Taking a Rail Holiday in Germany
A Holiday in Germany
Germany is one of the largest and most important countries in Europe, and is often considered to be the economic heart of the continent. Its borders include a varied landscape and includes stunning mountains, amazing castles and wonderful architecture. Suffering a somewhat turbulent history over the last century, today it is a modern, progressive country that retains its rural traditions.
Germany has many places of interest that can be visited, with perhaps the most important being Berlin. The symbol of a re-unified Germany, it has developed into a cosmopolitan city since the Berlin Wall was brought down. Cologne is another city that tourists like to visit, due to its history stretching back 2000 years to the time it was founded by the Romans. There are many archaeological sites there, and a number of impressive churches. For those that enjoy a beer or two, a visit to Munich for the Oktoberfest is to be recommended, although booking well in advance is required. Other notable cities include Hamburg, Dresden, Frankfurt and Nuremberg.
Great Rail Holidays in Germany
Being such a large and important country, it is hardly surprising that there are a number of different rail holidays that one could choose from, some of which originate in Germany and others which pass through. Several suggestions are described below.
Harzer Schmalspurbahnen – This famous train route connects the cities of Wernigerode, Nordhausen and Quedlinburg, and passes through scenery which includes stunning mountains and forests. Better still, the journey is carried out on a narrow gauge steam train.
Cologne and Berlin – Another great idea for a train journey to Germany, is to begin in London and catch the Eurostar to Brussels. From there, it would be possible to swap trains for the Deutsche Bahn ICE service to Cologne, and after a night or two spent there, board another ICE train to Berlin.
Essential Travel Information for Germany
Language – The national language of Germany is German, although many people also speak English to one degree or another. People working within the tourism industry or those places frequently visited by tourists will often have a very good grasp of English, although it is always nice to be able to speak a few words of German whenever possible. Along the borders with France, French may also be spoken.
Currency – Germany is very much at the heart of Europe, and as such, uses the Euro as its form of currency. Travellers from outside the Eurozone might like to bring a small amount of Euros with them, and then withdraw more as and when needed from the ATM machines which are commonplace throughout Germany.
Weather – Germany is a large and diverse country, with a climate to match. Enjoying warm summers, the winters can be very cold, especially in the mountain areas, although most people that visit these areas during the winter will be doing so in order to ski. There is no best season to visit as such, as passing through the mountains in a train during a snowy winter can be as beautiful as passing by a vineyard during the autumn. Many people will choose to take a rail holiday in Germany between May and September though.