Visa Requirements:Schengen Visa
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe.
It includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,021 square kilometers (137,847 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With about 82 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member state of the European Union.
After the United States, it is the second most popular immigration destination in the world. Germany's capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while its largest conurbation is the Ruhr, with its main centers of Dortmund and Essen.
The country's other major cities are Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Bremen, Dresden, Hanover and Nuremberg.
Germany is a global leader in science and technology as its achievements in the fields of science and technology have been significant. Research and development efforts form an integral part of the economy. The Nobel Prize has been awarded to 107 German laureates. It produces the second highest number of graduates in science and engineering (31%) after South Korea. In the beginning of the 20th century, German laureates had more awards than those of any other nation, especially in the sciences (physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine).
Germany is the seventh most visited country in the world, with a total of 407 million overnights during 2012. This number includes 68.83 million nights by foreign visitors. In 2012, over 30.4 million international tourists arrived in Germany. Berlin has become the third most visited city destination in Europe.
Places To Go
Germany is a Western European country with a landscape of forests, rivers, mountain ranges and North Sea beaches. It has over 2 millennia of history. Berlin, its capital, is home to art and nightlife scenes, the Brandenburg Gate and many sites relating to WWII. Munich is known for its beer halls, including the 16th-century Hofbräuhaus. Frankfurt, with its skyscrapers, houses the European Central Bank.
With the diversity of its various regions, Germany has something to offer to all travelers. From the historic walks through Berlin, river cruising on the Rhine near Frankfurt or attending the Oktoberfest in Munich, every tourist will find a city that suits his tastes.
From the North Sea shores to the Alps bordering Austria, Germany is also full of different landscapes and offers a lot of activities.
Germany’s capital, dates to the 13th century. Reminders of the city's turbulent 20th-century history include its Holocaust memorial and the Berlin Wall's graphitized remains. Divided during the Cold War, its 18th-century Brandenburg Gate has become a symbol of reunification. The city's also known for its art scene and modern landmarks like the gold-colored, swoop-roofed Berliner Philharmonie, built in 1963
Bavaria’s capital, is home to centuries-old buildings and numerous museums. The city is known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration and its beer halls, including the famed Hofbräuhaus, founded in 1589. In the Altstadt (Old Town), central Marienplatz square contains landmarks such as Neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (town hall), with a popular glockenspiel show that chimes and reenacts stories from the 16th century.
A central German city on the river Main, is a major financial hub that's home to the European Central Bank. It's the birthplace of famed writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose former home is now the Goethe House Museum. Like much of the city, it was damaged during World War II and later rebuilt. ]
A major port city in northern Germany, is connected to the North Sea by the Elbe River. It's crossed by hundreds of canals, and also contains large areas of parkland. Near its core, Inner Alster lake is dotted with boats and surrounded by cafes. The city's central Jungfernstieg boulevard connects the Neustadt (new town) with the Altstadt (old town), home to landmarks like 18th-century St. Michael’s Church.
A 2,000-year-old city spanning the Rhine River in western Germany, is the region’s cultural hub. A landmark of High Gothic architecture set amid reconstructed old town, the twin-spired Cologne Cathedral is also known for its gilded medieval reliquary and sweeping river views. The adjacent Museum Ludwig showcases 20th-century art, including many masterpieces by Picasso, and the Romano-Germanic Museum houses Roman antiquities.
Capital of the eastern German state of Saxony, is distinguished by the celebrated art museums and classic architecture of its reconstructed old town. Completed in 1743 and rebuilt after WWII, the baroque church Frauenkirche is famed for its grand dome. The Versailles-inspired Zwinger palace houses museums including Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, exhibiting masterpieces of art like Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna.”
The Black Forest
A mountainous region in southwest Germany, bordering France. Known for its dense, evergreen forests and picturesque villages, it is often associated with the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. It's renowned for its spas and the cuckoo clocks produced in the region since the 1700s. The region’s largest town, Freiburg, is filled with Gothic buildings and surrounded by vineyards.
Also known as Lake Constance, this is a 63km-long central European lake that borders Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Fed by the Rhine River, it’s composed of 2 connected parts, the Untersee (lower lake) and the larger Obersee (upper lake). Ringed by resort towns, it's a summer destination for sailing, windsurfing and swimming. The Bodensee-Radweg cycle path encircles the entire lake in about 260km.
A city in northern Bavaria, is distinguished by medieval architecture such as the fortifications and stone towers of its Altstadt (Old Town). At the northern edge of the Altstadt, surrounded by red-roofed buildings, stands Kaiserburg Castle. The Hauptmarkt (central square) contains the Schöner Brunnen, the gilded “beautiful fountain” with tiers of figures, and Frauenkirche, a 14th-century Gothic church.
A town on the Neckar River in southwestern Germany. It’s known for venerable Heidelberg University, founded in the 14th century. Gothic Heiliggeistkirche church towers over the café-lined Marktplatz, a town square in the Altstadt (Old Town). The red-sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle, a noted example of Renaissance architecture, stand on Königstuhl hill.
Most of Germany has a temperate seasonal climate dominated by humid westerly winds. The country is situated in between the oceanic Western European and the continental Eastern European climate. The climate is moderated by the North Atlantic Drift, the northern extension of the Gulf Stream. This warmer water affects the areas bordering the North Sea; consequently in the northwest and the north the climate is oceanic. Germany gets an average of 789 mm (31 in) of precipitation per year; there is no consistent dry season. Winters are cool and summers tend to be warm: temperatures can exceed 30 °C (86 °F).
The east has a more continental climate: winters can be very cold and summers very warm, and longer dry periods can occur. Central and southern Germany are transition regions which vary from moderately oceanic to continental. In addition to the maritime and continental climates that predominate over most of the country, the Alpine regions in the extreme south and, to a lesser degree, some areas of the Central German Uplands have a mountain climate, with lower temperatures and more precipitation
Germany is a very safe country. Crimes rates are very low compared to southern European countries, and law is strictly enforced. It is ranked 14th on the ranking of world’s safest countries.
Pickpockets may sometimes be an issue in urban areas cities or at crowded events (such as the first of may in Berlin, or soccer games).
Begging is not uncommon in some larger cities, but not to a greater extent than in most other major cities, and you will rarely experience aggressive beggars. Some beggars are organized in groups. Be aware that flashing any cardboard sign very near to your body could be a pickpocket trick.
Recent terrorist attacks have happened in neighboring countries (France and Belgium);and while tourists should raise their level of caution, the police presence has been greatly increased in large cities to deter further attacks. While very few tourists have been victims of these attacks, the terrorist threat is reflected in the safety ranking. Be especially vigilant for bag and phone thieves at transport hubs like train stations, airports, restaurants, outdoor cafes, beaches and on public transport.
In big cities, take the usual precautions (eg: not walking in parks alone at night, not leaving your bike or phone and camera unattended and not keeping your wallet in your back pocket) and you will most likely not encounter any crime at all while staying in Germany.
For any emergency, call the free European-wide number 112.
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Germany is a very safe country. It is ranked 14th out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
There is some pickpocket-related risk in Germany. A few simple precautions will minimize your chances of being pickpocketed.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Germany is a safe country regarding mugging and kidnapping risks, although some areas are best to be avoided at night.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
As in any touristic place, there may be people trying to scam you in Germany. Be aware of “gold ring” tricks, fake petitions, groups of teenagers acting strangely or trying to distract you; and people offering help with your luggage.
TRANSPORT AND TAXIS RISK : LOW
Transports and taxis are generally very safe in Germany.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
There are no natural hazards in Germany.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Germany has recently been targeted by terrorist attacks which, thankfully, resulted in few casualties. If terrorist attacks are still very rare and do no target tourists, it is best to stay alert.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Germany is generally very safe for women travelers.