When reaching the decision to travel to Europe, many things must be considered. And the first of them, according to the time you have to stay there, is to decide which regions you want to visit. Cultural background of any of the countries of Europe is strongly different from all the others, and in this article I will focus on what tourists can expect from the German speaking countries. This will include Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Welcome to paradise is what I would say from the very beginning, specially when we look at the sceneries you can find when traveling the region of the Alps in Switzerland and also in Austria. These two countries have probably the most beautiful mountain sightseeing opportunities of the whole Europe, with huge snowed peaks, glaciers, skiing resorts, beautiful green valleys, lakes and lovely rivers and waterfalls. Is certainly the paradise for nature and for hiking lovers.
On the other hand, Germany is massively occupied by flat lands. An enormous territory in the central north of Europe, where even if some amazing natural spots can be found, the most important focus will be on cities. From enchanted looking castles built many centuries ago, to thousands of scars from the two recent World Wars. The recent story that divided Berlin in two parts is still visible there by the wall that used to separate them, now turned into a symbol of unification and peace.
Definitely what you can expect geographically is absolutely different in the zone, but what makes them to stay somehow together is the language, German. Switzerland, in any case, is divided in three zones, and even if more or less they know all the languages, in the north they speak German, in the South they choose Italian, and the Western parts will feel more comfortable with French.
A tour in this region, from my very personal point of view, should be done by train. There are of course very good plane services specially with Ryanair and German Wings that will bring you to nearly everywhere for incredibly low prices, but taking a rail ticket covering the three countries can be a really money-saving strategy.
Germany offers some incredible cities such as Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Köln and many others. Visiting the Scwarzwald can be a good experience in order to take contact with nature, and the famous thermal waters in Baden-Baden will make a good relaxing end of the trip.
Austria, full of natural highlights, also offers a city that has gained a name as The City of Music, Vienna. This comes from the high number of classical music composers that lived there composing their songs, and visiting the streets will still transmit the feeling that melodies roam in the air. Salzburg will be another important destination as well as Innsbruck and Linz.
Switzerland is probably the center of paradise, with places such as Grindelwald to be visited in order to get the best pictures of your trip. In any case, cities like Zurich, Interlaken and Bern are beautiful and in some way you will get the impression that even if many people live there, you are just walking a small town up in the mountains.
In general, the German attitude is more into the do-it-yourself mentality. They are mainly pretty proud of what they are, feel very comfortable with their culture, but sometimes tending a bit to be stubborn. In any case, they can be extremely friendly people and many times more helpful than other more outgoing cultures.
In the end, the combination between the recent history treasures and activities that you can find in Germany plus the outstanding quality of the natural environment offered by Austria and Switzerland together with its beautiful timeless cities is simply one of the best in Europe. Only you should remember to take a bit of German to prepare for the trip!