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Germany

river-cruises
Stretching from the Alps across the North European Plain to the Baltic Sea, Germany’s landscape is colourful, diverse and absolutely stunning. The River Rhine, Bavaria and the Black Forest are three of the most famous features in what was once West Germany, whilst the former East Germany is studded with lakes and undulating lowlands. Mixing time-honoured traditions with multicultural modernity, this charming country has much to explore. 
 
Each German city has its own rich tapestry of architecture, cuisine, history, folklore and traditions. The iconic Brandenburg Gate is a reminder that history is an important part of Berlin’s identity. On the River Main, Frankfurt is a city of skyscrapers and the financial centre of Germany. Where the Rhine and Moselle meet, Koblenz combines ancient architecture with cutting-edge cable cars. Whilst Cologne, one of Germany’s oldest cities, has Roman towers, Gothic churches and a cathedral that took over 600 years to complete. 
 
In picture-postcard towns Germany’s medieval history is illustrated in churches and half-timbered houses. The country has no less than thirteen wine-growing regions, and vineyard bedecked hills and river valleys are very much part of a wonderful wine heritage that dates back to Roman times. River cruising is the perfect way to travel and nestled within the walls of the Rhine Valley are the fairy-tale castles. 

Things to know

  • Germany has over 20,000 castles, more than any other country
  • Germany shares borders with nine other countries. Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
  • Frankfurt’s skyscraper skyline and its location by the River Main have earned the city its nickname of ‘Mainhattan’
  • German Christmas markets are a tradition dating back to the 1300 and 1400’s. Some of the most popular can be found in Dresden, Augsburg, Berlin, Dortmund and Cologne.
  • Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, is the oldest and most famous Christmas market in Europe
  • The Moselle is Germany’s oldest wine-growing region with viticulture dating back to Roman times
  • In operation since 1040, the Weihenstepahner Brewery is the oldest brewery in the world.
  • Germany’s capital Berlin has 960 bridges, which is more than Venice
  • Aachen, Regensburg, Frankfurt-am-Main, Nuremberg, Bonn and Berlin have all been the capital of Germany
  • Berlin’s Zoologischer Garten is the largest zoo in the world

Key Destinations

 Rüdesheim
Rüdesheim

On its namesake hill, the Niederwald Monument, depicting the mythical figure of Germania, watches over Rüdesheim. The town, surrounded by picturesque, hillside vineyards, boasts the quintessential German old town and its narrow ‘Drosselgasse’, lined with beautiful, half-timbered buildings, is Rüdesheim’s most famous street. In historic Brömserburg Castle, the Rheingau Wine Museum traces the regions wine production from antiquity to modernity.
Cologne
Cologne

The soaring twin spires of Cologne’s famous Cathedral dominate the skyline of a city considered one of the most important cultural centres in Germany. Among its attractions are Roman remains, medieval churches, baroque palaces, museums and first-class art galleries. The city’s picturesque old town is criss-crossed by alleys lined with old houses that are home to cafes, restaurants, boutique shops and taverns selling Cologne’s traditional Kolsch, known as ‘singing beer’.
 Bernkastel
Bernkastel

On a scenic spot of the Moselle River, Bernkastel epitomises the picture-postcard perfect German town. Its medieval Marktplatz, lined with enchanting, gabled, half-timbered houses dating back to the 17th century, has quaint cafes and traditional restaurants. Cross the bridge to the other side of the river where Bernkastel’s twin-town of Kues is home to the Mosel Wein Museum. For a tasting why not visit the former St Nikolaus Hospital, which has opened its doors to wine connoisseurs.
Nuremberg
Nuremberg

Perched high on a hill, fortified by 13th century walls and defensive towers that surround the Old Town, the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg is the symbol of a city, whose history comes with some dark undertones. The de facto headquarters of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party, Nuremberg was razed to the ground in the Second World War, and the city’s main buildings, castle and old churches in the Altstadt have been reconstructed stone by stone.

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