Goslar: your new favourite German town

Posted by on 17 Nov, 2014 in Blog, Germany | 6 comments

Back in August, I spent a few days in the Harz region, exploring its UNESCO World Heritage sites and seeing what the area had to offer.

All in all, I visited four towns in the region, but one town in particular stood out as being perfect for a weekend trip: Goslar.

A beautiful, historic and charming little town in the heart of the Harz, Goslar easily has the best options for a weekend break – and so I’ve taken it upon myself to plan just that.

Day one

Goslar old town

The half-timbered houses of Goslar

The half-timbered houses of Goslar

After arriving in Goslar, I would spend the majority of the day meandering through the picturesque old town, which just so happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage site (you might notice a theme emerging here…).

The half-timbered houses of Goslar

The half-timbered houses of Goslar

Almost an entire day might seem a lot for a fairly small town, but it takes a very long time to get bored of the leaning timber-frame buildings and cobble-stone streets – trust me.

Goslar on a sunny afternoon

Goslar on a sunny afternoon

And I have to say – Goslar is one of the most picture-perfect places I’ve ever visited.

Among the sights of the old town are the Goslar Museum (which unfortunately we didn’t have time for) and the animated clock on the Marktplatz (which you need a surprising amount of time for). There’s also a statue of a boy shitting coins – a must for any weekend break.

The beginning of the animated clock routine

The beginning of the animated clock routine

The looming Kaiserpfalz is meant to be worth checking out, too.

Day two

The mines of Rammelsberg

Into the Rammelsberg mine - a UNESCO world heritage site

Into the Rammelsberg mine – a UNESCO world heritage site

The history of Goslar is inextricably linked with mining, so it would be blasphemy to visit the town without heading to the Rammelsberg mines (which also have UNESCO status…).

When the mines closed in 1988, they had been operational for 1,020 consecutive years. Not too shabby, eh? Today the mines make up a huge museum complex, where you can take a guided tour underground – just as famous Germans over the centuries used to do.

The complex above ground

The complex above ground

We took a terrifying rusty yellow train into the heart of the mountain for our tour (the authentic experience, apparently), which examined how mining tools had developed during the time the mine was in use. We also saw the colossal water wheels constructed inside the mine which powered machinery.

Even with no particular interest in industrial history, the mines were pretty fascinating and well worth the trip.

Steinberg Alm zum Rösner

The ideal way to round off a visit to Goslar is a meal at Steinberg Alm. Being a devout non-foodie, I don’t normally recommend restaurants, but Steinberg Alm is located on the Steinberg mountain, high above Goslar and has fantastic views over the Harz region. It also serves up some tasty German grub.

View of Goslar from Steinberg Alm

View of Goslar from Steinberg Alm

Day trip options

Whenever I do a city break, I always like to try and fit in a day trip to another place to see a little more of the surrounding area – and one of the things that makes Goslar a great town to visit is its proximity to other sites.

Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg

Another ridiculously beautiful town, Quedlinburg is an hour from Goslar by bus – and is another potential contender for the title of Germany’s most beautiful town. The old town also has UNESCO status, but its buildings are different from those in Goslar – they are far more colourful, some are far older and even the shape of the roofs is different as the town receives far less rain than Goslar.

No trip to Quedlinburg is complete without a trip to Schlossberg (Castle Hill), which dominates the landscape.

Hiking trails

The Witches' Trail (Credit: Harzer Tourismusverband)

The Witches’ Trail (Credit: Harzer Tourismusverband)

As the Harz is an important region for hiking and nature trails, you don’t have to look hard outside Goslar to find some good walking routes. The Harzer Hexenstieg or ‘Witches’ Trail’ is one of Germany’s most well known hiking trails and includes the Brocken – the highest peak in the Harz mountains. It is just under 100km long, though – so probably best to just tackle a bit…

To read more about the Harz region, click here. Or click here for more photos.

How to get there
Hannover Airport is 1hr 31mins from Goslar by train. Flybe flies from Manchester and Birmingham, while Germanwings flies from Stansted.

Disclaimer: I visited the Harz region as a guest of Harz Tourism. However, the views and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

 

6 Comments

  1. ‘There’s also a statue of a boy shitting coins – a must for any weekend break.’ – this should be in tourism brochures!

  2. Beautiful pictures, John! You’ve convinced me to add it on my list 😉

  3. Total German cuteness. All I need is a cute knight on a noble steed and you’ve got a making of a fairy tale!

    • It really does look like it’s straight out of a fairytale, doesn’t it?

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