Top things to do

Top Choice Memorial in Weimar

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 murdered. Buchenwald ('Beech Forest') has been preserved almos…
Top Choice Palace in Gotha

Schloss Friedenstein

This horseshoe-shaped palace, surviving in exemplary condition as the largest early baroque palace in Germany, is a lavish, creaky-floored delight. Much of it comprises the Schlossmuseum (Palace Museum), a glorious …
Top Choice Cathedral in Erfurt

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 today. Standouts in its treasure-filled interior include the st…
Top Choice 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 reconstructed after a fire in 2004 destroyed much of the bui…
Top Choice Museum in Weimar

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 August to keep him in Weimar, and left largely as it was upon …
Top Choice Fortress in Erfurt

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 most interior buildings are closed to the public (and daubed w…
Top Choice Cafe in Weimar

Gretchen's Cafe & Restaurant

Located on the ground floor of the Familienhotel, and thus family-friendly, this passionately locavore cafe offers great alternatives to the Thuringian standards available across Weimar. For those intent only on sna…
Top Choice German in Erfurt

Zum Wenigemarkt 13

This upbeat restaurant in a delightful spot (an 18th-century house on the small marketplace at the eastern end of the Krämerbrücke) serves traditional and updated takes on Thuringian cuisine, starring regionally hun…
Top Choice Club in Weimar

Kasseturm

The circular Kasseturm took on a new identity in 1962, when students of the Bauhaus University converted this stout survivor of Weimar's 16th-century defences into a cultural venue. To this day it hosts an assortmen…
Top Choice Japanese in Erfurt

Ginkgo

Behind an unassuming storefront down a side street off Domplatz, you'll find this purveyor of authentic Japanese sushi, run by the engaging Mr and Mrs Saburi. Their story is a fascinating one: be sure to enquire if …