The major bodies of water in Germany are the Danube, Rhine, Elbe and Weser rivers. Germany does have some small lakes, but these are mostly glacial and located in the mountains. The largest lake, Bodensee, lies on Germany's border with Switzerland and Austria.
The largest rivers in Germany are the Danube and the Rhine. The Rhine is 820 miles long. It starts in the Swiss Alps and runs north to the North Sea. Many smaller rivers and tributaries make up the Rhine system. Among these are the Lippe, Ruhr, Mosel, Neckar and Main rivers. The Rhine is especially critical to Germany because it can be navigated by boat the entire length, making it an important shipping route for goods.
The Danube, which is one of the largest rivers in Europe, is located in southern Germany. It starts in Germany's famous Black Forest and flows east to the Black Sea. The Elbe system is the second-longest river in Germany. The Oder and Neisse rivers, though not main rivers in Germany, form the border between it and Poland.
Other than rivers and the occasional lake, mineral springs are an important feature in Germany. These springs boast both hot and cold waters, and they are the foundations for several famous spas.