Ilmenau city center © Wendel/DAAD
Ilmenau city center© Wendel/DAAD

When you live in Ilmenau, you feel like you’re a part of a big family. Statistically speaking, one out of every four residents is a student, and many events and activities take place on campus. Ilmenau is an affordable city in Germany for students, and if you love nature, you’ll find it right at your doorstep.


38,891 Inhabitants ¹

5,225 Students ²

1 Higher education institution ²


Ilmenau is located in the state of Thuringia in the heart of Germany at the edge of the Thuringian Forest. It’s very close to other student towns, such as , and .

Ilmenau is a cosy, familiar town. The Technical University of Ilmenau has a very good reputation and attracts students from all over Germany and around the world.

Long ago, copper and silver mining were two of Ilmenau’s chief industries. Today, you’ll find numerous buildings and monuments dating back to its earlier history. One example is the Mining Chapel built in the 17th century. No one knows exactly what its original function was, which makes it all the more interesting to visit this beautiful relic of the past.

You should definitely take a look at the Ziegenbrunnen (Goat Fountain). The most famous poem about Ilmenau is engraved on the base of the fountain. Once you’ve read it, you’ll likely never forget it! “In Ilmenau, da ist der Himmel blau, da tanzt der Ziegenbock mit seiner Frau.” (In Ilmenau, the sky is blue, where the billy goat dances with his wife). Fittingly, the bronze sculpture atop the fountain depicts two goats dancing together.

Ilmenau hosts the “International Student Week” every two years. Students from various countries participate in discussions based on specific topics, such as “responsibility”.



Ilmenau is a affordable city for students in Germany. The university can help you find a flat or room in town. If you’re an international student coming to Ilmenau for the first time, you will find extra information about the buddy programme “We 4 You” in your notification package. A student from the TU Ilmenau will support you both before and after you arrive. They will explain what you have to take care of, accompany you to the various municipal authorities and show you around campus.

The majority of student life takes place on campus. There are numerous student groups which hold events on a regular basis. There are also large clubs on campus which offer something for everyone.


The Thuringian Forest offers a diverse array of opportunities for recreational activity. There are countless around Ilmenau which highlight different themes. On the “Nature Trail”, you can learn about the distinctive geographical features of the Thuringian Forest, and if you take the trail “From Bach to Goethe”, you can enjoy breath-taking views of the landscape.

If you ever feel a desire for more variety and want to see something new, it’s only an hour away to Erfurt with public transportation.

How to find a room in Ilmenau

Many university and college towns have dormitories or student halls, and a room there is often the most affordable accommodation. To obtain a room in a dormitory or student hall, you have to apply to your college or university’s student union (). Our ‘Find Student Hall’ function can be of practical help. You only need to make a few mouse clicks to get to the online application form. Find a room and more information about dormitories and student halls in Ilmenau.


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