BUGA Erfurt 2021
23 April until 10 October 2021
With deep roots in Thuringia and a long association with the city, the coming home to Erfurt of the National Garden Festival in 2021 will continue the city’s tradition of hosting horticultural shows; indeed, it was here that the first international gardening exhibition was held back in 1865. ‘BUGA 2021’ revives this legacy for us to witness and experience once again. For 171 days, the capital of Thuringia will be transformed into a verdant floral garden oasis. Fields of flowers in bloom, a historic backdrop, vibrant colours, an intoxicating scent – Erfurt will celebrate the renaissance of its heritage as a city of flowers and showcase every aspect of the gardener’s craft.
City of flowers
The summer and flower festival opened on 23 April 2021 amidst the lively ambience of one of Germany’s most beautiful cities – not only the baroque citadel is in full bloom, but magnificent gardens also fill the city’s historic horticultural site. The BUGA festival is here, and with it more than 430,000 m² of exhibition space, a sea of plants and flowers covering an area of 87,000 m², more than fifty themed and show gardens, 23 indoor floral displays, exhibitions, and a wealth of other attractions. Such as ‘Danakil’, the first desert and jungle house of its kind. And visitors will also be able to attend some of the many BUGA events taking place among the colourful seas of flowers – more than 3,500 memorable attractions are being staged against a unique historic backdrop. There is guaranteed to be something to delight all generations: for flower and plant-lovers, those with an appreciation for music, drama, dance or film, culture-vultures, and those simply seeking a moment of respite.
The egapark is Thuringia’s largest and most beautiful garden. The colourful, scented expanse of flowers reflects the infinite diversity of the plant world. This is the beating heart of the 2021 BUGA festival: a historic park extending over an area of 36 hectares in the style of Bauhaus modernism, which is unique for the diversity of its gardens and show beds.
Newly designed themed gardens provide inspiration, demonstrate new varieties, and encourage imitation. Other attractions include inspiring exhibitions suggesting ideas for your garden, the feature on grave and monument design, and the gardener’s marketplace. Dahlias, pelargoniums, rhododendrons, begonias, fuchsias and shrubs – the entire site is buzzing with an unparalleled display of magnificent plants and flowers. The 23 displays staged in the two halls change every week and are a perfect reflection of our horticultural tradition. Here, gardeners and florists demonstrate their skills – and propose all sorts of ideas for visitors to try out at home. You can also find answers to a wide range of gardening-related questions at the German Horticultural Museum, with its modern structure and brand-new permanent exhibition.
Adventure for young and old
At the centre of the egapark is ‘Danakil’, the first desert and jungle house in the world. Two climate zones are housed in an enormous building, with water as the connecting feature. And there are both flora and fauna on display – meerkats, spiders, ants, bats, and tropical butterflies. Each demonstrates its relationship with the element of water – whether it is in short supply or in overabundance. The priceless value of water is explained to visitors during an audiovisual tour which employs innovative teaching methods. Danakil is a place of education and adventure for young and old, both fun and ambitious in scale, which provides visitors with a close-up experience.
Tradition and history at a citadel in bloom
The Petersberg and its citadel tower above the roofs of the Old Town – and it is here that the second exhibition area of the Erfurt Garden Festival is to be found. This is one of the largest and best-preserved fortifications in Europe – and it is in full bloom for the BUGA festival. In 2021, you can find Thuringian bantams, broad beans, ‘Erfurter giant’ cauliflowers and woad, which was once virtually priceless. Against a historic backdrop, contemporary gardening history overlaps with the story of the city of Erfurt.
Insights into the different eras of gardening history, exhibitions of flowers and vegetables typical of Erfurt, and exciting new pathways through the restored complex have transformed the Petersberg into an impressive tourist destination which enjoys an incredible view of the city below. Horticulture from the Renaissance and Baroque eras and from the heyday of the landscaped garden invite the visitor on a journey through the history of horticulture. The 167 m long Defence Barracks building, which was constructed as an artillery position and has stood vacant for decades, is to be reopened for the first time as a restaurant for the BUGA festival. It will be situated next door to a Thuringian farm shop offering samples of regional cuisine, which will also sell local handicrafts.
The mediaeval kitchen garden reminds visitors that a monastery once stood here, of which St. Peter’s Church still survives. The area is being given new prominence by an exhibition organised by the Castles and Gardens of Thuringia Foundation entitled, ‘Paradise gardens – garden paradises’. Erfurt’s horticultural heritage will be celebrated by the ‘Erfurt garden treasures’ in the moat. Descend the slide past flowers in their thousands or walk down through a colourful sea of blooms. Familiar vegetable varieties, traditional plants used as dyes, herbs and medicines, classic flowering plants, Erfurt originals, indigenous varieties – this area of the exhibition hosts a wealth of Erfurt garden treasures.
BUGA opening hours
Open daily from 9 am until sunset
Main entrances open daily from 9 am to 8 pm
Side entrances open daily from 9 am to 8 pm
How to find us
If you buy a one-day or two-day ticket for BUGA 2021, this will include a one-day ticket for use on Erfurt’s local public transport system.
The two BUGA sites at Petersberg and the egapark are linked by tram route 2 from the first day of the BUGA festival. The journey time between the two sites is about 8 minutes.
It takes about 20-30 minutes to walk from one site to the other.
Arriving by public transport:
Erfurt main railway station and bus station are served by national and local train services and regional and intercity buses respectively.
Tram route 2 towards ‘P+R-Platz Messe’ will operate a regular shuttle service from the main railway station to the two exhibition areas at Petersberg and the egapark for the duration of the BUGA festival. Trams will depart every ten minutes between 9 am and 7 pm.
The BUGA site at Petersberg is about ten minutes by foot from the ‘Domplatz Süd’ stop; cross the Domplatz, then follow Panoramaweg and take the new lift by the citadel walls.
To the egapark
The main entrance to the BUGA site at the egapark can be reached on foot after alighting at ‘egapark’. Another entry/exit point is located a short walk away from the tram stop at ‘Gothaer Platz’.
Erfurt main railway station – Domplatz Süd:
Domplatz Süd – egapark:
Erfurt main railway station – egapark:
Erfurt lies on the regional and national long-distance cycle network which crosses Thuringia. If travelling from the east or west, follow the ‘Thüringer Städtekette’ route, or the ‘Gera-Radweg’ route if travelling from the north or south. There are bike stands at the entrances to the BUGA sites at Petersberg and the egapark. More detailed information about coming to the garden festival by bike will be posted soon.
You can plan your trip to the BUGA festival digitally using the Thuringian cycle route planner.
Arriving by car via the A 71:
Take the A71 towards Erfurt and leave at the exit for Erfurt-Bindersleben. Follow the signposts for Erfurt-Bindersleben/Flughafen/Erfurt-Zentrum/Messe and head towards the city centre on Eisenacher Strasse. After driving through the district of Schmira, follow the signs for the BUGA car-parks. There is ample parking available on the festival site.
Arriving by coach via the A 71:
Take the A71 towards Erfurt and leave at the exit for Erfurt-Bindersleben. Follow the signposts for Erfurt-Bindersleben/Flughafen/Erfurt-Zentrum/Messe and head towards the city centre on Eisenacher Strasse. After driving through the district of Schmira, turn right and follow the signs for the coach park in Wartburgstrasse.
There are public toilets and a lounge for drivers at the coach park.
From the coach park, follow the signs to the tram stop. This is about a 5 minute walk away. Tram route 2 links the coach park in Wartburgstrasse with the exhibition areas at the egapark (journey time of 5 minutes) and Petersberg (an additional 10 minutes). Use of the local public transport system is included in the cost of a one-day ticket on the day of your visit.
We recommend that you commence your visit at the Petersberg BUGA site (7 stops from the ‘P+R-Platz Messe’ tram stop). Trams depart every ten minutes from 9 am to 7 pm throughout the period of the BUGA festival.
If you have any questions or suggestions to make about the 2021 National Garden Festival in Erfurt, or if you wish to get in touch for some other reason, please contact us by emailing email@example.com