Erfurt – Cathedral, Krämerbrücke & other sights (Top 10)

Categories: Travel reports, Europe, Germany

In addition to our long-distance trips, we always try to explore beautiful regions in Germany. We have always been particularly interested in Thuringia. Erfurt, Gothar, Weimar, Eisenach, Bad Langensalza, Mühlhausen or the Harz Mountains… the federal state in the middle of Germany has so many cities worth seeing. First of all, we visited the capital Erfurt with all its sights and were really impressed by this beautiful city.

Erfurt header image

Things to know about Erfurt (Thuringia)

Erfurt is the state capital of Thuringia, has around 215,000 inhabitants and is located in the middle of Germany. The city covers an area of around 269 square kilometers and is surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque river landscapes. The River Gera flows through Erfurt, meandering through the city and providing a beautiful backdrop. Erfurt is also known for its historic old town, which is characterized by numerous buildings from the Middle Ages. Its location in the middle of Germany makes the city an important transportation hub that can be easily reached by car, plane or public transport.

The history of Erfurt dates back to Roman times, when the city functioned as a trading center along the Via Regia. In the Middle Ages, Erfurt developed into an important trading city and became a member of the Hanseatic League. The town experienced a heyday in the 16th century as a center of woad production and book printing. Over the centuries, the town has experienced numerous political and religious conflicts, including the Peasants’ War, the Reformation and the Thirty Years’ War. In the 19th century, Erfurt became part of Prussia and experienced industrialization. The town was badly destroyed during the Second World War, but was rebuilt in the post-war years. Since the reunification of Germany, Erfurt has developed into an important economic and cultural center in Thuringia.

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Erfurt has a multitude of historical and cultural sights that attract visitors from all over the world. One of the most famous sights is the Krämerbrücke, a medieval bridge with houses and stores that crosses the River Gera. The old town is also known for its well-preserved Renaissance and Baroque buildings, including the town hall and the cathedral. Another important sight is the Augustinian monastery, where Martin Luther lived and worked as a monk. Other popular sights include the Angermuseum, the City Museum and the Petersberg Citadel.

City of Erfurt in Thuringia, location

The city of Erfurt in Thuringia

A map of the old town with all the sights

We started our tour of Erfurt directly at the cathedral square. If you arrive by car, you can park directly in the Domplatz parking garage (location in Google Maps), for example, and are already very centrally located in the old town.

Erfurt, Map, Sights, Photo spots

Map of the sights in Erfurt

Federal Garden Show 2021

During our trip, the Federal Garden Show was taking place in Erfurt. Therefore, many places in the city were particularly beautifully decorated with flowers 🙂 BuGa 2021 offered visitors the opportunity to see a variety of gardens and plants from all over the world, including rare species. A special highlight was the flowering avenue of trees that was created on the Petersberg. In total, BuGa 2021 attracted over 1.6 million visitors, making it a great success.

The top 10 sights & photo spots in Erfurt

On our tour of the city, we explored the most important sights in one day and on our own. Of course, there are many more sights, attractions, photo spots and excursion tips in addition to the top 10 mentioned here. You can get a very good overview on the official tourism website.

Petersberg Citadel

Our first port of call in Erfurt was the Petersberg Citadel, a huge fortress perched on a hill overlooking the city. The complex was built in the 17th century and was an important part of the city’s defenses. Over the centuries, the citadel has served as a military prison, a camp for prisoners of war and a military headquarters. The citadel was badly damaged during the Second World War, but was carefully restored in the years that followed. Today, the citadel is an important part of Erfurt’s cultural heritage and houses a museum that documents the history of the fortress and its use over the centuries. Petersberg Citadel is also known for its breathtaking view of the city and the surrounding countryside.

Unfortunately, many areas of the Citadel were closed off during our visit due to the Federal Garden Show. Nevertheless, we got a good impression of the size of the fortifications.

Petersberg Citadel, map, plan

A map of the Petersberg Citadel

Erfurt Cathedral & Severi Church

Erfurt Cathedral is an 81-meter-high Gothic cathedral located in the old town. Construction of the cathedral began in the 12th century and continued over several centuries, using many different styles and building techniques. The cathedral was badly damaged during the Second World War, but was later rebuilt and restored. Today it is one of the city’s most famous sights and an important place for worshippers and tourists. The cathedral also houses an impressive collection of religious works of art, including the famous portrait of the Virgin Mary “Mary on the Sun”, many tombs and epitaphs of important figures in the city’s history and the Gloriosa, the largest free-swinging bell in the world dating back to the Middle Ages.

Right next to the cathedral is the Severinskirche. It was built in the 11th century and is dedicated to St. Severin of Cologne. The church was rebuilt and extended several times over the centuries, with Gothic elements also being added. This church was also badly damaged during the Second World War and was later restored. The Severinskirche is known for its famous organ, which is one of the largest and oldest organs in Thuringia.

Cathedral Square

One of the most beautiful places in Erfurt for us is the cathedral square. This large market square is surrounded by many historic buildings and sights, including Erfurt Cathedral, St. Severin’s Church, the Erthal Obelisk and the Minerva Fountain. The square is an important meeting place for locals and tourists alike and is often used for public events and markets. The view of the cathedral, which towers majestically over the square, is particularly impressive. In the summer months, the square is often home to street cafés and open-air events, while at Christmas time it becomes a magical Christmas market.

Fish market & town hall

The old fish market is a picturesque square in the old town of Erfurt. It is located between the Krämerbrücke and the Anger and was once an important trading center for fish and other goods. Today, the square is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists alike and offers a variety of restaurants, bars and stores. The old fish market is surrounded by historic half-timbered houses and offers a breathtaking view of the Krämerbrücke bridge and the River Gera. The open-air markets that take place on the square are particularly charming, including a weekly farmers’ market and an antiques market in summer.

The most beautiful building on the fish market is certainly Erfurt’s town hall. It was built in the 19th century in neo-Gothic style and has been an important political and cultural center of the city ever since. The building is known for its imposing façade with towers and gables as well as its richly decorated interiors, including the Ratskeller and the ballroom. Today, Erfurt’s town hall houses the city administration as well as various event rooms and exhibition spaces. Visitors can tour the building and learn more about the history and significance of this impressive structure.

Erfurt town hall at the fish market

The town hall in Erfurt at the fish market


The Krämerbrücke is one of the most famous sights in the city of Erfurt. The bridge is one of the last inhabited bridges in Europe and was built in the 14th century. It is about 120 meters long and has 32 houses, which are built close together and are accessible from both sides of the bridge. The Krämerbrücke was once an important trade route for merchants transporting goods between the old town and the suburbs. Today, the bridge is a popular tourist destination known for its picturesque architecture, historic buildings and charming cafés and stores.

The Krämerbrücke is also home to some remarkable sights, including the “Zum Heiligen Kreuz” chapel, which is located in the middle of the bridge. The chapel was built in the 16th century and is known for its magnificent interior. Another notable building on the bridge is the “Zur Hohen Lilie” house, which is known for its historic façade and restaurant. The Krämerbrücke is also an important place for arts and crafts, with many small studios and galleries located in the houses on the bridge.

Erfurt, Instagram spot, photo spot

The most beautiful Instagram spot in Erfurt

River Gera

The River Gera flows through the city of Erfurt and is an important part of its landscape and history. The 85-kilometer-long Gera has its source in the Thuringian Forest, flows through the city of Erfurt and finally flows into the Unstrut. In the city of Erfurt, the Gera flows through many famous sights, including the Krämerbrücke, the Old Synagogue and Egapark. In recent years, the city has put a lot of work into renaturalizing the river in order to preserve its ecological diversity and natural beauty.


The Barfüßerkirche is a former monastery church in the old town of Erfurt, which was built in the 14th century. The church is an impressive example of Gothic architecture and is home to a variety of works of art and monuments from different eras. The church was once part of a Franciscan monastery, which was abolished in the 16th century. The church was then used for various purposes, including as a school, prison and museum.

The Barfüßerkirche was badly damaged during the Second World War. The roof and the tower were destroyed and the interior of the church was badly damaged. Some of the works of art and monuments were damaged or destroyed, while others were saved. After the war, extensive restoration work was carried out on the church in order to rebuild and restore it. The restoration of the church took several decades and was carried out by various architects and restorers. The restoration work was financed by donations and public funds and the church was finally reopened in 1988. Some of the most remarkable features of the church are the magnificent nave with its high vaults, the old frescoes on the walls and the impressive organ. Today, the Barfüßerkirche is an important part of Erfurt’s cultural heritage and a symbol of resilience and overcoming war damage.


The Anger is a large square in the center of Erfurt. It is surrounded by many important buildings such as the Angermuseum and the Alte Post and offers a wealth of shopping opportunities, restaurants and cafés. The Anger has a long history and was an important trading center in the past. Over the years, the square has changed again and again and has been rebuilt several times.

Augustinian monastery

The Augustinian Monastery is a former monastery in Erfurt that was founded in the 13th century. The monastery was an important place for the Augustinian canons, who lived and worked here until the Reformation. One of the most famous members of the monastery was Martin Luther, who lived and worked as a monk in the monastery from 1505 to 1511. Today, the Augustinian monastery is an important place for visitors who want to learn more about the history and culture of the city of Erfurt. The monastery now houses the Augustinian Monastery Museum, which contains an impressive collection of works of art, books and artifacts from the history of the monastery and the city of Erfurt. Visitors can tour the monks’ living quarters, explore the refectory and library and visit an exhibition about Martin Luther’s life and work.

Old Town

All in all, we spent around 4 hours walking through the old town of Erfurt on this beautiful day…

All in all, we really enjoyed Erfurt! Especially in the old town, there is something new to discover or photograph on every corner and you can explore everything on your own. Erfurt is highly recommended for a city trip.

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Book excursions & activities

On GetYourGuide you will find many interesting and beautiful excursions and activities for Erfurt. Take a look 🙂