Germany is known for a lot of things.
Free-tuition universities, high-quality education, and cultural diversity are some of the highlights.
Germany, however, is more interesting than you probably think. We’ve put together this long list of the most interesting Germany facts that you probably never heard of before.
44 Fun and Interesting Facts About Germany:
- Germany has a population of 81 million people.
- One-third of Germany is still covered in forests and woodlands.
- Germany is a member of the European Union.
- 65% of the highways in Germany (Autobahn) have no speed limit.
- University is free for everyone (even non-Germans).
- There are over 2100 castles in Germany.
- There are over 1,500 different beers in Germany.
- Germany is the seventh-largest country in Europe. Covering an area of 137,847 square miles, of which 34,836 square miles is covered by land and 3,011 square miles contains water.
- Berlin has the largest train station in Europe.
- Berlin is 9 times bigger than Paris and has more bridges than Venice.
- Germany is composed of sixteen states. The states have their own constitution and are largely autonomous in regard to their internal organization. At the municipal level, Germany is divided into 403 districts (Kreise), of which 301 are rural districts and 102 urban districts. Bavaria is the largest state.
- Germany is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
- Germany shares borders with nine other countries. Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
- Germany is the EU’s largest economy. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of 3.73 trillion USD, and lies fourth place in the world behind the US, China and Japan.
- Germany is one of the world’s largest car producers. Selling 5.9 million cars in 2011. VW’s Golf is one of the best selling cars of all time: in 2012 it year it sold more than 430,000 Golfs around Europe (125,000 ahead of its nearest rival). In 2013, the top-selling car brands in Germany were Volkswagen, Mercedes. Audi and BMW.
- The following cities have all at one time or another been capitals of Germany: Aachen, Regensburg, Frankfurt-am-Main, Nuremberg, Berlin, Weimar, Bonn (and East Berlin), and, since 1990, Berlin again.
- The first printed book was in German.
- Germany is one of the world’s leading book nations. Publishing around 94,000 titles every year.
- The first magazine ever seen was launched in 1663 in Germany.
- Germany was the first country in the world to adopt Daylight saving time – DST, also known as summer time. This occured in 1916, in the midst of WWI.
- When JFK visited Berlin, he infamously said “Ich bin ein Berliner,” which also translates to “I am a jelly donut.”
- German is the most widely taught third language across the world.
- German remains the language with the most native speakers in Europe.
- Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein have German as the official language.
- Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft is the longest word to be published. It is 79 letters long.
- There are thirty-five dialects of the German language.
- There are over 300 different kinds of bread in Germany.
- There are over 1,000 kinds of sausages in Germany.
- Beer is considered a food in Bavaria officially.
- Smoking is banned in public places but drinking alcohol is still legal.
- After the Irish, the Germans are those consume the most beer, making Germany the second largest consumer of Beer.
- The biggest Beer Festival in the world is of course the Oktoberfest in Munich, Bavaria, where the size of the beer glass is not 500ml but a whole liter!
- To get ONE beer in Germany, you show your thumb. To show your first finger means that you want 2 beers: one with the thumb, and one with the finger.
- There are more football (soccer for the North Americans) fan clubs in Germany than anywhere else in the world.
- Germany has (once) lost a penalty shootout in a major football competition. It was in 1976 when the then West Germany lost a shootout 5-3 in in the European Championships against Czechoslovakia. On the four other occasions the Germans
have been involved in one, they won.
- The Christmas tree (Tannenbaum) tradition came from Germany.
- Germany has over 400 zoos, the most in the world.
- Chancellor Angela Merkel has a Barbie doll made after her.
- Toilet paper in Germany has the softness and consistency of paper towels.
- Most taxis in Germany are Mercedes.
- Holocaust denial is either implicitly or explicitly a crime in 17 countries, including Germany and Austria.
- The world’s narrowest street is in Reutlingen. It is called Spreuerhofstrasse and is 31 cm (one foot) wide at its narrowest point.
- The Chancellor’s office in Berlin is known locally as as the “washing machine”.
- Germany is a leader in climate and energy policies – it made a decision in 2011 to decommission all nuclear power stations (then producing around 18 percent of electricity consumed) by 2022 and to replace them with renewable energies and new storage for green electricity.
- In Germany there’s no punishment for a prisoner who tries to escape from jail, because it is a basic human instinct to be free.