Germany’s third largest city and capital of the state of Bavaria, situated amidst the picturesque Alps. A major center of art, technology, finance, publishing, culture, innovation, education, business and tourism in Germany and Europe. Ranked as the city with the best quality of life in Germany and third best worldwide according to a 2018 Mercer survey, and rated world’s most livable city by Monocle’s Quality of Life Survey 2018. City was built around a 12th-century Benedictine monastery. Has been a center of European arts, culture and science since the early 19th century. More than half the city and over 90% of the historic center were destroyed during World War II, but the city enjoyed a rapid resurgence after the war. Has the densest population of any European city and 37.7% of its residents are of non-German backgrounds.
Austria’s fourth-largest city and capital of the state of Salzburg. Its historic center is world-renowned for its baroque architecture and is one of Europe’s best-preserved city centers. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Boasts three universities and a high student population. Birthplace of 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Was the setting for the mid-20th-century musical and film The Sound of Music.
University town on the river Neckar in the southwest German state of Baden-Württemberg, 48 miles south of Frankfurt. Part of the densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. Heidelberg University, founded in 1386, is one of Germany’s oldest and most reputable higher learning institutions. City is also home to many renowned research facilities adjacent to the university, including four Max Planck Institutes. Its castle, Philosophers’ Walk and baroque-style Old Town make it a popular tourist destination.
Germany’s fifth-largest city and capital of the state of Hesse. A global hub of commerce, culture, education, tourism and transportation. Its airport is among the world’s busiest. Was an independent city-state for nearly five centuries and was one of the Holy Roman Empire’s most important cities. Lost its sovereignty in 1866. Center of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region, with a population of 5.5 million, Germany’s second largest metro area. Frankfurt’s central business district is the closest one to the geographical center of the European Union. About half of the city’s residents, and a majority of its young people, are of immigrant backgrounds. Home to many major banks and a number of financial tech startups, and the world’s largest internet exchange point, as well as a number of influential educational institutions.
Town of just over 35,000 in the Harz District of the state of Saxony-Anhalt, picturesquely situated on the Holtemme River on the north slopes of the Harz Mountains. Lies on the German-Dutch holiday road known as the Orange Route. Was the capital of the County of Wernigerode in medieval times, then became part of the Prussian Province of Saxony after the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century. Was included in the new state of Saxony-Anhalt in the Soviet occupation zone following World War II and was very close to the inner German border during partition. Home to a nearly 150-year-old brewery, the Hasseröder Brewery, as well as many interesting Gothic buildings, a hill with an Emperor Tower and a forest inn, and the Harz Narrow Gauge Railway. Among the products manufactured in the town, along with lager beer, are brandy, cigars and dyes. American football is popular in the town.
Town of over 24,000 situated just north of the Harz mountains in the Harz district of western Saxony-Anhalt, on the east bank of the Bode River. Has existed since the early 9th century. Its castle, church and old town were named UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1994. Seated along the scenic holiday route known as the Romanesque Road. Known as the “cradle of the German Reich” based on the legendary offering of the crown to Henry by Franconian nobles there in the year 919. The castle complex was founded in 936. Was ruled by women as abbesses for a brief period in the early 19th century. The church and castle were turned into Nazi shrines, but liberation in 1945 brought back the Protestant bishop and church bells and the removal of the Nazi eagle from the tower. Was administered within East Germany’s Bezirk Halle from 1949 to 1990.
Capital and largest city of the central German state of Thuringia. Lies within the wide valley of the Gera River. Its metropolitan area has 500,000 inhabitants. Its old town is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval city centers, with attractions including the Merchant’s Bridge, Erfurt Cathedral, St. Severus’s Church and Petersberg Citadel, one of the largest and best preserved fortresses in Europe.
The city’s economy is based on agriculture, horticulture and microelectronics, and its central location has led it to becoming a logistics hub. Home to Germany’s second largest trade fair and the children’s public television channel KiKa. Situated along the Via Regia, a medieval trade and pilgrimage road network, and is a hub for InterCity Express trains. Its university, founded in 1379, was the first to be established in what is now Germany. Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther was one of its most famous students. It closed in 1816 but was re-established in 1994.
Largest city in the state of Saxony and Germany’s tenth most populous, with an urban area population of 1.1 million. Situated at the confluence of the White Elster, Pleiße and Parthe Rivers on the southern end of the North German Plain, 99 miles southwest of Berlin. Has been a trade center since at least the time of the Holy Roman Empire and sits at the intersection of the Via Regia and the Via Imperii, two important medieval trade routes. Was once a center of learning, culture, music and publishing. It became a major urban center of East Germany after World War II, but its cultural and economic importance declined.
The city also played a significant role in the fall of communism in central and eastern Europe through events that took place in and around St. Nicholas Church. Listed as a Gamma World City and ‘Germany’s Boomtown.’ Home to one of Germany and Europe’s most popular zoos as well as Europe’s third oldest and one of Germany’s most prominent opera houses, along with one of the world’s oldest symphony orchestras. A rail tunnel under the city center, opened in 2013, revolutionized the region’s public transit network.
Germany’s capital and largest city, comprising its own state. Is the European Union’s second most populous city proper (behind London) and its seventh most populous urban area. Situated on the banks of the Spree and Havel Rivers in the center of a 6-million-resident metropolitan region. About one third of the city’s area is forests, parks, gardens, rivers, canals and lakes. Was the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. Is now a world city of culture, politics, media and science.
High-tech firms, the service sector, creative industries, research facilities, media companies and convention venues undergird its economy. Boasts a highly complex public transportation network and is a popular tourist destination. Home to world-renowned universities, orchestras, museums and entertainment venues, the world’s oldest large-scale movie studio, and Europe’s most visited zoo. Known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts, a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene, and a very high quality of life.