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Here are the 100 best things to do in Germany that will show you the charm, beauty and cultural diversity of this country.
Germany is rich with surprises and contrasts just waiting to be discovered by the discerning tourist. A country of enchanting little villages nestling between lofty and imposing mountains, fairytale castles and churches and lush vineyards rolling down towards the banks of the Rhine or the Mosel, Germany also boasts of the more rumbustious Munich Beer Festival and the Cologne Carnival, a very fine choice of gateaux, sausages and beer and a powerful and somewhat spooky folkloric tradition.
22. Kiel Week
Kiel Regatta, the highlight of Kiel week, is the largest sailing event in the world and one of the largest festivals in Germany. Beginning as a sailing competition in the 19th century, it has gradually expanded to become a huge festival, with free music events, cabaret, beer tents and the best cuisine Kiel can offer. It also offers an exhibition of historical sailing ships and a spellbinding display of fireworks, but the regatta itself, with around 2,000 sailing ships and regattas in every discipline, is an exciting and awe-inspiring event which should not be missed.
Kiel week takes place during the last complete week of June. Kiel is the regional capital of the province Schleswig-Holstein, directly on the Baltic coast, and can best be reached by train from Hamburg (around 1,5 hours). The nearest airports are Hamburg and Lübeck. Since it is a relatively small city and is bursting at the seams during Kiel week, hotel accommodation should be booked well in advance.
Believed by many to be the prettiest town in Germany, the little town of Goslar in lower Saxony, founded in 922, has over 1,500 timbered houses from different periods in a beautiful state of preservation. For this reason, the entire old part of the city, as well as the Rammelsberg silver mine – which has been continuously in use for over 1,000 years and upon which Goslar’s wealth was founded – were designated UNESCO world heritage sites in 1992.
Despite its diminutive size Goslar offers a wealth of attractions. The old market place, the pewter museum, the Stabkirche and – of course – the silver mines and the mining museum are all definitely worth a visit. But above all, it is the atmosphere and charm of Goslar which leave a lasting impression. The Christmas market is quite simply unforgettable. Goslar is around 40 km from Brunswick (approximately 1 hour by car or train) and 71 km from Hanover (around 1,5 hours). The closest airport is Hanover-Langenhagen.
24. The Reichstag (Berlin)
The Reichstag was opened in 1894 to house the German Parliament, but fell into disuse after it was severely damaged by fire in 1933. Some work was done on it during the 60s, but it was only after the reunification of Germany in 1989 that it was completely restored and partially reconstructed, including the addition of an amazing glass dome, work of architect Norman Foster, which offers a breathtaking view over the city. Work was completed in 1999 and the German Bundestag, or Parliament, convened there again for the first time in April of that year.
The Reichstag is one of the most frequently-visited attractions in Berlin, however visitors should be aware that they will be required to register in groups in order to gain admission. Situated on Berlin’s Platz der Republik, it is only a stone’s throw away from Brandenburg Gate and well worth a visit!