East Germany on Rails
East Germany offers several scenic attractions you’ll want to write home about. Picturesque forests and river landscapes alternate with historical buildings such as castles and palaces. It almost seems as if time has stood still in some regions.
On this Germany itinerary, the charm of the region can be experienced particularly well with the train, leading over historical railway lines and numerous intermediate stations offer possibilities to hop off and explore the sights directly.
Price Range: $$$
Recommended Days: 7 -10 Days
Riding Hours: Approx. 6.5 hr
Distance: 473 km
Berlin: Melting Pot Of Cultures
The journey through East Germany will start in Berlin. The U-Bahn and the S-Bahn are ideal to discover the city. More can be seen out of the window from the S-Bahn.
Plenty of sights such as the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Zoo, Bellevue Castle, and of course the Reichstag is a must; however, each station is easy to jump off at to access the sights or conveniently transfer to the U-Bahn to check out other notable places in Berlin.
Within walking distance of the Reichstag is Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial. The East Side Gallery, Checkpoint Charlie, Alexanderplatz, and Museum Island are only a short train ride away.
Berlin Hbf → Lutherstadt Wittenberg | Duration: 0:41 h | Transfers: 0
Every hour an ICE travels from Berlin Central Station in the direction of Munich with a stop in Lutherstadt Wittenberg. You can also get on at the Berlin Südkreuz stop. You can buy tickets at the ticket counter or online at Deutsche Bahn.
Wittenberg: In The Footsteps Of The Reformer
The home to the 16th-century reformer Martin Luther. Wittenberg today provides a fascinating insight into this period, which was marked by poverty and hardships.
A highlight of the city is the Luther House, which has been included in the list of World Heritage Sites and, with the museum, gives a glimpse into the life of Martin Luther.
Also worth seeing is the botanical garden integrated into the complex. Take your time looking around, stay for the night, or just over the lunch hour, the next stop isn’t too far away to get to within the same day.
Lutherstadt Wittenberg – Leipzig Hbf | Duration: 0:30 h | Transfers: 0
Again, take the ICE in the direction of Munich and you will be at your next stop after 30 minutes: Leipzig.
Leipzig: Experience The Saxon Symphony
Here in East Germany, there are many local specialties in Leipzig, such as the Leipziger Lerchen, Leipziger Allerlei, and Leipziger Allasch, all of which visitors should not miss out on this Germany itinerary.
Leipzig boasts an impressive number of orchestral and choral performances. This is due to the UNESCO initiative, which wanted to focus even more on Leipzig and its status as a city of music.
What’s better than enjoying good food accompanied by good music? Within the city, visitors can comfortably travel from place to place on the nostalgic and historic tram.
Leipzig → Dresden | Duration: 1:09 h | Transfers: 0
The first regional express from Leipzig to Dresden leaves as early as 4:00 am and the last at 23:30 pm.
From 8:00 am there is a half-hourly connection with the Regionalexpress, InterCity or ICE. A ticket for the journey costs 17€ for the Regionalexpress and 19.90€ for the IC and ICE.
Dresden: Culture At Every Corner
Try to plan a little more time for a stop in Dresden, at almost every corner there is art and culture to experience.
If this is your first time in Dresden, it will be hard to avoid the obligatory itinerary for the city. Which of course includes the Semper Opera House and the Dresden Zwinger.
If you have enough time, try to grab a ticket to one of the top-class performances at the lavish Semperoper. Take a stroll past the Frauenkirche and Brühl’s Terrace.
A must for railway fans is a visit to the historic light railway in Dresden. On selected dates, there are even sightseeing tours on the historic trains.
Dresden Hbf → Cottbus | Duration: 1:50 h | Transfers: 0
There is an hourly train from Dresden main station to Cottbus. There is one direct journey and one journey with a change in Ruhland. Both are the same length of time.
Cottbus: Rail Hub In The East
In Cottbus, numerous architectural sights await train travelers. On the Cottbus Architecture Trail, visitors can experience the architectural history of all epochs of the city.
Among them are some interesting sections such as the half-timbered houses of the old town or the tanner’s houses at the Mühlengraben.
At many corners, there are architectural contemporary witnesses, such as the Spremberg tower, which proves that Cottbus has always been an important center of the region over the centuries.
Cottbus → Berlin Hbf | Duration: 1:23 h | Transfers: 0
There is a regional train every hour from Cottbus to Berlin and after 1:23 h you are back at the starting point of your journey.