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Colourfully decorated cattle, the sound of cowbells and a wonderful festival atmosphere – that is what you can expect at the mountain cattle drive in the Allgäu Alps. Why not experience this much-loved Bavarian tradition for yourself in 2015?

The mountain cattle drive, the Almabtrieb, takes place every September and October in southern Germany. After spending the summer on the lush mountain pastures, the cattle, decorated with colourful garlands, are driven down to the valley and handed back to their owners. This magnificent spectacle is celebrated in the villages with traditional music, dancing and all manner of food and drink. On the previous day you can also take a look behind the scenes and watch as preparations are made for the cattle drive on the mountain pastures.

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Saxon Switzerland National Park, a dramatic landscape of rocks, crags and cliffs, celebrates its 25th anniversary in September 2015. Why not take this opportunity to discover the history and natural beauty of this very special part of Germany?

The national park extends from the east of Germany, in the area south of Dresden, to the border with the Czech Republic. Its anniversary is being celebrated with a wide-ranging programme from 5 to 12 September 2015. You can look round the 'nature market', which offers regional produce and handicrafts, or enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the forest on a guided walk. Also well worth seeing are the ancient walls of Königstein Fortress and the Bastei rocks overlooking the river Elbe.

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As in previous years, 2015 saw travellers from over 40 countries vote for their favourite attractions in Germany. The votes have now been counted and the Top 100 has been confirmed: Europa-Park is number one for 2015.

In second and third place respectively are the ever-popular Neuschwanstein Castle and Cologne Cathedral. In the positions below them and returning from last year are Heidelberg Castle and old quarter, Brandenburg Gate, the old town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Lake Constance with Mainau Island and the Monastic Island of Reichenau (UNESCO World Heritage), and the Berlin Wall. New in the top ten are Mount Zugspitze and the Partnach Gorge in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the Romantic Road.

There are also lots of new attractions that didn't feature at all in last year's chart. Isn't it time you discovered Germany's top 100?

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America's legendary Lollapalooza rock festival is coming to Germany in 2015! For the weekend of 12 to 13 September Berlin's former Tempelhof airport will be transformed into a giant festival site.

Having already been exported to Chile, Argentina and Brazil, Chicago's Lollapalooza is finally taking a spin in Europe! The superb Lollapalooza format brings together international superstars and much-lauded newcomers in one amazing festival. There's so much to discover besides the live music, including fashion, cuisine, art and culture. And there's even Kidzapalooza, the festival within a festival designed for children and families. What are you waiting for? Book your tickets for Berlin now!

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From 3 to 5 September 2015 Münster will be transformed into a showroom for art, culture and entertainment. During the event, the city centre will be brought to life with exhibitions, illuminations and live music as part of a wide-ranging programme. Participating museums will cover a broad spectrum that includes everything from early art to modern art, and from culture and nature to political history. What will be your favourite museum in Münster?

Did you know that Münster is also one of Germany's Historic Highlights? As a bishop's seat, a member of the Hanseatic League and a university city, Münster has always played an important role in the region and beyond, and it earned its place in the annals of world history when the Treaty of Westphalia was signed there.

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Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart will be hosting the world's largest pumpkin festival from 4 September to 8 November 2015. Come along and see creative sculptures made from ornamental pumpkins, and giant pumpkins that have been skilfully carved by artists. You can even enjoy a bowl of Germany's biggest pumpkin soup! There's also plenty of fun in store at the pumpkin canoe regatta on the palace lake and at the Weigh Off to find Europe's heaviest pumpkin. Last year's winning entry weighed in at a record 1,054kg! An event not to be missed.

A stone's throw from the festival is Schloss Ludwigsburg, one of Europe's most magnificent baroque palaces. As the largest baroque residence in Germany, it offers visitors a fascinating journey back through time in state rooms dating from the baroque, rococo and classicist eras.

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If luxury liners are your thing, then Hamburg is the place to be from 11 to 13 September 2015, when the maritime city welcomes everyone aboard for its major cruise ship festival, Hamburg Cruise Days. The main event takes place on the Saturday evening with a huge parade of beautifully illuminated cruise liners sailing down the Elbe while fireworks light up the sky. Another highlight is the Blue Port light installation that bathes the waterfront in a magical blue glow. Spread out between the two cruise ship terminals in HafenCity and Altona, the festival also offers an extensive programme on dry land, themed on cruises, culture and cuisine. Don't miss out!

More good news: this autumn a new musical, Disney's Aladdin, will be celebrating its European premiere in Hamburg. Immerse yourself in the world of Arabian Nights and the magical sounds of the Orient.

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You still have until 6 September 2015 to visit the Weimar Summer Festival and soak up the special charm of this city of culture. The city's parks and squares become stages for music, dance, drama and literature, enhancing the unique appeal of the architecture in UNESCO Classical Weimar. With a diverse range of cultural events on offer, the festival makes a great way to while away summer days in Thuringia!

To make your trip to Thuringia even more special, why not book into some accommodation with a difference this summer? At Auenland holiday village you can stay in charming little houses built within earth mounds – just like a hobbit hole. Alternatively, the family-run Brauerei Ankerbräu is famed for its beds inside beer barrels. And elsewhere in the region you can sleep in a historical railway carriage or on a house boat. Great fun for all the family!

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From 14 August to 26 September 2015 the Ruhr region is hosting a very special event. During the Ruhrtriennale Festival of the Arts, you can enjoy exhilarating drama, dance and music theatre as well as new installations at former industrial buildings – from coking plants to power stations. These provide breathtaking backdrops for a programme of opera, music theatre, pop and electronic music, all tied together by this year's theme of musical fusions. Be sure not to miss it!

To complement a trip to the festival, take a stroll through Duisburg-Nord Industrial Landscape Park with its hands-on attractions or visit the Ludwig Gallery at Oberhausen Palace, which you can follow with a boat ride.

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The Schwarza Valley Panoramic Trail has been voted Thuringia's most beautiful walking trail by an overwhelming majority. With its glorious paths around the Schwarza, one of the loveliest mountain rivers in Germany, it combines the heights of the Rennsteig trail with the castle scenery of the Saale river.

To make the experience all the more special, you might like to take a ride on the Oberweissbach mountain railway. The refurbished train, which is under historic preservation, connects the Schwarza valley railway with the plateau around Oberweissbach and, with a 25 per cent gradient, is the steepest cable railway of its kind anywhere in the world. While on board, you can enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the Thuringian Forest.

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