Planning to head north to Bavaria? You’re in luck: Bamberg is an outstanding town that you can visit in northern Bavaria. The things to do in Bamberg, Germany are all fascinating, with picturesque spots and plenty of attractions that provide an opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Bamberg is a historic town bestowed with the beauty of nature: rugged mountains, lovely hills, and spectacular rivers. The city is filled with well-preserved regal structures from the town’s dwellings, halls, and bridges. The city itself is an old place that lives and blends with the present ideally.
Below, find a list of our favorite attractions that you can experience up close during your next trip to Bamberg, Germany.
Get ready to walk through the historical center of Bamberg with a knowledgeable English-speaking guide. Your tour will begin in front of the Kaiserpfalz, a large medieval castle dating back to the 10th century. From there, you will continue to stroll through Bamberg's narrow and winding streets until you reach the cathedral.
The Bamberg Beer Tour takes you on an entertaining journey through the history of beer, its importance in everyday life, and the art of brewing. You'll get to know more about Frankish customs and traditions, admire the sights in Bamberg, and learn more about the Eisgrube with the Upper Parish Church, the Domberg, Sandstraße and much more.
Bamberg is the heart of Franconian brewing culture. This self-guided tour will take you to four different breweries in Bamberg and introduce you to four different beer specialties. Enjoy a mixture of dark lager, light lager, amber lager, wheat beer and smoked beer.
Fun & Best Things to do in Bamberg, Germany
1. Altes Rathaus
Address: Obere Brücke, 96047 Bamberg, Germany
The Altes Rathaus – or Old Town Hall – is a historic building in Bamberg. The Altes Rathaus in Bamberg is unique in that it sits in the middle of the Regnitz River. Local folklore tells the take of townspeople sneakily building the hall between two districts since the Bishop of Bamberg would not grant permission for the building to be constructed. Thanks to the bridge that passes through the tower, many call the Bamberg Alte Rathaus the “town hall on the bridge.
The original Alte Rathaus was built in 1387, and it was renovated and reinforced with efforts between 1461 and 1467. The famous colorful murals on the facade were originally painted in 1755 by Johann Anwander, and they have been restored multiple times. Each restoration has left signs of the art style of the time in the work.
The bridge tower of the building was rebuilt in the 15th century and modified again in the mid-1700s. It’s incredible to see how well the original architecture has stood the test of time. Despite restorations and renovations over the centuries, it’s still standing strong and tall, much like it was originally built.
See Related: Things to do in Konstanz
2. Bamberg Cathedral
Address: Domplatz, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
Bamberg Cathedral, which is part of the Roman Catholic Church Administration, is located in Bamberg, Germany. Construction and building of the cathedral were finished in the 13th century, and it has been the Archbishop of Bamberg’s seat since then.
In 1993, the Bamberg Cathedral became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Town of Bamberg.” It was established by King (who became Emperor later) Heinrich II (Henry II) in 1002, and in 1012, it was consecrated. The Bamberg Cathedral holds the remains of Henry II and his spouse Cunigunde, the only known canonized imperial couple.
The cathedral also holds the remains of Pope Clement II (1005–47). This tomb is the only papal grave found in Germany and north of the Alps. After the burndown of the cathedral in the 11th and 12th centuries, respectively, the present building – with Romanesque design and four huge towers – was erected in the 13th century.
The Bamberg Cathedral stands about 26m high, 28m broad, and 94m long. Its four towers are about 81m high each. There are numerous works of art in this cathedral, such as the founder’s marble tomb and that of his wife, Empress Kunigunde, known as a work of genius by sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider and created between 1499 and 1513.
Another renowned masterpiece in the Bamberg Cathedral is the equestrian statue called the Bamberg Horseman (Der Bamberger Reiter in German). The statue is thought to be a possible depiction of Hungarian king Stephen I and is estimated to have been built between 1225 and 1237.
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3. Klein Venedig
Address: Fischerei 21, 96047 Bamberg, Germany
Klein Venedig, or Little Venice, is a core destination of Bamberg sightseeing. The canals of Little Venice were once used to transport goods to and from the city, as well as for fishing, but they are now open for recreation.
The canals are lined with colorful buildings and shops, and they’re a great place to enjoy some quiet time. The trip through Little Venice is about a mile long, so it’s best to plan for some time to walk, browse, and perhaps paddle the canals. It’s easy to spend more than just an afternoon here, particularly if there are children in your group.
See Related: Best Breweries in Cologne
4. Schleuse 100 Ludwig-Main-Donau-Kanal
Address: Mühlwörth 15, 96047 Bamberg, Germany
This Regnitz River is located in Germany, and it is 63.7 km (39.6 mi) long. It flows mainly through the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg and makes a small section through Hesse. The Neckar River is a prominent tributary to the right of the Rhine.
Escalating in the Schwarzwald-Baar-Kreis close to Schwenningen within the Schwenninger Moos conservation area at 706 m (2,316 ft.) height over sea level; it runs through Rottweil, Rottenburg am Neckar, Kilchberg, Tübingen, Wernau, Nürtingen, Plochingen, Esslingen, Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg, Marbach, Heidelberg, and Heilbronn before sending out approximately 145 m3/s (5,100 cu ft./s) of water into the Rhine at Mannheim, at 95 m (312 ft.) over sea level.
This makes the Neckar the Rhine’s fourth-biggest tributary and the 10th-biggest river in Germany. Since 1968, the Neckar river has been maneuverable for cargo ships through 27 locks for nearly 200 kilometers (120 mi) upstream from the Mannheim region to Plochingen river port, at the point of confluence with the Fils.
From the Plochingen area to the Stuttgart area, the river valley is hugely industrialized with numerous renowned companies and heavily populated. Between the Stuttgart and Lauffen areas, the Neckar meanders through the scenic steep-sided valley into Pleistocene travertine and fossiliferous Triassic limestones.
Many beautiful castles are found along the river valley within Odenwald hills, such as the Guttenberg Castle in Haßmersheim and the Homberg castle.
The Neckarwestheim Nuclear Power Plant has also been situated there as well as the decommissioned Obrigheim Nuclear Power Plant. Additionally, the plains have been thoroughly used for the purpose of agriculture because of how fertile the land is, while the steep sides of the valley are used as vineyards.
See Related: Best Day Trips from Berlin
5. Die Altstadt von Bamberg
Address: Domplatz, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
This town is situated on the Saale banks within the Northeastern area of the German state Bavaria, within the Franconian region, by the Czech border, and the Frankenwald and Fichtelgebirge upland forested regions. The town of Hof has a population of 47,296, while the district surrounding it has 95,000 inhabitants.
The Hofer altar, which is the most significant work of art in the town, dates back to approximately 1465 and is still shown today in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. In the church of St Michaelis, which was finished in 1834, the Heidenreich organ is known as one of the best in Bavaria.
The town of Hof is famous for its local delicacy called Schnitz, which is a type of hotpot. It is also known for its sausages boiled inside a coal-fired portable brass cauldron and sold on the streets by the local sausage man called a Warschtlamo.
The town has a beer called Schlappenbier, which is rather strong and is only available on Monday immediately after Schlappentag – Trinity Sunday. This particular custom goes back to when the town militia was set up, which mandated every shooter to partake in a special yearly shooting exercise.
To escape being penalized, many shooters rushed to the special training arena on the morning of the last allocated day without having time to dress up and with their clogs (Schlappen in German) still on their feet. There is also Theater Hof. It was erected in 1994 and functions as a drama theatre and opera house.
6. Bamberg Brewery Museum
Address: Michelsberg 10B, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
The Bamberg Brewery Museum is a must-see for any beer lover visiting Bamberg, Germany. Located in an old malt house dating back to 1791, the museum chronicles the city’s rich brewing history.
Visitors can learn about the traditional methods used to brew Bamberg’s famous smoked beer, as well as see how beer is made today. The highlight of the museum is undoubtedly the tasting room, where visitors can sample some of the locally brewed beers and freshly smoked beer. This is one of the most fun things to do in Bamberg.
If you’re a beer aficionado or simply looking to learn more about Bamberg’s unique culture, the museum is sure to satisfy you during your trip to the town of Bamberg.
7. Bamberg Old Town Hall
Address: Ob. Brücke, 96047 Bamberg, Germany
Located in the heart of Bamberg’s historic old town, the Bamberg Old Town Hall is a must-see for any visitor to this delightful city.
The hall was built in the early 14th century, and its ornate facade is a fantastic example of Gothic architecture. Inside, the hall is home to a museum that chronicles the history of Bamberg, as well as a restaurant and a viewing platform that offers spectacular views of the city.
Although the Old Town Hall suffered damage during World War II, it has since been lovingly restored to its former glory. Today, the Bamberg Town Hall stands as one of the highest-rated Bamberg attractions and is one of the town’s most iconic landmarks.
8. Bamberg Historical Museum
Address: Dompl. 7, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
Bamberg is a city full of historical significance, and the Bamberg Historical Museum does an excellent job of highlighting this.
The museum is located in an old town hall that dates back to the 14th century, and it features a wide variety of exhibits on the city’s history.
Perhaps most impressively, the museum has a detailed exhibit on the city’s role in the Protestant Reformation. This is an aspect of Bamberg’s history that is often overlooked, but it is essential to understanding the city’s unique character.
In addition to its rich history, Bamberg is also home to a number of beautiful churches and castles. The Bamberg Historical Museum is a great place to start your exploration of this fascinating city.
9. Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the spring air. This garden, located in the center of Bamberg’s Old Town, is a popular destination for tourists. The rose maze and shop are also worth visiting. The restaurant at this garden is open year-round, serving traditional German food for breakfast and lunch.
The Rose Garden is a popular destination for tourists, who come from all over the world to enjoy its beauty. This garden is a great place to relax and take in the spring air. The rose maze and shop are also worth visiting.
10. Schlenkerla Brewery & Smokehouse
Address: Dominikanerstraße 6, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
When you visit Bamberg, you need to go to Schlenkerla, which is a brewery in Bamberg that has been brewing beer for over 500 years. The brewery distributes to over 40 countries and produces about 25,000 hl of beer annually, but it’s most famous for its smoked malt.
In 1623, the Schlenkerla Smokehouse was built as part of the brewery complex and serves as a public museum today. You can order a pint or tour the facility while you enjoy some delicious smoked meats (including goose breast) or fish dishes (like smoked eel). They also offer regular tours in English if you’re feeling peckish before or after your meal!
11. Take a day trip to Lisberg Castle
Address: Am Schloß 6, 96170 Lisberg, Germany
To get here from Bamberg, take the S1 train from the main station (Hauptbahnhof) to Weiden and then transfer to bus number 522 which will take you directly to Lisberg Castle. It’s a couple of kilometers west of Bamberg so it’s not far at all!
If you’re going during the summer months, be sure to call ahead as tours aren’t always available (especially on weekdays). Even though there isn’t much in terms of food options on-site, there are restaurants nearby that serve traditional Franconian cuisine or Bavarian beer gardens with live music performances.
If you’re not a beer drinker, then you can opt for a wine tasting which is also very popular. The castle offers guided tours which are available in English and German.
12. New Residence Palace
Address: Dompl. 8, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
The palace was built in the 17th century and served as a royal residence until 1918. Today, it contains an impressive collection of furniture, tapestries, and paintings from all over Europe. Unlike many other palaces in Germany that have been turned into museums, New Residence Palace remains open to the public year-round.
The last major Bamberger attraction located at Domplatz is the New Residence Palace. The village lord Bishop moved his home here in the 1700s, which is the reason for its baroque style. In the hopes of saving time and money, I did not go around the palaces but these pictures of their interior seem quite glamorous.
Beautiful gardens are located inside the palace and spring didn’t begin until here though – so we had to be satisfied with just looking at some beautifully planted hedges! But I love this panorama from up on top! Perched on top of Bamberg’s city roofs; it has become one of my favorite views over town (and beyond).
13. Altenburg Castle
Address: Altenburg 1, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
Altenburg Castle is a large castle in the city of Bamberg, Germany. It is located on the northern edge of the city and was built in 1135. Since then it has been rebuilt several times for defensive purposes, but still retains its original medieval design and architecture.
The castle was originally built as a fortification to defend against invasion from neighboring cities during medieval times. After several centuries of warring between these cities, Altenburg Castle was eventually abandoned due to damage caused by battles and fires started by invading forces.
Is Bamberg worth visiting?
Bamberg has become a favorite tourist spot in Germany. This historic quarter (considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is considered an outstanding example of a medieval town in Central Europe. Many people like this charming city so you will definitely consider it for your next trip.
What is Bamberg known for?
Bamberg is located in the Upper Franconia region of Bavaria and is well known for its beautiful medieval architecture, half-timbered buildings, smoked beer, and Christmas markets.
What river runs through Bamberg?
The river that runs through Bamberg is the Regnitz River.
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