Erlangen is a city of 113,000 people (2019) in Franconia, Germany. It is home to most of the Friedrich-Alexander University (two faculties are in Nuremberg) and the Siemens company. It grew as a result of settlement of Huguenot refugees from France, and because it was the secondary residence of the margraves of Ansbach Bayreuth.
About a third of the residents are involved with the university (students, researchers, etc.), and roughly another third work for Siemens.
Medicine is one of the specialties of the university, so you are in luck if you fall ill with more than six clinics in the city.
The 1 Erlangen tourist info, Goethestraße 21a (in the centre of the city; coming out of the central station turn left at the end of the square into Goethestraße, the office is in the second building to the right), ☏ +49 9131 8951-0, firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 09:00-17:00, F 09:00-15:00, Sa 10:00-13:00. You can also get VGN tickets and advice on local public transit in the same office.
Early history, the Margraves and the Huguenots
While Erlangen can trace its history back to a first mention (as "Villa Erlangon") over a thousand years ago, it was soon overshadowed by its neighbour, Nuremberg, which is 50-odd years younger. The biggest lasting influence upon Erlangen was its former rulers, the Margraves from the Ansbach-Bayreuth branch line of the Hohenzollern (the leaders of Prussia and later all of Germany) dynasty. They ruled the city for most of the early modern period, but preferred to reside in Bayreuth and Ansbach respectively most of the time.
When the French Protestants were expelled by Louis XIV, the Margrave, much like his distant relatives in Brandenburg, decided to invite them to come to Erlangen. The old houses, the one-way streets of the "Huguenot-town" (which are almost unnavigable unless you ride a bike like most locals do), and a centrally located rather impressive reformed church (right next to Hugenottenplatz) still bear witness to this era. With the Huguenots a certain wealth entered town and Erlangen has been a centre for various industries, trades and research ever since. This was aided when the Margraves decided to open a new university in Erlangen, which later got two faculties in Nuremberg. A common joke (probably made up by a student of theology from Erlangen) claims that Erlangen is the only German place mentioned in the Bible with the (real sounding but fake) quote "Suchet das Himmelreich zu erlangen". This can be translated either as "seek to reach heaven" or "Search for heaven in Erlangen". However, no such quote is to be found in any common German version of the Bible.
Industrialisation and World War II
When Erlangen became part of Bavaria in the first years of the 19th century, all universities in Franconia were to be shut down in favor of the universities of "Old Bavaria". But someone pointed out that Erlangen had a unique selling point no other university in the new kingdom had: an evangelical theological faculty. As the new king wanted Protestant ministers to be educated somewhere, he decided to shut down the university in Altdorf (near Nuremberg), and retain the university of Erlangen. This proved a good decision for the city and with the industrialisation, Erlangen became an important centre of cotton processing plants. ErBa (Erlangen-Bamberg) and Baumwollspinnerei (Cotton factory) are names from this period and still found in some place names in Erlangen. During the Weimar Republic the student body of the university became dominated by far right and Nazi elements and when the Nazis took power in 1933, Erlangen citizens destroyed a monument to Jakob Herz, a famous Jewish doctor who had worked in Erlangen. After the war it took a while for Erlangen to openly discuss its Nazi past but there is now a "monument to a monument" in honor of Jakob Herz and Stolpersteine reminding of former Jewish inhabitants of Erlangen who didn't survive the Nazi era. While Erlangen was not unaffected by the Nazis and the Second World War, it was not bombed despite being a garrison town. In the waning days of the war the mayor (who had been member of the Nazi party since 1933) together with a high ranking general called Walter Lorleberg surrendered the town to the American army despite orders to the contrary from higher up. While the details are not known, Lorleberg died in the waning hours of the war, presumably killed by fanatic Nazis or through suicide. A square in Erlangen is still named after him, which is controversial because he was a high-ranking Nazi general. The monument in his honor at the approximate site of his death is both the site of wreaths being deposited in his honor and leftist graffiti or other vandalism calling into question whether a Nazi should be honored for having a single decent moment at the end of his life. Still, Erlangen escaped World War II basically intact, the only notable damage occurring early in the occupation when the last city gate, Nürnberger Tor was torn down because tanks wouldn't fit through. Reportedly local merchants had desired the removal of the gate for decades, so that may have played a role as well.
After the war, Siemens decided to move out of Berlin, which had been almost entirely destroyed. To avoid the Soviets, they decided to build two headquarters in the American Zone, one of which would become Erlangen (the other is in Munich). This decision continues to benefit the city. Siemens' policies and decisions are followed almost as intensely as mayoral politics in Erlangen.
Erlangen grew rapidly from just under 30,000 inhabitants in 1925. Between people moving in and the incorporation of suburbs such as Dechsendorf, by 1975 the city had reached 100,000 people. Thus attaining "Großstadt" status.
Erlangen had been the site of a garrison of the Bavarian Army since the mid-19th century and became a garrison of the German Army after World War I. After the defeat of the Nazis in 1945, the garrison was taken over by the US Army and expanded. However, in the course of downsizing the troop presence after the Cold War, the garrison was closed in the early 1990s, and was turned into direly needed housing as well as nature reserve. Residents and local politicians still refer to the "Housing Area" when discussing the part of the city that once housed American soldiers and their families. This transformation is sometimes cited as an example of the "peace dividend" that many hoped would result after the cold war as military installations were turned over to civilian uses. On the other hand, the forests to the east of Erlangen that had been used for artillery training are still contaminated with unexploded ordinance and you should not leave the trails there.
Erlangen's mayor from 1972-1996, Dietmar Hahlweg, decided against building more and bigger streets or relying solely on public transport. Instead he encouraged cycling as a means of getting around investing in infrastructure and riding a bike to work himself to set an example. Today many residents (even those working for Siemens and the mayor) get to work on their bikes every day, and the cars clogging the streets often have number-plates of the surrounding villages and suburbs. Erlangen thrives economically today, but is still dependent upon its university and Siemens. If either coughs, the city gets pneumonia.
The next airport is in Nuremberg (NUE IATA) with domestic and limited international connections. The U-Bahn (subway) takes you to the Nuremberg main station in roughly 13 minutes, from where you can take a wide variety of inter-city (ICE and IC), regional (RE and RB) and commuter-trains (the S-Bahn) to Erlangen. The subway and regional trains are fully integrated within the VGN tariff union. There is also a direct bus (line 30) from the airport to downtown Erlangen every 20 minutes on weekdays (40 minutes on weekends). This option takes a bit under half an hour.
If you are flying in from Frankfurt airport (FRA IATA), there are connections with one change (in Nuremberg) from the train station integrated into the airport. Erlangen can be reached somewhat more quickly from Munich Airport (MUC IATA), although it is one more stop away on the train. For more on combined train and flight tickets see this article.
Trains run regularly from Nuremberg and take about 20 min. Bamberg is about 30 min away in the other direction. Most ICE trains between Munich and Berlin stop in Erlangen. Since the December 2017 schedule change, trains take a bit under three hours from Berlin on their fastest runs. The Nuremberg S-Bahn network includes four stops in Erlangen (all of them S1 ), two of them in annexed suburbs (1 Bruck, 2 Hauptbahnhof, 3 Paul Gossen Straße and 4 Eltersdorf) VGN rates apply for all local trains trams and buses as far as Bayreuth, but not on IC or ICE, even if you're only going from Erlangen to Nuremberg. If you plan on a round trip to Bayreuth, for example, look for a day ticket as they can be cheaper than two single trips.
Privately run Intercity buses stop close to the main train station at 5 Busbahnhof (Central Bus Station), which is also a stop or the terminus for some public buses. To get to the city centre you have to cross the railway tracks by going through the train station. From Nuremberg the public run bus number 30 (VGN rates apply) connects the last tram stop ("am Wegfeld") with the city centre of Erlangen before continuing towards the airport. Bus lines 20 and 290 also go to "am Wegfeld" but they take a more circuitous route and terminate there instead of going on to the airport.
Plans to build a light rail line (locally known as Stadt-Umland-Bahn or StUB) to Nuremberg (replacing at least part of bus line 30) and to Herzogenaurach are under way but construction probably won't start before the mid 2020s. Other surrounding minor towns and suburbs, including Herzogenaurach (lines 199, 200 and 201) are also connected to Erlangen by public buses. Around 2017, Erlangen, cities, towns and suburbs around it and the Landkreis (roughly county) of Erlangen-Höchstadt decided to improve bus service leading to more frequent departures into surrounding areas, sometimes dramatically so on erstwhile "low traffic" times like weekends. Under the new schedule, few routes have less-than-hourly departures, even during the weekends, making public transit a much more reasonable option even for exploring the suburbs.
Two Autobahns pass through Erlangen. A3 serves as the municipal boundary with Herzogenaurach at the western edge of town before turning east through Frauenaurach and exiting the city limits towards the southeast. A 73 also called "Frankenschnellweg" - its frequent congestion notwithstanding - passes just west of downtown and follows a mostly straight north-south alignment.
While the old town walls are only preserved in very few stones and street names like (cardinal direction) Stadtmauerstraße, the rectangular area once inside the walls is still evident as the main pedestrianised and shopping area with driving inside it much more difficult than outside it. Four physical boundaries run roughly North-South and separate the city into eastern and western parts. Those are (roughly from west to east) the Main Donau Kanal, the Regnitz river with its extensive floodplains, the A73 (partially using the bed of the former Ludwig Donau Main Kanal through Erlangen) and the railway line. As there are only two crossings across the Regnitz anywhere near downtown that are open to cars, it is often easier to go by bike from one side of those four barriers to the other.
By public transport
Local public transport consists primarily of buses, and to lesser extent the S-Bahn (with only four stops in the city area). Erlangen is part of the VGN (Verkehrsverbund Großraum Nürnberg, association of public transportation of the Nuremberg metropolitan area). The VGN website allows for automated route planning and provides fare and network information. The local bus operator ESTW (Erlanger Stadtwerke) operates an information/ticket store which shares the office with the tourist information (for the location, see Understand section above).
Inside Erlangen price level "C" applies which means €2.30 for a single trip for an adult (child €1.20), €8.10 for a four-trip ticket (not sold by drivers, only through machines and at the tourist information) and €4.70 for a Tagesticket solo (€7.60 for a Tagesticket plus) (April 2018). A Tagesticket plus is valid for up to two adults and a combination of up to four kids (under 15), dogs or bikes (e.g. two adults, a dog a kid and two bikes).
During the day buses are reasonably comfortable and frequent albeit usually slower than going by bike, but at night they only run on nights from Friday to Saturday, Saturday to Sunday or any night followed by a public holiday. Night buses also follow different routes from regular buses indicated on the schedules with a line number with a leading N. Night buses (or no buses) run from 01:00 to 05:00 with the last and first regular bus running some time in the hour before and after that time-frame respectively. During the Covid-19 Pandemic the night buses have been suspended indefinitely since March 2020 and it is unclear as of June 2021 when they'll resume service.
Buses are increasingly equipped with onboard Wi-Fi and there are real time departure screens at the central stops Hugenottenplatz, Arcaden and Hauptbahnhof as well as the bus/S-Bahn interchange point Paul Gossen Straße. If you're leaving the main station towards the pedestrian zone, there are two displays right in your sight line that show departures from nearby stops (Arcaden and Hugenottenplatz, both just a few minute's walk away) which allows you to judge whether it is worth walking there (or even running) for a particular connection. The bus departure board at Paul Gossen Straße also indicates the departures of S-Bahn services whereas the departure board at Hauptbahnhof lists only buses (no train services) to avoid getting the board too "crowded".
There are a lot of taxi companies available throughout the city that are available 24/7. At night you won't have a problem finding a taxi near Hugenottenplatz or one of the partying hotspots. The printed timetables at bus shelters usually include a number you can call to get a taxi if you missed your bus or don't want to wait.
Cycling is the best way to get around and most locals bike to work and leisure activities. This is true for all ages, genders and income groups and a middle-aged man in a suit on a bike is no rare sight - in fact, you may even see a former or current mayor on his bike. You can rent one at various local bicycle shops or at the main train station. A large part of Erlangen was built with the Huguenot refugees from France in mind but before the advent of the car. Therefore a number of streets are too narrow for two cars to pass side by side. Almost all of these one-way streets can be entered by bike both ways. Thus cycling makes for the shortest trip lengths by distance. In downtown, the pedestrian zone is only open to cyclists on its entire length from evening to early morning with (somewhat confusing) signs advising which parts are pedestrian only during which times. The rule is frequently skirted and even the hyper-correct state police of Bavaria don't always enforce it. (Expect to pay a fine in the vicinity of 20 € if you get caught and the police make a point of enforcing the law that day) Many locals just go a bit slower when and where cycling is not permitted.
If your lodgings aren't in central Erlangen or if you want to explore beyond the city walls, the Wiesengrund is another barrier to east-west movement that is vastly easier to cross by bike than by car. Besides the shorter trip distances, it is also pleasant in almost any weather to see relatively intact nature a few hundred metres from the edge of downtown.
In the heart of the city, everything is in a walking distance and there are a lot of pedestrian-only areas. Watch out for cyclists, especially around the university's main campus, as they often drive very fast and assume people will get out the way rather than the other way round. As in most of Germany, red bricks or white lines indicate cycle routes, so try and walk on the pedestrian side to make life easier for everyone.
If you need to cross a cycle lane with your car, be prepared to reverse if a bicycle approaches. When you turn, give way to cyclists.
If you drive, avoid downtown. There are several streets that are partially or entirely closed for cars and a lot of streets you can only drive one way (Einbahnstraße in German a white arrow on blue ground with that word written on is the symbol for that a white bar on red ground means: wrong direction). On streets that are one-way for cars, cyclists may often use them in both ways. The best choice is to park outside downtown (e.g. the centrally located Großparkplatz (big parking lot) next to the main train station) and walk. If you stay for more than a couple of days, don't rent a car, rent a bike and do as the locals and bike everywhere.
Erlangen is a surprisingly eclectic mixture of old and new. It doesn't always coexist in harmony and sometimes clashes rather glaringly. However it often combines to create a unique blend. The area built for the Huguenots and the building activity of the Margraves who resided here are perhaps the best known landmarks of Erlangen. But outside a rather small area of the historic core, the city grew too rapidly in the 20th century for aesthetic concerns to always be taken into consideration. That said, the city has taken considerable efforts to commission murals and legal graffiti on surfaces such as underpasses that would otherwise be dreary naked concrete. Erlangen was not bombed in World War II despite being a garrison town and thus a lot of old buildings were preserved - or in some cases would have been if not for the needs of the expanding University and the need for modern buildings outweighing concerns of historic preservation.
In terms of nature, the serendipitously preserved meadows of the Regnitz (local parlance "Wiesengrund") are perhaps the most striking feature. They are passionately, sometimes jealously or over-zealously guarded against any potential destruction by the citizenry that uses the area for their daily bike commute, to relax, sunbathe, do sports and numerous other activities every day.
Streets and squares
The city centre is worth seeing, as most of its buildings have been preserved. As an example, the “new town” (Neustadt) was built as a planned community for the Huguenots who came as religious refugees from France. It spans from the 1 Margravial Palace and the square 2 Bohlenplatz. The architecture has been significantly influenced by that fact. Its streets lie straight in a grid and the houses display façades in a continuous style. The market and palace square (Marktplatz/Schlossplatz) with the 3 margrave statue and the 4 Pauli fountain together with the Huguenot square (Hugenottenplatz) form the centre of this baroque part of the city. The Pauli fountain was designed in new renaissance style and has been donated to the city by the merchant couple Pauli.
The historic old town is north of the new town; however, it burned down in 1706 and was rebuilt from scratch. The current buildings are nevertheless worth seeing, even though they are younger than the houses of the new town, and have been based on their style. When visiting, take a walk around the streets (especially the ones around Schiffstraße, Altstädter Kirchplatz and Theaterplatz). Archeologists have found out that the alignment of the cellars and basements follows that of the former houses in places more than that of the current houses.
Outside of the city centre, you will find further areas with buildings dating to the interwar years or earlier. These are mostly east and southeast of the centre (you can use Schillerstraße and Österreicher Straße as orientation points to find the areas). Further interesting old architecture can be found on the university's Röthelheim campus (between Artielleriestraße and Allee am Röthelheimpark). The former "Housing Area" (sometimes referred to by those words in German) of the military barracks is largely built in an interesting red brick style.
Palaces and other notable buildings
- 5 Palais Stutterheim, Marktplatz 1. Built 1728 through 1730 for Amtshauptmann Christian Hieronymus von Stutterheim based on sketches by Wenzel Perner. Used as town hall between 1836 and 1971. Today, it hosts the museum Kunstpalais and the city's public library, which offers a magnificent public place to read magazines and newspapers. The University has a small but still impressive assortment of non-German language books as well as resources for language learning.
- 6 Margrave Palace (Markgräfliche Schloss), Schlossplatz. Built 1700–1704, it hosts the university's administration.
- 7 Orangerie Erlangen. In the Schlossgarten park.
- 8 Historic water tower on Apfelstraße, Apfelstraße 12. Built to supply the fountains within Schlossgarten and Orangerie. In the days of black pedagogics, it also housed the Karzer of the University where students who had broken one of the myriad rules were thrown. Ultimately it became a badge of honor for every student to have at least one Karzer sentence to their name and they tried to "leave their mark" on the walls (despite that of course also being against the rules).
- 9 Historic water tower on the Burgberg hill, Burgbergstraße 90. The water tower on the Burgberg hill was built to store the city's drinking water supply and can be seen from many locations within the city. It was built in 1904/05 and is still in use.
- 10 Bierkeller (beer cellars) at Entlas Keller, An den Kellern 5-7 (towards the end of the "Berch" area (when entering, go left, Entlas Keller has a concrete-glass structure added which is quite obvious)), ☏ +49 9131 22100. Public tours Apr-Sep: Su 11:00; groups and individual tours upon request. At Entlas Keller (the duck's cellar), you can visit the extensive underground paths and former beer storage areas. Before artificial cooling was invented, people dug cellars into the hills and brought ice in there to cool the beer throughout the year; at this place you can visit Erlangen's extensive underground. public tours: €6 including 1 drink (0.4 L), kids up to 12 years old free of charge; individual/group tours: €90.
- 11 Hugenot church, Bahnhofplatz 3 (located between the squares “Bahnhofsplatz” und “Hugenottenplatz”). This Reformed Church is the oldest building of the new town. Its impressive size and central location give testimony to the importance of the Reformed Huguenots to the history of Erlangen.
- 12 Altstädter Dreifaltigkeitskirche, Martin-Luther-Platz 1. A Lutheran church.
- 13 St. Martinskirche, Altstädter Friedhof 1 (within the old town cemetery on Martinsbühl).
- 14 University Church of the New Town (Neustädter Kirche), Neustädter Kirchplatz 1. A Lutheran church.
- 15 German reformed church Bohlenplatz, Bohlenplatz 1. This is not a church any more, it is now a parish house. Reformed Christians from Palatine and Switzerland created the parish and consecrated their own church in 1734. In 1922, the French Reformed and the German Reformed churches merged.
- 16 Herz-Jesu-Kirche. The first Catholic church to be built after the Reformation in Erlangen, this is a surprisingly austere affair. After much prodding by the growing Catholic community (the religious toleration extended to Huguenots was also granted to Catholics) they finally got a Bethaus in 1790 under rather strict limitations (no organ, no spire, a site on the outskirts of the old town) put in place on the urging of local Lutheran and Calvinist citizens. The congregation grew with emigrants from the French Revolution and upon the Bavarian takeover, Catholicism was now much more favored by the Catholic overlords in Munich so extensive redesigns and the wholesale replacement of the original building with a church in 1849/50 were done to keep pace with the growing congregation. Today only a 1830 baptismal font is one of few things that remains after extensive redesign and expansion.
- 17 Kunstpalais, Palais Sutterheim, Marktplatz 1 (south-western end of the central market square (Marktplatz/Schlossplatz, with Hauptstraße passing trough)), ☏ +49 9131 86-2735, email@example.com. Tu Th-Su 10:00-18:00, W 10:00-20:00. A small but good museum of modern art with changing exhibitions, run by the city. Shares the former city hall and beautiful building in its own right Palais Sutterheim with the municipal library. €4, reduced rate €2.
- 18 Kunstmuseum Erlangen, Loewenichsches Palais, Nürnberger Straße 9 (in front of the northern entrance of the Erlangen arcaden, at the intersection of Nürnberger Straße and Henkestraße), ☏ +49 9131 2041555, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-F 11:00-18:00. A small museum with often astonishing exhibitions of modern regional art. Free.
- 19 Kunstverein Erlangen, Hauptstraße 72, ☏ +49 9131 26867, email@example.com. Tu W 15:00-18:00, Th 15:00-19:00, Sa 11:00-14:00. Gallery of the local art association mostly showcasing exhibitions of local art. Free.
- 20 Stadtmuseum Erlangen, Martin-Luther-Platz 9 (at Martin-Luther-Platz/Hauptstraße north of the market square), ☏ +49 9131 86 2300, firstname.lastname@example.org. hours: see website. Historic museum of the city that also has changing exhibitions on various topics. The building dates to the 18th century and used to house the city hall for Altstadt - old town and new Hugenot town being separate for a long time.
- 21 Siemens Med Museum, Gebbertstraße 1 (Gebbertstraße at Luitpoldstraße), ☏ +49 9131 736 000. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00. A museum about the evolution of medical technology associated with Siemens. "Siemens Med" used to be the name of what are now the "Healthineers" - an oft derided name that is virtually unpronouncable to many Franconian native speakers. Free.
- 22 Galerie im Treppenhaus, Henkestraße 90, ☏ +49 177 7299 665. M-F 09:00-20:00. A commercial art gallery that regularly displays photo exhibitions. Free.
Somewhat out of the city:
- 23 Bubenreutheum (string instrument maker and music history museum), Birkenallee 51, 91088 Bubenreuth (from the central station, take bus 253 to Bubenreuth, Katholische Kirche (Catholic church)), ☏ +49 9131 23 121, +49 9131 908 61 58. Su 14:00-17:00, group tours can also be arranged at other times. You probably would not expect to find much in Bubenreuth, a rather small town just north of Erlangen's Burgberg. However, this Franconian town is home to great music and instrument makers. This museum is located in the town hall and has been initiated by a local association. It shows the local string instrument maker history (which most significantly relates to makers of violins), which is rich in the 20th century, after World War II. While not part of Erlangen, it's no farther than the south of the city. €2, reduced admission: €1.50, kids up to the age of 14 free of charge.
Erlangen has a lot of parks and garden which enable you to relax in the green:
- The 24 Schlossgarten. daily 06:30-20:00. Especially popular amongst students and other young folks on nice weather and is used for sunbathing and playing; it also offers a lot of benches.
- Just next to it, the 25 Botanical Garden. A nice place for a walk especially in rainy weather or winter. Visit the greenhouses. The garden offers an artificial stalactite cave, called Neischl-Grotte (which however is not always open).
- The 26 aromatic garden, Palmsanlage. Near the clinic and the university buildings next to the auditorium maximum and is part of the university's research collection Herbarium Erlangense. Take a walk around the intertwined paths and offers a variety of well-known and less well-known aromatic and spice plants as well as a marsh area.
- Some hundred metres north of the old town, you will find the 27 Burgberg garden, including the Heinrich Kirchner sculpture park (access either from An den Kellern at the eastern part of the Bergkirchweih grounds or via Burgbergstraße, roughly opposite of house number 58). Between villas, it spans about 30,000 m² and has many old trees. At its upper end, it contains a viewpoint and the best view over the city. A further highlight are the bronze sculputres by Erlangen artist Heinrich Kirchner.
- The 28 Schwabachanlage. A park around the tiny river Schwabach which begins at the northern end of the old town and spans across Palmsanlage up to the borough of “Sieglitzhof”. It contains open playing grounds (including a water playground for children, located next to the footbridge Steg an der Bleiche near the neurological clinic of the university hospital, to get there take either of the paths next to the house Schwabachanlage 1a) and sports areas and is popular amongst walkers, joggers and bikers.
- Green squares in the city such as Ohmplatz south of the centre and the Bohlenplatz in the eastern part of the new town. You may furthermore relax on the sunny Altstädter Kirchplatz or within the shadow at Neustädter Kirchplatz, potentially seeing some boule players.
- 29 Sculpture park "An der Wied" (Tennenlohe), An der Wied (bus lines 20, 295, 30 stop "Skulpturenpark"). A presentation of a large variety of modern sculptures throughout the former village of Tennenlohe (which has been annexed to Erlangen). The best way to experience this is to take the circular route displayed on the map, starting at Tennenlohe's little lake (which is next to the bus stop, at the intersection of An der Wied and Sebastianstraße).
Within its city limits, Erlangen offers two nature reserves, 30 Exerzierplatz (slightly east of the centre) and 31 Brucker Lache (south of the centre, east of the district Bruck).
In the southern part of Erlangen, in the woods north of and east of the district of Tennenlohe, you will find the 32 Walderlebniszentrum Tennenlohe (forest experience centre), Weinstraße 100, ☏ +49 9131 60 46 40, email@example.com. Nov-Feb: M-Th 07:30-16:00, F 07:30-14:00, Su and holidays 11:00-17:00. Mar-Oct: M-Th 07:30-16:00, F 07:30-18:00, Sa 13:00-16:00, Su 11:00-18:00. It offers a presentation and workshop targeted at children to adults to give them a lively feeling about the woods, their backgrounds and importance; during the summer weekends, it also features a café. Free. Furthermore, you can look for the 33 Urwildpferde (primary wild horses), Tennenloher Forst, Heuweg. A fenced area within the nature reserve of the Tennenlohe forest (you can go around the area and cross a bridge at about the middle of the area); this gives you a nice walk in a foresty area even without the horses. If you want to extend your walk some more, you can start in eastern Tennenlohe next to the firefire station and start your walk with the 34 Tennenlohe sculpture axis, Sebastianstraße 3. Sculptures by local artists are presented in the wood by an association which also provides a map with positions of all sculptures.
The 35 Wiesengrund The flooding area of the river Regnitz invites for a slow walk. It is west of the city centre, between the latter and the district of Alterlangen. In many parts, it still shows the old watering canals that were used for agriculture; citizen initiatives even restored some of the old scoop wheels, such as the 36 Brucker Wasserrad. .
- 37 Dechsendorfer Weiher (Großer Bischofsweiher) (Bus line 283 stop "Dechsendorfer Weiher") The "Dechsi" as it is frequently called has in the past had problems with algal blooms and was famously immortalised in an absurdist song by local band J.B.O. purporting the existence of a Great White Shark in said body of water. The Algal blooms were fixed through extensive redesigns of the lake, including routing one of its tributaries around it, but you can see maintenance work done on some of those installations from time to time. The Dechsi is frequently the site of events like "Rock am See" or "Klassik am See". Even when swimming is not possible, you can rent boats of various kinds or simply jogg around the lake.
In any case, for experiencing Erlangen, you should take a stroll through the small but cosy Altstadt (roughly said the area delimited by Hauptstraße, Schlossgarten and Theaterplatz) and Neustadt (the area south of Slossgarten) and the pedestrian zone (northern part of Nürnberger Straße and side streets). If you want to relax with a newspaper, take a time and read within the nice reading area of the 1 city library in Palais Stutterheim at Marktplatz 1. On warm summer evenings, you could join the students by picnicking or having a beer at Bohlenplatz. For a city of this size, cultural offerings and events are plentyful and of good quality and you should just check what's on when you are here and what suits your interests.
The Stadtverband der Erlanger Kulturvereine maintains a list of events. You will find a lot of current information in the magazines hugo! and curt.
- 2 Bergkirchweih (Berch), An den Kellern. Begun in 1755, this festival is held every Pentecost (Whitsuntide - seven weeks after Easter) for 12 days every year. The first day is always the Thursday before the Pentecost weekend. Similar to Oktoberfest, but more German owing to the absence of tourists. The festival draws crowds around the 1 million mark, so hotels might get crowded and overpriced during this time of the year. At 23:00 the main action stops and the party crowd goes on to the various discos and bars that keep going until 05:00.
- International Comic Salon Erlangen (usually held in Heinrich Lades Halle but held in various places all over town in 2018). Held every two years in even years in mid-June. The next is scheduled for 16-19 June 2022. The paradise of comics fans. It is one of the largest in the German language area and artists of some renown in Germany come to sign comics or read from their work. There are also a few works in other languages than German available and the Comic Salon also draws artists from abroad. The smaller artists who have yet to make their name may be of particular interest as they have time to talk with prospective buyers about their work. Many artists also offer to draw upon request or sell original artwork or prints. Cosplaying visitors (or even exhibitors) are also a common sight. Regular day ticket in 2018 was €9; four-day ticket €24.
- International Jazz Workshop Erlangen. Held yearly around end of March/beginning of April.
- International Figure Theater Festival. Held every year (usually second half of May).
- International Film Festival for Horror, Thriller, Science Fiction and Obscure Films: Held every May in the Manhattan cinema.
- Poetry Festival. Held every year (late August).
- Summer Nights Film Festival. Open air cinema, yearly in August.
- Arena Festival.
- Classical music by the lake. Held every summer. At Dechsendorfer Weiher (see under #Nature).
- Tag des offenen Denkmals. Usually held in late summer, this day offers the possibility to see many historic monuments, even some which are usually not open; which sites participate changes (see link), Erlangen usually takes part in the nationwide happening with a lot of offerings.
- Stummfilm-Musiktage. Silent film festival with live music.
- Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften. A bi-yearly big happening regarding the sciences, usually held on one night in the second half of October in years with an odd number. The Long Night of Sciences is thus usually held in years that the Comic Salon is not held. While events are spread throughout Nuremberg, Erlangen and Fürth, there are special shuttle buses included in the ticket price to get you to all places. It is highly recommended to make a plan which events to attend as there are by far more interesting things to see, do, hear or try out than can be done in a single night. Having a backup plan handy in case something disappoints or isn't possible for one reason or another is also handy. Both the website and printed guides give and extensive rundown on what is available. €12, €8 for concessions every full ticket allows up to two children under age 12 accompanied by the adult.
Erlangen has three centrally located Christmas Markets, which are all atmospherically nice.
- 3 Erlanger Waldweihnacht, Schlossplatz. M-Sa 10:00-21:00, Su 11:00- (starting end November and running until Christmas). During the opening there is also an open air ice rink on the other half of the square (Marktplatz).
- 4 Historical Christmas Market, Neustädter Kirchplatz.
- 5 Weihnachtsmarkt Altstädter Kirchplatz, Altstädter Kirchenplatz. For one month before Christmas, M-F 10:00-21:00, Sa 10:00-22:00, Su 12:00-22:00, Dec 24 until 14:00. .
- Sound of Erlangen. Regional newcomer music festival.
Concerts and theatres
- Gemeinnütziger Theater- und Konzertverein Erlangen e.V. (gVe). Local non-profit union that organises theater shows and classical concerts all year round.
- 6 Markgrafentheater. One of the 3 stages of the Stadttheater, which is the oldest Baroque theatre in Southern Germany - built in 1719. It is worth visiting, even if you don't understand German at all. Some plays and performances are held in the other locations. Given Germany's propensity to subsidise "high culture", tickets are very affordable indeed.
- Theaterverein Fifty-Fifty e.V.. Cabaret, theatre and music stage.
- Studiobühne Erlangen e.V.. Student theatre association with roughly ten productions being staged every year.
The following host a wide variety of events and are too multi-purpose to fit under any one category
- 7 E-Werk Kulturzentrum, Fuchsenwiese 1 (at the intersection of Hauptstraße and Engelstraße (coming from Hauptmarkt, that's the last crossroads before the square Martin-Luther-Platz with the church), go down the hill and you will already see the spark logo; the entrance for the big hall and the ticket sales are to left, the main entrance to everything else is to the right around the building). Cultural centre showing great concerts (from famous to hardly known), which also hosts a cinema, festivals and a variety of other program, such as for example poetry slams. Basically, if it can be put under the broad umbrella of "culture" and there is a conceivable interest for such a thing in a student town, the E-Werk has it at least occasionally. They also run a "help yourself" bike repair shop Tu-Sa late in the afternoon, which comes in handy if your bike does things that flabbergast you but you don't want to spend outrageous sums to have it fixed or want to learn how to do it yourself. The offerings of the cinema are also interesting in that they often show lesser known international movies (often with the original audio and subtitles) and have a very reasonable general admission of €8.
- 8 Heinrich Lades Halle (Bus stop "Neuer Markt"). Named after a former mayor (governed 1959-1972) upon his death in 1990, this late 1960s early 1970s building might not look like much (though its interior design is certainly more inspired than that of some other buildings of the era), but it hosts numerous large scale events from discussions about pressing issues for the city to the main events of the Comic Salon. It's also the biggest concert venue in town. During the Covid - 19 pandemic it was chosen as the venue to hold socially distanced city council meetings.
- 9 Wöhrmühlinsel (from the main train station head west (towards the parking lot) then cross under the highway and the island will be right in front of you). An island in the river Regnitz which was redesigned as an event space in time for the summer of 2020. It hosts all manner of open air events during the summer season.
- 10 ZAM, Hauptstraße 65-67 (two blocks north from Marktplatz), firstname.lastname@example.org. open for everyone regularly Friday evening from 18:00 ; events and groups have their own times. A place to get to know doers, explore and make. This place blends arts, crafts and high tech, and is something between a makerspace and project space. There are different groups who meet at different times to do all sorts of tinkering - whether it be repairing electric appliances or testing the scale model of the next world changing invention. The Friday evening date given in the opening hours is the "open door" where everybody can come and join without any membership, entrance fee or pre-registration required. Other regular events are open to the general public to various extents, too. Check the website for details. Given the nature of the place, you're almost guaranteed to find one or several people fluent in English and/or other foreign languages, so the language barrier shouldn't be an issue. The name is a hard to translate pun of sorts - "zam" is a frequent Franconian shortening of "zusammen" (~ together) but it is also supposed to stand as an acronym for "Zentrum für ausprobieren und mitmachen“ - centre for trying out and joining in. free. Some events may charge for materiel or to pay an instructor. Donations welcomed..
- There is an extensive network of designated bicycling routes, which are marked with white signs. For tours out of town, best consult the information provided by ADFC[dead link] (German bicycling association), one of the nicer ways is cycling the Regnitz Radweg next to the river via Fürth to Nürnberg (~25 km one way; you may also take the train for the other direction but be sure to buy a ticket both for you and for your bike). Renting bikes is possible at several places in town (see Getting around section).
- There is a golf course operated by 11 Golf Club Erlangen (about 15 km East of Erlangen (towards Eckental)). .
- Annual charitable football tournament "Football against cancer". Last Sunday of February in the sport hall of Friedrich-Alexander University.
- DAV Erlangen operates a climbing and bouldering hall and a climbing tower.
- HC Erlangen is the town's (Olympic) Handball club that made its way to the first division Bundesliga in 2014 and again in 2016. They used to play all home games in the Karl Heinz Hiersemann Halle in Erlangen (where their second team still plays) but since 2016 have played in their temporary home in Nuremberg. Plans to build a bigger venue to accommodate the bigger crowds were shelved due to cost concerns.
- During the Cold War the city had an US garrison with all that entails and after the soldiers left, it largely fell into the hands of the city. While the living quarters were turned into housing and some of the former training grounds are now nature reserve, the baseball diamond was given over to the Erlangen White Sox while an American Football team, the Erlangen Sharks play right next door.
- 12 Blockhelden (bouldering hall), Weisendorfer Straße 18 91056 Erlangen (Bus lines 202, 205 and 283 stop Weisendorfer Straße), ☏ +49 9135 73 59 50 9, email@example.com. All days to 23:00 M and W from 11:00; other days from 09:00 holidays 09:00-23:00. A bouldering hall in Dechsendorf, a somewhat outlying suburb. regular €9.90, reduced €8.90, under 13 €6.90, €2 discount on regular and reduced M-F before 15:00.
Public swimming pools
- There are two swimming pools in the city open for the public. You can find opening times and prices (in German) here. Both swimming pools are combined open air and indoor facilities. They are perfectly adequate for swimming and certainly make for a fun time on a summer day for a price that's hard to beat, but if you are more into waterparks or "fun baths" the Atlantis in Herzogenaurach or the Palm Beach in Stein bei Nürnberg might be more to your liking.
- 13 Westbad (formerly known as "Freibad West"), Damaschkestraße 129 91056 (Bus line 280 and 287 to Neumühle, then head east). Summer season M Tu Th F 06:30-20:00, W Sa 10:00-20:00, Su 08:00-20:00. This institution has had an indoor section since 2017 when the indoor pool at Frankenhof was closed and this was built as a replacement. Parking lots for cars can get somewhat scarce on sunny days, so arrive by bike or bus if possible. Regular day ticket €4 during summer season.
- 14 Röthelheimbad, Hartmannstraße 121 91058 (Bus line 286, 287 to Röthelheimbad or bus line 293 to Röthelheimbad Ost). Summer season: daily 08:00-20:00. The indoor part of this pool is called "Hannah Stockbauer Halle", named after the swimming great who used to train here for her Olympic medals and other successes. Regular day ticket €4 during summer season.
- Take a stroll at one of the nice flea markets (see Buy section for best offers, come early, they usually start around 08:00).
For a city of its size, Erlangen's shopping opportunities are both varied and abundant. Probably the nicest aspect of shopping in Erlangen is that you have a mix of all the standards you may need but also a diverse scene of smaller and not-so-common shops that offer you another type of shopping experience and in many cases good personal consultation and advice if you wish. A lot of exquisite small shops have great things on offer, and are often highly specialised (e.g. arts and crafts, music).
The shops are mostly located in the areas of the Altstadt (old town) and Neustadt (new town) and around the axes of Hauptstraße/Marktplatz/Nürnberger Straße and Friedrichstraße/Obere Karlstraße; always also including the neighbouring streets around them. You can take a pleasant walk around all of these areas (which are all easily covered on foot). If you want to shop in the Altstadt area, note that there is an offer called Altstadtshopping on Thursday late afternoons: most shops are open somewhat longer (often till 20:00) and parking on the Fuchsenwiese parking space is free of charge as of 16:00.
Most shops open between 09:30 and 11:00 (most at 10:00), with smaller shops usually closing between 18:00 and 19:00 on weekdays and between 14:00 and 16:00 on Saturdays. Due to Bavaria's strict laws, no shops may open beyond 20:00 or on Sundays with the exception of those serving a travel need (e.g. shops in gas stations or train stations) or bakeries, which also open on Sundays but not after 20:00. There are some verkaufsoffene Sonntage on a semi-regular basis when most shops open on Sunday, but expect a lot of traffic on those days and crowded shops.
There is a long standing concern among business owners and politicians that the Old Town is slowly but surely losing its charm and particularly its businesses and the city is doing quite a bit to counteract this. Among other things there is a riksha that rides up and down the pedestrian zone that shoppers may use free of charge and there is a Tag der Altstadt ("Day of the Old Town") to promote the businesses and shopping opportunities in the Old Town.
- 1 Prahse Antik, Heuwaagstraße 10. Antique furniture.
Beer (local) and liquors:
- 2 Kitzmann Bräukontor, Südliche Stadtmauerstraße 25, ☏ +49 9131 810 811. M-F 09:00-19:00, Sa 09:00-17:00. This store for beverages of all kinds offers (a so-called "Getränkemarkt") a huge variety of regional craft beers and regional wines, some liquors, and high quality juices.
- 3 Literarische Buchhandlung Wierny, Südliche Stadtmauerstraße 40, ☏ +49 9131 224 80. M-F 09:00-18:00, Sa 09:00-14:00 (during Advent till 18:00). Great fiction offers and more, however, mostly German!
- 4 Thalia, Hugenottenplatz 6, ☏ +49 9131 78090, firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 09:00-19:00.
- 5 Ex Libris, Bismarckstraße 9. Near the main campus with Audimax this store is aimed largely at university students and has an okay selection of foreign language classics.
- 6 Contigo, Hauptstraße 40, ☏ +49 9131 9754083, email@example.com. M-F 09:30-18:30, Sa 09:30-16:00.
- 7 Dreikönig, Kammererstraße 4. A fairtrade eco clothing shop initiated by 7 creatives.
- 8 GreenVolution, Friedrichstraße 29, firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10:00-18:30, Sa 10:00-16:00.
- 9 Vinty's Erlangen, Friedrichstraße 25, ☏ +49 9131 4000 720, email@example.com. M-F 11:00-18:30, Sa 11:00-16:00.
- 10 GardeRobe, Helmstraße 4. M-F 10:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-14:00.
- 11 Ultra Comix, Südliche Stadtmauerstraße 6, ☏ +49 9131 530 1308. M-F 11:00-19:00, Sa 10:00-18:00.
- 12 Wassermann Floristik, Martinsbühler Straße 8, ☏ +49 9131 24 170, firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 08:30-18:30, Sa 08:30-14:00, Su 10:00-12:00.
Gifts, arts and crafts:
- 13 Galerie am Eck, Engelstraße 14, ☏ +49 9131 9749395, email@example.com. M-W 10:00-18:00, Th F 10:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-16:00.
- 14 Kunst-Haus Christina Kammerer, Heuwaagstraße 6. Tu-F 10:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-14:00.
- 15 Prachtstück, Obere Karlstraße 5, ☏ +49 9131 9232733. Tu-F 10:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-14:00.
- 16 Kreaia Schmuck und Design, Schiffstraße 7, firstname.lastname@example.org. M-W 09:00-14:30, Th F 09:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-17:00. A goldsmith workshop and sales location which is part of Kreativlabor Erlangen, also hosting a small gallery with changing exhibitions and sometimes tiny concerts.
Records and music:
- 17 Bongartz, Hauptstraße 56, ☏ +49 9131 908 0520. M-W F 10:00-19:00, Th 10:00-20:00, Sa 10:00-16:00. CDs and LPs of modern music, pop, rock, indie, very strong also in electronic music.
- 18 Der Schallplattenmann, Fahrstraße 12, ☏ +49 9131 4000 868. M-F 11:00-18:00, Sa 10:30-14:30, June-Sept: Th F till 19:00. CDs and LPs of modern music, pop, rock, indie, very strong in world music.
Erlangen hosts some good flea markets, amongst the garage style sales, the following ones are recommended (for best offers, come early, they usually start around 08:00):
- 19 Flohmarkt Bohlenplatz (at times), Bohlenplatz. Feb-Dec: usually on the first Saturday of the month.
- 20 Trödelmarkt am Erlanger Großparkplatz (at times) (this flea market takes place on the big parking area west of the train station (from city centre pass through the underpass and continue straight on past the short term parking area, the flea market is on bigger parking areas behind)).
- 21 neuer markt, Rathausplatz 5. The older of the shopping malls contains the renowned clothes merchant Wöhrl, C&A, smaller shops and a small but good food court.
- 22 Arcaden, Nürnberger Straße 7 (you can enter the arcaden from Nürnberger Straße (about midway between Henkestraße and Rathausplatz) and from an entrance on Güterhallenstraße, very near the crossroads of Nürnberger Straße and Henkestraße); the parking garage has its entrance from Güterbahnhofstraße (at the junction with Nägelsbachstraße)), ☏ +49 9131 97 00 00, email@example.com. M-Sa 09:30-20:00; Schausonntag (Sunday: no sales, just showing) 10:00-17:00. This is the bigger mall within Erlangen; it offers a wide variety covering most needs (including food offers on the ground floor).
The region is famous for the number and charm of its beer gardens, where in summer you can enjoy a cool drink and a bite to eat (Brotzeit = German equivalent of a picnic) whilst enjoying traditional music. Entla's Keller (regional dialect for duck's cellar) is located on the Burgberg where the Bergkirchweih is held as well but outside of this festival operates as a normal beer garden (the locally preferred word is Bierkeller, beer-cellar) and sells typical Franconian cuisine and beer by the liter.
- 1 Döner shops along the Hauptstraße, Hauptstraße. There are several döner places all along Hauptstraße, for example a good one is Zio Cey (especially for falafel).
- 2 Food court in Neuer Markt shopping mall, Rathausplatz 5. A small food court with solid food offerings (sushi, pizza, döner, vegetarian burgers international food); beside the food court there is also an Asian food booth.
- 3 Sems Döner, Marquardsenstraße 22 (accessible from Bismarckstraße only (right next to Equinox Döner)). An excellent döner place.
- 4 Kaiser Wilhelm, Fichtestraße 2. M-F 11:00-01:00; Sa 12:00-13:00, 17:00-01:00; Su 11:30-23:00. A short, standard but solid menu in a friendly "Wirtshaus" environment; daily promotional offerings. As the image on the outside shows, this venue isn't named after the Wilhelm II of World War I fame but his grandfather, Wilhelm I who was Prussian King and then German Emperor until 1888. The square along which it sits (Lorlebergplatz) used to have a monument to Kaiser Wilhelm before it was melted down to pay for ammunition in World War I, hence the name.
- 5 Tacos Inc, Obere Karlstraße 15, ☏ +49 9131 6115761, firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 11:00-15:00, 17:00-20:00; Sa 11:00-18:00. Tex-Mex food.
- 6 Proviant, Obere-Karl Straße 4, ☏ +49 9131 924 77 63. Tu-Sa 11:30-16:00, may close during longer holidays. A lunch place, next to the main university libarary.
- 7 Samui Asia Lounge, Richard-Wagner-Straße 6, ☏ +49 9131 9706878. M-Sa 11:30-23:30. One of the best Thai offerings in Erlangen, to eat in the restaurant or take-away.
- 8 Buon Giorno Italia, Obere Karlstr. 34 (Obere Karlstraße at Krankenhausstraße, at a corner of the nice Bohlenplatz), ☏ +49 9131 61 46 200. Italian ciabatta with cheese, salami and antipasti. ~€3.50.
- 9 Zum Pleitegeier, Hauptstraße 100, ☏ +49 9131 207324, email@example.com. daily 18:00-02:00. This is a kind of institution in Erlangen. Plainly decorated, however young in mind. The courtyard becomes a beergarden in summer. Cheep salads, unconventional pizza and small to bigger plates with adequate drink prices make the Pleitegeier a popular meeting spot.
- 10 Tio Bar and Restaurant, Südliche Stadtmauerstraße 1a, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Tio offers good pizza baked in a wood oven in a modern, friendly atmosphere.
- 11 Curry house, Helmstraße 11 (at the corner Goethestraße/Helmstraße). Fresh Indian fast food and lassis.
- 12 Kulisse, Theaterstraße 8, ☏ +49 9131 207 930. daily 18:00-01:00. A nice classic pub offering dinner or a beer.
- 13 Krapp/Drei Linden, Alterlanger Str. 6, ☏ +49 9131 43885. The restaurant is well known for their truly gargantuan Schnitzel (usually pork, but turkey is also available) which usually come with a generous side of fries or potato salad but they also have other Franconian dishes. Should you be unable to finish your meal, they are happy to pack up the rest for you and they also offer takeout. They also brew their own beer nowadays. €12.50 to €15 for a schnitzel.
Vegetarian and vegan (or mostly)
- 14 Süß und würzig, Untere Karlstraße 13. 10:00-21:00. Small dishes and sandwiches.
- 15 Yoghurt Bar Erlangen, Untere Karlstraße 15 (from Hugenottenplatz walk east (i.e. away from the central station) and take the street going straigt off at the right end of the square). Tasty homemade soups and frozen yoghurts. Popular with university students as the university library is close by. soup with bread €4.00-5.50.
- You can have sandwiches at several bakeries, e.g. "Der Beck" cafés and in some of "Der Kalchreuther Bäcker"
- Furthermore, many of the Cafés listed in the Drink section offer a limited set of dishes at comparably low price.
- 16 Muskat, Hauptstraße 60 (in the Hauptstraße near the Schlossplatz), ☏ +49 9131 974 343, email@example.com. M 09:00-16:00, Tu-Sa 09:00-23:00; Su 10:00-18:00; holidays 10:00-23:00; reservation necessary for brunch on 2nd and 4th Sun of the month (between 10:00 and 14:00). Great organic food and beverages, friendly staff.
Franconian and German
- 17 Kitzmann BräuSchänke, Südliche Stadtmauerstraße 25, ☏ +49 9131 81 08 33. daily 11:00-00:00, kitchen operating only until 21:45. Near the centre of the city. Traditional German food and beer from the local brewery.
- 18 Spezerei, Wöhrstraße 1, ☏ +49 - 9131 - 400 04 32. A traditional Franconian restaurant.
- 19 Alter Simpl, Bohlenplatz 2, ☏ +49 9131 2 56 26. M-F 10:00-evening, kitchen closes at 21:45; Sa until 16:00, kitchen closes at 14:45. A very classical Franconian restaurant/pub.
- 20 Ritter St. Georg, Herzogenauracher Damm 11, ☏ +49 9131 7665-0. From 09:00 daily, kitchen open 11:30-14:00, 18:00-21:30; holidays only till 21:00. A nice place for Franconian food, somewhat south of the centre in the district of Bruck, next to the river Regnitz.
- 21 zur Einkehr - Gasthof Gütlein, Dorfstraße 14, ☏ +49 9131 7920, firstname.lastname@example.org. A nicely renovated traditional restaurant and guesthouse in Büchenbach.
- 22 Fischerei Oberle, Am Deckersweiher 24 91056 Erlangen, Kosbach (Bus 287 "an der Kapelle"). Thursday to Sunday: 11:30-14:00 and 17:30-21:00; also open on Wednesdays in summer from 17:30 to 21:00. A traditional seafood place family owned for over 350 years. They raise their own fish which you can also buy at their on-site fish shop. In 2018 they started brewing their own beer.
Beer gardens (Biergärten)
- 23 Steinbach Bräu, Vierzigmannstraße 4, ☏ +49 9131 89 59 - 12, email@example.com. 17:00-00:00. It is hidden in the alleys of the city in the northern part, so tourists cannot easily find it. Traditional German food with fresh beer from their microbrewery.
- 24 Unicum, Carl-Thiersch-Straße 9, ☏ +49 9131 503 480, firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Rothelheimpark to the east of the city. During summers, the beautiful Biergarten is open.
- 25 Entla's Keller, An den Kellern 5-7, ☏ +49 9131-22100, email@example.com. April - last September Sunday 11:00-23:00. One of the best known Keller during Bergkirchweih this one focuses on the food at least as much as the beer ("Entla" is Franconian for duck). It is also the only one to be open all summer long and it is as good a place as any to sample traditional Franconian cuisine and the unique Bierkeller experience. In 2021 they announced plans to open their own small scale brewery inside the tunnels under the mountain to brew beer for their beer garden sold except during the Bergkirchweih (when the large volume would overwhelm the small-scale operation). Bratwurst €2, Schäuferle €9.
- 26 Biergarten am Röthelheim, Am Röthelheim 40c, ☏ +49 9131 302 060. 10:00-23:00 (inhouse until 00:00). A nice beer garden somewhat south of the centre.
- Orpheus, Luitpoldstraße 25, 91025 Erlangen, ☏ +49 9131 24235. 11:00-14:30; 17:00-23:30. Greek restaurant. €10-30.
- 27 Poseidon, Nürnberger Str.108, ☏ +49 9131 - 30 29 99. daily 11:30-15:00, 17:00-00:00 (kitchen closes at 23:30). Greek restaurant, somewhat south of the city centre.
- 28 Gionti, Hauptstraße 117, ☏ +49 9131 97 45 85. daily 11:00-14:30, 17:00-00:00, kitchen closes at 23:00. Italian restaurant.
- 29 Goldener Hecht – da Cesare, Glockenstr. 8, ☏ +49 9131 21 496. Daily 11:00-14:30, 17:00-23:30. Italian, pizza.
- 30 Lê & Vi, Nürnberger Str. 58A, ☏ +49 9131 9884973, firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 11:00-15:00, 18:00-22:30; F 11:00-15:00, 18:00-23:00; Sa 12:00-23:00; Su 12:00-22:00. Asian fusion cuisine of good quality, very modern style, somewhat hip interior, friendly staff, the only disadvantage is that the whole room somewhat smells of food as they cook within the room.
- 31 Morena Brasil (Schorlachstraße 27), ☏ +49 9131 531 95 95, email@example.com. Tu W 17:00-22:00; Th F 12:00-14:00, 17:00-21:00; Sa 17:00-21:00; Su 11:30-20:00. Brazilian cuisine (authentic) in the setting of a former German "Wirtshaus", located in the Bruck district (south of the city centre).
- 32 Sen Asian Tapas Bar, Allee am Röthelheimpark 15, ☏ +49 9131 9 78 33 89. M-F 11:30-14:30, 17:30-22:30; Sa 17:30-22:30. Sushi and other Asian “tapas” (small plates of which you eat multiple).
- 33 Rossofuoco, Schuhstraße 10, ☏ +49 9131 532 51 78. Tu-Sa 11-15, 17-23. A great, high-quality pizzeria. main dish €6-12, family pizza ~20.
- 34 Café Cycles, Marquardsenstraße 18, ☏ +49 - 9131 - 29 127. Student place with varying solid food but no big choice (offer depends on the day, e.g. burgers, pizza).
- 35 Café Brazil, ☏ +49 - 9131 - 23455. A relatively small menu but good food with mostly good daily offerings, often populated with students.
- 36 Salz und Pfeffer, Hartmannstr. 19. M-F 11:30-15:00, 18:00-23:00, kitchen closes at 14:30 and 21:30, respectively. Good food but somewhat densely packed and noisy. You mostly need to book in advance to get a seating.
- 37 Lennox steak + seafood. Next to the Martin Luther Square (and church).
- 38 Rauchfang (steak house), Bismarckstraße 15 (next to Lorlebergplatz (bus to Lorlebergplatz or Fichtestraße)), ☏ +49 9131 23236. Su-F 11:30-14 and 17:30-23:00, Sa 17:30-23. Nice classical steak restaurant with seasonal additions in the menu, friendly atmosphere and service and high quality, tasty food.
- 39 Altmanns Stube, Theaterplatz 9, ☏ +49 9131 891 60, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Sa 12:00-14:00 (kitchen open till 13:30), 18:00-23:00 (kitchen open till 21:30).
- 40 Mein lieber Schwan, +49 (0)9131-53540. Tu-Su 12:00-14:00, 18:00-24:00. One of the best restaurants in town, with a short but diverse menu, and tasty quality food and friendly staff.
- 41 Zen, Theaterplatz 22, ☏ +49 9131 9733166. M-Th 18:00-01:00, F-Su 18:00-02:00. Bar and Thai restaurant. Impressive building and interior.
- 42 Gionti, Theaterplatz 22, ☏ +49 9131 97 45 85. M W-Su 11:00-14:30, 17:00-00:00 (kitchen closes at 23:00), closed on Tu. A high class Italian restaurant in the old town.
- 43 Japanisches Restaurant Nippon, Gräfenberger Str. 32 91054 Buckenhof, ☏ +49 9131 - 502725. M-Sa 17:00-23:00, Su and holidays 11:30-23:00. High quality Japanese restaurant with some European offerings.
- 44 Hirosakao, Allee am Röthelheimpark 13, ☏ +49 9131 973 25 55, email@example.com. M-F 11:30-14:30, 17:30-22:30, Sa 17:30-22:30, Su 17:00-22:00. Sushi and other Japanese food.
If you are looking for a nice breakfast out of your hotel, have a look at the Café section as some of the cafés have the respective offerings.
Erlangen used to be a major centre of beer brewing and "Erlangen beer" was such a household name that Karl May (who spent most of his life in Saxony) mentions it as being sold somewhere in the Balkans. As late as the 1980s a brewery in Milwaukee sold a beer called "Erlanger". This is mostly due to the Burgberg (the site of today's Bergkirchweih) and the Bierkeller dug into it - underground works for storing beer in the summer months to keep it from spoiling. Prior to artificial refrigeration, this gave Erlangen an edge in beer production and over a dozen breweries exported throughout Europe as soon as a railway connection opened to Erlangen. However, with the invention of practicable cooling machines, Erlangen lost its edge and most breweries were unwilling or unable to compete on the new market, with all but one (Kitzmann) eventually going under in the twentieth century. For a long time Kitzmann was by far the biggest brewery in the city on account of being the only one, but old names are appearing once more at places other than the Bierkeller on the Burgberg (which are still named after now defunct breweries) and Steinbach is now in operation again and Weller is in the process of becoming a full on brewery, already brewing and selling beer with a brewpub at Thalermühle. However, Kitzmann had to shut its doors permanently at the end of September 2018 selling the name to Kulmbach interests who will keep the name but change the recipe and will not produce in Erlangen. This did not only end over three hundred years of family tradition for Kitzmann, but also the last brewery that had survived all crises and wars up to that point. What might have spelled the end of "Erlangen beer" instead only signified a definitive shift - away from more mass market oriented producers of large quantities to small brewpubs who only produce a few hundred hectoliters of beer a year. Names that got into the brewing business in the late 2010s and early 2020s include Fischerei Oberle, Krapp/Drei Linden and even the Entla's Keller is planning on opening their own brewing site - inside the Burgberg tunnels. So sampling a genuine "Erlangen beer" is once more possible, but you'd have to be in Erlangen to do so.
While Erlangen is somewhat short of nice street cafés, there are many places where you can enjoy a good cup in the rooms, quiet gardens or at some places even with a look outside to see what is happening. Some of the good addresses which are operating as cafés at daytime and partly as bars on the evenings are:
Neustadt area (around Neustädter Kirchplatz and Bohlenplatz)
- 1 Erlanger Teehaus, Friedrichstraße 14, ☏ +49 9131 22 9 11. M-F 08:00–22:00, Sa 08:00–20:00, Su 10:00-19:00. A good place for a tea or cake in the comfortable rooms or nice garden; it also offers good breakfast.
- 2 Amir der Kaffemann, Fahrstraße 5, ☏ +49 9131 975 42 11. Amir is a near-fanatic coffee lover and expert, one of the best places to have a really good cup of coffee (he roasts his own blends). You can also have a decent tea, smoothies, and snacks such as bagels. It has only few outdoor seats available.
- 3 Kafferösterei Königmann, Weiße Herzstraße 2. M-F 09:00-18:00, Sa 09:00-16:00. Offers coffer, hot chocolate and tea; you can also sit outside with a view onto the Neustädter Kirchplatz which is next to it.
- 4 Bel Ami, Neustädter Kirchplatz 2, ☏ +49 9131 9745970. M 09:00-17:00; Tu-Su 10:00-20:00. French café which also offers small dishes.
On and around Market Square:
- 5 Café Mengin, Schlossplatz 5. Situated between the Schlossgarten and Schlossplatz, this good café offers delicious cakes; furthermore there is a great breakfast offering and later during the day other small dishes
- 6 Café Margarta, Hauptstraße 33, ☏ +49 9131 977 19 53. A nice French, somewhat hip café with outdoor seating at the Marktplatz (market square), also offering breakfast
- 7 Sax, Am Schloßplatz 6 (at the corner, next to the Schloss (now the university administration building)), ☏ +49 9131 90 88 440. During the day for a coffee or small dishes, or at night for a beer.
- 8 Rösttrommel Kafferösterei, Hauptstraße 37, ☏ +49 9131 977 71 23. M-F 10:00-18:30; Sa 10:00-18:00, closed on holidays. Another coffee roaster place where you can get a great cup.
Old town (Altstadt):
- 9 Café Gold, Katholischer Kirchenplatz 4 (opposite the Catholic Herz Jesu church in the hospital area north of the Schlossgarten), ☏ +49 9131 4063210, firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 08:30-18:00, Sa closed, Su 10:00-17:00. A friendly cafe during daytime, offering brunch on sundays
Southern part of the centre (around Nürnberger Straße):
- 10 [dead link] Coffini, Nürnberger Str. 9, ☏ +49-9131-612 527. At a major intersection of the pedestrian zone with another street, near the Erlangen Arcaden mall, you can sit outside in the buzzing crowd in summer or in the somewhat quieter inner area which is in one of the old small "palace" style buildings of Erlangen. Fresh cake.
East of the centre (area towards Lorlebergplatz/Zollhof/Med Museum):
- 11 Café Brazil, Bismarckstraße 25, ☏ +49 9131 23455. M-F 09:00-13:00, Sa Su holidays 10:00-13:00, school holidays 10:00-13:00. A café and bar which offers a short but good menu of regularly changing dishes and cakes, and breakfast.
- 12 Schwarz & Stark, Henkestraße 90. M-F 09:00-19:00. Friendly, modern and spatious cafe with a limited lunch offering.
- 13 Café Weiß, Lorlebergplatz 1, ☏ +49 9131 530 2560, email@example.com. (only as of mid-Sep 2017) M–Sa 09:00-00:00; Su 09:00-20:00.
Out of core town:
- 14 Waldcafé, Weinstraße 100, ☏ +49 911 47576 1100 (office not in cafe). only in summer season: Sa 13:00-17:00; Su 11:00-17:30. Attached to the Walderlebniszentrum, this café is under old trees inmidst of green. It is run in a way including disabled people, most of the offers are home made.
Bars and pubs
- 15 Kanapee, Neue Straße 50, ☏ +49 9131 25837. A well-established bar with several rooms especially popular amongst students, they also show the big Bundesliga football games.
- 16 Manhattan bar, Güterhallenstraße 4, ☏ +49 - 9131 - 97 06 96. daily from 11:00. A nice bar operated with one of the arthouse cinemas.
- 17 Schwarzer Ritter, Paulistraße 10, ☏ +49 9131 24976. Su-Th 20:00-06:00; F Sa 20:00-07:00. While it opens at similar times as other bars, this is the place to go when everything else has closed; it becomes crowded only very late at night or early in the morning. Their main draw is that they offer warm food until 05:00.
- 18 Gummi Wörner, Hauptstraße 90. Tu-Sa 20:00-02:00 (sometimes 03:00 on weekends). A rather hip bar, where students and Siemens employees are often seen; on Saturdays they usually open the basement and have a DJ play music.
- 19 Transfer, Westliche Stadtmauerstrßae 8, ☏ +49 9131 26 929. M 21:00-24:00; Tu W 00:00-02:00, 21:00-24:00; Th-Sa 00:00-04:00, 21:00-24:00. A rather alternative place whose interior has not changed for quite long, it is very friendly inside, even though the requirement to ring the doorbell to get in may suggest otherwise.
- 20 Café Cycles, Marquardsenstraße 18, ☏ +49 9131 29 127. M-F 11:00-02:00; Sa Su 10:00-01:00. A friendly café with a small set of dishes and a bar at night; it also offers some tables in a quiet side street so one can sit outside in summer.
- 21 Wort und Klang, Goethestraße 12, ☏ +49 1516 8192780. A nice bar which sometimes also has DJs and live acts
- 22 Havana Bar, Engelstraße 17, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Sa from 19:00, summer from 20:00. One of the best bars for cocktails in Erlangen.
Venues with regular live music:
- 23 Strohalm, Hauptstraße 107, ☏ +49 9131 214 23. Tu F Sa 20:30-03:00; W Th 20:30-01:00; Su 19:00-01:00. This bar is an institution in Erlangen, especially amongst the scene of music interested people as it regularly hosts live acts and an open stage.
- 24 Murphy's law (Irish pub), Bismarckstraße 30 (at Lorlebergplatz), ☏ +49 9131 829 78 99. This Irish pub at Lorlebergplatz also offers a selection of dishes in the evening (try the great chicken and mushroom pie); furthermore, they sometimes have live music. It is very popular amongst students and the working crowd, especially on weekends.
- 25 Dartmoor Inn, Friedrichstraße 34, ☏ +49 9131 205 120. M-Sa 17:00-01:00 (Sa if football game is on, from 13:00). A pub started as an English-style pub, but gradually grew to become more of a sportsbar, which you should especially visit when interested in playing darts or eating fish and chips; it also offers burgers.
- 26 Enoteca, Schiffstraße 2. M-Th 10:00-21:00, F 10:00-22:00, Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 13:00-18:00. Good wine and little Italian snacks.
Clubs and discos
- 27 Paisley, Nürnberger Straße 15, email@example.com. W-Su from 22:00. House music, frequent events.
- 28 Zirkel, Hauptstraße 105. Tu Th F Sa. Student club in the basement. The owner of this place and the Kanapee bar is the same and they often have cross-promotions (e.g. drink a certain amount at Kanapee for free entrance to Zirkel). On Friday and Saturday nights there will often be a lot of high school students, but on Tuesday and Thursday nights university students tend to dominate the crowd.
- 29 Erlkönig, Nürnberger Straße 1. Th-Sa from 20:00. DJ music, bar and club.
- 1 AB Hotel, Harfenstraße 1c, ☏ +49 9131 9244700. Quiet and clean, with free WLAN.
Reception openings: Monday-Friday: 08:30->14:00, 17:00-21:00; Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 10:00-14:00, 17:00-20:00 Prices for 3 nights for business customers, per night: single room: from €35, double: from €50, three-bed: from €75.
- 2 Gasthof Schwarzer Bär, Innere Brucker Straße 19 (one block south of the train station), ☏ +49 9131 22872, fax: +49 9131 206494. Single room with shower/shared €41/37; double with shower/shared €58/48; three-bed room with shower €78.
- 3 Hotel Central, Westliche Stadtmauerstraße 12, ☏ +49 9131 78 85 0. single from €54, doubles from €74, weekends from €45/66.
- 4 Camping-Club Rangau e.V., Campingstraße 44 (at the Großer Bischhofsweiher in the incorporated suburb of Dechsendorf, about 6-7 km north west of the city centre), ☏ +49 91 35 88 66, firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in a local recreation area (at Erlangen's biggest pond), this site is operating April through September.
- 5 Hotelchen Garni am Theater, Theaterstraße 10, ☏ +49 9131 80860, email@example.com. As the name says, it is in the Theater area of the city.
- 6 Altmanns Stube, Theaterplatz 9, ☏ +49 9131 89 160. Also has a restaurant. single rooms starting at €75, doubles at €114.
- 7 NH Erlangen, Beethovenstraße 3, ☏ +49 9131 89120, +49 30 22 388 599 (reservations), firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 8 Novotel, Hofmannstraße 34, ☏ +49 9131 97 470, email@example.com. from €65.
- 9 Creativhotel Luise, Sophienstraße 10, ☏ +49 9131 122-0, firstname.lastname@example.org. Classy business hotel close to the centre of the city (1 km from the train station). Great rooms with comfort apartments. From €120.
- 10 Zeitwohnhaus, Luitpoldstraße 10, ☏ +49 9131 530 39 40. Classy business hotel and serviced apartments close to the centre of the city (1 km from railway station). Great rooms with comfort apartments. Single from €61, double from €81.
- 11 Fränkischer Hof, Goethestraße 34 (about 100 m north of the central station), ☏ +49 9131 872-0, email@example.com. Single rooms €60-90, double rooms €90-110.
- 12 zur Einkehr - Gasthof Gütlein, Dorfstraß 14, ☏ +49 9131 7920, firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a nicely renovated traditional guesthouse with restaurant in Büchenbach. From €64 for a single room; from €89 for a double room.
- 13 Art Hotel, Äußere Brucker Straße 90, ☏ +49 9131 7140-0.
- 14 Villa Glas, Wilhelmstraße 23, ☏ +49 9131 97 00 440. This hotel at the east end of the city centre in a quiet residential area has not changed in the last years but is still friendly. Single room €69, double from €85.
- 15 Stadthaus, Henkestraße 4, ☏ +49 9131 974 30 71. A somewhat smaller, friendly hotel 50 m from the pedestrian zone. Single rooms from €75, double rooms from €95.
- 16 König Otto, Henkestrase 56, ☏ +49 9131 878-0, email@example.com.
- 17 Book-IT, Carl-Thiersch-Straße 2c, ☏ +49 9131 6101-300, firstname.lastname@example.org. 200 apartments spread over 4 buildings, some in modern buildings and some in highly renovated old brick barrack buildings. Two buildings are at this location, whereas the other two are at other locations within 10 minutes' walk from this one. starting at €63 per night.
- 18 Altstadthotel Grauer Wolf, Hauptstraße 80, ☏ +49 9131-810 60, fax: +49 9131-810 647, email@example.com. Check-out: 11:00. Has a gourmet restaurant.
- 19 Rokokohaus, Theaterplatz 13, ☏ +49 9131 783-0. Exquisite hotel. starting at €76 per single person, at €111 for double room, €136 for triple rooms, higher prices during trade fairs (€84/114/140).
- 20 Hotel and apartments Kral, Luitpoldstraße 77, ☏ +49 9131 81009-0, firstname.lastname@example.org. single rooms from €149.
- 2 Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. Named after two Margraves, one the founder and another a great benefactor of the university, this was the only institution of higher learning left open when Maximilian of Bavaria was given control over Franconia by Napoleon. It is today the only thing that can even rival Siemens in importance for the city. The campus is spread all over Erlangen with a few things even in Nuremberg (hence the name). While their reputation for medicine is excellent and evangelical theology was the only reason King Maximilian didn't shut it down (like he did with all other newly acquired universities) it has a broad offer of subjects and academic partnerships with many universities that make exchange vastly easier. At almost 40 000 students (winter semester 2017/18) it is one of the ten biggest universities in Germany by student count.
There are many interesting and charming destinations for sightseeing and day trips (or longer) in the Erlangen region. The surrounding countryside is beautiful (Franconian Switzerland, Franconian lake district) and there are many towns and villages of historical and architectural interest.
- Augsburg - often overlooked nice medium-sized city near to and much older than Munich, historically important amongst others due to its strong banking business
- Bamberg - old bishop-town - UNESCO World Heritage site
- Fürth - Erlangen's next neighbour to the south, this city is much overlooked, but has over 2000 historic monuments to offer and is streadily improving its inner city offerings
- Munich - the capital of Bavaria
- Nuremberg - the big neighbouring city
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber - a rather small city, famous for its mostly original medieval old centre
- Würzburg - a nice city in with a strong wine growing business in the surroundings and magnificent Baroque heritage (UNESCO World Heritage site), situated at the Main river
Smaller or less famous but nevertheless worthy destinations in the area:
- Forchheim quite a nice small town with mostly intact old town a short S-Bahn ride from Erlangen
- Herzogenaurach - a quaint and nice Franconian town that's home to Adidas and Puma with correspondingly many sports outlet-store shopping opportunities
Erlangen's sister cities around the world include Riverside, California San Carlos (Nicaragua), Bolzano, Beşiktaş, Eskilstuna, Jena, Shenzhen, Rennes and Stoke on Trent
|Routes through Erlangen|
|Munich ← Ingolstadt / Augsburg ←||Munich Berlin||→ Erfurt → Halle|
|Frankfurt ← Würzburg ←||NW SE||→ Regensburg → Passau|
|Suhl ← Bamberg ←||Suhl Nürnberg||→ Fürth → Nürnberg|
|Erfurt ← Bad Bramstedt ←||N S||→ Nürnberg|
|Bamberg ← Forchheim ←||Main Danube||→ Fürth → Nuremberg|