Germany's recent history is a story of triumphant rebirth. The country infamous as the headquarters of Nazism, battered by Allied bombers in the Second World War and split down the middle, physically and culturally, by the Cold War, has emerged into the twenty-first century as a vibrant, modern powerhouse, a centre of arts and music, and a powerful force for peace, in Europe and beyond. And whether you come to Germany for its history or its future, for the still-standing fragments of the Berlin Wall or the brand new skyscrapers of Frankfurt, or indeed for the timeless natural beauty in which regions like the Rhine Valley and the Black Forest are so richly steeped, you'll fall in love with the fusion of magnificence and humanity which modern-day Germany enshrines.
Learn and create all day and party all night in Berlin, Germany's extraordinary capital, where Museum Island, crammed with works of art and ancient Babylonian and Egyptian treasures, rubs shoulders with the world's wildest clubbing scene in the Mitte. Climb the double spires of iconic Cologne Cathedral, or walk in the footsteps of the Beatles in Hamburg's naughty Reeperbahn. Experience Walpurgisnacht in Heidelberg and Oktoberfest in Munich, and holiday like a proper German at the annual summer pirate festival on Rügen Island. Then there's Dresden, almost completely destroyed in the last days of the Second World War but risen from its own ashes and gilded like a phoenix, decked out in the fabulous gems of a real-life treasure hoard. Germany's landscape is embossed with many such marvelous cities, an urbanite's perfect playgrounds. But perhaps most wonderful of all, for the true Deutschland devotee, is the German countryside: the Black Forest, where a hundred miles of conifers cluster together so closely that they obscure the sun, and the breathtaking beauty of the Rhine Valley with its vineyards, silver cliffs and ruined castles, which between them have inspired generations of German artists, writers, and composers.