Eisenach is a small town in Thuringia in southwestern Germany with about 40,000 inhabitants. It is notable for being where Matin Luther translated the Bible into German, where Johann Sebastian Bach was born, and a nearby automobile factory that produced cars for East Germany.
Thuringia is well known for the lush green forests it has and many hiking trails with beautiful views. Due to its natural beauty, the region is known as the green heart of Germany by Germans. The climate in this state is usually mild throughout the seasons fluctuating from about a -3 degree low in winter to around a 22 degree high in summer. The rainy season begins from May so it is advised that visitors go visit Eisenach in fall if they want to enjoy its famous hiking trails.
Eisenach is well served by its main train station. It sees hourly express intercity services to Frankfurt, and Leipzig or Dresden, as well as daily express services to other major German cities. Local services, also available on an hourly schedule, transport passengers to nearby Halle, Erfurt, Eisfeld, Meiningen, and Sonneberg. Domestic tourists are advised to travel by rail, as it is quick and convenient.
For more information on train schedules, please visit: www.bahn.de
Visitors coming in by air will have to choose between either Erfurt or Frankfurt airports. While Erfurt serves major German and European cities, Frankfurt international airport serves over a hundred international destinations. Trains are available directly at the Frankfurt airport station, taking passengers straight to Eisenach on an hourly schedule. Trains from Erfurt main station also leave on an hourly schedule to Eisenach.
If you’re travelling with young children or as a large group, it may make sense to drive. The autobahn route number A4 serves Eisenach and a second one, the A44, is expected to be completed soon. Four federal roads also serve Eisenach meeting as a cross in the middle; they are the B84, B19, B88, and the B7 starting from the north in a clockwise fashion.
Over a dozen bus routes provided by the district provider KVB serve the urban area of Eisenach. In the urban area, single trips start from €1.50 for adults, €1.00 for pets, and €1.00 for children. Day tickets and weekly tickets are available at around €5 and €10 respectively. Rural routes are available for the surrounding area but are run by the VGW, prices start from €1.50 with an additional charge of €0.21 per kilometre after the first 6 kilometres.
Cycling is very popular in Thuringia due to the numerous scenic cycling trails throughout the state. The traffic in town isn’t too severe and there are plenty of zones forbidden from regular vehicular traffic. Bicycles can be brought on board buses at an extra charge of €1.50.
For more information on urban routes, please visit: www.kvg-eisenach.de/start.htm
For more information on rural routes, please visit: vgwak.de/index.php/tarife
Where to Stay
- Jugend Herberge , is an affordable youth hostel in Eisenach offering a bed space starting from around €24 per night. It is near the Wartburg Castle and has several cycling trails within 3 kilometres of its location, perfect for young people. It is also the town’s only youth hostel. For more information, please visit: eisenach.jugendherberge.de/de-DE/Portraet
- Ibis Hotel Eisenach , boasts an outdoor pool, a golf course, and a pet friendly policy. Prices start from just around €40 per night for two, this is an unbeatable price in the area for a private room hotel with all these facilities. For more information, please visit: www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-7003-ibis-eisenach/index.shtml
- Wartburg Hotel , is a beautifully situated hotel with a grand view on top of the Wartburg Mountain – the same place where the Wartburg Castle is located. Rooms start from around €120 per night if you book early. For more information, please visit: wartburghotel.de
- Hotel Villa Anna , is a chic and modern boutique hotel located right underneath the Wartburg Castle south of the Eisenach town centre. Rooms start from just €90 per night with breakfast included. For more information, please visit: www.hotel-villa-anna.de
- The Penta Hotel Eisenach , is a part of a global chain of smaller scale hotels. With rooms starting from around €55 this hotel gives you your money’s worth with pay TV, free late checkout, a sauna, and free parking. For more information, please visit: www.pentahotels.com
Top 10 Attractions
- 1. Wartburg Castle , is a historic piece of architecture and where Martin Luther translated the Bible into German. There is an English guided tour every day at 13:30. Entry is about €12 for adults and €8 for children with group tickets available. A special exhibition on Martin Luther is available until November of 2017. Make sure you ride a donkey at this millennia-old UNESCO world heritage site! For more information, please visit: www.wartburg.de/en/
- 2. Martin Luther’s House in Eisenach , the famous and impactful reformer had lived in many places like Wittenberg and Eisleben. But he has also lived here in Eisenach. There is a permanent exhibition inside on the life and works of Martin Luther. For more information, please visit: www.lutherhaus-eisenach.com/en/
- 3. Bach House, this is the location where the famous baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in. The Bach Museum features an hourly mini concert of baroque style music for visitors to enjoy. Prices begin from about €9 for adults and €20 for larger families. Children under six years old can enter for free. For more information, please visit: bachhaus.de/de/home
- 4. Old City Walls , can be found in a small park next to an ancient burial ground between Am Roseschen Hölzchen and An der Münze. It’s amazing that these old city walls have survived until today, albeit incomplete.
- 5. Stadtschloss , used to be a former palace in the town centre. It is now converted into a museum for local art and culture of the late 18th century. Entry prices start from just €4 for adults and conditional free entry on certain days. For more information, please visit: www.museumsverband-thueringen.de/museumsverband/museen/museum/thueringer-museum-eisenach-stadtschloss.html
- 6. Eisenacher Rathaus , the town hall was built in the 16th century, during the time of Martin Luther. It performs important civic duties for the city and has a large public square in front of it. For more information, please visit: www.eisenach.de/rathaus/
- 7. Reuter Wagner Museum , was founded in the late 19th century and is now over a century old. It now houses sculptures, important literary works, and occasionally hosts concerts. Entry prices for adults are around €4 and conditional free entry on certain days. For more information, please visit: www.museumsverband-thueringen.de/museumsverband/museen/museum/thueringer-museum-eisenach-villa-fritz-reuter.html
- 8. Kartausgarten und Wandelhalle , is the oldest botanical garden in the district. Established in 1908, this haven of plants and small creatures span nearly 4 hectares of land. For more information, please visit: www.urlaubsland-thueringen.de/parks-gaerten/kartausgarten-eisenach.html
- 9. Narrow House , is the narrowest half-timbered house in Germany that is regularly occupied. At just over two meters wide, this strange house is almost a quarter millennia old and displays photographs of and pottery inside. For more information, please visit: www.eisenach.info/en/experience-eisenach/sights/narrow-house.html
- 10. Automobile Welt Museum , being a former motor town, this car museum is just a few minutes away by foot from the train station. Displaying mainly cars that the town has produced in it better years this is a hit attraction among motor heads. Entry prices start from around €6 for adults, about €3 for children, and kids under 6 years old can enter for free. There are also family tickets and group discounts available. For more information, please visit: www.awe-stiftung.de
What to Eat
- Eisenacher Hof , is a hotel and restaurant decorated in a 16th century fashion. The foods they serve resemble what Martin Luther might have had in his time. For more information, please visit: www.eisenacherhof.de
- Steakhaus zum Ritter , is a mid-range steak restaurant in town serving mainly meat dishes. Main courses are around €11 to €15 and reservations are possible. For more information, please visit: steakhaus-zum-ritter.de/wb/
- Café Tocatta , is an Italian style coffee shop specializing in exquisite ice cream desserts. Although regular meal items like breakfast menus and regional sausage dishes are also available starting from around €12. For more information, please visit: www.cafe-toccata.de
Located in a nearby town, Ruhla, this miniature park has an exciting train ride and over a hundred miniature models. It may be only a 1:25 scale, but everything is constructed in such detail that it is sometimes difficult to tell between the real thing and the model from a distance! Entry prices start from just €9 for adults and €18 for families. There are more options for bigger families and groups. For more information, please visit: www.mini-a-thuer.de
Bad Salzungen is a small town near Eisenach along the banks of the Werra River. It is the capital of the Wartburgkreis district. There is a high concentration of spas and wellness centres in town, and the German word ‘Bad’ actually translates into ‘bath’! The area is endowed with a lot of brine springs that are over a thousand years old and may have a salt content of up to 27%!