Germany was first recognized back in 100CE, when it was documented that there was a region in Europe named Germania. When Julius Caesar was ruling over the Roman Empire, Germany was an integral part of their territory. After the Roman Empire collapsed, Germany went through a number of political changes, resulting in the country being temporarily split into East and West Germany after World War II. The two halves were finally unified in October 1990, to become the Germany we know today. All of this upheaval has meant that their capital city has been moved seven times! Even so, this nation’s turbulence has ultimately paid off. The country has grown to become one of the strongest nations in Europe, let alone the world, but what is it that has caused the country to become so powerful? Germany has the second largest population of any European nation at 82 million people who mostly declare their country to be the best in the world. Why?
Most of us have heard the phrase “German engineering”, whether it be about vehicles or the latest technology. Surely this can’t be just a phrase, and there must be some truths behind the clever cookies working away deep within Europe. Well here we are about to discover that it isn’t just technology that we are being trounced in; the German way of life leaves us with plenty of questions. Why we have been dragging behind all these years? What secrets could possibly lie within the country that makes them better than anyone else?
Plenty of rest
A lot of us love to believe that Sunday is a day dedicated to rest. However, when the pressures of life take over, you can often find yourself rushing around at the weekend catching up on chores. Not when you head over to Germany. This European country believes the day should be spent doing absolutely nothing to give yourself a chance to catch up. In fact, neighbors have been known to complain if they hear the pressure washer or vacuum startup. Get those feet up and relax!
Getting an education
After all that resting, students in Germany get to learn at some of the best schools in the entire world. The country has worked their way up so much that a huge percentage of students walk away with qualifications – more than most other countries across the globe. Their math and English results are higher than the States as well as outdoing most of the competition in Europe. If you’re after a brilliant education, then you may want to think about a move to Germany.
Have you ever thought to yourself how fantastic it would be to become bilingual? Perhaps you already are, and you are astounded at how your mind has grasped the concept of two languages? While a lot of us dream about speaking another language, for many of us this isn’t the reality. However, over in Germany, this is a different story. Not only can people living in this country speak their national language, but 50% are also fluent in English. This country puts us to shame with their linguistic ability.
Variety of cuisine
If there is one thing Germans know what to do it is cook. The country has produced an enormous variety of unique and delicious dishes over the years that trounce fried food any day. Their bakeries are like no other in this world as the sweet bee sting cake will get your taste buds tingling. It’s not just desserts they have perfected either. Germany also has their famous potato cakes and schnitzel that will keep you full all throughout the day.
Germany has some of the most breathtaking and picture-perfect scenery of any country in Europe, let alone the world. There is a reason so many visitors flock to the country each year, and once you’ve taken a glimpse, you won’t want to visit anywhere else. The national parks offer a place of serenity with their open lakes, teamed with hills that roll for miles, while the city snaps you back to the bustling world of reality. You can’t get sights like this anywhere else.
If you’re up for a walk, then you might want to think about heading over to Germany as this country comes out on top with their breathtaking hiking trails. The country has around 12,500 miles of trails on offer that will lead you round the bends of winding rivers to flowering pastures. There are also hikes for anyone of any ability as you could spend the weekend walking on almost entirely flat land, or head up a sheer mountain trail until you reach the peak. Germany has hiking covered.
We once thought that castles were a thing of fairy tales. Thankfully, Germany has answered all our dreams. While other countries have castles of their own, this country shines above the rest. Their castles look like they have been plucked out of a storybook, with the Neuschwanstein in Bavaria apparently being the inspiration for Walt Disney’s very own creation. There are over 25,000 castles dotted all across the country with many more in ruin. Perhaps they’re home to some real-life fairytale characters – Prince Charming, is that you?
With all that incredible landscape it would be a shame to see it all go to waste, which is why Germany has become one of the leading countries when it comes to watersports. The country has over 12,000 lakes all across the country that are perfect for windsurfing, water skiing, kayaking, sailing, canoeing, surfing, and swimming. This is why a lot of German nationals will hit the open water no matter the weather. All that practice has seen them become some of the top competitors in the world.
All across the nation, there are a considerable number of Vereins (clubs) you can sign your name up to. This country definitely takes their love of hobbies so seriously that other countries around the world struggle to keep up. One of their largest clubs is held in a former Berlin airport where hundreds of people turn up to roller skate, cycle, and skateboard their way down the runway. Plus there are also a whole host of educational clubs, social clubs, and even clubs for tightrope walking!
Saving the planet
Germany may not be the first country that springs to mind when it comes to going green, but you would be mistaken. In this country, there are strict laws that dictate how you throw out any trash. Each house has at least four garbage cans which usually include: general waste, paper, plastic, and organic waste. If you happen to forget where to toss your trash, or simply can’t be bothered to check, then you’ll be in for a hefty fine. Climate change is no laughing matter, and Germany certainly doesn’t see the funny side.
Plenty of rules
It isn’t just recycling that Germany is hot on either. This country has plenty of laws about precisely what you can and can’t do. While most of us are aware of the rule around jaywalking, Germany has similar street laws too. Even if you make it to a set of stoplights before crossing, then you better make sure the pedestrian light is green. Crossing when it’s still red can see you with a pretty hefty fine. While it may seem extreme, this is why Germany prides itself on keeping the people safe and under control.
Finishing school can leave you with the daunting world of work with no idea where to begin. A perfect place to look for work can be an apprenticeship as you learn while earning money. Unfortunately, the wage usually is so low it doesn’t seem worth it. Well, not in Germany. This lovely bunch ensures their workers have some of the highest pay, as well as offering a vast variety of apprenticeships in just about every field of work. The country also have the lowest youth unemployment around the world – pretty impressive.
Fighting for work rights
So Germany loves to help the youth get into work – what about the rest of the working population? Don’t worry, this country looks after them, too. In fact, Germany has some of the best worker’s rights of any country in the world. They don’t want to take advantage of anyone across the nation, so provide them with equal rights across the board, in addition to a reasonable paycheck and getting the chance to have a voice at work. It almost sounds too good to be true.
That mesmerizing language
Let’s be honest; while our language is fantastic, after hearing it for so many years, it can lose its charm. Have you ever listened to the German language? The expression of the words as they roll off the tongue of anyone fluent leaves us speechless. Plus, they appear to give all letters of the alphabet fair treatment by seeming to include just about every single one in each word. In fact, the longest German word to be be published has a whopping 79 letters! People have remarked how many of the words resemble the English equivalent which may be why many German students pick up our language so quickly.
Many of us have learned about German history during our time at school. However, there is so much more to this beautiful country than you will see in the history books. There are plenty of mind-blowing museums across the country that depict their vast history, as well as plenty of historical monuments to gaze at in awe. There is also the Berlin Wall that has a lifetime of tales on top of all the other incredible features. There is a perfect reason this European country attracts so many tourists each year – its wonderfully rich culture.
Getting around town
Have you ever had one of those days where the bus never seems to turn up, or the subway is so crowded you’d rather have walked? Well, you won’t have that issue when traveling around Germany. Their public transport system is so extensive that they have some of the most punctual services in the world. It is almost entirely unheard of to have a late train – some cities even have them pulling into the stations every two minutes! Unlike most of our transport, Germany’s is always kept nice and clean too.
This country has released an incredible number of vehicles over the years. From Mercedes to BMW, Audi to Volkswagen, the precision engineering that has left this country in the last few decades is second to none. Their reputation has seen Germany become one of the leading exporters of vehicles. It appears as though they have a lot to live up to, so it looks as though Germany won’t be taking their foot off the accelerator anytime soon.
Perfect driving conditions
There is no point in having the perfect cars if you don’t have excellent roads to drive them on, but don’t worry – Germany has it covered. The country ensures their roads and highways are kept in tip-top condition to give their drivers the best experience possible. Germany is also the home of the Nürbugring, the race track that any of us can push pedal to the metal and experience adrenaline like no other. People from all across Europe will flock for hundreds of miles just to get a taste of these roads.
It isn’t just building and designing cars that this country has stepped up in. No, Germany has made a considerable number of breakthroughs over the years that make it look as though the rest of us have been taking a nap these last few decades. They’re credited with identifying Alzheimer’s, building the oldest suspension railway in the world, inventing the first combustion engine used in a vehicle and creating the first x-ray machine. Without Germany, we would be much further behind in technological breakthroughs than we are now.
Kids in Germany will have a brilliant time growing up thanks to the extensive and impressive playgrounds on offer in the country. Move over rusty jungle gyms and falling down swing sets, a lot of the parks in this country have been thought up by famous designers. This means that not only are the facilities better than most other countries, but they also give people something to gaze at in awe. They have created amusement for all the family.
While on the topic of children, how about taking a look at the country that literally pays you to bring up your children? Parents will receive money from the government until their child turns 18 years old to ensure everyone has enough money for a healthy upbringing. In addition to this, German parents are also entitled to split their maternity and paternity leave over 14 months, as well as having plenty of assistance in raising your child. Wow.
The property ladder
Great schools? Check. Incredible parks? Check. Is there anywhere else this country could jump ahead? It’s funny you asked, as their property market is like no other in the world. In Germany, it is normal to rent your house. While that sounds odd to a lot of us, it ensures that no one is paying off debt alongside contributing to the growing economy. Their landlords are also pretty chill about most things, meaning it like owning the house without the expensive mortgage.
How could you have a list of how this country rules without including the nationals themselves? While they have earned a reputation across the world for being the world’s fastest towel-putter-downers on sunbeds, they are also some of the biggest party animals, too. After all, you have to have equal time for work and play. Their envious lifestyles also mean they are a punctual bunch who have some of the best manners. Germany sure does know how to make ‘em.
What could be better than a festival dedicated to the country’s world-famous lager? When visiting Germany, you’ll want to make sure you grab yourself a spot at this incredible tradition. The festival pops up in September/October where various free tents offer a true German experience. Plus, you only have to pay for anything you eat and drink – win-win! It’s not all about the consumables either as the festival also brings old German folk traditions back to life for this once in a lifetime experience.
Germany has become famous for a considerable variety of reasons over the years with one standing out more than others: their Christmas markets. From scrumptious food and drink to handcrafted gift ideas that you would never be able to dream of, these stalls have become world famous. People from all over Europe, and even the world, flock to Germany every year to browse the variety on offer. This country is so proud of their markets that they can pop up from November meaning there is plenty of time to get into the Christmas spirit.
Grocery shopping extravaganza
Sure, Germany’s stores offer somewhat bizarre products that we have probably never heard of, but surely they can’t be that different… right? Well, regarding the grocery stores themselves they’re pretty much the same. However, you’ll want to make sure you have a cart full of groceries as it’s at the checkout that Germans come into their own. The cashiers are some of the fastest in the world! As the food goes flying as a blur through the checkout, you’ll struggle to keep up with their incredible speed. It is definitely a sight to behold.
The female population
We don’t want to exclude the men, but the women that have come out of this country have changed the world. Famous models Diane Kruger, Claudia Schiffer, and Heidi Klum have all emerged from Germany over the years. They aren’t the only game-changers to redefine the world. Germany has also produced tennis extraordinaire Steffi Graf, philosopher Rosa Luxemburg, actress Marlene Dietrich, and Germany’s first female stunt pilot Beate Uhse over the years. It’s all about girl power in this European country.
Techno music buffs
Alongside producing some of the best women in the world, Germany also busts out some of the hottest techno music that we have ever heard. You may have heard of the Techno Viking? Well, where do you think he came from? Yup, you guessed it – Germany. There is good reason this Viking was able to throw some epic shapes: the country hears so much of the genre over the years. If you’re looking for electronic superstars, then look no further than this European mothership.
Easy European access
Germany, hands down, can make their way into Europe quicker than most other countries. While they may have some help from geography on this one, they certainly have better access than any of us. This country has a staggering nine different borders as they touch land with Switzerland, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands. As if this country did not rule on most things already, they can tick off easy travel opportunities, too.
Plenty of holidays
Remember when we were talking about the rights workers have in Germany? Well, on top of their 30 days annual vacation, these nationals are also entitled to their various public holidays. Some parts of the country celebrate as many as 13 different holidays a year meaning employees could be looking at 43 days off a year – that’s nearly one a week! Is there anything that Germany hasn’t thought up over the years? It’s starting to look unlikely.
Over in Europe, individuals flock in their thousands all across the continent to cheer on their favorite soccer team and be there to witness the winning goal. So when it comes to the top spot, surely there is room for more than one country? Sadly for everyone else, Germany isn’t taking any prisoners as they have entered an ongoing feud with their English rivals. The German team has worked their way up to become one of the best out there, in addition to having some of the best stadiums in the world.
Better obesity rates
We’re not saying that everyone in Germany has the perfect weight and measurements, but they sure are a lot better than the UK’s and the U.S.’s. All the interest in sport must be paying off for Germany as just over 20% of the population are considered obese, compared to the 66% of overweight or obese people in America. This has been put down to a number of reasons including the varied diets, the amount of exercise, and education on how to live a healthy lifestyle. You go, Germany.
It isn’t just health and sports these folks are winning at. In fact, out of all the countries in Europe, Germany is the most efficient for the GDP per hour worked – or the amount of work they are getting out of each person for the number of hours they have worked. To put it into perspective, Germany is 33% more productive than the UK and trounces the States by miles. Somehow this brilliant country has time to party and stay ahead of the game in their work schedules.