32 per cent of the Thuringian countryside is covered in forests which makes it one of the most densely wooded areas in Germany. There are three major mountain ranges: The Harz, the Rhön and the Thuringian Forest. But other areas have a lot to offer as well, for example Hainich National Park, Europe's largest contiguous deciduous forest with its beautiful autumn colours. Or the great Thuringian rivers and their surrounding regions: Saale, Unstrut, Werra, Schwarza and Ilm. If you like to swim, you are never far from one of the 33 natural bathing waters in Thuringia.
There are many ways to use your free time actively: For example, you can ride, climb, play golf, swim, go rafting or paragliding. Thuringia is also one of the best hiking destinations in Germany. The famous Rennsteig, a 170 kilometre long hiking trail through the Thuringian Forest. In the winter, ski enthusiasts can use hundreds of kilometres of cross-country trails or downhill slopes with modern lifts.
Thuringia has countless things to offer for young and old alike, a formative history, priceless treasures, world-famous personalities and cultural diversity. Martin Luther, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner all lived and worked in Thuringian cities – this is why our state is known as the Land of Poets and Thinkers.
If you stroll over Krämer Bridge – an old bridge with houses built on its entire length – and through Erfurt’s streets, it takes you back into the Middle Ages: Small and narrow alleys, romantic squares, the impressive cathedral on the hill and other interesting buildings are great treasures of Thuringia’s state capital.
If one thinks of Weimar, Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Friedrich Schiller come to mind. Germany’s most famous poets both created most of their works while they lived in Thuringia. In 1919, Walter Gropius founded the renowned Bauhaus movement in Weimar, which drew artists like Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky or Lyonel Feininger into the small town.
There are more than 200 theatres, operas, museums and orchestras in Thuringia – more than anywhere else in Germany. They include the German National Theatre Weimar, the Meiningen Theatre as well as the Thuringian Philharmonic Orchestra Gotha. But even the smaller theatres offer authentic charm and the flair of a great history. Cultural highlights each summer are the Domstufenfestspiele on the steps of the cathedral in Erfurt, the Jenaer Kulturarena and the Kunstfest in Weimar.
Cultural events for younger people are in great demand. The scene for young people in Thuringia is characterised by concerts with alternative singers and songwriters, exhibitions by young artists and small, intimate Festivals.