How do you describe the major cities in Germany? By size, attractions or popularity?
Here you get quick info about the largest German cities: Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich. Plus, I introduce you to less-known places, including my personal favourite cities and towns.
German cities have an interesting history, and often a well-preserved historic centre, die Altstadt (old town). Impressive town halls (Rathaus), ancient churches and medieval fortification walls. There is a lot to discover for visitors interested in history and architecture.
But there is much more that adds to the fascination of the major German cities: museums and culture, great shopping opportunities, thriving nightlife and lots of fun!
What are you waiting for? Find the German city you would love to visit!
Four cities have a population of over 1 million (December 2014), yet another ten cities have more than 500,000 inhabitants. About 80 cities are called Großstadt with a population of more than 100,000.
Don't nail me down on this list! When I start thinking, there are many more cities and towns I dearly love. I will definitely introduce you to all those lovely places in the future.
Size: 891 km² Population: 3.484.995
The history of Germany's capital has been full of changes during the centuries. Berlin was capital of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701-1918), the German Empire (1871-1918), the Weimar Republik (1919-1933) and the Third Reich (1933-1945).
After World War II East Berlin became capital of East Germany. West Berlin, well, it was an enclave of West Germany (but not the capital), surrounded by the Berlin Wall.
Since the German reunification in 1990 Berlin has been the capital of Germany again, although it took until 1999 that the German government moved from Bonn to Berlin.
And yes, it is now the biggest city again, by size and population.
One third of Berlin's area is covered by forests, lakes, gardens and rivers. It is easy to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre and relax in the beautiful environments around Berlin.
Discover Berlin's attractions
Size: 755 km² Population: 1.770.162
Hamburg, Germany's second largest city is also our "harbour to the world".
Although the harbour on the river Elbe is about 110 km inland from the North Sea, Hamburg's harbour is influenced by the tides. The flood disaster of 1962 with a death toll of 315 in Hamburg actually caused more damage in the city than along the coastline.
The harbour is one of the biggest attractions in Hamburg. During the 19th & early 20th century, the famous "Landungsbrücken" have seen millions of emigrants leaving Germany to make a fortune in the "new world" of America.
The old store house district (Speicherstadt), the Reeperbahn (red light district) and the Binnenalster are famous places to visit.
Size: 310 km² Population: 1.429.584 Capital of Bavaria
Well-known for the "Hofbräuhaus" and the "Oktoberfest" around the world, Munich is a popular tourist destination.
Most highlights of Munich are within the old city centre, between the Karlstor and Isartor. The "Frauenkirche" is the best known sight.
Munich's heart is the Marienplatz with the new townhall in neo-gothic style.
Discover Munich's attractions and fantastic tours
Size: 405 km² Population: 1.046.680
Cologne's landmark is the huge cathedral, the largest gothic church north of the alps. The twin towers are 157m high. Enjoy stunning views over Köln from a viewing platform on the southern tower.
Stroll around the old town, and relax in one of the typical taverns over a local "Kölsch" beer.
The cracy days of Kölner Karneval (carnival in Cologne) start on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday every year. Fancy dressed people party in public, street parades, and pubs that won't close for six days, carnival in Köln is one big party.
If you don't want to take part in the fun, you better avoid Cologne during this week.
When you visit Cologne in Dezember, don't miss the many Christmas markets in the city.
Size: 248 km² Population: 717.624
Frankfurt's importance as a trade centre dates back to the 12th century.
Today it is the seat of the main national and European bank headquarters. The annual book fare (Buchmesse) is the largest in the world.
Museums, culture, history and shopping opportunities abonund. Frankfurt offers a lot to its visitors.
Find the top sights and attractions in Frankfurt on this page.
Size: 207 km² Population: 612.441 Capital of Baden-Württemberg
The Schwabenmetropole (Swabian metropolis) is home of Daimler and Porsche, and a major industrial region.
However, Stuttgart's location in Neckar valley, surrounded by hills, vineyards and forests, gives the city a green and lush appearance. Stuttgart offers a lot of charme to its visitors.
Schlossplatz with the new palace is the central meeting place in Stuttgart, while the Königstrasse (King Street) is a long pedestrian mall and shopping paradise.
Size: 160 km² Population: 243.336
Size: 153 km² Population: 222.203
Size: 108 km² Population: 154.715
Size: 54 km² Population: 71.952
Size: 42 km² Population: 10.979
Size: 170 km² Population: 11.389
Size: 75 km² Population: 33.319
Size: 104 km² Population: 37.952
Discover the cities in Germany by train. It is stress-free, and a lot of fun.
An alternative transport mode to visit many German & European cities is the Post Bus.
Activities and fantastic tours to many attractions start in major cities. Join a tour, relax, and enjoy the amazing sights.
Accommodation is plentiful, you can choose from a wide range of hotels, holiday flats and guest houses.