Düben Heath Travel Guide: 11 Best Things To Do & SeeAll you need to know about Düben Heath Nature Park and the area in Saxony-Anhalt in Germany including what to do, where to stay and our best travel tips
Table of contents
- Why visit Düben Heath?
- Our time in Düben Heath and Saxony-Anhalt
- The 11 best things to do and see in and around Düben Heath in Saxony-Anhalt
- More things to do and see in Saxony-Anhalt
- Where to stay near Düben Heath
- How to get around Düben Heath
- How to get to Düben Heath
- When to visit Düben Heath
- What to bring to Düben Heath
- Minimise your impact
Why visit Düben Heath?
Düben Heath, also known as Dübener Heide in German, is a vast natural area located in the state of Saxony-Anhalt in the eastern part of Germany.
With its open spaces, picturesque meadows, enchanting forests and shimmering lakes, it’s a destination that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and diverse recreational activities.
Whether you enjoy being active by hiking or biking, Düben Heath offers a myriad of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts.
Extensive networks of well-marked trails traverse the region and they cater to all levels of fitness, offering the opportunity to spot wildlife as well as discover hidden gems and stunning viewpoints along the way.
History and healing water
Düben Heath is designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, highlighting its ecological value. We love areas like this where conservation efforts and sustainable practices make the ecosystems thrive – all while humans can enjoy it!
When you need a break from nature, there are lots of charming villages, ancient castles and historic landmarks to explore as well as spa towns with therapeutic natural springs for those seeking relaxation and wellness.
In this travel guide to Düben Heath, we share the best things to do and see in the German Naturpark Dübener Heide, where to stay, how to get around, when to visit, tips on what to bring and much more.
Our time in Düben Heath and Saxony-Anhalt
We were invited by Tysk Turist Information (the Danish branch of the German National Tourist Board) and spent 4 full days in Saxony-Anhalt at the end of May and the beginning of June.
The first two days were spent in and around Düben Heath where we enjoyed the calm nature, quiet lakes and beautiful park areas.
Afterwards, we drove south to Saale-Unstrut where the landscapes were more hilly (and characterised by Germany’s northernmost wine production).
Scroll a little further down in the guide to get to the best things to do and see in and around Düben Heath!
Düben Heath is known as Dübener Heide in German and it’s located in the eastern part of the region Saxony-Anhalt in the middle of Germany.
The 11 best things to do and see in and around Düben Heath in Saxony-Anhalt
Düben Heath (Dübener Heide in German) is a beloved natural area in Saxony-Anhalt which is known for high biodiversity and peaceful experiences in green environments.
In and around the Düben Heath Nature Park there are many great things to do for couples, solo travellers and families of all ages.
Get ready for the best things to do and see in the Düben Heath area!
- 1. Hiking in the Düben Heath Nature Park
- 2. Reinharz Castle
- 3. A beautiful view from Schöne Aussicht
- 4. Lutherstadt Wittenberg
- 5. The Wittenberg Castle Church
- 6. Wörlitz Palaces and Gardens and the 17 bridges
- 7. The Spa town Bad Schmiedeberg
- 8. Kurpark Pretzsch and the Pretzsch Castle
- 9. Pegelturm and Goitzsche Lake
- 10. Wildlife at Muldestausee
- 11. Holzskulpturenwiese Tornau
1. Hiking in the Düben Heath Nature Park
The best way to experience the Düben Heath is on foot.
We went on an 8.5-kilometre hike in the forest (this trip) where we met virtually no people along the paths.
Instead, we were almost overwhelmed by the birds chirping and the frogs croaking by the lakes.
Nature was really buzzing with life!
Unfortunately, we didn’t spot any larger animals but it was obvious that lots of insects and birds were thriving.
You probably have to be out at dawn or dusk to meet animals like beavers or otters who also call Düben Heath their home.
Düben Heath Nature Park is full of walking and cycling paths (many hundreds of kilometres in total!) that cross each other. Fortunately, all the routes are well-signed, so it is difficult to get lost.
2. Reinharz Castle
Halfway through our hike in the Düben Heath Nature Park, we started to catch a glimpse of a castle behind all the leaves and trees.
Reinharz Castle is located beautifully surrounded by water and just like in the rest of the Düben Heath, frogs, birds and insect life were really alive here.
3. A beautiful view from Schöne Aussicht
At the start of the hike we did in Düben Heath, there is a restaurant called Schöne Aussicht (directly translated: “beautiful view”). It has a tower from where you can look out over the treetops.
There is a 360-degree view from the tower and it’s just as interesting to look far towards the rivers and cities in the distance as it is to see the birdlife in the nearest treetops.
The entrance fee for the tower is 1 EUR per person (remember coins for the machine).
4. Lutherstadt Wittenberg
As the name suggests, the city of Lutherstadt Wittenberg is particularly known for its connection to one man – namely the German reformer, theologian and priest Martin Luther.
It’s a historically significant city that played a pivotal role in the Protestant Reformation.
But even if you are not interested in religion or history, Wittenberg is definitely worth a visit.
The historic city is charming with cobble-stoned streets and old buildings.
We had a delicious lunch and cake at VLORA Café vegan where it was also possible to sit outside in the cosy courtyard.
In the evening we ate yummy plant-based burgers at WittenBurger (including way too many sweet potato fries).
5. The Wittenberg Castle Church
As the birthplace of the Reformation, Lutherstadt Wittenberg holds immense cultural and historical importance.
Not surprisingly, one of the most famous attractions in the city is the Wittenberg Castle Church (also known as All Saints’ Church or in German, Schlosskirche).
This is where theologian Martin Luther published his 95 Theses on the door, challenging the practices of the Catholic Church.
That’s what initiated the Protestant Reformation in 1517 and it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
6. Wörlitz Palaces and Gardens and the 17 bridges
Wörlitz Park (called Wörlitzer Park in German) is a part of the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz (Gartenreich Dessau-Wörlitz) and the 112.5-hectare Wörlitz Park is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s not difficult to understand why.
Wörlitz Palaces and Gardens is one of the first and largest English parks in Germany – and in all of continental Europe, in fact.
The park was established in the late 1800s by Prince Leopold the 3rd who was a great supporter of the ideals of the Enlightenment.
All bridges (17 in total!) are individually designed and each has its own charm. They connect the small islands, which also each offer different experiences.
We were particularly fond of the many free-roaming peacocks, the Temple of Venus and the Wörlitz Castle.
Remember coins to pay for the “ferry crossings”, which cost 1 euro coin per person. We spent 2 euros per person (4 euros in total) on a large tour around the park.
7. The Spa town Bad Schmiedeberg
Bad Schmiedeberg is located right on the edge of the Düben Heath and is known as a spa town where you can improve your health with the help of the healing local water, mud and special therapy techniques.
We went for a walk in Kurpark Bad Schmiedeberg where the flowers were in full bloom and the well-marked paths made for thoughtful walks.
8. Kurpark Pretzsch and the Pretzsch Castle
Like the Kurpark Bad Schmiedeberg, the Kurpark Pretzsch and the Pretzsch Castle dating back from the Renaissance are also worth a visit when you are in the area. It’s only a short 10-minute drive between the towns.
The park is idyllically located between the running water of the Elbe and the endless forests of the Düben Heath.
It’s one of Saxony-Anhalt’s 50 most beautiful historic parks and gardens.
9. Pegelturm and Goitzsche Lake
Goitzsche Lake (Goitzschesee in German) is a former mine that has been flooded and today it is widely used as an excursion destination for sailors, swimmers, cyclists and runners.
We enjoyed the view from the 26-metre-high tower known as Pegelturm from which you can see far in all directions. The tower is free to visit.
On warm days, the bank by the tower is a lovely place for sunbathing and swimming for locals and tourists alike.
10. Wildlife at Muldestausee
At the outer edge of the Düben Heath lies Lake Muldestausee, which, like Lake Goitzsche, was created by the flooding of a former mining area.
Today, there’s an abundance of animal and plant life.
The lake is home to several rare and endangered species which you can learn about, among other things, at the information and education centre Haus am See (house by the lake).
It is possible to walk along the entire northeastern half of the lake.
11. Holzskulpturenwiese Tornau
In the mid-1990s, the Düben Heath artist Köppe held a series of workshops focusing on wood sculptures – and every year on the last weekend in July there’s an international wood sculpture competition which translates into “art with chainsaws”.
The results can be seen in the meadow filled with wooden sculptures with very different expressions.
More things to do and see in Saxony-Anhalt
Düben Heath is a part of the German region Saxony-Anhalt which is quite large and has a lot to offer.
Here are some of the additional cities and sights that are worth visiting when planning your trip to Düben Heath and Saxony-Anhalt.
After we visited Düben Heath, we also visited the wine region Saale-Unstrut in the southern part of Saxony-Anhalt.
Even if you don’t like wine (we aren’t huge wine drinkers, to be honest), there are many cool things to do – including spotting wild horses!
Saxony-Anhalt’s capital and second-largest city, Magdeburg, lies beautifully on the Elbe River.
Here you can, among other things, experience the first Gothic cathedral in Germany (which is also one of the largest churches in the country), the eye-catching building Grüne Zitadelle (the Green Citadel), museums, parks and the old market square with The Magdeburg Rider and the old town hall.
In Saxony-Anhalt’s largest city Halle there are similar sights including the beautiful Marktkirche (market church) from the 16th century, the 84-metre high, free-standing Red Tower in the marketplace, a special Renaissance cemetery and a Beatles museum.
The eastern Harz Mountains
Technically, the Harz Mountains in Central Germany span over three German states: Lower Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt.
A large part of the eastern Harz lies in western Saxony-Anhalt and whether you are into historic and romantic cities or wild nature, there’s something for everyone here.
We have been there twice so far and loved it; once in autumn weather in November and once in sunny weather in June.
Here are some of our favourite things to do in the eastern Harz Mountains:
- The rock formations along the Teufelsmauer (The Devil’s Wall) are some of the best natural sights in the Harz Mountains in our opinion. The Teufelsmauer hiking trail is 35 kilometres long and along the way, you encounter several unique rock formations, most of which can also be reached individually.
- The suspension bridge Titan-RT is also located in Saxony-Anhalt. The 458-metre-long bridge hangs 100 metres above the water and there are great views from both the bridge and in the area.
- Brocken (sometimes referred to as Bloksberg) is the highest mountain in the Harz region and in Northern Germany with its 1,141 metres and it’s also within the borders of Saxony-Anhalt.
- Quedlinburg and Wernigerode are two charming cities well worth mentioning, too.
- The old medieval town of Quedlinburg is proclaimed as one of Germany’s most beautiful cities and you understand why when you experience the more than 2,000 half-timbered houses along the cobbled streets. Also, remember to visit Schlossberg (the Castle Hill) and enjoy the view over the roofs.
- There are also plenty of half-timbered houses in Wernigerode. The town is especially known for the fairytale-like Wernigerode Castle (Wernigeröder Schloss) and for the station from where the old steam train that takes you all the way to the top of Brocken departs.
- If you are particularly interested in Luther, we can recommend that you visit Martin Luther’s birthplace Lutherstadt Eisleben.
Where to stay near Düben Heath
If you would like to visit Düben Heath Nature Park and the attractions in the area, we recommend that you find accommodation in Wittenberg.
Here, you will find some of the best hotels near Dübener Heide.
The lovely town is definitely worth a visit in itself and it is well-located in relation to the rest of the area which is easy to reach either by car or public transport.
There is a good selection of restaurants in Wittenberg, too.
Soibelmanns Lutherstadt Wittenberg (Best Western)
The 4-star Best Western hotel lies centrally in Wittenberg’s old town right next to the Luther house and the hotel boasts a restaurant, spa with sauna and meeting facilities.
The rooms all have free Wi-Fi, a TV, a minibar, hypoallergenic bedding and private bathrooms.
Brauhaus Wittenberg is a cosy 3-star hotel which is actually an old brewery that has been converted into tourist accommodation.
There is a cosy courtyard, daily cleaning, a restaurant with bar, a reception and in the rooms you will have free Wi-Fi, TV and a private bathroom.
The location is right in the middle of the old town in Wittenberg, so it doesn’t get much better.
Hotel & Restaurant Gasthaus Zum Anker
We personally stayed at Hotel & Restaurant Gasthaus Zum Anker which is located a few kilometres east of Wittenberg directly next to the Elbe.
Here, we enjoyed evening walks along the river and home-baked buns for breakfast.
How to get around Düben Heath
We got around Düben Heath and Saxony-Anhalt by car and it was super convenient to be able to drive to all the attractions and sights.
Parking is generally free and easy to find. However, in some towns, there is paid parking in and near the city centres so remember to always bring euro coins for the machines as credit cards aren’t accepted everywhere.
By public transport
We didn’t use public transportation in Saxony-Anhalt ourselves but it should certainly be possible to get almost anywhere with a combination of local trains and buses.
How to get to Düben Heath
It’s generally easy to reach Germany by car from other countries in Europe as there are lots of motorways connected to neighbouring countries.
As soon as you are in Germany, you can get to Düben Heath and Saxony-Anhalt via Germany’s famous autobahn (motorway).
Be aware that cars on the autobahn generally drive fast – and by fast, we mean up to 200 km/h!
There are several sections with no speed limit at all so it’s important to look thoroughly in the rearview mirror and side mirror before changing lanes and overtaking.
To get to Saxony-Anhalt in central Germany by plane, you can fly to either Berlin, Hannover, Leipzig or Dresden and take a train or rent a car from there.
Use our adlink below to find the cheapest tickets:
The train network in Germany is large, relatively cheap and very reliable.
There are many connections between most major cities and from there, there are usually connecting trains to smaller towns.
To get to Saxony-Anhalt, you can, for example, take the train to Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Magdeburg, Halle or Naumburg. Leipzig is just on the other side of the state border but can also be a good starting point for trips or further journeys in the region.
We have previously used the Deutsche Bahn website to order train tickets.
When to visit Düben Heath
There is really no bad time to visit Düben Heath and the state of Saxony-Anhalt, although there are, of course, noticeable differences between the seasons.
Like almost all tourist destinations in the world, it’s smart to plan your trip around the most common holidays and instead visit in shoulder periods (if that’s a possibility for you).
That way you can avoid the biggest crowds and generally get cheaper accommodation and save on car rentals.
If it’s not possible to travel outside the holidays, fortunately, Düben Heath (and Saxony-Anhalt) is large and doesn’t really get crowded.
Spring is a beautiful time to visit Düben Heath and Saxony-Anhalt with relatively warm weather, rushing rivers and blooming flowers. Our visit to the region was from the end of May to the beginning of June.
Summer is of course the hottest season. There are lots of outdoor activities and the sun is usually shining from early morning until very late in the evening. The summer holidays in Germany are spread out between mid-June and mid-September.
Fall is a wonderful time to visit Saxony-Anhalt. The autumn colours paint the landscapes in shades of yellow, orange and red, and if you’re lucky, it can still be relatively warm in Central Germany.
Winter is generally cold but it is popular to visit Saxony-Anhalt for winter sports. Especially around Christmas and New Year, people flock to the mountains in western Saxony-Anhalt (part of the Harz Mountains) to try their hand at skiing, snowshoeing and other winter activities.
What to bring to Düben Heath
- Travel insurance (adlink). Never travel without it!
- A good camera – here’s a guide to the gear we use.
- Sunscreen (adlink). Especially if you visit Düben Heath in the summer. We recommend that you use an organic, vegan sunscreen without oxybenzone and other harmful chemicals.
- Hiking shoes, sneakers or other shoes you can walk in comfortably.
- Swimwear and a towel if you plan to swim in the summer or if you are staying at a hotel with a spa area.
- A refillable water bottle and snacks. You can drink the tap water in Germany.
- Cash for parking and other small purchases, especially 1 and 2-euro coins. Not all places in Germany accept credit cards.
Minimise your impact
To travel as sustainably as possible, we recommend the following:
- Bring your own drinking water in a refillable bottle.
- Avoid single-use plastics, including straws.
- Dispose of waste properly and do not throw it on the ground.
- Take only photos, leave only footprints. Let everything stay in its natural place.
- Be considerate of other visitors.
- Respect wildlife.
What do you think of Düben Heath?
Thanks for reading our take on the best things to do in Dübener Heide! We hope this travel guide to Düben Heath in Saxony-Anhalt has been useful.
What do you think of the nature park and the surrounding towns?
If you have been to Düben Heath or Saxony-Anhalt, it would be great to hear about your best experiences.
And if you haven’t been there yet, don’t hesitate to ask us anything in the comments. We are happy to help!