100 Best Things to do in Germany

“100 Best Things to do in Germany”

via Jen’s Reveiws

Here are the 100 best things to do in Germany that will show you the charm, beauty and cultural diversity of this country.

Germany is rich with surprises and contrasts just waiting to be discovered by the discerning tourist. A country of enchanting little villages nestling between lofty and imposing mountains, fairytale castles and churches and lush vineyards rolling down towards the banks of the Rhine or the Mosel, Germany also boasts of the more rumbustious Munich Beer Festival and the Cologne Carnival, a very fine choice of gateaux, sausages and beer and a powerful and somewhat spooky folkloric tradition.

1. Die Zugspitze

1-zugspitze

Located in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen region of Upper Bavaria, the Zugspitze can be accessed by cable car from the Eibsee lake (around ten minutes) or by cogwheel train from Greinau followed by a cable car from the Zugspitzplatt to the summit. There are also five hiking routes for the more intrepid and guided tours with overnight stops are a popular tourist attraction for avid hikers.

At 2.962 metres above sea level, the Zugspitze is not only the highest mountain peak in the Wetterstein mountains, it is the highest peak in Germany. On a clear day, the breathtakingly lovely panorama of the mountain ranges of four neighboring countries – Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland – is clearly visible from its summit. For those who love hiking and/or winter sports, the Zugspitze is definitely a number 1 choice when visiting Germany!

2. The Castle of Neuschwanstein (Munich)

2-neuschwanstein

In 1868, four years after acceding to the throne, the shy and reclusive King Ludwig II commissioned his architects Eduard Riedel and Georg von Dollmann to build him a mediaeval castle where he could hide from his people. Paradoxically, Ludwig himself only lived a few months in the castle before his death in 1886; 7 weeks later the castle was opened to the public and it has been one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions ever since.

Located in Hohenschwangau in the rolling green hills of southern Bavaria, surrounded by blue lakes, Neuschwanstein appears to float in the clouds like some magical castle in a fairytale. From Munich, it can easily be visited as a day trip. Tickets should be booked in advance!

3. Europa Park (Freiburg)

North of Freiburg in Baden-Württemberg in the little village of Rust is the biggest amusement park in the whole of the German-speaking world. In 2015 alone, it boasted 5,5 million visitors and is among the top 5 tourist attractions in Germany worldwide. In 2016, it won the “Golden Ticket Award” as the best amusement park in the world for the third year running. As an additional bonus, it is also open in winter!

With more shows, rides and attractions than one could ever imagine, including the biggest roller coaster in Europe, the Europa Park offers unlimited fun, excitement and entertainment to young and old alike. The Europa Parkc can be accessed from Freiburg by car in around 30 minutes and the closest railway station is Freiburg. Additionally there are a number of airports close by which offer shuttle-bus transport directly to the Europa Park.

4. Oktoberfest (Munich)

4-oktoberfest-967770__340

Munich`s flamboyant Oktoberfest is famous the whole world over. Since its inception in 1810 in celebration of the wedding between Ludwig of Bavaria and his bride Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, the Oktoberfest has grown continuously in size and popularity. With its dirndls and its lederhosen, its stalls and diners offering a multitude of German and Bavarian specialties and – of course – its fourteen beer tents offering beer for every taste (and wine, too!), the Oktoberfest is a must for anyone seeking the fun side of Germany.

The Oktoberfest takes place once a year, beginning in September and ending in October, on the famous “Theresienwiese”, otherwise known as “Festwiese”. Travel by public transport from München is recommended owing to lack of parking.

5. Cologne Carnival (Cologne)

5-cologne-carnival

Traditionally, Cologne carnival begins whimsically at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, although the serious partying does not begin until Shrove Thursday. However, when it does, it goes with a bang! Cologne carnival is a celebration, above all, of fancy dress: streets, pubs and restaurants are full of exotic and bizarre costumes, streamers, balloons, practical jokes and laughter. The highlight is a 6 kilometre-long parade through the streets of Cologne on shrove Monday. A colorful, unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Though Cologne carnival is predominantly a street festival, there are plenty of carnival dances, dinners, parties and other indoor events running at the same time to choose from. Street activity during carnival time is at its height in the city center and the old parts of the city, which are accessible by bus or train from Cologne airport within 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Cologne Cathedral (Cologne)

6-cologne-cathedral

At the time of its completion in 1880, Cologne Cathedral, with its awe-inspiring twin spires, was the highest building in the world. Even now, at 157m, it dominates the surrounding architecture with ease. Building commenced in 1248 but was halted during the Middle Ages and recommenced in the 19th century. Cologne cathedral reputedly houses the remains of the Three Biblical Magi- which were given to the Archbishop of Cologne by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1164 – and is an important destination for modern-day pilgrims to this day. For this reason, but also because of its being “an exceptional work of human creative genius”, Cologne Cathedral was dubbed an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Cologne cathedral is situated very close to Cologne railway station and is impossible to miss! It is around 25 minutes from Cologne airport by bus or rail.

READ MORE

**If you were to give advice to future SAS (study abroad students) for your country, what would YOU recommend?!? Post in the comments! ** DB

Advertisements

9 AMERICAN HABITS I LOST WHEN I MOVED TO GERMANY

“9 AMERICAN HABITS I LOST WHEN I MOVED TO GERMANY”

by Vanessa Van Doren

1. Idle chit chat

During my first days of work in Germany, I made sure to be super friendly to all of my coworkers. Whenever anyone passed me in the hallway, I would grin maniacally, wave, and yelp, “Hi! How’s your day going?” The responses ranged from bemused looks to a total lack of reply. Confused but not discouraged, I continued trying to work my charms on my new friends.

One morning, I passed Roger, the department’s statistician. I laser-beamed him with my eyes and yelled out my usual “How are you?!” He paused for a moment, staring at me bewilderedly and scratching his fluffy, mad-professor hairdo.

“Do you really want to know?” he asked, one eyebrow raised.

“Uh, yes,” I stammered, unsure of what to make of this.

Twenty minutes later, he was still going strong on a breathless diatribe about how the students’ inferior grasp of basic stats and unbearably messy datasets were contributing to his ever-increasing workload.

Eventually sensing my discomfort, Roger paused and gave me a blank look. “Well you asked,” he muttered, rolling his eyes before continuing down the hall to his office.

2. Thin skin

Germans don’t like small talk, and they don’t like bullshit. Idle comments and feel-good messages have no place here. German flirting is particularly brutal; “Your big nose looks good on your face” is about the best compliment you can expect to get in Germany.

3. Fear of nudity

Especially in the former East, Freikörperkultur, or free body culture, is an important part of German identity. Decades of oppression led to a particular appreciation for the experience of freedom and nudity without a direct relationship to sexuality.

This can sometimes be difficult for Americans to buy, particularly when your coworkers casually invite you to the office’s nude sauna or suggest a naked swim in a nearby lake. Adjusting to this culture without getting weird took some grit, finesse, and more than a few awkward encounters.

4. Expectation of safety above all

The pervasive fear of litigation that infuses most public activities in the United States is virtually nonexistent in Germany. Germans take a much more casual, reasonable approach to public safety. On a hike in Sächsische Schweiz, a beautiful, mountainous region of Saxony, I once commented on the lack of guardrails and warning signs surrounding the steepest cliffs. “Only an idiot would fail to realize that a steep cliff is dangerous,” my German co-worker stated matter-of-factly.

A few months later, after a particularly brutal snowstorm, I remember seeing an older gentleman faceplant on the ice while waiting for the tram. He stood up, casually wiped the trickle of blood from his forehead, and resumed his position on the platform without so much as grimacing.

I love this attitude.

Every year, a local artist would put on a crazy party called “Bimbotown” in one of the warehouses in the Spinnereistrasse neighborhood of Leipzig. The party was crawling with machines that this artist made — giant metallic worms slithering across the ceiling, bar stools that would eject their occupants at the push of a button from across the warehouse, couches that caved in and dumped you into a secret room, beds that could be driven around the party and through the walls. It was an incredible event that would have never been allowed to happen in the US because of all the safety violations — someone could hit their head, fall off a bed, get whacked in the eye. And it was one of the best parties I’ve ever been to. . . . .

READ MORE

Study abroad: an experience not to be missed

“Study abroad: an experience not to be missed”

by James Connington via “Telegraph

Four months, one drained bank account and more than a few embarrassing incidents later, I’ve returned to the ever so slightly warmer shores of the UK. It was a somewhat surreal transition, as I went from an exam in Germany to lectures in London in the space of 48 hours.

I instantly knew I was on my way home when I boarded the plane. A man was unreasonably blocking the aisle and, perfectly on cue, a very matter-of-fact Englishman used some rather strong language to suggest that he should take his seat, promptly.

The two questions I’ve been asked repeatedly since my return have been ‘how was it?’ and ‘so did you learn any German?’. Along with most returning students I’m not quite sure how to answer the first one. Seeing as ‘it’ is 4 months of my life, ‘good thanks’ doesn’t quite seem adequate. Although I’ve been reliably informed that I should try not to go on about it too much.

As for the second one, you will inevitably find that in a group of multiple nationalities whose only common language is English, you might get less language practice than you were expecting.

My main accomplishment was learning to count to ten in Italian, although one of the checkout ladies at my local supermarket was convinced I spoke German right up until the bitter end. I almost felt guilty finally having to break my mantra of ‘hallo, ja, dankeschön, tschüss’ during my very last shop. . . .

READ MORE

OU Student Uses Alternative Methods of Fundraising for Study Abroad Trip

OU Student Uses Alternative Methods of Fundraising for Study Abroad Trip

By Bailey Chambers via OUDaily 

Angela Gutierrez

With the expenses of international study and requirements for graduation tied to an over-seas trip, raising money for an international experience can be challenging for many college students. One student looking to travel to Germany has written off applying for loans and is trying a more organic approach.

In an ensemble of blue stripes, black jeans and black-rimmed glasses, Angela Gutierrez is the picture of effortless sophistication. With a smile on her face, the international studies senior began to talk about her dream of spending a semester abroad in Germany.

“I wanted to spend the entire semester there so I can become fluent and remember the language,” Gutierrez said.

With a blog, business cards and plenty of fliers, Gutierrez has set out to raise the funds to take her all the way to Germany through OU’s study abroad programs.

After learning Spanish from her Venezuelan parents, she tried learning Italian — a language known to be similar to Spanish in pronunciation. But Angela wanted to learn something entirely different. While watching a German soap opera, she fell in love with the language and made it her official minor.

Gutierrez then picked Germany for her mandatory travel. Of course, while still here and learning bits and pieces about Germany, Angela grew more and more excited at the opportunity to go in the spring.

“The university where I’ll be taking classes is the oldest one in Germany,” Gutierrez said.

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, the university at which Angela would study, is over six hundred years old. The public research university located in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, was founded in 1386. With many of America’s buildings aging hundreds of years younger, the history in Germany seems quite exciting, Gutierrez said. . . . .

READ MORE