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Living in Germany For Members

The five most underrated things about Germany

Sarah Magill
Sarah Magill - [email protected]
The five most underrated things about Germany
A vineyard in front of Albrechtsburg Castle and Cathedral in Saxony. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sebastian Kahnert

Though well-known throughout the world for being the home of great beer, a (former) footballing prowess, and its work and educational opportunities, there are some other surprising things that are really great about Germany.

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Its rich wine culture

Though the Bundesrepublik is most famous for its beer, it’s also the eighth-largest wine producer in the world and a real gem for wine enthusiasts.

There are 13 different growing regions in Germany, and each region has its own unique grape varieties and styles.

From the Mosel, Rheingau, and Pfalz to Franken, Baden, and Sachsen, German wine-growing regions stretch along picturesque river valleys and offer a diverse range of wine varieties: from dry to sweet, white to red, and even sparkling wines (known as "Sekte" in Germany), there is something to suit every palate.

Steep slopes, such as here on the Moselle, offer ideal terrain for wine production. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Deutsches Weininstitut | Deutsches Weininstitut

What also sets German wine culture apart is the emphasis on quality and precision in production. Winemakers place great value on craftsmanship and sustainability and many wineries employ environmentally friendly cultivation methods and carefully select grapes, resulting in wines of high quality and distinct character.

READ ALSO: Meet the man introducing internationals to German wine

As well as quality wines, the cosy atmosphere of German wine festivals and wine bars is also worth mentioning. Germans know how to celebrate their wine culture and are happy to share their passion with visitors.

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The summer weather

When planning a summer holiday, most tourists will look firstly to other European destinations like Spain, Greece or Italy for a guaranteed week in the sun.

But the German summer is surprisingly warm and sunny, too. From June to September temperatures average between 21 and 25 degrees and in some regions, the weather is consistently in the high 20s throughout the summer months.

Which regions in Germany have the best (and worst) weather?

The highest average annual temperatures in Germany are usually found in the Upper Rhine region between the Vosges and Jura Mountains, but even the cities like Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart, and Karlsruhe see persistently hot temperatures and little rainfall during the summer months.

Germany's abundant sunshine has also contributed to the growth of its solar panel market, as the country harnesses its solar energy potential to meet renewable energy goals and reduce carbon emissions.

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Its contributions to world culture

Art and culture may not always be the first things that come to mind when people think about Germany, but the country has left an unmistakable mark on world culture.

The philosophical ideas of thinkers such as Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Karl Marx have greatly influenced philosophical discourse around the world and writers such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe have produced enduring works that resonate across time and borders.

A musician of the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra rehearses the Beethoven Symphony No. 3 during a dress rehearsal in the Great Hall at the Laeiszhalle. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marcus Brandt

Germany has also produced many legendary composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, whose compositions continue to captivate audiences around the world today.

German cinema, too, has had a huge influence on filmmaking. The era of German expressionism in the early 20th century yielded groundbreaking films like "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" and "Metropolis," and the bold and visionary filmmaking of directors such as Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Wim Wenders has further cemented Germany's cinematic legacy.

READ ALSO: 10 epic German movies you have to watch before you die

The outstanding nature

Many people may associate Germany with its bustling cities, technological advancements, and industrial prowess. But Germany is also blessed with a rich variety of natural wonders. 

From the Alps in the south to the Black Forest, Germany boasts stunning mountain ranges, rolling hills, vast forests, and serene lakes. 

Tourists stand on the Bastei rock at sunrise in the Saxon Switzerland National Park and take a selfie. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Philipp Schulze

Some particular, lesser-known highlights, include the Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site with a winding river, vineyard-covered hills, medieval castles, and charming towns, and Saxon Switzerland National Park, known for its dramatic sandstone rock formations, deep gorges, and the iconic Bastei Bridge.

READ ALSO: Holiday like a local: Five of the best camping regions in Germany

Germany's commitment to environmental conservation has also helped maintain the pristine quality of its landscapes, preserving their beauty for generations to come.

Its regional diversity

Many people may perceive Germany as a nation with a singular, strong national identity. But Germany has a complex history and, prior to unification in the 19th century, was made up of various kingdoms, duchies, and independent states.

These regions developed their own distinct identities, traditions, and dialects and many of these are still surprisingly visible today. 

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While the northern regions, including cities like Hamburg, Bremen, and Lübeck, have a maritime influence and are known for their Hanseatic heritage and stand-offish demeanour, Bavaria in the southeast is known for its love of folk festivals and conservatism.

READ ALSO: Thrifty Swabians and haughty Hamburgers: A guide to Germany's regional stereotypes

The capital Berlin is like a country of its own, with a diverse population and thriving arts and techno scene, and the Rhineland is renowned for its vibrant carnival celebrations, wine festivals, and cheerful spirit.

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