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Ten reasons why tourists love Germany

Tourists in front of the Brandenburg Gate (picture-alliance/dpa/J. Carstensen)

Germany is the most popular travel destination for Europeans – after Spain. There are many reasons to visit. City trips and the search for a special ambience are at the top of the list.

Tourists in front of the Brandenburg Gate (picture-alliance/dpa/J. Carstensen)

Berlin is sexy – still

The fascination of Berlin is unbroken – 13.5 million visitors came to the German capital in 2018. Even if the city advertisers are now increasingly focusing on cultural tourism instead of party travelers, both are possible in Berlin: trace the eventful history of the city during the day and party in the legendary clubs and discotheques at night.

Brühlsche Terrasse, Dresden (picture-alliance/dpa/W. Steinberg)

Dresden Baroque

Saxony is popular with guests from Europe and overseas. In 2018, more international visitors than ever before strolled across the Brühlsche Terrassen to the baroque Zwinger Castle and the rebuilt Frauenkirche. The music city of Leipzig and the Ore Mountains were also popular destinations in Saxony, but Saxon Switzerland recorded the greatest growth with an increase of ten percent.

Destination Germany Oktoberfest (picture-alliance/dpa/F. Hörhager)

Munich Oktoberfest

Beer and Bavaria – they belong together. The beer flows in large quantities every year at the Munich Oktoberfest, which recorded a slight increase in 2018 with 6.3 million visitors. Bavaria was again the most popular federal state for foreign guests. Last but not least, the New York Times recommended the stages, museums and opera houses. This puts Munich at the forefront in Germany when it comes to culture and ambience.

Seaside resort on Rügen (picture-alliance/Arco Images)

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Beaches on the Baltic Sea like Binz on the island of Rügen, Hanseatic cities like Stralsund and Rostock, pure nature in the hinterland – in the hot summer of 2018, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was able to increase the number of overnight stays by German tourists.

Destination Germany Black Forest (picture-alliance/W. Rothermel)


In 2018, the “Ländle” set a record with almost 55 million overnight stays. A classic is still trendy: the Black Forest, Germany’s largest low mountain range. Foreign guests mainly came from Switzerland, the Netherlands and France in 2018.

Destination Germany Neuschwanstein Castle (picture-alliance/dpa/KJ Hildenbrand)

Royal Castles

No one knows exactly how many thousands of castles and palaces there are in Germany. What is certain is that the Bavarian Neuschwanstein Castle is the best known. Despite renovation work on the inside, 1.5 million visitors wanted to see the castle of the Bavarian fairytale king Ludwig II again in 2018.

Wine architecture in Franconia (DW/C. Schuh)

Wine tourism

Cellar tours, hiking with the winegrower and wine tasting – wine tourism is trendy, whether in Rheinhessen, Franconia or on the Moselle. Every tenth wine tourist comes from abroad, above all from the Netherlands and the USA. On average, they spend more than other tourists: over 5.5 billion euros a year – and thus secure 75,000 jobs.

Elbe and Cathedral in Magdeburg (picture-alliance/imagebroker/A. Vitting)

River cruises

Although controversial from an ecological point of view, river cruises are booming. Not only on the Danube and the Rhine, but also on the Elbe between Dresden and Hamburg. A popular stopover is the 1200-year-old Elbe metropolis of Magdeburg with the cathedral and the Hundertwasser House.

Destination Germany Rothenburg ob der Tauber (picture-alliance/imagebroker/W. Dieterich)

Romantic Rothenburg

There are now Christmas markets all over the world, but 365 days a year only at Käthe Wohlfahrt in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. That and the medieval view of the city are particularly popular with tourists from the US and Asia. Two million visitors come every year. In 2018 there were even more: the number of overnight stays increased by more than ten percent.

Studio building Bauhaus Dessau (Bauhaus Dessau Foundation/Y. Tenschert)

Outlook 2019

In 2019, Germany is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, the famous art school for architecture and design. Exhibitions take place not only in big cities like Berlin, but also in Weimar and Dessau (picture) at authentic locations. With the opening of their Bauhaus museums, the small towns are hoping for record visitor numbers in 2019.

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