BW & You
Whether you are an passionate hiker, a gourmet or a member of a band: Baden-Württemberg offers something for everyone. And maybe you can explore some completely new aspects of yourself?
Baden-Württemberg shows all its diversity in the nature.
There are mountains, lakes, meadows and forests. In total 40% of its area is covered in forests such as the "Odenwald", the "schwäbischer Wald" and of course the "Black Forest". The Black Forest is not only the highest upland in Germany but also protected as national park. It ascends to almost 1.500 metres.
Those preferring water to mountains even find the sea in Baden-Württemberg, or at least the so called "schwäbisches Meer" (swabian sea). The Lake Constance which is located in the south of Baden-Württemberg is the largest lake of Germany. It is a lake on the Rhine, a river that flows along the French-German border. The well of the "Donau" (Danube), the longest river of Europe, can be traced back to Baden-Württemberg.
Any other typical sceneries of Baden-Württemberg are meadows, fields and vineyards. All invite you to spend some time in the open countryside and to enjoy the beauty of Baden-Württemberg. Chances of doing that in the sunshine actually are high: the average of sunshine hours in Baden-Württemberg amounts to more than 1.600 per year which is record for Germany. "Breisgau" (a region in the south of Baden-Württemberg) further is the warmest region in Germany.
Even though we invented the automotive, people in the southwest have always liked exercising.
Unsurprisingly almost one third of all people in Baden-Württemberg is involved in sports clubs. There are about 11.400 different clubs for you. Those preferring to remain flexible can use one of many fitness trails. Fitness trails are outdoor athletic grounds commonly found in forests which consist of a path or course equipped with obstacles or stations. Further free offers in cities are for instance "Sport im Park" during the summer months or jogging groups. Health insurances also offer gym courses -simply ask them about it.
The heart of those in Baden-Württemberg who do not actively do sports themselves often beats for a sports club. Chances to cheer for a top club are good: from football to handball, hockey, basketball or volleyball - the teams from Baden-Württemberg mix with other top clubs. There is also a variety of national and international tournaments in our state.
Politics support the diversity of sports in Baden-Württemberg. Sport in schools in compulsory and an important component of the curriculum. Next to being a compensation to classroom lessons it is an excellent opportunity for integration.
To live like God in France? No, in Baden-Württemberg! Baden-Württemberg is the best state in Germany for cuisine freaks.
Next to hospitality and an excellent service, a traditional home cooking distinguishes Baden-Württemberg. Be it hearty "swabian" or "badisch" tinted with a bit of French, everyone get's their money's worth and can discover something new.
Baden-Württemberg supplies you with many different gourmets. The first Michelin star in Germany was awarded in the Black Forest. Today, culinary explorers find almost one quarter of all Michelin stars of Germany in Baden-Württemberg. "Baiersbronn" is seen as a German Mecca of good taste: the municipal with 14.000 inhabitants is decorated with 8 stars.
Baden-Württemberg's excellent water quality results in a high-class beer production which is esteemed in all of Germany. However, only thinking of beer would be wrong. The Romans brought viniculture to Baden-Württemberg. Ever since then, Baden-Württemberg has been producing sun-kissed wines and today is the second largest German viniculture region.
Locals and guests appreciate new and old wines especially in late summer, when so called regional "Besen-or Straußwirtschaften" (local pubs named after brooms and bouquets) lure with simple dishes and wine tasting. The names of these pubs derive from a tradition to put a birch broom or bouquet in front of the door when open.
There are many culinary boutiques all over the state where you can purchase a selection of products from Baden-Württemberg and from all over the world. Especially the market hall in Stuttgart which is an art nouveau building and architecturally picturesque stirs the blood of gourmet lovers.
"Saving money" is a virtue in Baden-Württemberg. Having money on your savings account is one thing but being able to save money when shopping is another.
Therefore, there are many bargains in Baden-Württemberg. Especially factory outlets attract with cheaper offers for lines from the previous year and surplus productions of well-known international brands. Apart from fashion, kitchen utensils, sports goods or household textiles are offered for less money. "Metzingen" counts as the shopping paradise. Every year more than 3 million buyers come here which makes it one of the most successful outlet centres world-wide. "Wertheim Village" is another place for bargains. In regional factory outlets you can further buy Ritter Sport chocolate, Steiff teddy bears from Giengen, noodles by "AlbGold" or jewellery from Pforzheim (gold town).
Farmer's markets attract with regional products: fruits, vegetables, eggs, cheese or meat are offered directly by the producer. For sure, your municipal has a market day as well.
There are of course many conventional shops and boutiques in Baden-Württemberg. Commonly they can be found in the historic part of the city. On rainy days shopping centres such as "LAGO" in Constance with a view on the Lake Constance attract.
Baden-Württemberg has rich and various cultural offers for you.
Are you a friend of history? There are 59 palaces, castles, monasteries and gardens which only wait to be discovered.
You are more the modern architect type? Marvel at pioneering of Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Zaha Hadid and many more.
Stage arts can be found in countless numbers of public theatres, independent acting groups, dance companies and opera houses. If you cannot believe your eyes, try your ears: Baden-Württemberg makes music, be it classic, pop, jazz or one of many music festivals.
More than 1.300 museums display renowned artists, local masters and exhibits from all over the world.
Moreover, Baden-Württemberg always prevailed in literature. In order to make everything accessible to its people, the southwest operates 800 public libraries.
From school to vocational training and further training for your job or free-time - profit by the excellent education infrastructure in Baden-Württemberg!
Educational training in schools in Baden-Württemberg is highly esteemed. The Abitur (equivalent to A-levels in England) gained here counts as one of the best school leaving certificates in Germany. Schools here concentrate on the strengths of their pupils and support them individually. Social cooperation as well as tolerance are of high significance.
A success story also lies in the German vocational education and training system which combines theory and practice. School leavers may choose from over 300 vocational training professions in a variety of establishments.
Baden-Württemberg is one of the top science locations in Germany. At more than 70 universities over 2.660 university courses are being taught, for instance ranging from agricultural economics to dentistry. You may also come to lectures as a guest auditor to satisfy your thirst for knowledge.
Those wanting to learn meet a wide spectrum of further training: so called "Volkshochschulen" (VHS, German for adult education centre) form a central institution in Baden-Württemberg. 740 branch offices offer a variety of courses and activities and by that an opportunity to learn and to meet others.