If a visit to Wernigerode, Germany, is not on your European bucket list, then stop what you’re and get it on there ASAP. I booked our trip on a whim, and I only wish we stayed longer, because there is so much to do in Wernigerode, especially if you have kids.
Honestly, I had no idea how amazing Wernigerode, Germany, was before we visited.
With travel restrictions popping up all over Germany because of Covid, we found ourselves stuck in a pickle: our kids were out of school for fall break in October, and our Plans A (Black Forest), and B (France) fell through because they were considered too risky.
So I hopped onto AirBnB and searched for a place with a flexible cancellation plan in an area that was declared “safe,” booked it, and didn’t look back. (Info on our awesome stay below.)
Since I didn’t research very much, I was shocked to discover how family-friendly the area is, and how much there is to do in Wernigerode with kids.
In hindsight, we absolutely would’ve stayed longer than just two days.
Take note: I highly recommend at least three days to this area; there is plenty to do, as you’ll see below.
A Bit About Wernigerode
Wernigerode is in the heart of the Harz region, an area I desperately want to explore more; it was beautiful everywhere. The city is dubbed “the colorful city on the Harz,” which is immediattely apparent when you first arrive into town.
As for the name: The first settlers had to create a road since it was still a forest area—that’s where “rode” comes from. It’s believed that the first part of the name comes from one of the first settlers’ names: Werniger or Wern, perhaps.
Top 10 Things to do in Wernigerode
This goes without saying, but make sure you check with each place before you book something. As of publishing this (January, 2021), many places—including lodging—are completely closed due to Germany’s current lockdown.
When I started looking into all the things Wernigerode had, I was seriously shocked. There’s so much, and I’m certain there are even more fun things than the 10 things listed below.
Take the Train; Explore the Castle
The main attraction, according to my kiddos, is Schloss Wernigerode. But the important factor (again, according to them) is that you get to take the train up to the castle!
Citizen and Miniature Parks
We didn’t make it here, but it was next on our list if we stayed longer. Buerger und Miniaturenpark (citizen and miniature park) encompasses two parks in one: Citizen Park has multiple flower gardens, animal enclosures, playgrounds, miniature golf, life-sized games, and so much more. Plan for at least an hour and a half here.
Miniature Park, on the other hand, is has a miniature version of the entire Harz region, complete with all the towns, trains, and every detail you can imagine. You’ll find 60 tiny reconstructions of the most famous landmarks in the region. This would be a great place to take a picnic lunch to enjoy on a nice day.
Full disclosure: we may have a photo from part of this hike, but we didn’t actually do the hike.
The Wernigeröeder Maerchenweg (aka Fairytale Trail) is a 2.5 km hike that starts at Hasseröeder Ferienpark.
As you walk along the trail you’ll find different fairytale scenes that will share a bit of the corresponding story. Each spot has questions about the story, and if you answer the questions you can get a prize at the end. (So make sure you have handy translator app with you since it’s all in German.)
More info here.
This was a total highlight for my kids, because at the end of the Fairytale Trail you can actually see Rapunzel’s Tower!
More info (on how you can still see the tower without doing the hike) here.
The Hasseröder Holiday Park
Y’all, this place was the place to be…which is why we didn’t step foot inside. In an effort to be as safe as possible, we avoided crowds, but it looked like Hasseroeder Ferienpark had so much to offer.
Not only can you stay there, but there is a giant pool (with slides), a sauna, an indoor play area, bowling, and even a beer garden. Seriously, it sounds amazing, and if you have kids you could easily pass some time there.
Air Museum (Luftfahrtmuseum)
We gave the kids the option of what to do one afternoon and they all unanimously picked Luftfahrtmuseum Wernigerode, the air museum.
This is a great option if you’ve been outside a lot and want something a little more chill. There are three large hangers with a variety of aircraft from the 1930s to today. It also had some interactive experiences for kids, including a giant slide (that the kids loved and didn’t want to leave).
Check out the wildlife park just feet away from Schloss Wernigerode. It’s open all year long, there’s a playground for kids, and and there’s a restaurant on site, too. We saw it from our train ride down from the castle, and wished we had time to check it out.
This truly shouldn’t be so low on the list, because walking around Wernigerode is simply delightful. The center itself is unbelievably pretty—it has this kind of charisma and charm that will make you literally pinch yourself to make sure you’re actually seeing it with your own eyes.
The half-timbered-homes are painted in shockingly bright colors, making them pop as you walk along the streets. Mainstream stores, cute boutiques, and delicious places to eat are all within spitting distance wherever you go.
Stop by the teeny tiny house on Knoch Street, gawk at the colorful town hall (Rathaus Wernigerode) and the fountain, grab a schneeball to eat, see the leaning house, and if you have time, a tour around town would be amazing.
Ride the Steam Train
And this is exactly why you need to spend more than just a couple of days in Wernigerode, and why we’ll be returning. You’ve gotta ride the Harz Narrow Gauge Railway, aka old-school steam trains that will practically transport you to another time.
Explore the area from 25 steam locomotives. You’ll see every bend, valley, plentiful panoramic views, and you can go on more than 400 bridges.
Less than 30 minutes from Wernigerode is the Titan RT—the longest suspension bridge of its kind. Plus there’s other fun stuff to do to fill your time: a playground for kids, boat rentals in the summer, zip lines and bungie jumping (for those a bit more brave), hiking, and food trucks, too.
How to Get There
Whenever we get around to visiting Berlin, we plan on stopping in Wernigerode again, spending another night or two, and checking out a few of the things above that we didn’t get to experience.
Hanover: 1.5 hours
Berlin: 3 hours
Brunssum: 5 hours
Geilenkirchen: 5 hours
Spangdahlem: about 5.5 hours
Ramstein: 5 hours
Where to Stay in Wernigerode with Kids
If you’re looking for an excellent place to stay in Wernigerode with kids, then I highly recommend this AirBnb. The owners of were full of helpful suggestions on what to see and do in town.
And, if it’s all booked up, or you’re looking for another spot in the area, here are a few more options:
Have you been to Wernigerode?
I hope this guide helped you plan your trip! If you visit, don’t forget to tell me about your time in Wernigerode and what your favorite spots to visit were!