In the winter, the Thüringen Forest is a prime destination for winter sports fans. Hiking trails and cross country loipes wind through this mid-altitude mountain range. Picturesque cities and regional culinary specialties like roast bratwurst and potato dumplings also beckon.
The climatic spa town Oberhof is the best-known winter sports center in the Thüringen Forest. Here, world cups in biathlon, bobsled, and cross country skiing are held. And that draws vacationers and leisure athletes to the slopes, as well. Biathlon courses for amateurs are especially popular.
In the wildly romantic Schwarza Valley, tourists can sign up for courses turning them into expert gold panners. The funicular railway in Oberweissbach is an engineering marvel built in 1923. With a 25 percent grade, it is the steepest cable railway in the world.
The royal residence city of Meiningen fascinates with its picturesque half-timbered houses, the splendid castle Schloss Elisabethenburg, and a theater with a proud history. Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, instituted theater reforms in the 19th century that inspired theaters all over Europe.