Suhl is an independent town of 45 000 located at in the he south-west side of the "Thuringian Forest", close to the so called "Rennsteig", one of the best known hiking trails of Germany as well as to many other marked trails.
Suhl became a town as early as 1527 and became famous especially for its weapon industry.
Suhl has many attractions and sightseeing is a pleasure at any season.
Suhl has excellent connections with many cities by different "Autobahns". This and a good infrastructure make it an excellent starting point to explore many parts of Thuringia within one day.
It is nicer in summer - Suhl, Kreuzkirche
The surrounding mountains reach almost a height of 1000 m or 3000 feet. This makes Suhl an excellent tourist destination also for nature lovers.
When I visited Suhl the first time to see downtown I parked very close on a little parking lot. After a very short walk I was in the pedestrian area where only delivery vehicles and bicycles are allowed.
As you can see it was winter and the temperatures were not exactly pleasant. Only the kids seemed to enjoy it. Everybody else tried to go back to the warmth as soon as possible.
It is certainly nicer strolling around in summer and doing some window shopping.
However, if you like skiing or another winter sport Suhl is know for having lots of snow and it is only a short drive to places where you can practise your skills.
The Thuringian Forest is well know for its clean air and all year long outdoor activities.
For that reason I also decided to visit two museums, the "Waffenmuseum" and the "Verkehrsmuseum" (vehicle museum)
The "Waffenmuseum" is dedicated to the weapon industry of Suhl which was and is famous for small guns. The second one mainly to the motorcycle and car industry of the former DDR.
For both I have prepared a brief web site to show what you can expect. The weapon museum was renovated in the meantime and the vehicle museum moved to a better location.
The "Weapon Museum" (Waffenmuseum) in Suhl (photo has been taken during my first visit)
I enjoyed it very much to visit places like that. Not being a real winter sport fanatic (except snowmobiling which is not allowed in many parts of Europe) indoor activities kept me very busy. Naturally, also the good food and the friendly people I met in our cozy restaurant in Siegritz.
Downtown Suhl in January
Downtown Suhl in June
Strolling through the pedestrian zone in summer is a real pleasure. Do some shopping, enjoy baked goods with good and strong coffee or treat yourself to mouthwatering ice cream. I did all that and did not gain any weight.
The Lutheran "Kreuzkirche"
If you want to explore Suhl reserve a few days to do so. Visit some churches and leave a few Euro as a pledge for required renovations.
A nice lady who worked as a volunteer explained me that this clock always shows 5 minutes before twelve as a reminder to all of us.
During normal shopping hours the downtown area is bustling, Enjoy to sit outdoors if the weather is nice.
Lots of convenient underground parking is provided close to downtown. However, be careful some of these places close early and are not open all night.
In many areas you can park a limited time for free on the road or public places if you use the park disk. We had only one car for our use and I had to so some business somewhere else. Far that reason Elizabeth, my wife, took advantage of the excellent public transportation system which uses buses. She loved to do her daily exercises in the "Ottilienbad" which is located in the downtown "Congress Centrum Suhl" (congress center). Every bus driver was helpful to prevent that she got lost without speaking a single word of English.
Elizabeth was never afraid or ashamed to do this and soon she was well known by some store owners, bus drivers, the lady where she went for tanning and so one.
She also went alone on some secret shopping tours. For that purpose she had saved some money.
The hotel - now under new ownership
The above picture shows a hotel adjacent to the congress center. We were told to have breakfast there and to enjoy the beautiful view on the town and the Thuringian forest.
When we tried to do that the sign were so poorly placed in the hotel that we could not find the right elevator. Finally we asked (in German) and learned that only a Sunday brunch is served on the upper floor and that it is normally closed. I think that is the decision of a lousy management!
The congress center is impressive but was deserted. Many stores were for rent when we visited it. I was informed that in the meantime the "Vehicle Museum" finally found an adequate location here.
Art in the congress center
The center also hosts the "Tourist Information Suhl". You can pick up many helpful printed information in German but do not expect to get detailed advise in English. Elizabeth, my wife was much more fluent in German than the staff in English!
Tourist Information Suhl
The ":Ottilienbad" in the congress center has a direct connection to the adjacent hotel. This is certainly a benefit for the guests who stay there. We met many members of international teams who participated in an ongoing competition in Suhl.
Buildings which date back to the former GDR surround an old fountain
An eye catching pond is another attraction of the downtown area
As much as I love German food - after a certain time I need something different. Considering the size of Suhl it has an astonishing variety of restaurants who offer international cuisine. You find places which are specialized in Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mexican and Thai food. However many dishes are "Germanized" to meet the local taste. I am used to similar alterations in Canada.
This Thai restaurant was one of our favorites
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