Germany’s Tourism Hits a Six-Year Record
by Anna Gleksman

This may prove to be another great year for Germany.

German National Tourism last week announced that overnight accommodations booked by international travelers reached 74.2 million as of November, a 5.6% increase over 2014. This year should prove to be even better, with 80 million overnights expected, and the reason is relatively straightforward: prices are low and there is a lot to do.

The average cost of a night in Berlin is $99, and a number of anniversaries and events are taking place in 2016 and 2017. It’s the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther; the 50th anniversary of Germany’s “Baroque Route,” which has been going strong for 50 years; and the 10th anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

The highlight for 2017 is bound to be the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses to the castle church door in Wittenberg. This historic day, which marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, will be celebrated across Germany.

Germany already is noted for the 1,200-kilometer Luther Trail, which explains the history of the Reformation. There are more than 30 sites dedicated to Martin Luther, including St. Nicholas’ Church in Potsdam, which will be a venue for the Luther 2017 exhibition, and Luther’s house in Wittenberg, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage museum.

Meanwhile, the Baroque Route is a scenic 300-mile-long trip down the Danube past castles, palaces, abbeys, and churches. To celebrate its anniversary many churches and castles will be holding a special “Long Night of the Baroque” program.

Also popular and off the beaten path is the Ruhr Valley Cycle Route, which spans more than 140 miles from Sauerland, known for its majestic beauty, to the industrial Ruhr region. It’s car-free, with rivers, forests, medieval towns, and a mining town.

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