Germany has one of the world’s highest levels of education, technological development, and economic productivity. It is one of the most highly developed industrial countries in the World and the world’s leading exporter. Germany is considered the largest economy in the European Union and the third largest economy in the world after Japan and United States. Germany’s biggest cities are Berlin (the capital), Hamburg, Dortmund, Munich, Cologne and Frankfurt.
Between 962 and the beginning of the 19th century, the German territories were loosely organized into the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. In 1701 Prussia became a German state under Fredrick the great and became a dominant force within Europe. The 18th and 19th centuries were marked by the rise of Prussia as the second powerful, dominant state in the German-speaking territories alongside Austria. In 1806 Napoleon defeated the Holy Roman Empire. After humiliating losses to Napoleon’s armies, Prussia embarked on a series of administrative, military, economic, and education reforms that eventually succeeded in turning Prussia into the Continent’s strongest state.
In 1918 the Weimar Republic arises but the world economic crisis of 1929 was a harbinger of the end of the “Golden Twenties” and the decline of the Weimar Republic. The financial struggle that followed the First World War in Germany was one of the contributing factors that led to the rise of Hitler as the leader of a New German Empire in the 1930’s. By 1940 and in alliance with Benito Mussolini’s (Italy), Germany conquered France and most of Europe. Racism, especially anti-Semitism, was a main belief of society in Nazi Germany. The Gestapo (secret state police) and Heinrich Himmler destroyed the liberal, socialist, and communist opposition, persecuting and murdered more than six millions of European Jews.
Following Germany’s defeat in the Second World War the country was divided into British, French, US and Soviet occupation which led to the formation of two separate states. Finally on October 3rd 1990 after 45 years of ‘Cold War’ Germany was Reunified and Berlin was made the capital of Germany.
Germany has a temperate climate, cooler and rainier with mild winters and cool summers. During winter months, the temperature occasionally drops below freezing and the days are shorter (only 6-8 hours of daylight), while the summer months can be sunny and in the 70s
Standard German is the official language of Germany and over 95% of the people living in Germany use it as their first language. Other popularly spoken languages are Sorbian, North Frisian, Danish, Romanic, Kurdish and Turkish.
The Deutsche Mark was the official currency of West Germany prior to its unification with East Germany. After 1991, it became the currency of unified Germany. The Euro was introduced in the year 1999 and became Germany’s official currency in 2002. In the present days the Deutsche Mark is no longer legal tender.
Germany has a wide variety of places to stay and whatever your destination or budget might be, there’s a huge choice of hotels to choose from, Ranging from low cost budget hotels to some of the world’s best luxury hotels. Some hotels are housed in ancient castles or romantic historic buildings; others are modern and offer all the latest facilities one could wish for. If you have a large or small group you will find a place to satisfy your needs.
Things to do in Germany
Germany has a lot to offer. The country is filled with a large number of historical monuments, architectural buildings and monuments in its numerous cities that attracts a large number of people. The most common of all things to do in Germany is sightseeing. If you love sport and adventure there is also plenty of places to go from golf, tennis, hiking, trekking or even ski in the winter months. If you love nature then you can definitely pay a visit to Lake Constance or check out the beautiful Black Forest Mountains.
There are 15 National parks in Germany located in the north side of the Country. All of them are remarkable for their unique nature, landscape and vital to preserve the natural diversity of rare plants and animals. The largest is the Schieswig-Holstein Mud Flats National Park and the smallest is Jasmund located in the island of Rugen with its famous white cliffs. Another must see attraction is the Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the most famous castles of the country. Located in the on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near F’ssen in southwest Bavaria. The Germans love to celebrate and never miss an opportunity to do so. A large number of art and cultural festivals are organized like for example the Art Cologne and the International Fireworks Competition.
Berlin: is the capital of Germany and one of the major attractions. Filled with historic relics that mark its role as imperial capital, seedy Weimar stomp, Nazi hive, Soviet stronghold and liberal bastion of the West, Berlin’s latest transformation has been from post-Wall bohemian free-for-all to culture capital with global creed and a booming tech industry.
Sightseeing in Berlin will introduce you to some of the best museums and architectures you had ever dreamt of. Here are some of the Major attractions in Berlin:
1. Discover Berlin Wall and memorial
2. Visit Grunewald one of Berlin’s largest forested area
3. Hear the Berlin Philharmonic
4. Visit Pergamon Museum on an Island
5. Berlin Cathedral
Munich & Bavaria: Bavaria, clearly one of Germany’s prettiest regions with its picturesque villages, world famous castle and majestic Alps. Sightseeing in Munich introduces some of the most fascinating architectures in Germany. Here are some of the Major attractions in Munich and Bavaria:
1. Staatliche Hofbrauhaus (the most famous beer hall in the world)
2. Neuschwanstein castle
3. Marienplatz- Marien square and the new town of hall
4. Dachau Concentration Camp
5. Deutsches Museum
Frankfurt: Frankfurt has been Germany’s financial capital for centuries and it is the home of a number of major banks and brokerages. It’s considered on of the smallest metropolis in the world, in which there is a lot to discover at close hand.
1. The Goethe House
2. Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse
3. The main Tower
4. The Romerberg
5. Senckenberg Natural History Museum (Naturmuseum Senckenberg)
Getting to Germany
Getting to Germany is an easy task as it is well linked with other countries through all means of transport. Traveling by air is the easiest and most convenient ways to get to Germany. There are a large number of international airlines that have flights to Germany; whether you are traveling within the mainland of Europe or from outside Europe.
Getting to Germany by the train is one of the most economical ways of reaching the country. Deutsche Bahn rail passenger system, Eurostar and InterCity Express are the major train services that linked Germany with other European nations and cities.
Another way to reach Germany could be by taking a cruise. The good waterway system of the country provides this exiting option of getting there by boat.
Getting around Germany
Travel by car is far the best way of getting around giving you freedom to move around and getting everywhere you need at your own pace and get the real flavor of the place. Driving in Germany is a pleasure as the roads are in excellent condition and the drivers are well-trained and cooperative. Rental cars are available at the airport, hotels and some other places.
Travel by train is also a great alternative. Germany’s world-class transportation system is one of the most admirable things about the country and easily considered one of the world’s best and most efficient passenger rail systems. They covered mostly all the routes and attractions around the country and the trip will be comfortable, economical, and on time.
Travel by bicycle is a healthy alternative form of transportation. Germany is a bike-friendly country with more than 31,000 miles of designated trails and routes, if you need to travel a long distance, Bicycles are welcome on most regional trains. Cycling is tough but rewarding in the Alps or for more leisurely tours takes your bike through the vineyards. Ideal for families are the many riverside routes which offer plenty of wayside distraction. Or perhaps you’d prefer to cycle from museum to museum? What ever you decide, Germany has a range of cyclist-friendly accommodation.
Eating out is quite popular in Germany, and you will find that there is no big difference between going out to a restaurant in Germany and the U.S. Germany is famous for its hearty and traditional dishes, but it also offers exquisite vegetarian and international cuisine. There is not such of thing as standard “German Cuisine” rather several regional specialties ranging from smoke sprats from Kiel to white sausage with sweet mustard from Munich.
There are a lot of places to eat everywhere you go; although most Hotels and resorts offer better than average dinning it will be a great experience to try also one of the many reasonably priced independent restaurants. Depending on your preference and budget, you could enjoy a great meal starting from local family dining to the finest restaurants.
There are a large number of shopping malls and departmental stores in its numerous cities especially in Berlin and Frankfurt. You can buy a great number of articles ranging from fashionable clothes, accessories, shoes, jewelry and other needs.