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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.
55. Geierlay Rope Bridge
At 360 metres in length and 100 metres above the ground, the Geierlay Rope Bridge in Rhineland Palatinate – which connects the towns of Mörsdorf and Sosberg, near the Luxembourg border – is the longest rope bridge in Germany and one of the longest in Europe, and is definitely not for the faint hearted! Opened in 2015, it is expected to draw at least 170,000 intrepid visitors a year to test their head for heights and marvel at the spectacular view.
The best starting-point is the village of Mörsdorf, which has a reception area built especially for the purpose. The bridge begins approximately 2 kilometres farther on. Good walking shoes are recommended. Mörsdorf has its own railway station and is best reached by train from Koblenz or Frankfurt am Main.
56. Bayreuth Festival
First opened in 1876 with a historical performance of Wagner’s “Das Rheingold”, the “Festspielhaus” in Bayreuth is now a cultural and social Mecca for Wagner lovers all over the world, including many members of the aristocracy. Though it can take a few years to obtain tickets for some productions, the Bayreuth Festival is a unique musical, visual and social experience which is well worth waiting for.
Bayreuth is located in Upper Bavaria on the Red Main River. The closest airports are Nuremberg (1 hour 41 minutes) and Munich (3 hours 18 minutes).
57. Bad Mergentheim Wildlife Park
Immediately apparent to any visitor at the Bad Mergentheim Wildlife Park in Baden-Württemberg is the overriding intention of keeping animals as closely as possible in accordance with their natural habits. Boundaries, if any, are all but invisible and made almost exclusively out of natural materials. This guarantees close, intimate experience of its animals without the underlying sadness which accompanies watching living beings in cages.
The park houses over 70 different species of indigenous animal, including wolves and bears, and is a great day trip for a family with young children. Bad Mergentheim is 40 minutes by train or road from Würzburg, and 1 hour 40 minutes from Frankfurt am Main.