Top events in Germany

February
05

Attracting in excess of 400,000 visitors every year, the Berlinale is one of the film industry’s most popular events. Over the course of 10...

February
11

A pre-Lent shindig particularly popular in Bavaria (where it’s called Fasching) and Rhineland, Karneval sees colourful parades, traditional merry-...

February
12

One of the biggest events on the calendar, carnival sweeps across the city each year as a vibrant display of how to have a good time. Expect lots...

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Pin This
Open Media Gallery

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

© 123rf.com

Germany Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

357,022 sq km (137,846 sq miles).

Population

82.6 million (2014).

Population density

227.2 per sq km.

Capital

Berlin.

Government

Federal Republic since 1949.

Head of state

President Joachim Gauck since 2012.

Head of government

Chancellor Angela Merkel since 2005.

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style round two-pin plugs are in use.

Misunderstood by many, Germany is one of the most varied and charming countries on the continent. Anyone expecting a homogenous nation conforming to old Teutonic stereotypes is in for a shock.

As a destination, it offers a clutch of truly lovely cities, culture served up in hefty portions and rural scenery so pretty you’ll wonder why it isn't on every tourist hit list.

The country occupies a prime position at the heart of Europe – both literally and figuratively. It is home to the biggest economy on the continent, has more inhabitants than anywhere else in the EU and shares land borders with no less than nine other nations.

It's no surprise, then, that today’s Germany is more diverse and cosmopolitan than old stereotypes suggest; mixing time-honoured nationalism and tradition with multicultural modernism and self-confidence.

It’s the nation’s urban highlights that immediately draw the attention. Berlin is the definition of dynamism, having forged a good-time reputation for groundbreaking creativity while still keeping sight of its past.

Elsewhere, the likes of Cologne, Munich and Hamburg provide the capital with able support. Not only are they rich in history, whether in the forms of classical music, fine art or medieval architecture, but they also put pay to the notion that Germans don’t do gastronomy. These days, you can dine and drink extremely well in Deutschland.

Then there's the beautiful German countryside. From the sky-scraping peaks of the Bavarian Alps and pale cliffs of the Jasmund National Park to the castles of the Rhine and moors of the Mecklenburg Lake District, it's nirvana for hikers, cyclists, boaters, motorists and skiers alike.

Travelling around this country is a piece of Black Forest gâteau. Costs are manageable, overcrowding is rare and, despite its size, it could not be easier to get from A to B thanks to an incredibly efficient public transport network. Which proves some of those old German stereotypes do hold true.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 29 January 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

There is a general threat from terrorism.

Around 2,000,000 British nationals visit Germany every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

If you need to contact the emergency services call 112.

British nationals have been arrested for possessing counterfeit currency. Avoid changing money anywhere other than banks or legitimate bureaux de change.

Newsletter