Göttingen's Altes Rathaus

Göttingen is a city in the southernmost part of the German state of Lower Saxony, bordering Hesse and Thuringia. The population of Göttingen in 2004 was 129,446, of which around 30,000 are students. It is best known for being the home of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen , as well as the site where the prestigious Max Planck Society (a German organization for scientific research) was founded in 1948. The Max Planck Institutes for Dynamics and Self-Organization, for Experimental Medicine, for Biophysical Chemistry, and for History are all located in Göttingen. 44 Nobel Prize winners have studied or taught in the city, and these and other notable former Göttingen residents are commemorated by white plaques on many buildings throughout the town. Its nickname is therefore the Stadt der Wissenschaft (City of Science). Today, Göttingen is a charming university town, off the radar screen for most English-speaking tourists but well worth a visit.

Get in

Göttingen lies in the very center of Germany and is easily accessible from most parts of the country. It has no airport, but can be easily reached by train or car from larger cities that do. Göttingen's Hauptbahnhof is a stop on the ICE (Inter City Express) train line between Hamburg and Munich and also on the ICE line between Berlin and the South of Germany. Göttingen is approximately half an hour south of Hanover, two hours south of Hamburg, two hours west of Berlin, four hours north of Munich, and two hours north of Frankfurt.

Get around

Göttingen has an extensive bus network which criss-crosses the city center and extends out to the surrounding. Information about the city bus network is available from the Goettingen Verkehrsbetriebe (under Fahrplanauskunft, click "Netzplan" for a map and "Einzelfahrpläne" for schedules).

A single ride within Göttingen costs (Einzelfahrschein): €2, children 6–14 years (Kinder): €1, a day ticket (Tageskarte) costs: €5, a day ticket for five persons (Kleingruppenkarte): €9,40. For multiple trips, save money by asking for the €7 "Viererkarte" (four tickets at once) or for the €13 "Achterkarte" (eight tickets).


There is a nice self-guided City Walk on the city's tourism website, which takes you by all the main sites. Highlights include:

Gänseliesel fountain
Inside Jacobikirche
Synagogue Memorial





Inside the pub Trou


Jugendherberge - Hostel

Go next

As mentioned above, Göttingen's location at the cross of two ICE train lines makes it easy to reach most other major German cities. There are also a number of smaller towns that are worth a visit, which could be seen on a day trip from Göttingen. For the local trains that go to these towns, you can buy cheap group train tickets that can be used for up to 5 people: the €29 (single: €21) Niedersachsen-Ticket is good for all-day travel within Lower Saxony on any day of the week, and the €40 Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket is good for all-day travel anywhere in Germany on a weekend day. You can reach any of these places on local trains in under 2 hours:

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