As staying in becomes the new normal, Culture Trip invites you to indulge in a spot of cloud tourism. Experience the sights and sounds of a place – without even leaving your home. Next up on our virtual tour is Germany.
In these unprecedented times, many of us are unable to explore the world as we would like to. And since you’re not going anywhere, why not make yourself comfortable and uncover all that Germany has to offer from the comfort of your own home.
Germany has served as a backdrop for many movies like Good Bye Lenin! (2003), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) and Inglourious Basterds. Released in 2009, the critically acclaimed Inglourious Basterds was directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars Brad Pitt, Christopher Waltz and Michael Fassbender. It tells the story of how a group of Jewish-American soldiers planned to assassinate Nazi leaders during World War II in Nazi-occupied France. The movie, however, was mostly filmed in Babelsberg Studios outside of Berlin – the same location used to film Nosferatu (1922), The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920), Metropolis (1927) and The Blue Angel (1930).
The Neues Museum is a must for all history and art enthusiasts, as it houses iconic artefacts like the bust of Nefertiti. The building itself has seen its share of changes. Built in the 18th century, it closed down at the beginning of the Second World War in 1939 and was heavily damaged during the Berlin bombings between 1940-45. It was later rebuilt under the supervision of architect David Chipperfield and only opened its doors to the public in 2009. A range of different exhibitions are available to the public, including the Pharaoh Erased From History and the popular Less Is More – Nefertiti’s Beauty-Secret, which can be explored virtually.
Bratwurst is very much a part of German culture. Commonly made from pork, the sausage is a favoured fast-food dish in Germany. A staple since the 13th century, it was once a dish that was heavily consumed during the harsh winters when no food would go to waste, and locals would make the sausage using scraps of meat. And while its precise origins are unknown, the state of Thuringia and the region of Franconia both claim to be the birthplace of bratwurst.
Enjoy your quarantine days by consuming what is considered comfort food and have it with sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), potato salad or fried potato pancakes. But if you’re really serious about bratwurst, you’ll have it the German way: grilled until it’s golden brown, served in a bread roll and topped with mustard.
One of the best ways to connect with a culture is through dance and music, and some of Germany’s traditional dances such as Schuhplattler date back to the 11th century. A traditional folk dance, it’s most popular in the state of Bavaria in southeastern Germany and Tyrol, a state in western Austria.
Put on your dancing shoes to learn how to perfect the moves of Schuhplattler. But make sure you have enough room, since you will stomp, clap and strike the soles of your shoes while touching your thighs and knees with your hands held flat.
Most people have tried this German digestif at some point in their lives. Known for its distinct taste, Jägermeister is one of the most popular drinks in Germany after beer. Made from 56 herbs – including liquorice, citrus peel, ginger and saffron – the recipe of Jaegermeister still remains the same after 86 years.
The drink is best served cold, so make sure you keep both the bottle and, preferably its signature green glass, in the fridge until you’re ready to have a go. Just remember, it’s made up of 35 percent alcohol, so you might feel a slight burn as you have your shot.