As Germany moves forward into the 21st century, leaving behind a history of division and tyranny, it is a nation embracing its newfound liberalism and redefining a modern cultural identity. Yet even today, visitors to the country can't escape feeling profoundly moved by this country's past and the effects it still has on its people.
Situated in the heart of Europe and bordering nine other countries, Germany provides an ideal gateway to any tour of the subcontinent. Its land is wide and varied with turreted castles nestled below snow-capped mountains, lush river valleys, dark and mysterious forests and bustling medieval villages. This is the land of fairy tales, where farmland minstrels headed to Bremen to become musicians, where Sleeping Beauty was woken and Little Red Riding Hood ventured into the woods.
Germany's cities each have something unique to offer the visitor. Each year millions of litres of beer are consumed in Munich during the city's Oktoberfest, where locals and visitors discover true German revelry and 'gemutlichkeit' (a word the locals use to describe a comfortable, sociable environment). Berlin, while still recovering from some of the scars of division, contains many sights from the iconic Brandenburg Gate, to the path of the old Berlin Wall. The city's vibrant nightlife is still evocative of its height in the 1920s and 30s, as characterised by the songs of Marlene Dietrich, the theatre of Brecht and the Film Cabaret.
Discover the country that gave us Beethoven and Bauhaus, Goethe and Glühwein, Lager and Lederhosen - you won't be disappointed.