Germany

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Germany Guide: Spend Less, Do More

Welcome to Germany

Germany-View-Of-Octoberfest-Munich-at-NightGermany, with its rich history and culture, architectural splendour and musical heritage, attracts visitors from all over the world.  Populated with castles and palaces, museums and art galleries, architecture and industry that reflect this incredible country’s past, and state of the art facilities that demonstrate the Germany of the present and future, this friendly, welcoming and relaxing country, will amaze and inspire you.

Germany is full of surprises and it is difficult to know where to start in this treasure trove of landscapes, traditions, art and culture, architectural styles and culinary experiences.  Breathe the sea air of the Baltic, visit the fairytale castles of the Bavarian Plains, hike through the Black Forest's pine carpeted woodlands, or stay in a chalet style hotel in the Alpine meadows.

Germany shares its borders with a number of countries and their influence is suggested in its cities, each of which displays individual qualities. Contrasts in the people, lifestyle and traditions are evident; even the cuisine embraces it own specialities from region to region.

Germany-Frankfurt-Christmas-MarketTravelling the country you will find captivating medieval villages and traditional wine villages, castles, palaces and fortresses that are part of Germany's romance and enchantment. Do not miss a visit to Trier, the 2000-year-old Roman city and Aachen dating as far back as Charlemagne in 768 AD.

Top Things about Germany

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, built in 1791, is Germany’s most symbolic historical structure.  Having had legions of German soldiers, Prussian parades, and even Napoleon Bonaparte himself pass through it, this incredible structure attracts millions of visitors each year to marvel at this immense architectural feat of engineering, and appreciate its incredible history.

For a visually spectacular and truly fairytale architecture, the Neuschwanstein Castle in the South of Germany is an awe-inspiring and unforgettable vision.  The castle, sited to watch over the beautiful Hohenschwangen valley, is packed with murals, ornate carvings and spectacular gothic, Romanesque and Byzantine features that attract thousands of visitors each year.  This amazing, mountainside construction, is the iconic castle which adorns the introduction screen to all Disney films.

The Black Forest is a stunning, scenic region, with vast rolling hills and dense forestry covering over 4500 square miles.  Extending from the spa resort of Baden Baden to the borders of Switzerland, there are incredible routes to explore on foot, by cycle or car, taking in tiny picture postcard villages, sprawling vineyards, majestic castles and enchanting monasteries.  Of course, sampling the famous gateaux of the region is compulsory.

Germany-Baverian-Sausages-with-Bretzel-and-BeerShared with Switzerland and Austria, Lake Constance is a large and old-fashioned resort that has maintained a traditional German aspect, with winding medieval streets and ornate timber housing, all within the area’s very own warm microclimate.

Best Cities to Visit in Germany

As Bavaria’s capital, Munich is a unique and stunningly beautiful city with a combination of Baroque, Gothic and neo-classical architecture that is as inspiring as it is breathtaking.  Cafes and bars fill the ornate streets at the popular Marienplatz and stunning views across the Alps can be seen from the numerous, extraordinary towers that make Munich unique.  Famed for its local beers and traditional menus, there is always a welcoming rest break available.

Cologne cathedral is widely regarded as the most famous sight in Germany and sits within a modern, thriving city which forms the centre of Germany’s media industry.  Hosting international shopping and an extensive array of nightlife with a beautiful scenic city, Cologne is a most popular tourist destination.

Berlin, Germany’s capital city, is steeped in history and tradition and features magnificent and symbolic landmarks representing the country’s incredible heritage.  The remains of parts of the Berlin Wall are a huge tourist attraction, as is the incredible gothic architecture.  Berlin has vast expanses of greenery with beautiful woodlands and parks, as well as an extensive waterway network.  Despite keeping a firm grip on its colourful history, Berlin is a modern and thriving city, with plentiful restaurants and bars, theatres, museums and galleries.

Stuttgart is the country’s primary wine growing city, and famous worldwide for the production of Porsche and Mercedes Benz vehicles.  The main central area around the Schlossplatz is a busy, buzzing area showcasing the talents of the young, artistic and musical student population.

Events in Germany

Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival that celebrates the production of German beers, with a multitude of sideshows and attractions.  Known as the biggest festival in the world, traditional brass bands, circus performers, musicians and rollercoasters  bring in tourists from all around the globe.  The event occurs each September, so do not be fooled by the name.

Fasching is the German equivalent to carnival and hosts dramatic and flamboyant parades, floats and fairs as well as a number of masked balls. Especially the cities of Cologne and Mainz are famous for their colourful Fasching celebrations.

Berlin proudly hosts the Berlinale International Film Festival, an event that rates as highly on the film calendar as any other European festival, with the Golden Bear awards being much sought after by the nominees.

Local Cuisine, Beer and Wine

Germany has many traditional food and beverages with a particular emphasis on breads, cheese, meat dishes, beer and wine.  The type of food served in restaurants tends to vary from region to region.   Over 13 regions within the country are wine producing, with white wines being the most popular grape.  The Germans are extremely proud of their beer distillation and export much of their finest beers worldwide.  There are over 1,500 breweries in the country with hostelries and inns happy to provide samples during your visit.

Primarily serving hearty meat dishes, normally accompanied with traditional German dumplings, German cuisine tends to be substantial and filling.  Even the desserts tend to be rich, favouring traditional sweets such as Black Forest Gateaux, or Stollen, a rich fruitcake stacked with almonds and spices.

Culture

Germany’s culture has been shaped by its famous and illustrious past, with the German language playing a particularly important role in the nation’s development.  Many world famous philosophers, scientists and composers wrote their theories, formulas and masterpieces within the German language.  Mozart and Beethoven, Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud are all names that are deeply rooted within the German culture.

Germans are widely considered to be logical thinkers, and many of their industries and state management reflect this.  German cars are among the most reliable, functional and solid vehicles.  The country adopts this as a fundamental principle to address matters from a logical standpoint, applying a distinct logic to fiscal policy, criminal justice and wider socio-economic procedures.

In religious terms, Germany has a population that is predominantly of a Christian denomination, with an even split between Catholic and Protestant.

Hotels and Accommodation in Germany 

Germany provides every type of tourist accommodation, from five-star luxury hotels to student dormitory facilities for backpackers.  Hotels, guesthouses and bed and breakfast accommodation tend to afford a traditional German welcome, with friendly service and substantial menus featuring local foods.  Holiday cottages and campsites are a popular choice for tourists as they provide great bases from which to explore all that this beautiful land has to offer. 

Getting around Germany

Driving between the big cities involves long distances.  Driving shorter distances out of the big cities can also be very rewarding. Either way Germany represents some of the best scenic driving experiences in the World. 

Berlin to Frankfurt: 5 h 19 min (545.5 km) via A9 and A4 

Frankfurt to Munich: 4 h 18 min (392.8 km) via A3 and A9

Frankfurt to Hamburg: 5 h 2 min (508.7 km) via A7

Top Scenic Drives in Germany

Driving and great roads are central to the German culture, and the German National Tourism Board publishes over 150 diverse scenic roads in Germany, just to give you some idea of what you can do here.

Here are some of the more well know ones:

The Romantic Road: 350km (220 mile) between Wurzburg and Füssen at the base of the Bavarian Alps. There are lots of medieval towns along the way.  

The Fairy-Tale Road: Relive the characters of the Brothers Grimm again by driving along this 595km (370-mile) road, beginning in the town of Hanau and finishing north in Bremen

Alpine Road: Magnificent mountains and castles of charm make up this remarkable experience along  this 480km (300-mile) journey through the Bavarian Alps foothills.

Upper Black Forest: The Black Forest, consisting of twisting secondary roads that combine with the Freiburg to Lake Titisee pass expose you to much charm and fairytale castles.

Accommodation, driving and car rental

At Cheaperthanhotels and Cheaperthancars we have a wide range of car rental discounts at convenient locations and accommodation to meet all budgets and taste across Germany. We really do believe that the less you spend, the more you will have to do when you get there.

Your Cheaperthanhotels Team