Germany shares its border with Denmark to the north, Switzerland and Austria to the south, Czech Republic and Poland to the east, Netherlands and Belgium to the northwest and France and Luxembourg to the southwest. It covers a total area of 357,000 square kilometers. It is the seventh largest country of Europe. Some part of Germany is located in Western Europe and some part in Central Europe. Germany is one of the founding members of the European Community (founded in 1957) which later in 1993 became the European Union. Germany has a very rich cultural and political history and has been the birth place of many renowned scientists, music composers, inventors and philosophers. After China, Germany is the second largest exporter of goods and the third largest importer of goods after America and China. Germany has a very high living standard and has the world’s oldest Universal Health Care System. Germany presently has 16 states. Each of these 16 states has its own constitution. In total, Germany has 403 districts (102 urban districts and 301 rural districts). The capital city of Germany is Berlin. Berlin is located on the bank of the river Spree in north eastern Germany. It is one of the 16 states and the largest city of Germany. Considered to be a city of culture, science, politics and media of international standard, Berlin has been a very popular destination for tourists.
Berlin: Renowned industries related to bio-technology, electronics, IT, traffic engineering, bio-medical engineering and pharmaceuticals are based in Berlin, providing the city economical stability and glamour. Berlin has many renowned museums, universities, orchestras and research institutes. It has been hosting many sporting events in national and international level. The high standard of living, night life, diverse architecture, festivals, contemporary arts and the great transportation systems for public, within the city of Berlin has made Berlin one of the most popular cities for the tourists. The remains of the great Berlin Wall that once divided East and West Germany and the underground scene of diverse art and culture has given the city additional glamour and importance.
The shortest air distance between Berlin and the capital cities of the bordering countries are:
- Berlin to Copenhagen (Denmark) -356 km
- Berlin to Vienna (Austria) -523 km
- Berlin to Bern (Switzerland) -752 km
- Berlin to Prague (Czech Republic) -280 km
- Berlin to Warsaw (Poland) -520 km
- Berlin to Paris (France) -879 km
- Berlin to Luxembourg (Luxembourg) – 601 km
The air travel distance between Berlin and London is approx 932 km and it takes less than 2 hours to reach Berlin from London by flight. By train it takes nearly 17 hours to reach Berlin via Paris from London (including the stoppage time). The actual train journey is nearly 14 hours. Many flights of various different airways are available. Nearly 15 trains are available from London to Berlin, on a daily basis. Though expensive, train journey by Eurostar and City Night Line is the most comfortable and enjoyable.
Hamburg: After Berlin, Hamburg is the second biggest city of Germany. It is nearly 300 km from Berlin by road or by rail. Hamburg has one of the biggest harbours of the world. It has a great maritime charm and has more number of bridges than any other city of the world. It is also famous for Reeperbahn (the legendary nightlife hub). Miniatur Wunderland (a children’s museum), Park Planten un Blomen (a garden having many plants, flowers, fountains and an ice skating rink), Hafen Hamburg (a great structure at the harbour), Town Hall, Church of St. Michael, Hamburger Kunsthalle (a historic art museum) are arguably the top six out of 271 worth visiting places of Hamburg.
Munich: Located to the north of Bavarian Alps on the bank of river Isar, Munich is the third biggest city of Germany and the capital city of Bavaria (a German state). It is 575 km from Berlin. It takes nearly 6 hours to reach Munich either by rail or by car from Berlin. English Garden (a beautiful park with Japanese tea house, a Chinese pagoda and a Greek temple), Asam’s Church (a historic and religious site of great architectural value), Old Pinakothek (an art mesuem), Andechs Monastery, Allianz Arena are arguably the best five out of the 271 worth visiting places of Munich.
Frankfurt: The largest city of Hesse (a state of Germany), Frankfurt is in the southwestern part of Germany and located on both the banks of the river Main. It is the largest financial center of Europe and the main transport and financial center of Germany. It is 424 km from Berlin. Stadel Museum, English Theatre, Dialog Museum, Main Tower, Oper Frankfurt (opera house), Palmengarten (a botanical garden) are arguably the top six out of 210 worth visiting places of Frankfurt.
Trier: It is located on the bank of the river Moselle and is 15 km from the border of Luxembourg. It is nearly 721 km from Berlin. St. Peter’s Cathedral, Black Gate, Imperial Roman Baths, Rhineland Museum, Amphitheatre are arguably the top five out of the 146 worth visiting places of Trier. Trier has been home to many great international characters. Karl Marx is one of them.
Germany has many Ski Resorts of international standard which cater to the need and demand of every skier (ski experts, intermediates and beginners). Winterberg, Oberstdorf, Oberstaufen, Feldberg, Arber are arguably the top five ski resorts out of many sky resorts in Germany.
Germany offers many beaches that are well maintained and safe. Frisian islands offer some spectacular beaches. Don’t forget to look for the “FKK” sign to visit a nude beach in Germany. There are some famous nude beaches in Sylt (an island in northern Germany). Rugen is the biggest island of Germany and also the most popular for its sandy and long beaches, some of which are exclusively for the naturists. For surfing, canoeing or sailing, sunbathing and swimming, Stralsund offers some spectacular beaches. Stralsund is a city situated in the northeast of Germany at the Baltic Sea Coast.
German cuisine caters to the taste of every individual and offers many traditional dishes as well as common dishes of the neighbouring European countries. Don’t forget to relish Bratkartofflem (fried potatoes with bacon and onions) and take swigs from a bottle of Radler (a beer with a few drops of citrus lemonade).
Hotels, nightclubs, bars and restaurants are plentiful in Germany and cater to the need and budget of every individual.