Metropolis Now: Germany's Eclectic Cityscapes

Frankfurt am Main © picture-alliance/ dpa Enlarge image Frankfurt am Main (© picture-alliance/ dpa) Germany is a land of great cities. The tapestry of towns that covers the entire country is a legacy of the rich history of once independent regions that formed modern Germany in the 19th century. Three of Germany's 16 federal states, moreover, are actually cities - Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen. This is also a function of history, dating back to medieval times, when cities across Europe emerged as thriving centers of commerce.

Among Germany's myriad other major cities are Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne, Hanover, Kiel, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Leipzig and Dresden. Regional charms, moreover, abound in northern maritime centers like Schleswig, Lübeck and Stralsund, southern fairytale towns such as Freiburg, Tübingen and Regensburg, and eastern German gems like Weimar, Erfurt and Wittenberg. The western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia - Germany's most populous state and one of the most densely populated regions in the world - is meanwhile home to a vast network of cities including Wuppertal, Essen and  Dortmund.

Around 89 percent of Germany's 82.3 million inhabitants live in cities and urban conurbations. In Germany there are more than 81 big cities with over 100,000 inhabitants.

2011 Festival of Lights

Berlin: Modern Metropolis and Creative Capital

The German capital attracts movers and shakers from the fields of politics, media and science, as well as young people and artists embracing a liberal lifestyle and a modern zeitgeist.

Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt: Why Falling for 'Mainhattan' is Easier Than One Might Think

Frankfurt is a European financial powerhouse, an international trade fair and travel hub, and a multicultural metropolitan melting pot people from all over the world have come to call home.

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Hamburg: Northern Lights and Late Nights

Imagine a progressive place full of fresh blasts of blustery marine air, all manner of mercantile and creative folk, lush parks, lovely promenades, and water, water, everywhere.

Munich - Oktoberfest

Munich: Baroque Splendor and Beer Gardens

Munich is more than Oktoberfest - the Bavarian metropolis is oft cited in international surveys as one of the best cities to call home in the entire world.

Historic Heidelberg

Heidelberg: A Magnet for Mark Twain and Millions More

Heidelberg is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. Mark Twain visited it more than once in the 19th century, and it remains a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.

Porta Nigra © picture alliance / Arco Images GmbH

Trier: From the Celts to Karl Marx

Among German cities, Trier is a hidden gem. It is the capital of Germany's oldest wine-growing region. It has more Roman ruins than any city north of the Alps and wonderful medieval churches.

Christkindlesmarkt

Nuremberg: Toys and Trains, Dürer and Lebkuchen

The Christkindlesmarkt may draw the biggest crowds of the year, but Nuremberg is worth visiting in any season, if only to answer the question, "Why is the Nuremberg Bratwurst so small?"

German Cities

Sonnenuntergang in Potsdam

Worth a Visit - Germany's Top Tourist Attractions

Family fun at Europa-Park in Rust

The German National Tourism Board (DZT) recently released their top 100 tourist attractions for 2015. Europa-Park in Rust was the favorite among foreign guests; Neuschwanstein Castle came in second, and Cologne Cathedral took third place. Check out the list!

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany

If you are putting together a list of places you do not want to miss on your trip to Germany, the UNESCO World Heritage sites are a great place to start.  Germany has 33 sites, that cover centuries of human history, from the  Aachen Cathedral to the modernist apartment blocks of Berlin.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany

German UNESCO Commission