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 one of the three most affordable cities in Germany for students, and if you love nature, you’ll find it right at your doorstep.

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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 university 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. If you relish the thought of studying Mathematics, Technical Physics, Computer Science and Automotive Engineering, then the university in Ilmenau is a perfect choice for you. Regenerative Energy Technology, Electrochemistry and Galvanic Technology, and Miniaturised Biotechnology are just some of the rather unusual master’s degree programmes offered here.

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 year. Students from over 70 countries participate in discussions based on specific topics, such as “responsibility”.


According to the rankings published in the student magazine “Unicum”, Ilmenau is one of the three most affordable cities 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. He or she 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 four large clubs on campus which offer something for everyone.

One of these is the which organises concerts and parties. Even during the day, students are welcome to drop by the club for a cup of coffee. The residents of Ilmenau will tell you that „Café Bohne“ is the best bar far and wide. Besides the normal parties and evenings with live music, they also put on specials like a whiskey-tasting event.

At the café “Zauberhaft” in the Ilmenau Toy Museum, you can experience the atmosphere of the former GDR (German Democratic Republic). You’ll find yourself transported back in time where you can try the typical meals (like “Soljanka”), beverages and cakes of socialist East Germany.

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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