Must-see attractions in Central Germany

  • Gedenkstätte Buchenwald


    Between 1937 and 1945, hidden from Weimarers and surrounding villagers, 250,000 men, women and children were incarcerated here, some 56,500 of whom were…

  • The Wartburg near Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany.


    Thuringian Forest & the Saale Valley

    When it comes to medieval castles and their importance in German history, Eisenach's Unesco-listed Wartburg dominates the landscape. This huge medieval…

  • A vertical shot of the Hercules monument in Wilhelmshoehe Castle Park in Kassel, Germany.


    Fairy-Tale Road

    Erected between 1707 and 1717 by Landgrave Karl and declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 2013, the 8.25m-high copper Herkules statue stands atop a…

  • Inner courtyard of Friedenstein Castle in the old town of Gotha in Thuringia in Germany.

    Schloss Friedenstein

    Erfurt, Weimar & Thuringia

    This horseshoe-shaped palace, surviving in exemplary condition as the largest early baroque palace in Germany, is a lavish, creaky-floored delight. Much…

  • The historical townhall and market place of Marburg, Germany.


    Fairy-Tale Road

    One of the joys of Marburg is simply strolling around its steeply winding medieval core. Its focal point is the Marktplatz; on the southern side is the…

  • Wörlitz Park, Dessau, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

    Wörlitz Park & Schloss Wörlitz

    Central Germany

    With peacocks feeding on the lawn before a neo-Gothic house, a tree-lined stream flowing towards a Grecian-style temple and a gap in a hedge framing a…

  • The Bauhaus master house building designed by architect Walter Gropius in 1925, Dessau, Germany.


    Central Germany

    You’ll find the four surviving Meisterhäuser – Gropiushaus, Haus Feininger, Haus Muche/Schlemmer and Haus Kandinsky/Klee – on leafy Ebertallee, a 15…

  • Old tree and roots at Edersee lake, at Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, Waldeck-Frankenburg, Hessen, Germany.

    Nationalpark Kellerwald-Edersee

    Fairy-Tale Road

    Hesse's first national park encompasses the Kellerwald, one of the largest extant red-beech forests in Central Europe and a rare survivor of the last Ice…

  • Wilhelmsburg Castle in Schmalkalden.

    Schloss Wilhelmsburg

    Thuringian Forest & the Saale Valley

    Overlooking Schmalkalden, the late-Renaissance Schloss Wilhelmsburg was built between 1585 and 1590 by Landgrave Wilhelm IV of Hessen as a hunting lodge…

  • Rococo interior of Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar.

    Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek


    Assembled by Duchess Anna Amalia (1739–1807), the power (and purse) behind Weimar's classical florescence, this Unesco-listed library has been beautifully…

  • Historic Wernigerode Castle surrounded by an autumn landscape.

    Schloss Wernigerode

    Harz Mountains

    Originally built in the 12th century to protect German Kaisers on hunting expeditions, Schloss Wernigerode was enlarged over the years to reflect late…

  • Main gate of Petersberg Citadel in Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany.

    Zitadelle Petersberg


    Situated on the Petersberg hill northwest of Domplatz, this 36-hectare citadel ranks among Europe’s largest and best-preserved baroque fortresses. While…

  • Concentration camp KZ Mittelbau Dora.

    KZ-Gedenkstätte Mittelbau Dora

    Harz Mountains

    A deeply sobering place: at least 20,000 people were worked to death here building the tunnels beneath Mittelbau Dora, and the rockets now decaying within…

  • Lutherhaus in Wittenberg, Germany.


    Central Germany

    Even those with no previous interest in the Reformation will likely be fascinated by the state-of-the-art exhibits in the Lutherhaus, the former monastery…

  • St. Michael's church in Fulda, Germany.


    Fairy-Tale Road

    A living kernel of Fulda's long history, this early-9th-century church was once the cemetery chapel for the Benedictine monastery around which the town…

  • Neuenburg Castle, Freyburg, Germany.

    Schloss Neuenburg

    Central Germany

    This large medieval castle on the hill above town is one of Freyburg’s highlights. It houses an excellent museum that illuminates various aspects of…

  • Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe

    Fairy-Tale Road

    Situated 6.5km west of Kassel Hauptbahnhof, and 3km west of Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe station, in the enchanting Habichtswald nature park, this spectacular 560…

  • Schloss Wilhelmshöhe

    Fairy-Tale Road

    Erstwhile home to Kaiser Wilhelm II, Wilhelmshöhe Palace (1786–98) at the foot of Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, today houses one of Germany’s greatest art…

  • Bauhausgebäude

    Central Germany

    It’s almost impossible to overstate the significance of this building, erected in 1925–26, as a school of Bauhaus art, design and architecture. Today a…

  • Dornburger Schlösser

    Thuringian Forest & the Saale Valley

    About 15km north of Jena, you'll find this hillside trilogy of magnificently restored palaces in medieval, Renaissance and rococo styles, with stunning…

  • Erfurter Dom


    Erfurt's cathedral, where Martin Luther was ordained a priest, grew over the centuries from a simple 8th-century chapel into the stately Gothic pile of…

  • Goethe-Nationalmuseum


    This is the world's leading museum on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany's literary colossus. It incorporates his home of 50 years, gifted by Duke Carl…

  • John Cage Orgel Kunst Projekt

    Harz Mountains

    The performance of American avant-garde composer and musical theorist John Cage's Organ²/ASLSP began in the shell of the former Kirche St Burchardi in…

  • Grimmwelt

    Fairy-Tale Road

    Occupying a prime position atop the Weinberg bunker in the scenic Weinbergpark, the fabulous Grimmwelt could be described as an architect-designed walk-in…

  • Rammelsberg Museum & Besucherbergwerk

    Harz Mountains

    The shafts and buildings of this 1000-year-old mine are now a museum and Unesco World Heritage Site. Admission to the mine includes a German-language tour…

  • Stadtschloss

    Fairy-Tale Road

    Fulda's spectacular Stadtschloss (town castle) was built from 1706 to 1721 as the prince-abbots' residence. Designed by famed baroque architect Johann…

  • Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte

    Central Germany

    This phenomenal collection of major archaeological finds is one of the most significant in Europe. Priceless permanent exhibits shed light on the early to…

  • Schloss Hämelschenburg.

    Schloss Hämelschenburg

    Fairy-Tale Road

    Some 11km southwest of Hamelin, in pretty parkland near the Emmer River, sits this stunning palace, built in the Italianate Weser Renaissance style…

  • Church Elisabethkirche in Marburg, Germany.


    Fairy-Tale Road

    Built by the knights of the Teutonic Order between 1235 and 1283 (its two high spires were added later), the Protestant Elisabethkirche is Germany’s…

  • National Park Harz.

    Harz National Park

    Harz Mountains

    Covering a total land mass of 24,700 hectares, Harz National Park is the first national park in Germany to occupy land in two states: Lower Saxony to the…

  • The Fridericianum museum in the center of Kassel, Germany.


    Fairy-Tale Road

    This excellent contemporary art museum hosts temporary exhibitions and symposia exploring relevant, topical themes such as the re-emergence of fascism in…

  • The historic Martin Luther House in Eisenach.


    Thuringian Forest & the Saale Valley

    The religious reformer Martin Luther lived here as a schoolboy from 1498 to 1501, in one of Thuringia's oldest and most handsome half-timbered houses. Now…

  • Tiefurt Castle and Park in Thuringia near Weimar.

    Schloss Tiefurt


    Built in 1765 and developed by the younger brother of Duke Carl August, this Unesco-listed country house flowered under the ownership of Duchess Anna…

  • St. Augustine's Monastery in Erfurt, Germany.



    It’s Luther lore galore at the monastery where the reformer lived from 1505 to 1511, where he was ordained as a monk and where he read his first Mass. You…

  • Medieval arch bridge Krämerbrücke crossing river Gera with half-timbered shops and houses in the city of Erfurt, Germany.



    Flanked by photogenic half-timbered houses on both sides, this charming 1325 stone bridge is the only one north of the Alps that's still inhabited. To…

  • Treetops of beech and oak trees in a forest near Göttingen.

    Göttinger Wald

    Fairy-Tale Road

    Göttinger Wald is one of the best mixed forest stands of predominantly beech and oak in the region. It’s easily reached by following Herzberger…

  • The Zeiss-Planetarium in Jena, Germany.

    Zeiss Planetarium

    Thuringian Forest & the Saale Valley

    The world’s oldest public planetarium (1926) has a state-of-the-art dome projection system, making it a heavenly setting for cosmic laser shows paying…

  • Herzogliches Museum

    Erfurt, Weimar & Thuringia

    The handsome neo-Renaissance building to the south of the Schloss Friedenstein now houses many of the artistic and historical treasures amassed by the…

  • Bachhaus

    Thuringian Forest & the Saale Valley

    Comprising two 15th-century houses knocked together in the early 17th century, this is Johann Sebastian Bach's actual birthplace, and an international…

  • Schloss Wilhelmsthal

    Fairy-Tale Road

    About 15km northwest of Kassel you'll find one of Germany's best-preserved and most beautiful rococo palaces, built by Landgrave Wilhelm VIII as a leisure…