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Newsblog

There's not long to wait now for the highlight of the travel world's calendar, the International Tourismusbörse trade fair in Berlin (ITB). Between 5 and 9 March, keen travellers can gather information for their next trip when some 11,000 exhibitors come from far and wide to the halls of Berlin Exhibition Centre. This year's guest country is Mexico. Destination Germany and many of its federal states, towns, cities and regions will also be out in force at the ITB, providing lots of interesting and practical information for your next trip. Whether it's a cultural adventure, an activity holiday or a city break – there's something for everyone at the ITB.

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The Sports and Media Ball is the highlight of the spring calendar in Würzburg. Now in its 24th year, the ball will be held on 5 April 2014 in the city's conference centre. The soundtrack to the evening is provided by a number of live bands. What makes the event so special is that the proceeds go towards the city's sportsmen and women – all the more reason to celebrate!

There is plenty more to discover while you're in Würzburg, including the UNESCO World Heritage Residenz Palace with its court gardens, and of course the fine Franconian wine.

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Starting on 13 February, Europa-Park in Rust presents its new show 'Teatro Colosseo by Leonardo', which runs until 5 April 2014. During the 90-minute spectacular, you enjoy an exquisite three-course meal in a historical spiegeltent. This 20th century 'mirror tent', decorated all around with faceted glass, enchants audiences with circus romanticism and nostalgic charm.

In the coming season, which opens 5 April, Europa-Park will have a brand-new indoor attraction called 'Arthur in the Minimoys Kingdom'.

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A forthcoming exhibition at the Trier Landesmuseum entitled 'Dreaming of Rome' explores how Roman urban architecture has influenced our towns and cities. The exhibition, which runs from 15 March to 28 September 2014, also offers insights into private houses decorated with frescoes and mosaics.

Trier, founded under Roman emperor Augustus Caesar, is one of the oldest cities in Germany and is famous as an important site for classical monuments. The city and its architectural treasures have been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO.

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At the beginning of the week, the latest Hornstein Ranking of leading restaurants was announced. The rankings, primarily focused on the quality of the food, are based on the ratings given by leading culinary guides such as Michelin, Gault Millau and Feinschmecker. Hornstein's top five restaurants were Schwarzwaldstube in Baiersbronn, Waldhotel Sonnora in Wittlich/Dreis, Vendôme in Bergisch Gladbach, Gästehaus Klaus-Erfort in Saarbrücken and Aquain Wolfsburg. The results again attest to the high standard and great diversity of German cuisine. Indeed you'll find restaurants offering the finest dining experiences in every federal state.

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Exercise enthusiasts and other health-conscious people will be in their element at the FIBO trade fair, on from 3 to 6 April 2014. FIBO is a leading international expo for fitness, wellness and health and takes place in Cologne. Industry professionals gather here to hunt down the latest trends and innovations for gyms, spas, doctors' surgeries, physiotherapy practices and hotels. There is, of course, an accompanying programme of entertainment including live stage shows. And if you wear yourself out at the event, simply avail yourself of the wide range of health and wellness facilities in Germany.

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'Beyond Tomorrow' is the theme for this year's Quadriennale in Düsseldorf, which is being held from 5 April to 10 August. The festival takes place every four years and is a joint initiative by Düsseldorf's leading art museums, galleries, the art academy and numerous partner institutes. The result is an unparalleled programme of events for art lovers and artists from all over the world.

Düsseldorf, the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, is a leading centre for fashion in Germany and therefore an ideal destination for shopping.

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Johannisburg Palace, the most popular attraction in the town of Aschaffenburg, celebrates its 400th anniversary this year. In 1614 the Archbishop of Mainz had an old ruined castle that already stood on the site transformed into his residential palace, creating a splendid example of Renaissance architecture. 2014, the year of its 400th anniversary, will see numerous events taking place, such as an exhibition showcasing the work of sculptor Hans Juncker, and musical highlights that include concerts in the palace courtyard and chapel. But the museum is worth a visit at any time, containing as it does a permanent collection of works by the artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, who was a friend of Martin Luther.

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This year the Sandstone & Music Festival in the Saxon Switzerland region of eastern Germany celebrates its 22nd birthday. From 2 February to 30 November 2014 there'll be numerous events taking place that unite music, culture and nature. Venues include baroque gardens, venerable old churches and castles.

Saxon Switzerland is a national park south-east of Dresden characterised by bizarre rock formations, deep valleys, tabletop mountains and gorges. There's so much to do here, from hiking to taking a boat trip along the river Elbe in an old paddle steamer.

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From 21 March to 6 April 2014 Mainau Island on Lake Constance will be marking the start of spring with a flower show. Entitled 'From Distant Lands', it is being held in the unusual venue of St. Mary's Church. Meanwhile the orchid show, which traditionally marks the start of the Mainau flower season, will be held in the Palm House until 4 May. The tulips and the spring flowers arrive in April, when over one million blooms cover the southern flank of the island – an unmissable event for lovers of flowers and gardens.

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