Germany. Tourism.

When thinking of Germany, beer, lederhosen and Alpine hats quickly come to mind, but these stereotypes mostly relate to Bavarian culture and do not represent Germany as a whole. Germany is a vast and diverse country with 16 culturally unique states that only form a political union since 1871. Due to its size and location in Central Europe, Germany boasts a large variety of different landscapes.

The history of tourism in Germany goes back to cities and landscapes being visited for education and recreation. From the late 18th century onwards, cities like Dresden (map), Munich (map), Weimar (map) and Berlin were major stops on a European Grand tour. Germany is rated as one of the safest travel destinations worldwide.



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.

Regions & Sities

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The ten most visited cities in Germany: Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, *Leipzig.

The most visited tourist regions in Germany are the *East Frisian (map) and *North Frisian Islands (map), the Baltic Sea coasts of *Holstein, Mecklenburg and Vorpommern (map), the *Rhine Valley, the Bavarian (map) and Black Forest (map), and the *Bavarian Alps (map).

Other popular regions include:

North: *Usedom, Holstein Switzerland, the Lüneburg Heath, Harz and Mecklenburg Lake District.
West: Teutoburg Forest, Sauerland, Eifel and the Moselle Valley.
East: Saxon Switzerland, Thüringer Wald, Erzgebirge and the *Elbe Valley.
South: Taunus, *Spessart, Rhön, *Odenwald and *Allgäu.

Public transport

MeinFernbusStations & Destinations — Germany’s largest long-distance bus company. (+ Berlin Linien Bus / Postbus / MeinFernbus / DeinBus) – information on almost all bus routes in Germany.

Regional trains are now run by a variety of private operators as well as Deutsche Bahn subsidiaries, but they can all be booked through

The most important airports are Frankfurt Airport, Munich (Franz Josef Strauß Airport) and Düsseldorf.

Germany is, in general, bicycle friendly, with many bike lanes in cities. There is also a substantial network of well signed, long distance bike routes. (Germany – EuroVelo)

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