The fastest and least expensive way to explore the region is by train. East Germany's rail infrastructure is exceptional; trains serve even the most remote destinations with astonishing frequency. Slower S, RB, and RE trains link smaller towns, while Leipzig, Dresden, Weimar, Erfurt, Naumburg, and Wittenberg are all on major InterCity Express (ICE) lines. Some cities—Dresden and Meissen, for example—are linked by commuter trains.
From Dresden a round-trip ticket to Leipzig costs about €43 (a 1½-hour journey one way); to Görlitz it’s about €38 (a 1½-hour ride). Trains connect Leipzig with Halle (a 30-minute ride, €10), Erfurt (a 1-hour ride, €28), and Eisenach (a 1½-hour journey, €28). The train ride between Dresden and Eisenach (2½ hours) costs €56 one way.
Consider using a Länder-Ticket: a €23 (plus €4 per person up to five people) regional day ticket from the German Railroad that covers local train travel in the respective state (for example, within Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, or Thuringia).
German Railroad (Deutsche Bahn). 0180/599–6633; www.bahn.de.