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German Vacation Destinations – Hamburg

German Vacation Destinations – Hamburg


Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city and remains to be one of the country’s most prized metropolitan areas for the economic importance of its ports. Hamburg is located on the river Elbe in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein and has direct access to the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Since the Elbe is traditionally the lifeblood of the city, many of its attractions, festivals, and much of its history revolves around the great river.

Hamburg hosts several large events annually. Hafengeburtstag celebrates the anniversary of Hamburg becoming a free port. Hafengeburtstag takes place in early May and is a large draw for Germans across the country. Alstervergügen, an international festival that takes place in August, presents fireworks displays, sailing, and watercraft events. The single largest fair in north Germany is Hamburger Dom, which takes place three times a year; from March to April, July to August, and November to December. The festival allows Germans to enjoy their fair weather with rides such as roller coasters and Ferris wheels and other attractions.

Hamburg is a popular destination for its stage productions, particularly large musicals and plays. Ballets, variety shows, cabarets, concerts, and circus-like performances are also plentiful in Hamburg, cementing the city as a strong player in the stage arts worldwide.

Hamburg Port is a large tourist attraction as well as being the economic backbone of the city. There are tours available all year long. A site that no visitor to the city will want to miss is the Elbe Tunnel, which runs underneath the river all the way across. Museums, shops, and cafés line the harbor, making it a fantastic spot to spend the day or even multiple days.




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A Review of German Mannerisms for Foreign Travelers

A Review of German Mannerisms for Foreign Travelers


Visitors from other parts of the world that visit Germany for vacation or business purposes are typically pleased to note that Germans are cordial, polite, and welcoming. However, as with any culture, Germans have mannerisms that are unique to them. Since social etiquette is considered important in every society and Germans are no different, visitors that take a small amount of time to familiarize themselves with what Germans consider good manners will find that locals will often appreciate and even more warmly accept them into their country.

Shaking Hands

Germans typically wait until introduced by a host to shake hands. Typically, older parties in a group or more senior persons reserve the right to extend their hand for a handshake first. Attendees of small parties will always take the time to shake hands with one another when greeting, as opposed to larger functions where hand shakes are very rarely performed. The act of shaking hands in passing is considered rude. If one takes the time to shake hands, it is considered a precursor to at least a brief chat. Additionally, it is considered to rude to shake hands while the other hand is in your pocket.

In formal settings, it is still considered custom to kiss a lady’s hand when introduced, though the lips should never actually touch the hand. When being introduced to adults, little German girls will occasionally courtesy in greeting. Furthermore, unlike in the United States, children will rarely thank someone for a compliment.

Addressing Others in Germany

The female term “Fraulein” is only used to address particularly young, unmarried girls. The shorter “Frau” is used to address older, unmarried young ladies and women since it is considered a more mature greeting. Also unlike in the United States, a married woman is not addressed by her husband’s first name (e.g. Mrs. John Smith), but by her own first name (e.g. Frau Jane Smith).


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Germany’s Top Tourist Attractions

Germany’s Top Tourist Attractions


Millions of visitors flock to Germany each year, and as each year passes that number grows larger. The United States alone accounts for almost 3 million visitors each year. Visitors to Germany come for the welcoming and friendly nature of the people, the breathtaking landscapes and natural beauty, and the world-class accommodations available for every one from the budget-minded traveler to the jet-setting celebrity. Here is a list of some of the top attractions that are considered “must-see” in Germany, in no particular order.

The Black Forest

Secluded pine-laden woodlands located in southwestern Germany, the Black Forest is famous for being the origin of cuckoo clocks. The area gets its name from the dark shadows of the fir and pine trees that grow very thick there. The black forest offers first rate hiking, camping, and some skiing. Travelers on a budget can find great deals on lodging and accommodations in the towns that surround the Black Forest.

The Frisian Islands

These islands actually span along the coastlines of three countries: Germany, Denmark, and The Netherlands. Sylt is the largest and most populated of the islands and is a known destination for Europe’s jet-set as well as nudists. Amrum is also a hot tourist spot but less crowded. The pristine beaches, panoramic views, and relative seclusion continue to draw in visitors looking to escape the bustle of more traditional destinations.

Oktoberfest

Munich makes that claim that it is the home of beer and if 6 million visitors is any indication, that claim seems to be valid. Oktoberfest is known worldwide as a celebration of Bavarian beer and lasts several weeks long, from mid-September to early October. The 200 year old festival includes events such as parades, beer tents, music features, feasts of authentic German cuisine, and exhibits.


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