Germany

Boasting a populace characterized by openness, friendliness, and independence, Germany warmly welcomes visitors to explore its multifaceted offerings. Whether you seek historical landmarks, cultural experiences, or the bustling energy of its urban centers, Germany invites you to embark on a journey tailored to your interests. Get ready to encounter a nation where tradition and progress intertwine, as the people eagerly await the opportunity to share the beauty and uniqueness of their homeland with you. Welcome to Germany; your visit is awaited with enthusiasm!

Germany on the Map

Germany on the map

The Geographical Location of Germany

Situated at the heart of Europe, Germany boasts a diverse landscape that spans various natural features.

To the north, Germany’s terrain unfolds as a flat lowland, sharing borders with Poland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Along the northwest, its coastline meets the North Sea of the Atlantic Ocean, while the northeast embraces the Baltic Sea.

Transitioning to the south, the plains transform into lofty mountains, where Germany shares borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

The Rhine, one of Europe’s largest rivers, meanders through the country, also serving as the origin of another significant waterway, the Danube.

Safety for Tourists

Germany stands out as one of Europe’s safest tourist destinations, underpinned by a robust law enforcement system. The police are readily available to address tourists’ inquiries, and instances of street thefts and pickpocketing are infrequent. The country upholds a stringent adherence to traffic rules, contributing to one of the world’s safest traffic systems.

Despite its overall safety, certain areas warrant cautiousness. It is advisable to exercise care in neighborhoods with a high concentration of immigrants from African and Asian countries, particularly in Frankfurt am Main. Conversely, Munich is acknowledged as one of the safest cities.

While traversing the country, tourists are encouraged to stay vigilant during local holidays when offenses may escalate. Avoiding crowded areas and street processions is recommended to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

German Culture and Holidays

  • Праздники 1 Рождество

Germans have long been recognized for their pedantic, punctual, and highly disciplined nature, and this characterization holds true. However, it doesn’t mean that Germans don’t know how to enjoy life. The country observes eight national holidays, a mix of secular and church celebrations. These include New Year, Christmas, Easter, Trinity, and Ascension. Additionally, Germans commemorate National Unity Day on October 3rd. Each state in the country has the autonomy to establish additional holiday weekends.

Beyond these, Germany hosts a plethora of vibrant holidays and festivals that captivate both locals and tourists. Foremost among these is Oktoberfest, an internationally renowned celebration held in Munich from the latter part of September to early October. While Germans maintain a disciplined work ethic, they certainly embrace occasions for joyous festivities and cultural revelry.

Fun Things to Do in in Germany

  • Развлечения 1 Кёльнский собор

Germany, renowned for more than just beach holidays, offers an extensive array of activities to cater to the most discerning tastes. These include:

1. Visiting Historical Sites and Museums: Explore iconic landmarks like Cologne Cathedral, Bavarian castles, and the architectural marvels of Berlin.

2. Amusement Parks: Enjoy renowned attractions such as the ‘Europa-Park’ in Rust, drawing tourists comparable to Disneyland in Paris. Berlin Zoo is another major draw.

3. Natural Attractions: Immerse yourself in the beauty of national parks like the Bavarian Forest, the enchanting island of Mainau on Lake Constance, the white rocks of the Jasmund peninsula, and forested mountains adorned with medieval castles.

4. Festivals: Experience the world-famous Oktoberfest in Bavaria, Cologne Carnival, Berlin Film Festival, and diverse music festivals that showcase German culture and entertainment.

5. Restaurants and Pubs: Indulge in the unique and flavorful offerings of German cuisine, ranging from exquisite restaurants to cozy cafes and lively pubs. The Hofbräuhaus beer house in Munich stands out as a must-visit.

6. Thematic Routes: Explore the country’s history and attractions through thematic routes like the Fairy Tale Road, German Wine Route, Castle Road, and more.

7. Ski Resorts: Embrace winter sports in Germany’s high mountains, with skiing and snowboarding opportunities in resorts like the Limestone Alps, Ore Mountains, and Harz.

8. Sailing: Witness the renowned sailing regatta in Kiel, attracting 3 million tourists annually during late July and early August.

9. Shopping: Discover high-quality goods from food to electronics. Attend regular fairs, including the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Cologne Trade Fair specializing in computer games, to indulge in diverse shopping experiences.

Essential Information for Visitors to Germany

When planning a visit to Germany, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with key aspects of the country. Here are some important details to keep in mind:

Language

The official language of Germany is German, spoken by approximately 70 million Germans within the country. Beyond its borders, German also holds official status in five other nations: Austria, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Luxembourg.

Globally, German ranks among the most widely spoken languages, with over 90 million speakers in Europe alone. Within Germany, there are over 10 dialects, primarily found in border regions.

Population

Presently, Germany is home to just over 80 million people, making it the most populous country in Europe, excluding Turkey and Russia. Urban areas host around 90% of the population, while rural regions are inhabited by the remaining 10%. Notably, Germany boasts four cities with populations exceeding four million: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne.

The majority of the population is of ethnic German descent. While other national groups are present, they constitute smaller percentages, such as Turks at just over 1.8%, with Poles, Syrians, and Romanians each accounting for 1%, and various other nationalities in even smaller proportions.

  • For more information on Germans, their character, and local culture, you can refer to this article.

Currency

The official currency of Germany is the euro. As a prominent member of the European Union (EU), Germany plays a vital role in the EU economy, reflected in its leading position in GDP and other economic indicators. The adoption of the euro occurred in 2002, marking the replacement of the German mark, which had been in circulation previously.

German euro coins showcase three distinctive symbols: the eagle, the oak leaf, and the Brandenburg Gate. Additionally, the issuance of commemorative coins of special interest to collectors is a regular occurrence.

Religion

Germany is recognized as a secular state, emphasizing the legal establishment of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. Historically, a significant portion of the population identifies as Christian, constituting approximately 50%. Notably, Germany also boasts a substantial atheist community, accounting for about 40% of the total population. The Muslim and Jewish communities, while present, are relatively smaller in number.

An intriguing aspect is the nearly equal distribution within the Christian population, with Catholics and Lutherans each comprising a significant portion. Orthodox Christians are represented to a lesser extent within the religious landscape of Germany.

Climate

Germany’s unique geographical location, bordered by the sea in the west and mountains in the south, gives rise to a diverse climate. The northern regions experience a temperate maritime climate, transitioning to a continental climate in the east, while the southern areas are characterized by altitudinal belts.

This climatic diversity contributes to Germany’s well-known weather variability, with the potential for hot, dry days followed by torrential rain and colder temperatures. Rain is a constant consideration in Germany, regardless of the season.

In July, the flat regions generally have an average temperature of around +22 degrees Celsius. While temperatures may occasionally spike to record highs of +30-35 degrees, the proximity to the sea helps moderate temperature fluctuations. In the mountains, July tends to be cooler, with an average temperature of around +15 degrees.

Winters in Germany are relatively mild, often accompanied by snowfall or rain. Across most of the country, the average temperature hovers around +5 degrees, dropping to -5 degrees in mountainous areas. The lowest recorded temperature, approximately -46 degrees, was noted in the mountains in the mid-20th century.

Seawater Temperature

While Germany is not typically known as a beach destination due to the colder waters of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, some beaches attract sunbathers, although swimming is less common. In the North Sea, water temperatures seldom exceed +18 degrees Celsius in summer and drop to +5 degrees in winter, rendering it unsuitable for swimming. Similar conditions apply to the Baltic Sea, where water temperatures barely reach +20 degrees in summer and drop to +5 degrees in winter. The bathing season in Germany is relatively short, typically lasting from June to early September.

Natural Disasters

Germany enjoys a relatively favorable situation concerning natural disasters. Positioned on the ancient Eurasian plate, the country has not experienced significant tectonic movements, resulting in a prolonged absence of catastrophic earthquakes. While minor tremors may occasionally be felt, especially in mountainous regions, active volcanoes are not present.

Coastal areas are susceptible to storms and hurricanes, with the most powerful ones reaching continental areas, bringing strong winds and heavy precipitation. Consequently, severe flooding is not uncommon.

Prolonged droughts, attributed to broader climate change, can lead to severe forest fires, particularly in mountainous regions. Avalanches, landslides, and rockfalls are also potential hazards in these areas.

  • You can learn more about the most devastating disasters in German history in this article.

Political System

Germany operates as a parliamentary republic, where the president serves as the formal head of state, primarily handling representative functions. Real political power is concentrated in the hands of the chancellor, who assumes the role of the head of government. The chancellor, along with the government, forms the executive branch of power. The legislative branch is represented by the Bundestag, the German parliament. Germany is a federal country, comprising 16 states, each functioning as a subject of the federation.

Largest Cities and Resorts in Germany

1. Berlin: As the capital and the most populous city, Berlin is home to nearly 4 million people. It serves as the political and financial hub of the country, characterized by stunning architecture and numerous historical landmarks. Tourists are drawn to iconic sites such as the Brandenburg Gate, ancient churches, cathedrals, city hall, opera house, and palaces.

2. Munich: Munich, the third most populous city and the capital of Bavaria, boasts a population exceeding 1.5 million. Renowned for its wealth of historic buildings, churches, museums, and theaters, Munich is home to the expansive English Park, considered one of the world’s largest. The city is also known for its cultural traditions.

3. Bremen: With a population of 550 thousand, Bremen is famous for the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. The city features a monument dedicated to the Bremen musicians, marking the beginning of the «German Fairy Tale Road.» Notable attractions include the Gothic Town Hall and the statue of Roland on the Market Square.

4. Dresden: Home to 540 thousand residents, Dresden is often referred to as “Florence on the Elbe” due to its beautiful ancient architecture. The city houses a world-famous art gallery and numerous castles and palaces.

5. Baden-Baden: This renowned German resort, popular among the creative intelligentsia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is known for its thermal springs dating back to ancient Roman times. Baden-Baden remains a sought-after destination for relaxation.

Symbols of Germany

1. Eagle: The eagle serves as a powerful symbol embodying the strength and might of the German lands. Historically borrowed from the Romans, who used it as a symbol for their legions, the eagle has become an iconic representation of Germany.

2. Oak: The oak holds symbolic significance, representing loyalty and steadfastness. It plays a unifying role, symbolizing the consolidation of diverse German lands into a cohesive state.

3. Brandenburg Gate: The Brandenburg Gate stands as a poignant symbol of Germany’s reunification, marking the culmination of the 20th century when West Germany (FRG) and East Germany (GDR) united to form a single country. This historic monument is emblematic of national unity and reconciliation.

4. Beer: Beer occupies a special place as the national drink of the republic. Various beer festivals celebrate this cultural icon, drawing visitors from around the world. Beyond being a beverage, beer symbolizes conviviality, tradition, and the rich brewing heritage of Germany.

5. Sheepdog: The German sheepdog, renowned for its guarding and service capabilities, holds global popularity. These large and intelligent dogs have played versatile roles, ranging from herding to serving in police, customs, and border protection. The German sheepdog stands as a symbol of loyalty, intelligence, and dedication, both nationally and internationally.

How to Get to Germany

Germany is highly accessible from countries worldwide, thanks to its advanced and technologically equipped transport infrastructure.

The country boasts 15 international airports, with Lufthansa recognized as one of the largest and most reliable airlines globally. Air traffic seamlessly connects Germany’s major cities with destinations on every continent. For example, Berlin’s airport alone accommodates up to 46 million tourists annually.

Germany’s autobahns, the high-speed highways, provide exceptional connectivity, facilitating easy travel to every corner of the republic and connections to neighboring countries. Visitors can reach Germany by bus, tourist buses, or private cars.

Rail travel is another viable option, with over 33,000 kilometers of railway tracks crisscrossing the country, offering regular routes to neighboring nations.

Germany can also be accessed by sea, with major ports like Hamburg, Lübeck, and Bremen welcoming thousands of cruise liners each year.

With over 130 million visitors arriving in Germany annually by various means, the country stands as one of the world’s most sought-after tourist destinations.

Cost of Vacation in Germany

While getting to Germany is often relatively affordable due to its accessible location, the country may not be described as a budget-friendly destination for tourists.

The cost of living within the country can be high. When planning a trip, it’s essential to be aware that a significant portion of expenses will go towards transportation and food. Travelers often visit Germany to explore historical sites, incurring considerable travel expenses within the country. For a 7-day trip, transportation costs, including buses, trains, metros, and other means, can amount to around 300 euros for two people.

Additionally, budget approximately 400 euros for dining at restaurants and purchasing groceries. Consider accounting for expenses related to buying souvenirs, visiting attractions, and attending paid events.

In total, a 7-day vacation for two people in Germany can cost a minimum of 1500 euros. For a more comfortable experience, consider a budget ranging from 2500 to 5000 euros for two.

Share Your Experience

If you’ve visited Germany, we invite you to share your experiences in the comments. Share what you enjoyed most, memorable moments, and any recommendations for fellow travelers. Your insights are invaluable!

Note Before Comment Form

Cookie Law Policy Accept Button Read More