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11 Things to See in Erfurt Germany: Your Essential Guide

Erfurt Cathedral and St. Severus Church

If you’re looking for a European city steeped in history, brimming with architectural beauty, and offering unique experiences, then Erfurt, Germany, is a fantastic choice! As the capital of Thuringia, Erfurt exudes a delightful mix of medieval charm and modern vibrancy. Its cobbled streets, picturesque half-timbered houses, and rich heritage make it a captivating city to explore. Let’s dive into some of the top things you won’t want to miss:

Must-See Spots in Erfurt

Visit Krämerbrücke (Merchant’s Bridge)

Erfurt’s most iconic landmark, the Krämerbrücke, is more than just a bridge – it’s a living piece of history. This unique medieval structure is lined on both sides with charming half-timbered houses and shops, creating a bustling atmosphere reminiscent of centuries past.

  • Step Back in Time: Lose yourself in the narrow, cobbled street and imagine the merchants of the Middle Ages plying their wares.
  • Shopping Delight: Browse the delightful shops offering traditional crafts, antiques, Thuringian specialties, and beautiful souvenirs.
  • Architectural Gem: Admire the craftsmanship of the half-timbered houses, some dating back over 500 years.
  • Photographic Hotspot: Capture picture-perfect moments of this extraordinary landmark.

Tip: Visit the bridge’s eastern end to climb the tower of the Church of St. Aegidius for stunning views of Erfurt.

Admire Erfurt Cathedral and St. Severus Church

Standing side-by-side on Erfurt’s Domberg (Cathedral Hill), the magnificent Erfurt Cathedral and St. Severus Church form a breathtaking architectural duo. These imposing Gothic structures represent centuries of faith, history, and artistry.

Erfurt Cathedral Highlights

  • Gothic architecture: Admire the intricate details, towering spires, and stunning stained glass.
  • Gloriosa bell: Hear the sound of the largest medieval free-swinging bell in the world that you can hear it ring only on holidays.
  • Martin Luther connection: Discover the site of the famous reformer’s ordination.
  • City views: Climb the tower for breathtaking panoramas of Erfurt.

St. Severus Church Highlights

  • Early Gothic design: Appreciate the beauty of this architectural style.
  • St. Severus sarcophagus: See the ornate resting place of the saint.
  • Stained glass art: Marvel at the vibrant 14th-century windows.

Tip: Visiting the ensemble of Cathedral and St. Severus Church, a unique landmark in Germany, is doubly rewarding!

Erfurt Christmas Market

Get into the holiday spirit at the Erfurt Christmas Market. It’s one of the biggest and best Christmas markets in the German state of Thuringia.

The market is in the beautiful, old part of Erfurt, and has a special Christmas feeling. Held on Domplatz (Cathedral Square) and surrounding areas from late November to December, it’s a must-experience for anyone visiting Erfurt during this time.

What you’ll find:

  • Yummy treats: Try warm roasted chestnuts, tasty Thuringian sausages, and sweet Erfurt Schittchen (a special Christmas cake).
  • Handmade gifts: Buy unique gifts from local artists, like glass ornaments, wooden toys, and pretty lace. Find everything you need to decorate your home for the holidays — from traditional glass ornaments to hand-carved nativity scenes.
  • Christmas magic: See the Erfurt Cathedral lit up with beautiful lights and walk by the big Christmas tree.
  • Fun for kids: Visit the fairytale forest with scenes from favorite stories. Enjoy carols, music, and even plays!

Get to see more Erfurt Attractions with these Guided tours:

Best Shops to Visit in Erfurt

Erfurt’s shopping scene is filled with hidden treasures and one-of-a-kind finds. Ditch those generic chain stores and step into a world of craftsmanship and unique souvenirs. Here’s a taste of what awaits:

Qnik Papeterie

More than just a stationery store, this delightful shop is a haven for paper lovers, crafters, and anyone seeking beautiful, unique gifts. Find the perfect pen, notebook, or card to elevate your writing and gift-giving. Qnik offers one-of-a-kind paper art that reflects the minimalist elegance inspired by the owners’ studies at the renowned Bauhaus University in Weimar.

Schmuck & Objekt Ute Wolff-Brinckmann

Schmuck & Objekt Ute Wolff-Brinckmann is a jewelry store located in Erfurt, Germany that sells handmade jewelry. Admire contemporary jewelry designs handcrafted with passion and precision. Browse eye-catching necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, each piece a testament to the artist’s skill and unique vision.

The store is owned by Ute Wolff-Brinckmann. If you are looking for unique, handmade jewelry, Schmuck & Objekt Ute Wolff-Brinckmann is a great place to start your search!

Erfurter Blau

Experience a Thuringian tradition with a visit to an Erfurter Blau shop. The artisans specialize in blue-dyed textiles they extracted from a plant called “woad” using centuries-old techniques.

Find everything from decorative items and clothing to souvenirs showcasing this distinctive blue hue.

Maboni

If you’re traveling with little ones, or simply love whimsical items, Maboni is a must-visit. Their bright and cheerful shop offers delightful toys, charming children’s clothing, and unique decorative items guaranteed to bring a smile.

Goldhelm Schokoladen

Indulge your sweet tooth with exotic chocolates and delightful confections. Goldhelm is known for its commitment to quality ingredients and an irresistible selection of handmade treats.

Every chocolate is crafted by hand, and they even have their own farm and dairy where they produce milk for their chocolate creations. They make pralines, truffles, chocolate bars, and sauces.

Tilibom

If you love the charm of things made with care, you’ll adore Tilibom Teddy Bear Shop! Andrea Hesse Wagner puts her heart into each adorable, collectible bear, spending hours hand-sewing every detail.

These bears aren’t just toys – they move and some even have that sweet, worn-in look like a well-loved childhood friend. Maybe they’ll even make a little bear noise for you! Experience the magic of a truly handcrafted treasure with a Tilibom Teddy Bear.

Where To Stay in Erfurt

Stay in Style at Hotel Krämerbrücke

Choose a hotel right in the city center so you can step out your door and be in the middle of it all! Hotel Krämerbrücke offers this unforgettable experience.

  • Unique Location: Nestled among the historic houses of the bridge, you’ll be stepping directly into the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
  • Historic Charm: The hotel’s rooms blend modern comforts with the building’s centuries-old character.
  • Central to Everything: Erfurt’s top attractions, cafes, and shops are literally at your doorstep.

On a Budget? No problem! Erfurt has plenty of hotels and budget-friendly hostels as well. Check out discounted hotel deals here:

Best Time To Visit Erfurt

Erfurt is a great place to visit any time of year! But to get the most out of your trip, let’s figure out the best time for you.

  • Love Mild Weather? Spring and fall are perfect. Fewer crowds, pleasant temperatures, and you might even see those gorgeous fall colors in the countryside.
  • Festival Fanatic? Summer is packed with lively outdoor events and beer gardens to enjoy. It can get a little warm, but the city’s parks are perfect for a break in the shade.
  • Christmas Markets Your Thing? December is the time to go! Bundle up and get ready to be enchanted by Erfurt’s twinkling Christmas market.
  • Mostly into History and Sights? Honestly, any season is good for exploring. If it’s outdoor activities or specific events that are your focus, that’s when seasonality matters more.

How To Visit Erfurt

Getting to Erfurt is super easy, so let’s figure out what works best for you:

  • By Plane: Erfurt-Weimar Airport (ERF) is the closest airport to Erfurt, located a short distance from the city center. Many major European cities offer direct flights to Erfurt-Weimar, making it a convenient option. Check with your preferred airline for flight schedules and availability.
  • Need a ride from Erfurt Airport? If you’d like someone to pick you up from Erfurt Airport and drop you off to you hotel, consider hiring a car service below:

However, if you wish to rent a car in the city, you can find the best deals here:

  • By Trains: Erfurt’s connected to most big German cities by train. It’s a great day trip option or part of a longer adventure. Check trainline and book your seat today!
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  • By Car: The highways to Erfurt are good, but keep in mind that parking in the city center can be tight. If you’re arriving by car, make sure your hotel has its own parking lot.
  • Exploring on Foot: The best way to see Erfurt’s highlights is walking! The main attractions are all close together.

Erfurt has a way of stealing your heart – whether you love getting lost in history or just adore a charming town. Its medieval streets and hidden surprises will keep you coming back for more.

FAQ’s about Things to See in Erfurt Germany

What is the most famous landmark in Erfurt?

The Krämerbrücke (Merchants’ Bridge) is Erfurt’s most iconic landmark. This unique bridge lined with colorful, half-timbered houses is unlike any other bridge in Europe. It’s a must-visit for shopping and soaking up the town’s medieval atmosphere.

Is Erfurt worth visiting?

Absolutely! Erfurt offers a delightful blend of medieval charm, stunning architecture, and historical significance. Its compact Old Town, iconic Krämerbrücke, and imposing Gothic churches make it a fantastic destination for a day trip or even a longer stay.

What can you do in Erfurt for free?

Erfurt has plenty to enjoy without spending a dime: Explore the Old Town: Admire the half-timbered houses, picturesque squares like Fischmarkt, and the unique Erfurt Cathedral.
Window shop on the Krämerbrücke: Experience the atmosphere of this historical bridge even if you don’t buy anything.
Relax in parks: Spend some time in parks like Egapark (which has some paid attractions but also free areas) or unwind by the Gera River.

Can you do a day trip to Erfurt from Berlin?

Yes, Erfurt makes a good day trip from Berlin. It takes around 2 hours by high-speed train, leaving ample time to explore the main sights, savor a Thuringian meal, and soak up the atmosphere before returning.

More Germany Travel Guide and Tips

6 Best Things To Do in Augsburg Germany

Regensburg Germany Attractions: 7 Best Things To See and Do

Discovering Lauscha Germany: The Cradle of Christmas Ornaments

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a freelance writer living in Orlando, Florida with many published bylines in magazines, newspapers, and multimedia sites. As a professional lifestyle writer, Karen specializes in art, architecture, design, home interiors and personality profiles. Karen is the writer, producer and host of the streaming series, The Design Tourist (www.TheDesignTourist.com) that brings viewers a global dose of design inspiration with episodes featuring the latest looks and trends from the world’s premiere design events and shows. She also publishes a quarterly magazine on design travel that you can read by clicking the link: https://thedesigntourist.com/the-magazine/ Her journalism background includes seven years on-air experience as a TV news reporter and anchor covering a range of issues from education to politics. Her educational credentials include a Master of Arts in Mass Communications from Northeast Louisiana University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Louisiana State University. Throughout her career, Karen has written and produced dozens of documentaries and videos for educational, commercial, corporate, and governmental clients and appeared in many TV and video productions as a professional host.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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