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Bordering countries of Germany

9 countries are bordering Germany, here you can see them all at a glance:

  • Denmark
  • Poland
  • Czech Republic
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Luxembourg
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands

The order of the bordering countries follows the clockwise direction from the north.

On this page you will find some information about Germany and its bordering countries.

Germany’s borders to its neighboring countries

In total, Germany has a border of 3,876 kilometers with its bordering countries. The distance is divided between the individual neighbors as follows:

  • Austria: 817 kilometers
  • Czech Republic: 817 kilometers
  • Netherlands: 576 kilometers
  • Poland: 469 kilometers
  • France: 455 kilometers
  • Switzerland: 333 kilometers
  • Belgium: 204 kilometers
  • Luxembourg: 136 kilometers
  • Denmark: 68 kilometers

All bodering countries of Germany except Switzerland belong to the European Union. In addition, all bordering countries of Germany have signed the Schengen Agreement. This means that the citizens of these countries can usually cross the borders without being checked. Moreover, stays in the countries are possible up to 90 days.

Specifics of the Border

The exact course of the border in Lake Constance is not clearly defined between Germany and Switzerland. There are also special regulations for some areas along Germany’s border with its federal neighbor. For example, there is a German railroad station in Basel (the so-called Badischer Bahnhof). Another example is Tägermoos, which belongs to the German city of Constance and yet lies on the territory of the Swiss canton of Thurgau.

By the way, Germany is the country in Europe that has the most bordering countries. At least, as long as you don’t count the neighboring countries of the French overseas departments as neighboring countries of France. If you want to know which countries around the world have the most neighbors, check out my Fun Facts.

Here at Lake Constance you can discover two of Germany's bordering countries at once. In the background on the left you can see the mountains of Austria, the shore on the right belongs to Switzerland. In the foreground is Germany.
Here at Lake Constance you can discover two of Germany’s bordering countries at once. In the background on the left you can see the mountains of Austria, the shore on the right belongs to Switzerland. In the foreground is Germany.

Size of Germany’s bordering countries

All of Germany’s bordering countries except France have a smaller area than Germany. Since Germany is the most populous country in Europe and all of its bordering countries are within Europe, all of its bordering countries have fewer inhabitants than Germany.

Details about the data of the bordering countries of Germany can be found in the following table:

CountryArea in km²InhabitantsPosition to Germany
France543,96564,979,548West
Poland312,68538,170,712East
Austria83,8798,823,054Southeast
Czech Republic78,86610,618,303East
Denmark43,0985,733,551North
Netherlands41,52617,035,938Northwest
Switzerland41,2858,476,005South
Belgium32,54511,429,336West
Luxembourg2,586583,455West
Germany357,12182,114,224
Dates of Germany’s bordering countries

Former bordering countries of Germany

Today’s Federal Republic of Germany has existed since 1949. Since then, Germany has had two bordering countries that no longer exist today, namely the GDR (German Democratic Republic) and Czechoslovakia.

The neighboring GDR existed from 1949 and until 1990, when it was united with the rest of Germany. Only then did Poland become a bordering country of the Federal Republic of Germany. Before that, the GDR was located between Germany and Poland.

Czechoslovakia existed from 1918 to 1992, when it was divided into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Today, only the Czech Republic is a bordering country of Germany. The Slovak Republic does not border Germany.

The German Empire and its neighboring countries

The German Empire existed from 1871 to 1918, and its territory was largely congruent with modern Germany. The German Empire had the following bordering countries:

  • Kingdom of Denmark
  • Empire of Russia
  • Empire of Austria
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  • Kingdom of Belgium
  • Kingdom of Netherlands

The German Reich and its neighboring countries

The borders of the later German Reich, on the other hand, existed from 1920 to 1937, because the borders were redrawn after the end of World War 1. During this period, the German Reich had the following bordering countries:

  • Denmark
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Luxembourg
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands
In the image you can see the view from the Black Forest towards Germany's bordering country France.
In the image you can see the view from the Black Forest towards Germany’s bordering country France.