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Germany is a vast, diverse country – more so since west and east were reunited in 1990. Although the upheaval of those days is long past, to visit Germany today is still a journey into a new nation forging itself a fresh identity. So, when you’re planning an itinerary make sure you look east. Berlin, once a symbol of the Cold War and a place synonymous with the Wall and espionage, is Germany’s new capital. It’s buzzing with energy and creative flair.
Make time for other emerging dynamic cities, including Leipzig and Dresden. Southern Germany remains deservedly popular with visitors, with lively Munich and its famous beer cellars. Beyond the city lies the legendary Black Forest and perhaps the most perfect fairytale castle of them all – King Ludwig’s amazing Neuschwanstein. People have been taking to the rivers to travel through Germany for thousands of years so why not follow in their wakes but in a lot more comfort? A cruise on the Rhine, Mosel or Elbe rivers will take you past ruined castles and vineyard-clad hills.
While cities such as Cologne combinethe ancient with all the trappings of 21st century life, towns such as Rothenburg are stunning reminders of medieval times. Whatever the destination, you’ll soon discover that although Germans do take work seriously and live in the fast lane of their autobahns, they also play hard and know how to relax. Find out during a meal in a traditional Ratskeller or while sipping a fine Riesling beside the Rhine.