Germany is the largest and most powerful European economy and is considered to be the third most developed country in the world after USA and Japan.
For a number of economic indicators, however, the country serious rival and in some respects even outpaced both the U.S. and Japan.
It is a member of the European Union and the Euro area and is often described as the engine of Europe.
Germany is among the best places to live, work and study in the world.More from Germany:
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According to several studies in recent years it appears that the German city of Munich is the best city to live in the world, and even the biggest critics, however, do not fail to put it in the top 10.
Today Germany serves as an example for the other European economies.
When is the Best Time to Visit Germany?
As the country falls within the temperate latitudes best time for tourism in general is the summer, when temperatures are most pleasant and nature is in its high.
Best for tourism are June, July and August.
Another appropriate time for tourism in Germany is the end of September and early October, when it held the notorious Oktoberfest.
But if your goal is to skiing in the German Alps, then it is best to choice the winter months.
Overall the time for tourism depends mainly on what part of the country you have chosen and what is the purpose of your visit.
Germany is one of the few countries in the world that offers something interesting in every part of the year.
What Clothes to Wear?
Although conditions in the country vary a lot depending on whether you are in the Alps or near to the Baltic Sea, however, can summarize the overall conditions as follows:
In June, July and August in most of Germany the weather is warm and sunny.
Summer clothes are best, but it’s still good to have a thin anorak or jacket, especially if you’re in the northern parts of the country.
In September and October weather is typical of autumn and sometimes can become quite cool.
The most suitable clothes are with long sleeves and lighter coat.
From November to March, wear warm winter clothing.
In April and May, comply with spring temperatures and do not take too warm clothes with you.
Germany falls entirely within the temperate climate zone.
Most of the country has a continental climate and only the northern most parts of the state have oceanic features.
Overall, the climate can be summarized as follows – cold winters, cool to mild springs and autumns and warm to hot summers.
Weather in Germany is significantly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, although in France, the Netherlands, Belgium or England the influence is stronger.
Because of the vast territory, however, the climatic conditions in Germany are very different in depending on which part of the country you are.
For example, in northern Germany near the sea coast climate is cool in summer, cold and humid in winter, but still a little softer than it is the normal for these latitudes.
In the southern parts of the country there is a continental climate character – the summer is quite warm, sometimes it’s even hot, and winters are relatively mild, but quite snowy.
Due to the weaker influence of the Atlantic in comparison with England and the large area of Germany, the country knows a number of temperature records ranging from +40 to -45°C.
Although Germany is considered to be a northern country, it is far sunnier in comparison with other states such as Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands or Belgium.
For example, summers in Germany are significantly warmer than those in Britain.
The climate varies strongly in depending if you are in the northern parts of the country near by Denmark, which is considered for a Nordic country or if you are into the southern parts that are located at about 350 kilometers from the hot and sunny Mediterranean.
Here are few examples of how climate varies in different parts of Germany:
– City of Rostock is located in northern Germany on the Baltic coast.
In winter, the weather is strongly influenced from the cold air masses masses which come from the north.
Temperatures in January and February are very low – about 0 – 2°C.
Summers are cool. Warmest is the weather in June, July and August.
The peak of the temperatures is in July when the daily average are about 21 – 22 degrees.
– In Essen, which is located in the central parts of the country near the border with the Netherlands the climate is a quite softer.
Summers are a bit warmer – around 23 – 24°C.
The same goes for the winter months.
Temperatures reach up to about 4-5°C.
Interesting here is that winter temperatures vary more, because the city is more remote from the stabilizing influence of the North and Baltic Seas.
– In southern Germany is the city of Freiburg.
It is one of the warmest and sunniest cities in the country.
In January and February daytime temperatures are in the range of 5 to 7°C.
In July and August is the warmest weather.
The daily temperatures are around 25 – 26°C but under appropriate conditions could become quite warmer.
Five months of the year daytime temperatures are above 18°C.
With its mild climate Freiburg shows a very different Germany than that which we have accustomed to imagine.
German infrastructure is developed in a way to ensures maximum advantage of the local economy.
Germany is considered to be the country with best-developed transport network in Europe and the world.
Much of its territory is crossed by highways, which not only link the major cities of the country, but also play an important role as a transport corridor between Eastern and Western Europe, and between northern and southern parts of the continent.
High-speed trains are another element of German highly developed infrastructure.
They provide a competitive rate and speed of about 280 km / h and all this in combination with high security and accuracy.
Germany has a very well-developed air transport between cities, and abroad.
This is not a surprise to anyone having on mind that Germany is known as the country of which departure the largest flow of tourists in the world.
Frankfurt airport is considered to be one of the best equipped and major airports on the planet.
An interesting fact about Germany is that the country has very well developed river transportation.
Many large German rivers are connected together by waterways.
This reflects well on the German economy, thereby providing affordable transport.
The system of canals in Germany makes it possible to reach by ship from the North Sea to the Black Sea.
What facilitates the development of channels is the relief in Germany.
But in this strongly developed country there are not just dig river channel.
In the 19 century was completed Kilsk‘s channel which crosses Jutland Peninsula (peninsula, on which is located Denmark) and shortens the way between the North and Baltic Seas.
Beaches in Germany
It’s hard to believe how big it is actually the difference between the German North Sea coast and that of the Baltic Sea.
On the coast of the North Sea beaches virtually absent or at least the kind imagined by the tourist point of view.
The coasts have a dark brownish color and because of the very slight relief vast areas are flooded by the sea during high tide.
Accordingly, at low tide North Sea retreats and left behind open silt seabed.
All this appears to be a haven for birds.
Here they can find much food as the biodiversity is significant.
Baltic coast is quite different.
There are numerous sandy beaches.
The most beautiful of them are located near by the Polish border.
Although few people associate Germany with a vacation at sea, in fact it should be noted that in some places the beaches are really quite attractive and with very bright and fine sand.
And if there were not the much lower temperatures one would probably felt as he is in Spain.
Well, we can not expect that there will be hot as it is on the Mediterranean, but there are not few days that are pretty nice for the beach at least for people who are not too chilly.
Best beaches in Germany you can find between cities of Karlshagen and Heringsdorf.
We could call this place the German Riviera because of its beautiful beaches and great opportunities for tourism.
Another place which has attractive beaches in Germany is the island of Rügen.
German cuisine is an important part of the travelling in this amazing country.
Popular is the fact that the cuisine is the best way to get to know the lifestyle and traditions of one country.
If you need a brief description of the German cuisine you have to note that it is quite nutritious, and sometimes even heavy.
There are no many spices and most important is the natural taste of the food.
Speaking of the most used products, we must put few emphasis. The first is the potatoes.
They are one of the most consumed foods in Germany.
The Germans prepare potatoes in different ways – boiled, baked, fried.
Potatoes could be used as a main dish or as a garnish.
Germans love to combine the potatoes with meat, preferably pork.
Similar is the situations with the frankfurters and sausages, which are traditional German products.
Germans are known for their huge variety of pastries, which they usually prepare.
Here the choice is indescribable.
Desserts range from fruit sweets such as the classic German strudel to a great variety of chocolate delights.
Germany is a paradise for all who love to eat cake, shtolen and other tempting sweets.
The country is also popular with its diversity of breads, cakes, croissants, bagels and so on.
Unlike Frenchmen and other Mediterranean peoples, who are sworn fans of the wine here in Germany the most respected drinks are coffee and beer.
Both are consumed in large quantities and are an important part of the everyday life of the average German, so these are the best solutions about what drink to put on the table if you want to immerse yourself completely in the atmosphere of Germany.
Cities in Germany
Largest and most important cities in Germany are Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Bremen, Hanover, Braunschweig, Magdeburg, Munich, Bielefeld, Leipzig, Halle, Dortmund, Bochum, Essen, Duisburg, Krefeld, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Bonn , Vulertal, Mönchengladbach, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Nuremberg, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart. All these cities have a population of over 300,000 people.
The largest urban agglomerations in the country are those of Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Bonn, Cologne, Bremen, Hamburg and Dusseldorf.
At one point in Germany where the large agglomerations of Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg and Bochum have merged into one was formed the largest German megalopolis.
Culture of Germany
In cultural point of view, Germany has a great influence worldwide.
For example, German is the official language of nearly 100 million people.
Except in Germany, it is spoken in Austria and Switzerland, and is spoken by tens of millions of people worldwide.
German culture itself also extends far beyond Germany’s borders.
It is easy to find its fingerprints for example in northern Italy, where some residents have German roots.
Furthermore, in most of Central Europe traces of German culture could be found across the Atlantic.
For example, in the United States and Argentina in the past, have emigrated millions of Germans.
They undoubtedly have influenced the culture, traditions and understandings in their new home.
Realistically, however, the term “German culture“ is quite elastic, because Germany is one of the countries with most rapidly changing culture.
The reason you could find in the habit of many Germans to travel abroad.
So they have the opportunity to see new things that they sometimes accept in their own everyday life.
One of the closest example is the Mediterranean, with which the Germans have a special relationship.
In many German families one could feel the influence of Mediterranean cuisine and lifestyle.
Another reason is that the Mediterranean traditions and way of life are very interesting about Germans.
It is not uncommon for Germans to remain to live permanently in other countries, especially on the Mediterranean coast.
This is because they like the better sunny climate of Southern Europe.
For example, the Spanish island of Mallorca has a very large number of German resident.
Thus the culture of Germany quickly spread around the world and mix with the cultural peculiarities of other nations.
Germany and Globalization
Today Germany is not only a member of the European Union, but also a member of the Schengen Agreement.
This means that the country has no border controls at its borders to other Schengen member countries.
Border Checkpoint are replaced by marking plates, as it is in the United States.
Celebrities in Germany
This is one of the countries in the world who have given most to the modern humanity, whether we talk about culture, art or science.
In the German city of Ulm was born Albert Einstein, who is considered to be one of the smartest people ever lived.
In 1921 he received the Nobel Prize for Physics.
In Germany was born also and one of the most popular in the world, economists and sociologists – Max Weber.
For his most important work is considered “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism“.
In Trier, Germany, was born Karl Marx – one of the biggest critics of capitalism.
In practice it is may be impossible to list out the thousands of people who have left their imprint on world history.
We should note, however, Germany has given many famous names not only in science, but also in the world of art, sport and show business.
In 1770 in Bonn was born Ludwig van Beethoven, considered to be one of the greatest composers who have ever lived.
German is also Johann Sebastian Bach.
He was born in 1685 in the town of Eisenach.
Other significant names are the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the pilot of Formula-1 Michael Schumacher, the tennis players Boris Becker and Steffi Graf, the supermodels Claudia Schiffer and Heidi Klum and many others.
Higher Education in Germany
Germany is a world leader in higher education.
This is not surprising, given that the country invest huge resources in the development of science, healthcare and new technologies.
One of the features of the German education is more typical for the United States than for the other European countries.
This is the fact that many Germans prefer to study in colleges, giving them a greater degree of practical skills in comparison with a classic university.
This is understandable having on mind that in Germany has very well developed industry and practical skills could give to the young people the chance to be more competitive on the labour markets.
Among the names of German universities in the country stand out those of the universities in Heidelberg, Freiburg, Göttingen, University of Munich, Technical University in Munich, Berlin’s Free University and many others.
History of Germany
Germany was founded in 962.
Before that these lands were inhabited by German and Celtic tribes, which have left perhaps the strongest traces of human presence in these lands.
Because of its strategic location Germany has often been in a war with its neighbours.
One of the most famous controversial areas in the country’s history are Alsace and Lorraine, who are now within the borders of France.
Germany has not always been one country as it is today.
For example, in the period 1815 – 1871 year, it consisted of 39 independent countries and after 1871 it became fully integrated and unified.
That did not last long. Because of the participation of Germany in WWII (its partners are Japan and Italy), the country suffered heavy losses and was divided into two parts – German Democratic Republic, known as East Germany and Federal Republic of Germany, known as West Germany.
The division of Germany took place in 1949.
After that date, West Germany took a democratic and capitalist development model, while East Germany became a communist economy such as most of the countries in Eastern Europe.
After the war, and since Germany was already divided, the United States decided to help the destroyed European economy.
They allocated billions of dollars between their allies and West Germany was among the most supported countries.
The division continued until October 3, 1990, when West Germany and East Germany became one country for the last time.
Meanwhile, in 1957 West Germany became one of the founders of today’s European Union.
After German reunification in 1990 the East Germany (GDR) automatically joined the EU.
One of the most dramatic moments in the history of Germany was the division of Berlin into two parts.
In 1961 the Berlin Wall was built and became the symbol of the division of Germany.
Its purpose was to stop the residents of East Germany to flee to the west.
The 166 kilometers long wall was destroyed in November, 1989.
Geographic location, boundaries and size
Germany is located in the central parts of mainland Europe.
On the north it bordered by Denmark and has an outlet on the northwest to the North Sea and on the northeast to the Baltic Sea.
On the west it borders with the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France, on the south – with Switzerland and Austria, and on the east – the Czech Republic and Poland.
It is located between 47 and 54° north latitude and between 6 and 14° east longitude.
It occupies an area of 357,021 sq.km.
This makes it one of the European countries with larger territory.
Germany has a very strategic geographic location.
It is located at the crossroads between Western and Eastern Europe and between Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.
The location of the country has always been crucial.
During the Iron Curtain the border between capitalist Western countries and the Eastern communist countries passed through the territory of Germany.
The relief of Germany is varied.
It changes from low planes in the northern parts of the country to mountainous in the southernmost parts.
The largest part of the territory is occupied by hilly plain relief.
The highest peak in Germany is Zugspitze.
It rises about 2962 meters in the Alps on the border with Austria.
The relief of Germany strongly favours the development of land transport.
The reason is the lack of major geographical barriers within the country.
Only Turingenwald diversify the terrain of central Germany.
The coastline is more indented with numerous small coastal lakes.
Germany has considerable water resources.
On the territory of the country there are several large navigable rivers, most of which are connected together by waterways.
Some of the larger rivers in Germany are Elbe, Mosel, Rhine and Ems.
From the mountain Schwarzwald in southern Germany springs also one of Europe’s largest rivers – the Danube.
Most of the rivers run to the North Sea, Baltic Sea or the Atlantic Ocean.
An exception is the Danube River, which crosses almost the entire Europe on the south-east and flows into the Black Sea in Romania.
The reason is the high mountain ranges in southern Europe, which do not allow the river to flow into the near Mediterranean Sea.
For Germany are typical European species such as wolves, foxes, deer, squirrels, wild boars, wild cats, various birds (woodpecker, eagle, falcon, owl and many others).
It is interesting to note that in Germany do not actually occur wild bears, although this animal normally inhabits many parts of mainland Europe.
In practice in Western Europe bears are extinct as a result of human intervention in the past.
In Germany, the last bear was seen in the first half of the 19th century.
Although the principal blame for the disappearance of bears are the people, today it should be noted that Germans are among the most worried about the nature and one of the biggest defenders of the environment.
Germany is the heart of the Euro zone.
The Euro is the official currency in this country.
Before the Euro the official currency of Germany was the German mark, which remained in circulation until 2002.
The country has very well developed economy, competing for the second place with Japan, although in recent years it is suggests that China’s economy has become stronger than the German.
The economy of Germany has some features such as extremely highly developed industry, which is considered to be the backbone of German economy.
It produces world-famous car brands, different types of electronic equipment, cosmetics and what not.
In practice, the country is a developed and modern society that produces almost everything you need from a technological point of view.
Everyone has heard names like Mercedes, BMW, Opel, Nivea, Siemens and so on.
Today the phrase “Made in Germany” is a synonymous with high quality.
In fact, German industry excels in a number of indicators, even the United States!
For that reason Germany is often called “the factory of the world.”
One of the most remarkable achievements of Germany in the international economy is that the country has become the largest exporter of goods in the world!
Highly developed economy has ensured to the German society one of the highest standards of living.
The German social model is a dream for hundreds of countries worldwide.
Known fact for example is that German citizens are the biggest tourists and travellers in the world today.
Because of this reason, the German tour operator TUI has become the largest in the world and has many offices in different parts of the planet.
Needless is to say, that this may be a reality not only if the population has sufficient financial resources, but also with sufficient free time to travel.
For example, for German society is something usual to spend its vacation somewhere abroad.
The local social system makes even the impossible for the Germans and because of this reason they can afford it.
It is believed that in this way the Germans will be more workable when they return to work and with larger productivity.
Of course Germany is not relying only on industry.
The service sector is also very well developed.
Here we have to pay attention to education, tourism, finance and others.
Can not miss also and agriculture.
It is very well developed and mechanized.
This allows from small areas to obtain good harvests.
From the plant-growing most important are cereals and forage crops, as well as cool loving plants such as potatoes.
In the southwestern parts of the country where climate conditions are much better and feels the warming influence of the Mediterranean thrive also and vineyards.
However, from the sectors of agriculture best developed is the livestock breeding.
It produces high quality meat and dairy products.
The population of Germany is about 82 million people.
Typical feature is the even distribution of population throughout the country.
Here, unlike other European countries like France and Britain there is no such a large concentration of population in one place in Mega-cities such as Paris or London.
For the largest city in Germany is considered Berlin, which has a population of about 3.5 million people and suffer from overcrowding much lesser in comparison with other European capitals or American cities.
Today the population of Germany is characterized by great ethnic diversity.
The country has become the permanent home of millions of foreigners.
Today the foreigners are nearly 13% of the total population and live mainly in larger cities, where the chances of finding better paid jobs and creating their own business are greatest.
Today on the streets of Germany one of every 7-8 people is a foreigner.
In big cities the percentage is higher.
Much of the foreigners are Turks who have settled here permanently.More from Germany: