Idar-Oberstein city break

Gemstones and fine wines


The gemstone city of Idar-Oberstein lies right next to some of the best wine-growing regions in the Naheland, and has a long tradition of fascinating delicacies. The colourful gemstones dominate the town and the surrounding area. They glitter and sparkle everywhere in the walls of the gemstone mine in Steinkaulenberg, which is the only one of its kind open to visitors in Europe. Polishers at the Historic “Weiherschleife” Cutting Mill, a 17th century agate polishing mill, demonstrate how the stones would have been processed in times gone by. The more than 10,000 exhibits at the German Gemstone Museum tell an interesting story. The town’s most famous landmark is the Felsenkirche church, which was built into the mighty cliffs in the 14th century. There are also a range of premium walking routes, including the wonderful Nahe-Felsen-Weg or the Hildegard of Bingen Pilgrimage Trail. In terms of food, the town has a few delicacies to offer, from the traditional spit roast over an open beechwood fire to a fine Nahe Riesling.

In the visitor tunnels at Steinkaulenberg

The only gemstone mine in Europe that is open to visitors


As you enter the gemstone mine in Steinkaulenberg, you feel you are stepping into a glittering fairy-tale world. A tour of the caves reveals unique, fascinating insights, with amethysts, agates, rock crystal, smoky quartz and calcite sparkling in the bedrock, and interesting stories about how the gemstones were formed and the back-breaking work of the gemstone miners of long bygone times.

Above ground, there are prospecting fields and a gemstone camp where treasure hunters large and small can, with a little luck and patience, find their own minerals and gemstones. They can also attempt to crack open a geode using an original stone crusher.

Glimpse of a gemstone mine near Idar-Oberstein, EdelSteinLand

Glimpse of a gemstone mine near Idar-Oberstein, EdelSteinLand

More recommended excursions in Idar-Oberstein:


More information about holidays in Idar-Oberstein

Find out everything about events, sights and more destinations in Idar-Oberstein at the EdelSteinLand Tourist Information.

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Schwarzes Icon, das ein Haus zeigt

Edelstein-Erlebniswelt

Idar-Oberstein In a Europe-wide unique and imaginatively designed exhibition landscape, precious gemstones and minerals can not only be viewed, but also experienced…

Felsenkirche

Idar-Oberstein The famous landmark of the city, the medieval church (built 1482 - 1484), which is visible from afar, towers over Idar-Oberstein in an exposed…

Historische Weiherschleife

Idar-Oberstein The last waterwheel-driven gemstone cutting mill on the Idarbach entertains its visitors with a worthwhile gemstone exhibition, multimedia show well…

Industriedenkmal Jakob Bengel

Idar-Oberstein Industrial history at your fingertips. In the unchanged atmosphere of a chain and jewellery factory founded in 1873, you will immerse yourself in a…

Schloss Oberstein

Idar-Oberstein The Lords of Daun-Oberstein Castle is strikingly situated on a rocky spur above the Nahe River. Together with Bosselstein Castle and the world-famous…