Erlangen is located in the middle of a culturally and geographically highly appealing and diversified region.
Nuremberg which is located 20 kilometers south of Erlangen does not only have a very charming medieval centre in which one can combine sightseeing and shopping but it is a stronghold especially for historically interested people. The medieval heritage of Nuremberg has been preserved in large parts in the old town and becomes particularly manifest in the fortress and the city wall. Visitors who would like to get informed about the more recent and darker past of Nuremberg can do so in the Dokumentationszentrum east of the city center.
Not far from the Documentation Center is Nuremberg’s Zoological Garden which is always a popular destination. It enjoyed increased public interest in December 2007 when the polar bear "Flocke" was born.
Barely younger than its neighbor town is Fürth. The town achieved historical fame as destination of Germany’s first railway track (Nuremberg to Fürth) as well as being the birthplace of former US foreign minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Henry Kissinger.
60 kilometers sounth of Erlangen the Franconian Lake District attracts many visitors especially during the summer months. Many different water sport activities are possible on the five big lakes, amongst them sailing, surfing, diving, and, of course, swimming. In addition there is a huge variety of possible recreational activities for “landlubbers” such as hiking, climbing, golf, horseback riding and many more.
Bamberg, the “Franconian Rome”, is located 40 kilometers north of Erlangen. A visit to this university town which has been awarded the title World Heritage Site by UNESCO is always worthwhile to see its beautiful architectural monuments.
Northeast of Erlangen is the natural park landscape of "Franconian Switzerland", that offers a wide range of sights and activities. The Wiesent river, for example, the “Franconian Whitewater”, is especially popular for canoeing in the summer. Those, for whom cycling and hiking through the beautiful landscape is not sufficient, can, for example, marvel at impressive rock formations and fossile remnants of cave bears in Germany’s longest cave, the Devil’s Cave Pottenstein. Skiing and sledging are possible activities in winter. The region is also renowed for its traditional food and drink and one village holds the world record for the highest ratio of breweries to residents.