From the North Sea coast to the Alps: Germany's 16 diverse federal states

Since its reunification in 1990, the new Germany has consisted of 16 federal states. There are three city states – the capital city of Berlin, plus Hamburg and Bremen – and 13 diverse regions ranging from Schleswig-Holstein in the north to Bavaria in the south.

The wide-ranging countryside of the 16 states provides endless options as different as the Black Forest and the Baltic coast. You could go walking in the hills, relax at a spa resort or cruise down the Danube, Rhine or Elbe rivers. No less than 13 national parks are there to conserve the countryside for you to enjoy, and UNESCO has given 39 sites of special interest World Heritage status. The attractions of the Magic Cities and the delightful towns that belong to the Historic Highlights of Germany association offer cultural treasures, great shopping and fantastic food and drink.

Whether you're travelling for business or pleasure, looking for 'olde worlde' charm or high-tech modernity, these 16 different federal states in the heart of Europe are there to be enjoyed – one at a time or several at once.