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Germany

About

Germany is a nation very much in touch with its past, but that doesn't stop the country from looking towards the future. Travelers have plenty of activities to choose from, whether they want to explore fairy-tale castles, ski down the slopes, or savor city life. The history of Germany attracts many visitors. Castles such as King Ludwig II's Neuschwanstein, the most visited attraction in the country, and the medieval Heidelberg Castle dot the landscape. More recent events also draw travelers to places like Checkpoint Charlie, the famous Berlin Wall crossing point that is now a museum that pays tribute to the Wall and the separation of the city during the Cold War. Sports fans and outdoors enthusiasts won't run out of things to do in Germany. The Bavarian Alps are not only beautiful to look at, but they also provide a place to ski in winter or hike in summer. Those who want to explore the Black Forest area can also hike through the trees, or simply indulge in the spa culture. Germany has several major cities that will entice even the most sophisticated travelers. Munich, along the Isar River, is home to the annual Oktoberfest. The country's capital, Berlin, is not only the center of political life, but is also an exciting hub of entertainment with more than 7,000 bars and restaurants. Cosmopolitan Frankfurt offers cultural attractions such as the Dialogue Museum, Jewish Museum, and the Zeil shopping street. Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Stuttgart are other major cities in Germany with plenty of culture to explore. Flights to Germany land at 19 international airports, including Frankfurt and Munich. The nation's rail system also provides quick and easy transportation between major cities and smaller towns.

When To Go

Germany's weather can be unpredictable, but the climate is generally best from May through September. Summer, along with the winter holidays, is the most popular time to visit. January through April can be quite cold, but are less expensive months and have fewer crowds than summer.

high season: June to September, December
low season: January to March
shoulder season: April to May, October to November

Weather Information

Winds from the North Sea in the west and air masses from Russia in the northeast dictate Germany's climate. In general, winters are very cold, with rain in the northern region. Summers are temperate, though there is more precipitation than during the winter, especially in the Alps.

Crowd Information

The Christmas markets during the winter holidays attract large numbers of visitors from all over the world. Summer is busy as well. The fewest tourists visit between January and April.

Closure Information

Accommodations remain open year-round, but stores close on Sundays.

When to Save

Prices tend to be higher during the summer and in December, and lower from January through April. Hotel rates can increase when trade shows are in town.

Information provided by the German National Tourist Board