Located in the heart of Europe, Germany has a population of over 83 million people and Berlin is the capital and biggest city. It is internationally known for the Oktoberfest, car brands, football, and many other things. In the following article, I’m going to show and explain all the things that Germany is really famous for and what you should visit to experience it. So, When you think of Germany, what do you remember?
The picture of a typical person from Germany is simple. They’re drinking a lot of beer, eating Bavarian veal sausage and sauerkraut, and always wearing leather trousers and dirndl dresses. Although this is not a typical German person, you can often find people dressed like this in Bavaria, especially during the Oktoberfest!
The Oktoberfest is where the rumors about Germans are coming from and in this time of the year, it’s really escalating in Munich, Bavaria. During the time of the Oktoberfest, the stereotypes become true. It’s the world’s largest Volksfest with more than six million visitors from around the world. In the 16 to 18 days from mid-September until the beginning of October large quantities of beer are consumed. Most of the visitors are dressed in leather trousers or the dirndl dress and enjoy many different attractions like Rides, games, and shops where you can buy typical food like Bavarian veal sausage or pretzels.
But the Oktoberfest is not the only event which Germany is famous for, there are also the Christmas markets.
Every year in the Advent season the Christmas markets are starting in Germany. You can find Christmas markets in all cities that are a little bigger. The atmosphere in these markets is idyllic and Christmassy. Everywhere are little shops where you can buy lard cakes, gingerbread, spekulatius, and especially mulled wine! But there are also Christmas decorations, crafts, music and sometimes a classic nativity play.
Many people go to these Christmas markets, to enjoy the mood and to drink mulled wine. Top tip: be aware that you have to pay a deposit for the cups of three to four euros. You’ll get it back by bringing the cup back.
Some of the best and biggest Christmas markets are in Stuttgart – Baden Württemberg, in Frankfurt – Hessen or in Nürnberg – Bavarian.
Besides attractions like the Oktoberfest and the Christmas markets, there are many castles in Germany that should be visited while traveling through Germany.
There should be up to 25 thousand castles, ruins and ground monuments in Germany. One of the best things in Germany is exploring all the famous and breathtaking castles distributed throughout the whole country. The castles used to be homes of kings or government buildings back in the time, today most of them are tourist attractions.
The most famous castles in Germany are Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, the castle in Heidelberg and in Wartberg.
Neuschwanstein castle in the south-east of Bavaria is particularly popular. It’s visited by 1,5 million tourists yearly and it is usually called fairy-tale castle because… that is exactly how it looks like. Ludwig the second built the castle as his own retreat and after he died it became more and more a tourist attraction. Furthermore, it was the model for Disney castles around the world like the Sleeping-Beauty-Castle in the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California or the Sleeping-Beauty-Castle in the Disneyland Resort in Paris.
All in all, Germany is historically rich and it’s recommended to visit the castles.
After the historic castles of Germany, we continue to explore Germany’s history, which isn’t always very… nice. Germany has an extensive and rich history but the two world wars and the Nazis play a big part in its recent history.
World War I
If we talk about the things that Germany is famous for, the World Wars and the Nazis are unforgettable. Although the Germans really try to avoid the topic and try to forget this part of the past. Moreover, the book “Mein Kampf”, doing Hitler’s greeting and drawing the swastika, the symbol of the Nazis, are now forbidden in Germany.
The first world war took place from 1914 until 1918 and nearly 20 million people had to die. On the first August 1914, Germany declared war on Russia.
A Serbian guy, supposedly instructed by the Serbian government, killed the prince of Austria-Hungary – a country which was an ally of Germany. After that Russia, who was an ally of Serbia, mobilized the army because it was afraid of an upcoming war. Thus Germany declared war. Both sides had allies around the world making this a world war, the first World War.
This topic is very complex though and there is a lot more to say!
World War II, the Nazis, and concentration camps
In the year 1933 Adolf Hitler and the Nazi came to power and secretly prepared Germany for war. Meanwhile, the Nazis started with concentration camps to kill others who are from, how they called it, “non-aryan races”. During this horrible time, millions of people died in these concentration camps.
In 1939 Germany invaded Poland which evolved into a world war after France, the UK and later the US joining it. After six years Germany capitulated, while at least 55 million people died in the second world war. This topic is really complex and shocking, there is much more to know about the second world war and the nazis.
Today you can visit the concentration camps, which is interesting but also terrifying. The most famous concentration camps in Germany are Sachsenburg and Dachau.
After the second world war, Germany was split up into four parts. One of the parts was occupied by the soviet union and that brings us to incidents like the DDR and the Berlin Wall.
The Berlin Wall was the separation between the German Democratic Republic and the other three areas of Berlin. The Wall was built in the year 1961 to stop people from refuge in Western Germany. The famous fall of the Berlin Wall was in November in 1989.
Some pieces of the Berlin Wall are still standing, particularly in Berlin, which often are colored with beautiful paintings. Moreover, there is a lot to learn about the history of the DDR and the purpose of the Berlin Wall.
While East Germany was sealed by the Berlin Wall, the West of Germany experienced an economic boom and this difference in development is still noticeable today. Despite the German efforts to unite and reduce this disparity.
After the Second World War Germany (West Germany) experienced an economic miracle. Today the German economy is growing and belongs among the strongest in the world. In Europe, Germany is also known as the biggest export nation. In fact, Germany is well known as the powerhouse of the European economy due to its industrial efficiency.
Products that have a designation of origin that says “Made in Germany” are known for having great quality. Many German brands like Adidas, Siemens, Bosch, DHL, Hugo Boss or Jägermeister are famous around the world. But car brands are probably the most famous companies in Germany.
Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, and Volkswagen are not only very popular in Germany but also in Europe and the rest of the world. The cars and also these brands are very well known. The auto industry is the biggest symbol of the German economy!
Worldwide, German cars are viewed as reliable, enduring, safe and built with really high-quality. German engineers made a big milestone and brands are still bearing their name.
Besides producing pretty good cars, Germans also built a great infrastructure, and the road network is well developed which takes us to the Autobahn.
The Autobahn are the German highways and they are probably the most envied roads in the world… Why? only in Germany, you can find an Autobahn where you’re allowed to drive as fast as you want to. Many people do this, but there is always someone who is faster than you. Driving on the right track at about 180 km per hour and suddenly there is someone with over 250 km per hour overtakes you… Those are situations you can expect on the German Autobahn… legally!
But be aware, driving on an Autobahn doesn’t directly mean that you can drive as fast as you want to. There has to be a sign that tells you that you can drive with unlimited speed.
While driving with sporty cars on the Autobahn is fun, there is something also famous but and sporty in Germany – Football.
Football is the national sport of Germany. The German team is internationally known as one of the best teams in the world, though the last years have been hard. Though, remember that Germany has been world champion 4 times (the last in 2014)!
And national football is even better. Enormous stadiums, huge fan bases, and great clubs. The Bundesliga is the first league of German football. The clubs fan base is intensive and big -6.5 million people from Germany are club members. Every week most of the stadiums are sold out and the mood is incredible. The fans are singing, shouting and supporting their team. Going to a big football match in German is a real experience!
One particularity about German clubs is the 50 + 1 rule. It says that the club cannot sell more than 49% of their club to investors. That’s why German clubs are still having control of themselves but also getting into trouble on the international level. Bayern Munich is international and national the most successful German club. If you can’t go to a match, you can visit Bayern’s Stadium and Museum in Munich.
Germans are famous for drinking beer and that is an undeniable fact. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching a game of football, doing a barbeque, celebrating on the Oktoberfest or having a party with friends, everywhere you go you’ll find large quantities of beer. Germany has between five thousand and six thousand different beers! All of them are brewed in according to the “Reinheitsgebot”, which tells you what ingredients you’re allowed to brew beer within Germany.
It’s worth to visit a brewery in Germany, you’ll find them everywhere. It’s an interesting experience and there are lots to learn about brewing beer, particularly if you love beer!
Manuel Brandt is a young traveler and Entrepreneur from Germany. With 19 he decided to start traveling the world, without any fixed plan. Just one year later he started his first company that includes projects like a marketing agency, Daily Travel Stories and more.
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