10 Amazing Things to Do in Wittenberg Germany

Nestled along the enchanting banks of the Elbe River, in the heart of Germany, lies a town that exudes history, culture, and an undeniable charm.

It’s Wittenberg Germany! The Lutherstadt Wittenberg with its cobbled streets and well-preserved medieval architecture, is a place where time itself seems to slow down. It invites you to step back into a world where Martin Luther once walked, igniting a reformation that would change the course of history.

History buffs, seekers of off-the-beaten-path, and faith and religious travellers will find this town a real gem to visit. I know I did! I took a quick train ride from Berlin and in less than an hour I found myself in the most wonderful place. Castle, churches, and colourful medieval buildings all within a charming Altstadt.

Join me as I share the top Wittenberg things to do! Trust me, it’s nothing short of extraordinary delight.

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Is Wittenberg Germany Worth Visiting?

tall white stone building as wittenberg things to do

Absolutely, visiting Wittenberg is worth it!

While most travellers might have never heard of this picturesque town, or overlook it in favour of more well-known destinations, that would be a mistake.

Wittenberg is exactly the kind of town I seek out when travelling. It’s quiet, non-touristy and offers a more intimate and immersive experience.

Here, history unfolds before your very eyes as you wander along the cobblestone streets that Luther himself walked. Even if you are not a religious or history fanatic, it’s a cute town oozing with charm.

white building sitting on public square as things to do in wittenberg germany

It offers cozy cafes, lovely shops, an impressive square and buildings and is surrounded by beautiful green spaces.

Visiting Wittenberg is like stepping into a living storybook, where every colourful building exudes character. There is a tiny stream running along the street that adds to its peacefulness.

So, if you’re looking for an easy day trip by train from Berlin that offers history, culture, and an authentic German experience, Wittenberg is an absolute must-visit.

History of Lutherstadt Wittenberg

church with window and stone statues as one of the things to do in wittenberg germany

Before going to Germany’s Wittenberg I didn’t know too much about its history.

The main reason I added it to my list of day trips from Berlin was its UNESCO status. It was added to the UNESCO Heritage list for Germany due to the birthplace of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.

Once I arrived and learned more from the Tourism Office on what to do in Wittenberg Germany. That’s when I learned more about how this humble town played a pivotal role in shaping the course of Christianity and Western thought.

So here’s what I learned.

castle, church and tower as things to do in wittenberg germany

It was here, in 1517, that Martin Luther boldly posted his 95 Theses on the doors of All Saints’ Church (Schlosskirche), sparking the Protestant Reformation. As you stand before this historic church today, you’ll find it adorned with doors made of bronze, each inscribed with Luther’s theses—an artistic tribute to the birth of a new religious era.

But Wittenberg’s historical stories are more than just Luther’s legacy.

The town boasts a rich heritage, reflected in its well-preserved medieval architecture which I adore. And, it once served as a vibrant center of learning and culture during the Renaissance. The renowned Wittenberg University, founded in 1502, attracted luminaries like Philipp Melanchthon and Lucas Cranach the Elder, whose contributions to art and scholarship continue to leave their mark.

Walking through the town’s streets, you’ll notice plaques with names and dates of those dedicated to Luther and his contemporaries, so many that it makes the curious traveller left wanting to know more about the impact of their ideas throughout history.

10 Things to Do in Wittenberg Germany

building with turnet on square as wittenberg things to do

The best thing to do in Wittenberg is simply to wander the Old Town. Walk up Collegienstraße and then return on Jüdenstraße. Be curious, walk into tunnels between the buildings as there are some surprises you’ll find.

This list of 10 things to do can all be found in the Altstadt. Happy exploring!

1. All Saints’ Church (Schlosskirche) + Wittenberg Castle (Schloss Wittenberg) + Wittenberg Tower

church with tall stained glass windows on square  as one of the things to do in wittenberg germany

Let’s start with the most famous and must-see site – the Wittenberg Castle Church and Tower. Designated a Germany UNESCO World Heritage site, this is an all-in-one attraction that sits on the edge of Wittenberg’s Altstadt.

Pay homage to history by visiting the church where Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses. Don’t miss the iconic doors with Luther’s theses engraved in bronze. And, it is now his final resting place in this early 1500s Gothic church.

The 15th-century castle underwent a complete restoration and now houses a permanent collection of Christian art.

Lastly, is the stately castle tower which dominates the skyline of this gorgeous town. The best part is you can claim the 299 steps (yes, I counted) to admire the views of the surrounding countryside and Altstadt.

[Insider’s tip: if you are expecting to get great photos with a DSLR camera, don’t be. There is black netting that blocks your camera lens. Your phone camera lens is small enough to sneak through.]

  • 📍Schloßpl. 1, 06886 Lutherstadt Wittenberg
  • 🕝 Monday to Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 11:30 AM – 5 pm
  • 🎟️ Prices vary from €3 to €10.50
  • I recommend checking the website💻Wittenberg Castle Church, Castle & Tower for the exact times and costs as the church, castle and tower have different opening times and prices.

2. Luther Garden (Luthergarten)

garden with pink roses, trees in what to do in wittenberg germany

From the Wittenberg Tower, I spotted a beautiful garden that I needed to explore. Around the back of the castle lies the Luther garden with trees and plants from around the world. They are meant to symbolize global unity and the spread of Luther’s ideas.

It’s a peaceful spot with winding walking trails and benches to give your feet a rest.

3. Cranach Courtyard (Cranach-Hof)

cobblestone courtyard with fountain, tree, timber frame buildings as one of things to see in wittenberg germany

Wander through the courtyard where Lucas Cranach the Elder, a renowned painter of the Renaissance, had his workshop. Visit the museum dedicated to his art.

The Cranach house is a secret little spot if you didn’t know about this courtyard you are likely to miss it. It’s quiet and a great spot for photos of the half-timber framed houses. There is also a small cafe in the courtyard but was closed the day I was visiting.

📍Schloß Str. 1 Insider’s tip: this is a courtyard that is accessed through the tunnel

4. Wittenberg Market Square (Wittenberger Marktplatz)

buildings on public square with church tower as one of the things to see in wittenberg germany

The heart of Wittenberg! This attractive square is surrounded by colourful historical buildings. There’s an impressive Rathaus or Town Hall, Clack Theatre, and Science Center museum.

You’ll also notice two bronze statues: a dedication to Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon (a close partner to Luther in the Reformation).

Enjoy local cafes and shops, and take in the atmosphere. This is a great spot for photos, including in front of the Wittenberger Weltkugel, which is a mirrored ball reflecting the buildings around the square.

5. St. Mary’s Church (Stadtkirche St. Marien)

green church pews with arched ceiling in wittenberg germany

Admire the stunning architecture of this church where Martin Luther preached. It is known as the oldest building in Wittenberg and this UNESCO-listed site is referred to as the “Mother Church of the Reformation”.

I especially loved walking the perimeter of the church as it acts like a secret little courtyard (called Kirchplatz) as it’s tucked behind the town’s buildings.

It’s also here that you will find the Chapel of the Holy Corpse (or Fronleichnamkapelle), donated in 1368, to serve as a cemetery chapel.

  • 📍Kirchpl. 2
  • 🕝 Monday to Saturday 11 AM – 5 PM, closed on Mondays (or if you’re lucky like me, I was able to go inside)
  • 🎟️ €2 | Public tours are held every Friday and Saturday at 2 PM

6. Holzmarkt

cafe with fountain and red umbrellas in wittenberg germany

A charming little public square and fountain that leads you to Kirchplatz and St Mary’s Church. It’s the perfect spot to grab something to eat or drink. Choose from a cafe, gelato shop or restaurant and relax.

📍Collegienstraße, 11

7. Wittenberg University

stone building with archway on things to do in wittenberg germany

Visit the modern-day university founded in 1502, which played a vital role in the Renaissance and the development of Protestant theology.

I visited the courtyard only and found it interesting to see a timeline of universities in Europe. Although Wittenberg University isn’t the oldest, it is close to it.

📍Collegienstraße 62

8. Melanchthon House

tall stone building with windows as one of the things to see in wittenberg germany

Explore the home of Philipp Melanchthon, a close friend of Luther and an important figure in the Reformation. The museum showcases his life and works.

  • 📍Collegienstraße 60
  • 🕝 Monday to Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM, Closed Wednesdays
  • 🎟️ €5
  • 💻 Melanchthon House

9. Luther House (Lutherhaus)

large tower and building in wittenberg germany

Step into Luther’s world by touring his former residence, which is now a museum filled with artifacts and exhibits related to his life and the Reformation. It’s considered the largest Reformation history museum in the world.

In the courtyard of the Luther House, the “Swords into Plowshares” monument symbolizes the goal of international peace and the bronze statue of Katharina von Bora. This is free and accessible to visit.

  • 📍Collegienstraße 54
  • 🕝 Monday to Sunday 9 AM – 6 PM
  • 🎟️ €6 [Insider’s tip: current renovations of the museum means it is partially closed and will be closed permanently on October 31, 2023, for 1.5 years]
  • 💻Luther House

10. Bunkerberg

trees, park with church in Wittenberg things to do

The last thing I did was visit Bunkerberg, which is a small hill with several vistas. It was a former above-ground bunker from the Second World War. Now it features a lovely treed park in front of Luther House with walkways leading to various cool reflective surface vistas that offer views of the surrounding area.

What to Do in Wittenberg Germany (that I didn’t)

green tourist train as one of the things to do in wittenberg germany

I spent the day in Wittenberg and it was enough time to see and do everything on my list of 10 things to see in Wittenberg Germany. But what I didn’t have time for, or wasn’t of interest to me was the following:

  1. Panorama LUTHER 1517 – offers an immersive experience called “Wittenberg in Reformation times” which runs until October 2024
  2. Tourist train that goes through the Altstadt (leaves from Wittenberg Tourism Office)
  3. Wittenberg Zoo – founded in 1928
  4. Elbe River and Elbe Bridge – a scenic spot for walking trails

From Berlin to Wittenberg

street art on side of building on wittenberg things to do

Where is Wittenberg Germany

Wittenberg Germany is approximately 90 km (56 miles) southwest of Berlin. It falls within the state of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany and is almost smack dab in the middle of Berlin and Leipiz.

Berlin to Wittenberg

The most convenient way to reach Wittenberg from Berlin is by train. With regular services departing from Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof (central train station). The journey takes less than an hour. My train ticket cost me €19.80.

When you arrive at Wittenberg train station exit left opposite the car park. Simply follow the footpath for about 15 minutes until you reach the Altstadt of Wittenberg. You could also take the city bus, but I chose to walk.

If you prefer the flexibility of a road trip, you can also reach Wittenberg by car, following the A9 Autobahn, and arriving in just over an hour.

More Day Trips

After you’ve explored the top attractions in Berlin- like the vibrant energy of Alexanderplatz, the artistic expressions found at the East Side Gallery, the fun weekend flea markets and the impressive Unter den Linden boulevard- it’s time to explore beyond Berlin.

  • Potsdam, where you can explore opulent palaces, enchanting gardens, and the historical significance of this UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Quedlinburg is a town frozen in the Middle Ages with cobblestone streets and over 2,000 half-timbered houses.
  • Leipzig, boasts a rich cultural scene, with connections to famous figures like Bach and Goethe.

As a Holidaymaker

Wittenberg is one of nine UNESCO gems as part of my curated road trip, starting and ending in Berlin. Be sure to give it a read!