Country profile

About Germany

Situated in the heart of Europe Germany borders nine countries - Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark. With many lively cosmopolitan cities including Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne, as well as the natural beauty of the Black Forest, the Alps and the Rhine and Danube rivers, Germany has plenty of diversions to stimulate the medical tourist.

Germany’s turbulent history, especially in the 20th century, needs no retelling here, but since the collapse of the Soviet Bloc and the hugely symbolic fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany has prospered as a peaceful, united land.

Following the reunification in 1990, Berlin was reinstated as the capital of Germany and is located in eastern Germany, about 70 kilometres west of the border of Poland. The events of the past may have left their mark on Germany’s largest city, but today Berlin is one of Europe's most buzzing capitals, a vibrant culturally rich city and a permanent hive of activity with performing arts, museums, galleries, and some 300 clubs, 7,000 bars and restaurants, many of which are open around the clock. Shoppers will be in their element on Kurfürstendamm or Friedrichstrasse and shouldn’t miss KaDeWe, the department store on Wittenberg Platz which is the largest store on European mainland.

Germany has a reputation for manufacturing prowess, with market leaders such as Siemens and car manufacturers BMW and Volkswagen, but this is no grimy industrial landscape. Cologne, for example is known as the arts capital and hosts Germany's largest cathedral, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. The city's Rheingarten park and old quarter are other highlights. Bonn is located 20km south of Cologne and was the capital of West Germany between 1949 and 1990.

Along with Germany’s lively cosmopolitan cities there’s much more to experience in Germany and tourists can explore the country’s natural beauty easily by car or train, with the famous Autobahn roads the envy of Europe. Think fairytale castles in Bavaria, charming medieval towns like Hamelin and Trier and over 25 world heritage sites. Hot spots include the Rhine and Moselle valleys, the Bavarian Alps and lake lands, the Baltic coast, the Harz Mountains, Lake Constance, Saxon Switzerland, the Black Forest, the Bavarian Forest and the volcanic Eifel region.

The climate in Germany is northern European and temperate but if you travel to the centre of the country in winter, expect plummeting temperatures.

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Quick facts

Population: 80 Million
Currency: Euro
Capital: Berlin
Languages: German
Religions: Catholic 30%, Protestant 30%