Germany is one of the world’s leading sightseeing destinations by virtue of its unique historical attractions, its charming medieval buildings, beautiful landscapes and legendary cultural events.
It is a nation re-embracing the progressive liberalism of the early Weimar Republic and redefining its modern cultural identity, but it also never lets you forget that it has played a leading role in world history.
The strong economies of the major cities attract much of Germany’s business travel. Yet there is plenty to do when your working day is over.
Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt are all full of important historical sites and points of interest. Checkpoint Charlie and Dachau will remind any visitor of German’s troubled history while, at the other end of the spectrum lies the joyful prospect of the Romantic Road – a classic, perfectly picturesque road trip, running from Würzburg to Füssen, through perfectly preserved towns and villages.
Elsewhere there is the magnificent Rhineland and Garmisch-Partenkirchen region whose natural splendour will thrill even the most demanding outdoors enthusiast.
Indeed, Germany’s landscapes are wide and varied, offering something for everyone. They encompass hills dotted with turreted castles, snow-capped mountains, lush river valleys, dark and mysterious forests and bustling medieval villages. After all, this is the land of fairy tales, where Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood ventured into the woods.
It’s not all dreamy scenery, though – there is also a lively cultural scene to enjoy. Every year, millions of liters of beer are consumed in Munich during the city's Oktoberfest, where locals and visitors discover true German revelry. Berlin’s fascinating history, from the Brandenburg Gate to the iconic murals still adorning the old Berlin Wall, is complemented by its vibrant nightlife.
In Germany you can discover the birthplace of Beethoven and Bauhaus, Goethe and glühwein, lager and lederhosen.
What’s more, you’ll be in the perfect spot to explore Europe further. Situated right at the heart of Europe, and bordering nine other countries, Germany also offers an ideal gateway to any tour of the continent.
Germany is certainly a year-round destination, although be warned the European winters (December to February) can get very cold.
Coastal regions of Germany have a temperate climate with warm summers and mild cloudy winters. Inland it is more continental, with warmer summers and colder winters. The Alpine and upland regions tend to have cooler weather and more rain.
In Berlin, in eastern Germany, July and August are the warmest months with an average temperature of 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit). In the winter months of December to February you can expect temperatures hovering either side of freezing point.
German is the official language but you will find that English is also widely spoken and understood.
Germany is a member of the European Union. You may need a Schengen visa (short stay visa) to stay in the country for more than 90 days. Please check the rules around visa requirements before you travel, as they may change regularly.
Non-EEA members require proof of their onward or return tickets, travel documentation for their next destination and sufficient funds to support themselves whilst in Germany.
A visit to Germany should be trouble free, but, as ever, you should take the normal precautions to avoid mugging, bag-snatching and pick-pocketing, especially at airports and railway stations in the larger cities.
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On weekend breaks, time is short. You just want to do the best of the best: visit the best museums, have the best treatments, eat at the best restaurants.