Food & Drink
Eating well on your holiday to Germany is all too easy. Hearty, home-cooked food is the national standard, showcasing ample portions of slow-cooked meat, potatoes, and of course an almost limitless variety of wurst (sausage). Each region typically has its own specialty dishes, from the pickled fish of the north coast to the sumptuous roasts of the south. Wherever you are, however, you’ll never be far from a food stand or ‘Imbiss’ selling delicious natural sausage with heaps of spicy potatoes slathered in ketchup and mayonnaise. Try them curried, heaped with sauerkraut, in a hot dog or chopped up with potatoes. Beer drinking is also a national pastime, no more so than at Munich’s legendary Oktoberfest. Strict brewing rules mean that German beer is some of the purest available.
Refreshingly though, Berliners have quite a different take on convenience food and the usual fast food restaurants like McDonalds are less common. Falafel, Bratwurst and the local delicacy currywurst; a sausage covered with a spicy curry sauce, are all quick and easy snacks you can grab on the run while shopping or sightseeing. There is so much choice in Berlin, for all tastes and budgets, that even the fussiest foodie will be satisfied.
As a Northern European country, Germany generally avoids extremes of weather. Summer peaks around July and is pleasantly warm with long evenings, while winters can be bracing. If travelling along the rivers or Alpine regions or visiting the Christmas markets on your holiday to Germany, insulated clothing is a must in winter or spring.
History & Culture
Historically, the concept of Germany as a nation is a relatively new one, not least because the country unified East and West only as recently as 1989, at which point Berlin was restored as the capital. But Germany’s strong sense of regional identity goes back much further. Traditionally, Germany has defined itself as a federal assembly of powerful regions, such as Bavaria, Saxony and Prussia.
Germany’s global influence is hard to imagine. This was, after all, the country where Karl Benz developed the first motor car, The Beatles honed their craft in the clubs of Hamburg, and the toppling of the iconic Berlin Wall sent shockwaves through Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
While Germany is often defined overseas solely on the basis of the early 20th century, visitors on Germany holidays will be surprised to discover a rich history spanning not just centuries but millennia. This is a country still blessed with outstanding Medieval and Gothic cathedrals in cities such as Aachen and Cologne, breathtaking castles and palaces at Neuschwanstein and Charlottenburg, and world-class museums such as Berlin’s Pergamom or Munich’s Deutches museum.