Tourist’s guide to Erfurt, an ancient city in the heart of Germany

Erfurt, Germany – an old campus in the heart of the country. Famous for the University of Erfurt and the Cathedral of St. Mary, which was erected by decree of Cardos the Great in the 8th century.

Erfurt Cathedral

General information

Erfurt is the capital of Thuringia, a city in the central part of Germany. It stands on the river Hera. This is an old campus, the first mention of which dates back to 742 year.

Erfurt street

Since the Middle Ages, the city was considered a place of science and education – in 1392, the third university in modern Germany was opened here. Today it is known as the University of Erfurt, which trains future educators, philosophers, theologians, economists, lawyers and sociologists.

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The city is also known as a religious center, since it is in Erfurt that the Cathedral of St. Mary, founded in the 8th century, and considered one of the oldest in Germany.

The population of the city is 214 thousand people (of which more than 6000 are students). Area – 269.91 km².


Erfurt is not the most popular city for tourists, but it is located extremely well, and, thanks to the Cathedral St. Mary definitely deserves a visit.

Merchant’s Bridge
Merchant's Bridge

The Merchants’ Bridge or Kremerbruck is one of the few bridges that have been preserved in Europe, the main function of which is not only to connect the two shores, but also to provide people with housing. Today, 700 years after construction, there are houses on the bridge in which people still live.

Previously, only shopkeepers lived here – during the day they traded, and the bridge turned into a real market. And in the evening, after a hard day, they went to their home. Now representatives of various modern professions live here.

Tourists are very fond of walking on the bridge – this is not just the main symbol of the city, but also one of the most beautiful and atmospheric places in Erfurt.

By the way, there is a museum in house No. 31, in which you can see how the appearance of the city changed and find out why residents chose to build houses on the bridge rather than on land.

By the way, the most famous bridge of this type is the Menyal Bridge in Paris, the buildings from which were demolished in the late 18th century.

Address: 99084, Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany.

Cathedral (Erfurt Cathedral)
Cathedral (Erfurt Cathedral)

Cathedral of St. Mary – one of the main attractions of Erfurt. The temple is located on Domplatz, but is visible from almost anywhere in the city. It began to be built in 1152, and completed in more than 200 years. The cathedral was very lucky: it was partially destroyed only 2 times (during the war with Napoleon and under Nazi Germany).

The Erfurt Cathedral was rebuilt in the Gothic style: the building seems to stretch up to God, and in the windows you can see bright stained glass windows. Inside the temple is made in the Baroque style: a lot of gold (which is not typical for Gothic), a magnificent altar. Rows of seats with chairs decorated with carved images of biblical subjects. The altar is twined with a golden vine, and on its top is a “Triptych with a unicorn”.

Anyone can enter the temple.

  • Address: Domstufen 1, 99084, Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany.
  • Opening hours: 10.00 – 19.00.

Domplatz is the main square of the city of Erfurt, located in the center. As in most European cities, fairs are organized at it, a farmers’ market operates, and street performers perform on weekends.

From all sides the square is surrounded by sights, so if you come here in the morning, you will be able to leave only by lunch time. But it’s better to visit this place in the evening: St. Mary and the Church of St. Severia is beautifully highlighted, creating an atmosphere of magic and fairy tales.

In winter, the Christmas market opens at Domplatz: dozens of stalls are put up here, where you can buy souvenirs, sweet pastries and hot drinks. They also install a Ferris wheel – for a small German city like Erfurt, this is a real event.

Egapark (Egapark Erfurt)
Egapark (Egapark Erfurt)

Egapark is one of the largest and most beautiful parks in Germany. It is located near the Kiriaksburg fortress (the center of Erfurt). The park is known for Europe’s largest flowerbed, which is divided into an area of ​​6 thousand square meters. m

At least 3 hours should be allocated for a walk in the park. During this time, you can see the main sculptural compositions and the most interesting flower beds.

The park is divided into several zones, among which are: Orchid House, Tropic House, Rose House, Grass House, Stone Garden, Water Garden, Museum of Landscape Design. The architecture of each part of the park is thought out to the smallest detail, and exotic plants go well with German fountains and sculptures.

Especially for children in the garden there is a playground, a shallow pool where you can swim, as well as a petting zoo. Tourists advise to devote the whole day to the park: there are many benches where you can relax.

  • Address: Gothaer Str. 38, 99094, Erfurt, Federal Republic of Germany.
  • Opening hours: 9.00 – 18.00.
  • Ticket price: 7 euros – adult, 4 – children and students.
Petersberg Citadel (Zitadelle Petersberg)
Petersberg Citadel (Zitadelle Petersberg)

Petersberg Citadel is a unique example of a medieval fortress. Firstly, it is perfectly preserved. Secondly, it was built in a style atypical for Germany of that time: the facade is in the Baroque style, the rest of the building is in the Romanticism style.

The fortress was founded in 1665 by the Elector Mainz, and the building was completely erected in 1728. It is interesting that the impregnable citadel cannot be called, because at the beginning of the 19th century the French took the fortress without a fight, and Napoleon himself was here more than once.

In 1873 they wanted to demolish the citadel, but there was not enough money for this. For the past 100 years, a military base, a military archive and a prison have been housed here, but after the end of World War II they left the building. Now guided tours of the fortress.

Petersberg Citadel

Do not be too lazy to climb the Leonard bastion, which offers beautiful views of the surroundings.

Tourists who visited the Petersberg Citadel in Erfurt note that at least 4 hours should be allocated for visiting this attraction. During this time, you can not only explore the fortress, but also take a walk in the park, look into the monastery, which now hosts art exhibitions.

  • Schedule: 10.00 – 19.00.
  • Cost: 8 euros – adults, 4 – children, students, senior citizens. The price includes a guided tour.

Where to stay

Hotel in Erfurt

In the German city of Erfurt there are only 30 accommodation options (most hotels are at a decent distance from the city center), the bulk of which are 3 * hotels. Reservations must be made in advance (usually no later than 2 months).

The average hotel room 3 * for two per day in the high season will cost 70-100 euros (the price range is quite large). This price includes free parking, Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, in-room kitchenette and all necessary appliances. Most rooms have facilities for disabled guests.

Choose hotels that are near the attractions of Erfurt, Germany.

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Transport connection

Erfurt and Erfurt Airport are only 6 km away, so there will be no problems with how to get to the city.

As for the nearest major cities near Erfurt, these are: Frankfurt am Main (257 km), Nuremberg (170 km), Magdeburg (180 km), Dresden (200 km).

From all these cities, you can get to Erfurt either by bus or by train. The following carriers are available:

Flixbus Bus
  • Flixbus The ticket can be purchased on the official website of the carrier (there are also prices): As a rule, buses run 3-5 times a day, the cost starts from 10 euros. Ticket Erfurt – Dresden will cost 25 euros.
  • Eurolines. It is more convenient to buy tickets on the official website of the carrier: Ticket Erfurt – Dresden will cost 32 euros.

Please note that all carriers in Germany arrange campaigns from time to time, therefore, if you regularly visit websites and check for updates, there is an opportunity to save a lot.

As for the railway connection, it is well established. Dozens of trains pass through Erfurt every day and travel to Austria and Switzerland. For example, 54 trains leave from Dresden to Erfurt every day, a ticket costs about 22 euros.

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Useful Tips

    Petersberg Citadel
  1. Petersberg Citadel is located on a hill, so dress accordingly: comfortable shoes and clothing that does not hamper movement.
  2. Try to book a hotel room in the center. There are no noisy cars and high-profile parties, so even families with children can relax. But if you rent a room a few kilometers from the city center, there may be problems with how to get to your destination.
  3. Exploring Erfurt will take 1-2 days: there are not very many attractions, and locals are advised to go here for the atmosphere, and not for numerous excursions.

Erfurt, Germany – a well-preserved medieval town in the central part of the country. This place is worth visiting for everyone who is tired of big noisy cities and crowds of tourists.

Walking in Erfurt:

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