A gateway to the Erzgebirge (Iron Ore Mountains), Zwickau has written an important chapter in German automobile history. It is the birthplace of the Audi brand (in 1910) and the GDR-era Trabant, which began rolling, very slowly, off assembly lines in 1957. The town’s sparkling car museum is a must for anyone even remotely interested in the subject. Production continues today courtesy of Volkswagen, which brought much-needed jobs to the area. The fairly lively centre teems with pubs and restaurants dotted around an impressive cathedral, the birth house of composer Robert Schumann and some of Germany’s oldest homes.