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Blick auf die Saale und Schloß Burgk, Bild: Rico Markus / shutterstock

Discover nature and culture in Thuringia as a travel destination

In the north of Thuringia, the densely wooded Harz heights enchant nature enthusiasts with a wide network of hiking trails. The vibrant cities of Gera, Weimar and Erfurt attract visitors with a colourful range of exciting sights. And the historic Wartburg Castle invites you to visit as an almost world-famous sight. The Thuringian Forest, a wildly romantic low mountain range and the flat landscape of the Thuringian Basin characterise the varied landscape of Thuringia. The popular holiday region in the heart of Germany is easy to reach from all directions and offers interesting leisure activities for young and old.

Explore attractions in Thuringia

Wartburg, Thuringia
The Wartburg, Image: IURII BURIAK / shutterstock

If you take a stroll through Thuringia, you will discover numerous interesting sights, such as the romantic Hanstein castle ruins, the Kyffhäuser monument or the castle ruins of the legendary Emperor Barbarossa. The Dornburg Castles building ensemble, enthroned on a steep slope above the Saale, houses an interesting museum. And the mighty Ranis Castle in the Saale-Orla district was once the imperial castle of numerous German kings and emperors.

The historically very important Wartburg Castle towers above Lutherstadt Eisenach. Since 1999, the building, in which Martin Luther translated the Old Testament into German in 1551/2, has been a World Heritage Site. During a tour, you will also visit the 40-metre-long ballroom and the Luther Room.

The home of the well-known poet Goethe in Weimar attracts many visitors.
The City Museum houses exciting exhibitions about Weimar’s history. And the DDR Museum Apolda takes you back in time.

Hiking fun in Thuringia – at the pulse of nature

German National Theatre, Weimar
The German National Theatre, Image: canadastock / shutterstock

If you are looking for active recreation or sporting challenges, you will find what you are looking for in Thuringia: The wildly romantic Slate Mountains or the idyllic Thuringian Forest run through a wide, well-signposted network of trails for hiking enthusiasts and mountain bikers, regardless of whether you love leisurely walks or challenging routes.

The Rennsteig high-altitude hiking trail, which is more than 160 kilometres long, offers hikers magnificent views and leads you through the Thuringian Slate Mountains, the Thuringian Forest and the Bavarian Franconian Forest.

Cyclists like to follow the Hercules-Wartburg Cycle Path, which leads past Eisenach into the Thuringian Forest.

Near Eisenach there is a narrow, partly only 70cm wide gorge, which you can cross on a wildly romantic wooden footbridge. Nature has created a unique scenery here. The quietly rippling Marienbach accompanies you on your hiking adventure through the Dragon Gorge. Afterwards, it is recommended to follow the hiking trail in the direction of the Rennsteig to the Hohe Sonne; because from here it is only a stone’s throw to the Hischstein viewpoint.

Summer, sun and great excursions

Erfurt, Thuringia
View of Erfurt, Image: photo20ast / shutterstock

In the warm season, around 30 clear bathing waters allow young and old holiday guests to have refreshing bathing fun. The Eberswiese mountain lake is surrounded on three sides by rock faces and is a paradise for good swimmers. The Bleiloch Dam is the largest reservoir in Germany. There are idyllic bathing spots here, for example ‘Am Strandbad’ in Saalburg. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy various water sports at the Bleiloch Dam and recreational captains like to sail across the water sparkling in the sun on an excursion boat.

A colourful range of varied excursion destinations provides plenty of holiday fun in Thuringia. In the Thuringian Forest, for example, exciting climbing adventures await you in the high ropes course. Or would you rather take part in a dwarf tour through the stalactite cave? In the fairy grottoes it is ‘Glück auf!’ An experienced cave guide will be happy to show you the fascinating world underground.

A winter holiday in Thuringia

Thuringia is also worth a visit in the cold months and offers the best conditions for a relaxing winter holiday.

Believe it or not, 16 winter sports areas offer skiing and tobogganing fun.
The most famous among them is the Oberhof ski area, which extends up to 830m above sea level. The 800m long Fallbach slope attracts alpine skiers with sporting challenges. The adjoining snow park is an Eldorado for snowboarders. And various bobsleigh and luge competitions regularly provide variety.
Those who prefer to have fun away from the slopes can also look forward to a wide network of winter hiking trails and cross-country ski trails in the district of Saalfeld. At Lehesten am Wetzstein, there are around 28 groomed trails available for cross-country skiers. And families whiz down the Arnsgereuth toboggan hill with blowing hair, laughing.

Fine and hearty food for connoisseurs

Thuringian cuisine is considered down-to-earth and traditionally spoils gourmets with solid home cooking. The Thuringian grilled sausage is known far beyond the country’s borders.

But Thuringia attracts travelers with a variety of culinary delicacies for every taste.

Hearty roasts with Thuringian dumplings and sauce are among the most popular delicacies in Lutherstadt Eisenstadt.

Since 1828, the Wartburg Brewery has been delighting thirsty throats with its drinks. The ‘Schwarzer Esel’, a quaffable black beer, is considered a special speciality.
Why not take a culinary tour through Thuringian cuisine and try the beer soup with bread cubes, which has been popular since the 16th century.
For dessert in Thuringia, you will be served the seductively sweet sour cream cake with fruit.

Festivals and celebrations throughout the year

  • From the maypole setting in Erfurt to the Biathlon World Cup in Oberhof, Thuringia is the venue for lively festivals and celebrations all year round.
  • The Krämerbrückenfest in Erfurt is the largest old town festival in Thuringia and invites you to join in the celebrations with music, cabaret and culinary delights. The medieval market and the eagerly awaited fireworks display with laser show every year are among the highlights of the Krämerbrückenfest.
  • In 1653, the Weimar Onion Festival was first mentioned in a document. Framed by a multifaceted cultural programme on numerous stages, the Onion Festival today offers colourful entertainment. Be sure to try the spicy bacon or onion tart.
  • During the Advent season, Thuringia is transformed into a magical winter fairy tale. Romantic Christmas markets make Thuringia’s towns and cities shine in special splendour.
  • More than 200 wooden stalls with handicrafts and delicious goods stretch out at the Weimar Christmas Market between Wenigemarkt and the Cathedral Square. At the Goethe-Schiller Monument, an ice rink provides great fun for young and old skaters every year.
  • In front of the impressive backdrop of the cathedral, the Erfurt Christmas market has been taking place for well over 150 years. This is considered one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany.