The parties have spent months courting voters on the campaign trail. The start was low-key, with tension gradually building into the final days.
Thousands have demonstrated in Berlin for World Refugee Day, while calling for a solution in crisis talks with Greece. Protesters said Europe should adopt a more open and understanding approach to both issues.
If Germany's future federal government is made up of the country's two largest political groups, it won't receive much support from younger party members. They oppose the grand coalition alliance for several reasons.
The upstart Alternative for Germany party attracted voters in the last election with its tough anti-euro currency stance. Now, in a quest to enter the European Parliament, the party is embracing populist sentiments.
A recent anti-Islamization demonstration in Dresden that made a point of avoiding right-wing symbols drew thousands. Now, the PEGIDA movement is spreading to other cities, fueled by worries of Islamic radicalism.