The university city of Jena has more than 100,000 inhabitants with 20 % student proportion, composing a very young and international atmosphere. As lively city, Jena offers visitors many exciting attractions. The medieval city centre exudes its typical German charm with its many pubs, old Gothic buildings and narrow alleys that invite you to go shopping. Strolling through the old town you should take a look at the astronomical clock at the old town hall. The nearby JenTower, which belongs to the university, offers a spectacular view of the entire city from the restaurant and viewing platform on the 27th floor.
Jena, with one of the oldest universities in Germany, is known for its historical and intellectual past. In the 19th century, the Friedrich Schiller University was the meeting place for poets and scientists of classicism such as Goethe and Schiller.
Stargazers should make a detour to the Zeiss Planetarium, the oldest operating planetarium in the world. Here you can see the old instruments, but also one of the shows in the huge laser dome of the planetarium running with latest projection and sound systems installed in 2011. Jena is also known for the manufacture of optical and photographic instruments and microscope lenses, the latter invented by the scientist Carl Zeiss, who studied in this city and later founded his factory here.
Those who prefer to spend their time outdoors should visit the city's Botanical Garden on their city trip to Jena. It was built in 1586 and is the second oldest botanical garden in Germany. More than 10,000 tropical plants and flowers grow in the huge greenhouses, which cover an area of 4.5 hectares.