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Destination of the month: Germany

Fri 07 Sep, 2012 // Firstnumber Team
Germany destination of the month

When in Germany, many visitors make the mistake of just visiting Berlin. But there is so much more to see and there are so many other adventures on offer throughout Europe's most populous country.

Nature

From the seaside in the country's north to the Bavarian Alps and the Black Forest in the south east, Germany is home to vast areas of natural beauty.

Harz National Park covers a territory of 247 square kilometres in central Germany. The mountain range reaches up to an altitude of about 2,000 metres above sea level. You can discover the park both on foot and by hopping on the cable car. Expect to see beautiful forests, castles and hills. Visitors to the area can also enjoy saltwater spa and climatic health treatments in Bad Harzburg.

Hidden deep in the Bavarian Forest, in the area of Neuschonau you'll find the longest tree top walk in the world. With a total length of 1,300 metres, the trail winds through a thick forest at heights of up to 25 metres above ground. The bravest of visitors are also invited to try the swaying bridge and the trapeze. A 44 metre-high observation tower at the end of the walkway boasts stunning views across the Alps.

Cities

You could easily spend over a month hopping between German cities because there are so many worth seeing and exploring. But if you do have a limited period of time on your hands, some of the top cities to visit are...

Hamburg. Germany's second largest city and also the second largest port in Europe. Built at the confluence of the river Elbe with Alster and Bille, Hamburg boasts many lovely waterside attractions. The city centre is also home to two lakes.
The old Hanseatic League city features stunning architecture from the Rathaus to old warehouses near the waterways. Popular attractions in the city include nightlife hub - the Reeperbahn -, the St Nikolai church ruins, and the Hamburg Dungeon. An early morning trip to the local fish market is also a must-do when in Hamburg.

Cologne. Not the most aesthetic of cities, but one with so much history tied to the way it looks in this day and age. During World War II, most of the city and its population were wiped out. The dark and heavy post-war architecture serves as an everlasting reminder of what Cologne has been through, and makes for a fascinating city to walk through.
Landmarks every visitor should aim to see are the Cathedral, Basilica of St Severin, City Hall, and the remaining city gates dating back to medieval times.
In winter, Cologne is home to some of the world's most popular German Christmas markets.

Got more time to spare? Pay a visit to Munster, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Lubeck, Dresden, Potsdam...

Quirky facts about Germany

Germany's famous beer festival, Oktoberfest, actually kicks off in September.

It was a German man, Hans Riegel, who invented the tasty gummy bear sweet.

Germany boasts over 300 different types of bread, that's almost enough to last you for a whole year.

There are more football fan clubs in Germany than any other country in the world.

When answering the phone, Germans prefer the formal approach of saying their surname first before greeting the caller. Don't let this come as a surprise when you make your cheap calls to Germany!

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