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15 Largest Cities in Germany

15 Largest Cities in Germany

Want to know which is the biggest German city? Here’s a list of the largest cities in Germany by size and population in 2019.

You can measure this in two ways, either by the total area or total population. The biggest cities in Germany are measured by their total area in square kilometers, and the largest German cities are measured by their total population. 

1. Berlin

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Berlin (the capital) is also the most populated city in Germany with a total population of 3,520,031 people.

Berlin has been an important city in Germany since the 15th century, and lately, it has become a start-up hub in Europe where many young entrepreneurs are coming to live in the city. 

Berlin is also the biggest city in Germany with a total area of 891.68 km2 (344.28 sq mi).


Photo: Shutterstock

2. Hamburg

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of 1,787,408 people. Just like Berlin, this is a historic city which has held an important status for many centuries. 

Hamburg has the third-largest port in Europe and used to play an important role in the Hanseatic League. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination, which is renowned for its beautiful architecture and vibrant nightlife. 

Hamburg is one of the largest cities in Germany

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3. Munich

Munich is the largest city in Bavaria and the third-largest German city with a population of 1,450,381 people. Internationally, Munich is perhaps best known for being home to the famous Oktoberfest, which takes place annually with millions of visitors. 

The Metropolitan area of Munich is home to more than 6 million people, and it’s a center for art, science, technology, finance as well as innovation and education. The standard and quality of living is one of the highest in all of Germany, and even worldwide. 


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4. Cologne

Cologne is another historic city in Germany, and it was founded already in the 1st century AD during the Roman empire. It later became one of the leading members of the Hanseatic League.

Unfortunately, Cologne, also known as Köln was heavily bombed during World War II, which destroyed much of the city and killed a large part of the population as well.

Today, the city has revived itself and once again become an important cultural center with a wide range of museums and galleries. The Kölner Dome is perhaps the most famous building, which is also the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne.


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5. Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt is one of the most important financial centers in Europe as well as in Germany, and it’s also home to one of the busiest airports in Europe with flights connecting worldwide.

Frankfurt am Main is located in the state of Hesse and has a population of 732,688. 

Frankfurt am Main

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6. Stuttgart

Stuttgart is located in Baden-Wurttemberg and has a population of 623,738 people. The city is especially known for its high-tech industry, and German companies such as Porsche and Mercedes-Benz both have headquarters in the city.


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7. Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf is home to 612,178 people and it’s the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. Just like other major cities in Germany, Düsseldorf is rich in history and culture.


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8. Dortmund

In recent years, the football team Borussia Dortmund has taken the world by storm by successful campaigns in Champions League. However, the city of Dortmund is also one of the largest cities in Germany with a population of 586,181 people. 

Dortmund is also located in North Rhine-Westphalia and has a rich history dating back to at least 882 when it was founded. The city was heavily bombed during World War II but has since revived itself and once again turned into a center of education and culture.


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9. Essen

Essen is home to some of the largest German companies, such as E.ON and RWE, and it’s located in the industrialized are of Ruhr in the North Rhine-Westphalia state.

The city is home to 582,624 people, and while it’s known for its industrial capabilities, it’s also one of the greenest cities in Germany with a big area of forests and parks.


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10. Leipzig

Leipzig is another historical city in Germany, which is particularly known for having the largest train station in Europe. The city also has a great number of beautiful buildings in Renaissance-styled architecture.

It’s ranked as one of the most livable cities in the country. It’s no wonder that 560,472 have chosen Leipzig as their home.


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11. Bremen

Bremen is a Hanseatic city with a rich history and cultural importance. It’s home to about 570,000 people and is considered as one of the major cultural and economic hubs in Northern Germany.

The most famous area in Bremen is the medieval quarter known as Schnoorviertel, which features the iconic timber houses. 


12. Dresden

Dresden is yet another historic German city and it has had a long tradition of being the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony. It’s located in the state of Saxony and has a population of 550,000 people. 

Dresden is also home to the oldest Christmas market in Germany, which is known as the Striezelmarkt. 


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13. Hanover

Hanover, also known as Hannover is home to 535,000 people making it the thirteenth most populated city in Germany. 

It’s the capital of the state of Lower Saxony and connects many railway lines and highways onwards to Europe. The city was founded in Medieval times and some of the main churches that you can visit today were built already in the 14th century. 


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14. Nuremberg

Nuremberg or Nürnberg in German is home to 511,628 residents, and it’s the second-largest city in Bavaria.

Nuremberg is well-renowned for its education facilities as well as cultural events such as operas, musicals, and ballets. Just like many other German cities, Nuremberg has a long history and luckily there are plenty of well-preserved buildings from various eras.


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15. Duisburg

Last but not least, Duisburg, which is another big city in the Ruhr area in North Rhine-Westphalia. Duisburg has a population of 499,845, making it the 15th largest city in Germany. 

In history, the city has been a major center of steel, iron and chemical production. This unfortunately also made it one of the main targets during World War II where much of the city got destroyed.


Photo: Shutterstock

10 Most populated cities in Germany

Rank City Population
1 Berlin 3,292,031
2 Hamburg 1,787,408
3 Munich 1,450,381
4 Cologne 1,060,582
5 Frankfurt am Main 732,688
6 Stuttgart 623,738
7 Dusseldorf 612,178
8 Dortmund 586,181
9 Essen 582,624
10 Leipzig 560,472

Biggest cities in Germany (by size)

City Area km2 (square miles)
Berlin 891.68 km2 (344.28 sq mi)
Hamburg 755.3 km2 (291.6 sq mi)
Cologne 405.02 km2 (156.38 sq mi)
Dresden 328.48 km2 (126.83 sq mi)
Bremen 326.18 km2 (125.94 sq mi)
Munich 310.7 km2 (120.0 sq mi)
Münster 303.28 km2 (117.10 sq mi)
Leipzig 297.8 km2 (115.0 sq mi)
Dortmund 280.71 km2 (108.38 sq mi)
Erfurt 269.91 km2 (104.21 sq mi)
Biggest cities in Germany

Photo: Velishchuk Yevhen/Shutterstock

More information about the largest cities in Germany

The largest cities in Germany are quite evenly spread out in all parts of the country. However, there are several located in the North Rhine Westphalia state, which was an important industrial region in the ’50s and ’60s.

Today, it’s one of the fastest-growing regions in the country with a prosperous future according to economic experts. Berlin continues to rank as the largest city in Germany and is likely to do so as long as it remains as capital. 

More and more people also seek to move into the bigger cities, which means that the largest cities in Germany are expected to increase in population and size in the future. The suburbs and metropolitan areas are continuously increasing as housing development and projects connect the central parts with the outskirts of major German cities. 

Largest city in Germany

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What are the major cities in Germany?

Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, and Frankfurt are the major cities in Germany. 

Which is the richest city in Germany?

Wolfsburg is the richest city in Germany with a GDP per capita of approximately €178,706. Ingolstadt is the second richest German city with a GDP per capita of €127,523 and Schweinfurt comes at third place with a GDP per capita of €98,641.

Richest cities in germany

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Did you know about the largest cities in Germany? Leave a comment below!