2 Days in Erfurt Itinerary – How to explore Erfurt, Germany, in 2 Days

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While Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia, might not be Germany’s best-kept secret, it’s undoubtedly less frequented than many of the country’s other major cities. Yet, a trip to this charming city is an experience you wouldn’t want to miss.

Find out how you can discover Erfurt in 2 days, what makes this city so special, and which things to do in Erfurt you should not miss.

We’ll take you on a fantastic 2-days in Erfurt itinerary to the most beautiful places in the city and some great tips from my friend Melissa, who lived here for a few years.

Author’s note: For full disclosure, I’d just like to briefly point out that we were invited to our weekend in Erfurt by Thueringen-entdecken.de as a winner of the 2022 Summer Blog Parade, but the article is in no way sponsored, and all opinions are my own.

erfurt krämerbrücke north side old town colorful houses, erfurt in two days
The picturesque north side of the Krämer Bridge

Why visit Erfurt

Erfurt is still a bit of a hidden gem in Germany. Its impressive medieval architecture and charming alleys attract travelers looking for authenticity and a connection to German history.

Unlike significant metropolises such as Berlin, Hamburg, or Munich, Erfurt offers a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere rarely found elsewhere in a big city.

The Krämerbrücke, the longest inhabited bridge in Europe, is just one of the many highlights of this city. Whether you want to explore the impressive churches and monasteries, stroll through the historic Old Town, or enjoy the local cuisine, Erfurt has something to offer each visitor.


Where to stay in Erfurt: Best Western Plus Hotel Excelsior (Good, central hotel with breakfast directly at the train station) or Pension Gerber (Comfortable middle-class accommodation with a friendly atmosphere)

The most popular activities & tours in Erfurt

Guided Erfurt City Tour

Selfuided Scavenger Hunt through the Old town of Erfurt

Petersberg Citadel Guided Tour

Private E-Rickshaw Tour

Visit in EGA Park

Arrival: The easiest way is by car or Deutsche Bahn (the train company). It is even cheaper if you book your ticket in advance. If you need to book a flight, make sure to check well in advance and compare different options with Skyscanner

Transport on-site: By public transport and walking

Want to rent a car? You can find great deals on RentalCars.

Erfurt, Germany, Facts

  • Capital of the Free State of Thuringia
  • Largest city in Thuringia
  • Less than 220,000 inhabitants
  • Home of the German children’s channel (KiKa)
  • It has probably already been inhabited in prehistoric times

Best Travel Time for Erfurt

Erfurt is a great destination all year round. However, the summer months and December during the Erfurt Christmas Market are particularly popular.

Other events that might be worthwhile are the Erfurt Old Town Spring in April, the Krämerbrücken Festival on the third weekend of July, or DomStufen Festspiele in midsummer.

the old town of erfurt, krämerbrücke, people and colorful houses, important site for a 2 days in erfurt itinerary

How to get to Erfurt

As the state capital, Erfurt has a well-developed highway connection to other important cities in Germany.

If you travel by plane, you can fly to Erfurt Weimar Airport (just about 6 km/4 mi from the city center of Erfurt). Frankfurt am Main Airport is about three hours from Erfurt.

You also can arrive by bus or train. Otherwise, there are also many reasonable offers via long-distance buses and Flixbus.

How to get around Erfurt

The city center of Erfurt is relatively small, so you can quickly discover the most essential sights in Erfurt on foot.

If you are not good on foot, you also have the possibility to use public transport like bus and streetcar.

A single trip costs € 2.50. Alternatively, you can purchase a day ticket for € 6.20 (worth it after the third trip) or a 4-trip ticket for € 9.

If you want to see a lot of the city and are not well on foot, an Erfurt TravelCard with a transport option may also be worthwhile for you. More about this later.

Our comprehensive 2-Days in Erfurt Itinerary

Erfurt 2-day-Itinerary – Day 1

So, let’s start with our first day in Erfurt.

children channel figures in erfurt, collage of 4 pictures with statues on them: 1: tiger duck, 2: bernd the bread, 3: the mouse and the blue elephant, 4: the sandman
A few of the KiKa characters in Erfurt

The Kinderkanal figures

Erfurt was a surprisingly beautiful journey back to childhood for me. Because while visiting the town, I was able to meet some of my childhood heroes.

Scattered all over the city, you can find popular characters from the German children’s channel (KiKa)—a pleasant surprise for young and old.

If you follow this itinerary, you will pass by many of the characters, or you can reach them via minor detours.

If you don’t know the characters like Eduardo, who didn’t grow up in Germany, it’s still fun to find them throughout town.

You can either look for the figures yourself or follow this list with all the figures and locations (I’ve also included the figures in the map above in dark pink).

erfurt cathedral from outside, cathedral entrance and severi church next to it
View of the cathedral entrance (left) and the St. Severi church (right)

Erfurt Cathedral St. Marien

Opening Hours Erfurt Cathedral: Mon-Fri: 10 am – 6 pm; Sat+Sun: 1 pm – 6 pm – detailed info on the official website

Entrance Fee Erfurt Cathedral: free of charge

Let’s start our self-guided tour of Erfurt with one of the city’s most impressive sights – the Erfurt Cathedral of St. Mary.

You can spot the towers of the two houses of worship towering magnificently over the square from the Domplatz (Cathedral Square). The cathedral is located right next to the equally impressive St. Severi Church (we’ll talk about it in the next point).

The enormous tower of the cathedral rises more than 80 meters into the air. You can reach and enter the striking building via the cathedral steps.

The interior of the 14th-century cathedral is as impressive as its exterior. A tour of the cathedral reveals a detailed interior wall design that will captivate any visitor – religious or not.

Fun Fact: Erfurt Cathedral even holds a world record. Its bell, the Gloriosa, is the largest free-swinging bell in the world.

st severi church exterior facade, with lots of green in the foreground, erfurt in 2 days
View of Severi Church from Petersburg Citadel

St. Severi Church

Opening Hours St. Severi Church: 09.30 am – 06 pm

Entrance Fee St. Severi Church: free of charge

After admiring Erfurt’s impressive St. Mary’s Cathedral, we turn to the neighboring sight – St. Severi Church.

Situated directly on the Cathedral Hill, the Severi Church forms a unique architectural ensemble together with the cathedral, considered a landmark of the city of Erfurt. Its unique shape, reminiscent of a late Gothic hall church, makes it one of Germany’s most important Gothic buildings.

Inside the church, the bones of the church’s patron saint, Severus of Ravenna, rest in an elaborately designed sarcophagus. The church’s history dates back to the early Middle Ages, and it has undergone many changes and restorations over the centuries.

A visit to the Church of St. Severus is a must for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the culture and history of Erfurt.

We were especially surprised by the significant difference between the neighboring cathedral and the Severi Church in interior design.

cathedral steps down to the cathedral square in erfurt, view of the cathedral square

Domstufen – Cathedral steps

After your visit to the two glorious churches, our journey through Erfurt continues. So, let’s now climb down the 70 steps leading up to the cathedral.

From here, you have an excellent view of the stately cathedral square and the surrounding colorful buildings.

Extra tip: If you need a little snack in between, my friend Melissa recommends some delicious Baumstriezel from Café am Dom.

erfurt domplatz, view of the square with weekly market, erfurt cathedral and severikirche in the background
Cathedral Square during the weekly market

Cathedral Square

After taking the cathedral steps down, we reach Cathedral Square, one of the largest market squares in Europe.

Take some time to turn around and look at the iconic two houses of worship in all their glory from the square.

If you come to Cathedral Square on Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday between 6:30 am and 2 pm, you can also take a spin around the small weekly market and stock up on flowers or fresh local produce.

citadel petersberg entrance, baroque city fortress with bridge at entrance, 2 days in erfurt

Petersberg Citadel

Opening Hours Petersberg Citadel: 10 am – 06 pm

Entrance Fee Petersberg Citadel: Depending on the exhibition – Kommandantenhaus exhibition: 7 €

Overlooking the towers of Erfurt Cathedral and St. Severi’s Church, another impressive landmark towers over the city – Petersberg Citadel – one of the largest and best-preserved Baroque city fortresses in Europe.

Once founded as a Benedictine monastery in the 12th century, this fortress has had a fascinating journey through time. Its mighty walls and deep moats tell stories of centuries.

As you stroll through the fortress, you’ll be transported back in time by the interactive exhibition in the Kommandantenhaus. Experience the monastic times, the history of the fort, and the life of the soldiers.

Another highlight is the free outdoor elevator. Not only does it make your ascent easier, it also offers an unforgettable view of the two churches we visited earlier. It’s worth the trip to the top for this view alone. We could have stood here for hours, and I must have taken a hundred photos of this incredible view.

prison hall at the memorial and education center andreasstraße in erfurt, old stasi prison, exhibition

Gedenk- und Bildungsstätte Andreasstraße – Memorial & Educational Site

Opening Hours: Wed+Fri-Sun: 10 am – 6 pm; Tues+Thu: 12 pm – 8 pm; closed Mondays

Entrance Fee: 2 € (Media Guide: +3 €)

If you only had time for one sight in Erfurt, I’d recommend the Andreasstraße Memorial and Educational Site. Although this place is certainly not a happy one, it is essential to remember what happened in the former Stasi prison.

Whether you have visited the GDR yourself or, like me, weren’t born until after the border was opened, this place not only conveys the fate of the prisoners but offers a detailed look into German-German history.

There are so many interesting stories and info to follow. Even if you, like Eduardo, don’t speak German, the English media guide will help you understand the entire exhibition.

With the video material in the media guide and the other exhibits and information, we spent almost three hours here.

Rest of the day at leisure

If you still have time left after all that sightseeing, feel free to explore Erfurt on your own.

Enjoy one of the bars, cafes, or restaurants we have listed later in this article, stroll through the beautiful alleys of the city, or check out one of the extra things to see in Erfurt we present at the end of this itinerary.

Erfurt in 2 days – Day 2

We are already starting the second of our 2 days in Erfurt. Strengthen yourself with a hearty breakfast, and you’re ready to go. So, let’s start by checking what to do in Erfurt on day two.

erfurt fish market, colorful buildings in erfurt


We start the second day of our Erfurt walking tour at the Erfurt fish market. Contrary to what you might expect, no more fish is being sold here nowadays.

Instead, picturesque multicolored house facades and contemplative architecture await you. Particularly popular is the town hall and the Haus zum Roten Ochsen (“House of the Red Ox”), a Renaissance building from the 16th century, on whose frieze you can see a red ox.

My personal favorite building here, by the way, is the red and white Haus zum Breiten Herd, which you can spot in the photo above.

waagegasse, warehouse building in erfurt, half-timbered house
Half-timbered houses in Erfurt in the Waagegasse


From the fish market, we make our way through the picturesque Waagegasse, where you will find beautiful half-timbered houses.

Stroll through the alley full of medieval charm and let yourself be enchanted by the former warehouse buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries.

old synagogue Erfurt in 2 days, entrance door
Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take pictures in the Old Synagogue – So here is the entrance door. 🙂

Old synagogue

Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 10 am – 6 pm; closed on Mondays

Entrance Fee: 8 €

If you want to delve even deeper into Erfurt’s history, the Old Synagogue is a great place to do so.

In this interesting museum, you can learn more about Jewish life through the centuries and discover the more than 750-year-old mikvah and the Jewish treasure of Erfurt.

The museum is located in one of the oldest still preserved synagogues in Central Europe.

We found the visit very interesting, especially learning more about the history and the treasure in the basement. However, to be quite honest, we probably would not have visited the synagogue without our Erfurt Card. But of course, it all depends on personal taste – for those interested in history and religion, it is definitely worth seeing.

the krämerbrücke in erfurt in two days

Krämer Bridge

Let’s move on to one of the top attractions in Erfurt. The Krämerbrücke is the heart of the city and the longest inhabited and built bridge in Europe.

As a landmark of Erfurt, the Krämerbrücke was initially built of wood and replaced by a stone structure in 1325. What makes it so unique is the fact that it was originally built with 62 narrow houses, which were later combined into 32 houses.

Today, the bridge is home to numerous galleries, shops, and craft workshops, ranging from pottery and woodcarving to glassblowing workshops.

As you stroll across the bridge, you can admire the craftsmanship and browse specialty stores. And who knows, you might find the perfect souvenir that will remind you of your trip to Erfurt for a long time to come.

teatrum mundi, puppet show with coin insertion in erfurt, attractions
The mechanical puppet theater of Erfurt

Teatrum Mundi

Looking for a little puppet show? In the Theatrum Mundi (the world theater) on the Krämerbrücke, fairy tale lovers young and old can follow the story of Snow White.

After inserting a coin, the mechanical puppets present the fairy tale. Follow the story played in the small showcase of Theatrum Mundi after the mirror is released, and let yourself be transported for a moment into a magical fairy tale world.

Unfortunately, the small puppet theater was out of service during our visit, so we could not see it.

goldhelm ice cream store on the krämerbrücke in erfurt

Goldhelm Ice Cream – Eiskrämer

Follow the Krämerbrücke a bit further to reach one of my favorite attractions in Erfurt, the Eiskrämer. Following the motto of natural ice cream without fuss, you’ll find a few unique ice cream flavors here.

Don’t let the line out the door stop you – trust me, you’ll need the time in line to read through the somewhat unusual ice cream flavors and decide on one (or more) of them.

Extra tip: For those with a sweet tooth or memorable souvenirs for loved ones back home, I also recommend visiting the neighboring Goldhelm Chocolate Bridge store. We opted for the “Käptn’s Karamell und Meersalz” (Caramell and Seasalt) and were not disappointed.

ice cream maker krämerbrücke, gold helmet ice cream, stairs, moppi and schnatterinchen

Enjoy your ice cream at the Gera

After ordering your delicious ice cream, you can walk to the north side of the Krämerbrücke. If the weather is good, you can sit down on the steps, very close to the KiKa figures of Moppi and Schnatterinchen (I marked them for you on the map at the beginning of the post).

Enjoy the view of the ducks and the picturesque buildings of the Krämerbrücke. In warm weather, the breeze from the Gera, known here as the Breitstrom, is a refreshing treat. For me, definitely the nicest place to eat ice cream in the city.

st ägidien church in erfurt, church tower

St. Ägidien Church Tower

Opening Hours St. Ägidien Church Tower: 11 am – 05 pm

Entrance Fee St. Ägidien Church Tower: It is requested to make a little donation in an amount of your choice.

After you’ve taken a breather with an ice cream from Goldhelm and recharged your batteries a little, we’ll head up high. The steeple of the St. Ägidien Church offers an excellent view over the Krämerbrücke and the roofs of the city.

Admittedly, the way up is not without its difficulties. There are numerous steps over a relatively steep staircase waiting for you. But trust me, the way up is absolutely worth it.

view from the st aegidien church in erfurt to the krämer bridge
No drone is needed – this great view awaits you from the tower of St. Ägidien Church in Erfurt.

A magnificent view awaits you at the top. Discover Erfurt from a whole new angle and let yourself be surprised by its clear view.

fewmarket, colorful houses in erfurt, erfurt sightseeing route


If you follow the Krämerbrücke to the end, you will reach the Wenigemarkt – for me, one of the most beautiful areas of the city.

The square itself is adorned by colorful farmhouses from the 19th century. Once, the square was an important market and trading place.

Today, it is home to numerous bars, cafes, and restaurants that invite you to linger. Wander around a bit and then take a seat at a place of your choice to end the day with a cool or hot drink.

terrace übersee restaurant erfurt. view from the table with cocktails on the water of the river gera

Übersee Terrace

A recommendation at Wenigemarkt is the terrace of the Übersee restaurant. It offers a wide selection of hot and cold drinks, and you can enjoy the view of the Gera River.

We came here twice because we were totally enchanted by the view of the water and the tranquility that this terrace exudes.

Even though we didn’t try the food ourselves, I have to admit that it looked really good. For a drink, in any case, clear recommendation!

erfurt vickiviaja with pittiplatsch statue city center
Another figure from the Children Channel – this one is called Pittiplatsch

More things to do in Erfurt

Do you have more time after exploring Erfurt in two days, or do you want to replace one of the sights in our itinerary with another? In this section, you will find a few additional sights of Erfurt that are worth a visit.

EGA Park

Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 09 am – 6 pm during peak season. You can find all the opening hours here.

Entrance Fee: from 6 €

Visit one of the largest and most beautiful gardens in Germany. With various themed flowerbeds, such as a picturesque rose bed and a Japanese rock and water garden, you’ll hardly be able to get enough of the colorful nature of these grounds – A splendid change of pace from sightseeing in the old town.

Natural History Museum Erfurt

Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 10 am – 6 pm; closed on Mondays

Entrance Fee: 6 €

Erfurt’s Natural History Museum invites you to explore the nature of Thuringia. You can discover the region’s animal and plant life on four exhibition floors traversed by an impressive 14-meter-high oak tree.

Particularly fascinating is the swaying Noah’s Ark in the basement, which draws attention to the global threat to biodiversity.

City Museum Erfurt – Haus zum Stockfisch

Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 10 am – 6 pm; closed on Mondays

Entrance Fee: 6 €

The Haus zum Stockfisch in Erfurt, initially built in 1607, is a testament to the city’s rich commercial history. Since 1974, it has housed the city’s history museum. The striking facade with its checkerboard pattern and the exhibitions inside take you on a journey through Erfurt’s trading past.

Augustinian monastery

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 10 am – 3 pm; Sat+Sun: 10 am – 1 pm

Entrance Fee: 07,50 € (Audio-Guide-Tour)

The Augustinian monastery in Erfurt, a place rich in history, was built around 1300 and served as a home for the famous Augustinian monk Martin Luther, who entered here in 1505.

The permanent exhibition “Bible-Monastery-Luther” and the “Luther Cell” provide deep insights into Luther’s life and work in Erfurt. A visit here is like a journey through time, highlighting the spiritual side of Erfurt and Luther’s importance to the city.

Erfurt Christmas Market

If you happen to visit Erfurt at Christmas time or if you liked Erfurt so much that you have to revisit it at Christmas time, you should pay a visit to the annual Christmas market.

The Christmas market is one of the most beautiful in Germany and is convenient with delicious snacks and various offers.

It is set up every year on the Domplatz. The magnificent cathedral and Severi Church in the background make it all the more impressive.

Where to eat in Erfurt

erfurt restaurant, half-timbered house, house to the Naumburg cellar
Not only nice to look at, but in the Haus zum Naumburgischen Keller, you can also expect delicious food.

Of course, you have to eat something during your trip to Erfurt. Here are a few personal favorites.


My personal favorite place in Erfurt. The terrace in the lower part of the restaurant directly on the Gera invites you to linger – and the selection is vast. Whether a drink, a snack, or a delicious lunch or dinner. I am sure you will find something you like on the menu.


It’s just the thing for those with a sweet tooth. With several ice cream parlors (Eiskrämer) and chocolate stores in Erfurt, Goldhelm is a paradise for those who want to lose themselves in a massive selection of delicious chocolate and unique ice cream varieties.

Haus zum Naumburgischen Keller

If you visit Erfurt, you should experience the excellent cuisine of Thuringia. Especially popular, if you’re not a vegetarian, is the Thuringian Rostbratwurst. You can find them in snack bars and restaurants all over the city. However, the chefs at Haus zum Naumburgischen Keller serve them exceptionally well. They are served with fried potatoes and sauerkraut – very tasty.

Angus Döner

Germany is famous for its delicious doner kebab. But did you know they say you can find the best kebab in the East? And Angus Döner is another excellent example of that.

The staff here is super warm, and the kebab is simply delicious. So, if you’re looking for something simple to eat, this is the place for you.

Where to stay in Erfurt

room, bed in hotel room, erfurt best western plus excelsior
View of our bedroom at the Best Western Plus Hotel Excelsior

The best Hotel in Erfurt

Best Western Plus Hotel Excelsior

We really liked this hotel. Located right by the train station and not far from the main sights, on the Anger in Erfurt, you have a perfect location for your time in Erfurt.

The rooms are cozy, the service is good, and the breakfast is plentiful. What more could you ask for?

Check further info, prices, and availability of Best Western Plus

The best budget accommodation

Pension Gerber

Pension Gerber in Erfurt is a charming, family-run guest house located about 800 meters from Erfurt Cathedral. In bright rooms equipped with a flat-screen TV, you can relax after a day in the city. The relatively central location allows you to reach the heart of Erfurt’s Old Town in just 15 minutes on foot.

The warm atmosphere and personal service are particularly noteworthy, turning your stay into a unique experience.

Check further info, prices, and availability of Pension Gerber

Is the Erfurt Card worth it

The Erfurt Card includes free admission and discounts to various facilities in the city for 48 hours. You can currently purchase it online or at the local tourist information office for €14.90.

If you would also like unlimited travel on public transportation, you can purchase the ErfurtTravelCard for €21.90.

When you follow our Erfurt 2-day itinerary and want to see all the sights (+ Mediaguide at the Andreasstraße Memorial), the ErfurtCard will pay for itself.

If you also want to visit other sights, like the museums on our list of additional attractions, the ErfurtCard is definitely worth it.

The ErfurtTravelCard, on the other hand, is only recommended if you have limited mobility, are traveling with (small) children, or are dependent on public transportation for some other reason.

Ideally, you should think about which sights you want to see before you arrive and do a quick calculation to see if the ErfurtCard is worth it for your trip.

FAQs about traveling to Erfurt

How many days to spend in Erfurt?

It is recommended to spend at least 2 days in Erfurt to see the main sights of the city.

Is Erfurt a walkable city?

With its relatively small size, Erfurt is ideal for exploring on foot, as most of the sights are located right in the city center.

Which food is famous in Erfurt?

In Erfurt, especially Thuringian dishes are enjoyed, such as the Thuringian Rostbratwurst or Thuringian dumplings. In winter, you should try the Erfurt Schittchen (Stollen Christmas Cake).

What are the must-sees of Erfurt?

When you visit Erfurt, you should see the Erfurt Cathedral and the St. Severi Church. Another landmark of the city is the Krämerbrücke in the historic center.

What is the Erfurter Puffbohne?

The broad bean “Erfurter Puffbohne,” with its high protein content and cultivation, has a long tradition in the region of Erfurt. Therefore, today, it is considered a city symbol and a popular souvenir.

Why is Erfurt important?

As the capital of Thuringia, Erfurt is considered one of the most influential cities in Germany.

Which river flows through Erfurt?

The river that flows through Erfurt is the Gera. In Erfurt, however, the part of the river that flows through the city center is also called Breitstrom.


About the AuthorVicki

Hi, we are Vicki & Eduardo, an international travel couple on a mission to help you save money for priceless travel experience. Follow us through the miracles of this world and you will be rewarded with a bunch of practical travel tips.

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