Germany is the heart of Europe, for both its central location and his influence on the political scenario of the continent. Once focused prevalently on other types of industries, Germany today offers an entire range of possibilities for tourists too. The touristic activity has become more and more important here after rebuilding the main cities in the aftermath of WWII. Visitors looking for the classical German landscapes flock to the Bavarian Alps (in the south) and the Black Forest (in Baden-Württemberg). Another important destination for nature lovers and eager explorers is the central region of the Rhine and Mosel valleys, where picturesque castles alternate to colourful vineyards making up one of a kind fairy-tale landscape. In Northern Germany, wealthy cities such as Hamburg and Bremen still show the traces of stateliness of the once-called Hanseatic League. On the opposite side Eastern Germany, isolated for over 40 years of Communist rule, is quickly rebuilding its reputation through the central lead of Berlin, the astonishing city of Dresden (once capital of Saxony), the cultural centre of Weimar, the old university city of Leipzig and the pretty town of Chemnitz.
One week is probably the minimum you want to spend in a place like Berlin, the capital. This metropolis with a population of about 3.5 million people is a very tourist-friendly destination and notorious for its first-class museums, the wide avenue Unter den Linden, the magnificent Reichstag, the huge urban park Tiergarten, the zoo and many other attractions.
Munich is another extremely popular destination. The third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, attracts alone every year more than 70 million people! Part of the success is definitely due to the famous Oktoberfest event, celebrated annually from mid- or late September to the first week in October. People from all around the world gather here to enjoy good Bavarian music, delicious food and of course several pints of German beers. It has been calculated that during the record 16-day festival in 2013 an amount of almost 8 million litres were served!
Beer covers definitely a role of primary importance in the life of every German. Bavarians in particular are most likely the greatest consumers of this beverage in the world, with an annual average of about 240 litres per head. The most widely drunk beer in Germany is the Pilsner, a light lager-style beer produced by bottom fermentation with a method invented many years ago in Pilsen (Czech Republic). Germany produces though several types of other beers, some of which are brewed just in certain times of the year. Another common variety of beer in Germany is undoubtedly the Weizenbier, a beer made from fermentation of wheat rather than barley. Dark styles are also very popular.
Oktoberfest is not the only festival you can take part to when you visit this country. Another very popular one, mainly due to the central rule music has always played in the German culture, is the Beethoven festival in Bonn (also late September). Also to keep in mind is the tradition of the Christmas markets. Several towns and cities, including of course Berlin and Munich, are interested in December by this magical atmosphere but many tourists report the one in Nuremburg to be absolutely the most impressive.