Eastern Germany is a source of endless delight for travelers enthusiastic about history, art, and architecture. The opulent cities in this part of the country boast spectacular skylines made of ancient palaces, soaring church towers, medieval fortifications, and many great museums. Alongside these cultural treasures, it is also a paradise for nature lovers. Let’s take a look at the most interesting cities in Eastern Germany.
Dresden is famous for its treasure of art and architecture. An architectural tour of Dresden must include Zwinger (an ensemble of stunning buildings), the neo-Renaissance Royal Palace, the Albertinum with an admirable collection of art, the imposing Cathedral, and the Frauenkirche. Dresden’s countless museums of history, art, automobiles, and more infuse a generous dose of culture into your holiday. Saxon Switzerland National Park is a very popular and easy getaway from Dresden.
Erfurt is a 1,200-year-old city and the state capital of Thuringia. It was in the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt that Martin Luther became a monk in 1505. The most famous landmark of Erfurt is the marvelous three-towered Gothic Erfurt Cathedral built in 742 AD, which houses the largest bell in the world. The green lungs of Erfurt, Egapark, is among the largest leisure parks in the country and amazingly beautiful.
The historic city of Leipzig is rather unsung, but has the potential to emerge as one of the most exciting cities in Germany owing to its diverse attractions and vibrant cultural life. The two churches, St. Thomas and St. Nicholas, add a lot of exquisite beauty to Leipzig’s skyline. For an uninterrupted view of the city, climb to the top of the Monument to the Battle of the Nations, which is also a very important landmark in itself.
Bautzen is located on the bank of the River Spree, and is a popular day trip option from Dresden. Bautzen oozes medieval charm and keeps travelers busy with its many attractions, including Ortenburg Castle, Alt Wasserkunst, and St Peter’s Cathedral. If you are traveling with kids, make a stop at Saurierpark Kleinwelka adventure park, which has dinosaur replicas along with climbing ropes, slides, and more.
Potsdam, dubbed the Versailles of Germany, is certainly one of the most stunning cities in all of Europe. After all, it’s hard to beat a UNESCO-listed site with over 150 magnificent pieces of architecture and 500 acres of parkland. The most famous landmark of Potsdam is easily the opulent Sanssouci Palace sitting in a sprawling park. Other sights in Potsdam worth exploring are Neues Palais, Altes Rathaus, Film Museum, Babelsberg, Nauen Gate, Brandenburger Gate, Glienicke Bridge, and Nikolaikirche.
Görlitz, with its stunning Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic architecture, holds immense appeal for architecture lovers. A tour of the architectural wonders of this town would include St Peter and Paul’s Church, St. Marienthal Abbey and Fat Tower. It also has a very well-maintained historic Old Town and several nice museums.
Weimar’s claim to fame lies in the fact that legendary personalities like Luther, Cranach, Bach, Goethe, Schiller and Nietzsche called it home at different times, and for also being the cradle of the Bauhaus Movement. Weimar is also admirably rich in culture, as evident in its series of great museums like Belvedere Palace, Goethe Museum, Bauhaus Museum, Duchess Anna Amalia Library, Castle Museum, Widow’s Palace and the UNESCO-listed Goethe and Schiller Archive, among others.
Zwickau is an offbeat choice, but one that just might surprise you with its unique attractions. For automobile enthusiasts, the August Horch Museum alone is worth the effort of making a stop at Zwickau. Additionally, it doesn’t really take a deep understanding of architecture to be wowed by the charismatic Gothic structure of St. Mary’s Cathedral. In Zwickau, you also get a chance to pay tribute to famous German composer and music critic Robert Schumann at the Robert Schumann Haus. Also, grab the rare chance of watching performing arts at a former gasometer.
Magdeburg, lapped by the Elbe River, holds immense significance in European history, and has witnessed devastating destruction more than once in its lifetime. The most famous landmark of Magdeburg is the highest church in Eastern Germany, the 104-meter-tall (341 ft) Lutheran Cathedral of Saints Catherine and Maurice. The city is also home to Europe’s longest water bridge over water, the Magdeburg Water Bridge, and several other beautiful churches and parks.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.