Weimar insider tips – highlights off the beaten track

Weimar is a very touristy city. All the better if you know the best Weimar insider tips. This way you can enjoy the classic city even more intensively.

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As a former resident of the city, I know the real Weimar insider tips. True, it has been a while since I left the city. But when you’ve lived somewhere for four years, you do get to know a place well. The city of Goethe and Schiller has grown mighty close to my heart. And in the four years I’ve also discovered some places in the city that tourists don’t usually get to see. The city has many gems to offer away from the tourist crowds that are worth a visit. Therefore, with a few years delay, I finally want to show you these places and invite you to discover Weimar for yourself!

Belvedere Palace Weimar Insider Tips

The most beautiful castle in Weimar – Belvedere Castle with park

Most visitors to Weimar hardly venture outside the city center. At the same time, the most beautiful palace in Weimar is located somewhat off the beaten track. You can go to the Belvedere either by car or by city bus. And the ride is worth it. The Belvedere Palace Park is one of the most beautiful I know.

There are artificial ruins, fountains, springs and the orangery of the castle. And everything nestles on the slopes of the Ilm valley. By the way, the German Rococo Museum is also housed in the rooms of the castle. Fine classical music can often be heard from the buildings, as there is also a music high school here.
How to get there: From the center it is about 2 kilometers on foot. For cars there is a paid parking lot next to the castle. Bus line 1 also runs from the center to the Belvedere.
Extra secret tip: Tiefurt Castle is also worth a visit! Both parks can be explored very well on a bicycle tour through the parks of Weimar.

Roman House Ilmpark Weimar

The most beautiful walk – Ilmpark and Goethe’s garden house

It’s not really an insider tip, but Ilmpark Weimar is just so beautiful that I have to recommend it. In summer great for a picnic, in autumn super nice for a walk through the colorful trees and in winter you can even go sledding here. You can think of something for spring – it’s enough for me that it’s green again. You can rediscover the dozens of sights in the park at any time. Goethe already knew why he settled in this area and had his garden house here. This should also be looked at, just like the wooden bridges over the Ilm.

German Bee Museum Weimar
Beekeepers show how honey is made at the German Bee Museum.

The most surprising museum – German Bee Museum

Directly at the end of the Ilmpark is the German Bee Museum Weimar. This cute little museum, which is all about beekeeping, is one of the real Weimar insider tips. The garden directly on the Ilm is super for a breather. In the museum store you can buy the best honey of the region. My favorite: acacia honey. And if you’re there in December, you might even be lucky enough to experience the beautiful alternative Christmas market at the Bee Museum.
Address German Bee Museum Weimar: Ilmstraße 3, 99425 Weimar
Opening hours German Bee Museum Weimar: The Bee Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

Weimar insider tips Bauhaus
In the Haus am Horn, you can admire the symbiosis of the Bauhaus subsections directly on one object.

The Bauhaus in action – Haus am Horn

Also next to the park is the Haus am Horn. For fans of architecture it is a real temple. The Haus am Horn was the first joint project of Bauhaus students and Bauhaus teachers in which representatives of all sub-disciplines were involved. The result is an extremely refined building in which every detail has a function – from the frosted glass windows in the central living room to the floor of the basement.
Address Haus am Horn: Am Horn 61, 99425 Weimar
Opening hours Haus am Horn: The tour of the Haus am Horn must be booked for a specific date through the Klassik-Stiftung and costs 4.50 euros for adults. More info can be found on the page about the Haus am Horn.

The most beautiful view in Weimar – view from the tower of St. Jacob’s Church

The baroque interior of the church alone is worth a visit. Although it stands in the shadow of the somewhat more centrally located and far better known Herderkirche, it does not need to hide. In front of the small baroque church lies the grave of Goethe’s Christiane. And Schiller is also said to have been buried here once before he was reburied(Inka from blickgewinkelt does a great job of summarizing the curious story of Schiller’s corpse, by the way). But the best by far is the tower of St. James Church. On it you can climb up and enjoy the most beautiful view of Weimar.

Christiane von Goethe grave Weimar
Grave of Christiane von Goethe on the Jakobsfriedhof in Weimar

In the tower there is also to see the apartment of the turret. At the very top of the roof you can open the small windows and have an unobstructed view of Weimar on all sides. There is also no glass in between – so the photos will be nice too. And the whole thing costs only a small donation!
Address Jakobskirche Weimar: Am Jakobskirchhof, 99423 Weimar
Opening hours Jakobskirche Weimar: From April to October Monday to Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday 11 am to 4 pm. From November to March daily 11 am to 2 pm.

Weimar insider tips
Few people know the Russian Orthodox Church in Weimar. At the same time, it is a real specialty.

The most unusual church – Russian Orthodox Chapel Weimar

Even though St. Jacob’s Church with its Baroque face is one of the most beautiful in Weimar, the existence of a Russian Orthodox church in Weimar is a particularity. It was built already in 1860. The Weimar Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna had decreed that a Russian Orthodox church should be built on her grave. Maria Pavlovna was the daughter of the Russian Tsar Paul I.

Historical cemetery Weimar
The historic cemetery is also worth a walk.

The church is a typical Orthodox church with onion domes and adjoins the back of the famous prince’s tomb. She is always guarded by Russian women. They are always very friendly and happy to tell visitors about the history of their church.
Address Russian Orthodox Church Weimar: Am Poseckschen Garten, 99423 Weimar
Opening hours Russian Orthodox Church Weimar: Wed.-Mun. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (April to October) or 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (November to March)

Buchenwald Memorial
Monument to the victims of the concentration camp

Buchenwald away from the camp – the Buchenwald Memorial

The Buchenwald concentration camp is one of the tragic “must sees” in Weimar. Here, where tens of thousands were murdered, hundreds of thousands tortured and tormented, you simply have to go. To grasp the inconceivable. But the crowds of tourists are getting bigger in Buchenwald. But many overlook another place that was once artificially created to commemorate the victims. The Buchenwald Memorial was a project of the GDR government and was also used for propaganda.

Buchenwald Memorial
Mass grave at the gates of Weimar

Nevertheless, the monument itself is very interested and is very good for a walk. Here you can also pay respect to the victims, because part of the site are three mass graves. Not far from there, in addition to the so-called Blood Road, which even back then led to the Buchenwald concentration camp, there is also the former railroad line that ran right through the forest on the Ettersberg. It, too, is often overlooked by visitors to Buchenwald.
Directions to the Buchenwald Memorial: There is a parking lot near the memorial. For visitors without a car I recommend the city bus line 6 in the direction of Buchen/Ettersburg. For the memorial you have to get off at the Bell Tower stop.

At the Genius Loci festival, images are projected onto the facades of buildings via video mapping.

Discover modern art in Weimar

After the Bauhaus was expelled from Weimar by the Nazis, the city was for a long time a showcase of German classicism. With the fall of the Berlin Wall came the idea of reviving the art scene. And that has worked surprisingly well. One of the real Weimar insider tips is the Gallery Eigenheim . Exhibitions of artists from Weimar and from the Bauhaus University are shown here time and again.

Various festivals show Weimar’s many sides as a city of art. My favorite festival: Genius Loci, where video mapping is used to capture graphics on the facades of old buildings in Weimar. Great!
Address Galerie Eigenheim: Karl-Liebknecht-Str.10, 99423 Weimar
Opening hours Galerie Eigenheim: Tuesday to Saturday from 12 to 19 pm
Genius-Loci Festival: The festival always takes place in August. You can find out when and if the 2021 festival will take place here on the Genius Loci website.

Giancarlo on Schillerstraße has the best ice cream in town.

The best ice cream in Weimar – Giancarlo in Schillerstraße

Goethe once traveled through Italy. And maybe he ate ice cream there, too. But whether that was as good as Giancarlo‘s in Schillerstrasse, I may not guess. But the fact is that this is the best ice cream parlor in Weimar and no visitor should miss it. My absolute favorite there: pizza ice cream. Sounds boring, but it’s a good mix of fruit ice cream and fresh fruit. And huge to boot!
Address Gelateria Giancarlo: Schillerstraße 11, 99423 Weimar
Opening hours Gelateria Giancarlo: open daily from 9 am to 8 pm

The best Thuringian bratwurst from Weimar – Teufels on the market

Sometimes the most touristy places are the best. The best bratwurst is to be found on the Rathausmarkt at the Teufels stand – recognizable by the huge bratwurst on the roof of the wagon. Here it is freshly grilled in summer and winter and served with mustard. By the way, only mustard belongs on a Thuringian bratwurst. The only question is whether it is Born mustard from Erfurt or Bautzner. But that’s where opinions differ. I am in favor of the yellow one from Saxony.
Opening hours Teufels Bratwurststand: Opening hours are actually all year round from 10 am to 6 pm – at least. In summer and at the markets depending on the market time.

The best pub in Weimar – Zum Goethebrunnen – Altweimarische Bierstuben

It is especially the places where tourists and locals meet that make up the charm of a city. And exactly one of these places is the pub “Zum Goethebrunnen”. But that’s just the official name and actually everyone just says “Bierstuben” to it. In addition to Pils, you can also get the best farmer ‘s breakfast in town here at fair prices – that alone is one of the real Weimar insider tips! The waiters, by the way, are famous for their gruff manner, but usually become trusting in the course of the evening.
Address Altweimarische Bierstuben: Frauenplan 13, 99423 Weimar
Opening hours Altweimarische Bierstuben: daily from 11 am. Hot cuisine until 10 pm.

Going out in Weimar – These are the Weimar insider tips for bars and clubs

For the younger ones heading to Weimar, the night doesn’t have to end in the beer halls. Weimar also has quite a decent nightlife because of its many students. So during the week people like to go to the Cash Tower. This student club has been run by an association since GDR times and is housed in a tower of the former city wall. Live concerts and a rancid pool table can be found at Falken (Trierer Straße 7), which is also the main meeting place for Weimar’s alternative scene. To round off the evening, we usually go dancing either in the C-Keller where a DJ plays at night (by the way, there is also a nice café upstairs). By the way, Weimar’s most beautiful cinema is the Light House in the old streetcar depot. Alternative films are shown here.

Overnight stay in Weimar – Here I would accommodate my family

Weimar is not a city of big hotels. If the GDR had existed longer, guests would have stayed at the Interhotel (now Leonardo) – the largest hotel in the city, with a pool and many amenities. Today, the rooms are somewhat behind the times. The pool is still very nice, but still worth choosing one of the small hotels. For a family visit I would have also at that time the Family Hotel Weimar * chosen. It is nicely located in the center and is one of the best rated hotels in Weimar.
If you want to be even cozier, you can find a nice room in Weimar on Airbnb. If you register here at Airbnb*, you get 35 euros free for your first booking.

* – this link is an affiliate link. If you buy or order something here, we will receive a small commission. It won’t cost you a cent extra and we can continue to write new articles for you. Thank you for your support!

Peter Althaus is a journalist, author and blogger. In 2011, he founded the travel blog Rooksack. But his real love has always been Eastern Europe. He now lives in Lviv, Ukraine, where he runs a tour operator. But since he still loves to write, today there is Wild East – the Eastern Europe travel blog.

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