Sights & experiences | City of light Jena | Discover Jena

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Jena manages to seamlessly combine fascinating history, beautiful scenery, science and innovation and a vibrant student scene in a way few other cities can match. All these many facets lend this lively university city a charm of its own.

Lichtstadt Jena, Aussicht, Sonne

Discover the best of Jena

The Thuringian city of Jena is situated on the middle reaches of the Saale river, set amid a beautiful landscape of limestone hills. Visitors to Jena will discover many sights and attractions, a variety of walking and cycling trails as well as castles and palaces nearby.

Goethe, Schiller, Zeiss, Abbe and Schott – all these great luminaries are inextricably linked with Jena and you will find traces of their lives and legacies as you walk around the city. Even on a short visit you will be able to see highlights such as the Zeiss Planetarium, Schiller Church, Ernst Abbe monument and Schiller’s summer house.

By contrast, the surrounding countryside is perfect for all kinds of outdoor pursuits. The SaaleHorizontale trail is a memorable experience for any walker, with all the spectacular vantage points, refreshment stops and places of interest along the way. Active holidaymakers can explore the surrounding area on routes such as the Novalis Trail or Luther Trail, or on one of the many guided tours. Cyclists are well catered for too, with some of the loveliest routes following the course of the river Saale. There are also motorbike-friendly guided tours to castles and other attractions. Jena is a perfect location for those who enjoy active pursuits in the great outdoors.

If you are coming to Jena with your family for a weekend or a holiday, there are many play areas, sports and leisure facilities, museums and events in the city that will keep your children happy and entertained. The city of light prides itself on being child-friendly: it’s a paradise for families!

Whether you’re travelling independently, in a group, with children or on a school trip, it is well worth looking into the fascinating history of the city of light. Why was ‒ and is ‒ Jena such a leading centre for research? How is it that the city has produced a disproportionately high number of patents and innovations? The answers can be found by delving into Jena’s distant past as well as looking at modern-day events and innovations.

A city break in Jena wouldn’t be complete without a few insider tips! Our top ten attractions focus on sights and experiences that you simply can’t miss when visiting the city of light. These highlights periodically change to reflect current circumstances and events.

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