Destination: Germany

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WHY VISIT GERMANY

Berlin, the capital represents the best of Germany; you will be seduced by this vibrant town with its renowned nightlife, great green spaces for relaxing, its numerous buildings splendid in their architectural style, and museums filled with a huge variety of treasures.

Munich is the other must-see during your visit to Germany; very cosmopolitan, vivacious with its numerous picturesque cafes and various museums dedicated to different fields of art and technology. Do not miss the memorial to Dachau Concentration Camp, your visit there will make a lasting impression.

The whole of Bavaria is a great place to tour around; Oberammergau with its painted houses, the castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein and also Linderhof, the medieval town of Nurembur and its museum, Ratisbonne Cathedral, and the Bayreuth Opera House are just a few examples of the marvelous places you will find along the way.

Those who are feeling energetic may wish to go to the Frise Islands, crisscrossed by hiking paths and ideal to practice cycling or horse riding in a natural and light-filled landscape.

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WHAT TO SEE IN GERMANY

Top destinations in Germany are:

  • Berlin
  • Hamburg
  • Munich
  • Frankfurt
  • Dresden
  • Cologne
  • Germich
  • Stuttgart
  • Heldelberg
  • Potsdam
  • Leipzig
  • Düsseldorf

WHEN TO GO TO GERMANY

Weather in Germany

The best period to visit Germany is from June to September.

Much of the country receives its maximum rainfall in midsummer, so although the weather in June, July, and August can be very warm, it can also be unpredictable. For more settled weather with sunshine and comfortable temperatures, late spring and early autumn – May, September, and early October – are the best time to visit: the Germans don’t call the harvest season “Goldener Oktober” for nothing.

The ski season in the Alps runs between Christmas and the end of March. Germany’s climate straddles the maritime climates of the western European seaboard and the more extreme conditions found further east. The prevailing wind is from the west so that the mild climate of the Rhineland and the North Sea coast quite closely resembles that of the UK or Ireland.

Winters are more severe further east while heading south the effects of steadily increasing altitude ensure Munich’s summers are no warmer than those of Berlin. The balmiest climate in Germany is found in the wine-growing southwest, where it’s not unusual to see lavender, Mediterranean pine, almond, and even lemon trees.

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Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Germany

January/February

Karneval (also known as Fasching or Fastnet). Seven weeks before Easter. Pagan-rooted pre-Lent specialty of the Rhineland and Bavaria, where it’s known as Fasching. Warm-up events throughout late January climax in late February (or early March) with costumed parades and considerable revelry. Cologne has the most celebrated Karneval, followed by Düsseldorf and Mainz, or Munich’s more jolly Fasching. Black Forest events are more traditional, the unique event in Rottweil, Baden-Württemberg, almost pagan.

March/April

Easter Late March or early April. Sacred pomp throughout Catholic Germany – especially impressive in Bavaria.

Walpurgisnacht April 30, Harz. Celebration of the witches’ sabbath with costumed parades and music throughout the Harz area.

May

Hafengeburtstag Hamburg, weekend closest to May 7. Tall ships and flotilla parades in the world’s largest harbor festival. hafengeburtstag.de.

Passionsspiele Oberammergau, May–Sept. Once-a-decade passion play by locals of a Bavarian village celebrated nationwide. passionsspiele2010.de.

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Karneval der Kulturen Berlin, last weekend in May. Berlin celebrates its ethnic diversity in a “Carnival of Cultures” – expect around 1.5 million people. karneval-berlin.de.

Rhein im Flammen “Rhine in Flames”. May–Sept, Rhineland. Start of the firework spectaculars along the Rhine from Bonn to Bingen; culminates in August in Koblenz. rhein-in-flammen.de.

Leipziger Honky Tonk Saturday, usually mid-May, Leipzig. In theory a music festival in a hundred boozers, actually Europe’s largest pub crawl.

Africa Festival End of May, Würzburg. Europe’s largest celebration of African culture: dance, music, and parades. africafestival.org.

June

Christopher Street Day June–July, nationwide. Parades and parties for gay pride events, over thirty years young – largest events in Berlin, Munich, and Cologne. csd-deutschland.de.

Wave-Gotik-Treffen Whitsun (first weekend in June or last in May), Leipzig. Around 25,000 Goths muster for the world’s largest doom-fest. wave-gotik-treffen.de.

Bachfest Mid-June, Leipzig. A week-long celebration of the great composer in the city where he produced his finest works. www.bach-leipzig.de.

Kieler Woche Last week in June, Kiel. A long-standing fixture on the international sailing circuit: races, parades, and parties. kieler-woche.de.

July

Schützenfeste Early July, Hannover. Biggest and best of the Marksmen festivals in Lower Saxony and the Rhineland area. hannover.de/schuetzenfest.

Kinderzeche Mid-July, Dinkelsbühl. Celebrated children’s folklore pageant that re-enacts the town’s capitulation to a Swedish siege in the Thirty Years’ War. kinderzeche.de.

August

Bayreuth Festspiele Late July–Aug, Bayreuth. Prestigious Wagnerian opera festival is spectacular in the composer’s Festspielhaus. Buy tickets as far in advance as possible. bayreuther-festspiele.de.

Weinfeste Late Aug to Sept, Rhine–Mosel area. Traditionally a celebration of the annual grape harvests, in fact, an excuse for a knees-up. Three of the best are in Rudesheim, Mainz, and Dürkheimer, which cites its mid-Sept Wurstmarkt as the biggest wine bash in the world.

Gäubodenfest Mid-Aug, Straubing. Hugely popular Bavarian folk jamboree – folk displays, beer, music, funfairs, and more beer. volksfest-straubing.de.

September/October

Canstatter Volksfest Late Sept to Oct, Stuttgart. Two weeks of oompah bands in traditional costume and fairground attractions in the world’s second-largest beer festival; a less touristy alternative to the Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest Mid-Sept to Oct, Munich. Perhaps the most epic beer-swill on the planet, its fame drawing legions of foreigners among the six million drinkers who descend on the city – six million liters of beer are drunk and over a hundred oxen are grilled. oktoberfest.de.

November

Martinsfest Nov 10–11, north Baden and Rhineland. Festival to honor jovial fourth-century St Martin; marked by a goose lunch on the day and, in the Upper Rhine, preceded by evening children’s lantern processions.

December

Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkt or Christkindelsmarkt), nationwide. Traditional homespun Germany at its most charming (see Christmas markets).

HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH GERMANY

To travel inside the country, the train is the ideal solution: Cheap, reliable, it serves numerous towns. The road network is also very efficient.

by plane, the main airports are:

by train

by car

GENERAL INFORMATION ON GERMANY

health tips & vaccination: none

local currency: European euro

local time zone: GMT+1 (+2)

electricity: type C and type F (230 V – 50 Hz)

mobile phone operators:

WHAT TO DO IN GERMANY

typical food in Germany

  • Bratwurst: grilled sausage typically made from a combination of pork, beef and/or veal.
  • Eisbein mit sauerkraut: cured and boiled leg of pork accompanied by fermented cabbage.
  • Schwäbische maultaschen: large savoury meat-stuffed ravioli from Stuttgart.
  • Brezel: a type of baked bread product made from dough most commonly shaped into a twisted knot.
  • Butterbrez’n: soft pretzel sliced in two and slathered with butter.
  • Käsespätzle: hot egg noodles tossed with cheese.
  • Kartoffelknödel or Kartoffelklöße: dumplings made from a dough consisting of raw or a combination of raw and cooked potatoes.
  • Eintopf: a hearty, warming stew made by cooking vegetables, pulses, and meat in a broth.
  • Wienerschnitzel: thin, breaded, pan-fried veal cutlet.
  • Currywurst: boiled and subsequently fried sausage, served whole or sliced, and a smooth and rich curry-spiced tomato sauce.
  • Kartoffelsuppe: a thick soup made with potatoes, cooked with onions, celery, butter, and milk.
  • Leberwurst: a paste of ground pork liver, onions, and spices. Usually consumed with sauerkraut, or spread on bread.
  • Eierpfannkuchen: pancakes commonly served with jam and sprinkled sugar, fruit, or cream.
  • Schwarzwälder kirschtorte: a cake with layers of chocolate sponge, cherries, and whipped cream and lashings of cherry liqueur.
  • Lebkuchen: gingerbread biscuits typically were eaten around Christmas.
  • Ebbelwoi: an apple wine from Hessen.
  • Apfelstrudel: apple strudel.
  • Schnapps: clear fruit-flavored brandies available in hundreds of varieties.
  • Kirschwasser: a colorless cherry-flavored spirit that originates from the Black Forest region.
  • Bier: there are thousands of varieties of German beer from Weissbier (a cloudy light-colored wheat brew) to Kölsch (a top-fermented beer brewed exclusively in the Cologne region) to Altbier (a dark copper-colored pour most popular in Düsseldorf).
  • Jägermeister: a digestive made with 56 herbs and spices at a strength of 35% alcohol.

souvenirs from Germany

  • Meissen porcelain;
  • Silk scarves;
  • Hand-made Christmas ornaments or Lebkuchen Hearts, gingerbread cookies made in the shape of a heart;
  • Räuchermann, wooden toys used to burn down cone incense;
  • Wooden Nutcrackers;
  • Lederhosen and Dirndl, the Bavarian typical costumes, not without the Bavarian Gambart;
  • Concrete pieces of the Berlin wall;
  • Porcelain beer steins or beer glasses or Das Boot, a beer glass in the shape of a boot;
  • Cuckoo clocks from the black forest;
  • Hummel figurines;
  • Beer, Bauchspeck (a thick slab of skin-on pork belly, smoked and vacuum packed), Knackwurst, Pastrima (air-dried and cured beef, covered in a thick layer of spices), Senft (spicy mustard with a sharp, nasal horseradish bite);

SIMPLE DICTIONARY

Hello: Hallo

Goodbye: Auf Wiedersehen

How are you?: Wie geht es Ihnen?

Thank you: Danke

What is your name?: Wie heissen sie?

How much is it?: Wie viel kostet es?

Sorry: Entschuldigung

Source:

Source: http://www.thebesttimetovisit.com/
Source: http://www.roughguides.com/

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