The Elbauenpark in Magdeburg covers a good 100 hectares and we had 100% relaxation, 100% fun and 100% surprise factor during our visit.
During our much too short stay in Magdeburg, we went to the large family and leisure park on the former Federal Garden Show grounds and had a great time there.
Origin of the park
The Elbauenpark is located on the Cracauer Anger, a meadow area covering a good 450 hectares. This area consisted almost exclusively of wet meadows and was used as pasture land. Around 1820, the area was divided by streets. This created the Small and the Large Craucauer Anger.
Around the middle of the 19th century, the area began to be used for military purposes. A military training ground, a parade ground, a shooting range and smaller military buildings were erected.
After the railway line to Berlin was opened in 1873, residential houses and factories were built in one area of Cracauer Anger, and excursion and dance clubs in other areas. Several bathing beaches opened along the Elbe and football clubs trained on the Kleiner Cracauer Anger.
I find it particularly interesting that the Cracauer Anger played a role in the development of powered flight. The Magdeburg engineer Hans Grade performed the first German powered flight there on 28.10.1908. He flew a triplane 8 metres high and 60 metres far. Would he have succeeded if a woman had not crossed into his run-up path and he had pulled the elevator in fright? In any case, the landing was not so successful, but that did not stop him from making further attempts to fly. In 1914, the first Zeppelin airship landed at the Cracow airfield.
During the Second World War, barracks and other military buildings were built in some areas. Some of these are still preserved today. After the war, the people of Magdeburg used the Kleine Cracauer Anger as a rubble dumping ground for the debris from the destroyed city.
In 1949, the Red Army took over the site and left it in 1992, after which explosive ordnance clearance and recultivation of the site began.
The 1999 Federal Horticultural Show was certainly a driving factor that promoted the transformation of the grounds. Landscape architects, in cooperation with architects and artists, planned and realised a park landscape that was to create a symbiosis of nature, recreation close to the city, entertainment, sport and art.
After the Federal Horticultural Show in 2000, the grounds were redesigned to provide Magdeburg’s citizens with a long-term recreational destination. For example, new family-friendly attractions were opened in the Elbauenpark, and a fitness trail and animal enclosures were created. Little by little, the diverse offer expanded.
What can you experience in the Elbauenpark?
One thing I have to say right away – you need time if you really want to experience all the attractions in the Elbauenpark. There is so much to see, wonderful paths to walk along and nice places to relax. You can take your food with you or eat in one of the restaurants – the time there flies by.
You can visit various themed gardens on a walk through the park. The rose garden is beautiful, for example, and you can experience a bit of a thrill in the maze as you try to find your way outdoors.
The lake stage is hard to miss. Many events take place here, from concerts to recordings of TV productions.
Action in Elbauenpark
If you like a bit of action, there’s plenty to do in the Elbauenpark. There are fields for football, volleyball, beach volleyball, handball and basketball, and I also discovered a fitness course and a Frisbee golf course. The summer toboggan run is fast-paced. You whizz down into the valley on a track that is over 400 metres long.
Or how about climbing? There is not only a climbing rock but also a high ropes course in the Elbauenpark.
People from the age of 6 can put their dexterity and stamina to the test in the climbing park. You can climb on three levels that run at different heights. There are eight routes with 55 elements that offer everyone a certain challenge.
You need an additional ticket for the climbing park, which you can buy directly at the facility.
Children in Elbauenpark
The Elbauenpark is a paradise for children. Not only the undisturbed romp without traffic, but also the sports facilities and numerous playgrounds make their eyes sparkle.
My particular highlight was the huge slide tower. Its use is already included in the entrance fee and I honestly would have liked to have had such a slide selection as a child. The lowest slide is a curvy half-shell slide that starts at a height of 4.5 metres and is 14 metres long. The gradient is quite low and so the youngest children can slide down it slowly with enthusiasm. The tunnel slide is faster, almost 21 metres long, and the biggest thrill is definitely the 36-metre free-fall slide. Here you are supposed to reach a speed of up to 50 km/h.
A visit to the goats in the petting enclosure is also particularly popular with children. There is even the possibility to buy food at the nearby kiosk and feed the animals.
You can’t pet them, but you can see 200 beautiful animals in the butterfly house. Families also like to come here.
The Millenium Tower
For us, the centre of attraction in the Elbauenpark – the millennium tower. It was built for the Federal Horticultural Show in 1999 and is a truly unique structure.
The asymmetrical cone shape rises 60 metres into the air. The entire wooden tower consists of glued laminated timber covered by a translucent foil.
Outside, a spiral ramp, which can be entered, winds around the tower. The slope of the ramp is quite steep and therefore unfortunately closed to wheelchair users. At a height of 42 metres there is a viewing platform. From there, you can take a zip line for a speedy ride down into the depths.
The view from the millennium tower in the Elbauenpark is impressive. You can see over the entire park area and discover the city centre of Magdeburg on the other side of the Elbe.
If you go inside the Millennium Tower, I think it is even more impressive. You reach the individual levels via six floors, which can be reached via a staircase. Each of these levels deals with a section of an exhibition that offers something for all age groups.
Here, the 6000-year history of mankind’s scientific achievements is listed and illustrated chronologically.
When you enter the tower, you are on the first level. Here the look back into history begins with a look at the time of the early advanced civilisations. From Egypt with its pyramids and the Roman advanced civilisation, physical and mathematical problems of this era are presented at smaller and larger experiment stations. There was so much to discover that it was hard for us to move on.
On the second floor, the focus is on the Middle Ages. From medical topics to the first simple machines (for example, the pulley), there are great panels with explanations and some experiment stations.
The further you climb up the millennium tower, the newer the scientific topics on display become: Mechanics, vacuum, magnetism, mathematics, alchemy, medicine, printing, chemistry, biology, optics, electricity, thermodynamics, genetic engineering, nuclear energy…
Many famous personalities are briefly introduced, for example Leonardo da Vinci, Martin Behaim, Johannes Kepler, Otto von Guericke, Marie Curie….
Each floor is presented in an interesting way and if you really want to absorb all the information, you will need several hours. I think this exhibition is worth visiting several times and you are sure to discover something new again and again!
March: 10-18 h
April: 9-18 h
May – August: 9-19 h
September, October: 9 – 18 h
November, December: 10-16 h
24.12., 31.12.: 10-13 h
The attractions are usually open from Tuesday to Sunday. The exact times can be found in the calendar on the website.
Day ticket including Millennium Tower, Butterfly House, Elbauen Express
Green ticket including playgrounds, petting enclosure, fallow deer enclosure, garden shows, sports area
Adults: 3,- €
Discounts are offered.
Good to know…
There are several paid parking spaces available in Tessenowerstraße. During large events, additional parking spaces will be opened in the immediate vicinity:
– Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences (Herrenkrugstraße and Breitscheidstraße).
– GETEC Arena (Berliner Chaussee)
– MDCC Arena (Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse)
– Lange Lake (footpath via Herrenkrugbrücke and Herrenkrugstraße)
Price per day: 5,- €
30 minutes: 0,50 €
During events, the parking spaces cost about 7,- €.
Tram line 5 (direction Messegelände) and tram line 6 (direction Herrenkrug) run from the city centre to the Messegelände/Elbauenpark stop.
Bus number 51 leaves the city centre in the direction of Biederitz. Here, too, you get off at the Messegelände/Elbauenpark stop.
The main entrance with the main cash desk is located at Tessenowstraße 7. Other entrances can be found in Herrenkrugstraße and Breitscheidtstraße.
There are several small exits that can be exited through a turnstile. Bicycles, prams and wheelchairs can also pass through the turnstiles. Bicycle trailers do not fit through the turnstiles.
When you leave the park, the day ticket loses its validity.
The main box office at Tessenowstraße 7 is open daily from 9am-6pm.
No! Only guide dogs and assistance dogs are allowed.
No! The slide tower is available to all park visitors free of charge. The mandatory slide mats are also free of charge.
Yes! There are different tickets to buy for the summer toboggan run. Children from the age of 8 can ride alone with the permission of a supervising person.
The visit to the Elbauenpark was part of a research trip to Magdeburg.