Jena is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located on the river Saale, approximately 20 kilometers southwest of Leipzig, and is considered part of the central German Metropolitan Region. Jena is a university town and is home to the Friedrich Schiller University, the second oldest university in the state of Thuringia, as well as several other institutes of higher education. The city has a population of approximately 110,000 people. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, including the works of the famous German poets Goethe and Schiller, who both lived and worked in Jena. The city also has a long history of research and innovation, particularly in the field of optics, and is home to several major research institutions and companies in the field.
Things to do in Jena
- Visit the Goethe Tower, a lookout tower built in honor of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the famous German poet who lived in Jena.
- Explore the Jena Botanical Garden, which features over 13,000 different plant species from around the world.
- Take a stroll along the banks of the Saale River and admire the views of the city from the Jena Bridge.
- Visit the Ernst-Abbe-Platz, a square named after the scientist Ernst Abbe, known for making important contributions to the field of optics.
- See the works of famous German poets Goethe and Schiller at the Goethe-Schiller-Museum.
- Learn about the history of Jena at the Stadtmuseum Jena, which houses exhibits on the city’s past and present.
- Visit the JenTower, a modern skyscraper that offers panoramic views of the city.
- Discover the natural beauty of the Jenaer Wald (Jena Forest) with a hike or bike ride.
- Take a guided tour of the Jena University’s historic main building.
- Visit the Jena Planetarium and learn about astronomy and the night sky.
- See the impressive collection of art and artifacts at the Museum of Cultural History.
- Explore the Jena Zoo and learn about the various animals that call it home.
- Take a walk through the Jenaer Stadtgarten, a beautiful city park with a lake, playgrounds and a variety of plant species.
- Visit the Schillerhaus, the home of the famous German poet Friedrich Schiller, which now serves as a museum.
- Take a day trip to nearby Weimar, which is famous for its rich cultural heritage.
- Visit the Jena Museum of Archaeology and learn about the history of the area from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages.
- Go shopping and check out the local boutiques and shops in Jena’s city center.
- Visit the Botanical Garden Herbarium and see the variety of preserved plants.
- Take a guided tour of the city’s many churches, including the Stadtkirche St. Michael, which is one of the most important buildings in Jena.
- Go to the theater and see a performance at the Theater Jena, one of the most important theater companies in the region.
- Visit the Phyletisches Museum, one of the oldest anthropological and ethnographic museums in Germany, and a part of the Friedrich Schiller University. The museum features a large collection of fossils, ethnographic artefacts, and other specimens from around the world, as well as a research center for the study of human evolution.