Top 10: Germany's largest cities
Berlin, Hamburg, Munich — Germany has many cities worth seeing. Let us introduce you to the 10 largest and their characteristics and tourist highlights.
With almost 3.8 million inhabitants, the undisputed number 1 is the German capital of Berlin. Each of the city's districts has its own unique atmosphere, from chic to grung to hip to international. Of course, there are plenty of places of interest here, including the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building. And rising above it all is the iconic TV tower at 368 meters (1,207 ft).
Hamburg is Germany's second-largest city with almost 1.9 million inhabitants. The striking northern city on the Elbe offers maritime flair and elegant buildings, especially along the Binnenalster (picture). The weather in the north doesn't always play along, but there's still a lot to see on a tour: for example, the Speicherstadt with old warehouses and the Elbphilharmonie concert hall.
Munich, the third-largest city in Germany, has more than 1.5 million inhabitants. Tradition and the cozy Bavarian "Gemütlichkeit" shape this southern city. It's not uncommon to encounter people wearing traditional clothing on the streets, especially during the Oktoberfest, the largest public festival in the world. Hearty cuisine and good beer are of course a must when visiting Munich.
Almost 1.1 million people live in Cologne on the Rhine River. What Oktoberfest is for Munich, "Karneval" is for the Rhinelanders. Dressed in colorful costumes, revelers take to the streets to celebrate. In general, cheerfulness is a trademark of the open-minded people of Cologne. They are not only proud of their carnival traditions, but also of their landmark, the Cologne Cathedral (picture).
Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt is Germany's banking metropolis with over 760,000 inhabitants. The city on the Main River is also called "Mainhattan" because of its many skyscrapers. On the opposite side of the river, you'll find a fabulous view of the skyline — best enjoyed with a glass of "Äppelwoi", apple wine from the region. While visiting, don't miss the town hall, called "Römer," or the newly built old town.
Some 653,000 people live in Düsseldorf, putting the North Rhine-Westphalian state capital in 6th place among Germany's major cities. The Rhine metropolis is known for fashion and art. Luxury stores line the shopping mile Königsallee, or "Kö" for short. Along the river, you can enjoy a wonderful walk to the Media Harbor (picture) with its extraordinary buildings designed by famous architects.
Leipzig, with almost 624,000 inhabitants, attracts mainly young and creative people because the city offers plenty of room for experimentation. The university is located in the middle of the compact town center, surrounded by many shopping facilities, restaurants and parks — making it a very liveable city.
Stuttgart has a population of around 610,000 and is home to the Swabians, who have a reputation for being hard-working and thrifty. Hearty food and good wine are typical for the region. The city also offers a lot of art and culture. Especially beautiful is the "Schlossplatz" in the city center (picture). Stuttgart is perfect for car fans with its two museums: the Porsche and Mercedes-Benz Museum.
In 9th place with almost 610,000 inhabitants is Dortmund, the largest city in the Ruhr area. This region in western Germany was once dominated by the coal and steel industries. Many industrial monuments such as the old Phoenix-West blast furnace plant in Dortmund are a reminder of this time. The landmark of the city is the Dortmunder U, a center for art and creativity (picture).
Essen is also located in the Ruhr area. Around 593,000 people live here. During World War II, about 90% of the city center was destroyed. Essen might not shine with beautiful architecture, but it has a lot of green and a World Cultural Heritage Site, the Zeche Zollverein. The former coal mine these days is home to exhibitions, events, a swimming pool and plenty of space to enjoy life.