Start your day with a breakfast with ambience. Hotel Schwibbogen serves a delectable breakfast spread in a room adorned with 500-year-old murals on the walls. It’s also a very popular hotel among travelers for its central location and modern amenities.
If you arrive in Görlitz by train, your sightseeing starts right away, as you will be greeted by a stunning Art Nouveau style railway station. If your train arrives early enough in the morning, you can still grab breakfast at Hotel Schwibbogen, 1.3 km from the station in the direction of the old town where you are headed anyway for a day of great sightseeing.
Next stop is the Silesian Museum, housed in the Schönhof, the most ancient Renaissance building in Germany and an architectural gem. A tour through this museum helps visitors understand the evolution of Görlitz (and Germany as a whole) over several eras and displays Silesian arts and crafts from various centuries and artifacts pertaining to the lifestyle, trade and industry of bygone days.
Silesian Museum: Brüderstraße 8, 02826 Görlitz, +49 3581 87910
A few steps away from the museum stands the Town Hall or City Council, another stunning landmark of the city, the earliest parts of which date back to the 14th century. Stop to admire its two clock faces and the massive cross-vaults across the entranceway.
Just two minutes from the City Council is another amazing museum, the Kulturhistorisches Museum. It is your one-stop destination for a comprehensive idea of the history of Upper Lusatia and its neighboring regions. The Upper Lusatian Library of Sciences housed in the same building contains over 140,000 volumes on the history of the region between Dresden and Breslau.
Kulturhistorisches Museum: Neißstraße 29, 02826 Görlitz, +493581 671355
The Kulturhistorisches Museum is right in the old town of Görlitz and has lots of restaurants in the vicinity. Perhaps you would like to try Schlesisches Himmelreich, a delicious local specialty consisting of smoked pork loin with a side of dumplings and wash it down with Landskron, a local beer.
After lunch, continue your exploration of this outstanding heritage city. The 15th-century Parish Church of St. Peter and Paul right in the old town is an important stop along the Via Sacra, the Holy Route that connects some significant religious institutes in Germany, Poland and Czech Republic. Even if you aren’t religious, you can’t help being impressed by its soaring towers and ornate interior.
St. Peter and Paul: Bei der Peterskirche 9, 02826 Görlitz, +493581 4287000
A couple of hundred meters from the church lies the Old Town Bridge. Walk across it to Poland. Yes, you read that right. It’s as simple as that. The Polish town of Zgorzelec lies on the other side of the bridge across the river Lusatian Neisse. Just so you know, alcohol and cigarettes are delightfully cheap in this Polish town.
Back in Görlitz, head to Museum der Fotografie (Photography Museum). Here, you walk down the fascinating history of photography, recording and projection technology, modern digital developments and more. It is open everyday except Monday from 12 pm to 4 pm.
Museum der Fotografie: Löbauer Str. 7, 02826 Görlitz, +49 3581 878761
After a coffee and snack break, it’s time for another super interesting museum, Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde. This popular natural history museum displays a whopping 6.5 million artifacts collected over 200 years. It appeals especially to those interested in taxonomy, morphology, ecology, geology and molecular biology, but is also a popular destination for families. The beautifully preserved animals, birds and other creatures impress adults and children alike.
Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde: Am Museum 1, 02826 Görlitz, +49 3581 47605220
After all the history and culture, some retail therapy would probably be welcome. Head back to the old town and browse the many quaint shops surrounding the historic square. It is extremely likely that you will discover irresistible souvenirs in the form of hand-made arts and crafts, blown glass, woodwork, pretty jewelry and more. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a play, dance, concert or market in the square. Take your pick from the wide range of restaurants for a satisfying dinner and perhaps mingle with the locals at a bar or pub, before retiring for some well-earned shut-eye.