Germany is a diverse country, with a rough and turbulent history. The combination of old-world charm and modern urban cities make it an ideal destination for all types of travelers. Its main assets are breathtaking natural surroundings, picture-perfect countryside, healthy air, a wealth of culture, and the proverbially laid-back Bavarian attitude to life. The region’s many sparkling lakes, national parks and countless nature conservation areas are heaven on earth for holidaymakers and sports enthusiasts alike. Bavaria’s medieval castles, including Neuschwanstein Castle and the small towns, magnificent palaces and baroque churches, not to mention its urban centers, provide the perfect setting for everything from traditional festivals to high-end opera performances.
Neuschwanstein Castle in southern Bavaria is without a doubt one of the most frequently photographed sights in Germany. The castle was the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. It is known all over the world as a symbol of idealized romantic architecture and for the tragic story of its owner, Ludwig II, who after losing sovereignty in his own kingdom, withdrew into the world of myths, legend and fairytales. But Neuschwanstein Castle is by no means the only castle in the area. The southern part of Germany is dotted with them; every corner hides its own castle to discover.
In Germany, country’s cultural institutions are all around you: from the glittering opera houses of Dresden and Bayreuth to the beer halls of Munich and Cologne, Berlin’s countless museums and the art galleries found in just about every major town. Germany is also home to Europe’s best-attended football league, with clubs like Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hannover 96 drawing raucous capacity crowds on a weekly basis.
Christmas markets in Germany will amaze you with traditional delights for the senses: spiced mulled wine, gingerbread and sausages will fill the air as you wander through the finger-tingling cold streets, soaking up the festive atmosphere. From food and drink to hand-crafted toys, tree decorations, candles and lambskin shoes, the stalls at German Christmas markets offer something for everyone... The most popular Christmas markets are in Cologne, Dresden, Berlin, Stuttgart, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Munich, Nuremberg and Schloss Guteneck
Germany has over 200 long-distance cycle routes, spanning a wide range of regions, including somewhat tougher but rewarding ones in the Alps, or more leisurely tours through the vineyards. A great choice for families are the many riverside routes, which offer plenty of wayside interest. You can also take city bike tours and cycle from museum to museum. Whatever you decide, Germany has a range of cyclist-friendly accommodation, including farms and castle hotels. Discover more than 70,000 kilometers of cycle routes, which is what Germany has to offer.
The capital city of Bavaria, Munich, is situated near the foothills of the Alps, in Bavaria, the southern region of Germany. Its characteristic ornate architecture, beautiful parks, world-class museums, among them the BMW museum, nearby castles, such as the fairy-tale Neuschwanstein, and its trademark ‘beer gardens’ make it a great place to visit all year round. A must visit especially for beer aficionados, is Oktoberfest, the biggest annual beer festival in Europe. Apart from vivid cultural happening and numerous sights in the town itself, Munich boasts numerous other sights within less than an hour’s drive, such as the towns of Augsburg and Ingolstadt, the rolling land of lakes named the Fünf-Seen-Land
Berlin, the German capital, is renowned for its exceptional variety of attractions, its flourishing cultural scene and a way of life that is both fast-paced and relaxed. It is an ideal destination for the young and young at heart, as one thing is certain here: you will see no shortage of events taking place in Berlin; or to put it differently: events such as Berlinale, Karneval der Kulturen, Fête de la Musique, Long Night of the Museums etc. already make the place worth visiting. The multiculturalism, which is reflected especially in the cuisine, is another characteristic of Berlin, thus making it the most cosmopolitan city in the whole of Germany.
Visit one of the most dramatic landscapes Germany has to offer: the area between Rüdesheim and Koblenz, where the Rhine cuts deeply through the mountains, is a mixture of beauty and legend. Forested hillsides alternate with craggy cliffs and terraced vineyards; idyllic villages are dotted around each bend. High above the river, numerous famous medieval castles can be found, some in ruins, some restored. Most were built by local robber barons – knights, princes and even bishops – who extorted tolls from merchant ships by blocking their passage with iron chains. Today, some have been reincarnated as hotels and hostels. In 2002, Unesco designated these 67km of landscape, known as the Oberes Mitterheintal as a World Heritage Site.
Frankfurt is over 2,000-year-old German city, which has become Germany’s capital of finance and business and a home to one of the world’s largest stock exchanges. Apart from this, Frankfurt boasts a rich collection of museums (second in Germany only to Berlin’s), lots of parks and greenery, a lively student scene, excellent public transport, fine dining and plenty to do in the evening. Nightspots range from cozy neighborhood apple-wine taverns to some of Europe’s most pulsating techno-discos
The extraordinary landscapes of Plitvice National Park, Croatia
Ljubljana, the romantic medieval capital of Slovenia.
While one of the biggest empires has left little behind but monumental palaces, reminding nostalgics about the days of the glorious past, the country has given us all a lot of beatiful things, say the music of Mozart and Strauss to give just an example.
Be it because of Paris, Mont Blanc, Cote d'Azure, Provence, french wine, food or its luxury fashion, maybe even the language, France has become a trademark of its own and the world's most desired destination.