10 reasons to visit the Harz Mountains

Experience the Harz: where nature, history, art and culture can easily be discovered on hiking trails by foot or bike during your holiday in the Harz Mountains.

1. UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Ancient medieval towns

Altstadt Goslar (Foto: Stefan Schiefer)

Quedlinburg the first capital of Germany with its preserved 1300 half-timber frame buildings and the mineral rich imperial city of Goslar are both extraordinary examples of medieval towns.

2. Cathedral treasures of Quedlinburg and Halberstadt

Domplatz mit Dom und Liebfrauenkirche in Halberstadt (Foto: Halberstadt Information)

The Collegiate Church St. Servatii is the symbol of Quedlinburg and part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The cathedral treasury is a landmark of medieval religious art.

With more than 650 objects, the cathedral treasure of Halberstadt is one of the largest medieval church treasures in the world. Beautiful ecclesiastical attire, altar paintings and works of gold and bronze. A highlight is the Abraham-Angel-carpet from the period around 1150.

3. Wernigerode

High above the town is enthroned the Castle of the Counts of Stolberg-Wernigerode. Wernigerode is also the start and end of the narrow-gauge steam train to the Brocken. The town hall on the market is one of the finest in Germany. Directly behind the town hall, in the oldest part of the city you can find the St. Sylvestri church with a medieval altar of the Belgian master Arnold.

4. UNESCO World Heritage site: Rammelsberg Mine

The Rammelsberg Mine is a unique monument to the history of mining. It is the only mine in the world that can demonstrate over 1000 years of consistent ore mining.

5. Winter Fun

With the first snow fall the Harz transform into a winter wonderland. Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, sledging, tubing, horse drawn carriage and ice skating both in ice rinks and on natural frozen lakes await you. And when you need to warm up the hot spas, mulled wine and open fires will melt your hearts.

6. Nature

Discover the legendary mountain wilderness that is home to both nature and legends. Rugged granite cliffs, mountain spruce trees, misty moors and babbling brook valleys combine to create a unique landscape.

7. UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Upper Harz Water Management System

The Upper Harz mining water management system is the most important historic structure of dams, reservoirs, ponds and ditches in the world and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in August 2010. 

8. Brocken

With around 1141 meter the Brocken is the highest mountain in northern Germany. Famous German poets like Goethe and Heine were inspired by the magic all around the mountain. Even today the Brocken is a popular destination during a holiday in the Harz Mountains. You can hike on the many footpaths, from Schierke, Ilsenburg or Torfhaus or you can take the steam train of the Harz Schmalspurbahnen to the Brocken.

9. Green Belt - from death strip to life line

Das Grüne Band (Foto: Klaus Leidorf)

Discover the former border between East and West Germany. The former Iron Curtain that once divided Europe for almost 40 years and lethal to humans became a blessing for nature as endangered animals and plants found a home in the shadow of the border.

10. The Harz Narrow Gauge Railways

Experience the thrill and nostalgia of bygone times as you ride these impressive steam locomotives across the beautiful picturesque landscape of the Harz Mountains.