Plauen was founded by Sorbs. It was a booming Germany city in the early 20th century because of its lace industry. At this time it was one of the biggest cities in Germany and was a home to a lot of rich people. World War I and World War II destroyed more than 75% of the city. Because of its proximity to the inner German border during the cold war it was a base to Russian soldiers. The first demonstrations against the DDR and divided Germany started here. Today it is home to around 66000 people.
Unfortunately it is not very convenient to reach Plauen by plane. From a lot of European destinations you can go to Dresden, Leipzig, Nuremberg and take a train from there towards Plauen. But it will take at least 1.5 hours.
Plauen oberer Bahnhof (Plauen upper station) is served by a lot of local trains. Also it is a stop on the InterregioExpress Nuremberg - Dresden. Plauen also has some smaller train stations, but they are less interesting for travelers, except you are coming from Gera. From the main station it is an 10 min walk to the city center.
Plauen can be reached without problems by car from the rest of Germany. It is well connected with the German highway system (A72).
- See also: intercity buses in Germany
In the center, especially in the historic part in Old Town (Altstadt), everything is easily accessible by foot.
By bus and tram
There is a combined system of tram (called Straßenbahn) and bus. See Plauener Strassenbahn GmbH. A single ride on all tram and bus lines for 45min is 1.20€. There is no reason for a day ticket but you can purchase one for 4.60€.
The street network is very good and many roads have been refurbished recently. Except during the Christmas shopping time and at some festivals you will always find a parking space.
There are some lanes for bicycles but keep in mind that Plauen is a very hilly city.
After the reunion of Germany a lot of old buildings have been restored.
- Theater Plauen-Zwickau. Is a beautiful theatre in Plauen.
- Spitzenmuseum, Altmarkt 2. if you are interested in the lace industry this might be an interesting place for you.
- Vogtlandmuseum, Nobelstraße 9-13. if you are interested in the history of Plauen and the Vogtland. It is probably the biggest museum in Plauen.
- Alte Rathaus. is the old city hall and a very beautiful building in the heart of the city. There is also the entrance to the Spitzenmuseum.
- Johanneskirche. a church with a nice twin tower.
- Malzhaus. A very nice old building with galleries, music and a small cinema.
- Alte Elsterbrücke. oldest bridge in Saxony.
- Friedensbrücke. largest stone arch bridge in the world.
- Elstertalbrücke. second largest brick bridge in the world but a bit outside the city center. Best reached by train from “Plauen unterer Bahnhof” towards Gera. Get out at Barthmühle.
- The Spitzenfest the biggest festival in Plauen and is normally held in June with 3 stages with different music.
If you want to buy some “Plauener Spitze” there is a factory outlet for lace. In the city center you can find a typical German Shopping Mall (Stadt Galerie) with lots of shops. On the Bahnhofstrasse and around the city hall you will find some smaller shops.
There are many Restaurants within the city. Some famous ones are:
- Manana. A very good restaurant in the city center.
- Altes Handelshaus. Even the German chancellor ate here already.
- Tennera. With some traditional food from the region.
- Heinrichs. In the old town hall.
- Haus Vogtland Syrau. Without car its not easy to get there because it is a bit outside of Plauen in Syrau. Its one of the best restaurants you can find with such a big menu that takes you half an hour to read through.
There are a lot of places to drink. Once you are in Plauen or in the Vogtland you should try the local beer called “Sternquell”.
Youth Hostels - HI Hostel:
- Jugendherberge Plauen, ☎ +49 3741 148376. Neundorfer Straße 3, (located in an old fire station in the centre and you still get some feeling how it must be in an fire station");
- Hotel Alexandra. Located at a pedestrian zone on the Bahnhofstrasse from the main station to the city centre.
Plauen is very safe in general. You can also walk around the city center and most other parts late at night without having any worries. Simply enjoy the city.
Local telephone code is 03741.
- Dresden, beautiful old city in the east (approx. 1.5 hours with car via Autobahn or by train)
- Leipzig, it is the industrial center a cultural center, offering interesting sights, shopping possibilities and lively nightlife (approx. 1.5 minutes with car via Autobahn or by train)
- Erzgebirge hiking and craftwork (Christmas)
- Vogtland - a hilly region south of Plauen with some small ski resorts and a ski jump in Klingenthal
- Czech Republic just 30 min ride by car from Plauen
- Talsperre Pöhl, is a dam 5km east of Plauen. There are a lot of camping grounds and you can go swimming in summer. In the "Kletterwald" you can go climbing in a small forest between the trees.