Germany has a wealth of attractions, stemming from its rich cultural tradition and gorgeous landscapes. The country possesses a bustling nightlife, numerous holidays and festivals, and picturesque scenery. Composed of sixteen states, each with their own personality, Germany is a major industrialized nation, but don’t let that fool you—there are miles and miles of natural wonders to behold: from the Black Forest to the Bavarian Alps to the beaches on the Baltic and North Seas.
Since reunification in 1990, Germany has reclaimed its position as the crossroads of Europe. It links Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia in the north to the Mediterranean countries in the south, and from the countries of the Atlantic to the west—such as France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands—to those of the east—Poland, Austria, and the Czech Republic. As a result, there is a large amount of traffic passing through the country. However, German engineers are known for more than just automobiles; the roads running through the Rhineland, particularly the famed Autobahn, are exceptionally well-designed and maintained. Whether you’re in a bus, a car, or a train, German travel is safe and efficient.
The majority of the nation enjoys a temperate climate with winds out of the west. However, the Gulf Stream moderates the temperature to the north, with mild winters, cool summers, and a fair amount of rain year-round. To the east, the temperatures vary a bit more widely, with colder winters and hotter summers. Depending on location, central and southern Germany can resemble the north or east in temperature.
German travel typically begins in one of the country’s major cities. The capital, Berlin, is always a popular destination, particularly with the renovation it has undertaken to the city center since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Potsdamer Platz is soon to be completed and will be one of the must-see architectural attractions in Germany. However, there are more metropolises beyond Berlin to experience and many are drawn to jaunty Oktoberfest in Munich, the elegant Baroque architecture of Dresden, or Hamburg, known as the Green City on the Water due to its plethora of parks and lawns. Each of the cities offers a different experience to the German tourist.
History is one of the central attractions in Germany and those with a fondness for its study will be richly rewarded. Numerous castles dot the land, including the famous ones built by King Ludwig II, as well as great cathedrals such as the rebuilt Frauenkirche—a tremendous Baroque church that was heavily damaged during World War II. The many museums that can be found will delight and serve to uphold Germany’s reputation as the land of poets and thinkers.
If you are a German tourist with a passion for the nightlife, you will find no better place in Europe than Berlin. The capital city is well known for its all-night parties located in techno-clubs, but if those do not meet your taste do not fear, there are a host of more sophisticated lounges available that feature customized cocktail menus and elegant interiors.
As a member of the European Union, Germany uses the Euro as its currency. German tourists are able to change their currency in banks, post offices, and many major hotels. It is recommended that you exchange at least some money before leaving your own country to avoid long lines in airports. Many ATMs can be found across the country, but they often charge higher fees for international transactions ($5 or more). Credit cards are also accepted in many, but not all, places. However, you may incur a slight fee for the currency conversion.
Those from outside the E.U. will need their passport. Even if you are from the E.U. and possess your identity card, it is advised that those interested in German travel bring their Passport.
So whether your passions include culture, the outdoors, or the nightlife, Germany is an excellent place to visit.