Themes

Newsblog

Since 2006, Regensburg, the best-preserved medieval city in Germany, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site. And since 1 January 2015, the Bavarian city has been one of the official Historic Highlights of Germany, all of which have been chosen for their outstanding contribution to the country's history, culture and scientific and economic life. But that's not all Regensburg has to offer. A shopping tour in the old quarter shows both the traditional and contemporary sides of the city.

From 26 February to 1 March, Regensburg will host the Disney on Ice spectacular. Captivating young and old alike, this unique show invites viewers to share in the wonderful world of Disney. You can also catch Disney on Ice in other German cities such as Oberhausen.

More »

Taking place this year from 2 to 5 March, the Special Olympics in Inzell are Germany's winter games for people with intellectual disabilities. Taking place in over 170 countries, this is the biggest sports movement of its kind in the world. Over 800 athletes will attend the German Special Olympics in 2015, taking part in eight sports on a non-competitive basis. Alongside the sporting action there'll be a comprehensive programme for families and athletes, plus of course the opening and closing ceremonies.

Inzell, located at the foot of the Bavarian Alps, has a beautiful landscape of mountains and lakes, crystal-clear streams and lush Alpine meadows, and is a habitat for all kinds of wildlife. So for nature lovers and active holidaymakers, summer is as good a time to visit as winter.

More »

Around Easter – from 28 February to 29 March in 2015 – numerous Sorbian Easter markets and exhibitions are held in eastern Germany. The Sorbian Easter markets are a folk tradition among the Lusatian Sorbs, a Slavic minority living in the region between the Spree Forest in Brandenburg and the Lusatian Hills in Saxony. Here you'll see traditional Sorbian Easter eggs, with their lovingly hand-painted shells, and of course the distinctive Sorbian folk costume.

But even outside of Easter time, the region of Lusatia has plenty to offer, such as the UNESCO Spree Forest Biosphere Reserve.

More »

On 4 October 2015, it will be 500 years since the birth of Lucas Cranach the Younger, the son of Lucas Cranach the Elder. Along with Albrecht Dürer, both father and son are considered the most important painters and printmakers from the Renaissance period in Germany. Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Saxony and Bavaria will be among the regions hosting a range of events and exhibitions to celebrate the Wittenberg-born painter during the anniversary year.

There is also something special in store for young people and families with children. An exhibition entitled 'Pop-up Cranach' brings to life the works of the Cranachs and is on at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin until 12 April 2015. After that, the exhibition will be moving to other locations such as Wittenberg and Kronach.

More »

If you want to start the spring feeling fit, healthy and relaxed, why not pay a visit to Saxony? The region's thermal spas and health resorts are an ideal choice for a short, relaxing break. 'Healing earth', hot springs, soothing massages and traditional spa rituals are just some of what's on offer. Some 16 quality-certified hotels and holiday parks in destinations such as Bad Elster and Bad Schandau are geared to the needs of discerning health-focused visitors.

Saxony is also great for culture and active pursuits. It's so easy to combine a spa break here with cultural attractions or walking and cycling. The Erzgebirge Vogtland Nature Park, the Upper Lusatian Moorland Biosphere Reserve and the Saxon Switzerland National Park are ideal for those who enjoy the great outdoors.

More »

Since 1990, International Tourist Guide Day has been held every year on 21 February to mark the date when the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations was founded. On 21 and 22 February 2015, you can take part in exciting guided tours all over Germany on this year's theme of 'stones' – and all for free!

Guided tours are being held, for example, in Hildesheim (the stone cellar – the stone legacy of Hildesheim), Leipzig (along the walls of the city centre with the Stadtstreicherin) and Saarbrücken (art in public spaces – stone sculptures in Saarbrücken city centre). Free guided tours are also being held in another 85 towns and cities across Germany.

More »

Until 29 March 2015 the famous bratwurst sausage is taking centre stage in Nuremberg. An exhibition at the Fembohaus Museum traces the history of the city in the context of the bratwurst, which is thought to date back 700 years. Today there are still strict rules about how to serve this local delicacy: cooked on an open beechwood grill, six, eight or twelve sausages on a tin plate, with sauerkraut or potato salad and horseradish sauce. The authentic Nuremberg grilled bratwurst must come from the city and since 2003 has been protected as a regional speciality by the EU.

Nuremberg lebkuchen are another delicacy that originate from the city. These large biscuit-shaped cakes come with a chocolate or sugar glaze and are extremely popular at Christmas. Delicious!

More »

Carnival season, or fastnacht, is a major highlight on Germany's calendar. On 16 and 17 February 2015 the town of Rottweil plays host to a centuries-old spectacle – the Rottweil Narrensprung. At 8am on the Monday and at 8am and 2pm on the Tuesday, hordes of colourfully dressed figures stream through the Black Gate to the sound of ringing bells, and wend their way through the historical town centre. But remember, only people from Rottweil are entitled to wear the traditional Narrensprung costume. The Swabian-Alemannic fastnacht, which was added to Germany's list of intangible cultural heritage in 2014, is also famed for its traditional hand-carved wooden masks. It's an event not to be missed!

Did you know? The Swabian Alb, situated 40km south-east of Stuttgart, is one of several UNESCO biosphere reserves in Germany. Here, you can expect stunning natural landscapes, geological wonders and sites of historical significance. Well worth a visit!

More »

On 21 February 2015, visitors to Schleswig-Holstein's North Sea coast will be treated to the sight of one of the oldest Frisian customs: the Biikebrennen bonfires (from the Frisian word biike, meaning beacon). On this day, huge bonfires are lit to drive out the winter and beckon in the spring. Afterwards everyone joins together to eat a traditional dish of curly kale with pork and sweet potato. In 2014 the Biikebrennen bonfires were added to the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage in Germany.

Another tip for keeping warm on a cold winter's day by the sea is to indulge in the fantastic Frisian hot drinks. Try pharisäer, a hot coffee with a shot of rum, or Helgoland eiergrog, made with egg yolk, sugar, rum and water. Prost, as we say in Germany!

More »

Now in its 30th year, the Bischofsgrün Snowman Festival takes place on 16 February 2015. The work on Germany's biggest 'real' snowman will start on 13 February, three days before the event begins. By the time the celebrations unfold on Carnival Monday with an open-air party, a doughnut-eating contest and a torchlit procession, the giant snowman called Jakob will be over ten metres tall. You can see how Jakob the Thirtieth is taking shape before you even arrive, by watching the market square webcam.

Bischofsgrün is a climatic health resort in the Fichtelgebirge mountains and a great place to unwind. In Germany you find more than 350 quality-certified spa and health resorts that offer everything from mineral and thermal springs and therapeutic mud to soothing climates and invigorating sea water.

More »