|Airport City||Frankfurt Airport, Munich Airport, Düsseldorf Airport, Berlin Airport, Cologne-Bonn Airport|
|Offical Languages||German, English, French , Dutch, Italian|
|Food||Sauerbraten, Schweinshaxe, Rinderroulade|
Autumn : Sep - Nov
Summer : Jun - Aug
Winter : Dec - Feb
Sprint : Mar - May
Berlin, 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 graffitied 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.
Munich, 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.
Cologne is the largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth most populous city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. With slightly over a million inhabitants (1.08 million) within its city boundaries, Cologne is the largest city on the Rhine and also the most populous city both of the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, which is Germany's largest and one of Europe's major metropolitan areas, and of the Rhineland. Centered on the left bank of the Rhine, Cologne is about 45 kilometres (28 mi) southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia's capital of Düsseldorf and 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of Bonn. It is the largest city in the Central Franconian and Ripuarian dialect areas.
Frankfurt, 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. The reconstructed Altstadt (Old Town) is the site of Römerberg, a square that hosts an annual Christmas market.
The second largest city in Germany, Hamburg has a bustling port that has welcomed people to its shores to trade and make merry since the Middle Ages. This maritime identity is everywhere you look in the city, as the port and the Elbe River still play a prominent role in its citizens’ lives. Old and new architectural styles mix together wherever you look; the amazingly modern Elbphilarmonie concert hall is comfortably located next to old brick warehouses. Indeed, music plays an important role in the city’s history, and it is here that the Beatles got their big break. The nightlife on offer is out of this world and the famous Reeperbahn is where you want to head. Here, you’ll find a seedy red-light district, as well as music clubs, trendy cocktail bars, pulsating discos and more.
Nuremberg, 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.
Hamburg, 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 welcoming and friendly place, Bremen is a great city to visit or live in. Combining modern industries and technology with enchanting old streets and a bewitching Expressionist quarter, Bremen is an intriguing city with a laidback vibe which belies its large size. As well as its beautiful old center and fantastic museums, trendy neighborhoods hide great restaurants, teeming bars and upbeat nightlife options.
One of the wealthiest cities in Germany, there is a posh feel to this modern city, as demonstrated by the banking and fashion industries that call it home. While there is definitely a modern side to Dusseldorf – where innovative and creative architectural styles can be found – the Altstadt highlights more tradition styles in its lovely buildings, which were painstakingly restored after being destroyed in WWII. Its renovated harbor area is fantastic to witness at night, as lights glimmer alluringly off the Rhine, shimmering off avant-garde and daring buildings. With a pulsating nightlife and a lively arts and culture scene, Dusseldorf is an exciting city.
Lying on the banks of the River Neckar, Heidelberg is set amidst a stunning landscape and is home to the oldest university in the country. With beautiful forest surrounding it, the city is particularly known for its incredible red brick castle, which looks out over the houses and river below. The picturesque Altstadt is magical, thanks in large part to the uniform architectural style that survived WWII. A laidback place, the sizeable university population adds a multicultural and youthful feel to its streets.
Home to Germany’s thriving automobile industry, Stuttgarters are often half-jokingly called ‘stuck up’ by other Germans. While there is certainly a posh and affluent feel to the city, it is actually a welcoming and friendly place. Despite its large size, Stuttgart has a laidback atmosphere, and residents happily spend their time in its fantastic biergartens or hiking in the nearby hills surrounding the city. With an eclectic mix of architectural styles on show, marvelous museums, and lots of fine dining options, Stuttgart will not disappoint.
The largest city in Germany’s federal state of Saxony, Leipzig is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene shaped by famous music composers like Bach, Richard Wagner and Felix Mendelssohn. Tourists today can enjoy performances of Bach’s music at the St. Thomas Church where Bach once served as choir leader and is now buried. In addition to historic sites like the Old Town Hall, the city boasts several impressive structures such as the Napoleonic Monument to the Battle of the Nations and Reichsgericht, the former high court of the Reich. One of Europe’s largest town squares, the Augustusplatz, is situated at the central campus Germany’s second-oldest university.
Often overlooked in favor of nearby Hamburg and Bremen, Hannover has a laid-back way of life and will slowly grow on you – even if it is a slightly drab place due to the hasty reconstruction after WWII. With lots of great museums, a lively arts and culture scene and a massive exhibition center, there are more than enough reasons to spend some time here. Green spaces dot the city, with the fantastic Herrenhauser Garten being particularly lovely. The largest urban forest in the whole of Europe lies on its outskirts. In summer, its huge computer and technology fairs attract throngs of people to the city.
Built on coal and steel, Essen has now moved to commerce and culture to attract visitors and locals to the city. While its former heavy industries still dominate Essen’s features, you can now visit many great museums which highlight its rich history. In addition to the cultural attractions, a lovely green belt cuts through the city, and the old medieval part of town is a real adventure to explore.
Essen is a city in western Germany. Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex has been transformed to house several museums. A heritage trail through the former colliery chronicles the city’s history of coal mining and steel production. In a former coal-washing plant, the Ruhr Museum is dedicated to regional history. Red Dot Design Museum showcases contemporary design through everyday objects in an old boiler house.
Rebuilt after the Second World War, Wiesbaden is now full of lovely neoclassical architecture and leafy parks. One of the oldest spa towns in the whole of the country, its fantastic spas and peaceful wellness centers are the main attraction. Wiesbaden is the perfect place if you are looking to unwind. Lying on the banks of the Rhine, from here you can easily visit the nearby wine regions that produce such fine wines. Wiesbaden is the main base for the US Army in Europe
It is almost impossible to imagine that Dresden was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War; the city’s beautiful churches, palaces and museums are so striking to behold. Located on the banks of the Elbe, Dresden has a bewitching catalogue of art and architectural styles for you to explore through its fantastic museums and rebuilt streets. In contrast to its old treasures, the Neustadt has lots of trendy restaurants and bars for visitors to let their hair down in, with many people heading here to enjoy an energetic nightlife scene.
The Berlin Wall enclosed West Berlin from August 13, 1961 to November 9, 1989, cutting a line through the entire city center. It was supposed to prevent East Berliners and citizens of East Germany from fleeing to the West, but the Wall was unable to entirely stop the mass of people from fleeing. Consequently, in 1961, the SED, the ruling Communist Party in East Germany, began adding more border fortifications to the Wall, creating a broad, many-layered system of barriers. In the West people referred to the border strip as the “death strip” because so many people were killed there while trying to flee. With the downfall of East Germany in 1989, the Berlin Wall that the SED had for so long tried to use to maintain its power, also fell. The fall of the Wall marked the definitive end of its dictatorship.
Charlottenburg Palace is one of Berlin's few sites that still reflect the one-time grandeur of the Hohenzollern clan, which ruled the region from 1415 to 1918. Originally a petite summer retreat, it grew into an exquisite baroque pile with opulent private apartments, richly decorated festival halls, collections of precious porcelain and paintings by French 18th-century masters. It's lovely in fine weather, when you can fold a stroll in the palace park into a day of peeking at royal treasures.
Brandenburg Gate, German Brandenburger Tor, the only remaining town gate of Berlin, Germany, standing at the western end of the avenue Unter den Linden. It has served as a symbol of both the division of Germany and the country’s reunification and is one of Berlin’s most-visited landmarks.
The Pergamonmuseum is nothing short of a wonder in itself. Its rooms are overflowing with some of the world’s most impressive, long buried, treasures. The museum encompasses the vast history of the Ancient East, with collections that can not be experienced elsewhere. The museum is named after the Pergamon Altar, a Hellenistic masterpiece of white stone architecture. The imposing structure invites you to walk the steps of 2000 years of history and behold its intricacies close-up. But don’t get lost in this wonder for too long, as there are many more under the museum’s roof. Artefacts have been gathered from Iran, Asia Minor, Egypt and the Caucasus, and these worlds have been recreated for you to explore within the Pergamonmuseum.
Kurfürstendamm got its name from the prince-electors who rode along it to hunt in Grunewald, but now it’s full of Berliners and visitors on the hunt for the latest fashion and designer items or the best bargains. And that’s how Kurfürstendamm became Ku’damm.
Kurfürstendamm is Berlin’s most famous and popular shopping boulevard and is the heart of the western city centre. You’re sure to enjoy a successful shopping trip there. The 3.5-kilometre-long boulevard takes you from Breitscheidplatz and the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche to Rathenauplatz, where the Grunewald villas begin.
In 1999, after lengthy debates, the German parliament decided to establish a central memorial site, the Memorialto the Murdered Jews of Europe. The competition to design it was won by the New York architect Peter Eisenman. The memorial was ceremonially opened in 2005.
On a site covering 19,000 square metres, Eisenman placed 2711 concrete slabs of different heights. The area is open day and night and from all four sides you can fully immerse yourself in the fully accessible spatial structure. The memorial is on a slight slope and its wave-like form is different wherever you stand. The uneven concrete floor gives many visitor a moment of giddiness or even uncertainty. Its openness and abstractness give you space to confront the topic in your own personal way. The sheer size of the installation and its lack of a central point of remembrance call into question the conventional concept of a memorial. This creates a place of remembrance, but not with the usual means.
Unter den Linden, a main east-west thoroughfare through the city of Berlin, earned its name from the rows of linden trees that were first planted there more than three-and-a-half centuries ago.This prestigious boulevard leads from the Palace Bridge near Museum Island to the Brandenburg Gate at Pariser Platz. The street stretches 1.5 kilometers long and is sixty meters wide. It is planted with four rows of Linden trees, about one thousand in total.
Marienplatz is the central square in Old Town, Munich’s urban heart and the central point of the pedestrian zone. To the north is the magnificent neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (“New Town Hall”), to the east the Altes Rathaus (“Old Town Hall”), and the passageway to Tal and the Viktualienmarkt (farmers’ market). To the south, the square is bordered by stores, office buildings, and restaurants. To the west, the pedestrian zone opens to Kaufingerstraße, which ends at the Karlstor (gate) located at the square known by locals as Stachus.
The Dachau KZ, or Konzentrationslager, was a model for later camps, including more than 150 subsidiary camps in the region. It began as a prison for German political enemies of the Reich, but over time it became a processing center and forced-labor camp for Jews, Sinti, Roma, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, prisoners of war from Eastern Europe, and other groups. After 1942, Dachau was also used for SS medical experiments. (It was never a mass-extermination camp, although an estimated 43,000 prisoners died from starvation, illness, or execution before the U.S. Army liberated the camp in 1945.)
The Nymphenburg Palace west of Munich is one of the largest royal palaces in Europe and is not to be missed on a sight-seeing tour through the Bavarian capital city. The oft-visited Baroque tourist attraction with it’s expansive landscaped garden and museum draws not only guests from around the world, but is also a beloved institution for Munich residents. In 1664, Prince Ferdinand Maria had the castle built as a present to his wife, who had borne him the long-awaited heir, Max Emanuel. Max Emanuel himself later played a significant role in expanding the palace layout.
Neuschwanstein Castle, which literally translates to New Swan Stone castle, is located in Bavaria, Germany. It was originally called New Hohenschwangau Castle, as it was meant to be a grand recreation of Hohenschwangau Castle, where Ludwig II spent his childhood. Ludwig II’s reputation as an eccentric, reclusive king makes it easy to see why Neuschwanstein is so often called “the castle of the fairy-tale king.” In a letter to his friend, the German composer Richard Wagner, Ludwig II said his intentions with Neuschwanstein were to “rebuild old castle ruin of Hohenschwangau…in the authentic style of the old German knights’ castles.”
The Englische Garten (“English Garden”) is one of the largest urban parks in the world. The layout has undergone constant change throughout the centuries as new buildings and green spaces were added time and again.
Today the Englische Garten offers numerous leisure time activities. Cyclists and joggers train on the 78-kilometer-long (48.5 miles) network of paths, and amateur soccer players meet on the fields for recreational games. A beautiful vista of the city if offered by the Monopteros, which was added to the park landscape along with the hill in 1836. The Japanese teahouse first opened in 1972 on the southern end of the park on an artificial island in the Schwabinger Bach (stream). Japanese tea ceremonies are performed here regularly.
The German Romantic Road is one of the biggest magnets for tourism in the southern provinces of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.
Based (very) loosely on the old Roman route between the participating towns and adding in some stunning medieval locations to the north, the concept of the Romantic Road is a little bit like the British "ploughman's lunch" - a marketing idea which appears to be based on history and tradition but which is actually a much more modern invention.
Schwabing is Munich’s avant-garde district and a magnet for locals and visitors alike thanks to its diverse range of drinking establishments, gourmet eateries and intriguing boutiques. The neighbourhood came to fame in the late 19th century when it was home to an impressive group of poets, painters and writers, including Rainer Maria Rilke and Heinrich Mann. Having gained a reputation as Munich’s artistic quarter, Schwabing remains an important creative and social hub today.
The Rhine panorama of the Old Town with the Cathedral, the Roman church Groß St. Martin (Great St. Martin) and the historical Town Hall has become quite popular around the world over the years. A stroll through the narrow, cobble-stoned alleys will take you back to times long ago.
Unravel the secrets of Cologne's Old Town (Aldstadt), located at the very heart of the city. Taking a stroll through this historic district is the perfect way to while away a day of your vacation in Germany. Some of Cologne's most popular attractions can be found within this picturesque area, including the city's famous cathedral. Known for its lively hustle and bustle, the streets of Old Town are often crowded with visitors ducking in and out of local bars, pubs, and restaurants.
Cologne Cathedral, German Kölner Dom, Roman Catholic cathedral church, located in the city of Cologne, Germany. It is the largest Gothic church in northern Europe and features immense twin towers that stand 515 feet (157 metres) tall. The cathedral was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Located in the heart of historic Cologne, the Hard Rock Cafe Cologne offers locals and travelers alike a unique experience visitors won’t soon forget. Cafe is located in a walkable area just six minutes from the famous Cologne Cathedral and a sixteen minute drive from the Cologne Bonn Airport.
Hans Imhoff, a passionate maker of chocolates, had a long held dream: a chocolate museum with a fountain of unending streams of chocolate. On 31 October 1993, after a 13-month construction period, the Chocolate Museum was opened. It became a triumph of German museum history that nobody thought possible. With around 600,000 visitors a year, it is the most frequented cultural institution in Cologne.
The past and present global story of cocoa and chocolate is portrayed in detail over more than 4,000 m² of floorspace. The diversity of 5,000-years of cocoa's cultural history is shown as well as modern chocolate production from the cocoa bean through to praline chocolate confectionery.
The Ludwig Museum was founded in 1976 with the gift of around 350 works of modern art by the Ludwig couple. It was to be the first museum in Cologne to exhibit modern art. Alongside pop art works the Ludwigs also gave the museum an extensive collection of Russian Avantgarde paintings on permanent loan from the era 1906 to 1930 as well as several hundred works by Pablo Picasso. The works of Picasso have since been transferred to the museum in two generous donations in the years 1994 and 2001.
Odysseum doesn’t do things half-way. The open-air shopping centre has plenty of options for a great day out: an aquarium, a planetarium, a skating rink, a climbing wall, a vertical wind tunnel, and the list goes on. In other words, it’s not just about shopping. People come to learn how asteroids are formed, how sharks hunt their prey or what space suits do.
During Roman times the Rhine river formed the northeastern border of the Roman Empire. The width and strong current of the river provided an engineering challenge for the construction of a bridge. This didn't deter the Roman dictator Julius Caesar and between 53 and 55 BC his army built two bridges across the river to facilitate his war against Germanic tribes.
The first bridge that crossed the Rhine in Cologne was built around 310 AD, during the reign of Constantine the Great and connected the city with a newly built military camp across the river in Deutz.The wooden bridge was about 420 meters long. Some of the foundations of this early bridge are on display in the Römisch-Germanisches Museum.
Also known as Kaiserdom St. Bartholomäus.
Earliest building dates back to the 14th and 15th century. Destroyed and rebuilt, enlarged and redecorated many times over the following 6 centuries it is one of the most important churches in Germany. Many emperors and kings were crowned in this cathedral. Many royals and members of important families of the Middle Ages are buried in the vast chapels and cloisters.
It is the largest religious building in the city and a former collegiate church. Despite its common English name, it has never been a true cathedral (episcopal see), but is called the Kaiserdom (an "imperial great church" or imperial cathedral) or simply the Dom due to its importance as former election and coronation church of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Römerberg is Frankfurt’s old central square. Ornately gabled half-timbered buildings, reconstructed after WWII, give an idea of how beautiful the city’s medieval core once was. In the square's centre is the Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen.The Römerberg is especially lovely as a backdrop for the Christmas market in December.
Römerberg is the busy market square located in Frankfurt Germany's Old Town in the heart of Frankfurt am Main. Tourist attractions located on the square include the Old Town Hall, St. Nickolas Church, the Ostzeile and the Frankfurt History Museum.
The Main Tower, designed by the architect's office Schweger und Partner and completed in 2000, invites the general public to visit its rooftop observation platform, where they are met by a spectacular panoramic view of Frankfurt and the surrounding region some 200 metres above the city streets. A highlight for every urban explorer.
This high-rise building is particularly popular with the people of Frankfurt and tourists. It is the only one in the city that has a publicly accessible viewing platform with restaurant. Furthermore, Europe’s highest radio and television studio is located on its 53rd/54th floor.
Measuring 160km from top to bottom, the Black Forest is a ludicrously lovely expanse of hills, lakes and forest, topping out at 1493m Feldberg. It reaches from the spa town of Baden-Baden to the Swiss border, and from the Rhine almost to Lake Constance. This corner of the country is made for slow touring: on foot, by bicycle or behind the wheel of a car on one of many twisty roads with sensational views.
It is mainly a granite highland with rounded summits, although its northern part comprises forested sandstone, and it is bordered to the south by a narrow band of lower and more fertile limestone. Divided into two parts by the deep Kinzig valley, its highest summits—Feldberg, Herzogenhorn, and Blössling—are to the south. Its northern half has an average height of 2,000 feet.
It is decorated with period furniture and paintings, providing an authentic and striking impression of the environment in which Goethe spent his youth. The Goethe Museum, a gallery of paintings from the Goethe era, elucidates Goethe's relationship to the art and artists of his epoch.
Completely rebuilt after WWII, the birthplace of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) is furnished in the haute-bourgeois style of Goethe’s time, based on an inventory taken when Goethe’s family sold the property. One of the few pieces that actually belonged to the great writer, philosopher and statesman is a puppet theatre given to him at age four. The Goethe-Museum displays seminal paintings from Goethe's era.
Städel Museum, in full Städel Art Institute and Municipal Gallery, German Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, museum of art located in Frankfurt am Main, Ger. It was founded in 1816 by a bequest from the banker Johann Friedrich Städel, who donated his fortune and his art collection to found the institution as an art museum and art school. The institute opened its art collection to the public in 1817. The museum contains examples of work from most of the western European schools of painting since the Middle Ages and is particularly rich in German, Dutch, Flemish, and Italian paintings from the 16th through the 18th century. Nineteenth-century German painting is comprehensively represented as well.
In the green corridor between the Palm Garden and the Grüneburg Park (Grüneburgpark) there is an 8-hectare expanse that contains the Botanical Garden and Goethe University. It emphasises the support of learning and research in the field of life sciences. Interested Frankfurt residents and visitors from other places can visit the facility free of charge every day from March 1 to October 31. The Botanical Garden also offers guided tours and lectures in addition to special events like open houses and plant markets for all visitors.
Colourful market stands with fresh fruit and vegetables, bright flowers, crispy bread and other treats.the Nuremberg Hauptmarkt with its festively decorated red and white wooden stands, illuminated by a sea of one thousand lights, and wafting with the irresistible scent of mulled wine and gingerbread, is entirely under the sign of Christmas. The world famous Christmas Market delights guests from all over the world and it is opened by the Nuremberg Christmas Angel with the famous prologue spoken from the balcony of the Frauenkirche.
From 1933 to 1938, the National Socialists held their Party Rallies in Nuremberg. Today remains of huge structures still bear witness to how this propaganda display was organized and produced. The exhibition in the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds gives a comprehensive picture of the National Socialist dictatorship as well as the history of the Party Rallies. The educational forum offers numerous programs, and information boards on the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, which cover 4 square kilometers, explain the history of the site.
Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), Germany's most famous artist, lived and worked in this massive half-timbered house for nearly 20 years, from 1509 onwards. This is not only one of the few surviving burgher houses from Nuremberg’s golden age, but even more significantly, it is the only surviving 15th century artist's house in Northern Europe. Today its rooms convey an authentic atmosphere of its era, and also reflect the house's history since 1828 as Germany's first artist's memorial site. A special feature is the tours led by an actress playing Dürer's wife Agnes. Changing exhibitions present items from the abundant holdings of the city's art collections, as well as valuable copies of Dürer's paintings. Historical printing techniques are demonstrated in the workshop.
In Nuremberg’s market square (Nürnberg Hauptmarkt) is one of the city’s most famous fountains, the Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain).
A common sight at the south-west flank of the Beautiful Fountain is one of tourists hanging on to the fountain grille and having their photos taken. This ornate and richly painted fountain was the work of master builder Heinrich Beheimby. The three-tiered Beautiful Fountain stands in an octagonal water basin and it looks like a Gothic church spire. The fountain soars 19 metres upward and features 40 sculptured figures which reflect the world-view of the Holy Roman Empire: the pool is decorated with figures representing philosophy and the seven liberal arts and above them are the four Evangelists and the four Church Fathers. In the middle are the Seven Electors and Nine Worthies and above them Moses and Seven Prophets.
The part of the old town south of the river is called the Lorenzer Altstadt while the northern part is called Sebalder Altstadt. The names are derived from the largest churches in each of the sections.
The Imperial Castle is the symbol of Nuremberg. Since the Middle Ages its silhouette has represented the power and importance of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and the outstanding role of the imperial city of Nuremberg.
Nuremberg, which was first mentioned in a document as a royal property in 1050, played an important part in the imperial and domestic policy of the Salian and Hohenstaufen kings and emperors. The castle and town were a favourite stopping place for rulers on their journeys through the realm, and court assemblies and Imperial Diets were held here.
In medieval times, a dam turned the Alster river into a water reservoir to power the mills operating on its banks. This shaped the face of central Hamburg, as it is now made up of two lakes called the Außenalster (Outer Alster) and the Binnenalster (Inner Alster). From its spring outside of Hamburg, the Alster flows into the Elbe river just south of the city centre.
The Outer Alster is surrounded by ancient trees, green parks and beautiful mansions of the Winterhude, St. Georg and Rotherbaum districts, which give the area a sophisticated, exquisite charm. People come there to leave the stressful city life behind for a moment and relax in the shade of the trees. In summer, the parks surrounding the lake are a great place to grill (a national sport), to enjoy the sun’s rays or go for a jog around the lake. Sporty types engage in watersports. Boats, canoes and kayaks can be hired at many spots all around the Alster. Stand-up-paddling is also a fun and highly popular activity.
Since 1703, one has been able to find everything the heart desires at the Hamburg fish market. Night owls with fish sandwiches in their hands meet morning shoppers here. Experience how whole jungles in pots change owners, how the fish sellers roar their souls out of their bodies and how crowds of people gather in front of the stalls in search of the freshest fish. The fish auction hall with its domed roof and stained glass windows is also a must-see. You can brunch here as well on a regular basis. The fish market is definitely worth a visit, despite its early hours!
The Hamburg Kunsthalle on Glockengießerwall was founded in 1817 by the Hamburg Kunstverein — a local art society — but was not built until 1869. Private donors contributed two-thirds of the costs of about 300,000 D-Mark (a lot) and turned the Hamburg Kunsthalle into a symbol of civic engagement. The building was expanded twice, in 1921 and 1997, and today is one of the largest art museums in Germany by exhibition space.
Highlights of the collection are medieval altars of Master Bertram and Master Francke, paintings by Dutch artists of the 17th century (including Rembrandt), masterpieces of German Romanticism (including P.O Runge, C.D. Friedrich), Impressionism and classic Modernism, as well as international contemporary art (incl. Pop Art, Concept Art, Minimal, video art and photography). Additionally, the Kunsthalle features 20 themed exhibitions every year.
Around 8,000 ship calls per year, almost 300 berths and a total of 43 kilometers of quay for seagoing vessels, more than 2,300 freight trains per week, four state-of-the-art container terminals, three cruise terminals and around 50 facilities specialized in handling roro and breakbulk and all kinds of bulk cargoes, along with about 7,300 logistics companies within the city limits – these are just a few of the factors making the Port of Hamburg to one of the world's most flexible, high-performance universal ports. 135.1 million tons of cargo crossed the quay walls of Germany's largest seaport in 2018. That included around 8.7 million standard containers (TEU).
Hamburg is accordingly the third largest container port in Europe and in the 19th place on the list of the world's largest container ports. The Port of Hamburg is conveniently located between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. It is easy to access from the North Sea via the Elbe River. Only about 70 sea miles separate the city from the river mouth. The Kiel Canal connects the port to Scandinavia and the whole Baltic Sea region. The Elbeseitenkanal and the Midland Canal offer excellent transport connections to the hinterland
Towering above the Elbe and HafenCity is the city's newest landmark — the impressive concert venue Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
The Elbphilharmonie on the Kaispeicher marks a location that most people in Hamburg know about but have never really noticed. It is now set to become a new centre of social, cultural and daily life for the people of Hamburg and for visitors from all over the world.
Too often a new cultural centre appears to cater to the privileged few. In order to make the new Philharmonic a genuinely public attraction, it is imperative to provide not only attractive architecture but also an attractive mix of urban uses. The building complex accommodates a philharmonic hall, a chamber music hall, restaurants, bars, a panorama terrace with views of Hamburg and the harbour, apartments, a hotel and parking facilities. These varied uses are combined in one building as they are in a city. And like a city, the two contradictory and superimposed architectures of the Kaispeicher and the Philharmonic ensure exciting, varied spatial sequences: on the one hand, the original and archaic feel of the Kaispeicher marked by its relationship to the harbour; on the other, the sumptuous, elegant world of the Philharmonic. In between, there is an expansive topography of public and private spaces, all differing in character and scale: the large terrace of the Kaispeicher, extending like a new public plaza, responds to the inwardly oriented world of the Philharmonic built above it.
The builder of St. Michael’s Church in Hildesheim is no less than Bishop Bernward, tutor to Emperor Otto III, who was canonised in 1192. Bishop Bernward was presented with a splinter of the Holy Cross in gratitude for his services. This sumptuous relic of honour was built between 1010 and 1022, and represents a key piece of medieval architecture, which forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site together with Hildesheim Cathedral , built in 1046, and the Thousand-year Rose. The church is an important example of (early)-Romanesque architecture. The ground plan of the double-choir basilica has a strict symmetry and the alternating supports that of the most successful inventions define the front view of the central aisle are one of Ottonian and Romanesque architecture.
1 ) Epiphany
Festival Month - January
Epiphany is widely celebrated in Germany every year with churches and locals setting up Nativity scenes or sometimes, re-enacting the popular Bible story. Some volunteers dressed as the three kings even go house-to-house caroling and collecting donations for charities.
2 ) Berlin International film festival (Berlinale)
Festival Month - February
The world’s second largest film festival after Cannes, the Berlinale draws a crowd of more than 500,000 attendees from all across the world.. The festival showcases a wide variety of films, including big international movies, independent and art house productions, movies aimed at younger audiences, German productions and more experimental films. The 69th festival runs from 7–17 February 2019.
3 ) Karneval
Festival Month - February
The 40-day period before Ash Wednesday is also Karneval season in Germany. It’s a time when the typically orderly Germans let loose and party. Parades, costume balls and other such festivities take place throughout the country, often varying widely according to local traditions. Read Expatica’s guide to celebrating Karneval in Germany.