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International visitors have selected their TOP 100 favorite attractions for 2016

Toronto – Miniature Wonderland Hamburg tops the list of the 100 most popular attractions for international visitors to Germany. Heidelberg Castle and old quarter are in second place and Europa-Park in Rust, last year's winner, takes third.

Posted on Fri, Oct 14th, 2016 11:19 am by Juliane Ehrich

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has been asking international visitors on its website www.germany.travel about their favorite attractions since 2012. In response to the open-ended question, users can enter any attraction in a field. The GNTB then combines these results into a TOP 100 ranking. Between March and August 2016 more than 40,000 website visitors from 66 countries participated in the voting.

As Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB), explains: "The TOP 100 attractions are one of the most visited areas of our online platform www.germany.travel. It shows just how relevant these types of rankings are for international tourists, in terms of trip planning. As well, many of the TOP 100 attractions actively use their ranking as a seal of quality in their international marketing activities, generating additional interest in their offering."

Overview of the Top 100 Leaders for 2016

Miniature Wonderland in Hamburg is in first place. The biggest model railway in the world opened in 2001 with detailed depictions of Central Germany and The Harz (mountains) including an Intercity Express (ICE) railway track with 130 trains. At the same time, the tiny city of Knuffingen was created, with 90 miniature driving cars – a reflection of the automotive industry in Southern Germany. In 2011, Knuffingen even got its own commercial airport, with 40 airplanes that can take off and land. New "worlds" have been added to Miniature World for the past 15 years – the most recent one being an Italian section measuring 190 square meters.

Heidelberg castle and the old town have been among the favorites in the ranking for years, and advanced from fourth to second place in 2016. Last year's winner, Europa-Park Rust, is in the TOP 3 again this year. Other attractions, which traditionally ranked in the top 10, are

Neuschwanstein Castle, the Old town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Lake Constance with Mainau Island and the Monastic Island of Reichenau (UNESCO World Heritage) as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Cologne Cathedral. The Mannheim Residential Palace, the Ulm Minster and the Old quarter of Dresden with Zwinger Palace and Cathedral are newcomers to the TOP 100.

The TOP 100 reflects the wide variety of touristic sights and attractions

Visitors to Germany chose famous buildings, historic sites, natural landscapes, sports facilities and theme parks as well as happenings and events, steeped in tradition. The Top 100 of tourism in Germany are dispersed across all federal states, demonstrating the diversity of tourist attractions in Germany as a travel destination.

The ranking resulting from the online survey will be published immediately at www.germany.travel/top100. Additionally, the TOP 100 will receive online awards, which they can use in their own online activities and stickers for advertising purposes.