Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone.
— The Dhammapada




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


GermanyGrand SPA Resort A-ROSA Travemünde 

Aussenallee 10
Luebeck 23570

Price (US$): $293 - $670 / night

Check rates »

Location. Grand SPA Resort A ROSA Travemünde is a family friendly hotel located in Luebeck's Travemuende neighborhood, close to Travemuende Ferry Port. Other regional attractions include Hansapark and Theater Figuren Museum. Hotel Features. Grand SPA Resort A ROSA Travemünde features a poolside bar and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary hot and cold buffet breakfast. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, a… more »

GermanyInterContinental Berchtesgaden Resort 

Hintereck 1
Berchtesgaden 83471

Price (US$): $335 - $1019 / night

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Location. InterContinental Berchtesgaden Resort is a business friendly Berchtesgaden hotel connected to the convention center and close to Keltenmuseum and Bad Durrnberg Salt Mine. Other area points of interest include Schellenberger Ice Cave. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, a sauna, a 24 hour fitness facility, and a steam room. The property's full service health spa has body treatments, massage/treatment rooms, facials, and beauty services.… more »

GermanyKempinski Hotel Gravenbruch Frankfurt 

Graf zu Ysenburg und Buedingen Platz 1
Neu-Isenburg 63263

Price (US$): $225 - $300 / night

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Location. Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch Frankfurt is a business friendly Neu Isenburg hotel on a lake and local attractions include German Leather Museum, Romer, and Stock Exchange. Other area points of interest include Frankfurt Trade Fair Grounds and Commerzbank Arena. Hotel Features. Dining options at Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch Frankfurt include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts in the restaurant… more »

GermanyGrand Elysee Hamburg 

Rothenbaumchaussee 10
Hamburg 20148

Price (US$): $228 - $565 / night

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Location. Located in central Hamburg, Grand Elysee Hamburg is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of University of Hamburg and Congress Center Hamburg. Additional points of interest include Hamburg Messe and Congress and Hamburg City Hall. Hotel Features. In addition to 3 restaurants, Grand Elysee Hamburg offers a coffee shop/café and a grocery/convenience store. A swim up bar, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day.… more »

GermanyGünnewig Hotel Chemnitzer Hof 

Theaterplatz 4
Chemnitz 09111

Price (US$): $124 - $149 / night

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Location. Günnewig Hotel Chemnitzer Hof is located in central Chemnitz and local attractions include Lichtenwalde Castle. Regional points of interest also include Sachsenring. Hotel Features. Dining options at Günnewig Hotel Chemnitzer Hof include a restaurant and a coffee shop/café. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a sauna. This 4.5 star property has a business center and offers a meeting/conference room, technology… 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