With nine European borders and a location smack dab in the heart of the continent, Germany could stake a convincing claim to being the most ‘European’ of all countries. Packing over 80 million people into a pretty tight frame, it’s an economic and political powerhouse with bewitching scenery, pulsating cities, progressive culture and an awareness of a historic legacy teetering between horror and greatness.
Few countries have had as much impact on the world as Germany, a land of innovation that has given us the printing press, the automobile, aspirin and MP3 technology. It’s the birthplace of Martin Luther, Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, Goethe, Beethoven, the Grimm brothers and other players on the world stage. As you travel around, you’ll have plenty of brushes with such genius but, perhaps, Germany’s scenery lifts the spirit even more. The jagged peaks of the big-shouldered Bavarian Alps unfold above flowering mountain pastures where cows graze lazily. Mighty rivers flow through romantic valleys, past steep vineyards and fairy-tale forests. You’ll encounter history in towns where streets were laid out before Columbus set sail and in mighty castles looming above prim, half-timbered villages.
Enjoying the outdoors, from skiing Alpine peaks to hiking carefully preserved forests, is essential. And compare the ancient traditions of the east, as beautiful Dresden adjusts to the 21st century, with Cologne, where decades of prosperity burnish its grand heritage.
Berlin, edgy and vibrant, is a grand capital in a constant state of reinvention. At the other end, Munich perches atop Bavaria, the centre of national traditions. Cities of all sizes boast some of Europe’s best clubs, as you’d expect from the home of techno. Beer is at the heart of a pilsner-swilling culture that draws kegloads of visitors annually, is the very reason for one of the world’s great parties (Oktoberfest) and is consumed with pleasure across the land.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- Explore Germany's picturesque historic towns
- Follow the waltz of the blue Danube by bike
- Discover the dramatic scenery of the Bavarian Alps
- Find out more about underground Cold War Berlin
Last updated: Jan 10, 2013
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