Chemnitz combines a hardworking industrial heritage with a passion for art, culture and cuisine. The city was once a stronghold for Karl Marx and is proud of its blue-collar roots. Hop between the city’s excellent museums and galleries and learn about everything from the Industrial Revolution to the Expressionist art movement.
Things to do in Chemnitz
Stroll around the historic Kasberg neighbourhood and admire beautiful Art Nouveau and Wilhelminian buildings. Many are reimagined as elegant cafes, bistros and wine bars.
The 13-metre-tall Karl Marx Monument towers over the entrance to the former Socialist Unity Party headquarters. The statue commemorates the beloved German philosopher and is a great photo op. Behind the monument is a wall engraved with phrases from the renowned Communist Manifesto.
Admire modern masterpieces by artists like Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Erich Heckel at the Gunzenhauser Museum. The collection pays special attention to the Expressionism movement that swept Europe in the 20th century. Dive deeper into the city’s artistic heritage at Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, which overlooks the main square and showcases works by Romantic painters like Caspar David Friedrich. You’ll also see sculptures by masters like Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas.
Unpack the city’s blue-collar past at the Chemnitz Industrial Museum. The museum is housed in a former Saxon factory and features exhibits on the city’s role in the Industrial Revolution. An enormous 19th-century steam engine is the museum’s showpiece.
Use Chemnitz as a launchpad to explore the Ore Mountains. Hiking trails wind through the mountains and take you through flower-strewn alpine meadows and dense beech, spruce and fir forests. Dip your toes into crystalline streams and look for wildlife like European deer and badgers.
Getting around Chemnitz
Chemnitz is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot, while buses and trams operate across the city. Chemnitz is in Saxony, a one-hour drive from Dresden and Leipzig. Trains connect Chemnitz with both cities in under 1.5 hours.