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Places in Germany

The Federal Republic of Germany covers an area of 357,000 sq km (138,000 sq miles). Some of its frontiers are formed by natural boundaries such as the North Sea and Baltic to the north, and the Alps to the south. The beautiful wildernesses of Bavaria and the Black Forest are hugely popular with visitors, as are the pulsing cities of Berlin, Munich and Hamburg
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What do you want to see in Germany?

It is hard to find a single image that fairly conjures up Germany. One reason is that Germany is less homogeneous than most European countries and any familiar image – such as that of the lederhosen-clad beer imbiber – represents only one distinct part of the staunchly federal nation, not all of it. In that respect, perhaps Germany is Europe’s equivalent to the United States. It offers a variety of landscapes, all packed into a country that stretch­es around 1,000 km (620 miles) between the north coast and the Alps and about 700 km (435 miles) at its widest point from west to east. There is much to discover, whether in the unchanging delights of the coun­try­side or the vibrant culture of the cities.

Prussians and Bavarians

The Bavarians jokingly de­scribe the Weiss­wurst-Äquator (“veal sausage equator”) that runs along the River Main as the border be­tween them and the Prussians, who seem to include everyone who isn’t Bavarian. In reality, the border of the Roman empire ran along the Main and the Rhine and left its mark on both culture and lifestyle. That the Romans didn’t succeed in moving this border further north had its compensations, as they didn’t have to do without their customary wine – the only place in Germany where wine is grown on the other side of the Rhine–Main line is near Dresden on the Elbe. Baden is excellent wine country but in the north they prefer beer and Klaren (clear schnapps). The enjoyment of beer is some­thing the Prussians and the Bavarians do have in common.

Alpine scenery and vibrant cities

Germany has some of the most stunning landscape in Europe. Every year, thousands of visitors discover the alpine beauty of Bavaria and the escapism afforded by the Black Forest.

Because of its federal structure, Germany does not have just one dom­i­nant political and cul­tur­al centre, such as you find in France or the United Kingdom, but several. The three largest state me­trop­o­lis­es – Berlin, Hamburg and Munich all hold delights – as does the financial centre, Frankfurt-am-Main.

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Aachen travel guide

Close to the border with the Netherlands and Belgium, Aachen is Germany's westernmost city and one of the oldest cities in the country, boasting a fine münster. The city was ...

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Bavaria travel guide

Southern Bavaria is perhaps the most glamorous part of Germany, and certainly the most popular part of the country for holidaymakers, with villages of timber houses clustering roun...

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Berchtesgaden travel guide

Once a favourite summer retreat of the Bavarian royal fam­ily, the delightful small town of Berchtesgaden and its surroundings encapsulate all the attractions of the Bav­ar...

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Berlin travel guide

Germany’s federal capital, Berlin is one of the most dynamic and exciting­ cities of Europe, attracting visitors from around the globe. The city’s most visual...

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Black Forest travel guide

The best-known of all Germany’s upland massifs, the Black Forest or Schwarzwald extends for about 160km (100 miles) southwards from Karlsruhe to the Swiss border. Its blackne...

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Bonn travel guide

Before 1949, the ma­jor claim to fame of the sleepy elec­tor­al residence city and uni­ver­si­ty town of Bonn was as the birth­place of composer Ludwig ...

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Bremen travel guide

The old Hanseatic town of Bremen lies far inland up the River Weser and, together with the port of Bremer­haven, 57 km (35 miles) fur­ther to the north, com­pris­es...

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Cologne travel guide

A great city in Roman times, and, in the Middle Ages, Germany’s largest, Köln (Cologne) is dominated by its glorious twin-­towered cathedral, one of the supreme achi...

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Dresden travel guide

Renowned for its extravagant love of the arts and with its great monuments lovingly rebuilt after wartime devastation, Dresden once more deserves its title of 'Florence on the Elbe...

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Düsseldorf travel guide

Lying 40 km (25 miles) to the north of Cologne, not far from the industrial Ruhr, the city of Düssel­dorf is the cap­i­tal of Germany’s most ­populat­...

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Read more about Germany

Read more about places in Germany in Insight Flexi Map: Germany

Insight Flexi Map: Germany

This new Insight Flexi Map of Germany has a scale of 1:1 million, and is in a larger size format than traditional Insight Flexi Maps.New style road mapping has been utilised, along with a city plans o...

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