Erfurt is the capital of the German state of Thuringia. It was an important trading town during the Middle Ages, and has many beautiful old buildings and parks. It has a long history as a center of German religion and learning, with one of the oldest universities in Central Europe and a Catholic diocese that was founded in 742 AD.
rfurt was first mentioned in 742 under the name of "Erphesfurt". It was an important trading town during the Middle Ages near a ford in the Gera river. Together with the other five Thuringian woad-towns of Gotha, Tennstedt, Arnstedt and Langensalza it was the centre of the German woad-trade. In 1392 the Erfurt University was founded, which was famous at its time but became defunct in 1816. In 1803 Erfurt became a part of Prussia. Although enclosed by Thuringian territory, the city remained Prussian until 1945. After the German reunification Erfurt became the capital of the reestablished state of Thuringia.
The emblem of Erfurt is the complex of two churches, Mariendom and Severikirche, which stand directly side by side. Both churches tower above the townscape and are accessible via huge open stairs.
Another remarkable site is the Krmerbrcke, a bridge crossing the narrow Gera River. The bridge is covered with buildings and is hence inhabitated. It was built in 1325 with a church on either bridgehead - one of these churches still exists.
Erfurt is an attractive, lively city where you can easily linger for several days before heading for larger cities such as Dresden or Berlin. It also seems a bit cheaper than the more heavily touristed cities of Germany, with hotels and restaurants that offer solid middle-class comfort at moderate prices.
Best place to Visit
Erfurt is a popular tourist destination with Germans and, increasingly, with English-speaking visitors for two reasons:
It has one of the most attractive medieval city centers in Germany, with patrician townhouses, half-timbered buildings, Europe's longest inhabited bridge, and enough churches to be called "The Rome of Thuringia."
It's an important stop on the "Luther Trail" from Eisenach to Wittenberg, with Lutheran landmarks such as the Augustinian Monastery and the Michaeliskirche. (Luther received his university education, became a monk, and entered the priesthood in Erfurt.)
By car ----- Erfurt lies on two federal motorways. Bundesstraße 4 from Ilmenau in south to Nordhausen in north and Bundesstrae 7 from Gotha in west to Weimar in east.
By train ---- The Erfurt Hauptbahnhof (main train station) is quite large. Numerous ICE and IC trains pass through daily, with direct lines to Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Dresden and Frankfurt.
By plane ----- Not the best option for budget travellers. However, Air Berlin  flies to Erfurt airport from London and other locations.
The city centre is quite compact so walking is often the best way to explore the city. Regular tram services run all around the city, with service intervals of every 10 minutes during most of the day. The trams are less frequent in the evenings and no trams operate after midnight on weekdays
Temperatures in Erfurt range from -2.45 to 22.8 (Celcius).
Food & Drink
Eating in Erfurt is simple, yet agreeable to most visitors. Simply put, the most accessible loca foods include choice of schnitzel, potatoes, beef, sauerbraten (sour beef), bratwurst and delicious ice cream. In the city center, American visitors will be happy to find McDonald's and Burger King for the less adventurous visitor. Inside the city's main train station, visitors will find Peking, a Chinese food restaurant that is nothing like America's own Panda Express, along with a pizza, fruit, and bratwurst stand.
If looking to eat fast food like a local, try out No. 1 Doner or King Doner, who sell gyro-like sandwiches that will fill you up for hours upon end. When visiting a fast food restaurant, keep in mind that Erfurt residents eat their french fries with mayonnaise, not ketchup traditionally, so plan accordingly.
For traditional food from Thuringia, visit Feuerkugel (Fireball) located in the city center, which provides good eats at relatively affordable prices. Tipping is not mandatory in Erfurt and servers are pleased when you tip by rounding your meal up to the nearest Euro. If travelling on a budget, take advantage of the 1 Euro Bratwurst located in the Erfurt city center. If looking for an adventurous night, a liquor store located next to Mykonos (a Greek restaurant) sells Absinth, an extremely strong liquor that is lit on fire before drinking it.
Erfurt also hosts a farmers market near its famous church which brings farmers from all around Thuringia who sell bread, bratwurst, fruits, vegetables, and the ever popular Doner sandwiches.
269.17 km2 (103.93 sq mi)