A Central and Western European powerhouse, Germany is a major tourist destination; the 7th most visited country in the world, making it an unmissable destination for a holiday. It is known for its leafy forests and hilly mountain ranges, as well as for being home to a plethora of must-see cities, each with their own distinctive history, architecture and atmosphere.
The country is separated into 16 states, one of the most popular being Bavaria, known for its fairytale castles, such as the idyllic Neuschwanstein Castle, and timber-framed houses. Germany has coastlines on both the North and Baltic Seas and shares borders with Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands, making it a highly accessible destination on a tour of Europe. Its major cities include artistic Berlin, the capital, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hannover and Stuttgart, among others. Famous for being a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957, Germany has over 2 millennia of fascinating history and heritage and is proud to have produced some of the greatest artists, philosophers, scientists and inventors of all time such as Albert Einstein, Immanuel Kant and Karl Marx. With numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a strong economy and a very high standard of living, a holiday to Germany is a perfect choice for any traveller.
Perhaps the most characteristic landscape attributed to Germany is the dark green forested Rhineland, sliced through by the winding River Rhine, but the country is home to a varied array of scenery and nature, ranging from the snowy Alps to the lowlands and uplands of the north and the rocky North Sea coast. Germany is home to 16 National Parks including the Jasmund and Black Forest National Parks, where the typical wildlife of Central Europe, including wild deer, boar, foxes, hares and badgers, abound. The climate is seasonal, with cold winters, warm summer months and distinct seasons. A tour in Germany is the perfect way to experience a wide array of well-preserved landscapes and wildlife.
Neanderthal fossils dating back 40,000 years were once found in the Neander Valley in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, making Germany a destination of great historic importance. Tales of early Germanic tribes, such as the Saxons still populate the modern imagination. Famously the birthplace of Luther’s ‘95 thesis’ and the consequential Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, for the 600 years preceding this, Germany was an important part of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1871, the country became unified under the German Empire, but the end of the First World War was followed by the establishment of the Weimar Republic. Perhaps the darkest years in Germany’s history are those of the Nazi dictatorship, although eventually concluded in 1945 when the Allied-Powers occupied Germany and the country was divided into East and West Germany. The years of the Cold War were a memorable time in the history of Germany, especially for Berlin, which was split in two between the Soviet Union and the ‘Western Bloc’. With the fall of the infamous Berlin Wall in 1989, a reunified Germany was declared in 1990.
Known as the ‘Land of Poets & Thinkers’, Germany has a rich culture and has proudly spread many of its traditions around the world, for example, the Munich-based Oktoberfest celebration is now enjoyed in beer tents world-wide every October. German Christmas traditions, including Christmas Trees, Christmas Markets and Advent Wreaths have also been adoringly adopted by other countries. The original seasonal markets, which can be found in almost all of the country’s cities, but most notably in Nuremberg and Cologne, attract thousands of tourists every year, making winter a great time for a holiday to Germany. The country has a recognisable culinary culture as well, known for their sausages, pretzels and beer, although being a very diverse country, the big cities are home to restaurants offering flavours from around the world. Berlin, the capital city, is known for being one of Europe’s major creative centres, with an up and coming, bohemian atmosphere, fantastic nightlife and a huge population of artists and creatives, as well as a thriving music scene. Of course, the country is most known for it’s classical music legends such as Wagner and Strauss. Architecture enthusiasts love Germany for its tantalising blend of styles from Romanesque revival castles and medieval Gothic churches to sleek examples of Bauhaus and ornate Baroque facades, not to mention the Soviet-era constructions found in East Berlin. A package holiday to Germany is the ideal way to get to know the lively and limitless culture of this diverse country.
In Germany, you can combine the tranquillity of the sleepy Rhineland and its fairytale castles with the cutting-edge technology and creativity of its modern thriving cities. It is the perfect place to both step back in time to experience the splendour of the days of the kingdom, and also feel the pulse of Europe’s trendiest cities on the same trip.