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18 Best Things to Do in Regensburg, Germany

18 Best Things to Do in Regensburg, Germany

In central-eastern Bavaria sits the cosmopolitan city of Regensburg. It’s the 4th largest city in Bavaria, in Eastern Europe, and thrives on a healthy tourism scene. You’ll never find yourself at a loss for things to do in Regensburg

Regensburg welcomes thousands of global visitors each year with open arms, particularly due to Old Town’s incredible charm, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You may want more than one visit to take in all the historical sights and stunning attractions across this city.

The fact is that the city isn’t young. Its first accounts of human settlement date back to the Stone Age. Once the Romans started conquering Europe during the Holy Roman Empire, they built a mighty river fort. Over the centuries, it remained an influential imperial city in the region.

If you think Regensburg could be the next spot on your travel itinerary, we’ve compiled the following list of top things to do and see in this wonderful German city.

TL;DR

Category Recommendations
Historical Sites Regensburg Cathedral, Stone Bridge, Porta Praetoria
Museums & Galleries Historical Museum Regensburg, Thurn und Taxis Palace, Museum of Danube Shipping
Outdoor Activities Biking along the Danube, Hiking in the Bavarian Forest
Parks Stadtpark Regensburg, Herzogspark, Dörnbergpark
Local Restaurants Wurstkuchl, Alte Linde, Historische Wurstkuchl
Local Events & Festivals Regensburg Dult, Thurn und Taxis Christmas Market, Bürgerfest
Day Trips Nuremberg, Munich, Salzburg (Austria)
Tourist Attractions Walhalla Temple, Regensburg Museum of History, Scots Monastery
Best for Families Regensburg Zoo, Donaupark Adventure Playground, Planetarium Regensburg

Things to Do in Regensburg, Germany

1. Scottenkirche

Scottenkirche Building
Paep56 / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Address: Jakobstraße 3, 93047 Regensburg, Germany

Did you know there was a Scottish monastery in Regensburg? Don’t forget to check out Scots Monastery as you work through the things to do in Regensburg.

The Scottenkirche goes as far back as the 11th century. This former Benedictine Monastery, formerly Jakobskirche or St. James Abbey, was later renamed after the Scottish monks and missionaries who inhabited it from 1560 to 1860.

Missionaries from Ireland built it and later handed it over to Scottish monks. The Irish missionaries built a small abbey but had to expand it as the number of missionaries from Ireland to the area increased.

Ownership of Scots Monastery from the Irish to Scottish monks was through a papal public decree. This took place in 1577 and remained under Scottish leadership until 1820. The monastery was then demoted to a priory in 1820, while monks remained in residence until 1862.

Scots Monastery doors remain open today, functioning as a seminary for the Roman Catholic Church in Regensburg. Inside, visitors can marvel at the architecture and check out the library. The library contains many manuscripts from the first time it opened its doors.

See Related: Best Resorts in Germany

2. St. Peter’s Cathedral (Regensburg Cathedral)

St. Peters Cathedral Architecture

Address: Domplatz 1, 93047 Regensburg, Germany

A tour of any European city must always include catching a glimpse of the fantastic churches. And among the stunning things to see in Regensburg is St. Peter’s Cathedral, or ‘Regensburg Cathedral.’ If you are interested in Gothic buildings, this is the place to visit.

Before the cathedral’s construction, a smaller structure stood to the west in the year 700. In 1273, it burned down, paving the way for the construction of the phenomenal Gothic cathedral. Today, the Regensburg Cathedral borders the Stone Bridge at the cathedral square.

You can spend some time checking out the two tall spires that are still intact. Then head over to its western side, which dates back to 1395.

A notable feature of the cathedral is its bragging rights of holding the world’s largest hanging organ. Compared to the rest of its features, it’s a new addition to the cathedral, built in the 21st Century. It has over 80 playable ranks and a whopping total of 5871 pipes.

After a tour of the exterior, be ready to behold an impressive Gothic interior. There’s stained glass from the 13th Century and St. Stephen’s chapel from 800 AD. Today, you can attend mass, listen to the hanging organ, and the boys’ choir also makes fantastic music.

See Related: Places to Visit in Southern Germany

3. The Old Stone Bridge

regensburg stone bridge

Address: Steinerne Brücke, 93059 Regensburg, Germany

In the 12th century, there was a need to cross the mighty Danube River by Regensburg residents. Such a need led to the construction of the now-historic Old Stone Bridge. The bridge still stands strong and has served the city for over nine centuries.

Truthfully, there’s no other European bridge, and it features quality medieval engineering. For over 800 years, this bridge stood as the city’s only route across the River Danube. Today, it still stands and provides a perfect opportunity to walk across a part of Bavarian history with beautiful views of the city on the riverside.

You get a great vantage point from the bridge to see the whole city and numerous crafts floating below. You can enter one of its tall towers on one end of the 1,000m long bridge to visit the Bridge Tower Museum. Here you can find many interesting historical documents and artifacts.

Finally, you can view the oldest clock in the city at the tower. It dates back to 1652 and still tells the time to date. It’s an impressive work of art that you can see at the top of the tower.

See Related: Best Family Vacation Ideas in Germany

4. Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)

Altes Rathaus Building
footageclips / Shutterstock.com

Address: Rathauspl. 1, 93047 Regensburg, Germany

As you contemplate what to do in Regensburg, be sure to pass by the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall). It’s the oldest town hall in the city.

Construction of the yellow structure started in the 11th century. Gawp at such a historically significant building to the local area, sat in such a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site.

Old Town Hall forms part of the New Town Hall, but it’s one of Regensburg’s attractions all on its own. It’s rich in history after hosting the Roman assemblies from 1594 to 1806.

You can understand more about this once you step inside the multiple rooms of the Old Town Hall. With influences of a Baroque town hall, the rooms inside are well preserved and serve as a popular tourist attraction in the city.

The upper part of the building has some unique rooms. And below are dungeons where prisoners were locked away.

See Related: Is Germany Safe to Visit? Things to Know

5. The Regensburg Museum of History

Regensburg Museum of History Building
Tobias Arhelger – stock.adobe.com

Address: Dachaupl., 93047 Regensburg, Germany

For the history buff seeking more information on Regensburg’s glorious past, head to the Regensburg Museum of History. Here you’ll come face to face with the fantastic tales of how this great city existed in a time gone by.

Today, an old monastery houses the museum, forming part of its allure for visitors. The Gothic architecture and influence of the monastery provide a brilliant base for enjoying the art collection alongside many artifacts and many more items spanning centuries.

Enjoy learning about all the people who’ve resided in this region, including gawping over a woman’s skull from the year 200. The museum’s structure includes two floors.

The 1st floor is all about the Stone Age to the time of the Romans. Above this is the 2nd floor which houses art and other items from the Renaissance and modern eras.

See Related: ​​Best Museums in Europe to Visit

6. The Goliathhaus

Goliathhaus Building and Mural
Lumiere et compagnie / Shutterstock.com

Address: Goliathstraße 4, 93047 Regensburg, Germany

Picture this: a historic building in Regensburg with a giant mural of David and Goliath. That’s what awaits you when you tour the patrician house!

The building dates as far back as 1260, but the mural itself was commissioned much later. An artist from Salzburg, Melchior Bocksberger, created the mural in 1573.

The building was home to the Goliards’ clergy. They are responsible for the satirical poetry popular during that era. The patrician house was built on the south part of the camp and is now one of Regensburg’s top tourist attractions.

Apart from the mural, you can get something to eat at the restaurant on its top floor. Dining at the restaurant, and enjoying some of Germany’s top delicacies, is among the best things to do in Regensburg.

See Related: Interesting, Weird Laws in Germany

7. The Herzogspark

Small Pond in Herzogspark

Address: Württembergstraße 8, 93049 Regensburg, Germany

Regensburg offers some lovely parks to escape the hustle and bustle of the tourist-filled streets, if only for a moment. One of the best parks for a natural rest bite of peace and tranquility would be Herzogspark.

As a botanical garden, Herzogspark is among the best places in the city to take the kids. Children and the whole family can learn about the flora that grows here and enjoy its natural beauty and spacious grounds.

Though it’s a municipal park, it’s also rife with Bavarian history. It was set up in 1293 and has continued to thrive over the centuries in Regensburg.

In 1804 it fell into private ownership but reverted to the city in 1935.  Since then, millions of tourists worldwide have spent time on their tour of this marvelous Bavarian city.

See Related: Best Parks in Germany to Visit

8. Theatre Regensburg

Theatre Regensburg Building
milosk50 / Shutterstock.com

Address: Bismarckpl. 7, 93047 Regensburg, Germany

Once the sun sets, the list of Regensburg things to do goes on! There’s plenty to do in the city at night, like attending an event at the Theatre Regensburg. Be ready for an enchanting night, whatever event it is you choose to experience.

Theatre Regensburg opened its doors in 1804 and continues to put on shows today. From concerts, ballets, opera, plays, and other shows, it’s an entertaining venue to include on your Regensburg itinerary.

It’s worth noting that the current theater isn’t the original one set up in 1804. Unfortunately, the first one burnt down, but another was completed in its place in 1852. The only major difference between them was the building itself; the theatre retained the same themes.

See Related: Most Famous Historical Landmarks in Germany

9. Walhalla

Walhalla memorial hall

Address: Walhallastraße 48, 93093 Donaustauf, Germany

The history of Germany is teeming with distinguished individuals who’ve played crucial roles in shaping the country. A memorial hall (Walhalla) stands in Regensburg, where tourists can learn about their most outstanding achievements.

At Walhalla, you learn about Germany’s great politicians, scientists, leaders, and artists throughout the years. Most hail from Germany; however, many featured come as far as the United Kingdom.

The story goes that Walhalla was built as a reminder of how great Germany was and can still be. By 1806, Napoleon had conquered much of the Greater German territories. It led to Prince Ludwig commissioning artists to create busts of great people in German history in 1807.

By his coronation, the artists had a collection of 60 busts and needed a place to display them. It led to the construction of the Hall of Fame in 1826 at a spot that overlooked the Danube River.

You can walk through and view the busts of different people, plus plaques of people who didn’t have any portraits. The original busts are still intact and more commissioned over the years of notable Germans. The most recent bust added to the collection is Kathe Kollwitz in 2018, a famous German artist.

See related: What is Germany Known For?

10. Museum of Danube Shipping

Museum of Danube Shipping Ship
manfredxy / Shutterstock.com

Address: Thundorferstraße, 93059 Regensburg, Germany

The Danube River is a historical transport route that once saw masses of boats sailing up and down, transporting goods and people. In its hay day, it was one of the fastest and most popular means of transport. So, to learn more about this fascinating history, it is well worth taking a guided tour of the Danube Shipping Museum.

However, the Danube Shipping Museum isn’t just any ordinary museum. Two tugboats are the shining stars that take you back in time to understand the old transport methods through the Danube. A tour of the tug boats makes for a great family day out and a must on the things to do in Regensburg on your trip.

The museum’s setup dates back to 1923 but didn’t open until 1942. You can learn about Danube’s shipping history, from small boats to the complex steam engines of the industrial revolution. Also, there are plenty of well-preserved parts of these boats to see.

See Related: Things Not to Do In Germany: Cultural Do’s & Don’ts to Know

11. Schloss St. Emmeram

Schloss St. Emmeram Interior

Address: Emmeramspl. 5, 93047 Regensburg, Germany

Bavaria stands out due to its historic buildings and the numerous monasteries that dot its expansive landscape. One worth noting is the Schloss St. Emmeram or St. Emmeram Basilica, an ancient abbey where monks first settled around 800AD.

Today, the former abbey is now a church that locals frequent after receiving Basilica minor status from the Roman Catholic Church in 1964. The fantastic structure also attracts visitors who want to learn about the architecture and its history.

Apart from the architecture, you can also view the tombs of notable people associated with its history. For instance, view the crypt of the East Franks Queen Emma, who died in 876. Another is that of St. Emmeram, a Christian bishop who died in 652.

See Related: What is the Size of Germany? Compared to Other Countries

12. Sausage Kitchen of Regensburg

Outdoor Table and Chairs on Regensburg Sausage Kitchen

Address: Thundorferstraße 3, 93047 Regensburg, Germany

One of the best ways to experience any new destination is to make sure you sample the local cuisine. Being in Germany, you know sausage must be on the menu. So, head over to the famous Sausage Kitchen of Regensburg to sample some of the best in the area.

This restaurant is one of Regensburg’s great tourist attractions as it offers a great opportunity to try local German cuisine while seated in a stunning historical building. The Sausage Kitchen of Regensburg has opened its doors to diners since 1146. It was first opened to serve food for the construction workers who built the old Stone Bridge.

After the old Stone Bridge was completed, the café never closed its doors. Construction of the St. Peter Cathedral began, which meant more workers needed food. After that, it just served great local food till the modern day.

Up until the early 19th century, the restaurant specialized in boiled meat. However, since 1806, the restaurant has been specializing in German sausage.

These days, it can serve up to as much as 6,000 sausages every day! Pass by for a meal, and don’t miss out on eating some authentic regional sausage delicacies in Regensburg from a restaurant over 800 years old!

See Related: Best German Food to Try

13. Take a trip to Nuremberg

Famous Weissgerbergasse historic street in Nuremberg old town view
xbrchx / Adobe Stock

Address: Nuremberg, Germany

Less than an hour’s train ride from Regensburg, Nuremberg is an opportunity to step back through Bavaria’s history, as far back as medieval times.

Travel beneath the old city hall and admire the authentic medieval construction as you take a tour of the medieval dungeons of the city. Understand the plight of prisoners as you explore their old cells and try to imagine the lives of local people during such harsh times.

Fast forward a little more into recent history and visit the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds museum to see a different side of the city. The city’s historical significance during World War II is commemorated here and serves as a reminder of the city’s darker moments in history and its resilience.

Beyond its historical significance, however, there are plenty of great things to do in Nuremberg. There are many museums, galleries, and cultural events held throughout the year that make it a brilliant option for a day trip out of Regensburg.

See Related: How is WW2 Taught in Germany?

14. Go on a cruise down the River Danube

Panoramic cityscape image of Regensburg, Germany during spring sunset
Designpics / Adobe Stock

Once you’ve visited the Museum of Danube Shipping to learn more about how the river has played its part in the area’s history, why not take a gentle cruise down it?

Many operators offer boat tours of varying lengths to different destinations along the river, so you’re bound to find one that takes your fancy.

For example, take a casual 2-hour cruise down the river to witness the Walhalla, as mentioned above, from the water while enjoying the beautiful scenery along the way.

Taking a cruise along the Danube is an enjoyable and easy way to learn more about the city while taking in the sights. A city highlight tour is a great idea for the whole family and provides an opportunity to spot landmarks like the old Stone Bridge while taking a casual approach to learning more about the city.

See Related: Best Lakes in Germany to Visit

15. Get out on a hike

Hikers enjoy the view of the Danube near Regensburg
lettas / Adobe Stock

For those wanting a little something more on the active side for a visit to Regensburg, you’ll be pleased to hear there are some brilliant hikes in the area to enjoy. The city’s surrounding landscape provides ample opportunity to get your walking shoes on and stretch your legs out.

You could take the very easy route of going on a self-guided walking tour along the scenic paths of the Danube River. These will provide great sightseeing opportunities and easy access to local beer stops for an ideal sunny day strolling.

But if you want something more exciting, you could venture into the nearby Bavarian forest. Charming meadows and rolling hills await you through various hiking trails to pick from.

For example, if you have a couple of hours to spare, you might want to try out one of (or as many as you feel up to) the ten stages of the Danube Panorama trail. Boasting unspoiled nature, hiking in this area is a treasure trove for nature lovers and those just out for some stunning scenery and extra steps to the daily tally!

See Related: Best Gifts from Germany

16. Attend Regensburg Dult

Folk festival in Regensburg with beer tent joyride and ferris wheel
StGrafix / Shutterstock.com

Address: Regensburger Dult, Regensburg, Germany

If you love beer and German festivals, but the thought of an overcrowded (and overpriced) Oktoberfest isn’t quite your cup of tea, then you might want to learn more about Regensburg Dult.

Regensburg Dult is held twice yearly for two weeks; Maidult in May and Herbstdult in August/September. Held in the historic UNESCO World Heritage of Old Town Regensburg, you’re in for a treat of German festivities, German beer, and German food!

In fact, about Oktoberfest, you’ll find Dult has a much longer tradition than its better-known counterpart and dates back to the 10th Century.

The event is open daily during its two-week stint twice a year, so you could get in as early as 11 am or reserve a table and stay until about 10 pm. If you’re in the latter party there, consider staying at the highly-rated Hotel Orphée Andreasstadel for an easy walk back to your hotel after enjoying the festivities.

See Related: Best Breweries in Germany

17. Spend a day at the Natural History Museum of Eastern Bavaria

Front of Natural History Museum Regensburg building
Johanning / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Address: Am Prebrunntor 4, 93047 Regensburg, Germany

The Natural History Museum of Eastern Bavaria is an excellent destination for culture and nature. Situated in the heart of the region, this museum showcases the rich biodiversity and geological history of Bavaria.

You’ll find the museum situated within the scenic Herzogspark, housed in a charming old palace that adds to its allure. As soon as you step inside, you’ll feel like you’re entering a world of discovery and exploration. The exhibits are carefully curated to provide an engaging encounter for visitors of all ages.

One of the main attractions of the Natural History Museum is its emphasis on fauna. Through interactive displays and informative panels, you can learn about the diverse range of animal species that call Eastern Bavaria their home.

In addition to its focus on fauna, the museum delves into the captivating world of geology. With its collection of rocks, minerals, and fossils, the exhibition center takes you through millions of years of Earth’s history.

18. Spot Patrician Towers

Goldener Turm in Regensburg
Otto Durst / Adobe Stock

Address: Old Town, Regensburg

The Old Town of Regensburg is renowned for its Patrician Towers, a major symbol of the city’s wealth and power during medieval times. The objective was to claim the tallest building in the city, and the golden tower on Wahlenstrasse 14, the highest of all, was constructed by German artists. Another notable structure is the white building at Wat Market and the Goliath House.

During the Middle Ages, there were rivalries among royal families in Regensburg. They built towers to showcase their wealth and power— the taller the tower, the greater the family’s prestige. Traveling through Regensburg Old Town, you’ll notice these iconic Patrician Towers everywhere.

FAQs

Where can I find the best local cuisine in Regensburg?

Take a walk along the charming cobblestone streets of the historic old town of Regensburg, and you’ll find the path leads to numerous great eats. A top-tier option here would be Regensburger Weissbräuhaus. It’s highly rated by guests and serves great regional dishes you can wash down with in-house beers.

You might even find some benefit in venturing outside the historic center to enjoy the food served at Alte Linde. Here you can relax in a rustic setting while chowing down on Bavarian dishes. Visit at the right time of year, and you can do this in their stunning beer garden.

Wherever you end up dining in Regensburg, try to seek out local delicacies such as the Regensburger Wurst. It’s a local sausage originating from Regensburg, where it first popped up on people’s plates in the late 19th Century.

When is the best time to visit Regensburg?

If you want to make the most of your trip to Regensburg, you would be better off visiting during summer. However, while the temperature is more agreeable, July is actually the wettest month in Regensburg. So, pack with a light waterproof so you don’t get caught in the rain!

There are plenty of indoor options for things to do in Regensburg. For this reason, it’s a year-round destination. If you’re trying to find more of a bargain, the shoulder season will provide a better opportunity for traveling on a budget! Just note that the coldest months are January and February, so you’ll want to pack warm if visiting during this time.

What are some popular day trips from Regensburg?

A firm favorite German city of mine, Munich, just so happens to sit a mere 1.5-hour train ride away from Regensburg! The minimal travel time required here makes for a brilliant day trip opportunity where you have ample time to explore without feeling rushed in getting back.

Otherwise, you’re spoiled with day trips closer to the city. Many boat tours are available to Weltenburg Abbey and the Danube Gorge, and small cruise options with great views of the Walhalla Memorial.

Moreover, if you want to explore a different country during your visit, crossing the border into Austria to see Salzburg is simple enough. Enjoy the charming Hohensalzburg Fortress and the stunning alpine scenery before returning to Germany.

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