Germany is an amazing country with a rich range of diverse landscapes, experiences and cultural heritage. Yet it remains under-visited by British tourists.
I've always assumed the reason to be the language-barrier. Even though many many Germans speak impeccable English, Brits feel more comfortable in France, Spain, & Italy maybe because they have a smattering of the language from school. However, Americans are usually more sensitive about their language comfort zone than we are, and they are Germany's second largest visiting nation (after Holland). We are fourth (after Switzerland). Perhaps 'visit Germany' is something we should all put on our 'to do' list for the year ahead.
The German National Authority for Tourism does have an office in London but it no longer appears to have a consumer role.If you have questions it is probably best to establish contact through their Facebook page or their Twitter account.
What to do/Where to go
Oktoberfest is the famous annual beer festival held in the centre of Munich. Waiters and waitresses in Bavarian national dress served 6.7 million one-litre steins of beer at the 2007 Oktoberfest, and chomped their way through 104 roasted bullocks. The x-day festival - which, despite the name, actually begins around 22 Sept - attracted 6.2m people to its beer tents and funfair, many of them dressed in traditional lederhosen and dirndl dresses. Despite the large quantities of beer and visitors, only 565 people drank themselves to excess according to the Bavarian Red Cross.
National Parks Germany has 13 of them ranging from the impossibly beautiful alpine landscapes of Berchtesgaden on the Austrian border and the wooded mountains of the Bavarian Forest, to the scattered islands of the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea.
Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is one of Europe's best known Christmas markets, drawing thousands of shoppers and tourists in the build-up to Christmas.
What's Cool, New or Unusual
Sleeping in the Trees - Waldseilgarten is an activity centre near Pfronten in Bavaria, that specialises in climbing activities and offers guests a chance to sleep in a climbers' hanging tent suspended high in the woods.
Secret Passages of Bavaria - the region has around 700 secret medieval tunnels called "erdstalls"" between churches, castles and caves.
Berlin Base Flying - Jumping off Berlin's tallest hotel.
Germany is Wunderbar - Enthusiastic information site run by two fans of Germany: travel writer Andrew Eames (a colleague from the BGTW) and former GNTO press officer, Barbara Geier. It has loads of excellent ideas for unusual things to do.
Grounded Traveler - Expat Andrew Couch lives in Frankfurt and blogs about life in Germany.
Destination Europe - Andrea Anastasakis' Europe-focused site has a good section on Germany with informative posts on numerous cities and activities.
Easy Hiker - Marlys and Michael Schuermann highlight some easy hiking trails in Germany.
Interesting/Useful Blog Posts
Heidelberg Castle- Expat Ali Garland visits the historic town of Heidelberg and its castle.
Stay on a Farm - Details about farmstays in Northern Germany.
Munich in Winter - Shopping and museums in Munich.
Visiting the remains of the wall - Backpacking Becki traces the route of the wall through Berlin.
Grafitti on the Berlin Wall - David Whitley explores the new artwork around the old wall.
Go Beyond Munich - Globetrotter Girls get up into the hills and mountains.
Guide to Hamburg - David Whitley's guide to Hamburg, packed with useful info.