Germany covers an area of 357,000 square kilometers and is home to 81 million people. The country boasts at least five major geographical regions, each totally different in character.
The flatlands in the north of Germany stretch from the Netherlands to Poland, skimming southern Denmark, where it bridges the North and Baltic seas. Sophisticated German cities like Cologne and Munich offer fine museums, galleries, operas and concerts combined with lively and cafes, beautiful parks and gardens and exhilarating nightlife. From charming Heidelberg, to the busy port cities of Bremen and Hamburg, and revitalized cities of the former east like Dresden.
No other country gives the sense of a living history in the way that Germany does. Overshadowing them all is the fresh vitality of Berlin; the infamous Berlin Wall divided the city for 28 years until it was torn down amidst great celebration on November 9, 1989. Berlin became the German capital once again in July 1990.
This is the heart of Germany, its pulse echoing through magnificent museums and theatres, stately public buildings, and its urbane restaurants and cosmopolitan nightclubs. Visit the north and experience the breathtakingly beautiful coastal areas and miles of fine sandy beaches, the island of Rugen with its magnificent white cliffs and coastal towns like Wilhelmshaven that offer excellent facilities for adventures on the North Sea.
The German landscape is similarly varied in the south; the Alps attract ski-lovers in winter and hiking enthusiasts in summer, who come to explore the picturesque lakes and impressive castles here and in the Black Forest. Visit the south for the romance and mystery of Bavaria. The majestic castles dotted among the snow-capped mountains will make you feel that you have stepped into an enchanted land. A land where history and culture come to life and whose complex past has made it the remarkable country it is today.
Restaurants in Germany & German Food
This is truly a meat-and-potatoes kind of country and hot meals are served throughout the day. Most of the GaststÄtte,
Gasthaus,Gasthof,Brauhaus or Wirtschaft establishments belong to a brewery and function as a gathering place, drinking refuge and cheap restaurant. Their cuisine resembles hearty German home cooking, and the portions are usually generous. Standards in west German restaurants are remarkably high, but this is not the case everywhere in the east. Main courses are vastly based on pork, served with an assortment of sauces.
Sausages feature regularly, and can be delicious, with distinct regional varieties. Elegant cafes are a popular tradition in Germany, serving a choice of coffee accompanied by cream cakes, pastries or handmade chocolates. Although service charges are included in all hotel and restaurant bills, it is conventional to tip up to 10% of the total bill as an expression of your satisfaction for good service. All restaurants display their menus and prices by the door. Beer is the national beverage is excellent and relatively cheap.
City Break in Germany
City breaks in Germany are a great way to spend a weekend and there are many Cites to choose from. If it’s a city break to Munich to visit the Christmas markets or the Schloss Nymphenburg or the world famous Hofbrauhaus during Oktoberfest or a short break to Berlin to visit the great shops or the famous Berlin wall or Hitlers bunker. Germany has a lot to offer for a city break.
Weather in Germany
Germany is not prey to dramatic climatic extremes, although there are regional differences. The German climate is variable so it’s best to be prepared for all types of weather throughout the year. That said, the most reliable weather is from May to October. There is no special rainy season. Winter is wet, especially in the south, with snow not usually settling for long except in the high country.
Events in Germany
Throughout the year you will find Germany chock-a-block with events for every taste: A top-quality concert run, exceptional theatre, art exhibitions, major international sporting events and colourful street festivals.
Winter festivals occur throughout Germany, with big cities such as Cologne, Munich and Mainz erupting into carnival mayhem just before Ash Wednesday. Germany’s rich musical heritage is showcased throughout the year. Some towns concentrate on a particular composer, such as the Thuringian Bach Festival in March or the Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth each July, whereas others focus on a particular style. The jazz festivals in Frankfurt (March), Stuttgart (April) and Berlin (October) are lively and popular. These are only a few of the event highlights that take place in Germany all year round.
Christmas Markets – Munich
26.11. – 24.12.2010
24 Dec 10am-2pm
For more information on Germany see the German Tourist Board
Languages spoken German English
Visa requirements EU citizens can enter on an official identity card. Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and Japanese just need a valid passport (no visa).