Erfurt, Germany; Tourist Information and Photos

 

Erfurt, the state capital of Thuringia, right in the geographical centre of Germany, has kept still over the centuries, yet its political location has frequently changed around it. Erfurt has belonged to the Electorate of Mainz, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and now Thuringia in a re-united Germany. As befits an economic hub, Erfurt lies at the centre of a number of transport routes: in Medieval times the Via Regia was important as a pilgrim route and trading link. Today it is a high speed train stop linking Germany to the rest of Europe. And, as required in all great cities, Erfurt has a river, the Gera, running through it.

Famous people connected to Erfurt include: Saint Boniface, a missionary from England in the 8th century AD; Martin Luther, who attended the university here; Pachelbel, the Baroque composer, whose most famous piece is ‘Pachelbel’s Canon in D; and the three times Olympic speed skating champion for Germany, Gunda Niemann.

What to see and do in Erfurt: The Cathedral (Mariendom) – any view of the city is dominated by the gothic magnificence of the cathedral and St Severus Church, alongside the many historic buildings of Cathedral Square (Domplatz) and Petersberg Citadel. A word of warning: sightseeing in this area involves a lot of steps, and is not for the disabled. But if you can walk, and you like markets, head for the east side of Cathedral Square, where you will find an open air market in Marktstrasse. Merchants’ Bridge, built in 1325, is a highlight of any tour, as the only bridge in northern Europe that still has inhabited houses on it all the way across. If you still haven’t had enough outdoor history you can walk down Michaelisstrasse, where you will see many historic buildings in the old university quarter. The Gedenk Museum is kept as a memorial to the 5,000 people who were imprisoned there by the East German Ministry of State Security for opposing Communism between 1949 and 1989; the Stadtmuseum is less emotional and traces the history of the city from early days. Zoopark and Crocworld compete for the attention of families who like animal exhibits: the former is a city zoo with aquarium and animal petting; and Crocworld is a reptile park where you can see crocodiles, spiders and snakes up close.

If you are interested in horticulture or garden design and sculpture, you won’t want to miss the Egapark while you are in Erfurt. The gardens were laid out in the 1960s, with a rose garden, a Japanese garden, tropical greenhouses and a sculpture garden showing some important works. For children there is a butterfly house and a children’s farm. The park is open daily from March to October, with reduced hours in the winter months when there is no charge for entry. Take tram line 2 to the Egapark stop.

Erfurt Tourist Office: The main tourist information office in Erfurt is at 1 Benediktsplatz. You can call them on +4936166400, or email at info - at - erfurt-tourismus.de . The city can be reached by plane, InterCity Express train, car and motorway. If you go to the tourist office on arrival, they can offer you inclusive accommodation packages at hotels, apartments, guesthouses or campsites. (You can also book in advance through their website Erfurt Tourismus)
Guided tours include the historical city; Romantic Erfurt; Petersberg Citadel; the cathedral; and the surrounding region. There are also Gastronomic Experiences and Garden Tours. If you are staying a while it is worth buying the Erfurt Card, which gives you free bus and tram travel, free museum entry and a free city tour. You also get reductions at Erfurt’s two theatres and one puppet theatre, its indoor and outdoor pools, and the Avenida Thermal Baths, as well as on some guided tours and even souvenirs.

Where to stay in Erfurt: Victor’s Residenz-Hotel is at the luxury end of the scale (4 star), with 68 spacious rooms, free wifi and phone calls, and a bar and traditional rustic restaurant. It is close to the airport and The Erfurt Exhibition Centre, and also near all the main sights. Also with 4 stars, but a much bigger hotel with 282 rooms, is the very modern Radisson Blu Hotel. Its location is good, being just a 10 minute walk from the Old Town, and it offers a fitness gym, sauna and steam room, and a wellness area where you can have a massage. There is a bar and the Classico Bistro and Restaurant.

In the 3 star category, the Hotel am Kaisersaal (90 rooms) is also within walking distance of the main sights of the city, such as Merchants’ Bridge. Breakfast is included and snacks and drinks are available in the Lobby Bar 24/7, but it is its location that really sells this hotel. The Landhotel Weisser Schwan (also 3 star) is in the Kerspleban suburb of Erfurt, a fifteen minute drive from the centre; but since the hotel offers free parking, you may find it worth going so far out in order to stay in this peaceful area – as long as you have a car. There is a restaurant on site. Also in a quiet area near the River Gera, and housed in a disused police station, is the 2 star Re4Hostel. This 25 room hostel gets good marks for its location from people who like jogging, walking, swimming or ice-skating, all of which are possible nearby. Also, passes for the Thuringian Bicycle Route are available from the Hostel. They have a mix of family rooms, rooms for two, three or four persons, and single beds in a shared dormitory. There is a bar, but no hostel restaurant, although they will provide packed-lunches on request.

Erfurt, Railway Station Willy Brandt Place Radisson, Anger, Erfurt Erfurt, Anger
Post Office, Anger, Erfurt Anger, Erfurt Germany, Erfurt, Anger Erfurt, Anger
Fountain, Anger, Erfurt Martin Luther monument Anger Kunstmuseum Anger, Erfurt, Germany
Anger 23 Angerbrunnen Erfurt, Staatkanzlei Hirschgarten, Erfurt
Cathedral St. Mary, Church St. Severus Erfurt, Dom Place Domplatz, Erfurt Marktstrasse, Erfurt
Town Hall, Erfurt Erfurt, Fischmarkt Erfurt, old houses Merchants bridge, shops
Kraemerbruecke, Erfurt Erfurt, Aegidius church River Gera, Erfurt Neue Muehle, Gera, Erfurt
Erfurt, fortress Petersberg Citadel, Erfurt Erfurt, Hotel Dom Bernd das Brot, Erfurt
Erfurt, Theater Radisson blu, Erfurt Erfurt, Juri-Gagarin-Ring Erfurt, Kraempfertor
Erfurt by night Erfurt, Domplatz Town Hall, Erfurt Fish Market, Erfurt
     
egapark      
Erfurt, egapark Erfurt, egapark Fountain, egapark egapark, Erfurt
egapark, pavillon egapark, flowersculpture cactus, egapark Japanese garden, ega, Erfurt
gartenbaumuseum, egapark, Erfurt egapark, tower egapark, Gartenbaumuseum Erfurt from ega park