Explore Erlangen

A university city with a vibrant cultural scene.

About Erlangen

Erlangen, a vibrant city in Bavaria, Germany, is best known for its rich academic heritage, picturesque parks, and as a significant hub for science and technology. Home to the Friedrich-Alexander University, one of the largest universities in Bavaria, Erlangen boasts a lively student population that adds a youthful energy to the city. This academic influence is complemented by a strong partnership with Siemens AG, which has propelled Erlangen to the forefront of technological innovation in Germany.

The city's layout, characterized by Baroque architecture, owes much to its history as a planned city established in the 17th century under the reign of Margrave Christian Ernst of Brandenburg-Bayreuth. The Huguenots, French Protestant refugees, significantly influenced the cultural and social life of Erlangen when they were invited to settle here by the Margrave. This blend of architectural styles and cultural influences can be seen throughout the city, particularly in the charming and expansive Schlossgarten, the gardens surrounding the Erlangen Palace, which now houses university administration but was once the residence of the margraves.

Erlangen's cultural scene is vibrant, featuring numerous theaters, galleries, and museums that cater to a wide range of tastes. The Kunstpalais Erlangen, for example, is a contemporary art museum with rotating exhibitions that focus on modern art in various media. Additionally, the city hosts several festivals throughout the year, the most famous being the Erlangen Bergkirchweih. This festival, known locally as the "Berch," is one of the oldest and third largest beer festivals in Germany, drawing visitors from all over to enjoy the festive atmosphere, traditional foods, and excellent Franconian beer.

The city is also a green oasis, with numerous parks and gardens that provide a peaceful retreat from the urban environment. The Botanical Garden, affiliated with the university, is a beautiful place to learn about different plant species or simply relax in a serene setting. Erlangen's commitment to environmental sustainability is evident in its extensive network of bike paths, making cycling a preferred mode of transport among residents and visitors alike, enhancing the city’s friendly and accessible atmosphere.

For those interested in day trips and exploring beyond the city, Erlangen's location makes it an excellent base for visiting other parts of Bavaria, including Nuremberg, just 20 kilometers away, with its rich medieval history, and Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its well-preserved old town and unique smoked beer. Whether it's delving into the dynamic academic life, enjoying the lush green spaces, or engaging in the lively local festivals, Erlangen offers a diverse and enriching experience that makes it a unique destination in Germany.

Top Attractions in Erlangen