The small city of Erfurt, Thuringia's capital city, is one of the most attractive in eastern Germany. Spared massive destruction during World War II, it has experienced a lot of revitalization since reunification.

Two Gothic churches grace Domplatz: Mariendom and Severikirche. Visitors should visit the unique Kramerbrucke, or Merchants' Bridge, a Renaissance-era bridge made up of centuries-old shops and homes, spanning the Gera River. The St. Augustine monastery was the home of young Martin Luther when he was a monk.

Also visit the Anger, a pedestrian street lined with restored Renaissance homes. But the best part of a visit to Erfurt is a chance to just stroll the streets, soaking up the atmosphere.

Erfurt fetes Luther during its annual Martinstag celebrations with an open-air service in the Cathedral Square every 11 November. Thousands of people typically attend the service and dine on traditional dishes, including Thuringian goose and Martinshoernchen pastry.

We suggest a minimum of a full day and one night in Erfurt, more if you're going to explore the area. The city lies 188 mi/303 km southwest of Berlin.

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