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Nordhausen is a town of 41,000 people (2021) in Thuringia. It is situated within the greater Harz area. It is the urban centre of northern Thuringia and the southern Harz region.


In Germany Nordhausen is a household name, mostly for the "Nordhäuser Doppelkorn" that has been produced here continuously since at least 1507, when the first mention of a tax on locally produced liquor was made. Korn or its higher alcohol variety Doppelkorn is a distilled spirit made from grain, usually rye.

Just out of town lies one of the most notorious concentration camps on German soil from World War II. Mittelbau-Dora is the site where forced labourers had to produce V2 rockets that were later fired on London, Antwerp and other cities throughout the Western front in the waning months of the war. Despite the deadliness of the weapon, conditions in the forced labour camps were so horrific that actually more people died producing V2 than through its use.

Nordhausen's cityscape is marked by the near total destruction during the bombings in 1945, extinguishing most of the historic city centre.

Get in[edit]

Nordhausen is about 60 km (37 miles) north of Erfurt, 80 km (50 miles) west of Halle, 85 km (53 miles) south of Braunschweig and 60 km (37 miles) east of Göttingen.

By train[edit]

  • 1 Nordhausen station. Nordhausen station (Q801265) on Wikidata Nordhausen station on Wikipedia

Nordhausen lies along the train line that connects Kassel with Halle, there are regional trains (RE and RB) in either direction at least every two hours, with more trains available on the Nordhausen-Halle part of the connection. Furthermore there are trains from Erfurt (hourly) and Göttingen (hourly) via Herzberg am Harz.

Nordhausen also lies on the Harzer Schmalspurbahn (HSB) a narrow-gauge steam railway that covers most of the Harz, including a line up to the Brocken, the highest mountain in the Harz. The Nordhausen tram (streetcar) system is connected to the HSB network, and one line uses part of it for an interurban connection to Ilfeld.

By car[edit]

By plane[edit]

The few airports in the vicinity of Nordhausen have a rather limited number of flights. As such your best bets are probably Leipzig-Halle (LEJ IATA) to the east or (a bit further away and to the southwest) Frankfurt Airport (FRA IATA). Both airports are connected to the S-Bahn network of their respective cities and you can book a train and plane combined ticket with most airlines. See rail air alliances for more on specifics.

By bus[edit]

See also: intercity buses in GermanyFlixbus serves the town.

Get around[edit]

Map of Nordhausen

By tram (streetcar)[edit]

A tram (streetcar) in Nordhausen

Nordhausen has a tram system that also connects to neighbouring Ilfeld via an interurban line that uses the tracks of the Harzer Schmalspurbahn. The line is unique in the sense that the trains have a diesel-electric hybrid engine, using electricity from the overhead wires for most of their trip and the internal diesel generator for the stretches without overhead wires. The fare system is zone-based and divided into five zones with one zone costing €1.60 and the full five zones costing €3.70 per single ride. Week tickets are also available on a zone basis. The cheapest (one-zone) week ticket costs €10.40 (meaning it is worth it after the seventh trip) whereas the full five-zone week ticket costs €24.10 (making it break even after seven five-zone trips).


A V2 rocket engine on display at the Dora-Mittelbau KZ memorial
  • 1 KZ Gedenkstätte Mittelbau Dora, Kohnsteinweg 20, +49 3631 495 80, fax: +49 3631 495 813, . Tu-Su 10:00-16:00 (winter) 10:00-18:00 (summer). Just out of town this Nazi-era concentration camp is where forced labourers built the V2 rockets that were fired on London and Antwerp. The conditions for the forced labourers were truly horrific, and visiting this place can be a disturbing experience. free, donations welcomed. Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp (Q684424) on Wikidata Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp on Wikipedia
  • IFA Museum Nordhausen, Montaniastraße 13, +49 3631 47 91 54 3, . Tu Th 10:00-17:00. A technology museum with the focus on engines and locomotives €4 regular, €2 reduced, €15 tour group, youth under 16 free.





  • Traditionsbrennerei, Grimmelallee 11, +49 3631 63 63 63. As mentioned above, Nordhausen is famous for its Doppelkorn and no visit to the city would be complete without a visit to the distillery. There is an on site shop and tasting is included in the tour (M-Sa 14:00). The factory is well reachable by tram line 2 and you should take the tram for DUI considerations if nothing else. €6 including tasting regular, €3 reduced, €1 for school groups (advance notice required).



Go next[edit]

  • This town is a good entry point for the rest of the Harz area.
This city travel guide to Nordhausen is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.