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Germany (Deutschland in German) is a country located in Central Europe and is the founding member of the European Union. The country is bordered to the north by Denmark, to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic, to the south by Austria and Switzerland, and to the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Germany has travelled a great distance from being an ancient beauty of the Black Forest and Neuschwanstein castle to becoming the hub of fashion industry of Berlin and Frankfurt and has also evolved from being the medieval beauty of Heidelberg to the wild excitement of Munich’s Oktoberfest. Today it is one of the most developed countries in the world with finest places to lure the hearts of the tourists. One must come here and witness the eternal beauty of places like Fussen, Harz Mountains, Leipzig, North Frisian Islands and Tubingen.

Fact File
Official name : Federal Republic of Germany
Government : Federal Republic
Nationality : German
Capital city : Berlin
Ethnic groups : Predominantly Caucasian, with a significant Turkish minority. Germany has also absorbed many refugees from the former Yugoslavia.
Location : Central Europe
Bavarian AlpsContinent : Europe
Currency : Euro; 1 Euro = 52.443 Indian Rupee = 1.2047 US $(subject to change)
Population : 82.39 million
Languages : German
Religion : 34% Protestant, 34% Catholic, 4% Muslim, 28% unaffiliated or other. There are about 74,000 Jews (the pre-Holocaust figure was over half a million).
Area : 357,021 sq km
Famous for : Thinkers, writers, artists and above all for their world class car engineering. Germany is also famous for Einstein, Marx, Beethoven, Goethe, Adolf Hilter.
Major cities : Zurich, Munich, Heidelberg, Freiberg
Clothing : Summers : cotton; winters : heavy woolens
Major events : The Winter Carnival (Fasching) season occurs throughout Germany, the Thuringian Bach Festival in March or the Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth each July. The jazz festivals in Stuttgart (April) and Berlin (November) are lively and popular. Oktoberfest, Christmas
Things to Buy : Chocolates, ornaments, wood carvings.
Things to do : Shopping, sightseeing
Cuisine : Non Veg : meat (pork, beef, poultry, chicken, turkey...), fish (trout, perch, herring, sardine, tuna, salmon)
Veg : Vegetables(carrots, turnips, spinach, peas, potatoes) are eaten as stews or soup.
Continental : Noodles, Italian pasta, spatzle.
Beverages : Beer, wine, coffee, tea Desserts : cakes, pies, cheesecake, doughnuts, icecreams.

Visa Permit
EU citizens can enter on an official identity card. Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and Japanese just need a valid passport (no visa). Citizen of a developed country can stay up to three months.

Culture
German life is a mix of generations-old traditions and dynamic cultural development.
The German culture is reflected in the rich artistic heritage from the breathtaking beauty of its cathedrals to classical films from the silent era of cinema, from the great philosophers (Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and Marx ) to some of the world's legendary physicists (Einstein and Planck), from the gem of classical composers (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel and Wagner) to contemporary industrial-grunge music and Krautrock, from the genius of Goethe to the revolutionary theatre of Brecht.
Germans start the day with a huge breakfast of rolls, jam, cheese, cold meats, hard-boiled egg, and coffee or tea. Lunch is the main meal of the day. Dinner is lighter but can still mean a plate full of sausages and dumplings.
Rheinstein Castle
When to go
Germany is a fine destination year-round, but the most desirable time to visit is between May and September. The other period could be between early november and march.

Climate
Germany has a mild weather, with hot summers and cold winters, although long periods of freeze or snow are very rare. It rains during the year, specially in July. It can get to be very cold in winter, and the lakes and channels of the country usually freeze. The average temperatures are 2°C in winter and 24°C in summer.

Getting there
By Air : Frankfurt International Airport is the main entry point for transcontinental flights where Düsseldorf and Munich are considerably important. The other main airports in the country are Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart, and smaller ones are in cities as Bremen, Dresden, Erfurt, Hanover, Leipzig, Münster-Osnabrück and Nuremberg.
Ryan Air is the new budget airline in the country which provides reasonable services to the passengers. The biggest of these is Frankfurt-Hahn, which is actually near the Moselle River, about 110km (68mi) northwest of Frankfurt proper.
By Train : Long-distance trains connecting major German cities with those in other countries are called EuroCity (EC) trains.
By Road : There are several budget bus companies who provide services to Germany from the rest of Europe and the UK. Prices are reasonable and the buses are comfortable;
One can travel to Germany with a car or a motorcycle but a valid driving licence, car registration certificate and proof of insurance are required. Foreign cars must display a nationality sticker unless they have official Euro-Plates (number plates that include their country's Euro symbol). The main gateways to southern Germany are Munich, Freiburg and Passau.
High-speed Eurotunnel shuttle trains are also available which provide excellent services.

Getting around
Lake SylvensteinBy Air : The major air carriers in Germany are, LTU and Deutsche BA (a subsidiary of British Airways). Lufthansa also offers train service from Koln to the Frankfurt airport that is available only to persons holding air tickets. German Rail operates a similar service called "Rail and Fly."
By Train : Deutsche Bahn or German Rail (German Rail and Train Information) offer excellent services throughout Germany. German Railpass is a good way to ensure a comfortable journey within the country. Germany is also one of 17 countries in which you can use Eurailpass (Eurail Passes).
By Road : Germany has good intercity and local bus service, a large number of which are operated by the railways (Bahnbus, and are merged with rail services making it very easy to make connections. Besides the bus one even go for the taxis or rental cars.

Major attractions
Berlin (the capital city) : Berlin is the capital and the biggest city of Germany and is located on the rivers of Spree and Havel. It has a population of about 3.5 million and extends over 889 square kilometers. Berlin is a geat destination for historical monuments, great night life, splendid architecture and unique culture. It has been fifteen years since the Wall fell but Berlin can still feels like two cities. The city is one of the greenest cities in Europe. Today it is a major cultural centre combining top-flight museums, galleries and concert.

The Grune- wald (Green Wood) :is an enormous park to the southwest of the city, propping it up like the neck stem of the country's brain. The Green Party is in the ruling coalition, protecting the proud statistic that Berlin has more trees than shops, if not yet more bicycles than cars.

Rhine Valley : Beautiful landscapes with fertile vineyards cling to steep hills, many splendid castles and dreamy wine villages. Every village hosts at least one wine festival per year, with the most famous being the Rhine in Flames series of festivals, when water, lighting and fireworks are used to give an amazing effect.

Weimar : Recognised as the birthplace of the Weimar Republic this small city is a cultural site for Germans. It was the command post of the country's Age of Enlightenment and home to such intellectual and creative giants as Goethe, Bach, chiller, Liszt, Nietzsche, Kandinsky and Klee, to name a few.

Other attractions :
Füssen
Harz Mountains
Leipzig
North Frisian Islands
Tübingen




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