From the North Sea to the Alps

Germans love to travel. On average, they spend a much larger part of their income on travelling, than any other nationality. They also tend to have more holidays than North-Americans. Most Germans start with 21 days of paid vacation time and with seniority in a job, are entitled to even more.

Austria, Spain, Italy, France, and Switzerland are popular European travel destinations. Germans also travel within their own country.

During the summer, many Germans head to the North Sea (Nordsee) or the Baltic Sea (Ostsee).

Nordsee

North Sea

Located south of Hamburg is an area called the Lüneburger Heide, a great place to hike.

Along the River Rhine many castles can be found, especially near the cities of Mainz and Koblenz. You can go on a boat tour on the river or enjoy one of the medieval festivals that some towns hold.

Deutsches Eck

Koblenz

Trier, the oldest German city, is 2000 years old. In the city centre is the Porta Nigra, an original Roman-built gateway.

The Black Forest (Schwarzwald) is located in the south-west. It is called black because the trees are exceptionally dense and create an unusual darkness.

Blackforest - Trees

Black Forest

Berlin, the capital, is the largest city in Germany. Its population is 3.5 million.

Another popular place to visit is the province of Bavaria with its biggest city Munich (München). After Berlin and Hamburg, Munich is the third largest city and is popular for its Oktoberfest.

A big castle south of Munich is Neuschwanstein. It has become popular beyond Germany through books and movies.

Neuschwanstein

Schloss Neuschwanstein

In the winter, people go south into the Alps (die Alpen) for skiing. The area of the Zugspitze, near the German city Garmisch-Partenkirchen, attracts many vacationers. The Zugspitze is 2962 metres high and the tallest mountain in Germany. The border between Germany and Austria runs through Zugspitze.

 Zugspitze

Zugspitze (view from Austria)

QUESTIONS (posted by Tia Baum)

  1. Was ist die älteste deutsche Stadt? Wie alt ist sie?

What is the oldest German city? How old is it?

  1. Warum heißt der Schwarzwald so?

Why is the Black Forest called “black”?

  1. Zu welchen zwei Küsten gehen Deutsche oft auf Ferien?

Which two sea coasts do Germans often visit when they go on vacation?

  1. Was ist die größte Stadt in Deutschland?

What is the biggest city in Germany?

  1. Welches ist die dritt größte deutsche Stadt?  Wofür ist sie so bekannt?

What is the third largest city in Germany? Why is it so well known?

  1. Wo gehen Deutsche gerne zum Ski fahren?

Where do Germans go to ski?

  1. Wie heißt der größte Berg in Deutschland? Wie hoch ist er?

What is the largest mountain in Germany? How tall is it?

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Visiting Germany in September & October

Early fall is a great time to visit Germany. The summer holidays are over and the roads are less crowded with travellers, local wine festivals are happening, and temperatures are mild but still fairly pleasant.

When you travel in October, remember that German school children have one week of fall vacation. This year it’s the week of October 13. However, booking accommodations is still less expensive than in the summer. The only exception is the Oktoberfest in München (Munich). If you are planning to visit Munich in late September or early October, you have to expect higher prices. Bavaria’s beer festival draws six million of visitors from all over the world every year.

If you prefer more of a local feel than a hotel, here is a website to look into: Airbnb.ca We have booked apartments through this website several times and have always been happy. You live in somebody’s room, apartment or entire house for the duration of your stay. If you want to shop and cook like a local this is a great way of experiencing Germany.

In September and even in October, the weather in Germany can still be pleasant, with colorful autumn foliage. German weather is unpredictable, you need to be prepared for cold and rainy spells. In Berlin, for example, the temperatures range in September from 8˚C to 18˚C, in October from 5˚C to 15˚C.
In November, the days are getting shorter, it is cold, damp and often overcast. Temperatures go down to 0˚C to 8˚C on average and there can be a continuous drizzle, or, in some areas, even the first snow fall.

Early fall is the time to go to enjoy the beautiful autumn colours, the wide variety of good German wines, or a real German beer while visiting one of the many castles on the Rhine river or a fall festival. “Prost!”