Have you ever been to Germany? No, I mean REALLY been there wholeheartedly and got a feel for it? (That is, drive-by visits don’t count). High-five for those who just answered “yes”. I bet you want to come back for more. And those who said “no” wish to remedy this omission, right? If that is (somehow) not the case, we’ll be glad to dispel any doubts you have about choosing Germany as a destination for your next trip. HotelFriend knows everything about traveling in general and Germany in particular, so you better start reading our brand new guide, we have some catching up to do!
- Germany will wine and dine you better than grandma
It is a common notion, that German cuisine is hefty and earthy. Perhaps, the traditional dish in the state of Schleswig-Holstein named Birnen, Bohnen und Speck (translation and the list of ingredients in one: pears, beans, and bacon) may not make your mouth water. But imagine this: the port city Hamburg or Bremen will treat you to the fresh fish right from the boat and the finest seafood you’ve ever tried; the Saarland region will welcome you with the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants in all of Germany and serve an extraordinary dandelion salad; Saxony with its marzipan, Christmas delights, and cheese pancakes can make dreams of every sweet tooth come true.
Don’t forget about more than 1,000 varieties of sausages, including Berlin’s specialty “currywurst”, that even boasts a museum dedicated to it; incredibly smelling bakeries, groaning with over 300 kinds of bread and almost 1,200 kinds of baked goods; and, of course, 1,300 beer breweries in Germany, producing over 5,000 types of beer under the purity law, which allows only natural ingredients.
In every grocery store, you will find organic food, seasonal fruits, high-quality German coffee as well as inexpensive good wines. So going hungry in Germany is no small feat, except on Sundays, when pretty much everything is closed, keep that in mind.
- People in Germany throw the parties to remember
Despite their reputation of rule-abiding and reserved society, Germans are good at celebrating life. If some real fun or festive mood is in short supply, – look no further, this is just the place. Dumpling festivals, swimming festivals, trout-eating festivals, medieval pageants, carnivals, even the International Pillow Fight Day is celebrated in Berlin on 7th April!
Speaking of which, this city is on everybody’s lips, when it comes to nightlife & clubs. Bite on the following names: Berghain & Panorama Bar, Sisyphos and Salon Zur Wilden Renate. I could try to describe this vibrant mindboggling world to you, but a picture paints a thousand words. When Germans go out, they tend to party all night long, until 5 or 7 am. Could you keep up with them?
German Christmas markets have a long tradition and date back to the 1300s and 1400s. Top-notch ones are found in Dresden, Augsburg, Berlin, Dortmund, and Cologne. And frankly, they are the best. Well, what did you expect from people, who came up with Christmas tree decoration and the easter bunny?
- It’s all about the culture in Germany
When you come across an LCD screen, take a pregnancy test, wear Adidas, drink Fanta or chew on some gummy bears – you probably don’t think “wow, these are German!”. You will from now on, you are welcome. Germans take great pride in their countless inventions, 100 and odd Nobel laureates as well as traditions, that differ from region to region but are equally cherished.
Germany has an incredibly rich literary tradition. We owe this country thanks for the first printed book and the first magazine ever to boot. If you’re a bookworm, 94 000 publications a year and multiple international book events should impress you. And if you don’t mind earworms, come to Germany for some of the largest music festivals in the world, including Rock am Ring, Wave-Gotik-Treffen, and Wacken Open Air.
Remember that thing about everything being closed on Sundays? Good news, it doesn’t apply to museums. There are more than 6000 of them here, over 800 theaters, about 100 professional orchestras and approx. 9000 libraries. Culture lovers are definitely in for a treat here.
- Germany is the country of extremely satisfying transport
A German fellow Karl Benz once invented the first auto and the trend caught on. Germany is one of the biggest car producers in the world, needless to say, how reliable their products are. Tipp: buying your dream German car in its homeland is said to be much budget-friendlier, than otherwise. A nice souvenir idea for you.
The German Autobahn stretches up to 11,000 kilometers into most parts of Germany and 65% of it has no speed limit. Up for a smooth ride with the wind in your hair? Note, however, that it’s illegal to run out of gas there.
Germany’s public transport system is in the world’s top 10. It runs day & night and is as punctual as the Germans themselves. E.g. Munich is the second most punctual large airport in the world. Also, most taxis in Germany are Mercedes.
A word of advice: book your train tickets min. 3 days in advance to get the “early bird” tickets, and if possible, travel in groups on the weekends to save ludicrous amounts of money.
- Germany is perfect for your little companions
And by that I mean children and dogs alike.
Your kids have probably heard about Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and Snow White. But there’s so much more Germany can offer: it is dotted with over 20,000 castles, about a third of it is covered by forests and it has close to 700 zoological gardens, wildlife parks, aquariums, and animal reserves. In Berlin, you can find the World’s largest zoo with 1,500 species of animals, called Zoologischer Garten. Sounds like the right place to make fairytales reality. But not those creepy ones by Grimm brothers, of course.
You’d be surprised, how many dogs catch the bus with their owners here and sometimes even dine with them at restaurants. Dogs are allowed in most places and are nicely treated. The favorite breed seems to be a dachshund. Maybe this has something to do with their physical similarity to sausage. Fun fact: there’s dog contest where the owner of the longest dog gets its length in sausage. So if you have a dog, much less a long one, I can’t see why you’re not in Germany yet.
Hopefully, you’ve learned a teeny-tiny bit more, that 5 new things about Germany and they made you start packing your bags or at least think of it.