The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in the closet.
— Philip Henry Stanhope, 1805 - 1875




As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949 the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key Western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the Communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring Eastern productivity and wages up to Western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro. In January 2011, Germany assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term.


Germany, (officially: the Federal Republic of Germany), (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the largest country in Central Europe. It is bordered to the north by Denmark, to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic, to the south by Austria and Switzerland, and to the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. Germany is a federation of 16 states, roughly corresponding to regions with their own distinct and unique cultures. Germany is one of the most influential nations in European culture, and its influence on world economy cannot be denied. Known around the world for its precision engineering and high-tech products, it is equally admired by visitors for its old-world charm and "Gemütlichkeit" (coziness), or guest-friendly-ness! If you have perceptions of Germany as simply homogeneous, it will surprise you with its many historical regions and much local diversity for its relatively small size.

Read more about Germany in our Germany travel guide »

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Featured hotels in


GermanyKempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin 

Kurfuerstendamm 27
Berlin 10719

Price (US$): $227 - $442 / night

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Location. Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin is located in Berlin's Wilmersdorf neighborhood, close to Berlin Kathe Kollwitz Museum, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, and Berlin Zoo. Nearby points of interest also include Reichstag Building and Brandenburg Gate. Hotel Features. Dining options at Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin include 3 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health… more »

GermanyHotel München Palace 

Trogerstrasse 21
Munich 81675

Price (US$): $220 - $452 / night

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Location. Hotel München Palace is located in Munich's Munich City Centre neighborhood, close to Prinzregententheater, Bavarian National Museum, and English Garden. Nearby points of interest also include Marienplatz and Chinesischer Turm. Hotel Features. Hotel München Palace's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply).… more »

GermanyStuttgart Marriott Hotel Sindelfingen 

Mahdentalstr. 68
Sindelfingen 71065

Price (US$): $170 - $274 / night

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Location. Located in Sindelfingen, Stuttgart Marriott Hotel Sindelfingen is connected to the airport and close to Breuningerland, Sindelfingen Trade Fair, and Sindelfingen Swimming Center. Mercedes Benz Factory is also a point of interest near this luxury hotel. Hotel Features. Dining options at Stuttgart Marriott Hotel Sindelfingen include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities… more »

GermanySchlosshotel im Grunewald, ALMA Berlin 

Brahmsstr. 10
Berlin 14193

Price (US$): $300 - $426 / night

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Location. Schlosshotel im Grunewald, ALMA Berlin is a business friendly hotel located in Berlin's Schmargendorf neighborhood, close to Berliner Funkturm, Olympic Stadium, and Schloss Charlottenburg. Additional points of interest include Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and Schaubuhne. Hotel Features. Dining options at Schlosshotel im Grunewald, ALMA Berlin include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each… more »

GermanyGrand Hyatt Berlin 

Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 2
Berlin 10785

Price (US$): $296 - $484 / night

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Location. Located in central Berlin, Grand Hyatt Berlin is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of Spielbank Berlin, Berlin State Library, and Potsdamer Platz. Additional points of interest include Reichstag Building and Alexanderplatz. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and a steam room. This 5 star property has a business center and offers a meeting/conference room, secretarial services, and a technology helpdesk.… more »

Browse more hotels in Germany »


Full name
Federal Republic of Germany

Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark

Geographic coordinates

51 00 N, 9 00 E

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Montana

Border countries

Austria 784 km, Belgium 167 km, Czech Republic 646 km, Denmark 68 km, France 451 km, Luxembourg 138 km, Netherlands 577 km, Poland 456 km, Switzerland 334 km


2,389 km


temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind


lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south

Lowest point

Neuendorf bei Wilster -3.54 m

Highest point

Zugspitze 2,963 m

Natural resources

coal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable land


82,282,988 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish)


Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%



Government type

federal republic


18 January 1871 (German Empire unification); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; West Germany and East Germany unified 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights 15 March 1991; notable earlier dates 10 August 843 (Eastern Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 2 February 962 (crowning of OTTO I, recognized as the first Holy Roman Emperor)

National holiday

Unity Day, 3 October (1990)

Chief of state

President Christian WULFF (since 30 June 2010)

Head of government

Chancellor Angela MERKEL (since 22 November 2005)

Internet country code


Internet users

65.125 million (2009)


549 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Bremen, Bremerhaven, Duisburg, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Lubeck, Neuss-Dusseldorf, Rostock, Wilhemshaven

Other countries in the region