The small, vibrant university town of Marburg is known for its quintessentially German medieval flair. Whether you want to walk in the steps of the Grimm Brothers and relive childhood fairy tales, or take in the town’s history with a visit to the romantic Marburg Castle, there’s something for everyone. Take the time to get lost in Marburg’s picture-book cobbled alleys with our guide to the best experiences around.
Marburger Schloss (also known as Landgrafenschloss Marburg), set dramatically atop Schlossberg hill, gazes down at one of the most romantic cities in Germany, Marburg. The castle is a fitting icing on the cake for the city that inspired several of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales. The University Museum for Cultural History walks visitors through the interesting past of this gorgeous 13th century castle.
The Waggonhalle culture center is the one-stop shop for your culture and entertainment fix when in Marburg. From wrestling matches to cabaret, music concerts to plays, dance shows to circus performances, this spot hosts an event almost every day of the year. The schedule is available on their official website. You can top off your visit with a great meal at Rotkehlchen restaurant on the premises, which is known for delicious food served in a cozy, rustic environment.
Marburg Altstadt (old town) is the perfect place to soak up the medieval flair of Marburg. As you walk the romantic cobbled alleys lined by half-timbered houses from various eras and punctuated by steep steps, you’ll find it easy to understand why the Brothers Grimm were so enchanted with this town. Jacob Grimm penned in a letter to his friend Paul Wiegand his feelings about Marburg when he stated that: “I believe there are more steps on the street than in the houses. One even enters one house through the roof.” The town hall, built in 1512, is the most noteworthy landmark in Marburg old town. You will also find rows of cute shops, restaurants and cafes in this square, which comes to life with the merry chatter of locals and tourists, especially in summer.
Grimm Path is your chance to live the fairy tales that were probably a big part of your bedtime. The path, inaugurated in April 2012, connects fairy tale figures from the famous Grimm stories. These installations adorn walls, houses and steps, some reaching up to a height of up to 109 meters (358 feet). These are accompanied by interesting tidbits of information about the beloved Brothers and their magical tales. To do this self-guided tour, pick up a QR-coded, smartphone-compatible map at the Marburg Stadt und Land Tourismus GmbH (Biegenstraße 15).
The 36 meter (118 foot)-high Kaiser Wilhelm Tower is known for the uninterrupted views it offers across Feldberg in the Taunus, the Kahlen Asten in the Sauerland and the Wasserkuppe of the Rhön. This is also the perfect place to catch a glorious sunset. In fact, this romantic tower has witnessed many proposals over the years. The TurmCafé housed in the tower offers delicious food and hosts cultural events on a regular basis.
The Philipps University of Marburg, founded in 1527, is one of the oldest universities in Germany and famous for its scientific research and coveted prizes. A large chunk of Marburg’s population is made of students of this university, which contributes to the vibrant, young atmosphere of the town. Many legendary personalities have received their education at this university, including the Brothers Grimm. The lessons they received about the history of the German language and literature and folktales here undeniably shaped the magic they weaved with words. Other than its historic and educational importance, it is also a magnificent architectural structure to admire and photograph.
St. Elizabeth’s Church, the construction of which started in 1235, is as important a landmark of Marburg as Marburg Castle. This charismatic sandstone church is one of the first and few examples of pure Gothic architecture and was used as a model for the iconic Cologne Cathedral. Its striking features include a 20 meter (66 foot)-high vaulted ceiling, the Gothic shrine of St. Elizabeth, and an ornate main portal.