Tour the World: Germany

Tour the World: Germany

Germany is a country in Europe that borders Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. A tour of Germany could take you through 16 different states, and stops in Berlin and Frankfurt could be both educational and fun. About 83 million people live in Germany, making it the second most populated country in central Europe, just behind Russia.

The German Language

If you plan to visit Germany, it’s helpful to learn a few basic words and phrases in German so you can communicate more easily while you’re there. Even if you don’t plan to visit Germany, you might want to learn how to speak German just because it’s interesting. The German language has a reputation for being hard to learn, and some parts of the language can be challenging. People with English as their native language might pick up on German more easily than others, though, because some elements of the two languages are similar. That’s because English and German are both Germanic languages: They both evolved from one common language a long, long time ago. Sometimes, you can look at a German word and make a good guess about what it means in English because the words sound or look similar. German pronunciation can feel new for English speakers because a few sounds in the German language don’t exist in English. But if you practice speaking German, you should find the new sounds coming more easily to you.

Geography and Landmarks

Berlin is the largest city in Germany, and it’s also the capital of the country. When visiting Berlin, plan to spend part of a day in Tiergarten, Berlin’s most famous park. You can walk or bike along the paved trails, find famous monuments, and enjoy delicious food. You’ll also want to visit the Brandenburg Gate, a monument that stands today as a symbol of the unification of East and West Berlin. The Berlin TV Tower will give you a panoramic view of the city, and there’s also a restaurant in the building that revolves. Germany has more than 25,000 castles located throughout the country, and many are open for guests to visit and tour. Don’t miss Neuschwanstein Castle, which inspired Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland. Visitors also like to plan stops in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which is a small, medieval town with lots of shops. If you like science and art museums, Munich has many great places that you can tour. Anyone who enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking will enjoy a vacation in the German Alps, and you can also find a few castles nestled in the mountains. The highest peak in the German Alps is slightly more than 9,700 feet tall. The Black Forest is another must-see area for outdoor enthusiasts.

German Cuisine

German cuisine focuses on meats such as fish, veal, beef, and pork. Germans also like pasta, including a dumpling-like egg pasta called spaetzle. Because most Germans have a strong love for bread, you’ll usually find breads and rolls with meals. German bread recipes usually mix wheat and rye flour, so the breads are darker with hard outer crusts. Bakeries in Germany often feature sweet pastries and pretzels, too. Stollen and lebkuchen are baked treats that Germans eat at Christmas. Sauerkraut might be one of the most famous ingredients of German cuisine, and it’s often served with meat and potatoes. Germans are also known for making high-quality beers and wines.

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