12 Incredible Places YOU MUST Visit In Eastern Germany 😮

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Embark on a journey with me to explore the 12 Incredible Places YOU MUST Visit in Eastern Germany, a treasure trove of rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture waiting to be discovered. This article is your personal guide to the hidden gems and spectacular sites that Eastern Germany has to offer, providing you with a curated list of destinations that promise unforgettable experiences.

Crafting this list wasn’t a simple task. We sought out the advice of local experts, delved into traveler reviews, and even took several road trips to ensure that each location boasts a unique charm and offers something truly special. Our aim was to uncover places that aren’t just popular tourist spots but are deeply ingrained with the essence of what makes Eastern Germany so captivating.

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Eastern Germany, often overlooked in favor of its more famous Western counterpart, is brimming with historic towns, stunning natural parks, and remnants of a complex past. From the rugged beauty of Saxon Switzerland National Park to the historic alleys of Erfurt, the region is a mosaic of experiences that cater to history buffs, adventure seekers, and culture enthusiasts alike. 

In this article, we invite you to discover the enchanting landscapes and towns that have stood the test of time, offering a glimpse into the soul of Eastern Germany. Whether you’re planning your next European adventure or simply dreaming of distant places, these 12 incredible destinations in Eastern Germany are sure to fuel your wanderlust. Let’s dive into the journey of a lifetime, exploring places where history and nature intertwine to tell stories you’ll never forget.

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12 Best Places To Visit In Eastern Germany

1. Saxon Switzerland National Park

Bastei Bridge, Saxon Switzerland National ParkPin
Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland National Park

Saxon Switzerland National Park, a marvel of nature’s architecture, offers an escape into a world where the earth stretches towards the sky in sandstone pillars and deep valleys carve the landscape. Its inclusion on this list is merited not just by its breathtaking views, such as those from the Bastei Bridge, but also by the diversity of outdoor activities it offers.

Hikers find solace in its extensive network of trails, while climbers challenge themselves on its towering rock formations. The park’s unique topography creates an ecosystem rich in flora and fauna, offering visitors a chance to connect with nature in an almost untouched environment.

The beauty of Saxon Switzerland lies in its ability to present nature’s grandeur on a massive scale, making it an essential visit for those seeking to experience the profound beauty and power of the natural world.

2. Dresden


Dresden’s renaissance after the destruction of World War II is a testament to the human spirit’s resilience and creativity, meriting its place on this list. As the “Florence of the Elbe,” Dresden enchants with its baroque skyline, rebuilt stone by stone, standing as a beacon of cultural rejuvenation.

The Frauenkirche, once a wartime ruin, now symbolizes peace and reconciliation. The city’s treasure troves, such as the Green Vault, showcase masterpieces of European art and craftsmanship.

Festivals, operas, and its vibrant student life infuse Dresden with an energy that bridges its historical grandeur with a dynamic present. Visiting Dresden is not just a journey through physical spaces but an encounter with a city that has woven its past tragedies into a tapestry of cultural and architectural splendor.

Click here to read our full guide to Dresden.

3. Leipzig

Marktplatz (Market Square) LeipzigPin
Marktplatz (Market Square) in Leipzig

Leipzig deserves recognition on this list for being a city that harmoniously blends historical heritage with vibrant contemporary culture. It’s a city where music history has been written, with legends like Bach once calling it home, and where the streets hum with the creativity of its current residents.

The transformation of industrial spaces into cultural hotspots in areas like Plagwitz epitomizes Leipzig’s innovative spirit. Meanwhile, historical sites like the Battle of the Nations Monument bear witness to Leipzig’s pivotal role in shaping European history.

The city’s literary history, vibrant arts scene, and its position as a hub for startups make it a fascinating blend of the old and new, where tradition and innovation coexist seamlessly.

Click here to read our full guide to Leipzig.

4. Potsdam


Potsdam’s inclusion is warranted by its unparalleled ensemble of palaces and gardens, most notably Sanssouci, which stand as monuments to Prussian kings’ opulence and aesthetic vision. This UNESCO World Heritage site, with its Rococo interiors and meticulously designed landscapes, captures the essence of European enlightenment and architectural grandeur.

Beyond Sanssouci, Potsdam offers a historical narrative that spans from the tumultuous times of Frederick the Great to the pivotal Potsdam Conference post-World War II.

Its architectural diversity, from Dutch Quarter’s red brick buildings to the Russian Alexandrowka colony, makes Potsdam a cultural mosaic that offers insights into the complex tapestry of European history and design.

5. The Harz Mountains

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Harz Mountains

The Harz Mountains are a sanctuary for those seeking adventure and folklore amidst dense forests and mystical peaks. Brocken, the range’s highest peak, is steeped in tales of witches and spirits, igniting the imagination and inviting exploration beyond the physical trails.

The Harz Narrow Gauge Railways add a touch of nostalgia, offering a journey through time in vintage steam trains that traverse this enchanting landscape. The region’s rich mining history is encapsulated in museums and mines open to the public, offering a glimpse into the human endeavors that have shaped this landscape.

For natural beauty, outdoor sports, and a touch of magic, the Harz Mountains are unparalleled, making them a must-visit for those exploring Eastern Germany.

6. Quedlinburg


Quedlinburg’s tapestry of over 1,300 half-timbered houses, UNESCO-protected, merits its place on this list for embodying the quintessence of medieval European townscapes. This architectural heritage, combined with the Romanesque beauty of Quedlinburg Abbey, where a trove of medieval treasures can be found, attests to the town’s historical and cultural significance.

Quedlinburg offers a tangible connection to the past, where centuries of history are preserved in its timeworn streets and buildings.

Its charm is amplified by the backdrop of the Harz Mountains, making it a picturesque embodiment of Germany’s rich historical narrative, a narrative that continues to captivate those who wander its ancient lanes.

Click here to read our full guide to Quedlinburg.

7. Meißen


Meißen’s claim to fame as the birthplace of European porcelain secures its spot on this list, but its appeal extends beyond the exquisite craftsmanship of its ceramics. The Albrechtsburg Castle, perched majestically above the Elbe River, and the Gothic splendor of the Meißen Cathedral dominate its skyline, telling tales of power, faith, and artistry.

The Meißen Porcelain Manufactory opens its doors to those curious about the intricate processes behind the famed “white gold,” while the town’s cobblestone streets and historic buildings evoke a sense of stepping back into a time when artisans and dukes shaped the region’s destiny.

Meißen is a treasure trove of cultural and historical experiences, encapsulated within a landscape of vineyards and river views.

8. Erfurt

Krämerbrücke ErfurtPin

Erfurt’s rich history and vibrant modern life converge on the Krämerbrücke, Europe’s longest inhabited bridge, making it an standout destination. Its medieval architecture, including the well-preserved Old Town and the striking Erfurt Cathedral, provides a glimpse into the city’s significant past as a crossroads of trade and spiritual life.

The city’s dynamic cultural scene, buoyed by a large student population, infuses ancient streets with contemporary energy. Erfurt represents a blend of history and modernity, where ancient traditions enrich present-day experiences.

Visiting Erfurt offers an opportunity to explore Germany’s medieval heritage while engaging with the lively community that calls these historic surroundings home.

Click here to read our full guide to Erfurt.

9. Görlitz


Görlitz is celebrated as one of Germany’s most beautiful cities, and rightly so. Its architectural panorama, unscathed by wartime destruction, offers a journey through centuries in just a few steps. From Gothic to Renaissance, from Baroque to Art Nouveau, Görlitz is a living textbook of European architectural styles.

Its preservation has garnered international attention, drawing filmmakers and cultural enthusiasts alike to its ancient streets. This museum-quality presentation of historical architecture, combined with a lively arts scene and proximity to natural beauty along the Neisse River, makes Görlitz a compelling destination.

Its charm lies not just in its past, but in how it integrates this heritage into a vibrant contemporary community.

10. Chemnitz


Chemnitz, once known for its heavy industry, has transformed into a city where art, culture, and history intersect with modernity. Its nickname, the “City of Modernism,” is a nod to its architectural and artistic movements, which are visible in landmarks like the Chemnitz Industrial Museum and the futuristic Karl Marx Monument.

This blend of industrial heritage and contemporary cultural dynamism makes Chemnitz a fascinating reflection of Germany’s past and its forward-looking present. The city’s varied cultural scene, from theaters to museums and street art, showcases its ability to inspire and adapt, securing its place as a must-visit destination for those interested in the evolution of urban landscapes.

11. Bautzen


Bautzen’s allure is not just in its visually stunning medieval cityscape but also in its cultural significance as the heartland of the Sorbs, a Slavic minority in Germany. This blend of German and Sorbian traditions offers visitors a unique cultural experience, marked by bilingual street signs, traditional festivals, and a distinctive cuisine.

The city’s fortifications, towers, and the imposing Ortenburg Castle provide a living history lesson, while the serene River Spree adds natural beauty to Bautzen’s architectural charm.

This combination of rich history, cultural diversity, and architectural beauty makes Bautzen a key destination for those looking to delve deeper into Germany’s multifaceted heritage.

12. Berlin

Tiergarten in BerlinPin
Tiergarten in Berlin

Last, but not least, this list would not be complete without Berlin. It’s a city that seamlessly blends its rich history with a vibrant contemporary culture.

As the capital of Germany, it’s a place where the remnants of the past stand alongside modern architecture and art. Visitors to Berlin should not miss the opportunity to explore the historical sites such as the Brandenburg Gate, the remains of the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery, and the moving Holocaust Memorial.

Simultaneously, the city’s dynamic art scene, diverse culinary offerings, and bustling nightlife invite travelers to experience the modern-day vibrancy of Berlin. The district of Kreuzberg, in particular, embodies the city’s eclectic spirit with its street art, lively markets, and multicultural atmosphere.

Berlin is a city that caters to all interests, making it a must-visit destination in Eastern Germany.

Click here to read more about why you may want to visit Berlin or read our itinerary for Berlin here.

Eastern Germany is brimming with a wide range of astonishing places to visit that are sure to captivate travelers of all kinds. Whether you’re drawn to the enchanting historical sites, the serene natural landscapes, or the vibrant cultural scenes, this region offers a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

Each of the twelve incredible places we’ve explored promises not only a glimpse into Germany’s rich history and breathtaking beauty but also an unforgettable journey that will leave you yearning to return.

So, pack your bags and set your sights on Eastern Germany, where adventure and discovery await at every corner. From the historical depth of Dresden to the natural splendor of Saxon Switzerland, there’s no shortage of wonders to explore. These destinations are not just places to visit, but memories to be made, each unique and compelling in its own right.

Eastern Germany is ready to welcome you with open arms and unveil its many marvels, ensuring that your travel experience will be nothing short of extraordinary.

Looking for more information about visiting Eastern Germany? Find all our guides to Eastern Germany here. You can also find our list to the best places to visit in Northern Germany here, Southern Germany here and Western Germany here.

Sharon Gourlay in the Rhina Valley

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon first fell in love with Germany back in 2000 on her first visit. She loves the long history, the picturesque Old Towns, the castles, the food, everything really! Since then, she has visited many times and loves writing about Germany here so you can enjoy it too. In fact, Sharon loves German culture so much that she sent her kids to a German primary school in Australia. She especially loves Berlin and towns with charming Old Towns like Celle and Quedlinburg. Sharon also has a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and understands the nitty gritty of travel planning. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to Germany whether it's your first or tenth time!

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