things to do in Jena


From Optical Museum to Botanical Garden: 17 Must-See Places in Jena for Curious Travelers

Welcome to Jena, a beautiful city located in the heart of Germany. Known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere, Jena offers a wide range of attractions and activities for every kind of traveler.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply looking for some leisurely pursuits, this charming city has something to offer for everyone.

From exploring fascinating museums and historical landmarks to discovering tranquil parks and gardens, Jena is sure to captivate you with its blend of old-world charm and modern delights.

In this guide, we will explore the top things to do in Jena, highlighting the must-visit places and hidden gems that make this city a truly special destination.

So, get ready to immerse yourself in the culture, beauty, and vibrant energy of Jena as we embark on a journey of discovery in this remarkable city.

1. Deutsches Optisches Museum

Deutsches Optisches Museum

The Deutsches Optisches Museum in Jena is a fascinating place to visit.

With its rich history and impressive collection, it offers a unique experience for both locals and tourists alike. Located in the heart of Jena, the museum showcases the advancements in optics and the role they have played in shaping our world.

From ancient optical instruments to cutting-edge technologies, visitors can explore the evolution of optics throughout the centuries. Upon entering the museum, you will be greeted by knowledgeable staff who are eager to share their expertise.

Deutsches Optisches Museum

They offer guided tours, providing valuable insights into the exhibits and their significance. Whether you are a student or a curious individual, this museum has something to offer for everyone. The museum’s collection is extensive, featuring a wide range of optical instruments.

You can admire beautifully crafted telescopes, microscopes, and binoculars that were used by renowned scientists and researchers.

These instruments highlight the important discoveries made in the field of optics and their impact on various scientific disciplines. One of the highlights.

Rating: 8.4

Phone: +49 3641 9400464

Address: Carl-Zeiss-Platz 12, 07743 Jena, Germany


2. Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden in Jena offers a wonderful escape into nature. Nestled in the heart of the city, this serene oasis is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and those seeking tranquility.

With its diverse collection of plants and stunning landscapes, the Botanical Garden provides a unique opportunity to explore the wonders of the natural world. As you enter the Botanical Garden, you will be greeted by a myriad of vibrant colors and captivating scents.

The garden boasts an extensive range of plant species, carefully curated to showcase the rich biodiversity found in different ecosystems.

Botanical Garden

From exotic orchids to towering palm trees, each section of the garden unveils a captivating array of flora. Wander through the carefully landscaped pathways, which wind their way through lush greenery and enchanting floral displays.

The Botanical Garden is meticulously designed to provide a harmonious balance between aesthetics and conservation. With every step, you will discover something new and fascinating, whether it be a rare species or an intricately designed botanical arrangement.

Rating: 9.4

Phone: +49 3641 949274

Address: Fürstengraben 26, 07743 Jena, Germany


3. Kunitzburg


Kunitzburg, located in the beautiful city of Jena, offers visitors a unique and memorable experience. Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes, this historic site holds great significance and charm.

Although the place description is null, Kunitzburg has plenty to offer for individuals seeking adventure, history, and breathtaking views. One of the main attractions of Kunitzburg is its stunning medieval castle ruins.

As you explore the remnants of this ancient fortress, you can envision the grandeur it once possessed.


The castle’s architecture and the stories it holds provide a fascinating glimpse into the past, captivating history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike. For those seeking outdoor activities, Kunitzburg offers ample opportunities to indulge in hiking and nature walks.

The surrounding greenery and well-maintained trails make it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a more adventurous trek.

As you navigate through the winding paths, you can relish the tranquility and serenity that nature provides. Furthermore, Kunitzburg offers panoramic views.

Rating: 9.2

Phone: +49 162 2841333

Address: Kunitzburgweg, 07751 Jena, Germany


4. Phyletic Museum

Phyletic Museum

The Phyletic Museum in Jena is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in natural history and evolution.

This unique museum showcases a diverse collection of fossils, specimens, and exhibits that trace the evolutionary history of various species. Upon entering the Phyletic Museum, visitors are immediately captivated by the extensive display of fossils.

From ancient marine creatures to dinosaurs and early mammals, the collection offers a fascinating glimpse into the distant past.

Phyletic Museum

The meticulously preserved fossils provide valuable insights into the evolution and development of life on Earth. One of the highlights of the museum is the interactive exhibits that allow visitors to engage with the displays.

Through touch screens and multimedia presentations, visitors can explore the evolutionary relationships between different species and understand the processes that have shaped life over millions of years.

This hands-on approach makes the museum both educational and entertaining for visitors of all ages. The Phyletic Museum also offers guided tours led by experts. These tours provide a deeper understanding of the exhibits and allow visitors to ask questions and.

Rating: 8.6

Phone: +49 3641 949180

Address: Vor dem Neutor 1, 07743 Jena, Germany


5. Carl-Zeiß-Denkmal


Located in the heart of Jena, the Carl-Zeiß-Denkmal is a must-see landmark for visitors and locals alike.

This magnificent monument pays tribute to Ernst Abbe, a renowned German physicist, and entrepreneur who co-founded the famous optics company, Carl Zeiss AG. The Carl-Zeiß-Denkmal stands tall and proud, serving as a symbol of Jena’s rich scientific heritage and innovation.

Its elegant design and meticulous craftsmanship make it an architectural marvel worth exploring.

The monument’s intricate details and grandeur are sure to leave visitors in awe. Surrounded by a serene park, the Carl-Zeiß-Denkmal offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city center.

Visitors can take a stroll through the park, enjoying the tranquil atmosphere and lush greenery.

The monument’s location provides a perfect spot for relaxation and contemplation. While the Carl-Zeiß-Denkmal itself does not offer specific activities, its proximity to other attractions in Jena makes it.

Rating: 9.2

Address: Wagnergasse, 07743 Jena, Germany

6. JenTower


JenTower in Jena is a remarkable landmark that stands out in the city’s skyline. This iconic rounded office tower offers a variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy. One of the highlights of JenTower is the restaurant located at the top of the tower.

Situated high above the city, this restaurant provides guests with a unique dining experience coupled with breathtaking panoramic views. As you ascend to the top of the tower, you’ll be greeted by an observation deck that offers stunning vistas of Jena and its surroundings.

From this vantage point, you can marvel at the city’s architectural beauty, scenic landscapes, and the vibrant energy that permeates every corner.

The observation deck is the perfect spot to capture memorable photos or simply take in the awe-inspiring view. The JenTower experience is not limited to the restaurant and observation deck.

Throughout the tower, you’ll find various amenities, including shops, cafes, and other entertainment options. Whether you’re looking to indulge in some retail therapy or relax with.

Rating: 9

Address: Leutragraben 1, 07743 Jena, Germany


7. Romantikerhaus


Located in the charming city of Jena, the Romantikerhaus is a must-visit destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the rich cultural history of the area.

This historic house is a testament to the Romantic era, offering visitors a glimpse into the lives of some of Germany’s most renowned poets and writers. Nestled in the heart of Jena, the Romantikerhaus stands as a symbol of inspiration and creativity.

This beautifully preserved building once served as a meeting place and residence for the Romantic intellectuals who shaped the literary landscape of the time.


As you step inside, you are transported back in time, surrounded by the echoes of the past. The Romantikerhaus boasts a captivating collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the lives and works of the Romantic poets who once called this place home.

From original manuscripts to personal belongings, each item serves as a window into the lives of these literary giants. Visitors can explore the rooms where these poets once gathered, gaining insight into their.

Rating: 8.6

Phone: +49 3641 498249

Address: Unterm Markt 12A, 07743 Jena, Germany


8. Ernst Abbe Memorial (FSU)

Ernst Abbe Memorial (FSU)

Located in Jena, Germany, the Ernst Abbe Memorial is a must-visit attraction for those interested in the life and contributions of German physicist and industrialist Ernst Abbe.

This memorial hall pays homage to Abbe’s immense impact on the fields of physics and industry, offering visitors a unique glimpse into his life and work. The memorial hall itself is a beautifully designed space, showcasing various exhibits that highlight Abbe’s achievements and his contributions to science and industry.

The architecture of the hall is both modern and elegant, creating a serene atmosphere that invites visitors to explore and learn. One of the main highlights of the memorial hall is the art collection featuring works by Meunier and Klinger.

Ernst Abbe Memorial (FSU)

These renowned artists have created thought-provoking and visually stunning pieces that complement the overall theme of the memorial.

Their artwork adds a touch of creativity and artistic expression, enhancing the visitor’s experience and further immersing them in Abbe’s world. As you stroll through the memorial hall, you’ll come.

Rating: 9

Address: Fürstengraben, 07743 Jena, Germany


9. Funkturm Jena/Oßmaritz

Funkturm Jena/Oßmaritz

Located in Jena, Germany, the Funkturm Jena/Oßmaritz is a popular attraction for both locals and tourists.

Situated in a breathtaking natural setting, this place offers a unique experience that should not be missed. The Funkturm Jena/Oßmaritz is a telecommunications tower that stands tall and proud, providing a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.

From the top of the tower, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of Jena and its picturesque surroundings.

Funkturm Jena/Oßmaritz

The view from this vantage point is truly mesmerizing, making it a must-visit destination for anyone in the area. Aside from its scenic beauty, the Funkturm Jena/Oßmaritz also offers various recreational activities for visitors to enjoy.

Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful escape, this place has something for everyone. From hiking and nature walks to picnicking and birdwatching, there are countless ways to immerse yourself in the serenity of the surroundings.

Rating: 9.4

Phone: +49 251 13380

Address: 07745 Jena, Germany


10. JNV Wendeschleife Zwätzen

JNV Wendeschleife Zwätzen

JNV Wendeschleife Zwätzen is a popular place to visit in Jena. Located in the heart of the city, it offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun day out, JNV Wendeschleife Zwätzen has something for everyone. One of the main highlights of JNV Wendeschleife Zwätzen is its stunning natural beauty.

The place is surrounded by lush greenery and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can take leisurely walks along the well-maintained trails, enjoying the fresh air and peaceful atmosphere.

JNV Wendeschleife Zwätzen

The serene surroundings make it a perfect spot for picnics and relaxation. In addition to its natural beauty, JNV Wendeschleife Zwätzen also boasts a rich history. The place is home to several historical landmarks and monuments that tell the story of Jena’s past.

Visitors can explore the old buildings and learn.

Rating: 10

Address: Jena, Zwätzen Schleife, 07743 Jena, Germany

11. Planetenweg Jena, Erde

Located in Jena, Germany, the “Planetenweg Jena, Erde” is a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists. This unique attraction offers a fascinating experience for those interested in astronomy and space exploration.

The “Planetenweg Jena, Erde” is an outdoor exhibition that showcases a scaled representation of our solar system, allowing visitors to explore the vastness of space interactively and educationally. As you enter the “Planetenweg Jena, Erde,” you will be greeted by a sense of wonder and curiosity.

The exhibition begins with the representation of the sun, the center of our solar system.

From there, a series of informative panels and sculptures guide you along a path that spans several kilometers, representing the distance between each celestial body.

With each step, you will encounter meticulously crafted models of the planets, including Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

These models provide an accurate depiction of each planet’s size.

Address: Carl-Zeiß-Straße 3, 07743 Jena, Germany

12. Gingko von Goethe gepflanzt

Gingko von Goethe gepflanzt

Gingko von Goethe gepflanzt is a notable place to visit in Jena. It holds historical significance as it is the spot where Johann Wolfgang von Goethe himself planted a gingko tree.

This unique attraction offers visitors a chance to experience a living connection to the famous German writer and poet. As you step into Gingko von Goethe gepflanzt, you will be greeted by the impressive gingko tree.

This particular tree species is one of the oldest living tree types on Earth, making it a symbol of endurance and longevity.

The gingko tree planted by Goethe is truly a living testament to his enduring legacy in Jena. Surrounded by serene surroundings, Gingko von Goethe gepflanzt offers a tranquil atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.

The tree’s presence creates a calm and peaceful environment, perfect for taking a stroll or simply sitting and appreciating the beauty of nature. It is an ideal spot to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Address: B7 26, 07743 Jena, Germany

13. Schillers Gartenhaus

Schillers Gartenhaus

Located in the beautiful city of Jena, one of the must-visit places is Schillers Gartenhaus. This historical site holds significant importance, as it is the former residence of the renowned German poet and playwright, Friedrich Schiller.

Schillers Gartenhaus, meaning “Schiller’s Garden House” in English, provides visitors with a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the life and works of this literary genius.

The house itself is a well-preserved testament to 18th-century architecture, offering glimpses into Schiller’s life during his time in Jena. Upon entering the house, visitors are greeted by an aura of creativity and inspiration.

The rooms are adorned with period furniture, giving an authentic feel to the living quarters where Schiller spent much of his time.

The study, in particular, is a sight to behold, with its wooden desk and shelves filled with books, offering a glimpse into the poet’s creative process.

Rating: 9

Phone: +49 3641 9401070

Address: Schillergäßchen 2, 07745 Jena, Germany

14. Naturschutzgebiet Leutratal und Cospoth

Naturschutzgebiet Leutratal und Cospoth

Naturschutzgebiet Leutratal und Cospoth is a beautiful place to visit in Jena. This nature reserve offers a variety of activities for everyone to enjoy.

One of the highlights of this place is that dogs are allowed, making it a perfect destination for pet owners. As you explore Naturschutzgebiet Leutratal und Cospoth, you can take your furry friend along with you.

Dogs are welcome to accompany their owners on walks, hikes, and even picnics.

Naturschutzgebiet Leutratal und Cospoth

It’s a great opportunity for you and your four-legged companion to spend quality time together in a serene and natural setting. The trails in the nature reserve are well-maintained and offer scenic views of the surrounding landscape.

You can choose from different paths that suit your preferences and fitness level.

Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, there is something for everyone. While walking through the nature reserve, you and your dog can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

Rating: 9.2

Address: Leutra 18, 07751 Jena, Germany


15. Burgauer Wasserrad

Burgauer Wasserrad

Burgauer Wasserrad is a hidden gem located in Jena, Germany. While there might not be much information available about this place, it still holds great potential for a memorable visit.

Nestled amidst nature, Burgauer Wasserrad offers a serene environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city. As you step into Burgauer Wasserrad, you’ll be greeted by the soothing sound of flowing water.

The main highlight of this place is the majestic waterwheel, which stands tall and proud, showcasing the engineering marvels of the past.

Burgauer Wasserrad

Watching the wheel in motion is a mesmerizing experience, as it gracefully rotates, harnessing the power of the water. The picturesque surroundings of Burgauer Wasserrad make it an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

The lush greenery, coupled with the gentle sound of the water, creates a peaceful ambiance that is perfect for relaxation and reflection. Take a stroll along the nearby trails, allowing yourself to immerse.

Rating: 9.6

Address: Ernst-Ruska-Ring 15-17, 07745 Jena, Germany

16. Imaginata – a Experimentarium

Imaginata - a Experimentarium

Imaginata – an Experimentarium in Jena offers a unique and exciting experience for visitors of all ages. This interactive science center features a wide range of hands-on exhibits and experiments that aim to spark curiosity and inspire learning.

Located in the heart of Jena, it is a must-visit destination for those looking to engage in educational and entertaining activities. Upon entering Imaginata, visitors are greeted with a vibrant and dynamic environment that encourages exploration.

The experimentation boasts a variety of interactive displays, allowing guests to actively participate in scientific inquiries.

Imaginata - a Experimentarium

From optical illusions to physics experiments, there is something to captivate everyone’s interest. One of the highlights of Imaginata is its focus on fostering creativity. Attendees can engage in various artistic activities that blend science and art seamlessly.

Whether it’s creating intricate patterns with a harmonograph or experimenting with colors and light, this fusion of disciplines offers a unique and thought-provoking experience. Imagination goes beyond traditional museum exhibits by providing a.

Rating: 9

Phone: +49 3641 889920

Address: Löbstedter Str. 67, 07749 Jena, Germany


17. City Museum + Art Collection Jena

City Museum + Art Collection Jena

Located in the vibrant city of Jena, the City Museum Art Collection Jena is a must-visit destination for art and history enthusiasts.

With its extensive collection and captivating exhibitions, this museum offers a unique cultural experience for visitors of all ages. The City Museum Art Collection Jena showcases the rich history of the city, providing insights into its past and present.

From artifacts dating back centuries to contemporary art installations, the museum offers a comprehensive overview of Jena’s cultural heritage. Upon entering the museum, visitors are greeted by a stunning display of artwork, ranging from traditional paintings to modern sculptures.

City Museum + Art Collection Jena

The diverse collection represents various artistic styles and periods, allowing visitors to appreciate the evolution of art over time. One of the highlights of the museum is its permanent exhibition, where visitors can immerse themselves in the history of Jena.

Through interactive displays, informative panels, and multimedia presentations, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey through time, exploring the city’s historical milestones and significant events.

Rating: 8.6

Phone: +49 3641 498261

Address: Markt 7, 07743 Jena, Germany



Jena offers a multitude of exciting activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

From exploring its rich history and culture through its renowned museums and historical sites to immersing oneself in nature through its beautiful parks and gardens, Jena has something for everyone.

The city’s vibrant culinary scene, filled with traditional German dishes as well as international cuisines, is sure to please even the most discerning food lovers.

Moreover, with its thriving arts and music scene, Jena offers ample opportunities to indulge in cultural performances and events. Whether you are interested in history, nature, food, or culture, Jena is a destination that guarantees a memorable and enjoyable experience for all.

Photo of author

George Dubaz

As an independent licensed New Orleans tour guide with over 15 years of experience, I bring a wealth of historical knowledge and strong public relations skills to every tour. My passion for promoting the vibrant culture and rich heritage of the city is evident in my work. I am well-versed in the local dining scene, museums, entertainment venues, and all the unique attractions that New Orleans has to offer. Whether it's day, night, or weekends, I am dedicated to providing exceptional French Quarter tours that immerse visitors in the magic of this enchanting city. Join me for an unforgettable experience in the heart of New Orleans. LinkedIn

Leave a Comment