Germany culture is known for its industry and efficiency. After all, it is the country that pioneered luxury automobiles, intricately carved cuckoo clocks, Beethoven’s symphonies, proficient transportation networks, and a resilient economy that keeps on clicking despite Europe’s financial problems. Behind this efficiency lies the real source of Germany’s strength: its people. The most populous country in the European Union is home to more than 80 million, spread among its 16 states. The country was reunified in 1990 after the Berlin Wall came down, 45 years after World War II’s seismic split. Decades after the reunification, Germany has evolved into a top destination for travelers. Enjoying one of the world’s highest standards of living, Germany also has one of the largest tourism infrastructures. With its modern roads to match luxury hotels, an abundance of attractions, and top-notch shopping, Germany culture is quite up to date. But it’s also a place in touch with its past, evidenced by its castles, museums, and grand historic buildings.
Culture, like history and trends, develops over time and varies according to person, location, and the situation. In general, though, Germany does have its customs that are helpful to know before beginning any tours. Germans tend to be very tolerant and friendly of locals and vistiors. It is common to be greeted with a simple hello ("guten tag"), when entering a store, train car, or waiting room. Conversely, many Germans wish people goodbye ("auf Wiedersehen") when someone is leaving, and it’s not uncommon to shake hands with both strangers and friends. It’s also important to know that Germans generally observe quiet hours on Sunday and at night, and visitors are expected to join in. The hours can vary from city to city, so you might want to check with the innkeeper or neighbors if you’re not familiar with the customs where you’re staying.
An essential component of the Germany culture, food is about more than what’s on the plate. It’s often a reason to celebrate and share hospitality. Take for instance Oktoberfest. Sure, thousands of people come to Munich each fall to take in the beer, but they also come to sample the live music and even livelier nightlife. Even when it isn't festival time, Germany cuisine tends to focus on beer and sausage, with some variation depending on the region. Other German dishes often feature meat, including pork and poultry, as well as fresh vegetables. Many of the meals are finished with sweets, including cheesecake, fresh fruit tarts, and tortes filled with whipped cream.
The majority of Germans adhere to Christianity, some 63 percent of the overall population. Of that, about half are Roman Catholic, mainly in the north, with the other half belonging to the Protestant Evangelical Church in Germany in the south. Germany is also home to a large component of Muslims and Buddhists as well as people who don’t adhere to any religion. Regardless of religious affiliation, many people make a trip to see the famous Cologne Cathedral. The massive building towers of the skyline of the city and it is truly remarkable to see in person.
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