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Berlin
Berlin is back - back as the capital of a reunified Germany and back as one of Europe's greatest - and most exciting - cities. After WWII, Berlin was a crippled pawn, In between East and West, with a literal and metaphorical wall deeply dividing the two halves. The northeastern German city even suffered the embarrassment of losing its capital status, as the West German government fled to Bonn. Today, the Cold War and the iconic events of November 1989, which saw the Berlin Wall torn to pieces by those whom it had oppressed for so long, are starting to seem like a distant memory and all the talk in Berlin is of the future.Tourism is on the rise, as visitors come to savour the intoxicating mix of old and new. Big business, too, is flourishing and key industries such as electronics, manufacturing and information techn...
Berne
In Swiss cities, Bern is capital of Switzerland; GÇ£BerneGÇ¥ in French is perhaps the most appealing. Crammed onto a steep-sided peninsula in a crook of the fast-flowing River Aare, its quiet, cobbled lanes, lined with sandstone arcaded buildings straddling the pavement, have changed barely at all in over five hundred years but for the adornment of modern shop signs and the odd car or tram rattling past. The hills all around, and the steep banks of the river, are still liberally wooded. Views, both of the Old Towns clustered roofs and of the majestic Alps on the horizon, are breathtaking. Coming from Z++rich or Geneva, its hard to remember that Bern once voted Europes most floral city is the nations capital, home of the Swiss parliament and wielder of final federal authority.
Bremen
Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A port city along the river Weser, about 37 miles, South from its mouth on the North Sea, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area (2.37 million people). Bremen and Bremerhaven are the two cities in the state of Bremen. Official name of Bermen is Freie Hansestadt Bremen1 (Free Hanseatic City of Bremen). Bremen is the second most crowded city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Many of the sights in Bremen are found in the Altstadt (Old Town), an oval area surrounded by the Weser River, on the southwest, and the Wallgraben, the former moats of the medieval city walls, on the northeast. The oldest part of the Altstadt is the southeast half, starting with the Marktplatz and ending at the Schnoor quarter.Two statues stand to the west side of the ...
Dusseldorf
The little village (dorf) on the tiny river D├╝ssel, a tributary of the mighty Rhine, has developed to become the economic powerhouse of the region and one of the three wealthiest cities in Germany.With wealth has come patronage of the arts and fashion world, reflected in the ultra-trendy shopping street Konigsallee and the city's many galleries and art museums. Both the quantity and quality of dining options is also witness to how prosperous and cosmopolitan the city is.Visitors will spend most of their time in the Altstadt (Old Town), a warren of cobbled streets huddled by the river, where alongside vestiges of the past, there are over 200 very well patronised bars, restaurants and nightspots. exclusively in Germany, the Altstadt opens directly onto the Rhine, a recent initiative that has ΓÇÿreclaimed' the ri...
Frankfurt
The fifth largest city in Germany, Frankfurt on Main (Frankfurt am Main), has gained enormous financial power thanks to its position as a key transport hub and its status as a major venue for international trade fairs. Situated in the middle of the highly productive Rhine-Main region, right at the centre of Europe, the city is the financial heart of Germany but also of the European Union.Most of Frankfurt's visitors come for many trade fairs, exhibitions and congresses. But Frankfurt has got another side. As the birthplace of Germany's most revered writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), the city is at pains to impress with its cultural pedigree. Excellent museums, high-calibre performance groups and local festivals tempt too.
Graz
The historic centre of the city of Graz reflects artistic and architectural movements originating from the Germanic region, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean, for which it served as a crossroads for centuries. The supreme architects and artists of these different regions expressed themselves forcefully here and thus created brilliant syntheses.
Hamburg
The second biggest city in Germany (after Berlin), Hamburg has the international feel, the conspicuous consumption and most of the cultural accoutrements of a north European capital. Culturally Hamburg is said to have more in common with its trading partners and neighbors in the Low Countries, Denmark and even England, than it does with southern Germany. Its people are famously modest, yet worldly and usually very helpful. Visitors will find Hamburg easy to get around thanks to its compact centre and outstanding transport system. There are relatively few major landmarks, and nothing of iconic status except perhaps the red-light district of St Pauli where Hamburg sailors traditionally took their R'n'R.
Munich
Located to the north of the Bavarian Alps, on the River Isar, Munich (M├╝nchen) is Germany's third biggest city, and is where the country's wealthy trendsetters like to ΓÇÿsee and be seen'.Tourists gather to the city for the world famous Oktoberfest, to indulge in an orgy of revelry alongside Lederhosen-clad Bavarians, all quaffing vast quantities of beer and sausage. However, there's more to Munich than this stereotypical image, thanks to its strong cultural scene, richly endowed art collections, romantic palaces and excellent shopping. It is also the home of BMW cars and centre of the German film industry. Indeed, from balmy summers in the beer gardens to the glittering Christmas markets throughout snowy winters, Munich is a popular destination all year round.
Strasbourg
The City of Strasbourg is the capital of the northern French region of Alsace, at the border with Germany. Formerly a German city, now located in France, Strasbourg is not only a modern bridge between France and Germany or Latin and Germanic cultures, but also the host of European Union institutions similar to the Council of Europe with the European Court of Human Rights, Eurocorps, European Parliament or the European Ombudsman. Strasbourg also has the second biggest port on the River Rhine and the Grand Ile (Grand Island) attracts yearly a large amount of tourists. Grand Ile or Strasbourg Historical Center has been classified World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
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