Germany lies in the heart of Europe and is a cosmopolitan, democratic country with a great tradition and a lively present. Germany has nine neighbors: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland.
From the North Sea to the Baltic Sea in the North to the Alps in the South, Germany is structured geographically as follows: the North German lowlands, the Mittelgebirge ridge, the Southwest German subdued mountains and terraced landscape, the South German piedmont and the Bavarian Alps.
Some of the largest European rivers – the Rhine, the Danube and the Elbe – flow through Germany. German landscapes are extraordinarily varied and attractive: low and high mountain ranges, extensive lakelands, forests and roughly 2,390 kilometres of coastline.
Moderate oceanic/continental climatic zone with frequent changes in weather and primarily westerly winds.
Germany is the country of Goethe, Schiller and Thomas Mann, Bach, Wagner and Beethoven. Culture traditionally has a high standing and has many facets: Germany has some 300 theatres and 130 professional orchestras as well as 630 art museums with many internationally renowned collections. With some 94,000 new books and re-issues published every year, Germany can also be counted among the great book nations. Its young contemporary painting is internationally sought-after and German cinema is also celebrating new successes in many countries around the world.
Tourist attractions in Germany include not only the capital city Berlin and other cultural and historical centres, but also ambitious concert series, festivals and major sporting events. Germany boasts 14 national parks, 101 nature parks and 15 biosphere reserves.
The Munich Oktoberfest - known by the locals as the "Wiesn" - is the biggest public festival in the world. Each year, the Oktoberfest is attended by around 6 million visitors, who drink more than 5 million liters of beer and consume over 200,000 pairs of pork sausages - mostly in the "beer tents" put up by the traditional Munich breweries.