Tourist Germany: how best to relax

Tourism in Germany

Perceiving Germany as a monolithic state is not entirely correct. Regional peculiarities clearly determine the way of life; many remnants of the time when the country was fragmented have been preserved here. You can get to know the country by taking a trip to the ancient northern ports, to the fields and plains, to the Ruhr, forests, mountains and densely populated cities of the southern regions. Some of the local cities retain the spirit of the capital. So, Cologne with its cathedral is rich in architectural monuments. Another famous city is Munich, with great museums and vibrant nightlife. Berlin is attractive, and Nuremberg retains traces of its former glory.

Burnt to the ground in 1943, Hamburg is now a beautiful city where entertainment facilities are comparable to those in Berlin. Frankfurt, a post-war economic center, rivals Stuttgart and its skyscrapers for the title of commercial capital. In the east, Baroque Dresden attracts attention. Everyone will love the university Heidelberg, also noteworthy are Trier, Regensburg, Rothenburg in the west and Potsdam with Meissen in the east. The Bavarian Alps near Munich, Lake Constance on the Swiss border and the Rhine Valley, where many legends and tales were born, are beautiful.

Transport and accommodation in Germany

Traveling in Germany can be done quickly and easily, although it is not cheap. The fare for Deutsche Bahn trains is 0.14 euros per kilometer in second class, excluding surcharges. The price of a round-trip ticket is equal to the cost of two tickets in one direction. The best conditions are provided by Inter City Express, running at a speed of 280 kilometers per hour, other high-speed trains - Intercity and Euro City. Inter Regio trains run on less congested routes. Most cities have an S-Bahn rail network. You can use InterRail and Eurail cards (also on S-Bahn trains). There is also a subway, or U-Bahn.

Dresden Central Station

Surcharge is provided for additional services - for example, in sleeping cars and high-speed express trains Inter Rail. All stations have free pocket timetables for local routes. Many bus routes are organized in cooperation with railway companies, there are private routes where railway transport cards are not valid. You will want to take the bus in the countryside or on “showy routes” where conditions are more comfortable than regular routes and buses stop at interesting places.

Good conditions for cyclists: many trails have bike paths, and in cities there are dedicated bike paths everywhere. From April to October, it is most convenient to rent a bike at the train station, where the Fahrrad am Bahnhof program operates (about 6 euros per day). You can return the bike at any other station, while the holders of transport cards pay only half of the rental cost.

Accommodation in Germany

Almost all travel agencies can book a hotel room for a fee. You can always use the HI (Jugendherberge) hotels of the DJH system, however, at any time of the year (and especially during the summer holidays) groups of students can book accommodation in them, so you need to take care of accommodation as early as possible. These establishments are categorized based on location and amenities. A bed in most cases costs about 13 euros, and in more expensive establishments (they are called Jugendgastehaus) the price can go up to 20 euros.

HI members over 27 years old pay extra € 2 per night, the same applies to those who are not members of this organization but are allowed to live. Please note that in southern Bavaria, persons over 27 years of age cannot live in such establishments, unless they accompany the children. In large cities, the cheaper "tourist" hotels have less stringent rules and better service. All the local hotels are clean, comfortable and functional. Just try not to find yourself in a large settlement during the fair or exhibition (Messe), when hotels double their prices.

In rural areas, the minimum price is 30 euros for a double room; in cities, add another 10 euros to this figure. In eastern Germany, hotels are mainly intended for business people, but in the resorts the situation for economy class tourists is much better. There are many guesthouses, you can rent a room in a private house, above a bar or restaurant.

Water tourism in Germany

Germany is the eighth most visited country in the world, with a total of 407.26 million overnight stays in 2012. This number includes 68.83 million overnight stays of foreign guests, most of which in 2009 came from the Netherlands, the UK and other countries. Switzerland (see table). In addition, more than 30% of Germans spend their holidays in their country. Germany is ranked 3rd out of 136 countries in the 2017 report and ranked as one of the safest travel destinations in the world according to travel and tourism competitiveness reports.

More than 30.4 million international tourists arrived in Germany in 2012, generating over US $ 38 billion in international tourism revenue for the country. Domestic and international travel and tourism combined directly contributed over € 43.2 billion to Germany's GDP. Adjusted for indirect and induced impacts, the industry contributes 4.5% of Germany's GDP and supports 2 million jobs (4.8% of total employment). ITB Berlin is the world's leading tourism trade fair.

According to surveys, the three main reasons tourists come to Germany are German culture, outdoor activities and countryside, and German cities.

Contents

History

The history of tourism in Germany goes back to the cities and landscapes that are visited for study and recreation. From the late 18th century onward, cities such as Dresden, Munich, Weimar and Berlin were major stops on the European Grand Tour.

Spas and seaside resorts in the North and Baltic Sea (e.g. Rugia and Usedom islands, Heiligendamm, Norderney and Sylt islands) especially developed in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when the main railway routes were built connecting the seaside resorts with city centers. An extensive bathing and recreation industry materialized in Germany around 1900. Many spas, hotels and recreational facilities have been established since the 19th century on rivers and in close proximity to natural landscapes (for example, in the Middle Rhine Valley and in Saxon Switzerland).

The countryside has a pastoral atmosphere, while the big cities have both modern and classic styles. Small and medium-sized cities have often retained their historical appearance, they have old cities with a remarkable architectural heritage - they are called Altstadt in German.

Statistics

The table below shows the distribution of nights spent by national and foreign guests in each of the sixteen German states in 2017.

Perceiving Germany as a monolithic state is not entirely correct. Regional peculiarities clearly define the way of life; many remnants of the time when the country was fragmented have been preserved here.

Regardless of whether you are going to Germany for the first time or have been here more than once, this country will amaze you to the core. From any German city, you will take away many beautiful photographs, an unforgettable experience of communicating with the locals and sightseeing. Excursions in Germany allow you to get better acquainted with the peculiarities of German culture, the unique mentality of the German people, and excellent local cuisine.

Where can you book excursions

There are several options for organizing a sightseeing tour, depending on whether you are in the country or just planning a trip.

  • Internet. There are many websites where you can choose and book a tour that suits your needs. Tours can be by car and on foot, only their duration, cost and purpose differ. The advantage of this resource is the availability of Russian-language excursions for tourists who do not speak either English or German. Discounts are provided for children, students and other preferential categories.
  • Hotel. Almost any hotel and hostel, if it does not own its own tour desk, cooperates with several private guides. Check at the reception which tours are offered in the city and the surrounding area, ask for the contact number of the guide. Moreover, you can buy a tour even if you are not a hotel guest. However, it is preferable to book excursion tours in hotels located near the airport and train stations - there their cost will be about 1.5 times lower than in central hotels.
  • Tour Operators. Russian-language tours are especially popular. Nuremberg, Stuttgart, combined tours in Switzerland and Germany - the number of offers is practically unlimited. However, it should be borne in mind that the cost of excursions in travel agencies is approximately 2-2.5 times higher than the prices in local offices and private guides.
  • Local offices. Most often they are presented by kiosks with tourist products: souvenirs, maps, postcards. You can get a list of available excursions from the seller and, as a rule, order not only sightseeing tours around the city, but also a trip in a non-standard direction. The cost of the tours is negotiable, big groups of tourists are offered big discounts. Tourist offices of this type should be found on the quays, near public transport stops and attractions themselves - for example, near the Zwinger, as well as in all major German cities: Leipzig, Bremen, Aachen and others.

How much do the excursions cost?

The cost of the tour is influenced by such factors as:

  • the number of people in the group;
  • type of transport;
  • the duration of the excursion;
  • route;
  • the executor of the order.

Usually, the more tourists listen to the guide, the cheaper this excursion will cost each of them. Hiking takes longer and is therefore more expensive than bus tours.

There are short sightseeing tours on buses or buses and long detailed excursions with a difficult route - the latter are much more expensive and involve a small number of people in the group.

As for the executor of the order, large tour operators rate their services quite high, but at the same time guarantee high-quality service, while the cost of services of private guides may be slightly lower if the value of the excursion is dubious.

How to organize an excursion in Russian

Tourists who do not speak either German or English are interested in the question of how to plan their trip and where to find a Russian-speaking guide. In just 2-2.5 hours you can see the sights that interest you and take a break from walking.

It should be noted that most major museums in Germany offer to rent audio guides directly at the time of paying for the entrance ticket - you just need to check their availability with the cashier.

If you want to use the services of a Russian-speaking guide, then the excursion will have to be booked in advance. Some trips involve spending the night in small local hotels; there is practically no free time during the tour.

Germany is located in the central part of Europe, and is a prosperous, developed state with a strong economy, as well as numerous historical monuments, resorts, excellent climatic conditions, infrastructure, etc. not to influence the flow of tourists, which annually increases to this country. What is the best way to relax and where?

Why is Germany attractive?

Of course, the number of tourists continues to grow steadily every year, thereby attracting the attention of people from different countries of the world, with different interests. It is worth noting that Germany manages to satisfy the individual tourist interests of virtually every person, since every tourist area is developed here as necessary. All of Europe, including Germany, is ready to offer vacationers numerous tourist routes, appropriate service, and autobahns.

Natural reserves, beautiful and mesmerizing landscapes, parks and squares, an abundance of tourist routes, mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, architectural monuments, numerous historical sites - all this serves the benefit of the interested tourist. It is useful to know about the factors that are additional advantages that contribute to an increase in the tourist flow to Germany: a simplified visa regime, a significant number of attractions, a high level of hospitality of local residents.

In general, the tourism sector of the country in question began to develop after the end of World War II, and today the country is considered one of the largest tourist centers in Europe and the whole world. Traditional sightseeing in Germany, architecture, museums, communication with the local population, local cuisine, legendary beer and much more always serve as the objects of interest for visiting tourists.

Cycling

Germany is a comprehensively developed country whose local population cares about their health. Thus, sports hobbies are popularized here. State authorities are concerned about this issue, and the result is a wide network of cycle routes. Fans of cycling and traveling are pleased to know that there are about 75 thousand kilometers of bike paths in Germany with special tourist information signs.

It is noteworthy that bike paths in Germany and in many other European countries are separated from the carriageway by a specialized lane, and therefore they are considered to be quite safe. Bavaria, where the air is especially clean, smooth routes, beautiful landscapes with lakes, rivers, and architectural structures, are especially favorite regions of the country for cycling tourism. The Elbe road is equally popular, as are the routes along the Weser and Main rivers.

According to the data of the General Cycling Club of Germany, the country has about 5 thousand hotels, youth tourist centers, boarding houses, campsites designed specifically for cyclists. Culture, natural diversity, care for the environment and health help to experience Germany even better.

Cruise vacation

Cruise travel in Germany is very developed: ships of various sizes and ranges of water trips run along the local rivers, lakes, as well as around the world. You can see, for example, the memorable and incredibly colorful festival "Rhine in the Lights", held throughout the summer season. 80 ships, equipped with festive illumination, descend the river, while beautiful fireworks are held on the shore. Thousands of pleasantly surprised and admired colorful spectators can watch the event from the banks of the Rhine River.

According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Reports, Germany is ranked as one of the safest travel destinations in the world. Germany is the third most visited country in Europe, with 380.3 million overnight stays in 2010, the highest since the country's reunification. The number of overnight stays increased in comparison with 2009 by 3% [3]. In 2008, the number of overnight stays was 369.6 million [4] [5]. Of this number, 56.5 million overnight stays are accounted for by foreign guests, with the majority of foreign tourists arriving in 2009 from the Netherlands, the USA and Switzerland (see table). In 2010, the number of overnight stays of tourists from abroad increased by 10 percent compared to 2009 to 60.3 million [3].

Official tourism authority in Germany The German National Tourism Committee is represented by National Tourism Offices in 29 countries. The Committee's research showed the following reasons for recreation in Germany: culture (75%), outdoor/rural recreation (59%), cities (59%), cleanliness (47%), safety (41%), modernity (36 %), good hotels (35%), good cooking/cuisine (34%), good accessibility (30%), cosmopolitanism/telecommunications (27%), good shopping opportunities (21%), exciting nightlife (17%) and good value for money (10%) (multiple responses were possible).

More than 30% of Germans spend their holidays in their own country. With more than 133 million foreign tourists (2008) Germany is the seventh most visited in the world. A total of € 27.2 billion is spent annually on travel and tourism: equivalent to 3.2% of Germany's GDP.

Contents

History [edit]

The history of tourism in Germany is rooted in visits to cities and landscapes for learning and recreation. Since the late eighteenth century, cities such as Dresden, Munich, Weimar and Berlin have been major stops on the European Grand Tour. In particular, resorts in the North and Baltic Seas and in the Rhine Valley developed during the 19th and early 20th centuries. After the end of World War II, tourism in Germany increased significantly as many tourists visited Germany to experience the spirit of European history. In the countryside, tourists seek a rural idyll, while cities are attracted by modern and classical architecture and cultural attractions.

Statistics [edit]

The table below shows the distribution of overnight stays for national and international tourists in Germany in 2008. Bavaria has the largest number of visitors with 76.91 million overnight stays in hotels and hostels (14,300 overnight stays per 1000 population); Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has the highest tourist density.

Countryside [edit]

Health tourism [edit]

About 242,000,000 overnight stays, or ⅔ of all overnight stays in Germany, are in resort towns. [6]. Germany is well known as a health tourism destination, with many of the spas originating from hot springs, offering treatment (German: Chur) or prophylaxis with mineral water and/or other spa treatments. Spas and seaside resorts often bear a corresponding name, such as mineral and mud spas (Mineral-und-Moorbäder), health resorts (Heilklimatische Kurorte), spa resorts (Kneippkurorte), seaside resorts (Seebäder), climate resorts (Luftkurorte), health resorts rest (Erholungsorte). The largest and most famous resorts also have casinos, primarily Bad Wiessee, Baden-Baden (Kurhaus), Wiesbaden (Kurhaus), Aachen, Travemünde and Westerland (Kurhaus).

Regions [edit]

Other popular regions include:

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