Harz – Travel guide for cities, sights & activities (Germany)

Categories: Travel reports, Europe, Germany

Holidays in Germany – we have discoverd the highland area and holiday region of Harz and have explored many sights and discovered new things: historic town centres in Wernigerode and Quedlinburg, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, colourful half-timbered houses, impressive castles, Germany’s longest suspension bridge of its kind, lots of nature, beautiful hiking trails with fantastic views, an eventful ride with the BrockenBahn and much more. The Harz, with its endless excursion destinations, is a diverse and interesting region that has delighted us ❤

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Beautiful cities in the Harz

In addition to the diverse landscape, there are beautiful towns and villages in the Harz to explore, which are waiting for visitors with many sights and attractions.

Wernigerode – The colourful city on the Harz

Wernigerode, one of the most popular cities in the Harz, has all sorts of attractions to offer visitors: a historic town centre, elaborately restored and colourful half-timbered houses as well as an impressive castle. On a stroll through the city we were able to discover the most beautiful sights.

Our detailed article about Wernigerode with many more photos can be found here.

The World Heritage City of Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994, has all sorts of attractions to offer visitors: a historic old town, picturesque half-timbered houses from six centuries and the famous cathedral treasure. On a stroll through the city we were able to discover the most beautiful sights.

Our detailed article about Quedlinburg with many more photos can be found here.

Halberstadt – The gateway to the Harz

Halberstadt is a county town with about 40,000 inhabitants, which lies in the northeastern Harz foreland and is considered the “gateway to the Harz”. The city impresses with its historic old town, the extensive cathedral square, a cost-free cathedral treasure and the unique Klusbergen mountains.

Our detailed article about Halberstadt with many more photos can be found here.

Stolberg (Harz) – Germany’s most beautiful village

The town of Stolberg (Harz) is surrounded by 7,000 hectares of forest and impresses with its many half-timbered houses in Renaissance style, which date back to the 15th to the 18th century. As a result, the village was designated a “state-recognized health resort”, bears the nickname “Pearl of the South Harz” and was named “Germany’s most beautiful village” by the online travel magazine Travelbook in 2019.

Our detailed article about Stolberg (Harz) with many more photos can be found here.

The town of Harzgerode

The town of Harzgerode in the district of Harz has about 8,000 inhabitants and has been a state-recognized resort since 1998. Particularly worth seeing is the market square with the listed half-timbered town hall and the market fountain.

Our detailed article about Harzgerode with many more photos can be found here.

The UNESCO World Heritage City of Goslar

Goslar was first mentioned as a mining town in 979 and now has about 50,000 inhabitants. The 1000-year history of the city meets you on a stroll through the city, because tradition, history and modernity meet here: you will find historic buildings, imposing half-timbered houses and the unique Imperial Palatinate up to squares and shops that invite you to linger, relax and shop. Since 1992, the old town of Goslar and the former Rammelsberg ore mine on the outskirts of the city have been unesco-listed.

Our detailed article about Goslar with many more photos can be found here.

Sights & Attractions in the Harz

The Harz, with its endless excursion destinations, is a diverse and interesting region for young and old. We introduce you to some of the most beautiful sights and attractions.

Brockenbahn – A ride on the steam locomotive to Brocken

A visit to the Brocken, the highest mountain in the Harz, is simply part of a holiday in the Harz. On the one hand, this can be done on foot via one of the many hiking trails, on the other hand you can also choose the slightly more comfortable option and “climb” the chunk with the nostalgic Brockenbahn. Many also opt for a combination of both, e.g. hiking high and driving down. We decided for the comfortable variant and drove from Wernigerode with the Harzquerbahn or Brockenbahn to Brocken, which was a great experience!

Our detailed article about the ride with the Brockenbahn with many more photos can be found here.

Cable cars Thale – The world of witches and experiences in the Harz

Together with other districts, Thale forms the holiday region Bodetal, which with its steep rock faces, numerous mixed forests and flowering mountain meadows is considered the “most powerful rock valley north of the Alps”. Due to the multitude of legends and myths about witches & devils, dwarves & giants as well as gods & mythical creatures, the Bodetal is popularly referred to as legend resin. “Cable cars Thale Adventure World… where the devil is going on in the Harz!” – with this slogan, the Thale adventure world advertises itself with numerous attractions. In addition to the two cable cars, there is much more to discover here, such as a mini golf course, a fun park, a summer toboggan run, a climbing forest and much more. A true paradise for holidays with the whole family. Suitable accommodation options are even available directly on site with the holiday home village Thale.

Our detailed article about the cable cars Thale Erlebniswelt with many more photos can be found here.

The Titan-RT suspension bridge at the Rappbode Dam

About 50 m parallel to the Rappbode Dam, the Titan-RT pedestrian suspension bridge, which opened in 2017, is located. The bridge spans the Rappbode Valley with an incredible 458 m and hangs at a height of 100 m above the reservoir of the Wendefurth Dam. This makes it the longest suspension rope bridge in Germany and one of the largest of its kind in the world. Adrenaline guaranteed! But you should also be 😉

Our detailed article about the suspension rope bridge Titan-RT with many more photos can be found here.

The Rübeländer stalactite caves

The stalactite caves Rübeland, consisting of the Baumannshöhle and the Hermannshöhle, belong to the oldest and most famous show caves in Germany and are unique as geological natural monuments. With its accidental discovery in the 16th century, the Baumannshöhle is considered to be the oldest show cave in Germany and has been offering organized cave tours since 1646. With its imposing Goethesaal, it has Germany’s most beautiful underground natural stage, where concerts and theatre performances take place. The Hermannshöhle is only about 300 m from the Baumannshöhle and was discovered by chance during road works in the 19th century. It impresses with its crystal chamber, cavities up to 50 m high and Germany’s only grotto nooses.

The Stave Churches in Stiege & Hahnenklee

Actually, this church form is known more from the Scandinavian countries, but two very beautiful stave churches can also be found in the Harz. This is on the one hand the stave church in the Goslar district of Hahnenklee-Bockswiese, which was modelled on the Norwegian stave church Borgund and was consecrated after a one-year construction period in June 1908. On the other hand, the Stave Church Stiege, which has been located since 1905 in the Selke valley between Stiege, Breitenstein and Güntersberge on the site of a former pulmonary hospital.

The Rabensteiner Stollen in the Harz

The Rabensteiner Stollen is a former mine in the north of Thuringia, where coal was mined from 1737 to 1949 and has been used as a visitor mine since 1981. The beauty of this mine is that the entrance to the tunnels is done by means of a mine railway. Underground, you will walk about 600 metres through the mine, where you will get an insight into the mining activities of the 18th to 20th centuries.

Our contribution about the Rabensteiner Stollen with many more photos can be found here.

Walkenried Abbey

Walkenried Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey and is idyllically situated on the southern edge of the Harz Mountains. Donated in 1127, the monastery experienced 12. and 13th century its heyday and already in the middle of the 14th century its beginning decline. The building complex on display today includes the ruins of the monastery church as well as the largely preserved Gothic cloistered building, which was expanded into a museum in 2006. We particularly liked the Gothic cloister with the double-nave cloister wing, which is one of the most beautiful in northern Germany.

Our contribution about the monastery Walkenried with many more photos can be found here.

Nature experiences in the Harz

The Harz is characterized by dense deciduous, mixed and coniferous forests, steep mountain ranges, deep valleys, wild rivers, gentle mountain meadows, bogs, mountain streams and impressive rock formations. A variety of landscapes that enables unique nature experiences and excursions.

The Devil’s Wall – Bizarre rock formations in the Harz

In the middle of green plains, meadows and fields rises – as if out of nowhere – the Devil’s Wall in the northern Harz foreland, a rock formation made of hard sandstones of the upper chalk, partly spectacular. It runs for about 20 km from Ballenstedt in the southeast via Rieder and Weddersleben to Blankenburg in the northwest. On this route, it comes to light in three places. Since 1935, the rock formations near Weddersleben have been designated as a nature reserve and are therefore among the oldest nature reserves in Germany. In 2009, the Teufelsmauerstieg was opened – a 35 km long hiking trail that leads from Ballenstedt to Blankenburg along all visible rock elevations of the Devil’s Wall.

Our detailed article about the Devil’s Wall with many more photos can be found here.

The Klusberge near Halberstadt

About 4 km south of the city centre of Halberstadt, there are the Klusberge – a small ridge with partly spectacular rock formations. The Klusberge are made of sandstone and extend over an area of about 600 m x 1,500 m. Over the course of the millennia, the soft sandstone has created bizzare rock formations, partly due to the weather, partly due to human influences, especially the three rock groups that are still visible today: five-fingered rocks, devil’s pulpit and klus rocks.

Our detailed article about the Klusberge near Halberstadt with many more photos can be found here.

A map with all sights in the Harz

On the following Google MyMaps map we have drawn all the sights we have visited in the Harz.

Harz Holiday Sightseeing Map