Germany

Welcome to Germany

Regiones and Cities Events Places Activities Experience People

    German produce is famous for its quality and precision, so most visitors are probably already familiar with many of its smaller exports aside from beer. For example, Adidas, Birkenstock, Boss, Nivea, Mont Blanc, Villeroy & Boch or Meissen are well-known brand names. Although you will find larger selections of these products in Germany, the prices for these brands are not significantly cheaper than anywhere else in Europe. Furthermore, most cities have local alternatives displayed in several independent boutiques and vintage outlets. Berlin and Hamburg are two excellent places to brow for the latest electronics and fantastic record shops.

Nothing is more spectacular than Christmas time in Germany when a Santa’s shop of exquisite, carefully crafted German crafts are on offer.  These are on offer for purchase year-round, but the Christmas markets offer the perfect opportunity to browse larger varieties of these items. Since the 18th century, cuckoo clocks have been made in the southern part of the country. We recommend buying them here and shops throughout  the Black Forest sell them.

Like other countries, many outdoor sports are offered from the mud-flats of the North Sea to the southern Bavarian Alps. The terrain is so diverse that almost any outdoor activity is available – even for dedicated surfers. However, football is the national favourite despite most people are only following it onscreen – usually from a seat in a bar.

In 1874, an Englishman imported Foozeball to Dresden. This led to football becoming the number one spectators’ sport in Germany – the 1954 World Cup was won by the German national team. The team now has a firm reputation for being invincible and their style emphasizes working hard over personal flair. If winning three World Cups and three European Championships isn’t enough, the German national team – to the despair of English fans - has not lost a penalty shoot-out since 1976.

Tickets for the Bundesliga’s (the German Premier League) club games are cheaper than tickets for the UK’s Premier League. While these games can be somewhat disappointing since most of the talented local players are enticed with lucrative contracts in British and Italian leagues, these matches are still a must-see for true football fans – the stadium facilities are superb following their facelift in preparation for the 2006 World Cup. The top club, Bayern Munich, often participates in the European Champions League; they hold a record 22 league cups. Other names to look for are Borussia Mönchengladbach (5 titles); Borussia Dortmund, with around 79,000 attendance that rivals the European largest of FC Barcelona; Werder Bremen; and Hamburger SV. The last one, Hamburger SV, is the only team that has never been relegated.

   From mid-August to the end of May, games are played regularly; you can buy tickets at various fan shops in the week before the game (with the exception of the biggest games) or from booths outside the gates on the match day, which is usually a Saturday. The league websites provide information about the games, grounds and online tickets, which range from €10–50 for a seat. While hard-drinking and the bellowing of the national anthem is prevalent among some fans, the games are non-violent.

Due to the country’s diverse and abundant landscape, Germany also has many scenic walks and longer hikes. You’re sure to find a well-marked trail– or at least a short walk– wherever you go. Nordic walking, which involves striding with purpose using ski poles, has gained favour as a form of fitness over the last few years. The Harz, the Black Forest, the Bavarian Alps, Saxon Switzerland and the Thuringian Forest are all ideal for walking, but the views can be somewhat restricted as you are travelling through thick forests. Saxon Switzerland and Thuringian Forest are considered to be the most scenic long-distance walking routes with the 112km Malerweg and the better liked168km Rennsteig. There are also a number of hotels and small inns that specialize in accommodation for hikers along these routes. Kompass publishes hiking maps for the more popular areas, but there are also many guides (Wanderführer) available through most bookstores.

    For cyclists, Germany has over 200 long-distance routes covering an incredible 42,000km of the country in excellent touring routes. The off-road cycling routes usually follow river valleys and the Elberadweg is a classic as it trails 860km of river while cutting northwest from Schöna in Saxon Switzerland to Cuxhaven on the North Sea. For cross-country routes, you can wind through the unknown waters of the Mecklenburg Lakes Cycle Route or go directly down the Baltic Coast to explore the industrial centre of the Ruhrgebiet among others. There are also special forest trails like the Mountain Bike Rennsteig, which makes mountain biking an excellent choice and tracks that run alongside the country’s favourite walking path through the Thuringian Forest.

    In winter, German ski holidays offer world-class facilities at reasonable low prices followed by warm German food in a country-side Gaststätte after skiing.  South of Munich, the Bavarian Alps have the top resorts of which Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a favourite; it was upgraded as an Olympic town when preparing for the 2011 Alpine World Ski Championship. This is the perfect place for skiing with pistes that range from 700m to 3km, with a snowboard park and 40km of cross-country trails, lying on the Austrian border above the country’s tallest mountain Zugspitze (2,964m). However, the nearby village of Oberammergau, at 90km, offers the best cross-country skiing and also has steep slopes on the Laber Hills (1,683km). The Dammkar tunnel near Mittenwald is also a perfect place for skiing. In southwest Bavaria, the Allgäu area provides the greatest ongoing skiing with 500km of downhill slopes, deep-snow skiing and 200 ski lifts. Moving away from Bavaria, the Black Forest has good downhill slopes, while the lower-lying regions of Harz and the Sauerland are better for cross-country skiing. There are fewer choices available in the highlands of the Thuringian Forest around Oberhof and on the Czech border in south Saxony.

    The ski season runs from mid-November or December until February – March. Ski gear can be rented and lessons are usually offered by resorts, ski shops or the ski schools can be found on the pistes.

Germany is also perfect for many watersports with its numerous waterways, lakes and coast. Renting a boat, even in large cities, is typically done by the hour and is generally an option from April to September or October. Canoeing and kayaking are popular on big rivers. The River Oder is a popular place for canoeing and kayaking. Also the Müritz National Park in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania probably offers the best multi-day trips and canoeing. You can also do this type of trip south of Berlin in the Spreewald and on the Schleswig-Holstein lakes from Eutin to Kiel. Information about rentals is available at the numerous local tourist centres. If you intend renting equipment for a river trip, look for an operator who offers transport and collects the gear when you finish your trip so that you only have to travel one-way.

    Lake Mürtitz, Germany’s second-largest lake, and the waterways of Brandenburg, north of Berlin is also favourite locations for houseboat holidays. You can also rent boats here. No license is needed for most waterways provided the boat under 13m in length.

The holiday resorts on Rügen and Sylt are ideal for windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing, and you can rent equipment here. Sylt is a stop on the Windsurf World Cup tour. The Baltic Sea off Rügen typically offers flat waters while more challenging waves are found in the North Sea off Sylt. Naturally, Sylt is home to the surfing scene in Germany and local rentals are available.


Featured Activities

Black Forest Day Tour

Explore the beautiful Black Forest on a private customised tour.

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna

Located on Vienna's outskirts, the Baroque Schönbrunn Palace was completed in the early 1700s and was later converted into a summer residence by Empress Maria Theresa.

Go whale watching

You may think that you need to be far away from civilization to see whales but actually you can go on a whale watching tour from Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland.

Skiing at Kitzbühel and Kitzbüheler Horn

One of the best places to ski in Austria, the famed resort town of Kitzbühel spoils snow lovers with its 170 kilometers of skiable pistes and slopes dotted with little mountain huts, where they can stop for traditional Alpine snacks and warming drink

Cobh Heritage Centre

The port town of Cobh, formerly known as Queenstown, was the departure point for millions of Irish emigrants who left the country between 1848 and 1960.

Melbourne Outlet Shopping Tour
Melbourne Outlet Shopping Tour

Discover Melbourne's famous discount outlet strips, pop-up sales and hard-to-find warehouses, where you'll find big savings on clothing and accessories, housewares, shoes, handbags, jewelry and more! Browse the shops on Swan Street, Bridge Road.

Herăstrău Park
Herăstrău Park