Weimar Travel Guide
In past centuries, Weimar was home to members of the German nobility. Sadly, it was also home to a notorious concentration camp in the 20th century. As such, you’ll find many cultural and historical attractions here.
Begin your visit to Weimar by exploring Schloss Belvedere. Architects built this structure in the 18th century as a party palace for the Duke of Saxe-Weimar. During the German summer, guests of nobility enjoyed its pleasures, as well as the beauty of its exterior garden.
Today, this palace houses an extensive art collection, with its paintings, furniture, and porcelain being its standout features. Considering its beauty, the 2.50 EUR fee is well worth the price.
Germans mostly know Weimar as a centre of its royal past. Sadly, it was also home to some of the last century’s darkest moments. The Buchenwald Memorial pays tribute to the victims of the concentration camp of the same name.
The Nazis sent Jews, Poles, Communists, “sexual deviants”, and other “undesirables” here to perform forced labour. In the process of making arms for the Germans, more than 56,000 people died (or roughly 20% of detainees). Take the guided tour – it’ll give you the proper perspective on the terrible things that happened here.
Famed German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe spent decades living in Weimar. Learn more about the life & times of this cultural icon by touring the Goethe National Museum. The complex doesn’t just include von Goethe’s home – a massive addition contains documents, drawing, and other related exhibits.
After that, visit the home of another prominent Weimar intellectual by swinging by Schillers Wohnhaus. This building was once home to Friedrich Schiller, a philosopher and poet. When he wasn’t writing poems, and plays, he matched wits with von Goethe, a dear friend of his. Get the audio guide to maximize your experience here.
Still haven’t got your fill of Weimar history? Pay a visit to Liszt Haus. 19th-century pianist and composer Franz Liszt called this residence home for 17 years. Shortly after his death in 1886, authorities converted it into a museum.
Within, tour guides will take you through his estate. From his music salon to his servant’s quarters, there’s plenty of art, musical instruments, and furniture to scope out.
While in Weimar, lovers of books and culture won’t want to miss visiting the Duchess Anna Amalia Library. This cache of German literature contains more than one million books, medieval manuscripts, and other precious documents.
But even if these items hold little interest to you, the building is worth visiting. Before it became a library, it started life as a castle in the 16th century. By the mid-18th century, though, the Duchess of Weimar started changing it into the facility we know today. Thus, even if you can’t read German, this beautiful structure is worth paying the 6 EUR entry fee.
Take time out of your Weimar schedule to relax in Park an der Ilm. In the late 18th century, this green space began life as von Goethe’s backyard. Back in the 1770s, he purchased a home there. Shortly thereafter, he commissioned the design of an English-style garden.
While it still has these characteristics, this place also contains Baroque elements. To this day, you’ll find monuments amid trees such as maple, ash, and chestnut.
If you want to people-watch during your time here, make your way to Markt Weimar. As the name suggests, this central location is home to this city’s market. Here, you can buy everything from fresh produce to juicy bratwursts.
During the holiday season, you can also find the Christmas market in Weimar here.
What To Eat
As you walk the streets of Weimar, you’ll inevitably get hungry. When your stomach begins to rumble, duck into a bakery and get some Weimarer Zwiebelkuchen. Bakers top this local savoury treat with fried onions, sour cream, and egg – trust us, it’s much tastier than it sounds. In October, you’ll find it everywhere, as the Weimar’s Onion Fair goes on at that time.
Not in the mood for onion pastries? If cheese is more your jam, get a wheel of Altenburger Ziegenkäse. Makers craft this cheese with cow’s milk, with a bit of goat’s milk and caraway added for extra flavour. Soft in texture, some mistake this cheese for Camembert. Have this treat like a local – eat it with bread and some pickled vegetables.
At dinner time, be sure to have some Rouladen. This meat-based meal gets its name from its roll-like appearance. It consists of paper-thin slices of beef stuffed with bacon, carrots, onions, and even pickles.
Cabbage, potato dumplings, and mashed potatoes are all common sides for this dish.