Germany

If countries were measured by their contributions to art, science, medicine and technology, Germany would take out the gold medal.

This is the country that brought the world Albert Einstein and Martin Luther, Ludwig van Beethoven and Bertholt Brecht. It garnered fourteen of the first thirty-one Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, saw the creation of moveable type, the growth of Pschology as a science and the discovery of X-Rays.

And the best part is you can catch an up-close glimpse of this fascinating history of achievement by browsing any of the magnificent museums and art galleries that litter the Germany’s cities.

In addition to the achievements of man, there is great natural spectacle to witness in Germany also.

The forests of Thuringia, the Muritz National Park and the Berchtesgaden should all sit high on your to-do list, thanks to their lush landscapes and mystical feel.

Given that there is so much to see and do in this great European nation, how do you work out where to start?

Let’s take a look at a few of the top places to visit.

Berlin

The nation’s capital has changed immensely since its remarkable reunification with the destruction of the Wall in 1989. Now it is a truly modern city, dotted with bars and clubs, skyscrapers and hotels. The composition of the buildings in this great city are terrific; orderly and beautifully bouncing off one another, they maintain links to their gothic heritage but also embrace modernity.

You will need to visit the Anne Frank Museum while here, if only just to see the reconstructed bookcase that covered the entrance to the secret Achterhuis – the hiding place for Anne Frank and her family during Nazi reign.

This is a city of tolerance, of friendship, and of variety.

Sylt

The distinctive island sits on Germany’s west coast, a gorgeous sliver of land that is a star attraction for lovers of outdoor sports – wind surfers in particular – and which plays host to many of the nation’s rich and famous.

A healthy, warm climate pervades Sylt, making it one of the best places to sit on the beach in Europe, or jump on a mountain bike and pedal along one of the dune trails.

At night you can tuck into to great food at one of the many glitzy restaurants, and lazy days can be spent browsing the designer boutiques that dot the most affluent areas of the island.

Hamburg

If you want to party in Germany, this is the place to do it. Germany’s biggest port is a city on water, with a party capital red-light district called the Reeperbahn renowned for its wild ways.

Before you head out into the bars and clubs of this town, spend your days strolling alongside the waterways or staring up at buildings shaped like ocean liners.

Tuck into any of the unusual local dishes, such as Aalsuppe (eel soup) or Bohn, Birnen und Speck (green beans, pears and bacon).

And don’t miss the city’s grand church St Michaelis, dedicated to the archangel Michael and featuring a large bronze statue showing Michael defeating the devil.

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