North, South, East and West

A close-up of Germany and its neighboring countries through a magnifying glass on a map of the world
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The Wattenmeer (Wadden Sea), coastal bluffs, small islands, wind, flatlands and fields: this is north Germany. The north coast is the country's most popular holiday region, including among Germans themselves.

In south Germany, you'll find Lake Constance, the city of Munich and the mountains, including low mountain ranges like the Black Forest and the Bavarian Forest, but also of course the Alps, with Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze (2,962 meters). Lots of people like to travel to the South to hike, bike or ski.

In western Germany, most of the larger cities like Cologne and Dusseldorf are in or around the Ruhr region. There used to be a lot of industrial production in this region. The area along the Rhine River is famous for its carnival, which officially begins on November 11 and ends with street celebrations in February or March.

Eastern Germany stretches across the area of the former GDR. After the fall of the Wall, lots of dilapidated buildings, city squares and bridges were extensively restored in cities like Dresden, Leipzig and Weimar. The cities now draw large crowds of tourists from around the world. The Harz Mountains and the Thuringian Forest are good places for hiking, and "Saxon Switzerland", with its steep cliffs, is good for climbing.