Quedlinburg: The Most Charming Timber-Frame Town in Germany

What are some things to do in Quedlinburg, Germany during your visit? 

Quedlinburg is a medieval town situated in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany and it dates back over a millennium!

The old town is a maze of romanesque half-timbered houses featuring a castle, churches, gardens, squares and winding alleys where one could happily get lost for hours. Picturesque doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

Quedlinburg is also one of the stops on Germany’s Romanesque Road, a scenic route in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt that links village churches, monasteries, cathedrals and castles that were built between 950 and 1250. These represent the emergence of Christianity in this part of Germany, making it another reason to visit.

So without further ado, today we’re sharing some best things to do in Quedlinburg during your visit to this charming medieval town!

Views of Quedlinburg from Castle Garden
The cobbled streets of the medieval town of Quedlinburg, Germany
Exploring the medieval town of Quedlinburg

Things to do in Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg Castle and Collegiate Church of St Servatius

The main attraction in Quedlinburg is, of course, Quedlinburg Castle, a medieval fortified abbey fortress that sits on a hill known as Schlossberg or ‘castle mountain’.

Quedlinburg Castle and Collegiate Church of St Servatius

Within the complex, you also have the Collegiate Church of St Servatius. This church was dedicated in the year 1129, though it was preceded by earlier structures. It was one of the most highly regarded churches of the Empire during the Middle Ages.

Inside the Collegiate Church of St Servatius
The altar at the church of St Servatius

In the crypt beneath the choir, you’ll find the royal graves of Henry the 1st, who is considered the first German King, and his wife Mathilde.

Lastly, the Schlossgarten or ‘castle garden’ offers a nice vantage point over the city. It’s red rooftops and church steeples as far as the eye can see – the quintessential medieval town!

Together, the aforementioned church, castle and old town have UNESCO World Heritage status thanks to their outstanding example of a European town with medieval foundations and preserved timber-framed buildings.

Guided Walking Tour

In the morning we joined a guided walking tour to learn about the town’s unique architecture.

Quedlinburg happens to be Germany’s largest half-timbered town, with more than 1,300 timber-frame houses, and the cool thing is that you can walk around and see how this style evolved over the centuries.

Early example of a half-timbered building in Quedlinburg

One of the places we visited was the Half-timbered Museum, which dates back to the 14th century and shows a very early example of this type of construction.

Here you can see an individual vertical beam from the ground all the way up to the roof, which meant the height of the houses was limited to the tallest trees that could be found.

Inside the museum’s courtyard, you can see examples of how half-timbered houses were constructed – frames, walls and all.

The evolution of medieval half-timbered buildings
Architectural details of half-timbered buildings up close
A row of colourful half-timbered buildings in Quedlinburg

We then continued our walk through town for more examples of how the half-timbered construction style evolved to have multiple protruding levels, and more elaborate design elements.

This town has some of the most interesting architecture we’ve seen, so if you’re into that sort of thing, it’s well worth joining a guided tour because you learn about all the little details that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Intersection of medieval lanes in Quedlinburg

Lunch at Hotel zum Bär

We had a hard time finding a restaurant that was open, but eventually stumbled upon Hotel zum Bär which is located in Market Square.

Sculpture at Market Square

It was a very cool autumn day, so we were craving hearty dishes and big portions, and this restaurant delivered on both fronts.

Pork medallions served in a creamy mushroom sauce

I got the pork medallions served in a creamy mushroom sauce with a side of fried potatoes and bacon. 

Meanwhile, Sam ordered the ‘Bear Platter’ (there was no bear meat, it was just a bear-sized portion!) featuring chicken, pork and beef on a bed of green beans with a side of potatoes and bacon.

Bear Platter featuring chicken, pork and beef

We really enjoyed both meals and left feeling beyond satisfied. 

Museum Lyonel Feininger

In the afternoon, we visited the Museum Lyonel Feininger, which bears the name of the German-American painter, Lyonel Feininger.

Feininger was born in New York City but travelled to Germany at age 16 to study art. He was a leader in the Expressionist movement and also worked as a caricaturist and comic strip artist. He then went on to produce a large body of photographic works later in his career.

Museum Lyonel Feininger
Becoming Feininger Exhibition

The museum houses many of his works and it’s a nice way to spend part of the afternoon if you enjoy art. 

Cheesecake at Cafe Vincent

After exploring Quedlinburg on foot most of the day, we decided to treat ourselves to a midafternoon snack. 

We went to Cafe Vincent which is best known for its Käsekuchen or cheesecake! It’s a very popular spot in town; there’s was actually a line of people waiting to order a slice of cheesecake from the window. Always a good sign.

Cheesecake at Cafe Vincent

What caught our attention was the variety of cheesecakes they had on offer: mango, blueberry, lemon and thyme, basil, caramel and more. The list was endless. We opted for the mascarpone cheesecake with wild berries which was super creamy. 

We also got some cappuccinos to try and beat our jet lag.

Brühl Park

Another thing to do in Quedliburg is to go for a stroll in Brühl Park. This park was just down the street from our hotel, so we made time to visit. 

We first enjoyed a walk down Brühlstrasse, which is lined with beautiful mansions and villas. Eventually, we reached the Bode River, where a riverside trail led us to the park. 

Brühl Park once formed part of the gardens of the former monastery and is home to a beautiful forest that feels like something out of a fairy tale

Stay at Romantik Hotel am Brühl

During our visit to Quedlinburg, we stayed at Romantik Hotel am Brühl, a hotel situated just south of Schlossberg just a few minutes from the castle.

This hotel is spread out across a series of restored buildings including a timbered barn that was previously home to a seed-growing company, a palace formerly owned by a distillery, and a barn with Prussian vaulted ceilings.

Drinking a glass of red wine
Dinner at Restaurant Weinstube

The hotel also has two onsite restaurants: Weinstube which focuses on regional dishes with an haute cuisine twist, and Le Mariage which is a bit more exclusive (it only seats 20 guests who get to enjoy a 7-course meal).

We had dinner at Weinstube one night and enjoyed a lovely meal.

Final thoughts on visiting Quedlinburg

Hopefully this gives you an idea of some of the things you can do in Quedlinburg during your visit.

We arrived on an early morning train and then stayed in town for the night, so everything you see here was done with one day in Quedlinburg. 

The nice thing about a small, walkable, medieval town is that you can see quite a lot in one day!

If you enjoyed this destination, you may also be interested in visiting the medieval town of Lüneburg that’s famous for salt, exploring Germany’s northernmost wine region of Saale-Unstrut, or going on a Black Forest road trip.

A stroll in Quedlinburg’s old town