The countryside has a pastoral aura, while the bigger cities exhibit both a modern and classical feel. Small and medium-sized cities often preserved their historical appearance and have old towns with remarkable architectural heritage – these are called Altstadt in German.
Since the 1930s, local and regional governments have set up various theme routes, to help visitors get to know a specific region and its cultural or scenic qualities. The table below shows some of the most prominent theme routes. Other popular German theme routes include parts of the European Route of Brick Gothic and European Route of Industrial Heritage, the *Harz-Heide Road, Bertha Benz Memorial Route and *Bergstrasse.
German Wine Road (Deutsche Weinstraße) / German Avenue Road (Deutsche Alleenstraße) / Romantic Road (Romantische Straße) / Black Forest High Road (Schwarzwaldhochstraße) / Castle Road (Burgenstraße) / Road of Weser Renaissance (Straße der Weserrenaissance) / Romanesque Road (Straße der Romanik) / *German Ferries Route / German Timber-Frame Road / German Clock Road (Deutsche Uhrenstrasse) / Industrial Heritage Trail (Route der Industriekultur) / German Fairy Tale Route (Deutsche Märchenstraße).
Germany is well known for health tourism, with many of the numerous spa towns having been established at a hot spring, offering convalescence or preventive care by means of mineral water and/or other spa treatment. (*List of spa towns in Germany)
The country features 14 national parks, including the Jasmund National Park (map), the Vorpommern Lagoon Area National Park (map), the Müritz National Park (map), the Wadden Sea National Parks, the Harz National Park (map), the Hainich National Park (map), the Saxon Switzerland National Park (map), the Bavarian Forest National Park (map) and the Berchtesgaden National Park (map). In addition, there are 14 Biosphere Reserves, as well as 98 nature parks.