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Germany Information

 


The Federal Republic of Germany is the largest country in Central Europe. It is bordered to the north by Denmark, to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic, to the south by Austria and Switzerland, and to the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. The largest exporter nation in the world, outside of Russia, Germany is also home to the largest population in Europe. While the foreigner's conception of Germany is that it is a homogenous state like most of its neighbors, it is actually a federation of 16 states, each with a distinct and unique culture.

Germany is the biggest country in Central Europe, it runs Europe’s biggest economy and has the largest population on the continent (excluding Russia). Even so it is much smaller in size compared with most of the other leading nations in the world. Germany is a federalist country with a highly decentralised structure and has several large urban cities. Therefore, the capital Berlin is not as dominant to the rest of the nation as say London is in the United Kingdom or Paris in France. Nevertheless, it has been touted as one of the world's most fashionable big cities since the early 90s.

The undisputed financial capital of Germany is Frankfurt and features an unusual skyline for Central Europe with its many high-rise buildings and an ever growing airport.

The historically decentralised structure lead to a regional stronghold of traditions. Germany's famous beer culture is centered around Southern Germany's biggest city (Munich), where beer is traditionally served in 1 liter mugs (not in Kneipen (pubs) and Restaurants); Munich is also the site of the annual Oktoberfest, Europe's most visited festival and the world's largest fair.

Germany's south-western regions are known for their wine growing areas (e.g. Rheinhessen and Palatinate). The biggest wine festival worldwide with over 600 000 visitors each year is held in Bad Duerkheim on the German Wine Route.

Cars are a symbol of national pride. Company's such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Volkswagen (VW) are famous internationally for their quality, safety and style. This quality is matched by Germany's excellent network of roadways including the world famous Autobahn network, which has many sections without speed limits and lots of speed hungry drivers on it. Germany also features an extensive network of high speed trains - the InterCityExpress (ICE).

Cities in Germany
Germany has numerous cities of interest to visitors; these are the top nine travel destinations.

Berlin - The reunified and reinvigorated capital of Germany; known for its division during the Cold War and the Berlin Wall. Today its a metropolis of diversity with elegant clubs and galleries and traditional restaurants. It is also a haven for shoppers.

Bremen -
One of the most important cities in northern Germany, its old town will be of interest to travellers who want a slice of history.

Cologne (Köln) - Germany's fourth-largest city. Cologne was founded by the Romans and is 2000 years old with its huge cathedral, Romanesque churches, and archaeological sites. Cologne also well known for its carnival and its Christopher Street Day parade. Don't forget to try the local cuisine and of course the beer called "Kölsch".

Dresden - World-famous for its Frauenkirche and historic center, the city offers more than the average traveller knows. Great festivals, all kinds of cultural entertainment, vibrant night life, and surrounded by beautiful natural vistas. Dresden hosts the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections) which is one of the world's most important museums and collections. The art collections consist of eleven museums, of which the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and the Grünes Gewölbe are the best known. There is a reason it was once called 'Florence-on-the-Elb'.

Dusseldorf - The capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia is famous as Germany's capital of fashion, offers a wide scale of fascinating new architecture. Right along the shores of river Rhine, the "Altstadt" and the "Medienhafen" are among the best places in Germany to enjoy a vibrant nightlife! Being one of the country's wealthiest cities, the atmosphere for the tourist is very pleasant. Germans call it "the only metropolis ending with -dorf (German for village)".

Frankfurt - Germany's leading financial center, transportation hub, seat of the European Central Bank (ECB), international trade fair center (Book Fair, Motor Show), hub of multicultural activity (30% Immigrants), and site of numerous world-class museums and theaters. It is also Germany's only city with enough skyscrapers to have a skyline.

Hamburg - Germany's second-largest city, famous for its harbour as well as its liberal and tolerant culture. Don't miss the Reeperbahn with its night clubs and casinos. Hamburg is also popular for its many musicals.
  
Hannover - One of Germany's newer "tourist cities", having hosted various international events in recent times.
   
Munich - Bavaria's beautiful capital city and Southern Germany's leading city. Third largest city in Germany, Munich is the site of the famous Oktoberfest and the gateway to the Alps.
   
Nuremberg - Second largest city in Bavaria, after WW2 over 90% of the old-town was destroyed. Today the old town is reconstructed, including the Gothic Kaiserburg Castle (Emperor's Castle of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation).
 

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