Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt) is a state of Germany. Located in the central part of Germany it is one of the states that used to belong to the former state East Germany (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR). It is bordered by the states of Brandenburg to the north and east, Saxony to the south-east, Thuringia to the south and Lower Saxony to the west.
Major cities are:
Other cities are:
Though rich in history and cultural heritage starting with the bronze age, Saxony-Anhalt as a state is fairly young and only exists since 1946, created out of parts of the former prussian province of Saxony and the Duchy of Anhalt. It covers a wide variety of landscapes from the Harz mountains to the north german plain.
Having some of the most fertile soils in Germany, traces of settlement date back to the bronze age, as the find of the Nebra Sky Disk shows. In the middle ages places like Magdeburg, Halberstadt and Quedlinburg were important political centres within the Holy Roman Empire. The reformation of the church spread from Wittenberg around the globe since 1517.
Today the state of Saxony-Anhalt has got the highest density of Unesco World Cultural Heritage out of all states in Germany. These comprise the Martin Luther memorial sites at Wittenberg and Eisleben, the old town of Quedlinburg, the Garden Realm of Dessau-Wörlitz and the Bauhaus-sites at Dessau.
There is only one minor airport within the state, Magdeburg-Cochstedt (CSO), which has only some seasonal flights to some warm water destinations. Saxony-Anhalt shares the Leipzig-Halle Airport (LEJ) with Saxony, which has connections to most other German and some European destinations. LEJ has train connection to Leipzig and Halle with interchanges to nearly all areas of the state from there.
Also within reasonable distance (approx. 2 hours) are the airports of Hanover (HAJ) and the Berlin airports Tegel (TXL) and Schönefeld (SXF), eventually to be replaced by the new Berlin Airport BER some day in the future. Of those airports, Tegel has the widest choice of international destinations.
The main hubs in Germany, Frankfurt (FRA) or Munich (MUC) are about four to five hours away.
Centrally located within Germany, Saxony-Anhalt has a variety of train connections. There are the east-to-west-corridors: the high-speed-line Berlin -Wolfsburg - Hanover, used by ICE-trains, some of them calling at Stendal, the trunk line Berlin-Potsdam-Magdeburg-Braunschweig-Kassel/Hanover, used by all kinds of trains and the Halle-Kassel/Göttingen line (regional trains only).
North-south there is the main line Berlin - Wittenberg - (Leipzig) - Naumburg - Nuremberg/Frankfurt, served by ICE and IC-trains, some also calling at Bitterfeld and Halle and the Leipzig - Halle - Magdeburg - Wittenberge-line, which connects at Wittenberge to the sea ports (Hamburg, Rostock).
Likewise, Saxony-Anhalt is well connected to the German Autobahn-grid. Nearly every traveller to Berlin passes through Saxony-Anhalt. Main Motorway east-west ist the A 2 (Berlin - Hanover and beyond), which serves the north. Further south is B 6n, dual-carriageway from Bernburg to Goslar and beyond, extension from Bernburg to Köthen being under construction and the A 38 Halle- Göttingen. In the north-south-direction there ist the A 9 (Berlin-Munich), which cuts the eastern and southern parts of Saxony-Anhalt (Dessau, Wittenberg, Halle, Naumburg). The A 14 (Dresden-Magdeburg) runs through central parts of Saxony-Anhalt and the A 71 (Sangerhausen-(Erfurt)-Schweinfurt, once completed, will connect to Thuringia and northern Bavaria, the last 20 km between Sangerhausen and Erfurt still missing.
Of course, there are plenty of minor roads connecting to any direction.
There are no scheduled boat transfers to Saxony-Anhalt. However, some river cruises use the Elbe cruising Hamburg - Dresden or Potsdam - Prague, usually stopping at Magdeburg, Dessau and Wittenberg.
Public transport is for the most part good fast and reliable. If you plan to do a day trip the "Sachsen-Anhalt-Ticket" might just be what you are looking for. It costs 22€ for one person plus 4 € for each additional up to five and covers all regional trains in Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony and Thüringen plus public transport in Halle, Magdeburg, Leipzig, Erfurt, Gera, Jena (not Dresden though). Validity is from 9 am on working days (all day on weekends) until 3 am the following morning.