The city of Magdeburg has a lot to offer. The cathedral, with its famous church tower, is one of the top 30 tallest church buildings in Germany. Hundertwasser’s colorful house is also a highlight. Another highlight is the bizarre millennium tower. Here are top 10 things to do in Magdeburg.
List of Top 10 things to do in Magdeburg
1. Magdeburg Cathedral “St. Mauritius and St. Catherine’
The tallest structure in Magdeburg is the Gothic Cathedral of St. Mauritius and St. Catherine, which makes it one of my top places to see. The city’s largest building – the Cathedral – was built in the Gothic style, which was new at the time.
Above the roofs of Magdeburg
It is not the tallest church in Germany. Nevertheless, with its 104 meters high, it is an impressive church building. At 81.5 meters there is a viewing platform in the north tower that can be visited.
Cathedral tower tour: The North Tower can be climbed for 6 euros between April and October on Fridays at 4 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 12 p.m. Tickets can only be purchased in advance at the ticket counter in the cathedral. Group size is limited – maximum 20 people.
You can even take “Cathedral Tower Tour” literally
During the ascent, stops are made from time to time. This is not only pleasant because you can catch your breath. You will also receive interesting information about the history of the cathedral and the city of Magdeburg.
After a total of 433 steps you have a fantastic view over Magdeburg, the Elbe and the region from above.
But the interior of the Magdeburg Cathedral is also worthwhile. In addition to the impressive architecture made of marble and granite, you can also see the stone sarcophagus in which the remains of Emperor Otto lie. Incidentally, the origins of the Magdeburg Cathedral go back to the year 1207.
Note: In order to be able to take photos in the cathedral, it is necessary to purchase a photo permit for 2 euros. No joke.
Admission cathedral: free
Duration of stay in the cathedral: 1 hour (without a guided tour or ascent of the cathedral)
2. The Hundertwasser House in Magdeburg – The Green Citadel
The Hundertwasser House is a famous piece of architecture in Magdeburg. It’s also called the “Green Citadel”. The house was built in the 1980s by Friedensreich Hundertwasser and is covered with green and brown tiles.
This colorful and asymmetrical building is one of my favorite structures in the world. Hundertwasser designed it to stand out among the other buildings on this street. It’s a unique oasis of humanity in a sea of rational houses. The building was commissioned by the city, but Hundertwasser chose the design himself. It’s the largest structure that he ever built.
The imaginative artist did an excellent job with the building of Hundertwasser House that was inaugurated in 2005. In addition to rental apartments, the Hundertwasserhaus also has shops, restaurants and cafés as well as a small design hotel.
Length of stay: 30 minutes
3. Millenium tower in Elbauenpark
You can rent an eBike to get to the nearest sights in Magdeburg. The next highlight of my stay in Magdeburg is the millennium tower in Elbauenpark. You drive about 15 minutes along the promenade of the Elbe until you arrive at the Elbauenpark.
You could see the 60 meter high millennium tower in the Elbauenpark from afar. At this height, it is the largest wooden structure of its kind in the world.
There are two ways to reach the top: As a visitor, you can either climb the outer ramp. It slowly winds its way up the tower. You can choose the way through the tower.
Because the millennium tower in the Elbauenpark houses an exhibition on several levels inside. Here you can discover more than 6,000 years of human history of science and technology.
Once at the top, You will enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of the Elbauenpark from the viewing platform. In good weather you can see far into the region.
Admission: 6 euros
Length of stay: 1.5 to 2 hours
4. Gruson Greenhouses
An exciting destination for a short walk are the Gruson greenhouses. You are in the Klosterberggarten, which is a 15-minute walk from Magdeburg Cathedral. Here, too, you can walk leisurely along the Elbe promenade.
In the greenhouses there is a botanical collection with numerous exotic plants that has been open to the public since 1896. It was created by the Magdeburg industrialist Hermann Gruson.
Over 4,000 species of plants are displayed in the Gruson greenhouses. The ten show houses are arranged thematically according to plant families or geographically according to a tropical or subtropical region. For example, there is the fern house, the palm house or the Mediterranean house.
You will found the animals that live here in the Gruson greenhouses particularly exciting. Sometimes there are very bizarre and colorful specimens. It’s worth a visit. Therefore a very clear place in my top sights in Magdeburg.
The Gruson greenhouses are worth visiting in Magdeburg – not only for botanists. Especially when the weather is not so nice, a visit to this heated natural oasis is a good idea.
Admission: 3.50 euros
Length of stay: 1 hour
5. Albinmüller Tower
The Albinmüller Tower is another best things to do in magdeburg with a beautiful view of the city of Magdeburg and its sights. The advantage of this vantage point in Magdeburg: There is an elevator to the top.
For an entrance fee of 2 euros, you can go through the turnstile and now you can decide whether you want to climb the 252 steps or take the elevator.
You can choose the elevator if you have already climbed the Magdeburg Cathedral and the Millennium Tower on foot. After a minute you are already up on the platform and enjoying the view over Magdeburg.
The Albinmüller Tower is located in the Rotehorn Park and is therefore also a popular destination for the people of Magdeburg. From today’s point of view it may not be a beautiful work of architecture, but in its day it was an important building of the New Building. The architect Albin Müller also belonged to this style.
The glass construction on top of the observation tower was intended as a restaurant. Due to the small area, however, no economic catering business could be maintained there. Too bad actually.
Well, we can still enjoy the view these days. Incidentally, the elegant glass construction is illuminated with colored light in the evening. Also an eye-catcher!
Note: The entrance fee of 2 euros can only be paid for with 0.50 euro, 1 euro or 2 euro coins.
6. Two-storey building on Otto-von-Guericke-Strasse
On city trips in Europe, tourists should always check out at least one museum. Two museums are showing their exhibits in a single building here in Magdeburg.
Cultural History Museum in Magdeburg
In Magdeburg, you were drawn to the special exhibition about the Reformation. In addition to this exhibition, you were able to look at the exhibits from the medieval exhibitions. Of course, the very important exhibition “Otto the Great and the Roman Empire” is located in this museum in Ottostadt.
Museum of Natural History Magdeburg
The Museum of Natural History is the oldest museum in Magdeburg. The first exhibition was shown as early as 1875. Today the museum is the second part of the two-part house.
The Natural History Museum is an excellent place to spend your time. The exhibits are presented in a novel way and you will especially enjoy the individual displays, which were designed with great effort.
For example, the animal ensemble, which also consists of numerous different animal species. Very impressive in its variety and size.
Next to the cathedral, the Sankt-Johannis-Kirche is one of the most exciting churches in Magdeburg. The first records show that there was a church building here as early as the 1st century.
The church was destroyed and rebuilt on this site several times. Last time after World War II. Anyone who visits the church to discover creaking floors and ancient church art in abundance will be disappointed.
The church is more of a place of remembrance without much inner life. Due to its good acoustics, it is therefore mainly used for events. Nevertheless, there is a small highlight, which is why a visit is definitely worthwhile.
There is a viewing platform on the south tower at a height of 52 metres. To enter the church, you can also climb the tower on a medieval staircase. From the top you have a wonderful view of Magdeburg. In particular, the top sight in Magdeburg: the Magdeburg Cathedral.
In addition to the tower, there is also the crypt of Otto von Guericke to look at inside. The entrance area in front of the church reads “The Mourning Magdeburg”. It is the only remnant of the previous church that could be saved after the church was destroyed in World War II.
Admission: 3 euros church and church tower
Length of stay: 30 minutes
8. Convent of Our Lady
In the middle of the city center not far from the cathedral square with the Magdeburg Cathedral is the monastery of Our Lady. The romantic monastery is an eye-catcher when you walk through the city center of Magdeburg. It is the oldest surviving building in Magdeburg.
However, you will look in vain for monastic life here. In the course of secularization, the monastery has largely become an art museum for modern art.
If you are interested in or have a connection to modern art, then you should not miss a visit to the museum in the rooms of the old monastery.
Because it is the most important exhibition venue for contemporary art and sculpture in Saxony-Anhalt and offers interesting special exhibitions. A walk around the monastery is also worthwhile.
On the open space around the monastery of Our Lady are selected works of art from the collection, which are presented to the public free of charge.
9. Kiek in de Koken
Kiek in de Koeken is a fortified tower that was part of Magdeburg’s medieval city fortifications. Because you could see into the archbishop’s kitchen from the tower, the name Kiek in de Köken came into being in the vernacular.
The tower is not only a beautiful remnant of Magdeburg Fortress, but can also be visited. There is a small, free exhibition in the tower.
You can also climb the tower during opening hours. Unfortunately, it is not accessible from the outside. But through the small windows you also have a nice view of the city and the surrounding area.
10. Bike tour along the Elbe
Now the Elbe itself is not necessarily an exciting sight. But there are some small hidden places on it. The best way to do this is to grab a rental bike and take a short bike tour along the Elbe.
You have already presented the Magdeburg Cathedral and the promenade at other places. The first small highlight is the Monument of Friendship between Nations when you cycle or walk north along the Elbe. It is still a relic from the city’s socialist past.
You should make a short stop at the three church buildings. The Walloon Church, the Church of St. Peter and the Magdalene Chapel are built on a small hill and are well worth a walk. In particular through the rose garden of the chapel.
If you drive further, the historic ship mill on the Petriford comes right on the banks of the Elbe. Although this is a replica, it illustrates the functions of these ship mills very impressively.
Except on Mondays and Saturdays, it is worth taking a break between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to take a look at the ship mill from the inside. Next door is also a nice café where you can stop.
We continue to our last stop on the small Elbe bike tour. The old port of Magdeburg: with the historic cranes, an old lifting bridge and the port buildings, it is a small piece of industrial culture.
You can now drive over the Jerusalem Bridge to the opposite side of the Elbe and from there back towards the cathedral. From this bank you also have a picturesque view of the landmark of Magdeburg. Finally, you can take the Sternbrücke to go back to the downtown area.
Hotel tips in Magdeburg
In Magdeburg there are accommodations in different price ranges. We have put together a list of possible hotels for your overnight stay in Magdeburg – from expensive to affordable.
- Dorint Herrenkrug Parkhotel Magdeburg
- artHOTEL Magdeburg
- Hotel Residenz Joop
- Motel One Magdeburg
- ibis Styles Magdeburg
- Hotel Stadtfeld
- Hotel ELBRIVERA Alt Prester
- B&B Hotel Magdeburg
- Magdeburg hotel overview
The sights of Magdeburg presented can be visited in a relaxed manner over a weekend. If you spend less time in Magdeburg, then We recommend you in my blog post What do you have to see in Magdeburg? these five places for a perfect day in Magdeburg.
We are surprised by Magdeburg during and after my stay. There are so many things to do here. In particular, the beautiful location on the Elbe gives the city a special flair.
We also like Magdeburg very much for a city trip because there is not yet a lot of tourism here. Many sights can be seen at an affordable price or even for free. We have never experienced queues or large crowds at any of the attractions in Magdeburg.
The city also has some highlights, as you have certainly noticed in my stories. But Magdeburg and its sights are still a little insider tip, so that you can have a relaxed stay here on a city trip full of discoveries.
Due to its status as a state capital and as a university city, Magdeburg also offers a wide variety of gastronomic offers. From the student bar to the noble Italian, it offers a rich selection.