Panorama © DAAD
Jena Panorama© DAAD

As a student in the green city of Jena, you can walk in the footsteps of Schiller and Goethe and become acquainted with one of the bastions of German culture. Jena has everything a student needs. Not only will you receive top-class instruction at the university, but you can spend your leisure time in parks, cafés, theatres and museums.

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The best way to get to Jena is by train. Because you won’t believe your eyes once you’ve disembarked at the Jena-Paradies train station. There, stretching for kilometres around you, is Paradise Park where you’re sure to encounter many sport enthusiasts. The Saale River runs through the middle. Families, students and senior citizens sit on benches along the river bank and chat about their daily lives. Above the trees in the distance, you’ll spot the limestone cliffs which enclose the city of Jena and make it such an extraordinary place.

The character of the city is strongly influenced by its two universities. One in three inhabitants either study or work at the Jena University of Applied Sciences or the Friedrich Schiller University, whose faculty buildings are scattered throughout town. Jena’s economy benefits from the potential offered by this well-educated pool of young people. Companies like Carl Zeiss, Jenoptik and Schott Werke are not only the largest employers in the region, they are also among the market leaders in their fields.

On a wall in town, you can read “Du bist einfach paradiesisch!” (You are simply paradisiacal!), which you’ll find confirmed by the beauty of the city. When you arrive in Jena, you will be enchanted by its nature and location. There is good reason why famous people throughout history have fallen in love with the town and have studied or taught here. Schiller, Goethe and Novalis are just a few of the well-known residents who have left a lasting impression on Jena. The Goethe Memorial Site, The Romantikerhaus and the Schiller Garden are just some of the important sites you shouldn’t miss.

Even though it looks back on a rich history, Jena is by no means a sleepy, backwater town. The students provide youthful energy to the downtown streets which are lined with numerous shops and stores. The , located near the university’s main campus, contains a shopping centre and a large viewing platform up top.


Jena is a typical student town that offers everything you need or desire after a stressful day of classes. You can relax here, party, play sports and take advantage of a wide array of cultural programmes and events. Although the institutes of both universities are spread around town, you can reach your next lecture in no time if you have good walking shoes or a bike.

For a small snack, you should try out the cafés in the south end of the city. Café Grünowski offers affordable meals in a unique atmosphere, while vegans will enjoy yummy cupcakes and out-of-this-world chocolate frappes at Café Fau. If you’re in the mood for some luxury, try out the more conventional cafés at the marketplace. The Kaffeerösterei Markt 11 with its large selection of roasted coffees is especially popular. If you are very hungry, you can buy yourself a Hungarian lángos in Lélek or eat a pizza at Restaurant Il Ponte and shoot the breeze with the funny restaurant owner.

You’ll find lots of students in the Wagnergasse. You can get delicious cake at the Kaffeehaus Gräfe. If you’re in the mood for the best curried sausage in all of Thuringia, Fritz Mitte is the place to go. The bars and cafés in the Wagnergasse fill up quickly in the evening. If you and your friends want to find a table at the trendy Café Wagner, then you’d better get there early. They often hold well-attended events there, ranging from movies and concerts to student parties. If you find it all a bit too stressful, then check out kassablanca which offers a similar programme. If you want to get down and boogie, then you should head over to the F-Haus.

If you’re in the mood for something quieter, you can go see the exhibitions at the and the , or take time to smell the flowers for free at Germany’s second oldest botanical garden. The Planetarium with its impressive dome of stars is also worth a visit. The Theaterhaus Jena offers a diverse cultural programme that caters to the taste of every theatre enthusiast. In the summer, make sure you don’t miss the Kulturarena where plays, movies and concerts are shown and performed night after night on a large open-air stage.

How to find a room in Jena

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 Jena.


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