Bad Salzungen is a small town of roughly 15,000 inhabitants sitting on the banks of the river Werra. It is the district capital of Wartburgkreis in the state of Thuringia. Around the town are a high concentration of spas and wellness centres. The word ‘Bad’ literally means ‘bath’! The region is blessed with an abundance of thousand year old brine springs that have a salt content of up to 27%.
Back in the period of Soviet occupation, it was an important military position due to its close proximity to the allied occupation zone. The German Bundeswehr now uses the former GDR army barracks built in 1972.
Thuringia is known for its lush green forests and beautiful hiking trails. Because of its natural beauty, the region is called the green heart of Germany. The climate is relatively mild throughout the year ranging from around -3 degrees in winter to around 22 degrees in summer. The rainy season starts from May so it is suggested that visitors go to Bad Salzungen in autumn if they want to enjoy its famous hiking trails.
For travellers within Germany, the most efficient way of getting to Bad Salzungen is by rail. There are hourly regional train services to Eisenach and some services to Eisfeld. There are also cheap regional bus routes available online for visitors on a tight budget.
For international visitors, the nearest international airport from Bad Salzungen is located in Erfurt, the state capital, where major domestic and international destinations are served. From there, InterCity Express trains are available to get to Eisenach in less than half an hour, where the regional train service to Bad Salzungen is available.
Visitors can also drive there on the major autobahn A4 that leads to Frankfurt am Main. Parking is usually available in the city although access to certain historic inner city roads may be restricted due to commercial vehicles only.
Bad Salzungen is a relatively small town and most of the central and historical areas can be explored by walking in about 20 minutes. However, if the weather is bad or if your mobility is impaired, the local bus services are run by VGW, the local district’s transportation company. VGW also provides additional information on seasonal or special services to explore hiking trails, wellness centres, and winter activity destinations in the nearby area.
Another good option is to cycle around the town. Bicycles are welcome in many parts of Germany and many areas are designated for bicycles and pedestrians only giving green transport an edge over cars. If you choose to go on a longer journey, bicycles can be carried free of charge on VGW buses when space is available. A carnet (10 trips) valid for a week costs about €12.
For more information, please visit: www.vgwak.de
Where to Stay
Bad Salzungen is a small family-oriented town, so accommodation options generally include budget options, pensions (smaller scaled independent guesthouses), and mid-range hotels.
- Sole Reisemobil Hafen is a mobile home parking lot perfect for European travellers choosing to drive there. Rental prices for space start from €10 with additional charges for utilities. For more information, please visit: sole-reisemobilhafen.de/angebote
- Ferienhaus ‘Anna’ is a charming independent holiday home. It is conveniently located in the town centre with reasonable prices starting from €45 for a two person room. For more information, please visit: tourismus-badsalzungen.de/unterkunft/ferienhaus/ferienhaus-anna
- Ferienhaus Familie Kühne is a private house available for rent to holidaying families. Just a 20 minute walk south of the town centre, this 65 square metre home is perfect for families. Prices for two people starting at €39 with extra costs for each additional person. For more information, please visit: tourismus-badsalzungen.de/unterkunft/ferienhaus/ferienhaus-familie-kuehne
- Haus Hufeland Hotel is a 3 star hotel in the centre of town. Prices start from €49 for single rooms with additional charges for small pets. For more information, please visit: www.hotel-haushufeland-badsalzungen.de
- Kurhaus am Burgsee is a 4 star hotel right on the shore of the Burgsee Lake. Prices start from €59 for one room and three course meals are available at an additional charge. For more information, please visit: www.hotel-kurhaus-badsalzungen.de
Top Local Attractions
1. Solewelt , is Bad Salzungen’s premier wellness centre equipped with an 80 degree sauna, 32 degree active salt pool, fully equipped fitness facilities, and more. For more information, please visit: solewelt.de
2. Türmchen , constructed in the late 15th century, this house with a tower had several different uses over the course of its lifetime. It is now a museum of history with exhibitions on local life. For more information, please visit: www.badsalzungen.de/de/museum-tuermchen/article-453-20453.html
3. Museum am Gradierwerk , shows the history and story of salt in this spa town. Located on the spa promenade, it is the perfect place to learn more about salt mining through interactive exhibits. For more information, please visit: www.badsalzungen.de/de/museum-am-gradierwerk.html
4. Werra-Suhl Cycling Trail , this 35km long cycling trail begins from Bad Salzungen and takes cyclists through to Möhra, believed to be Martin Luther’s ancestral home. The village has information and exhibits on the life of Martin Luther. For more information, please visit: www.visit-thuringia.com/travel-hotel-holiday-tour/werra-suhltal-radweg-158430.html
5. Planetarium , is located right by the Burgsee Lake. Opened in 1984 with parts of its equiptment dating back to 1951, the planetarium features a high precision Carl Zeiss lens. For more information, please visit: vhs-wartburgkreis.de
6. Stadtkirche , is the city church of Bad Salzungen. It is known for its beautiful Sauer organ donated by the duke Georg II of Meiningen. For more information, please visit: www.thueringen.info/badsalzungen-evangelische-stad.html
7. Freibad , is another public pool, but this one is outdoors! It has a diving tower of up to 5 metres in height as well as slides and sports lanes. For kids, there is a mud pool, splash pool, playgrounds, and facilities for sports like volleyball and table tennis. For more information, please visit: www.badsalzungen.de/de/freibad_drei_eichen/article-431.html
8. Katarina Schroth Klinik , is a rehabilitation centre perfect for older people with healthcare benefits either from work or supplied by the government. This beautiful facility provides therapeutic care with modern equipment. For more information, please visit: www.asklepios.com/bad-salzungen/parkklinik/
Most businesses in Bad Salzungen close at around 5pm so there are not too many options in the way of nightlife. But there is an old renaissance building called the ‘Haunscher Hof’ (a former farmhouse) that hosts a club evening every Thursday at 8pm. It is one of the oldest buildings in Bad Salzungen, but it is revitalised by the jazz concerts that it holds. The building houses the local cultural association that organizes such events. For more information, please visit: www.kulturverein-badsalzungen.de
Another recommended nightlife location outside of Thursdays is a bar called ‘Kamadu’. This American-style bar on the west side of town specializes in whiskey and cocktails, with a selection of beer and champagne available. Champions league soccer games are available on the applicable days. For more information, please visit: www.kamaduh.de
- Seefest am Burgsee , is the local annual lake festival held on August. There are different local merchants, stalls with local merchandise, and food from Thuringia for all to try.
- Asklepios Family Day , is an open day of a local clinic with free entry. It is held on a Sunday in August and has activities for children and families.
- Pelle im PaB , is a South American style restaurant serving pasta, tapas, as well as world renown Argentinean steaks. They also serve Thuringian Klöße (filled Knödel) on special days. For more information, please visit: www.pelleimpab.de
- Ratatouille , is an upscale restaurant serving Mediterranean food part of a health and wellness hotel complex. Reservations are available through email or phone booking. For more information, please visit: www.solewerk.de/de/gastronomie/ratatouille-restaurant-bad-salzungen
- Restaurant and Café Saline , is located in a beautiful half timbered building with a comfortable outdoor seating area. It is is well known for its cakes, tarts, and beautiful ice cream themed dessert creations. For more information, please visit: www.cafe-saline.de
- Café und Ristorante Calabria , is a restaurant serving Italian cuisine such as pasta and pizza. It also features a rotating weekly menu and a healthy selection of seafood and salads. For more information, please visit: neu.pizzeria-calabria.com
- Panorama Hotel Restaurant , contains 4 different establishments for dining with over 100 seats combined, including both local and southern Mediterranean dishes. For more information, please visit: www.hotel-bad-salzungen.de/3/
Around Bad Salzungen
Located in nearby Eisenach, this is the house where the famous composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, was born. This museum features hourly baroque style music mini concerts for visitors to enjoy. Prices start from around €9 for adults and €20 for family tickets. For more information, please visit: bachhaus.de
Located in nearby Ruhla, this miniature park features an exciting railway ride and over 100 miniature models. It may be in a 1:25 scale, but everything is done in so much detail that it is sometimes hard to tell if it is real or just a model from pictures! Entry starts from €9 for adults an €18 for families with more options for larger families. For more information, please visit: www.mini-a-thuer.de