Although Germany is historically known as "the land of poets and thinkers" (Das Land der Dichter und Denker), the country's stunning landmarks and thriving cities offer a much more tangible way to connect with its people, its past - and its future. So instead of studying the works of Goethe and the thoughts of Kant during your stay in this vast and wondrous country, take in some of the sights and dine where the locals do - you'll find it a much less taxing way to spend your vacation.
Of course, all of Germany's attractions and destinations cannot be covered here, so be sure to check with your Germany hotel's concierge upon your arrival and allow one of Marriott's local experts help you enjoy the trip of a lifetime. In the mean time, some must-do things that should be on every traveler's list include:
Try a German Wurst. Every region has its own specialty sausages and brews. And whether you're in Bavaria - where white sausages and sweet mustard are the order of the day or touring Berlin - where you'll find thinly sliced sausages covered in ketchup and dusted with curry powder, sausages are part of the fabric of Germany's culture, so find out where you can get the best local rendition and dine on a wurst you won't find anywhere else.
Explore a Castle. From Cologne to Heidelberg, Dresden and Leipzig to Frankfurt, ornate, breathtaking castles dot the German landscape - and thanks to preservation efforts by local and national governments, many of them are open to the public. One interesting note: from region to region, the architecture will vary drastically (from Baroque to Renaissance and beyond), so if you're traveling to several cities, be sure to visit one castle in each area and see how they differ.
See Local Art. Although Leipzig is known for its local art scene, every city has something special to offer. From little-known spaces to big museums, outdoor exhibits to high-end galleries, just ask your Germany hotel's staff to point you to the city's arts district and spend an afternoon browsing the local wares.
Buy (or at least browse) Cuckoo Clocks. Even if you can't make your way to the Black Forest region of Germany, chances are good that you can find at least one or two shops in your destination that sell the region's legendary Cuckoo Clocks, so ask around and take a peek. You won't find anything else like them.
Step Back in Time. History is alive and well... and thriving in Germany. From Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie Museum to Munich's Old Town and its world-famous carillon (Glockenspiel), World War II memorials to Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte ("Museum for Hamburg History") whatever your interest, your Germany hotel's concierge can point you to the perfect place to indulge your passion.
Discover a new favorite beer. Just like wurst, beer in Germany is part of the fabric of the culture - and changes by region. Some of the varieties you may encounter on your travels include: Helles - a pale lager from Bavaria, Export - a pale lager from Dortmund, Rauchbier - a dark beer from the Bramberg region made using smoked malt, and Märzen - a medium-bodied lager traditionally served at Munich's Oktoberfest celebrations.
Cruise a River. Whether your Germany hotel is located near the Rhine, Moselle, Danube, the Elbe or one of the country's less-well-known rivers, local companies make it easy to take to the water for everything from a day to a week. Once aboard, you can catch glimpses of historic cities, stop to shop at picturesque ports - or simply watch the sun set over the "Fatherland" and dine by starlight.
Whatever your reason for traveling to this vast and fascinating nation, Marriott's Germany hotels, with their comfortable accommodations and knowledgeable concierge staff, can help you discover the rich history and regional delights that await your stay.