If you think Germany only has big cities, then think again: because around one third of the country is covered by woodland, and a quarter of the land area is located within the 100-plus nature parks. And that’s not all – three natural landscapes have been given UNESCO World Heritage status, 15 biosphere reserves provide model examples of how man and nature can live in harmony, and in 15 national parks Mother Nature takes the lead.
Cities in Germany have proven particularly successful in their quest for sustainability: an impressive ten out of the twelve major cities assessed for the German Green City Index scored above the European average. In particular, they have the edge when it comes to travel – from public transport to cycle paths – and air quality. German cities also stand out for the way they harmoniously blend the old and the new. In Hamburg, for example, the HafenCity development with its cutting-edge sustainability standards merges seamlessly with the historical Speicherstadt to form a new district. And the university city of Freiburg with its idyllic old quarter is setting the benchmark in sustainable urban planning through the construction of the Vauban suburb. In the Ruhr region disused collieries are becoming hotspots for international cultural trends, and in the heart of Berlin the walking trails along old steam locomotive tracks will delight railway enthusiasts and nature lovers in equal measure. In the banking capital Frankfurt, meadow orchards keep the traditional cider in plentiful supply and provide a charming contrast to the skyscraper skyline. Experience green living in Germany’s cities.
Only very few countries can match Germany’s 41 UNESCO World Heritage sites, which mark it out as a veritable treasure trove of human and natural history. Each and every one of these sites is deemed to be of outstanding universal value – and is protected for future generations by detailed conservation plans. Collectively, they represent culture and nature in all facets and in breathtaking beauty. Stroll through the well-preserved old quarters, wander through the parks and natural landscapes, and admire the creative force of mankind – from centuries-old abbeys, churches, palaces and castles to modern marvels of industry. Discover extraordinary historical testaments to culture and religion and be inspired by pioneering architecture and design. In short, take a magical journey through time!
With over 200,000 kilometres of marked trails and extensive protected natural landscapes, Germany is a dream destination for walkers. Keen hikers, fitness enthusiasts, romantics and nature lovers can roam Germany’s countryside on paths ranging from long-distance trails to short circular tours that are perfect for an afternoon stroll. For an extra special adventure, there are 300 premium trails approved by the German Institute of Hiking, and 86 routes certified for quality by the German Ramblers’ Association – and these are located all around the country. Teams of experts select these trails based on a range of criteria from terrain and route to the variety of the landscape. These idyllic walks present a great way to explore unspoilt scenery, quaint villages and historical castles and palaces – the choice is yours! No matter where your path leads you in Germany, you’re sure to find places to rest and places to eat on the wayside. Enjoy Germany, one step at a time.
Cycling is good for you and for the environment – and it’s great fun! With more than 200 long-distance bike routes in Germany, cycling is a great way to see the sights and soak up the scenery. Serious cyclists can ride up the Alps, whereas those pedalling for pleasure may prefer the vineyards. For families, the varied routes along the rivers and coasts are ideal. And an extensive cycle path network makes pedalling around Germany’s major cities a simple and safe option. Discover the diversity that Destination Germany has to offer along more than 70,000 kilometres of cycle paths.
Germany is quickly reached through many different means thanks to its location in the heart of Europe. And once you arrive, the integrated transport system ensures your onward journey is hassle-free. 40,000 kilometres of track provide convenient rail travel to all cities and regions – direct and with the option of 100 per cent green electricity. The long-distance coach network has grown dramatically in recent years, too. Should you want to get behind the wheel yourself, you’ll find a wide range of rental cars running alternative drive systems in Germany. Within the towns and cities, you can get around easily thanks to the regular local public transport services. If you want to protect the environment – and give your health a boost on your travels – why not hire a bike? Rental bikes are available at train stations in many German towns and cities. Explore Germany your way.
Germany’s accommodation industry has long been committed to environmental protection. Serving regional food and drink, taking care not to waste resources and using renewable energy are standard practices in many hotels today. Special certification schemes tell you which places go the extra mile to protect the environment. For a particularly green stay, check in to one of the many eco-hotels and wellness hotels or to an accommodation provider certified under the nationwide Viabono scheme. Or get even closer to nature at one of more than 1,200 campsites across Germany. Treat yourself to a relaxing stay that’s good for you and the environment.
Germany is a nation that likes to eat – and loves to cook! And nowhere is this done better than at our 274 Michelin-starred restaurants. It is above all the seasonal produce, served in modest restaurants and famous gourmet temples alike, that makes for a deliciously diverse dining experience. The cuisine changes with the seasons – and is always fresh. Many cafés and restaurants source their ingredients from regional suppliers or even grow their own vegetables and herbs. Germany also has around 23,000 organic farms that provide sustainably grown produce and responsibly reared livestock. The festivals held in honour of traditional food and drink are always a memorable experience, whether it’s northern Germany’s cabbage festival, the asparagus festival or the wine festivals celebrated across the 13 winegrowing regions. Join the celebrations and enjoy German cooking where it’s at its freshest – in Germany!
For people with restricted levels of mobility and activity, whether intermittent or permanent, Destination Germany presents a wide range of possibilities for a relaxing holiday or successful business trip. These opportunities cover a broad group of travellers, from families with small children and older travellers to people with physical and mental disabilities. The available facilities and amenities are equally broad in scope and range from wheelchair-accessible accommodation to local and intercity transport with assisted entry and exit, from cultural events featuring audio description to sign language interpreters, and menus tailored to special dietary requirements.
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Hosting around three million events a year at approximately 7,000 venues, Germany is up there with the best in the world as a destination for conferences and conventions. And it has added appeal thanks to its high sustainability standards. Germany’s easily accessible venues, eco-friendly transport and sustainably managed congress centres and hotels are in themselves good enough reasons for planning exhibitions and conventions in Germany. Plus in recent years, attention has increasingly turned to the fulfilment of standards for social sustainability. We look forward to doing business with you.
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