Situated right in the middle of Europe, Germany is a rich mix of beautiful nature, medieval towns and castles, and buzzing modern cities. From the German heartland of Bavaria to the sleek modern architecture of Berlin, this country has a multitude of sides that are complemented by the friendly, welcoming Germans from north to south.
Stretching between the North Sea and the Alps and bordered by nine other countries, Germany contains a wealth of sights, culture and experiences across its vast terrain. The wilderness of the Black Forest, the rolling vineyards of the Rhineland and the wide beaches of the Wattenmeer on the Danish and Dutch border all form a medley of everything that makes Central Europe unique.
As a country that has only been unified for fewer than 30 years, Germany is a modern nation with a turbulent past. Nowhere is this more visible than in the nation’s capital, Berlin; eight times the size of Paris and with more bridges than Venice, this is a city with a wealth of things to explore. Visit the almost 300-year-old Brandenburg Gate: it was originally built as a symbol of peace, but later came to symbolise the centre of the division of Germany after the Second World War. When the notorious Berlin Wall finally fell in 1989, it was here that people came to celebrate. Throughout the city, you’ll find remnants of the old wall which kept Berliners apart for almost 40 years. Next to Brandenburg Gate, you’ll find the infamous Checkpoint Charlie, that is now an open-air museum to the Wall, and guided tours will take you through what life was like for so-called ‘Ossis’ – the East Berliners. The city today is home to lots of modern buildings, chic restaurants and cultural experiences. Shopaholics should head to the enormous KaDeWe shopping mall and the Kurfürstendamm-area, while the UNESCO-listed Museum Island will offer visitors a wealth of world-class art and ancient history to take in. For a day spent relaxing, wander along the broad Berlin avenues or find a café in the trendy area of Kreuzberg or near the popular Berliner Mitte and pretend to be one of the locals. Take advantage of how easy it is to get around the city; rent a bike, go on the extensive U-Bahn-network or relax on a boat tour on the city’s main artery, the River Spree.
Outside the capital, there is a plethora of things to do and experience. A roundtrip of Germany should see you going on a Beatles tour in Hamburg, heading to the famous Oktoberfest in Munich with flowing beer-steins, visiting the old spa-town of Baden-Baden in the Black Forest as well as experiencing the beautiful villages and the medieval centre of Frankfurt near the Rhine.
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