Connecting the best of Bauhaus by rail

Visit the birthplace of modern design on this tour of the best Bauhaus sites across eastern Germany. The pioneering principle of the Bauhaus school – namely functional elegance – continues to shape the world we live in today, from the utilitarian design of our homes to the modular furniture we fill them with.

Starting and ending in Berlin, this 3 or 4-day trip connects the most important places in Bauhaus history. Discover how the school’s ground-breaking ideas revolutionised the fields of architecture and design for generations to come and left a lasting impact around the world.

Bauhaus route

Berlin

Despite being the final city to play host to the Bauhaus, Berlin is home to an extraordinary collection of original buildings and sites. Join an art:berlin bus tour to discover the city’s rich Bauhaus heritage, including the Laubenganghäuser with their walkable rooftops and a small family-run chocolate shop where time has stood still since the 1920s.

Leipzig

Never an official location of the Bauhaus, cosmopolitan Leipzig has always been a city that embraces modernity. Today there are plenty of Bauhaus-inspired buildings to admire here, including the Versöhnungskirche, the city library’s Bauhaus-Lesesaal, the Westbad swimming pool and the Europahaus building.

Weimar

It was here in the cultural and literary heart of Germany that the Bauhaus school was founded in 1919. Weimar – the city of Bach, Goethe and Schiller – has had an illustrious past and its present is just as exciting. Visit the new Bauhaus Museum and marvel at some 11,000 objects before heading over to the university buildings and the ground-breaking Haus am Horn, the first building ever constructed by the Bauhaus masters.

Dessau

Dessau is the city most closely associated with the Bauhaus and is where the school had its heyday from 1925 to 1932. All three directors of the Bauhaus lived and worked here, and most of the Bauhaus buildings are located in the area. The new Bauhaus Museum, opened in 2019, is a great addition to the city’s Bauhaus heritage. You can also have dinner and spend the night in the one and only Bauhaus hotel.

Berlin

Take the time to visit the “original bauhaus” centenary exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie as well as the Mies van der Rohe Haus, the last residential building in Germany designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe before emigrating to the United States in 1938. For other events and exhibitions, check out visitberlin.de.

About Bauhaus

Since its founding in 1919, the Bauhaus school has transformed the way we live, from art and architecture to interior and industrial design. It rejected the conservative values of German society at the time and embraced modernity, minimalism and above all functionality. Ornamentation and embellishment were cast aside and a more honest ‘truth to materials’ was revered.

In its brief existence, the school was based in three different locations – Weimar, Dessau and Berlin – before eventually, under pressure from the Nazis, being forced to close its doors. But the seeds of modern design had already been sown, and many prominent Bauhaus figures managed to escape Germany and spread their ideas around the world. Our functional IKEA furniture and geometric iPhones are testament to the continuing influence that Bauhaus has today.

Today, the cities of Weimar, Dessau, Leipzig and Berlin are home to some of the most iconic monuments to the Bauhaus school, with numerous world-class museums, galleries and archives open to the public, as well as lots of original Bauhaus buildings. In 1996, the Bauhaus and its sites in Weimar and Dessau were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Bauhaus route by rail

Duration: This Bauhaus journey starts and finishes in Berlin. Depending on your preference, you’ll need between 3 and 4 days (including a day in Berlin) to complete the tour. All destinations are also easy to reach on a day trip from Berlin. 

Ticket: For maximum flexibility, buy an Interrail Germany Pass (for non-German residents only). This pass grants you unlimited access to all trains in Germany, including highspeed ICE trains. No reservations are needed, so you can take any train at any moment of the day. Prices are €192 for 3 days and €218 for 4 days within one month. However, passes are much better value if you buy them for longer periods, such as the 8-day pass for €297. So if you plan on seeing more of Germany, this may be your best bet. For more information, visit www.interrail.eu.

Deutsche Bahn’s Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket is an affordable yet slower option, granting between 1 and 5 passengers unlimited use of all regional trains in Germany for an entire day.

Train Times
RouteDurationType of Connection
Berlin

Leipzig
1:15 hrsHighspeed ICE train, direct
Leipzig

Weimar
1:20 hrsDirect regional train
Weimar

Dessau
2:00 hrsRegional train, change in Halle (Saale)
Dessau

Berlin
1:40 hrsDirect regional train
Bart Giepmans
Written by Bart Giepmans
Bart practically grew up on a train and has been discovering Europe by rail since his childhood. Stints at the Dutch and German Railways and at Interrail have turned him into an ardent ambassador for train travel. Bart has a passion for history and Alpine trails and is commuting regularly between Utrecht and Berlin.