What is the largest city in Europe

The 15 largest cities in Germany (by population)

Berlin, Hamburg, Munich: That these three major German cities Almost everyone can imagine being one of the largest cities in Germany.

But which other cities are actually still among the largest cities in Germany?

In our overview, we show you which are the 15 largest cities in Germany and which Highlights they have to offer.

You decide which city is your next Vacation destination in Germany shall be.

Our ranking is based on the number of inhabitants. We have taken these from the official information from the respective state offices for statistics (Status: December 31, 2019).

In addition, we explain to you why the information from the statistical offices and the 15 largest cities themselves differ so greatly and why the population figures can never be correct.

At the end of the article you will find a detailed list with the largest cities in Germany.


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1. Berlin, 3,669,491 inhabitants

The German capital lies unchallenged in first place of the largest cities in Germany and it is to be expected that the number of inhabitants will increase in the next few years.

Because despite the housing shortage and rising rents, many people from Germany and abroad still want to visit the lively German capital.

In Berlin you will find diverse city districts with their very own charm.

Make yourselves with one Weekend trip off on a journey of discovery to Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer Berg or Neukölln.

Also visit the well-known and unique Sights of Berlin, like the Brandenburg Gate, the television tower at Alexanderplatz, the Mauerpark or the East Side Gallery.

>> Weekend trip Berlin <<

2. Hamburg, 1,847,253 inhabitants

The metropolis on the Elbe is one of the most popular and most beautiful cities in Germany.

No wonder:

The special Harbor city flair and the lovable nature of the Hamburgers makes the city of living and living unique.

Visit the beautiful ones Sights of Hamburg and strolls through the old Elbe tunnel along the landing stages.

Visit one of the many Hamburg musicals, celebrate a night St. Pauli and strolls along the Inner Alster.

From the Hamburger Michel, one of the most beautiful churches in Germany, presents itself to you spectacular view over Hamburg.

>> Weekend trip Hamburg <<

3. Munich, 1,484,226 inhabitants

The state capital of Bavaria is the third largest city in Germany and not only attracts to annual Oktoberfest attracts a large number of tourists.

The city combines history, nature and Bavarian joie de vivre in an incomparable way.

Among the most popular Sights in Munich include the Marienplatz with the town hall, Nymphenburg Palace, the Hofbräuhaus, Oktoberfest and the Olympic Park.

In the English Garden you can take long walks or the Surfers on the Eisbach wave watch their sport.

Our tip: From Munich you can take a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle.

The impressive fairytale castle is one of the most beautiful Castles and palaces in Germany and annually attracts around 1.5 million tourists from all over the world.

Also exciting: the best amusement parks in Bavaria

>> Weekend trip Munich <<

4. Cologne, 1,087,863 inhabitants

Located directly on the Rhine, the Rhine metropolis everything you need for a perfect weekend getaway.

With their cheerful and open-minded manner, the people of Cologne make Cologne a beautiful travel destination in Germany.

Of course, the is capitalized in Cologne Carnival. The annual state of emergency has a long tradition.

Also in the rest of the year they offerCologne landmarks enough to discover.

Not to be overlooked: theCologne cathedral -the third tallest church building in the world.

In Cologne's old town you can drink a Kölsch or you can immortalize yourself with a love lock on the Hohenzollern Bridge, one of the most romantic places in Germany.

>> Weekend trip Cologne <<

5. Frankfurt am Main, 763,380 inhabitants

The banking metropolis on the Main ranks fifth among the major cities in Germany in terms of population.

Frankfurt am Main is a Melting pot of cultures and attracts people from all over the world.

Not just because the European Central Bank and other global companies have their headquarters.

The Frankfurt airport is also a hub for international aviation and one of the largest and most important airports in Europe.

The most beloved Frankfurt sights are among others the Frankfurt Romans, the historic city hall, the banking district with its impressive skyline that can be seen from afar.

The Museumsufer with its around 15 museums is particularly popular with culture lovers.

A special highlight is the Viewing platform on the main tower.

From a height of up to 198 meters you have an excellent view of Frankfurt and the surrounding region.

But Frankfurt is also suitable for relaxing with its unique thermal bathswonderful.

>> Short break Frankfurt <<

6. Stuttgart, 635,911 inhabitants

In Stuttgart you always feel a bit like a queen or a king.

This is mainly due to the city's central square, the Schlossplatz, right in front of the New Castle.

This is also where most of the people romp when they are in the New Years Eve Toast to the New Year and marvel at the big fireworks together.

Is known Stuttgart also as the headquarters of the two major German car brands Porsche and Mercedes Benz.

Both car manufacturers operate their own museums in Stuttgart, which deal with the history of the automobile and the company and exhibit historical vehicles.

For families with children, it's worth a Excursion to Wilhelma.

It is the only botanical and zoological garden in all of Germany.

The most beautiful zoos:Zoos and animal parks in Germany

>> Short break in Stuttgart <<

7. Düsseldorf, 621,877 inhabitants

Düsseldorf is idyllically located on the Rhine.

The city is often said to have only the The rich and famous at home are.

The well-known Königsallee shopping street, where one classy designer is lined up, reinforces this impression.

But Düsseldorf is one thing above all: a colorful city full of diversity.

You can find the beautiful one here Bank promenade on the Rhine, where half of Düsseldorf seems to meet for a beer on mild summer evenings, the Medienhafen with its spectacular buildings and of course the "Longest bar in the world".

This is the popular name for Düsseldorf's old town. Around 260 pubs and a distinctive brewing culture make the old town one of the most popular Sightseeing in Düsseldorf.

Particularly quaint: long-established home breweries with a bar. Then cheers.

>> Short vacation Düsseldorf <<

8. Leipzig, 593,145 inhabitants

In the past few years, Leipzig has become one of the most popular cities in Germany developed and above all attracted young people and creative people from all over Germany.

It is not for nothing that they say “Leipzig is the new Berlin” or "Hypzig".

The rents here are still moderate and the city has large parks such as the Clara-Zetkin-Park or the alluvial forest.

Sightseeing in Leipzig, that you should definitely visit are, among other things Monument to the Battle of the Nations, the Leipzig Zoo, the New Lakeland around Leipzig and the spinning - a former factory site with studios.

>> Short break in Leipzig <<

9. Dortmund, 588,250 inhabitants

The largest city in the Ruhr area ranks 9th among the major German cities. Dortmund was badly damaged by air raids in World War II.

Today the city presents itself in the most beautiful Ruhrpott architecture with industrial monuments and memories of the region's mining past. The Zollern colliery was listed as a historical monument in 1968 - the very first industrial structure in Germany.

One of the most famous landmarks in the city is thisDortmund U.

Since 1968, the nine-meter-high, illuminated Dortmunder U has been emblazoned on the roof of the former brewery as the company logo of the Union brewery.

The Ostwall Museum is located in the building.

Exciting too: New Year's Eve in Dortmund

10. Essen, 582,760 inhabitants

The next big city in Germany that we want to introduce to you is just a stone's throw from Dortmund.

Like the other cities in the Ruhr area, Essen is shaped by mining.

The former coal mine is undoubtedly one of the landmarks of EssenZollverein colliery.

The facility is located on the European Route of Industrial Culture and belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage.

Another impressive sight in Essen is the Old synagogue.

It is one of the best preserved Jewish buildings that survived the Nazi era.

Other highlights in the city of Essen are the Neue Isenburg, Borbeck Castle or the Essen Minster.

>> Eating a short break <<

11. Bremen, 567,559 inhabitants

Probably the most famous Statue of the BremerTown Musicians it ranks 11th among the largest cities in Germany.

The city on the Weser is also an independent federal state that includes the Bremerhaven exclave.

Bremen is particularly popular for its historic downtown and the Schnoor district.

The pointed half-timbered houses (16th to 19th centuries) and the narrow cobblestone streets are real tourist magnets.

Just like the Bremen market square with its famous sights.

Not only the Bremen town hall and the Bremen Roland, both of the UNESCO world heritage belong, but also the Bremen Town Musicians.

In the pubs and entertainment district on the Schlachte, you can relax with a beer from your day of sightseeing directly on the Weser.

Today they function as a park in the middle of the city former ramparts from Bremen.

The area is the first public park in Germany to be realized by a bourgeois parliament.

There is also an old windmill from Bremen in the ramparts.

>> Short break in Bremen <<

12. Dresden, 556,780 inhabitants

The Saxon state capital directly on the Elbe is one of the Top addresses for tourists in Saxony.

Many museums in time-honored buildings make Dresden a whole special travel destination in Germany.

Its location on the water, the magnificent baroque buildings and the extensive art collections of the city also earned it that Nickname "Florence on the Elbe" a.

The old town was almost completely destroyed in the Second World War, but large parts of it could be reconstructed and today makes Dresden famous all over the world.

They are especially worth seeing Dresden Frauenkirche, the Dresden Zwinger with its exhibits from the past centuries as well as the Semperoper and the oldest Christmas market in Germany; the Striezelmarkt.

>> Short vacation Dresden <<

13. Hanover, 536,925 inhabitants

The next big city of Germany is in Lower Saxony.

The state capital of Lower Saxony is known worldwide as CEBIT venue, the world's largest trade fair for information technology.

But not only technology fans will experience an unforgettable time in Hanover.

The Old town of Hanover is ideal for a walk.

They are right on the market square Market church from the 14th century and the old town hall. Together they are an impressive testimony to the North German brick Gothic.

The New Town Hall, which is embedded in the ten-hectare Maschpark, is no less impressive.

Only those are even more impressive Herrenhausen Gardens.

The detailed and spacious Baroque gardens can be reached by car from the main train station within 10 minutes.

In the area around Hanover you should definitely check out one of the most popular German lakes, the Steinhuder sea, look at.

>> Short break in Hanover <<

14. Nuremberg, 518,370 inhabitants

In the south of Germany it goes to the Franconian metropolis of Nuremberg.

She has one large historic old town and especially impresses with her Top attraction, the Nuremberg Castle.

It has towered over the city for many centuries and is now used as a museum.

In the old town of Nuremberg, that is above all Albrecht Dürer's House the main attraction for tourists.

The well-known artist lived in the house for around 20 years in the 16th century and spent his entire life in Nuremberg.

It is also worth seeing Documentation center Nazi party rally building, which deals with the history of the NS.

The special:

it is housed in an original location and continues to warn against the horrors of the Nazi regime.

Every year during Advent the beckons Christmas market around two million visitors from all over the world to Nuremberg.

Especially the one Nuremberg gingerbread then belongs in every suitcase as a souvenir for those who stayed at home.

15. Duisburg, 498,686 inhabitants

The cityscape of Duisburg is characterized by facilities from the time of the Steel producing industrywhich still bear witness to the fact that Duisburg became an important industrial location in the 19th century.

Today the systems that are still standing in many places are used for other purposes or converted into parks.

One example of this is the Rhein Park. Here you can either make yourself comfortable on the promenade or let off steam with basketball or beach volleyball.

A special highlight in Duisburg are the Ruhrort ports of Duisburg.

If all the associated port facilities are added up, the Ruhrort port is the largest inland port in the world and is the place of work for young companies from the service sector.

The inner harbor of Duisburg, on the other hand, is a popular nightlife district with many bars right on the water.

You can reach the inner harbor in a few minutes' walk from the city center.

The "Walkable roller coaster", the Tiger & Turtle sculpture in Angerpark, is also a popular tourist attraction.

Those who climb the loop of the sculpture will be rewarded with a beautiful view over the Rhine to Düsseldorf.


Comparison of the population of the largest cities in Germany (as of December 31, 2019)

Why do the population figures of the largest cities differ depending on the source?

Population numbers are always subject to fluctuations.

So far, that's no surprise.

But why do the population figures of the state statistical offices and the population registers of the cities differ drastically?

Maybe you still remember it - In 2011 a census was carried out in Germany.

In 2008, the EU obliged the member states to carry out such a census every ten years.

Why is it important?

The more inhabitants a region or city has, the more financial resources flow from special funding pots. In addition, based on the number of inhabitants, plans are made for infrastructure and social benefits.

In the census from the year, a Mixed form of register counting and personal questioning used to determine the number of inhabitants.

10% of the required data was collected from randomly selected citizens.

One hoped to make any mistakes or track down obsolete data in registers.

The statistical offices of the federal states always update the data collected at that time about births, relocations and deaths.

A second way to determine the population of a city is Deduction from the population register.

When moving, every citizen is obliged to register, so that the respective cities should have a precise overview of how many residents actually live in the municipality.

That's why the population figures are never right

We know it: the reporting obligation is not always complied with. In addition, some of the largest German cities not only indicate the number of main residences in the population figures, but also calculate the residents with a second residence - this makes sense especially in student cities, as many students have their main residence with their parents and their second residence in the respective university town .

The registers are incorrect, but at the same time the basis for the continuation of the information on the basis of the census.

In the case of the census, on the other hand, there are sometimes strong fluctuations between the data in the registers and the current situation in individual city districts, which are not even noticeable when looking at the entire city and all districts.

In short: the information on population numbers is incorrect for both methods.

The population figures of the largest cities in Germany are therefore always rough figures.

Statistically, it is assumed that the information provided by the state statistical offices is more likely.


List of the largest cities in Germany

rank city Residents Area km² (2016) Ew./ km² (2018) federal state
1 Berlin 3.669.491 891,68 4.088 BE
2 Hamburg 1.847.253 755,22 2.438 HH
3 Munich 1.484.226 310,70 4.736 BY
4 Cologne 1.087.863 405,02 2.681 NW
5 Frankfurt am Main 763.380 248,31 3.033 HE
6 Stuttgart 635.911 207,35 3.062 BW
7 Dusseldorf 621.877 217,41 2.849 NW
8 Leipzig 593.145 297,80 1.974