Thuringian city chain

225,6 km long – A connection of the seven most beautiful Thuringian towns

The long-distance cycle route “Thuringian Town Chain” connects seven of Thuringia’s most beautiful towns over a distance of 240 km – from Altenburg in the east to Eisenach in the west – and leads through scenic areas. The cycle path is a special treat for those interested in culture and touring cyclists. On the way across Thuringia, there are always well-known sights, historic inner cities and cultural highlights as stage destinations.


From Altenburg to Jena

The starting point of this tour across Thuringia is the skat town of Altenburg. Here you can marvel at the imposing residential palace with its playing card museum. Via Schmölln you reach Gera, where you can take part in a guided tour through the underground labyrinth of the Gera caves.

The tour continues to Bad Köstritz and Jena. In connection with Jena, the names of well-known personalities can be mentioned in the same breath:

  • Goethe
  • Schiller
  • Napoleon
  • Zeiss
  • Schott
  • Abbe

It is interesting to visit the world’s oldest planetarium as well as the “Keksrolle”, Jena’s landmark. From the viewing platform at a dizzying height, there is a spectacular view of the city of light and the surrounding core mountains.

In the Weimarer Land

In Weimarer Land, the section of this cycle path is shared with the Ilmtal and Feininger cycle paths. The tour then leads to the “classic city” of Weimar.

Several famous people have lived and worked here:

  • Bach
  • Goethe
  • Schiller
  • Liszt
  • Cranach

The early Bauhaus period also left its mark on the city, and today the modern Bauhaus Museum is a reminder of the days of the most important design and art school of the 20th century.


In Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia, the Krämerbrücke with its historic half-timbered houses, the Petersberg fortress, St. Mary’s Cathedral, the town hall and the Augustinian monastery, where Luther once lived and worked as a monk, attract visitors.

Castles and palaces

The next stage takes you past the Drei Gleichen castle ensemble to the former royal seat of Gotha. Germany’s largest early Baroque castle complex, Friedenstein, the casemates – the 350-year-old vaults of the fortifications – and the original baroque Ekhof Theatre are unique.

In the west, Wartburg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, towers high above Eisenach. It was in Eisenach that Saint Elisabeth lived, Luther translated the New Testament and Wagner was inspired to write the opera “Tannhäuser”. Goethe wrote from Wartburg Castle to Charlotte von Stein, “The area is exuberant”.

Finally arriving in Creuzburg, the castle of the same name marks the end point of the tour. The Werra Bridge and the Liborius Chapel are worth seeing.

Small Tip

Route characteristics: 194 km asphalt, 40 km unpaved gravel/water-bound paths, 6 km concrete/pavement.

As all towns along the long-distance cycle route are connected to the Deutsche Bahn network, it is easy to cycle along sections of the route and combine them with each other. Bicycles can be taken along free of charge for the above-mentioned offers, provided there is capacity. The city chain is also linked to a number of other supra-regional cycle routes. This way you can get to know the charming regions of Thuringia.