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Germany

In recent years Germany has soared in popularity with British holidaymakers and it is easy to see why. The setting for many Grimm’s Fairy Tales, it is an enchanting country of forests, rivers, winelands and medieval towns and cities. Famed for its turbulent past, technological advancements, beer and sausages, Germany has also produced some of Europe's most celebrated composers, philosophers and poets.

Its dramatic history has given rise to exuberant culture in cities like Berlin and Dresden. Twenty-five years after the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the capital of the reunified Germany has transformed into a lively and fashionable city with stylish shops and a thriving cafe culture. Berlin is packed with fascinating places to visit including the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden, Alexanderplatz, Museum Island and the Dom.

Raised from the ashes after the bombing of 1945, Dresden boasts many attractions, including the magnificent Frauenkirche, which was painstakingly reconstructed from the original stones, and The Old Masters Gallery featuring a roll-call of the greatest European painters.

Away from the cities, the beguiling Black Forest is a relaxing setting of wooded hills, waterfalls, lakes and small, slow-paced towns and villages. Famed for its cuckoo clocks and cherry gateaux, the region’s highlights include cruises on Lake Titisee and Schluchsee, and driving over the Black Forest Panorama Road to Freiburg, in the heart of the wine growing region.