Tailormade tour Thuringian Forest by rail holiday Germany

5 nights/6 days

Erfurt • Eisenach • Meiningen

The Thuringian Forest in central Germany is known for its stunning scenery and iconic steam trains which navigate it. This holiday by train uses the beautiful town of Erfurt as a base from which to explore this lesser-known region using the extensive network of scenic railway routes. You spend 5 nights in Erfurt, travelling to and from London by train.
Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from £1,120 per person.

Luxury rail holiday to the Thuringian Forest in Germany visiting Erfurt, Eisenach and Meiningen

Highlights

Erfurt • Werra Railway • Eisenach • Schwarzatalbahn • Meiningen

Day by day

Begin your Thuringian Forest by rail holiday by travelling from London to Brussels by Eurostar on an early morning departure. Upon reaching Brussels, you travel onwards to Erfurt, changing trains again in Cologne and Frankfurt. Check in to your hotel in Erfurt for 5 nights.

Erfurt is filled with beautiful buildings which play testament to its fascinating history. Perhaps start one of your days here by visiting the food market which takes place in the morning from Monday to Saturday in Domplatz, the largest square in the city. Here you can buy traditional German food such as sausages, cheese and honey, as well as some exotic delicacies. Overlooking this square is the Gothic Erfurt Cathedral. The Cathedral itself was built mostly in the 14th and 15th centuries, but there has been a religious building on this site since St Boniface founded a church in 742. The Mediaeval art inside the Cathedral is almost all original, from its tracery windows to the Wolfram candelabra dating from around the 12th century. Right in the centre of the city is the Zitadelle Petersburg, the best-preserved Baroque city fortress in Central Europe. Founded in 1665, this site was turned into a tourist attraction after Germany’s reunification and now offers amazing views of the city from its parapet wall. Other historical buildings of interest include the Augustinerkloster, where Martin Luther became a monk and stayed between 1505 and 1511, and the Old Synagogue, which may be the best-preserved Mediaeval synagogue in Europe. The Angersmuseum, housed in a beautiful Baroque building, features an extensive range of art from the Middle Ages to the present day. We highly recommend using your time in Erfurt to venture out and explore the railway routes of the Thuringian Forest. The Werra Railway runs mostly along the river of the same name between Eisenach and Eisfeld via Meiningen and is one of the oldest railway lines in Germany. Start your journey by taking one of the regular direct trains from Erfurt to Eisenach. This town was the birthplace of composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and is worth a stop in its own right to visit the Wartburg Castle, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon leaving Eisenach you will continue alongside the river through the Werra Valley, a landscape of lush rolling fields. The next main stop is Meiningen, where we recommend disembarking to change to another of the main railway lines, the Ritschenhausen-Neudietendorf line. Meiningen is home to an Elizabethan castle and multiple museums, including the Theatre Museum which provides an insight into the history of the Meiningen theatre, a tradition going back almost 250 years. The Ritschenhausen-Neudietendorf line is much more steeply-graded than the Werra Railway, as it climbs into and across the Thuringian Forest mountains. You will also travel through the 1-mile-long Brandleite tunnel which took almost four years to build. This will take you to Arnstadt in the northern foothills of the Thuringian Forest mountains. Perhaps take the time here to explore the working railway museum before returning via the stunning scenery to your base in Erfurt. The final railway line is the Schwarzatalbahn. This line runs for less than 19 miles yet takes in incredible scenery as it passes through the Thuringian Forest and mountain terrain from Rinnetal, through Tal der Schwarza, before reaching its terminus at Katzhütte. Roughly halfway along the route you will reach Obstfelderschmiede, the starting point of the Oberweißbacher funicular railway. This mountain railway climbs at a 45-degree incline and will take you to the top of Oberweißenbach hill, where you can take in the magnificent views of the surrounding area.

On the final day of your holiday depart from Erfurt at about quarter past 8 in the morning for Brussels, changing trains in Frankfurt and Cologne. Check in for your Eurostar in Brussels which will take you back to London. You arrive into St Pancras in the evening.

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising our honeymoon at such short notice. We would have been completely stuck without the help you gave us and it enabled us to have a lovely time away. We particularly loved the Capelounge and will have to consider returning there at some point.
Mr W, Oct, 2021

Holiday price guide From £1,120 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room and including second class rail travel. First class and standard premier on Eurostar supplement of £190 per person.

Holiday Code EEBR15

Luxury rail holiday to the Thuringian Forest in Germany visiting Erfurt, Eisenach and Meiningen

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising our honeymoon at such short notice. We would have been completely stuck without the help you gave us and it enabled us to have a lovely time away. We particularly loved the Capelounge and will have to consider returning there at some point.
Mr W, Oct, 2021

Holiday price guide From £1,120 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room and including second class rail travel. First class and standard premier on Eurostar supplement of £190 per person.

Holiday Code EEBR15

Our prices include ● Rail travel from London throughout, back to London
● Second-class travel on all trains (first class and standard premier on Eurostar can be booked at a supplement)
● 5 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Premium double room at Hotel Domizil, Erfurt
● Rail travel from London throughout, back to London
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, usually between Euros 1 and 3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel
● Transfers in any cities

Additional information This holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Timings can vary depending on the month and day of the week

Luxury rail holiday to the Thuringian Forest in Germany visiting Erfurt, Eisenach and Meiningen

Hotels included in this tour
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising our honeymoon at such short notice. We would have been completely stuck without the help you gave us and it enabled us to have a lovely time away. We particularly loved the Capelounge and will have to consider returning there at some point.
Mr W, Oct, 2021

Holiday price guide From £1,120 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room and including second class rail travel. First class and standard premier on Eurostar supplement of £190 per person.

Holiday Code EEBR15

Luxury rail holiday to the Thuringian Forest in Germany visiting Erfurt, Eisenach and Meiningen

Highlights of Germany

Berlin’s world-class museums, bustling bars, galleries and monuments; Rugen Island, with its rugged chalk cliffs, windswept beaches, Romantic-era spa architecture and tree-lined country roads; Dresden, with its baroque beauty on the banks of the majestic Elbe; Cologne’s magnificent cathedral; the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bamberg; the sandy dunes of Sylt, a North Sea island with fabulous beaches and surf; the beer halls of Munich, ideally in September during the Oktoberfest; Lubeck, a Hanseatic gem; Muritz National Park, where you can go paddling and camping in a paradise teeming with birds; Bremen, a metropolis in miniature, with lovely red-brick and Art Nouveau architecture; the Alpine resorts of Bavaria, including Berchtesgaden, with dramatic peaks, dreamy lakes and superb walking trails; drive or cruise along the Rhine or Mosel, visiting castles, medieval villages and superb vineyards along the way; the walled medieval towns of Rothenburg and Trier, both with wonderful Christmas markets; the Christmas market at Nuremberg, oldest – and still most picturesque – in the world.

Facts in brief

Capital Berlin
Airport Several airports are served from the UK, including Berlin, Bremen, Cologne-Bonn, Dortmund, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Stuttgart and Munich.
Size 137,000 sq. miles
Population 82 million
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