Every country and every culture offers a unique opportunity—and sometimes a challenge—to enlarge one’s personal experience and understanding of the world. Germany is no exception. The more you know about German life and German culture, the more enjoyable and rewarding your trip to Germany will be. This section provides useful background information to help you plan your trip and understand the country. Check out the major festivals and events to find out what’s going on when. A rundown of German history arranges the country’s long and complicated past into a concise, easy-to-digest chronology. We cross-reference highlights of German art and architecture to specific cities and sites to help you place these works in context, and introduce the best of German food and drink. We also provide suggestions for books and movies that deal with all aspects of German life.

Germans are famously organized, and travelers will be wise to follow their example in doing a little advance planning for a trip to Germany, from how to get there and around to where to stay. This section covers everything you need to know to make trip planning a snap, from when to go to how to shop for the best airfare. Browse through it to get started and make sure you've touched all the bases.

If your passport and documents are in order, you can fly to Germany almost with the ease you might contemplate a trip to New York or Los Angeles.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.