Germany is known for its mountainous regions and ski resorts and Oberwiesenthal is one of them. It is a major tourist attraction in the country and tourism is its mainstay the wonderful ski slopes and mountainous scenery that can be found here. A beautiful place suitable for skiers and other winter sport enthusiasts, Oberwiesenthal can provide something of interest to different people.
The town has an interesting history. Founded in 1527 by the Schönburg family, Oberwiesenthal was a small mining town where silver was found in abundance. The mining increasingly took a backseat in the 19th century and Oberwiesenthal opened its doors to tourism and winter sports. However, you can still find Russian uranium mines that were operated during the Cold War.
-> Skiing: Skiing is the main activity in Oberwiesenthal. The ski routes are carefully planned and there are trails for skiers at all levels, whether beginners, medium, or experts. For those who want something more strenuous, the resort also offers cross country skiing – around 75 miles of it. For those who want to experience the beauty of night skiing, Oberwiesenthal has the facilities. The best time for skiing is winter but some ski trails function even in April with artificial snow.
-> Snowboarding & Luge: These winter sports are quite popular in Oberwiesenthal. For luging, the resort has a great track run of 1.8 km. The best time for these activities is winter.
-> Ice skating: Oberwiesenthal has a natural ice rink where people of all ages are welcome. Skates are available for rent at the rink. The best time for ice skating is during winter.
-> Hiking (winter): Hiking trails are ready for us both in summer and winter. In winter, the trails are kept prepared and ready for tourists, and the equipment required for winter hiking is available at the resort. Snowshoe hiking is also an option for those who want to try this out. Beginners to winter hiking can hire guides.
-> Hiking (summer): The summer hiking is quite popular in Oberwiesenthal because of the beautiful scenery and the variety of trails at your disposal. There are nine major trails of varying difficulties to choose from. Some of the trails lead into the Czech Republic and go through forests and moors. Hiking in this area would definitely be an interesting experience.
-> Biking: The lovely mountain scenery encourages a lot of bikers to come to Oberwiesenthal for mountain biking. There are routes suitable for beginners as well as more twisting and meandering paths for seasoned bikers. Of course, this is strictly a summer activity.
Other sightseeing spots
Though Oberwiesenthal is mostly known for its sporting activities, those who want a more leisurely holiday can also find many things to do there. There are many nice places to visit in this lovely place.
-> Old mines: The region has seen mining for more than 800 years. Some of the old silver mines are still intact and can be seen by tourists. Mining culture is also on display in and around the mines. Some of the mines worth visiting are Dorothea Stollen, St. Christoph, and Markus-Röhling-Stolln. Mining museums such as Zinngrube Ehrenfriedersdorf are also worth a visit.
-> Monuments: This part of Germany has several castles and fortresses that are worth a visit, especially for those who appreciate history and / or architecture. Small castles such as Schloss Schlettau and Schloss & Park Lichtenwalde are great if you want to catch a glimpse of times gone by. If you like old churches, then this seat of the Protestant Reformation has a 19th century church: Evangelisch-Lutherische Martin-Luther-Kirche.
Oberwiesenthal also provides a number of shopping opportunities. Like every other small town with a long history, this region too has tiny marketplaces where you can buy a number of things. But there are a few specialities of this town. You can purchase the locally crafted items like lace, wood art, and baskets from the local markets.
-> Lace: Cross left lacework is a speciality of this region and can be purchased from the local shops. What’s more, you can even visit one of the workshops and see a demonstration of how the lace is made in the traditional manner. If you are really interested, you can even sign up for a lace-making course.
-> Woodwork: The oldest handicraft in the region, woodworking, is a famous product of Erzgebirge. The intricate and quaint carvings just call out for you to take them home with you! And you can buy directly from the artisans doing the detailed work.
-> Baskets & furniture: The basket industry of the region is solely run by the Trinks family, who have made a name for themselves. You can purchase all kinds of furniture made of wicker, rattan, willow, glass, and metal from their showroom. You can also join a basket weaving course while you are at it!
-> Candles: Pay a visit to the Huss company and purchase a few of their lovely incense candles.
Wherever you go, you need to sample the local cuisine in order to properly experience the feel of the place. The cuisine in Oberwiesenthal is hearty and staples are potatoes, red meat, freshwater fish, and dumplings. When in this region, you definitely need to try the different types of potato pancakes.
And if you just happen to be around during Christmas time, don’t forget to check out the Neunerlei feast, featuring nine different courses. Stollen is an amazing dessert that has come from this region, so fill up if you are there during Christmas.
Like anywhere else in Germany, good beers are available in Oberwiesenthal, but the speciality here are the local herbal liqueurs.
Options for staying
Since it is a well-developed tourist area, Oberwiesenthal has plenty of options for staying. A good hotel could cost between 80 – 100 €. For cheaper options, bed and breakfast lodgings are also available at around 50 – 80 €. It is a good idea to book in advance during the peak season.