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Travelling in Germany

RothenburgGermany is a safe holiday destination that has a lot to offer. It boasts stunning scenery, diverse cultural heritage and a highly developed touristic infrastructure. The larger cities Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne, Hamburg and Dresden are particularly appealing to foreign visitors. The two large Federal states in southern Germany draw a lot of tourists: Baden-Wuerttenberg’s Black Forest and Bavaria’s alpine areas are very popular. Here you can marvel at the picturesque old towns dotted with half-timbered houses that have been affectionately preserved.

Visitors from abroad flock to the major folk festivals like the Oktoberfest in Munich, Carnival in Cologne as well as Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt and other traditional Christmas markets throughout the country.

The Germans themselves are fond of seaside holidays on the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, or at one of the many lakes such as Lake Constance or Lake Muritz in Mecklenburg, taking a “holiday on a farm”, going on bicycle tours (There are bicycle paths along the Danube, the Elbe, the Weser, the Main and other rivers) or hiking on the extensive network of well signposted hiking trails in the country’s natural preserves and in the Central German Uplands (Mittelgebirge).

Weingut an der MoselWeingut an der Mosel

Accommodations are available to suit every pocketbook. Germany uses the standard star rating system for hotels and guesthouses and B&Bs provide low-priced alternatives. Young travellers prefer inexpensive backpacker hostels and youth hostels and campsites offer the full range of facilities for campers and motor caravans. You can get to all the exiting places there are to discover in Germany by car, train and airplane.

Motorways (Autobahn) crisscross the entire country and more are being built. For the most part there still are no speed limits on Germany’s motorways (you may drive as fast as you like), though some local governments have introduced restrictions that are controlled by radar. Motorways are free of charge for passenger cars and heavy goods vehicles must pay a distance-based charge for the use of motorways. Petrol stations are bountiful and the German Automobile Association’s (ADAC) “yellow angels” offer breakdown services.

ICEThe Railways (Bahn) are reliable, punctual and generally better than their reputation. Many secondary lines have been discontinued and smaller stations are no longer serviced, but fast and comfortable ICE Intercity-Express trains cover the main lines between major cities. Fares vary highly and it is definitely a good idea to make advance bookings to save money as prices for travelling with German Railways are relatively expensive compared to many other countries. Ridesharing in private automobiles is popular among younger travellers and students and there are many internet sites catering to this crowd. As a rule, coaches are less expensive than trains.

Airline carriers service all the major German cities. In recent years Easyjet and other low-cost airlines have begun competing with Lufthansa on several routes. This has brought down the price of air travel within Germany significantly.

Further iInformation:

Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus: www.deutschland-tourismus.de