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Where can one get a great breakfast in the morning?
Are there any cultural highlights, museums?
Ideas for 2-3 activities and daytrips?
Good restaurants for dinner?
Typical tourist activities or places that one should NOT do, as they are not worthwhile doing.
Things can do to make it a fun and memorable evening?
How to get around and find best means of local transportation?"we need to travel on friday evening to Idar Oberstein from Frankfurt Main Airport, returning on Sunday afternoon to the same airport. I have heard that there are special week-end train tickets to share. Could you please help me to find the cheapest and most convienient ticket for a couple? Vielen Dank!" (posted 11/07/2016)
Where to find good quality groceries?
Are there any special local events?
Are there any local food specialties one should try out?
What makes this destination special? Why should one spend some time here during vacation?"do you have a tour for gemstone and how much the cost ?" (posted 10/05/2016)
Is there a good local deli or restaurant with lunch menu?
Are there any points of interest or local attractions?
What are good places to go for shopping?"Can you please recommend me jewelry and gemstones art galleries in Idar-Oberstein?" (posted 09/16/2014)
Any sporting activites and recommendations to stay active?
Questions around the weather, different seasons, ...
Popular Points of Interest in and near Idar-Oberstein
[ source: http://www.showcaves.com ]
Steinkaulenberg Gem Stone Mines
The only European gemstone mines which are open for visitors, the gemstone mines of Steinkaulenberg, welcome you for a journey through the fascinating realm of sparkling and precious stones. The existence of these mines is in fact the reason for the foundation of the Idar-Oberstein gemstone manufacturing in this spot. With commercial mining having come to a standstill in 1870, the mine has been completely dedicated to hobby mineralogists and gemstone lovers from all over the world. Besides the visitors’ gallery there is also a mining gallery. Here treasure hunters and collectors are free to experience the adventure of mining agates, amethysts, jasper and other quartzes, supervised by experts. The numerous tunnels and galleries are situated right in the middle of a nature reserve. The walk from the car park to the mines along a newly installed geological experience trail provides ten minutes of interesting information. The way to the mines as well as the mines themselves have been adapted to the needs of handicapped people.
Hours: Open daily March 15 - November 15, 9am - 5pm.
Admission: Adults 4.50 €. Concessions 3.50 €, Children 6-16 years 3 €, Children under 6 free.
[ source: Panoramio ]
The Historical Agate Mill
At the historical cutting mill
Weiherschleifefrom 1634, the last water-driven cutting mill on the Idarbach creek, experienced cutters will demonstrate you the methods applied in earlier centuries. The major part of their exhausting job was done while lying belly-down on tilting cutting chairs. Situated in beautiful scenery, the park around the cutting mill with the idyllic Kallwiesweiher-pond and a pleasant restaurant invites you to stay and relax.
Hours: Open daily March 15 - November 25 from 9am - 6pm. February 15 - March 14 and November 16 - December 15 Mondays - Friday, 10am - 4pm.
Admission: Adults 3.50 €, Concessions 2.50 €, Children 6-16 years 2.50 €, Children under 6 free.
Church in the Rock (Felsenkirche)
The Rock Church, a church built into a natural niche in the rocks, rises high above the houses of Oberstein. Wyrich IV of Daun-Oberstein, had it constructed in the years 1482-1484. Behind it, a wall of rocks rises steeply upwards, and under it, the houses of Oberstein nestle into the slope. On account of its prominent location, the church has become a symbol of the city. Where else is there a church that can only be entered through a tunnel which was dug into the rocks (1980-1981)?
The church's greatest treasure is the medieval winged altar. It was created around 1400 by an unknown painter, the "Master of the Mainz Mocking".From May to October church services take place every third Sunday of each month at 10am.
Hours: March 15 - October 31 daily 10am - 6pm. November 1 - 15 open daily 11am - 4pm.
Admission: Adults 2& euro;, Children and young people .50 €,
Castle Ruins Oberstein and Bosselstein
The Castles of Bosselstein and Oberstein reside above the city of Oberstein. It is a worthwhile experience indeed to climb up to them from the Marketplace downtown. On your way up you will stroll through a romantic wood past the Chapel-in-the-Rocks (Felsenkirche). The spectacular view of all the city and its surroundings will more than make up for the climb. And around the idyll of the Castle pond there are a multitude of interesting opportunities for walking or hiking. The Castle Bosselstein ruins, situated on the church rock, remind of its foundation in the year 1196 by the Lords of Stein (Oberstein). Destroyed in war times, the castle was not built up again. Instead, the Lords of the Castle moved to Castle Oberstein, which had been built in the year 1320. In the Middle Ages, a fall shaft construction was the only access possibility to get inside. Quite striking and rather atypical for the region is a Gothic bay window on the south-western façade of the castle. Not having been subjected to destruction in several skirmishes and battles, Castle Oberstein nevertheless fell prey to flames in 1855.
Since then, dedicated citizens have taken care of rebuilding the impressive construction. When you have reached the ruin or the new castle, the view will offer you a spectacular impression of the scenery from the Nahe valley far into the picturesque and sometimes bizarre landscape of the Hunsrück mountains.
Open year round, with guided tours upon request.
[ source: Museum website ]
Below the Chapel-in-the-Rocks, right on the Oberstein marketplace the Museum Idar-Oberstein shows its exhibits. Here the visitor will find anything which made Idar-Oberstein well-known and famous. There are important and unique collection of minerals, as well as samples showing the craftsmanship of local engravers, gold and silversmiths. In the most beautiful German crystal hall there are displayed the largest overseas minerals ever to be imported by European countries. And you really should not miss taking a glance into the fascinating fluorescence cabinet. Besides these highlights, there is also a quaint collection related to the city’s history which offers historical impressions of the city of gemstones.
Open daily April - October 9am - 5:30pm; November - March 11am - 4:30pm.
German Museum of Precious Stones (Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum)
The German Gemstone Museum displays approximately 10,000 gemstone varieties from all over the world in a stylish three-story building that was formerly a private residence. Next to cut sparkling gemstones and diamonds are artfully crafted sculptures and engravings as well as spectacular mineral specimens. The exhibition begins with minerals and rocks from the Idar-Oberstein region, found and worked more than 500 years ago. Of particular importance here are agate and jasper. Following the regional exhibition is a systematic display of the museum's mineral collection of nearly every known logical cut gemstone variety. Text and pictures explain how the Gemological identification is made. Exquisite examples of both the classic and more recently discovered gemstones can be viewed on the first floor : diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald, aquamarine, peridot, spinel, tanzanite, garnet and multi-colored tourmaline.
On the second floor is a growing collection of art engravings, cameos and hollowed out vases and dishes. This documents the expertise of many generations of master gemstone cutters and engravers of the Idar-Oberstein district. Gemstones used for technical and industrial purposes are also displayed here.
In the vault of the museum (Gewolbekeller), changing exhibitions on special gemstone topics are regularly scheduled, often in collaboration with other important museums around the world.
Hours: Open daily 9am - 6pm May - October and 9am - 5pm November - April.
Admission: 4.30 € Adults, 3.20 € Concessions, 1.60 € Children under 14 years.
What is your insider travel tip for Idar-Oberstein?
Travel Insider Tips for Idar-Oberstein
Idar-Oberstein is a city in the Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. It is The German Capital of Gemstone Industry. The city lies on the Nahe (Nahe vacation rentals | Nahe travel guide) River, in the district of Birkenfeld (Birkenfeld vacation rentals | Birkenfeld travel guide). It is the largest city in the Hunsrück region of southwest Germany, and has a population of around 35,000.
Things to Do
Since the early 1960s tourism became quite important for Idar-Oberstein. Today one will find many modern facilities like the "Steinkaulenberg" (a gemstone mine open for visitors) and the "Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum" (German gemstone museum) as well as many recreational resorts.
Spießbraten is a dish, typically pork or beef, associated with the area. For many years the town hosted an annual Spießbratenfest. Many restaurants specialize in this marinated steak of beef or pork. It is cooked on an open pit over a wood fire. It is typically served with a salad of grated radish and potatoes also cooked over the fire.
The recently opened Park Hotel is the main attraction on Friday nights, offering an upscale bar on the main floor and a "euro-rock" themed dance club on the bottom floor. Visitors seeking a younger, more questionable crowd may find respite in Club Ypsilon, in the Oberstein pedestrian zone. The large Russian immigrant population in the city has claimed Ypsilon as its own, reportedly leading to a number of small conflicts with American soldiers stationed in the area who periodically also try to establish an American presence in the club. Nearby Granadas, has been off-limits to American soldiers for several years, and so has a more uniformly European attendance--Granadas maintains both a hip-hop and techno themed floor for a younger crowd, similar to Ypsilon, and an 80's and disco dance-room for slightly older patrons. Other popular locations in Idar-Oberstein include the Cafè Carrè, the Brasserie on Idar's Schleiferplatz, and Eckstein, a modern pub on the Idar Walkplatz.
Options for recreational activity include tubing the Nahe (Nahe vacation rentals | Nahe travel guide) river during the early summer, running and hiking through the diamond mine paths, and several recurring city festivals to include the Caribbean Fest.
[ source: Wikipedia ]
More about the History of Idar-Oberstein
The towns of Idar and Oberstein belonged to the barons of Daun-Oberstein (who later became the counts of Falkenstein) until 1670. In 1865, both Idar and Oberstein were chartered as cities, and finally in 1933, they united (along with the smaller towns of Algenrodt and Tiefenstein) to form the modern town of Idar-Oberstein.
With a population of around 35,000, Idar-Oberstein is a city in the Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. The city lies on the Nahe River and is considered the German Capital of the Gemstone Industry. Options for recreational activity in Idar-Oberstein include tubing on the Nahe River during the early summer, running and hiking through the diamond mine paths, and a variety of city festivals, including the Caribbean Fest. When in the city, do not fail to visit the German Gemstone Museum and the Steinkaulenberg, a local gemstone mine.
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