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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Germany

Germany Holidays

Packed with historic monuments, idyllic alpine scenery and enough local beer to satisfy anyone's taste, holidays to Germany are about exploring everything this diverse country has to offer. Take in world-renowned museums and galleries, or head to the mountains of Bavaria to experience German tradition at its finest.

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A country of two halves

An eclectic mix of old and new contributes to Germany's make-up. A country known for its innovation and creativity, there's also a fascinating amount of local history to discover when you visit Germany. Fairytale castles stand against a backdrop of magnificent mountain scenery, while towns and cities boast 21st-century architecture that mirrors the country's technological prowess.

Despite its modern features, there are still vast regions of Germany that paint a picture close to the quaint alpine settings we're all so familiar with. The southern region of Bavaria is home to historic towns and villages set at the foot of the Bavarian Alps – forming the picturesque, snow-covered scenes you see in Germany tourism guides. There's a real slow pace of life to be enjoyed here, with winding lakeside walks, quaint chalets and plenty of fresh alpine snow to discover.

Quick Tips

  • Christian
  • Euro
  • German
  • 82 million
  • GMT + 1

A flavour of local life

Germany is known for its beer, with a mass of local breweries peppered throughout the country. Water, hops, yeast and malt are the only four ingredients permitted in traditional German brewing, which typically results in a pure and delicate flavour.

Real beer lovers should make sure to time their Germany travel dates with the world-renowned Oktoberfest, which runs from the end of September through to the first weekend in October. This sparkling folk festival attracts crowds from across the globe, and welcomes upwards of 7 million visitors each year. It's perhaps little wonder, as the fortnight of drinking, dancing and eating features plenty of traditional German dishes – from grilled bratwurst to pretzels the size of your head.

Speaking of German dishes, the country is renowned for its delicacies that span both sweet and savoury delights. Tradition calls for hearty cuisine at its finest, with German sausages like currywurst, weisswurst and pork schnitzel making up much of the menu in both towns and rural areas. For dessert, it doesn't get much more German than a rich Black Forest gateau – layers of boozy, kirsch-soaked chocolate sponge topped with black cherries and whipped cream.

Historic architecture

Despite its modern feel, Germany has a rich history that's demonstrated in the many churches, museums and galleries that can be found here. It means there's no end of things to do, and also gives visitors an insight into all aspects of this country's fascinating past.

For history buffs, a trip to Berchtesgaden is a must. This picturesque town is situated right along Germany's border with Austria and is home to the Kehlsteinhaus – commonly known as the Eagle's Nest. The building sits high on the Kehlstein mountain and offers spectacular views of the town below, while also being a place of significant historical importance.

Idyllic mountain scenery

Sharing borders with Austria and Switzerland, Germany boasts some of the most breathtaking mountain scenery that you'll find in Europe. The southeast is a must for lovers of alpine adventure, with rustic restaurants set at part-way up The Alps making for memorable meals with a view.

While snow-capped mountains, fairytale castles and rustic chalets are mainstays of most alpine villages in Germany, no two are the same and each boasts its own unique beauty. Among the most breathtaking is Ruhpolding, located close to the country's Austrian border. Head here to experience vast forests, picturesque hilltop views and mysterious hidden lakes.

Fun for all the family

Families are well catered for across Germany, with a vast array of theme parks, zoos and family-friendly attractions making up much of the landscape here. Even Germany's more rural areas offer plenty of activities that are sure to appeal to kids of all ages.

All the family will enjoy being a part of the world's biggest jousting tournament, which takes place every July in Kaltenburg, Bavaria. While high-octane sword fights might not sound like a child-friendly activity, these highly skilled performers promise to transport audiences back to medieval times in comfort and safety. Families of all ages are invited to enjoy this light-hearted festival, filled with singing, dancing, juggling and plenty of sword-swishing fun.