Top things to do

Top Choice Castle in Eisenach

Wartburg

When it comes to medieval castles and their importance in German history, Eisenach's Unesco-listed Wartburg dominates the landscape. This huge medieval castle, 40,000 tonnes of sandstone on a craggy hill, has featur…
Top Choice Palace in Schmalkalden

Schloss Wilhelmsburg

Overlooking Schmalkalden, the late-Renaissance Schloss Wilhelmsburg was built between 1585 and 1590 by Landgrave Wilhelm IV of Hessen as a hunting lodge and summer residence. Since then, it has largely kept its orig…
Top Choice Palace in Jena

Dornburger Schlösser

About 15km north of Jena, you'll find this hillside trilogy of magnificently restored palaces in medieval, Renaissance and rococo styles, with stunning views and immaculate gardens. The Altes Schloss, the oldest, bl…
Top Choice Modern European in Jena

Landgrafen Jena

High in the hills, with stunning views over Jena, this smart multi-purpose restaurant serves genuinely interesting food such as potato-wasabi soup with 'river-crab tails.' There's a summer garden with bratwursts, be…
Top Choice Club in Jena

Rosenkeller

The network of historic wine cellars of this iconic club, resurrected by students in the 1960s, now echo to DJs, live acts, readings and other cultural events. Kept vibrant by each new generation of Jena students, y…
Top Choice German in Eisenach

Weinrestaurant Turmschänke

Going strong since 1910 – when the hotelier of the Kaiserhof connected his premises to the 11th-century defensive tower next door – and persisting through the GDR years, this hushed hideaway scores a perfect 10 on t…
Museum in Eisenach

Bachhaus

Comprising two 15th-century houses knocked together in the early 17th, this is Johann Sebastian Bach's actual birthplace, and an international site of pilgrimage for music lovers. Founded in 1907 and still one of Ge…
Historic Building in Eisenach

Lutherhaus

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 including a modern annexe, the museum's permanent collection…
Planetarium in Jena

Zeiss Planetarium

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 tribute to music legends such as Pink Floyd and Queen, or sendin…
Live Performance in Jena

Volksbad Jena

You can’t swim in the 'People's Baths' (an early-20th-century, heritage-listed public pool) any longer; instead you’ll be showered with theatre, recitals and other cultural events, from the mainstream to the offbeat…