Deep in the heart of Europe, Germany is a country of rich, exotic landscapes, from the Bavarian Alps to the Black Forest and Rhine Valley and the Baltic Sea coastline. Despite two devastating wars in the 20th century the country is now Europe's richest and most populous, with 84 million residents. For travel, Germany has many possibilities. There are many vibrant and modern cities, such as the capital Berlin, which has everything you expect from the capital city of a major world power. There are many monuments, museums, sights and attractions. Amongst the most popular are the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Zoo and aquarium, and the Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery.
The Berlin Wall, for so long a symbol of the Cold War, is no more, but there are several memorial sites dedicated to the memory of victims who died trying to cross the wall. Some of the main ones are the Berlin Wall Memorial, the memorial for Günter Litfin, the ‘Parlament der Bäume' (Parliament of Trees), the Wall memorial at the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus. Checkpoint Charlie is the historic checkpoint border crossing between eastern and western Berlin. Today this is a fascinating museum exhibiting the history of the Berlin Wall.
Hamburg in the north of the country is a popular spot. It's still a busy port and is the country's second largest city. At 755 square kilometres, the city area is seven times bigger than Paris. There are so many theatres, museums and music clubs and the famous Reeperbahn, the city's red-light district.
Cologne Cathedral is a magnificent Gothic-style structure built more than six hundred years ago on the banks of the Rhine River in Cologne, Germany. The Cologne Cathedral is Cologne 's most famous landmark and was dubbed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage sites.
Neuschwanstein is an extravagant castle built by King Ludwig II and is located in southern Bavaria with the German Alps in its backyard. Walt Disney was inspired by this fairytale-like castle when he built the Disney Castle in his magic kingdom.
Heidelberg Castle is a medieval castle that rises far above the charming old south-western town of Heidelberg. Once in this area, the castle gardens, the Great Vat (the world's largest wine barrel) and the amazing Pharmacy Museum should not be overlooked.
Church of Our Lady is located in Dresden and is its most famous site. The church was destroyed in the bombing raids of 1945 but was since rebuilt and is now the national symbol for reconciliation and peace.
Marienplatz is an attractive square in the heart of old Munich and is the home of the world famous carillon (Glockenspiel) which has been in existence since 1908.
Bremerhaven Emigration Center is a modern structure located in the northern coastal city of Bremerhaven and is the largest emigration museum in Europe.
The Saxon Switzerland National Park is Germany 's scenic jewel. This natural park offers a myriad of mountain and rock formations as well as a wide selection of wild life.
The Bavarian Alps in southern Germany are one of the most beautiful places in Germany and, needless to say, one of the most frequently visited all year round. The Bavarian Alps offer visitors charming villages, storybook castles, calm lakes and snow covered mountainous peaks.
If you prefer cities to pristine natural sites; Germany has many large cities that will surely please you. Berlin is the capital city of Germany and its largest both in size and population. Additionally, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Essen, Dortmund, Duisburg, and Bochum are all humming with fast-paced automotive and pedestrian traffic and offer world class hotels, top ranking restaurants and cafes, theaters and much more.
Germany is easy to get to by plane as many major airlines have flights to Berlin as well as other major towns and cities in the country. Also several budget airlines that operate across Europe fly regularly to Germany. Inside the country the long-distance trains are amongst the fastest in the world, travelling at speeds up to 300 km/h (190 mph). The Autobahn is the fast road network connecting many parts of the country.
Germany has a temperate climate with warm summers and cold winters. Rain falls throughout the year.
According to the latest statistics, Germany has the second largest population in Europe and is the seventh largest European country in area. German elevation ranges from 9,718 feet above sea level of Mount Zugspitze in the Alps down to 11.6 feet below sea level of Wilstermarsch in the north. Between the two extreme elevations lie the wooded uplands in central Germany and the low-lying lands of northern Germany and these regions are crisscrossed by some of Europe's most significant rivers such as the Rhine, the Danube and the Elbe.
Because Germany is so centrally located it shares borders with more countries than any other county in Europe therefore it is most accessible by just about any means of transportation. Furthermore, most of Germany enjoys a temperate climate which makes it a good traveling destination even during the winter months.