Central Germany In One Spectacular Week – Check Out This Jaw-Dropping Plan

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Embark on a seven-day sojourn through Central Germany, a journey through the heart of history, culture, and natural beauty. This article is your trusted guide to a captivating itinerary crafted to unveil the splendor of Germany’s diverse central region.

As a lover of travel and a seeker of knowledge, I’ve taken the road less traveled and woven together an itinerary that balances striking landmarks with cozy, off-the-beaten-path spots. Central Germany is a tapestry of timeworn towns, innovative cities, and landscapes that speak volumes of Earth’s artistry — and I’m eager to share this with you so you can love it too.

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In the following paragraphs, I’ll introduce you to a land where fairy tales come to life within ancient castles and modern life hums in busy market squares. We’ll traverse the romantic roads of picturesque villages and engage with history in poignant memorials, bridging the past and present. I’ll make sure you know the perfect local fare, because what’s a journey without the taste of regional delights?

Join me as we plot a course through the forests, rivers, and cultural hearts of towns like Weimar and Erfurt. This isn’t just any travel plan— it’s a gateway to experiences. So pack your bags and your sense of adventure; let’s dive into the quintessence of Central Germany, one day at a time.

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Incredible One Week Central Germany Itinerary

Welcome to the heart of Germany! The following section provides you with a meticulously crafted itinerary that will guide you through Central Germany’s rich cultural tapestry, storied landscapes, and remarkable historical sites.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, prepare to delve into a journey that offers an immersive blend of Germany’s enchanting traditions and modern marvels. Get ready to explore the must-see destinations and hidden gems that make Central Germany a traveler’s delight.

Note that this itinerary moves FAST! If you are someone who wants to see and experience the most of every day, you’ll LOVE this itinerary. If you prefer to take things slower, cut back this itinerary. I recommend that if this is you that you cut out either Goslar or Quedlinburg and do two nights in one of these places instead. You could also remove Kassler.

This itinerary has been designed to work whether you hire a car or take public transport. I have done it myself by train and it’s very possible, although the last two stops in the Harz Mountains require multiple trains and can be a little annoying when you just want to be at your amazing destination. Either way, though, you’ll love this itinerary!

Read more about how to get around Germany here.

Day 1: Arrival in Frankfurt

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  • Arrive in Frankfurt and check into your hotel.
  • Head out to explore Römerberg, the picturesque central square that encapsulates the city’s historical charm.
  • Climb to the top of St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, known as the “Dom,” for sweeping views across the cityscape.
  • For dinner, venture into the Sachsenhausen district to savor traditional apple wine and local cuisine.
  • Conclude the day with a tranquil evening walk along the River Main, enjoying the city lights reflecting on the water.
  • Overnight in Frankfurt.

Frankfurt

Frankfurt, your gateway to central Germany, isn’t just the modern financial hub it appears to be. Peel back its skyscraper façade, and you’ll find a city steeped in history, dating as far back as the Roman Empire. The Römerberg, with its gabled roofs and medieval square, stands as a testimony to bygone times – a must-visit to experience Frankfurt’s historic core.

Right nearby, St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral soars into the sky. Climbing this Gothic structure not only unveils the city’s skyline but also unearths centuries of imperial history. After sundown, walk along the River Main to see Frankfurt’s modernity reflected on the water’s surface – a serene experience that melds the contemporary with the historical.

For a taste of local flavor, indulging in Ebbelwoi, the region’s famed apple wine, in the convivial taverns of Sachsenhausen, is quintessential. These traditional establishments offer a hearty slice of Frankfurt’s culinary legacy, with dishes like Handkäs mit Musik, which mingle effortlessly with the clink of glasses and communal tables.

Click here to read our full guide to Frankfurt.

Day 2: Frankfurt to Kassel

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Kassel
  • Depart Frankfurt for Kassel.
  • Explore Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, with its impressive water features and Hercules monument.
  • Discover the art collections housed within Schloss Wilhelmshöhe.
  • Enjoy an evening meal in the city center.
  • Overnight in Kassel.

Kassel

Dive into Kassel’s depths and you’ll uncover more than just a city; it’s a canvas where baroque artistry meets the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales. The Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, a UNESCO site, is home to the towering Hercules monument and cascading waterworks, presenting a display that marries ingenuity with natural beauty.

Venture into Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, where, within its classical walls, a gallery of Old Masters awaits. Here, artworks whisper tales of Europe’s artistic heritage, offering you a space to wander amidst creativity that has transcended centuries.

As the evening draws in, relish in Kassel’s culinary offerings; perhaps try Ahle Wurst, a smoked sausage that is a testament to the city’s affinity for hearty, home-grown tastes.

Click here to read our full guide to Kassel.

Day 3: Kassel to Erfurt

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Erfurt
  • Set out for Erfurt.
  • Visit the Krämerbrücke and Erfurt Cathedral upon arrival.
  • Explore historical sites such as the Augustinian Monastery.
  • Overnight in Erfurt.

Erfurt

In Erfurt, you’re stepping onto streets where Martin Luther once walked, enveloped by a history that dates back over 1,250 years. The Krämerbrücke, Europe’s longest inhabited bridge, isn’t just a charming passageway; each arch and cobblestone narrates the medieval tale of this bustling merchant city.

As you roam, the gothic spires of Erfurt Cathedral command the skyline, inviting you to witness a religious heritage that’s as aesthetically striking as it is spiritually profound.

You should wander the Augustinian Monastery, where tranquility is beautifully preserved in its old corridors and cloisters. It’s not just a former monastic home, but a place where history is palpable in the air.

Your taste buds won’t feel left out either, with local Thuringian specialties to savor, from bratwurst to dumplings, each bite infused with the flavor of tradition. Erfurt is your chance to slow down and savor; it’s a city that doesn’t just house relics but invites you to become a part of its ongoing story.

There are some fabulous places to visit around Erfurt. I recommend you stay in Erfurt and use it as a base to visit these towns over the next couple of days. You could also move hotels and stay elsewhere, but these places are within an hour away so it can be easier to day trip.

You can train or drive between them.

Click here to read our full guide to Erfurt.

Day 4: Day Trip to Weimar

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Weimar
  • Depart for a day trip to Weimar.
    • Visit Goethe’s and Schiller’s houses to delve into the lives of these literary giants.
    • Explore the Bauhaus Museum and learn about the avant-garde school of thought.
    • Stroll through the historical rooms of the Duchess Anna Amalia Library.
  • Return to Erfurt for the night.

Weimar

Just half an hour away, Weimar is not just a town; it’s a cultural pilgrimage where the spirits of Goethe and Schiller still echo. Here, you can walk through the rooms of Goethe’s House, more than a museum, it’s a doorway into the life of a literary titan.

A stroll through the Weimar Bauhaus Museum is like flipping through the pages of art history, each exhibit a bold stroke of modernism that revolutionized design across the world.

Let yourself be drawn to the Duchess Anna Amalia Library, where books climb towards frescoed ceilings in a Rococo hall that seems conjured from a storybook. This isn’t just a library; it’s a testament to enlightenment thought, preserved for generations to relish.

Amidst exploring, indulge in Weimar’s cafes, where the aroma of coffee and the sweetness of Thuringian cakes blend to give you a taste of local life.

Click here to read our full guide to Weimar.

Day 5: Day Trip to Eisenach and Mühlhausen

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Wartburg at Eisenach
  • Take a day trip to Eisenach and Mühlhausen.
    • In Eisenach, tour Wartburg Castle and appreciate its significance to Martin Luther.
    • Continue to Mühlhausen to explore the city’s medieval heritage and churches.
  • Return to Erfurt for the evening.

Eisenach

Eisenach beckons you not just with its storied past but as a bastion where music and reform resonate through the ages. You’ll find Wartburg Castle perched mightily atop a hill, a fortress where Martin Luther translated the New Testament, and souls like Saint Elizabeth once walked; it’s more than a castle, it’s a beacon of cultural transformation.

Head then to the Bach House, an homage to the composer Johann Sebastian Bach, born here in 1685. This house-turned-museum isn’t merely a collection of artifacts; it’s an orchestral journey through the life of a musical virtuoso.

After immersing yourself in history, refresh your palate with local flavors like Thuringian dumplings at one of Eisenach’s quaint eateries.

Click here to read our full guide to Eisenach.

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Mühlhausen

Mühlhausen

Mühlhausen, a gem hidden within the verdant Thuringian landscape is the geographical heart of Germany. This charming, medieval city resonates with a history of social upheaval. It was a focal point during the Peasants’ War, making it a silent witness to momentous change.

As you tread along its ancient fortifications, consider the Divi-Blasii Church, where Johann Sebastian Bach once played, turning the space into a capsule of musical veneration.

The city’s numerous Gothic churches, like St. Mary’s, aren’t merely structures; they are narrators of the town’s resolute spirit. And take time to wander through the medieval market center, a convergence of past commerce and modern vibrancy.

Your culinary journey here might lead you to traditional German taverns, where local dishes such as Thüringer Klöße (Thuringian dumplings) warm the soul.

Click here to read our full guide to Mühlhausen.

Day 6: Erfurt to Quedlinburg (Harz Mountains)

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Castle Hill and Quedlinburg Abbey
  • Depart from Erfurt to Quedlinburg.
  • In Quedlinburg, immerse yourself in the medieval town center, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Visit the Quedlinburg Castle complex and church for a taste of Romanesque architecture.
  • Overnight in Quedlinburg.

Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg invites you on a journey through time, with its cobbled streets and half-timbered houses narrating stories from as early as the 9th century. This town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, holds the essence of medieval Germany, allowing you to feel the pulse of history with each step.

The Quedlinburg Castle complex, perched on a sandstone cliff, is more than a majestic landmark; it’s a silent chronicler of the town’s regal and turbulent past.

The Collegiate Church of St. Servatius isn’t just a church; it’s a treasure trove of art and artifacts, including the crypt of the first German king Henry I. In the old town, every timber-framed building leans into the story of Saxony-Anhalt’s rich heritage.

As evening draws, you might dine in historic breweries or cozy inns, sampling Harz specialties and savoring the blend of spices that span centuries of culinary tradition.

Click here to read our full guide to Quedlinburg.

Day 7: Quedlinburg to Goslar (Harz Mountains)

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Picture Perfect Goslar
  • Journey to Goslar.
  • Explore the Goslar Imperial Palace (Kaiserpfalz) and the historic mines of Rammelsberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Take in the beauty of Goslar’s old town and its charming half-timbered houses.
  • Overnight in Goslar.

Goslar

Goslar, where emperors once walked, beckons with its enchanting old town and mountainous backdrop. Imagine yourself in a fairy tale as you navigate through its winding alleys, admiring the well-preserved half-timbered houses that earned it a spot as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Goslar Imperial Palace, or Kaiserpfalz, isn’t just a historical building; it’s a gateway to the 11th-century world of emperors, offering you a tangible sense of the Holy Roman Empire’s splendor.

The Rammelsberg mines, on the outskirts, don’t merely mark the earth’s surface; they plunge deep into the archaeological heart of the Harz mining tradition. Here, you can delve into the underground world that powered an economy for over a thousand years.

While in Goslar, relishing the Harz region’s traditional dishes, like Harzer cheese, adds a delicious layer to your cultural expedition.

Day 8: Return to Frankfurt

  • Spend the morning in Goslar if time allows.
  • Travel from Goslar to Frankfurt to catch your departing flight or continue your onward journey.

Map Of Your Central Germany One Week Itinerary

The following maps shows you everywhere you will go in this week.

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Click on the map above to open it in Google Maps

A one-week journey through Central Germany offers a tapestry of experiences — from the hallowed corridors of history to the lush embrace of nature, all seasoned with a robust cultural flavor. Each stop along the itinerary is not merely a destination but a stepping stone into the living storybook of German heritage, punctuated by diverse architecture, savory cuisine, and the unassuming charm of the towns and cities.

Embrace the opportunity to explore this heart of Europe with open arms and an itinerary that promises both structure and the pleasure of serendipitous discovery. Whether you’re clinking glasses in a cozy Weinstube, marveling at the intricate mechanics of an ancient clock, or wandering through a medieval market square, your Central German escapade is bound to enchant and educate, leaving you with memories that resonate far beyond the borders of time and place.

Learn more about hidden gems in Germany with this guide to the best off-the-beaten-track places. You can also find all our guides to Central Germany here or find our Bavaria itinerary here or an itinerary from Frankfurt to Munich here (you could add it to this itinerary!). Don’t miss our one week itinerary for Northern 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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