal events and in high-end restaurants, a few German customs may differ from what some visitors may be used to:

  • It's considered bad manners to eat with your elbows resting on the table. Keep only your wrists on the table. Most Germans will keep up these manners in everyday life since this is one of the most basic rules parents will teach their children. If you go to a restaurant with your German friends, you may want to pay attention too.
  • When moving the fork to your mouth, the tines should point upwards (not downwards as in Britain)
  • When eating soup or other food from your spoon, hold it with the tip towards your mouth (not parallel to your lips as in, again, Britain). Spoons used to stir beverages, e.g. coffee, should not be put in the mouth at all.
  • If you have to temporarily leave the table, it's fine to put your napkin (which should have rested, folded once along the centre, on your lap until then) on the table, to the left of your plate, in an elegant little pile—unless it looks really dirty, in which case you might want to leave it on your chair.

Typical dishes

Rinderroulade mit Rotkraut und Knödeln: this dish is quite unique to Germany. Very thin sliced beef rolled around a piece of bacon and pickled cucumber until it looks like a mini barrel (5 cm diameter) flavoured with tiny pieces of onion, German mustard, ground black pepper and salt. The meat is quick-fried and is then left to cook slowly for an hour, meanwhile red cabbage and potato dumplings are prepared and then the meat is removed from the frying pan and gravy is prepared in the frying pan. Knödel, Rotkraut and Rouladen are served together with the gravy in one dish.

Schnitzel mit Pommes Frites: there are probably as many different variations of Schnitzel as there are restaurants in Germany, most of them have in common a thin slice of pork that is usually breaded, and fried for a short period of time and it is often served with fries (usually called Pommes Frites or often just Pommes). Variations of this are usually served with different types of gravy: such as Zigeunerschnitzel, Zwiebelschnitzel, Holzfäller Schnitzel and Wiener Schnitzel (as the name suggests, an Austrian dish – the genuine article must be veal instead of pork, which is why most restaurants offer a Schnitzel Wiener Art, or Viennese-style schnitzel which is allowed to be pork). In the south you can often get Spätzle (pasta that Swabia is famous for) instead of fries with it. Spätzle are egg noodles typical of south Germany – most restaurants make them fresh. Due to the easiness of its preparation ordering it might be perceived as an insult to any business with a decent reputation (with the exception of Wiener Schnitzel perhaps), admittedly it is almost unavoidable to spot it on the menu of any sleazy German drinking hole (and there are many...), if nothing else therefore it might even be the most common dish in German restaurants (yes, at least German government officials do call their taverns as well as the common fast food stalls restaurants!).

Rehrücken mit Spätzle: Germany has maintained huge forests such as the famous Black Forest, Bayrischer Wald and Odenwald. In and around these areas you can enjoy the best game in Germany. Rehrücken means venison tenderloin and it is often served with freshly made noodles such as Spätzle and a very nice gravy based on a dry red wine.

Wurst “sausage”: there is no country in the world with a greater variety of sausages than Germany and it would take a while to mention them all. “Bratwurst“ is fried, other varieties such as the Bavarian “Weißwurst“ are boiled. Here is the shortlist version: “Rote” beef sausage, “Frankfurter Wurst” boiled pork sausage made in the Frankfurt style, “Pfälzer Bratwurst” sausage made in Palatine style, “Nürnberger Bratwurst” Nuremberg sausage – the smallest of all of them, but a serious contender for the best tasting German sausage, “grobe Bratwurst”, Landjäger, Thüringer Bratwurst, Currywurst, Weißwurst ... this could go on till tomorrow. If you spot a sausage on a menu this is often a good (and sometimes the only) choice. Often served with mashed potato, fries or potato salad. The most popular type of sausage probably is the Currywurst (Bratwurst cut into slices and served with ketchup and curry) and can be bought almost everywhere.

Koenigsberger Klopse: Literally "meatballs from Koenigsberg", this is a typical dish in and around Berlin. The meatballs are made out of minced pork and anchovies and are cooked and served in a white sauce with capers and rice or potatoes.

Matjesbrötchen: Soussed herring or "roll mops" in a bread roll, typical street snack.

Local specialities

Starting from the north of Germany going south you will find a tremendous variety of food and each region sticks to it origins. The coastal regions are fond of seafood and famous dishes include “Finkenwerder Scholle”, going south to the region of Cologne you will find Sauerbraten (a roast marinated in vinegar), if made really traditionally it's from horse meat.

Labskaus (although strictly speaking not a German invention) is a dish from the north and the opinions about this dish are divided, some love it, others hate it. It is a mash of potato, beetroot juice and cured meat decorated with rollmops and/or young herring and/or a fried egg and/or sour cucumber and/or beetroot slices on top. The north is also famous for its lamb dishes, the best type of lamb probably being "Rudenlamm" (lamb from Ruden, a small island in the Baltic Sea; only a few restaurants in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania serve this), the second best type being "Salzwiesenlamm" (salt meadow lamb). The Lueneburger Heide (Lueneburg Heath) is famous not only for its heath but also for its Heidschnucken, a special breed of sheep. Be aware that a lot of restaurants import their lamb from New Zealand though because it is cheaper. Crabs and mussels are also quite common along the German coasts, especially in North Frisia.

A specialty of Hamburg is "Aalsuppe" which – despite the name (in this case "Aal" means "everything", not "eel") – originally contained almost everything – except eel (today many restaurants include eel within this soup, because the name confused tourists). At the coast there's a variety of fish dishes. Beware: if a restaurant offers "Edelfischplatte" or any dish of similar name, the fish may not be fresh and even (this is quite ironic) of poor quality. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that, for eating fish, you visit specialised (or quality) restaurants only. A fast-food style restaurant chain serving standardized quality fish and other seafood at low prices all over Germany is "Nordsee", though you will rarely find authentic specialties there.

Pfälzer Saumagen: known for a long time in Palatinate, but difficult to find outside of this area. Literally this is pig stomach filled with a mash of potato and meat, cooked for 2–3 hours and then cut into thick slices often served with sauerkraut.

Swabia is famous for Spätzle (a kind of noodle), "Maultaschen" (noodles stuffed with spinach and mince meat, but lots of variations, even veggie ones, exist).

In Bavaria this may be Schweinshaxe mit Knödeln (pork's leg with knödel, a form of potato dumplings), "Leberkäs/Fleischkäse mit Kartoffelsalat" (a type of meat pie and potato salad), "Nürnberger Bratwurst" (probably the smallest sausage in Germany), Weißwurst (white sausages) and "Obatzda" (a spicy mix of several milk products).

The south is also famous for its nice tarts such as the "Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte" (tart with lots of cream and spirit made from cherries).

A delicacy in Saxony is Eierschecke, a cake made of eggs and cream similar to cheese cake.

A specialty of the East is "Soljanka" (originating from Ukraine, but probably the most common dish in the GDR), a sour soup containing vegetables and usually some kind of meat or sausages.

Seasonal specialities

White “Spargel” (asparagus) floods the restaurants from April to June all over Germany, especially in and around Baden-Baden and the small town of Schwetzingen ("The Asparagus Capital"), near Heidelberg, in an area north and north-east of Hannover ("Lower Saxony's Asparagus Route"), as well as in the area southwest of Berlin, especially in the town of Beelitz and along the Lower Rhine ("Walbecker Spargel"). Many vegetables can be found all year round and are often imported from far away. Whereas asparagus can be found for only 2 months and is best enjoyed fresh after harvest, it stays nice for a couple of hours or until next day. The asparagus is treated very carefully and it is harvested before it is ever exposed to daylight, therefore it remains white. When exposed to daylight it changes its colour to green and might taste bitter. Therefore, white asparagus is considered to be better by most Germans.

The standard asparagus meal is the asparagus stalks, hollandaise sauce, boiled potatoes, and some form of meat. The most common meat is ham, preferably smoked; however you will also find it teamed with schnitzel (fried breaded pork), turkey, beef, or whatever is available in the kitchen.

White asparagus soup is one of the hundreds of different recipes that can be found with white asparagus. Often it is made with cream and contains some of the thinner asparagus pieces.

Another example of a seasonal specialty is "Grünkohl" (kale). You can find that mainly in Lower Saxony, particularly the southern and south-western parts such as the "Emsland" or around the "Wiehengebirge" and the "Teutoburger Wald", but also everywhere else there and in the eastern parts of North-Rhine-Westphalia. It is usually served with a boiled rough sort of sausage (called "Pinkel") and roasted potatoes. If you are travelling in Lower-Saxony in fall, you should get it in every "Gasthaus".

Lebkuchen are some of Germany's many nice Christmas biscuits and gingerbread. The best known are produced in and around Nuremberg.

Stollen is a kind of cake eaten during the Advent season and yuletide. Original Stollen is produced only in Dresden, Saxony, however you can buy Stollen everywhere in Germany (although Dresdner Stollen is reputed to be the best (and – due to the lower salaries in Eastern Germany – comparatively cheap)).

Around St. Martin's day and Christmas, roasted geese ("Martinsgans" / "Weihnachtsgans") are quite common in German restaurants, accompanied by "Rotkraut" (red cabbage) and "Knödeln" (potato dumplings), preferably served as set menu, with the liver, accompanied by some kind of salad, as starter, goose soup, and a dessert.

Miscellaneous

Germans are very fond of their bread, which they make in many variations. This is the food that Germans tend to miss most when away from home. Most people like their bread relatively dark and dense and scorn the soft loaves sold in other countries. Bakeries will rarely provide less than twenty different sorts of bread and it's worth trying a few of them. In fact, many Germans buy their lunch or small snacks in bakeries instead of takeaways or the like. Prices for a loaf of bread will range from €0.50 to €4, depending on the size (real specialties might cost more).

Vegetarian

Outside of big cities like Berlin, there aren't many places which are particularly aimed at vegetarian or vegan customers. Most restaurants have one or two vegetarian dishes. If the menu does not contain vegetarian dishes, do not hesitate to ask.

Vegetarian restaurant guides can be found at [18] (German) or [19] (VEBU restaurant list, the restaurants are not necessarily vegetarian in general). Be aware when ordering to ask whether the dish is suitable for vegetarians, as chicken stock and bacon cubes are a commonly "undeclared" ingredient on German menus.

However, there are usually organic food shops ("Bioladen", "Naturkostladen" or "Reformhaus") in every city, providing veg(etari)an bread, spreads, cheese, ice cream, vegan milk substitutes, tofu and seitan. The diversity and quality of the products is great and you will find shop assistants that can answer special nutritional questions in great depth.

Veganism and vegetarianism is on the rise in Germany so that many supermarkets (such as Edeka and Rewe) have a small selection of vegan products as well in their "Feinkost"-section such as seitan-sausages, tofu or soy milk at a reasonable price.

Allergy & Coeliac sufferers

When shopping for foods, the package labelling in Germany is generally reliable. All food products must be properly labelled including additives and preservatives. Be on the look out for Weizen (wheat), Mehl (flour) or Malz (malt) and Stärke (starch). Be extra cautious for foods with Geschmacksverstärker (flavour enhancers) that may have gluten as an ingredient.

  • Reformhaus. 3,000 strong network of health food stores in Germany and Austria that has dedicated gluten-free sections stocked with pasta, breads and treats. Reformhaus stores are usually found in the lower level of shopping centres (eg: PotsdamerArkaden, etc.)
  • DM Stores. The CWS/Shopper's Drug Mart equivalent in Germany has dedicated wheat and gluten free sections
  • Alnatura. – natural foods store with a large dedicated gluten-free section

Smoking

Individual Bundesländer started banning smoking in public places and other areas in early 2007, however the laws vary from state to state. Smoking is generally banned in all restaurants and cafes. Some places may provide separate smoking areas but it is best to enquire when booking. Smokers should be prepared to step outside if they want to light up. Smoking is banned on all forms of public transport including on railway platforms (except in designated smoking areas, which are clearly marked with the word Raucherbereich [smoking area]). The laws are strictly enforced.

Drinks

The legal drinking ages are:

  • 14 - minors are allowed to consume and possess undistilled (fermented) alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine, as long as they are in the company of their parents or a legal guardian.
  • 16 - minors are allowed to consume and possess undistilled (fermented) alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine without their parents or a legal guardian.
  • 18 - having become adults, people are allowed unrestricted access to alcohol.

Beer

For centuries, beer-making in Bavaria has been governed by the Reinheitsgebot (purity law) that was made national policy with the unification of Germany in 1871, which states that German beer may be made only from hops, malt, yeast and water. The Reinheitsgebot has been watered down with imports due to European integration, but German breweries still have to stick to it since for them, national law applies.

The domestic beer market is not dominated by one or only a few big breweries. Even though there are some big players, the regional diversity is enormous, and there are over 1,200 breweries with most of them serving only local markets. Usually bars and restaurants serve the local varieties that differ from town to town. When sitting in a German Kneipe, a local beer is always an option, and often the only option.

Specialities include Weizenbier (or Weissbier in Bavaria), a refreshing top-fermented beer which is popular in the south, Alt, a kind of dark ale that is especially popular in and around Düsseldorf, and Kölsch, a special beer brewed in Cologne. "Pils", the German name for pilsner is a light-gold coloured beer that is extremely popular in Germany. There are also seasonal beers, which are made only at different times of the year (such as Bockbier in winter and Maibock in May, both containing a greater quantity of alcohol, sometimes double that of a normal Vollbier).

Beer is usually served in 200 or 300mL glasses (in the northern part) or 500mL in the South. In Biergartens in Bavaria, 500mL is a small beer ("Halbe") and a litre is normal ("Maß" pronounced "Mahss"). Except in "Irish pubs", pints or pitchers are uncommon.

For Germans, a lot of foam is both a sign of freshness and quality; thus, beer is always served with a lot of head. (All glasses have volume marks for the critical souls.)

Additionally, Germans are not afraid to mix beer with other drinks (though the older generation may disagree). Beer is commonly mixed with carbonated lemonade (usually at 1:1 ratio) and called a "Radler" (or cyclist so named because it is commonly associated with a refreshing drink a cyclist might enjoy in spring or summer during a cycling excursion) (or "Alsterwasser"/"Alster" (after the river in Hamburg) in the north); "Cocktails" of Pilsener/Altbier and soft drinks like Fanta, a "Krefelder"/"Colaweizen" cola and dark wheat beer is another combination that can be found. Pils mixed witch Cola is very popular especially among younger Germans and goes different names – depending on your area – such as "Diesel", "Schmutziges" (dirty) or "Schweinebier" (pigs beer) to name a few. Another famous local delicacy is "Berliner Weiße", a cloudy, sour wheat beer of around 3% abv. that is mixed with syrups (traditionally raspberry) and is very refreshing in summer. These beer-based mixed drinks are widespread popular and can be bought as pre-mixed bottles (typically in six packs) wherever regular beer is sold.

Pubs are open in Germany until 02:00 or later. Food is generally available until midnight. Germans typically go out after 20:00 (popular places already fill up by 18:00).

Cider

Undisputed capital of "Apfelwein" cider in Germany is Frankfurt. Locals love their cider and it is very popular around here. There are even special bars ("Apfelweinkneipe") that will serve only "Apfelwein" and some gastronomic specialities. Cider is often served in a special jug called "Bembel". The taste is slightly different from Ciders in other countries and tends to be quite refreshing. In autumn when apples are turned into cider you might find "Frischer Most" or "Süßer" signposted at some places. That is the first product in the chain of "Apfelwein" production; one glass of it is nice, but after two or three glasses you will have a problem unless you enjoy spending lots of time on the toilet. In the Saarland and surrounding regions "Apfelwein" is called "Viez". It varies here from "Suesser Viez" (sweet), to "Viez Fein-Herb" (medium sweet) to "Alter Saerkower" (sour). The Viez capital of that region is Merzig. During winter it is also quite common to drink hot cider (along with some cloves and sugar). It is considered an efficient measure against an upcoming cold.

Coffee

Germans drink lots of coffee. Currently, the port of Hamburg is the world's busiest place for coffee trading. Coffee is always freshly made from ground coffee or beans – no instant. However, persons coming from countries with a great coffee tradition (like Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Greece or Austria) might find the coffee that is served in normal restaurants a bit boring. A German specialty, originating from North Frisia but nowadays also common in East Frisia, is "Pharisäer", a mixture of coffee and a spirit, usually rum, with a thick cream top. A variation of this is "Tote Tante" (dead aunt, with coffee replaced by hot chocolate).

Over the past few years, American coffee house chain Starbucks or clones have expanded into Germany, but mostly you will encounter "Cafés" which usually offer a large selection of cakes to go along with the coffee.

Glühwein

Visiting Germany in December? Then go and see one of the famous Christmas markets [20] (the most famous taking place in Nuremberg, Dresden, Leipzig, Münster, Bremen, Augsburg and Aachen) and this is the place where you find Glühwein (mulled wine), a spiced wine served very hot to comfort you in the cold of winter.

Spirits

A generic word for spirits made from fruit or/and herbs is Obstler, and each area has its specialities.

“Kirschwasser” literally means cherry water; it certainly tastes of cherry but on the other hand it is not regular drinking water. There is a long lasting tradition in making spirits in Baden, and “Kirschwasser” is probably the flagship product and it might encourage you to taste other specialities such as Himbeergeist (from raspberry), Schlehenfeuer (flavored with sloe berries), Williamchrist (pear) and Apfelkorn (apple).

“Enzian” Bavarians like their beer as well their Enzian, a spirit high in alcohol that is best as a digestive after a hefty meal.

"Korn", made of grain, is probably the most common spirit in Germany. Its main production centre (Berentzen) lies in Haselünne, where tours and tastings can be arranged in the distilleries. The town is located near the river Ems in northwest Germany; for rail service to Haselünne (very sparse) see Eisenbahnfreunde Hasetal.

In North Frisia, "Köm" (caraway spirit), either pure or mixed with tea ("Teepunsch", tea punch), is very popular.

"Eiergrog" is a hot mixture of egg liquor and rum.

Tea

Tea is also very popular, and a large choice is readily available. The region of East Frisia in particular has a long tea tradition, and is probably the only place in Germany where tea is more popular than coffee. The East Frisian tea ceremony consists of black tea served in a flat porcelain cup with special rock sugar (Kluntje) that is put in the cup before pouring the tea. Cream is added afterwards, but is not stirred into the tea.

Wine

Some Germans are just as passionate about their wines as others are about their beer. The similarities don't stop here, both products are often produced by small companies and the best wines are consumed locally and only the remaining ones are exported. The production of wine has a 2,000 year old history in Germany as may be learned from the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Trier but, of course, this was a Roman settlement at that time. Sunshine is the limiting factor for the production of wines in Germany and, therefore, wine production is limited to the south. White wine plays a main role in the wine production, but some areas produce red wines (Ahr, Baden Württemberg). White wines are produced from Riesling, Kerner and Müller-Thurgau grapes (there are a lot more, but to name them all would be too much), and produce generally fresh and fruity wines. German wines can be rich in acid and are quite refreshing. It is generally accepted that Riesling grapes produce the best German wines, but they demand a lot of sunshine and they grow best in very exposed areas such as the Mosel, Rheingau, Bergstraße, Kaiserstuhl and Pfalz.

The best way to learn about wines is go to the place where they are grown and taste them on the spot. This is called "Weinprobe" and is generally free of charge - though in touristed areas you have to pay a small fee.

Good wines usually go together with good food so you might like to visit when you are hungry as well as thirsty. The so-called Straußenwirtschaft, Besenwirtschaft or Heckenwirtschaft are little "pubs" or gardens where a wine-producer sells his own wine, normally with little meals such as sandwiches or cheese and ham. Normally, they are open only in summer and autumn, and not longer than 4 months a year (due to legal regulations). As they are sometimes located in the vineyards or in some back streets, they are not always easy to find, so you best ask a local for the next (or best) Straußenwirtschaft he knows.

During the fall you can buy "Federweisser" in south-western Germany. This is a partially fermented white wine and contains some alcohol (depending on age), but tastes very sweet. It is also available from red grapes, being called "Roter Sauser".

Wine producing areas are:

Ahr is the paradise of German red wines. Half of the production is dedicated to red wines and it is densely populated with “Gaststätten” and “Strausswirten”. A saying goes: Whoever visited the Ahr and remembers that he was there, hasn’t actually been there.

Baden with c. 15,500 hectares of wine yards and a production of 1 million hectolitres, Baden is Germany’s third biggest wine growing area. It's the most southerly German wine growing area and is Germany’s only member of the European Wine Category B together with the famous French areas Alsace, Champagne and Loire. Baden is more than 400 km long and is split into nine regional groups: Tauberfranken, Badische Bergstraße, Kraichgau, Ortenau, Breisgau, Kaiserstuhl, Tuniberg, Markgräflerland and Bodensee. The Kaiserstuhl and the Markgräflerland are the most famous areas for wine from Baden. One of the largest wine cooperatives is the Badischer Winzerkeller in Breisach.

Franken: Franconia is in the northern part of Bavaria and you can find there very nice wines. Some wines produced in Franconia are sold in a special bottle called "Bocksbeutel".

Hessische Bergstraße: located on the slopes of the Rhine valley it is a quiet small wine producing area and wines are usually consumed within the area in and around Heppenheim.

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer: the steepest vineyards in Germany can be seen when driving in the Mosel valley from Koblenz to Trier.

Pfalz: biggest wine producing area in Germany. Has some excellent wines to taste and a lot of nice villages embedded in vineyards. Tasting wine in Deidesheim is a good idea and several prime producer of German wine are all located on the main road. Want to see the biggest wine barrel in the world then go to Bad Dürkheim.

Rheingau: is the smallest wine producing area, but it produces the highest rated Riesling wines in Germany. Visit Wiesbaden and make a trip on the Rhine to Eltville and Rüdesheim.

Rheinhessen too is especially famous for its Riesling. Visit Mainz and make a trip on the Rhine to Worms, Oppenheim, Ingelheim or Bingen.

Saale-Unstrut: located in the state of Saxonia-Anhalt on the banks of the rivers Saale and Unstrut is the most northern wine producing area in Europe.

Sachsen: One of the smallest wine regions in Germany, nestled along the Elbe River near Dresden and Meissen.

Württemberg: As was mentioned before, here the rule that the best wine is consumed by locals, strictly applies; wine consumption per head is twice as high as in the rest of Germany, regardless of whether it's red or the white wine. The speciality of the region is the red wine called Trollinger and it can be quite nice by German standards.

Shopping

Currency

Germany uses the euro (€, EUR) as its money. It is one of 24 European countries that use this common European currency: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain (which are all eurozone countries of the European Union or EU) together with the six non-EU members Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and the Vatican that also solely use euros but have no say in eurozone affairs. These 24 countries together have a population of more than 330 million.

One euro is divided into 100 cents. Except for Kosovo and Montenegro, all issue their own coins with a distinctive, national face. However, all the coins' obverse looks the same, as do all bills or banknotes and all are legal tender in all 24 countries.

If you have marks remaining from previous trips, they can still be exchanged at certain banks: inquire first before you attempt to convert your marks. Some public phones operated by "Deutsche Telekom" still (2013) accept Mark- and Pfennig-coins from 10 Pfennig and above at an exchange rate of 2:1.

Do not expect anybody to accept foreign currencies or to be willing to exchange currency. An exception are shops and restaurants at airports and also – more rarely – fast-food restaurants at major train stations. These will generally accept at least US dollars at a slightly worse exchange rate. If you wish to exchange money, you can do so at any bank, where you can also cash in your traveller's cheques. Currency exchanges, once a common sight, have all but disappeared since the introduction of the euro. Again, international airports and train stations are an exception to this rule. Swiss Franc can sometimes be accepted near the Swiss border.

While German domestic debit cards – called EC-Karte or girocard – (and, to a lesser extent, PIN-based Maestro cards) enjoy almost universal acceptance, this is not true for credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express) or foreign debit cards (VISA Debit/Electron etc.), which are not as widely accepted as in other European countries or the United States but will be accepted in several major retail stores and some fastfood restaurants.

Don't be fooled by seeing card terminals in shops or other people paying with cards – these machines may not necessarily be programmed to accept foreign cards, so it is best to inquire or look out for acceptance decals before shopping or fuelling your car.

Hotels, larger retailers, chain gas stations and nationwide companies accept credit cards; supermarkets, discount stores or small independent shops tend not to (with exceptions). Some places impose a minimum purchase amount (typically 10 euros) for card payments. Most ATMs will allow you to withdraw money with your credit card or foreign debit card, but you'll need to know your card's PIN for that.

Tipping

Unlike in some other countries, service staff is always paid by the hour (albeit not always that well). A tip is therefore mainly a matter of politeness and shows your appreciation. If you didn't appreciate the service (e.g. slow, snippy or indifferent service) you may not tip at all and it will be accepted by the staff.

Since the introduction of the euro, a tip (Trinkgeld, lit. "drink money") of about 5–10% is customary if you were satisfied with the service. Nonetheless, service charge is already included in an item's unit price so what you see is what you pay.

Tipping in Germany is usually done by mentioning the total while paying. So if e.g. a waiter tells you the bill amounts to "€13.50", just state "15" and s/he will include a tip of €1.50.

Tipping in other situations (unless otherwise indicated):

  • Taxi driver: 5–10% (at least €1)
  • Housekeeping: €1–2 per day
  • Carrying luggage: €1 per piece
  • Public toilet attendants: €0.10–0.50
  • Delivery services: 5–10% (at least €1)

Shopping

In common with most other Western European languages, the meanings of points and commas are exactly inverse to the English custom; in German a comma is used to indicate a decimal. For example, €2,99 is two euros and 99 cents. The "€" symbol is not always used and may be placed both in front or after the price. A dot is used to "group" numbers (one dot for three digits), so "1.000.000" would be one million. So "123.456.789,01" in German is the same number as "123,456,789.01" in English speaking countries.

Opening hours

Due to a federal reform, opening hours are set by the states, therefore opening hours vary from state to state. Some states like Berlin, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein have no more strict opening hours from Monday to Saturday (however, you will rarely find 24 hour shops other than at petrol stations). Sundays and national holidays (including some obscure ones) are normally closed for shops everywhere in Germany, including pharmacies. However single pharmacies remain open for emergencies (every pharmacy will have a sign telling you which pharmacy is currently open for emergencies). Information can be obtained here [15]. Shops are allowed to open on Sundays on special occasions called "Verkaufsoffener Sonntag", information on open Sundays may be found here [16] or here [17]. Every German city uses these days except Munich.

As a rule of thumb:

  • Supermarkets: 08:00-20:00 give or take an hour
  • Big supermarkets 08:00-22:00
  • Rewe supermarkets in cities 07:00-22:00 or midnight (except for Bavaria, where all stores are required by law to close at 20:00)
  • Shopping centres and large department stores: 10:00-20:00
  • Department stores in small cities: 10:00-19:00
  • Small and medium shops: 09:00 or 10:00-18:30 (in big cities sometimes to 20:00)
  • Petrol stations: in cities and along the "Autobahn" usually 24 hours daily
  • Restaurants: 11:30–23:00 or midnight, sometimes longer, many closed during the afternoon

Small shops are often closed 13:00–15:00. If necessary, in many big cities you will find a few (sometimes more expensive) supermarkets with longer opening hours (often near the main station). Bakeries usually offer service on Sunday mornings (business hours vary) as well. Also, most petrol stations have a small shopping area.

In some parts of Germany (like Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr area) there are cornershops called "Späti" oder "Spätkauf" ("latey"), "Kiosk", "Trinkhalle" (drinking hall) or "Büdchen" (little hut) that offer newspapers, drinks and at least basic food supplies. These shops are, depending on the area, open till late night or even 24/7.

Basic supplies can usually be bought around the clock at gas stations. Gas station owners work around opening hour restrictions by running 7-Eleven style mini marts on their gas station property. Be aware that prices are usually quite high. Another exception to this law are supermarkets located in touristy areas. Towns designated as a Kurort (health resort) are allowed to have their stores open all week during tourist season. Just ask a local for those well-kept secret stores.

Train stations are allowed to and frequently have their stores/shops open on Sundays, though usually for limited hours. In some larger cities such as Leipzig and Frankfurt, this can include an entire shopping mall that happens to be attached to the train station.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Germany on Wikivoyage.

Popular cities in Germany

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Berlin is the capital city of Germany and one of the 16 states (Länder) of the Federal Republic of Germany. Berlin is the largest city in Germany and has a population of 4.5 million within its metropolitan area and 3.4 million from over 190 countries within the city limits. Berlin is best known for its ... (read more)

Interesting places:

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Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt is the name of second district (Bezirk 2) of Munich comprising the neigborhoods of Isarvorstadt and Ludwigsvorstadt. It is located directly adjacent to the historic city center to the south. The area of Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt roughly is bound by the Isar river to the east, ... (read more)

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Frankfurt is the largest city in the German state of Hesse, and is considered is the business and financial centre of Germany. It is the fifth largest city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne. The city is known for its modern skyline, as well as for hosting the headquarters of the European ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Old Nicholas Church
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The city of Hamburg has a well-deserved reputation as Germany's Gateway to the World. It is the country's biggest port and the second-busiest in Europe, despite being located astride the River Elbe, some 100 kilometres from the North Sea. It is also Germany's second largest city with a population of over 1.8 ... (read more)

Interesting places:

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Cologne is situated on the river Rhein in North Rhine-Westphalia and is the fourth largest city in Germany with around one million residents. It is one of the nation's media, tourism and business hotspots, and is considered one of the most liberal cities in Germany. Cologne has a rich history reaching as far ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Cologne Cathedral
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  • Wallraf Square
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Düsseldorf is a city in western Germany located on the River Rhine and is the capital city of the state North Rhine-Westphalia. It is one of the economic centres of the country, and a major city within the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, with a population of almost 600,000. While Frankfurt is the German hub for ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Rhine Promenade
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Dresden is the capital of the German federal-state of Saxony (Freistaat Sachsen). It's often called Elbflorenz, or "Florence on the Elbe", reflecting its riverine location and its role as a centre for arts and beautiful architecture - much like Florence in Italy. While Florence flourished during the early ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • New Market Square
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Nuremberg is a city in the Germany state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia; it is Bavaria's second largest city after Munich. It is situated on the Pegnitz river and the Main-Danube Canal. It is located about 105 miles north of Munich, at 49.27° N 11.5° E. Population is 510,000 ... (read more)

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Stuttgart is the capital of the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. With a population of approximately 591,000 in the immediate city and more than 3.5 million people in the metropolitan area, Stuttgart is the 6th largest city in Germany. Stuttgart is known as a centre of mechanical and automobile ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Stuttgart Art Museum
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Leipzig is the second largest city in the German federal state of Saxony, with a population of approximately 521,000 (2012). It is the industrial center of the region and a major cultural center, offering interesting sights, shopping possibilities and lively nightlife.

Interesting places:

  • Maedler Passage
  • Barfussgasse
  • Leipzig\'s Old Town Hall
  • Stadtisches Kaufhaus
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States in Germany

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Points of Interest in Germany

Cultural and historical attractions

When thinking of Germany, beer, lederhosen and Alpine hats quickly come to mind, but these stereotypes mostly relate to Bavarian culture and do not represent Germany as a whole. Germany is a vast and diverse country with 16 culturally unique states that only form a political union since 1871.

If you're still looking for the cliches, the Romantic Road is a famous scenic route along romantic castles and picturesque villages. With its fairy tale appearance, the Neuschwanstein Castle could be considered the most iconic of German castles. The walled city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber has a beautiful mediaeval centre that seems untouched by the passage of time. Some similar typical German towns can be found elsewhere in the country, like Augsburg, Bamberg, Celle, Heidelberg, Lübeck, and Quedlinburg. Your picture postcard visit to Germany will be complete with a visit to the beer halls of Munich and a peek of the Alps at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. You can also go to the lovely yet seldom visited medieval city of Schwäbisch Hall. For those who are fans of the Grimm's Fairy Tales, which include many famous ones such as Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White and The Pied Piper, the German tourism board has a recommended Fairy Tale Route which takes you to places where the Brothers Grimm lived, as well as towns that were featured in the Grimm's Fairy Tales.

Germany is a modern industrial nation, and the Wirtschaftswunder is best represented by the industrial heritage of the Ruhr. Hamburg is another economic powerhouse with the second busiest port of the continent. Frankfurt is the financial centre of Germany, and of Europe as a whole, as it is the base of the European Central Bank. Its skyline comes close to those found at the other side of the Atlantic. The fashion city of Düsseldorf, media industry of Cologne, and car companies in Stuttgart each represent a flourishing sector of the German economic miracle.

A completely different experience can be found in Berlin, a city unlikely to be found anywhere else on the planet. While architecturally an odd mismatch of sterilised apartment blocks, post-modernist glass and steel structures, and some historic left-overs, it has a laid-back atmosphere and a culture of internationalism. Its turbulent history gave rise to an enormous wealth of historical attractions, among them the Berlin Wall, Brandenburger Tor, Bundestag, Checkpoint Charlie, Fernsehturm, Holocaust Memorial and Rotes Rathaus. But do not miss out the Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood if you want to feel like a true Berliner.

Natural attractions

Due to its size and location in Central Europe, Germany boasts a large variety of different landscapes. In the north, Germany has an extensive coastline along the North Sea and the Baltic Seas in a vast area known as the North German Plain. The landscape is very flat and the climate is rough with strong winds and mild, chilly temperatures. Due to the south-easterly winds that press water into the German Bight, tidal variations are exceptionally high, creating the Wadden Sea. Vast areas of the seabed are uncovered twice a day, allowing one to walk from one of the numerous islands to another. (This should only be done with a guide.) The East Frisian Islands just off the coast are very picturesque, although mostly visited by the Germans themselves. Favourite white sand resorts along the Baltic Sea include Rügen and Usedom.

The central half of Germany is a patchwork of the Central Uplands, hilly rural areas where fields and forests intermix with larger cities. Many of these hill ranges are tourist destinations, like the Bavarian Forest, the Black Forest, the Harz, the Ore Mountains, North Hesse and Saxon Switzerland. The Rhine Valley has a very mild, amenable climate and fertile grounds, making it the country's most important area for wine and fruit growing.

In the extreme south, bordering Austria, Germany contains a small portion of the Alps, Central Europe's highest elevation, rising as high as 4,000 m (12,000 ft) above sea level, with the highest summit in Germany being the Zugspitze at 2962 m (9717 ft). While only a small part of the Alps lie in Germany, they are famous for their beauty and the unique Bavarian culture. Along the country's southwestern border with Switzerland and Austria lies Lake Constance, Germany's largest fresh-water lake.

Itineraries

  • Bertha Benz Memorial Route – follows the world's first long-distance journey by car
  • Romantic Road – the most famous scenic route in Germany that starts in Würzburg and ends in Füssen
  • Rheinsteig and Rheinburgenweg – Walk the high level path through some of Germany's most beautiful landscapes with spectacular views of castles above the River Rhine between Wiesbaden and Bonn or Bingen and Bonn-Mehlen.

Marienkirche - Berlin

Church of Our Lady - Dresden

Hamburg Dungeon - Hamburg

Romano-Germanic Museum - Cologne

Old Nicholas Church - Frankfurt

Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) - Munich

Barfussgasse - Leipzig

Bremen Town Musicians - Bremen

Fleischbrucke - Nuremberg

Regensburg Cathedral - Regensburg

Green Market - Bamberg

Criminal Museum - Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Theater Figuren Museum - Luebeck

Rhine Promenade - Duesseldorf

Neue Wache - Berlin

German Historical Museum - Berlin

Berlin State Opera - Berlin

New Market Square - Dresden

Bruehl\'s Terrace - Dresden

Red Town Hall - Berlin

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