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A hub of culture and history

From bustling cities to pristine natural landscapes, Germany holidays have much more to offer than a single trip can accommodate. As Europe’s largest economy, and with a regal history enshrined in its many castles, the nation is enterprising and welcoming – forward-looking while never forgetting its past. In the northern cities, like Hamburg, and the expansive capital, Berlin, Germany has embraced its artistic, bohemian flair – a blend of old and new emerging from post-war reconstruction.

In the more affluent south, Munich shines as a Bavarian oasis of luxury – for those who can afford it – and is a perfect stop en route to the fairytale Neuschwanstein castle. Meanwhile, a visit to Stuttgart opens the way to Germany’s picturesque landscapes. Head for the Black Forest, where hiking trails and lakes provide some extraordinary natural getaways, or lakeside Lindau, which offers views over the snow-capped German Alps. A slew of smaller cities – including Düsseldorf with its innovative cultural scene, or Cologne with its mighty cathedral – offer their own local specialities and sights.

When it comes to dining, look no further than the neighbourhood beer garden or hall for a list of brews to make any beer lover’s eyes bulge. Traditional dishes, from an impressive array of sausages to cheesy spätzle and mounds of kraut, are just the beginning of a German feast – save room for the strudels and cakes that follow. After all, you’ll need energy for the countless museums, historical sites, architectural marvels and other attractions that make holidays to Germany a must for any European escapade.

Three tips for a top trip

Wurst is bestLocal beer gardens and halls are the place to sample German specialities, from wheat beer and pilsner to a variety of bratwursts and buttery pretzels.
Carry cashBe sure to have cash when you head out sightseeing, as many establishments don’t take cards. And you’ll usually need coins to use the public loos.
Stay in laneWalking in cycle lanes, jaywalking and similar public space infringements are frowned upon in Germany. For happy rambling, be sure to stay within the painted lines.

Don’t-miss dates in Germany

Oktoberfest in Bavaria

Don’t let the name fool you. This beer-drenched, month-long event begins in September and has drawn enormous crowds from around the world since its inception in 1810.

Christmas holidays

From pine trees to Santa himself, Germans basically invented modern Christmas, and their outdoor markets, complete with everything from crafts to hot wine, are not to be missed.

February in Berlin

After Cannes, the Berlin International Film Festival is arguably the world’s largest, and the star-studded crowds in the German capital are like no other.

Best things to do in Germany

Drink beer in Munich

Swigging a litre of something hoppy in a Bavarian beer hall is a quintessential German experience year-round. Marvel at the servers delivering armfuls of glasses to patrons without spilling a drop.

Dance it up in Düsseldorf

The Altstadt (old town) along Düsseldorf’s waterfront is the place to mingle with locals and tourists alike, and where the party will likely only just have begun.

Explore Berlin’s museums

Berlin’s Museum Island is a Unesco World Heritage Site with world-class museums showcasing the best in art and archaeology, including impressive collections of Egyptian artefacts.