Cheap flights to Thuringia

Thuringia, or the Free State of Thuringia, is a federal state of Germany, situated in the central part of the country. Although not as popular as other provinces to foreign visitors, it has a great reputation with local vacationers. It is the sixth smallest province by area and the fifth smallest by population, having an area of 16,171 square kilometres (6,244 sq mi) and 2.29 million inhabitants. Most of the state is located within the watershed of the Saale, a left tributary of the Elbe. It is bordered by Bavaria (specifically Franconia) to the south, Hesse to the west, Lower Saxony to the northwest, Saxony-Anhalt to the north, and Saxony to the east. Its capital is Erfurt.

Thuringia is known as “the green heart of Germany” due to the predominance of mountains and forests in the region. It is also known in the country for nature and winter sports. It is home to the most popular hiking trail in Germany, the Rennsteig, as well as the winter resort of Oberhof. Half of the gold medals won by Germany in the Winter Olympics have been won by Thuringian athletes. It is also known for its quartet of beautiful ancient cities and the Wartburg Castle – considered as Germany’s most important castle.

What to see & do

Celebrated German composer and musician Johann Sebastian Bach, which rose to prominence during the Baroque period, spent the first part of his life and notable stages of his career in Thuringia. Goethe and Schiller lived at Weimar during the classical period. Visit Jena, where the biggest university in the region is located; Eisenach, home of Wartburg castle; Rudolstadt, the venue for the largest folk music festival in Germany; and Mühlhausen, home of Johann Sebastian Bach, John A. Roebling (builder of the Brooklyn Bridge), and of the peasants' leader, Thomas Muentzer. Don’t forget to also visit The Hainich Forest, the country’s 13th national park, which features an amazing tree-top walk; and the Thuringian Forest, the national park and winter sport centre.

The capital, Erfurt, served as an important trading town during the Middle Ages and is now home to many beautiful old buildings and parks. Some of the places you should visit while you’re here are the Dom (Cathedral) and Severi Kirche (Church), which both overlook the Domplatz (main market square). There’s also the bridge with medieval houses in Krämerbrücke, the most important landmark in the city. Taste some delicious burgers in Fischmarkt; visit Augustinerkloster, the monastery where Martin Luther lived; and Old Synagogue, the oldest surviving European Synagogue, which now functions as a museum that houses a great collection of 14th-century Jewish jewellery.

How to get around within Thuringia

As the most central part of Germany, Thuringia is an important hub of transit traffic. The most important regional railways in the state are the Neudietendorf–Ritschenhausen railway from Erfurt to Würzburg, the Weimar–Gera railway from Erfurt to Chemnitz, the Sangerhausen–Erfurt railway from Erfurt to Magdeburg, the Gotha–Leinefelde railway from Erfurt to Göttingen, the Halle–Kassel railway from Halle via Nordhausen to Kassel, and the Leipzig–Hof railway from Leipzig via Altenburg to Zwickau and Hof. The regional and local trains offer hourly service, although some run for only every row hours. If you’re planning a day trip, it’s recommended to purchase a "Thüringen-Ticket" – it covers all regional trains in Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony plus public transport in Erfurt, Gera, Weimar, Jena, also Halle and Leipzig (not Dresden). It is valid from 9:00 a.m. on working days (all day on weekends) until 3:00 a.m. the following morning.

How to get there

There are a number of small airports in Thuringia. However, only one has public aviation: Erfurt–Weimar Airport. It is used for holiday flights to the Mediterranean and other touristic regions. Meanwhile, regular flights are operated via the major airports around like Frankfurt Airport, Berlin Brandenburg Airport, and Munich Airport. The Leipzig–Altenburg Airport next to Altenburg was in use between 2003 and 2011 for Ryanair flights. Unfortunately, the state is the only part of Germany that has no connection to waterways due to the small size of the rivers.

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