Plauen was founded by Sorbs. It was a booming Germany city in the early 20th century because of its lace industry. At this time it was one of the biggest cities in Germany and was a home to a lot of rich people. World War I and World War II destroyed more than 75% of the city. Because of its proximity to the inner German border during the cold war it was a base to Russian soldiers. The first demonstrations against the communist government of East Germany, and divided Germany started here. Today it is home to around 66,000 people. It's the most important city in the "kreis" of Saxony.
It is not very convenient to reach Plauen by plane. From a lot of European destinations you can go to Dresden, Leipzig, Nuremberg and take a train from there towards Plauen. But it will take at least 1½ hours.
- 1 Plauen oberer Bahnhof (Plauen upper station). This station is served by a lot of local trains. Also it is a stop on the RE Nuremberg - Hof.
Plauen also has some smaller train stations, but they are less interesting for travelers, except you are coming from Gera.
From the main station it is a 10-min walk to the city center.
Plauen can be reached without problems by car from the rest of Germany. It is well connected with the German highway system (A72).
- See also: intercity buses in Germany
In the center, especially in the historic part in Old Town (Altstadt), everything is easily accessible by foot.
By bus and tram
There is a combined system of tram (called Straßenbahn) and bus. See Plauener Strassenbahn GmbH. A single ride on all tram and bus lines for 45 min is €1.20. There is no reason for a day ticket but you can purchase one for €4.60.
The street network is very good and many roads have been refurbished. Except during the Christmas shopping time and at some festivals you will always find a parking space.
There are some lanes for bicycles, but Plauen is a very hilly city.
After the reunification of Germany a lot of old buildings have been restored.
- Theater Plauen-Zwickau. A beautiful theatre in Plauen.
- Spitzenmuseum, Altmarkt 2. A museum that focuses on the lace industry .
- Vogtlandmuseum, Nobelstraße 9-13. A museum about the history of Plauen and the Vogtland. It is probably the biggest museum in Plauen.
- Alte Rathaus. The old city hall and a very beautiful building in the heart of the city. There is also the entrance to the Spitzenmuseum.
- Johanneskirche. A church with a nice twin tower.
- Malzhaus. A very nice old building with galleries, music and a small cinema.
- Alte Elsterbrücke. The oldest bridge in Saxony.
- Friedensbrücke. The largest stone arch bridge in the world.
- Elstertalbrücke. The second largest brick bridge in the world but a bit outside the city centre. Best reached by train from “Plauen unterer Bahnhof” towards Gera. Get out at Barthmühle.
- The Spitzenfest the biggest festival in Plauen and is normally held in June with 3 stages with different music.
If you want to buy some “Plauener Spitze” there is a factory outlet for lace.
In the city centre you can find a typical German shopping mall (Stadt Galerie) with lots of shops.
On the Bahnhofstrasse and around the city hall you will find some smaller shops.
There are many Restaurants within the city. Some famous ones are:
- Manana. A very good restaurant in the city centre.
- Altes Handelshaus. Even the German chancellor has eaten here.
- [formerly dead link] Tennera. With some traditional food from the region.
- Heinrichs. In the old town hall.
- Haus Vogtland Syrau. Without car its not easy to get there because it is a bit outside of Plauen in Syrau. It's one of the best restaurants you can find with such a big menu that takes you half an hour to read through.
There are a lot of places to drink. Once you are in Plauen or in the Vogtland you should try the local beer called “Sternquell”.
Youth Hostels - HI Hostel:
- Jugendherberge Plauen, Neundorfer Straße 3 (in an old fire station in the centre), ☏ . You still get some feeling how it must be in an fire station.
- Hotel Alexandra. Located at a pedestrian zone on the Bahnhofstrasse from the main station to the city centre.
- Strassberger Tor.
Plauen is very safe in general. You can also walk around the city centre and most other parts late at night without having any worries. Simply enjoy the city.
Local telephone code is 03741.
- Tourist information, Unterer Graben 1, ☏ .
- Dresden, a beautiful old city in the east (approx. 1½ hours with car via Autobahn, or by train)
- Leipzig, an industrial centre and a cultural centre, offering interesting sights, shopping possibilities and lively nightlife (approx. 150 km via Autobahn or by train)
- Erzgebirge hiking and craftwork (Christmas)
- Vogtland — a hilly region south of Plauen with some small ski resorts and a ski jump in Klingenthal  [formerly dead link]
- Czech Republic — a 30-min ride by car from Plauen
- Talsperre Pöhl, is a dam 5 km east of Plauen. There are a lot of camping grounds and you can go swimming in summer. In the "Kletterwald" you can go climbing in a small forest between the trees.