Bamberg sights / top tips for a holiday in the historic city of Upper Franconia / Bamberg Tips: Bamberg Travel Guide
Where are you going on your next city trip? Do you long for a little breather from everyday life? If you want to go away for a few days, it is worth taking a look at the Upper Franconia region in Bavaria. There you can discover some highlights and above all taste delicious beer. The world heritage city of Bamberg is one of the top tips. The city built around and on seven hills (well, who has to think of Rome immediately) inspires with one of the largest contiguous and best-preserved old towns in Germany. That’s a quick-witted argument for a visit, isn’t it? If you want to know more, you should scroll through the Bamberg sights. Here we go!
The most important community in Bavaria in the Upper Franconia region, Bamberg is located on the western edge of a wide basin in the Regnitz valley, a river that runs seven kilometers downstream from the main river. The oldest part is the diocese, with the cathedral and the former Benedictine abbey of Michaelsberg, on the high west bank of the left branch of the river. The “Bürgerstadt” (district) is located between the two branches of Regnitz.
Bamberg is a university town and an important center for cultural festivals and events, and its symphony orchestra is internationally renowned. The city’s wonderfully preserved historic town area with medieval architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for its seven hills, each crowned with a beautiful old church.
1. Old town of Bamberg
The old town of Bamberg welcomes you like a postcard motif. In the Franconian city you can admire beautiful half-timbered houses, many breweries or historic buildings during your walks through cute, cobbled streets.
Around 1,000 houses are listed on site. That’s supposed to mean something, isn’t it?
And it is no coincidence that one of Bamberg’s top sights is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your visit you should definitely capture the romantic scenery with a boat tour on the Regnitz.
Surrounded by medieval flair, just let yourself be carried through the labyrinth. You can discover small shops or charming bars on every corner and take a welcome break.
My Bamberg tip: take your time and explore the city on foot, treat yourself to a coffee in one of the cafés and soak up the atmosphere!
2. Bamberg Cathedral with Domplatz / Bamberg Tips
The landmark of Bamberg is, without ifs and buts, the Bamberg Cathedral. The Romanesque building sits enthroned high above the roofs of the city on the hill of the same name and is one of the German imperial cathedrals.
The cathedral is characterized by its four striking towers, the tomb of the holy imperial couple Heinrich II and Kunigunde, the statue of the Bamberg horseman and the papal tomb of Clemens II. If you want to learn more about the history on site, you should take part in guided tours.
And those were by no means all the highlights on Bamberg’s cathedral square. Those of you who are interested in architecture will be amazed by the different visible influences of the epochs such as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.
You will also find the New Residence and the State Library of Bamberg in the magnificent buildings.
3. Old Town Hall
You’ve probably seen pictures of the old town hall in Bamberg before, even if you can’t immediately assign the scenery to the city. You can reach one of the top sights in Bamberg via the Upper and Lower Bridges.
The old town hall was built on an artificial island in the middle of the Regnitz and connects the old town with the new town. The building impresses with its uniqueness and colorful facades.
There you will find an absolute jewel and a wonderful photo spot on your way through the city. You can also marvel at the interior, as the building is home to the Ludwig Collection (a porcelain collection) and the Rococo Hall.
4. Old Court
Back on the Domberg you will find the Alte Hofhaltung, a former residence of the bishops. The special Renaissance building is now home to the Bamberg Historical Museum and the Katharinenkapelle.
You can learn more about the city’s Jewish past in different sections or marvel at art-historical paintings.
5. New residence
Now stay close and walk about a minute in the direction of the New Residence of Bamberg. This building completes the ensemble of cathedral, old court and new residence.
One of the Bamberg tips worth seeing was considered the subsequent bishopric and welcomes you today with the baroque state gallery and imposing state rooms that shine with historical furnishings.
After you have looked around inside, you should take a closer look at the Bamberg rose garden. There you can enjoy breathtaking views over the city with a delicious coffee and take a welcome break.
6. Little Venice
The former fishing settlement, Bamberg’s Little Venice, is an absolute must during your stay and will inspire you immediately. On the banks of the Regnitz you will find rows of half-timbered houses that are decorated with small gardens and colorful flowers.
You have the best view of the romantic scenery from the other bank of the river over the St. Mark’s Bridge. Alternatively, you can also take part in a boat tour or discover the atmosphere by canoe.
7. Michaelsberg Monastery
The Michaelsberg monastery complex is about a ten-minute walk from Domplatz. The baroque building inspires with a quiet green area, a small vineyard, a church worth seeing (currently being renovated – as of September 1st, 2022) and historic architecture. By the way, fairy tale atmospheres are guaranteed here!
8. Natural History Museum Bamberg / Bamberg Tips
If it rains and you are looking for a bad weather program, the Bamberg Natural History Museum is a popular alternative. In one of the special Germany museums, tradition and modernity are combined in a special way.
In the Bamberg Bird Hall you can examine taxidermy specimens in a fascinating setting of imposing architecture and learn more about the application of natural history 100 to 200 years ago.
In contrast, there are modern permanent exhibitions that deal with different regional focal points. Definitely fun for the whole family!
9. Bamberg beer
There are even people who come to the city just for the Bamberg beer. But why exactly?
The region of Upper Franconia has the highest brewery density in the world and inspires with many family-run, traditional breweries that understand the craftsmanship and offer you a special taste experience.
During your stay, you absolutely must take a tour of Bamberg’s breweries. So-called beer hikes are also popular in Bamberg.
Spending the last hours of the day in a beer cellar on a warm summer evening with a cool beer – the idea sounds tempting, doesn’t it? But what does “in a beer cellar” mean?
With this phrase you have to imagine that you are sitting in beer gardens, some of which still have old cellar vaults. You also have to try the special beer specialty, the Bamberg smoked beer.
If you have enough time, you should also visit some of the breweries around Bamberg.
Bamberg breweries, brewpubs & beer gardens:
Schlenkerla, the historic smoked beer brewery
Hop Garden Bamberg
Crown Prince Bamberg
Brewery Zum Sternla
Wild Rose Cellar
To the Einhornskeller
10. Bamberg Gardener City
One of the most unusual sights in Bamberg is the town of gardeners in Bamberg. With tradition, sustainability and lived innovation, vegetables are still grown in the middle of the city center today.
And that since the Middle Ages. On a circular route through the gardener’s town, you can marvel at the preserved house gardens and learn more about the history.
This also raises the question of how urban horticulture can be made sustainable.
11. Regnitz River / Bamberg Tips
Why does Bamberg exude such a magical atmosphere? Not only the half-timbered houses and historical atmosphere contribute to this, but also the river Regnitz.
A city with water is always unique, isn’t it? And it is worth taking a boat tour in Bamberg.
This gives you the chance to see the city from the water. You can, for example, become active yourself on a canoe or SUP.
Or do you prefer it more comfortable? Then book a trip on a Venetian gondola or let yourself be taken on excursion boats via Regnitz and the Main-Danube Canal.
It continues with the Altenburg of Bamberg. As you approach the city, you can glimpse one of Bamberg’s top sights from the city’s highest hill.
If you’re looking for a special vantage point, you’ve come to the right place. In addition to the medieval charm, you will find “Bamberg’s highest beer garden” in the Altenburg restaurant.
13. Seehof Castle / Bamberg Travel Guide
Would you like to take a little detour out of the city? Then I can recommend Schloss Seehof to you.
At the former summer residence of the bishops you can walk through a huge castle garden, enjoy the good weather and switch off for a few minutes.
There is definitely a fairytale atmosphere! In short: a perfect retreat.
14. Folk festival Sandkerwa
One of the largest folk festivals in Bavaria is the Bamberger Sandkerwa. In the middle of the narrow streets of the old town, around Sandstrasse, you can watch the city transform into a hustle and bustle for around five days every year at the end of August.
In addition to numerous rides, food and drink stands, you will be offered a varied cultural program with live music. The traditional jousting on the Regnitz is one of the highlights.
In the old custom, the goal of two teams is to push each other off their boats with the help of a “spear”. In short: a spectacle awaits you that will captivate thousands of visitors.
15. Viewpoints in Bamberg
As you have already learned, Bamberg was built on and around seven hills. Accordingly, there are some vantage points in the city that promise you a beautiful view over the landscapes.
Would you like to absorb the moods in you with a delicious beer at sunset? Or do you want to discover a fantastic photo spot?
The top spots at vantage points in Bamberg include Michaelsberg, the vantage point on Altenburger Berg, Stephansberg, Café Villa Remeis or the scenes at Bamberg Cathedral. In addition to that, you should put the street fishing on your to-do list, because from there you have a breathtaking view of the houses of Little Venice.
16. Eating and drinking in Bamberg / Bamberg Travel Guide
Now you are probably wondering why food and drink is on the list of Bamberg sights, right? An unbeatable variety of tastes awaits you on site, which you can look forward to.
You have already learned that Franconian beer is one of the highlights of the region.
Bamberger Austraße is an absolute must for a good cup of coffee or delicious food.
Selected cafes & restaurants in Bamberg:
Sage & Lavender
piece of sugar
Cafe Nika – Bakery & Bar
Coffee house Krumm&Schief
Lemon Tree Bamberg
17. Erba Island
Do you want to enjoy some rest after exploring the old town? Then you should stop by Bamberg’s Erbainsel.
On the former industrial site you will find an oasis that is considered a local recreation area and has an exciting water playground for the youngest members of the family. Finally, you should walk to the Erba Peak viewpoint for a small picnic.
18. Excursion destinations around Bamberg
If you are already in the area, you must take the opportunity and explore other destinations around Bamberg. How about one of the most beautiful cities in Germany?
The historic old town of Nuremberg is always worth a visit and you can experience medieval atmospheres up close around the Imperial Castle. Before you arrive in Nuremberg, a stop in the city of Erlangen with its beautiful old town is worthwhile.
By the way, the city is a little insider tip during your tour of Franconia. It is also worth taking a look at Coburg with its imposing castle complex or the festival city of Bayreuth.
Other top Bamberg sights / Bamberg Travel Guide
Upper and lower mill district
Gardener and Hacker Museum
Franconian Brewery Museum Bamberg
Geyerswörth Residential Castle
World Heritage Visitor Center Bamberg