12 Best Things To Do + 7 Reasons To Visit Bamberg Germany
Bamberg is a town in the beautiful Franconia famous for its preserved medieval old city and smoked beers. It sounds like a fun destination, isn’t it? But… is Bamberg worth visiting?
Yes. Bamberg is worth visiting for its old town, a UNESCO Heritage site, and an outstanding example of an early medieval town in central Europe. Today, Bamberg is one of Germany’s best attractions. And visitors are amazed by its Altes Rathaus and fishermen’s houses along the town’s Little Venice.
Bamberg is indeed a lovely town, yet it is not the only one in Franconia. In this blog post, I’ll explain why you should visit Bamberg. The reasons I’ll give you should be able to “differentiate” Bamberg from other beautiful towns in Germany.
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Did you know that even the established publications agree that Bamberg is one of the most beautiful places in Germany? CondeNast Traveler is an example.
Bamberg is not only beautiful, though.
Strolling the old town, you may hear the church’s bells ringing. It’ll give you goosebumps all over your arms as you walk over the medieval cobblestones streets of the town. Bamberg has these experiences that are really wanderlust-satisfying!
Throughout this article, you will find all the lovely and fascinating things I discovered about Bamberg. They should give you more idea of what I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
Ultimately, I aim to help you decide whether to visit Bamberg or not by making you aware of what Bamberg offers. If Bamberg matches your travel preferences, great! If not, I have other destination suggestions you can also find in this post.
I want you to find a place where you can live your life to the fullest in whatever ways you like!
Below are a few pieces of information that may further help you decide to visit Bamberg (considering practicality):
- Where is Bamberg? It is in Franconia, Bavaria, Southern Germany. The nearest city is Nuremberg which is an hour away by train.
- Is Bamberg Near Munich? Bamberg is 274 kilometers (170 miles) from Munich. Driving to Bamberg from Munich may consume half your day (2.5 to 3 hours of driving time). To save time and money, ride the train from Munich to Bamberg and arrive within 2 hours.
- How about Berlin to Bamberg? You can find direct train rides (optional with transfer) from Berlin to Bamberg. The travel time is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes to 3 hours. Driving from Berlin to Bamberg is not recommended.
Let’s get started with the main topic!
Reasons To Visit Bamberg (Things To Do)
From what I saw, I think Bamberg portrays Bavaria’s identity very well. Bamberg’s half-timber framed houses, colorful murals, Rococo-style buildings, and beers… I believe these things you can find in Bamberg can make you “think” that you’ve already visited half of Bavaria.
They’re only a few of the things that make Bamberg special. There are more!
Fun fact. Bamberg is also called “Seven Hill City” and “German Rome.” Why? Because of its geography and history.
Given these nicknames, we get a hint that Bamberg resembles Rome in Italy (Read: 10 Beautiful Landmarks In Rome).
How? Bamberg and Rome have seven hills and beautiful churches… and like Rome, there is a pope (Clemens II) who has an eternal resting place in Bamberg. It’s remarkable as he’s the only pope buried north of the alps.
These facts must have excited you, especially if you’re like me—a map nerd, architecture & history enthusiast.
Bamberg can be more interesting than that. Here’s the list summary of the reasons why you should visit Bamberg:
- Bamberg’s Old Town Medieval Atmosphere
- The Iconic Bamberg’s Town Hall Museum
- Little Details To See in Bamberg
- Historic Smoked Beer and Breweries of Bamberg
- City View from Michaelsberg Abbey
- Scenic Sights from Altenburg
- Seehof Castle Near Bamberg
Reason #1: Bamberg’s Old Town Medieval Atmosphere
In today’s modern world, I know you also had a time when you felt so fed up with all the meaningless things in this life. Every day, it feels all the same, though.
The draining traffic on the asphalt roads to the monotonous view of steel and glass of our offices – it’s like life is pointless, living just to pay bills and die.
You know you need an escape, so you decide you want to travel. But, when it is the awe and medieval wonder you are searching for, Bamberg is one of the best places to be, and its old town is the main reason you should visit it.
Not only is it a UNESCO Heritage Site, but it is also one of the places to let you travel the world without leaving Germany.
Guess what. Is it to Rome where Bamberg will transport you? Nope!
You can try again, but the answer lies on the list of best things to do in Bamberg’s Old Town:
- Visit Bamberg Cathedral
- Admire Neue Residenz
- See Alte Hofhaltun
- Stroll in Rose Garden
- Ride on a Romantic Gondola
Activity #1: Visit Bamberg Cathedral
Let’s kick off the list of activities in Bamberg’s Old Town with the oldest and most impressive structure: the Bamberg Cathedral.
Bamberg Cathedral is an impressive church situated on the top of one of the seven hills of Bamberg.
It was initially founded in 1002, but it caught on fire after a couple of centuries. Today, what we see is its 13th-century version having predominantly two architectural styles, gothic and romanesque.
The church acquired its varying styles over the length of its development. You can easily discern them from the cathedral’s four towers, which you can clearly see from the cathedral square. Two of them have romanesque (east), and the other two (west) have gothic architecture.
If you come for a full hour, you will hear the bells chime from these towers. You may find it eerie, especially when you visit the area during off-peak hours. But it’s part of the experience, right?
Aside from architecture, remarkable artworks are found inside the church as well. You’ll discover fascinating sculptures and carvings, from the portals to the church altars. Definitely, Bamberg Cathedral is worth a visit, even if you are not a Catholic.
You’ll agree when you see Bamberg Cathedral’s treasure highlights – its two most notable artworks:
- The Tomb of Emperor Heinrich II and Empress Kunigunde, the founders of the cathedral. It is a masterpiece created by the famous Tilman Riemenschneider, which took 14 years for him to finish. Its details, the stories it depicts – the artwork tomb is just something you will admire. Never underestimate an artwork that has undergone more than a decade of creation!
- Bamberg Horseman. It is another treasure of the Bamberg cathedral, whose pictures are shown in many other places in Germany, like schools and dwellings. The equestrian statue was interpreted with different meanings several times back in time. Nazis think that it symbolizes German perfection; some say it’s just the image of the Hungarian King Stephen I. Either way, nobody exactly knows.
Activity #2: Admire Neue Residenz Bamberg
On the other side of the cathedral square, we can see the Neue Residenz (New Residence in Bamberg) – the pinnacle of baroque splendor in Bamberg.
The Neue Residenz is definitely one of the several highlights of Bamberg’s Old Town visit. It was the home of a prince-bishop of Bamberg, now an exhibit of exquisite palace-like furniture designs, artworks, and numerous masterpieces collected over the previous four centuries.
Inside, your eye will feast on the beautiful rococo design everywhere in the mansion.
Fresco and stucco ceiling embellishments shall make you feel like a royal! Your artistic self will just be satisfied with 17th to 18th-century artworks and portraits hanging on the walls of the Neue Residenz.
You can access the most beautiful parts of Neue Residenz, like the Prince-Bishop’s Apartment, Imperial Hall, Elector’s Apartment, and the State Gallery, with or without a guided tour. Neue Residenz is open daily (except Jan 1, Shrove Tuesday, Dec 24, 25, and 31) during the specific hours:
|April to September||9 a.m.||6 p.m.|
|October to March||10 a.m.||4 p.m.|
Activity #3: Stroll in Rose Garden
After the wanderings inside the New Residence, you can proceed immediately to the Rose Garden – a lovely spot outside the palace.
It’s really a pleasant place to go, at least from mid-spring to fall, when the 4,500 rosebushes burst ornamental colors over the garden’s flowerbeds.
The northern and southern portions of the Rose Garden have linden trees and hornbeams, respectively. Among these two, visitors prefer to walk and stay more often under the linden trees because of the views seen along with it.
In that part of the garden, you get to see the lower part of the old town and the skyline of Bamberg – including Michaelsberg Abbey! Come during golden hour, and the scene should be wonderful to photograph.
Activity #4: See Alte Hofhaltun
Alte Hofhaltun (Old Court) is another impressive attraction in Bamberg’s old town. Visitors who want to see the court can access it through the gate on the western portion of Cathedral Square.
The Old Court’s Gate, also called the “The Beautiful Gate,” welcomes visitors with a weird, intimidating charm.
Even though it was dedicated to the saints, the Old Court Gate’s ancient appearance and the mythical creature’s head below the arch seem to give visitors goosebumps all over their bodies.
Once you pass through the gate, you arrive at a quaint-looking square with timber-framed buildings all around. These buildings were the home of the bishops who served in the cathedral, houses dating back as early as the 11th century.
Because of the medieval flair of Bamberg’s Old Court, it has been chosen by several filmmakers as one of the sites to shoot movies. If you have watched the movie the Three Musketeers, you may find this place familiar.
Activity #5: Ride on a Romantic Gondola
As mentioned earlier, Bamberg should give you an experience that will transport you to another place in the world. That would be, would you guess?
Yes, it is. In fact, Bamberg is affectionately called “Little Venice” as visitors get the same pleasure they find in the far-away Venice here in this town.
The gondola rides take place in the River Regnitz that goes through the heart of Old Town Bamberg. Along the tour, you will pass by several picturesque half-timbered fishermen’s houses, drift under the bridges, and have a spectacular view of Saint Michael’s Hill.
You will also pass by the iconic Town Hall of Bamberg during the trip! Don’t forget to prepare your cameras and phones to capture that beautiful moment.
Bamberg’s Gondola Ride can accommodate 6 people, and it lasts for 30, 45, and 60 minutes for 60, 90, and 120 Euros, respectively. There is no time schedule to follow. You can call 0951/1206327 or send them an email for reservations and inquiries. Please check the official website of La Gondola Piccola Veneziana for updates and announcements.
Reason #2: The Iconic Bamberg’s Town Hall Museum
Spectacular things – that’s one of the things we look for when we travel. In Bamberg, we can find several of them, but the Town Hall Museum shall be the best example. It is the second reason to visit Bamberg.
Besides, would it be exciting to see a building that’s not only historical but also a work of art? Literally, it’s an artwork and so Instagrammable! have a look at the image I’ll show you later.
Activity #5: Visit Bamberg’s Old Town Hall
There are two ways you can visit or see Bamberg’s Old Town Hall. The first is riding a gondola over the Regnitz River, which I mentioned previously; the second way is just a simple stroll on the bridges passing through the building.
What’s so special about Bamberg’s Old Town Hall? Simply it is simply iconic. Today, only Bamberg has a gorgeous Old Town Hall, built on an artificial islet in the middle of a flowing river. You would love the quaintness and artistic design of the Old Town Hall, especially the murals and its timber-frame facade.
Bamberg’s Old Town Hall is both a shutter-presser and curiosity-evoking landmark, don’t you agree? When you see it, you wonder and ask yourself what’s the reason behind its placement in the middle of the Regnitz river.
Why is Bamberg’s Old Town Hall in the middle of the Regnitz River? The main reason for that was the bishop of Bamberg, who did not give its citizens land to construct their town hall. The citizens had no choice but to be crafty, so they created an artificial islet in Rignetz River, where they built the Old Town Hall.
The hard work and craft of the citizens did not only benefit themselves but also made Bamberg even more recognizable, especially today. In fact, Bamberg’s Old Town Hall serves as a significant building that gives character to the whole town.
You’ll adore the metamorphic scenery depicted on the Old Town Hall facade’s paintings that make a three-dimensional optical illusion. Ludwig’s porcelain collection, one of the largest in Europe, awaits you inside the building.
Reason #3: Little Details To See In Bamberg
What do you think of visiting a place which is older than most of the other nations in the world?
A town that’s more than a thousand years old will always have a lot to discover, definitely!
What’s even more interesting is that most of these discoveries you’ll find are meaningful and have historical and cultural relevance. For me, this is also the reason why you should visit Bamberg.
In today’s world, where it seems everything was already made for commercial benefit, I crave to see things that have some sense – things that feed the mind or the soul. Do you do the same?
Activity #6: See The Little Details of Bamberg
Aside from the main tourist attractions, here are the places and most interesting landmarks you can discover in Bamberg (click links to view their location on Google Maps):
- The Bamberg Way of the Cross
- Lying Woman With Fruit by Fernando Botero
- The statue of Kaiserin Kunigunde and the blue Jeweler’s house beside – Picturesque spot behind Bamberg’s Old Town Hall
- Carmelite Monastery – Quiet place for reflection with Instagrammable hallway architecture
- Maximiliansbrunnen – A beautiful fountain with 5 statues and elegant railings
- Neptunbrunnen – Impressive statue of Nepture with golden trident. Nice to photograph during mornings and golden hours. The sunlight often strikes the trident – it’s magical to see.
- Böttinger House – An eye-catchy house with a beautiful facade.
- International Artists Villa Concordia – Attend free art events in a gorgeous palace by the river.
- Bamberg Little Venice – Romantic and picturesque houses beside the river.
Activity #7: Photograph or see Bamberg’s Little Venice
If there is something not to be missed from the 9 attractions listed above, that would be Little Venice. Like the Old Town Hall, you can see Bamberg’s Little Venice through a gondola ride or a mini-ship cruise along the Regnitz River.
If you are like me, who does not have someone yet to share a romantic experience, a simple stroll along River Rignetz’s west bank will be your next option to see Little Venice. The walk should start at the south end of the Markussttrasse Bridge.
What’s special about Bamberg’s Little Venice?
Aside from being romantic, Bamberg’s Little Venice is just captivating as it looks. Along your riverside walk, you’ll see medieval timber-framed houses of the fishermen that stand side by side with each other.
If you made it to the viewing spot during calm weather, you might see absolutely picturesque scenes of these quaint-looking houses reflected on the surface of the river.
I think the riverside stroll could be a pleasurable activity, especially during sunset, as golden hour light can hit these west-facing timber-framed houses.
Reason #4: Historic Smoked Beer and Breweries in Bamberg
“The Rome of Germany” and “Little Venice” – seem like it would be better to visit Italy instead of Bamberg?
It’s probably yes until you learn about the other thing Bamberg is known for its Smoked Beers. Apparently, these beers are also a reason why you should visit Bamberg.
Bamberg is just a beer paradise; if you love beers, you would not want to leave the town. There are more than 70 breweries in the city and county of Bamberg, and they brew more than 400 kinds of beers! If you were to taste one type of beer a day, you would need to stay in Bamberg for more than a year!
There is even a brewery trail in the town you can access on tour to taste the bests of Bamberg’s beers. Here are some of the breweries included in the trail: Fässla, Keesmann, Schlenkerla, Spezial, Greifenklau, Ambräusianum, or Klosterbräu. Learn more from this link.
The thing is, the beers in Bamberg are special as they were traditionally brewed and prepared using a method perfected by a thousand-year of practice. You can try any beer from Bamberg, but it is the Smoked Beer that you should not miss.
Activity #8: Drink a Smoked Beer From The Legendary Schlenkerla
According to all the reviews that I’ve read, nothing beats Schlenkerla as the place best to visit in Bamberg to drink its famous Smoked Beer.
Schlenkerla is a historic tavern, and Bamberg’s one of the most famous breweries that, until now, follows the tradition of serving smoked beers directly from the wooden barrel. Here’s what the people say about the Smoked Beer of Bamberg:
Even if the brew tastes somewhat strange at the first swallow, do not stop, because soon you will realize that your thirst will not decrease and your pleasure will visibly increasefrom schlenkerla.de
It has this smoky aroma, but it’s not overpowering in the taste.from germany.travel
Since 1984, Schlenkerla has won and kept on winning several awards for the Smoked Beer they serve. Schlenkerla earned gold awards from the Stockholm beer festival to the Australian Beer Awards and World Beer Cup.
If you are interested in coming and drinking one of its smoked beers, I suggest that you first check the announcements on Schlenkerla’s official webpage to learn the opening hours and some protocols.
Wondering where Schlenkerla is?
Don’t worry, it’s easy to find. Coming from Cathedral Square, you will only walk for less than three minutes. Go to the eastern section of the square, and you’ll find a stair. Move down and walk straight northeast.
At the first intersection, turn right, and the third house you’ll see is the Schlenkerla.
Activity #9: Discover The Franconian Brewery Museum
The beers make Bamberg, or even Bavaria, famous to the world. But do you have an idea how they were created? Worry not. Because when you visit Bamberg, you also get the chance to know it.
Traveling is learning, right?
I bet you would like to visit the Franconian Brewery Museum for curious minds, a place absolutely dedicated to beers! Discover how the beers are made from crop to bottled goods and the expertise exhibited in the museum.
The Franconian Brewery Museum houses more than 1300 things in five different levels of the former Benedictine Monastery in Michaelsberg. For each part, you will find various items all about beers:
- Ground floor – Grist Mill (brewhouse) and Cooling ship (beer distillery)
- Level 1 – Beer culture and beer mug collection
- Level 2 – Barrel and bottle filling, Filtration – cooperage – distillery
- Level 3 – Malt house, Commodities hops, and cereals
- Level 4 – Fermentation, storage cellar, and ice cellar
Overall, you’ll be exploring 1000 m2 of exhibits in the Franconian Brewery Museum. For you not to miss the highlights, I suggest that you join a guided tour that lasts for an hour and a half. Entry to the museum is 4 Euros for adults.
The museum is open from April to October, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday, and from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. every Saturday, Sunday, and holiday. Please always consider checking the official website of the Franconian Brewery Museum for announcements and updates before your visit.
Reason #5: Michaelsberg Abbey And The City View
Another reason to visit Bamberg lies together with the Franconian Brewery Museum: Michaelsberg Abbey.
Perched on a hill, Michaelsberg Abbey stood visible to most parts of the Old Town Bamberg. Two examples are in the Rose Garden of the Neue Residenz and on the River Regnitz while cruising.
Michaelsberg Abbey, built in the early 11th century, is one of the most historical buildings you can find in Bamberg. Throughout the middle ages and modern history and until the secularization of Bavaria, many events occurred in the place.
Here in Michaelsberg, Bishop Otto, later canonized as a saint, resided for some years. Michaelsberg also was the place where the most renowned craftsmen of the time worked, like Balthasar Neumann and Ludwig Dietz.
The Abbey was not spared from the German Peasants’ War and the 30 Years’ War.
Aside from the Brewery Museum, Michaelsberg Abbey also has a magnificent church where we can find the following:
- Tomb of Saint Otto – A golden gothic tomb with sculpted images of a king, queen, and other saints.
- A neoclassical Holy Sepulchre
- Different paintings about Jesus
- A lovely Rococo pulpit that depicts the triumph of Saint Michael, the archangel
The church has been closed to the public since 2016 for a massive repair. But it is expected to be finished this year, 2021.
Activity #10: Explore the Michaelsberg Abbey
Honestly, whenever I arrive at a destination, two thoughts automatically come into my mind: “I need to eat” and “I need to go to the highest spot in town to see at once all the places I will visit.”
We want our tummies and eyes satisfied, right?
Well, in the case of Bamberg, a visit to Michaelsberg Abbey solves both, hitting two birds with one stone! Aside from the brewery and church, Michaelsberg Abbey has its restaurant and a garden to have a leisurely moment. It’s a nice place to view the town from above.
After your meal, you can stroll around the area and visit the Michaelsberg Garden or “celestial garden.” At this point, you can see Bamberg’s skyline, from the cathedral in the south to the villages in the north.
Michaelsberg Garden is a baroque terraced garden with a fountain in the middle, featuring more than 500 kinds of flowers.
It has two pavilions at the corner, perhaps a peaceful spot where you can have some quiet and a short reflection.
Reason #6: Altenburg And The Scenic Sights
The scenic views and the medieval flair in Bamberg aren’t only inside the old town.
At the tallest of the seven hills of Bamberg, we can find Altenburg – a castle with scenic views overlooking the city and the surrounding meadows and forests. It is our sixth reason why visit Bamberg.
Altenburg was first mentioned in books in the early 11th century. Then, it was used by the citizens as a refuge whenever there was danger in the town. No one ever lived in the castle until it was acquired by the bishops in 1251.
It is a place where you can make your medieval fantasies a reality. You can walk around the castle, pretend it’s the 1200s, and imagine yourself as a marshal.
You can also climb the bastion and think like you’re on the lookout, see the surroundings and feel some awe from the dramatic views of vast lands and the town from afar.
Activity #11: Hike, Explore and Drink Beers in Altenburg
Altenburg is only a 10-minute drive away from the Old Town Bamberg. However, if you are still able, I suggest you go hiking instead (it’s a scenic walk) or do both! The castle has several hiking trails all around it anyway.
Alternatively, you can get a bus tour or “hop on, hop off” ride to get to Altenburg from the wooden bridge at Rathaus. You can go to the Tourism Office to ask for the schedule and tickets.
Here are the things you can expect to see in Altenburg when you arrive at the site:
- A picturesque castle keep fortified by a wall
- Roofed ramparts walkway
- Altenburg tower, which has an awe-inspiring look
- Old wells with beautiful metal railings
- Some antique canons were used by the soldiers in defending the castle
The fortress has a restaurant, too; they’ll serve you delicious meals and beers after a pleasant walk in the castle. They prepare Pork schnitzel, Currywurst, Meat cake, Göttingen, etc.
|Tuesday to Saturday||12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.|
|Sunday||12 p.m. to 2 p.m.|
Before you visit, please don’t forget to check for any announcements or updates on schedule and opening times from the official website of Restaurant Altenburg. You can send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries and reservations.
Reason #7: Seehof Castle Near Bamberg
Last but not least! Another reason why you should visit Bamberg is that even after you have finished touring the whole town, another beautiful destination awaits you just nearby: the Seehof Castle.
So what’s Seehof Castle all about? Seehof Castle is a 17th-century baroque palace built by the prince-bishops of Bamberg as their summer residence and hunting lodge. It is located 5 kilometers northwest of Bamberg, in the rural area of Memmelsdorf.
The Seehof Castle as a whole is full of splendor; inside and outside the palace, your eyes will be satisfied. I believe it is the most Instagrammable place that you can visit from Bamberg.
Activity #12: Capture Instagrammable Spots in Seehof Palace
Starting from the gate of Seehof Palace to the gardens and to the palace itself, you will find tons of beautiful things and captivating scenes.
By the time you arrive, you don’t just admire the grandeur of the colored red and white Seehof Gate. If the gate’s halls are open, come inside, and you will see a very Instagrammable view. You’ll love the lines and patterns of the hall’s interior:
The windows of the hall shown above face west. So you might want to capture a photo of yourself inside the room during the afternoon when a strong hard light enters the windows of the building.
Seehof Garden isn’t something not to be skipped too! I suggest that you go for a short stroll around the palace first before entering.
Not only will you see the stunning outside architecture of the Seehof Palace entirely, but you also discover the Chesnut and Linden Tree Avenues with trees perfectly aligned with each other – absolutely Instagrammable!
There are numerous sculpture embellishments created by Ferdinand Tietz in the garden you would like to see as well.
The most notable sculpture in the Seehof Garden is called “Jupiter in the battle with the giants.” and oh, there’s also a gorgeous staircase + fountain in the west portion of the garden. Better not to miss it!
Overall, the Seehof Garden looks somehow similar to the parks in Italy and Netherlands. After circling the palace and exploring the garden, it’s time to see the interiors of the Palace.
Inside the Seehof Palace, you will see beautiful works of art and paintings all around – attached to the walls covered with mesmerizing wallpapers. Everything will be beautiful, but the “White Hall” and its ceiling painting by Guiseppe Appiani will genuinely impress you.
How Long To Stay In Bamberg?
One day is enough as you can already see almost all of the highlights of Bamberg in a day. That includes Bamberg’s old town, Little Venice, and Michaelsberg Abbey. However, you may need 2 days to fully enjoy a laidback Bamberg trip, with time to discover many flavors of smoked beers in town.
Make your stay in Bamberg surely productive by joining a tour of the old town Bamberg. (Don’t miss the best landmarks and discover more about Bamberg’s history, culture, and hidden gem cafes and breweries!)
Here are my best picks:
Where To Stay In Bamberg
If you plan to spend more time in Bamberg and you need accommodation, you can find the best hotel deals in Bamberg from this link. You can use the map feature of the search engine to easily find hotels in your preferred location, i.e., near the train station.
If you’re planning to have a day trip to Bamberg from Munich or Nuremberg, check out my articles about these two beautiful cities here:
- 10 Beautiful Places In Munich | See the best hotel deals in Munich here
- 15 Reasons To Visit Nuremberg | See the best hotel deals in Nuremberg here
These articles can also help you discover these cities’ best attractions and experiences.
Where To Go Next After Bamberg
Before we discussed the reasons why you should visit Bamberg, we learned that Bamberg is in southern Germany. It is a region full of beautiful destinations like charming historical sites (like Bamberg), fairytale towns, and scenic places.
And if you are looking for more places not too far from Bamberg, I can recommend some which I think you’ll love to see. You can find the summary from this article: 10 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Southern Germany.
The closest you can visit from Bamberg are Nuremberg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and Wurzburg. Travel time from Bamberg to these places ranges from 1 to 2 hours using the trains. I think these four places are the best you can go to in Franconia.
I have a short comparison of Bamberg vs. Rothenburg and Bamberg vs. Wurzburg later in this article.
Are you one of the travelers having a day trip to Bamberg from Munich? From Munich, you can also have day trips to the most scenic towns in Germany. Where? In upper Bavaria. Particularly Bavarian Alps.
If you want to know how to visit all the best attractions in the Bavarian Alps, look at my sample 3, 7, and 10 days Bavarian Alps Itinerary. The itineraries include the following places:
- Neuschwanstein Castle — it is rumored to be the inspiration of Walt Disney for his castles in his theme park. Learn more: How to visit Neuschwanstein Castle & Nearby Beautiful Places.
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen — this is a charming alpine town closest to Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak. Discover: 10 Reasons To Visit Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
- Mittenwald — is a lovely alpine town with houses painted with murals. It’s nearest to the Dammkar ski route, the longest in Germany. See how Mittenwald looks: 10 Worthy Things to Do In Mittenwald.
- Oberammergau — a small town where the most famous Passion Play in the world takes place. Learn more: Is Oberammergau Worth Visiting? 7 Reasons.
- Berchtesgaden — here you can find the eagle’s nest, Konigssee, and the 3 most picturesque chapels in Bavarian Alps. Discover the here: 12 Reasons Why Berchtesgaden Is Worth Visiting.
How about the fairytale towns? The Black Forest has them. It’s the place that inspired the Grimm Brothers for their fairy tales (Hansel & Gretel, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty).
Do you want to visit the Black Forest? Here’s my article about the Black Forest to learn more: 20 Unique & Special Things to See in the Black Forest in Germany.
You can start visiting the Black Forest from Stuttgart (10 Reasons Why Visit Stuttgart), approximately a 3-hour drive from Bamberg. When you reach Stuttgart, you can also quickly visit Lichtenstein Castle (Lichtenstein Castle in Germany and 5 Things to Do Nearby)—a picturesque castle perched on a cliffside.
Lastly, did you know? Annecy, the Venice of The Alps and a town in eastern France, has similarities with Bamberg. They’re both charming and have landmarks built on an island in the middle of their rivers. Take a look: 10 Best Reasons Why You Should Visit Annecy
Should I Visit Bamberg or Rothenburg?
Bamberg or Rothenburg? Both Bamberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber has old towns that will undoubtedly give you medieval encounters in your travels. If you want to experience a complete fairytale experience, Rothenburg is definitely above Bamberg. On the other hand, Bamberg gives you more places for romantic moments and scenic spots to see.
Here is my post about Rothenburg, to give you reasons to visit and mention the things to do in the town.
Should I Visit Bamberg or Wurzburg?
Wurzburg or Bamberg? In terms of the overall medieval experience, Bamberg is much more charming and quainter than Wurzburg. However, these towns have pretty much the same attractions. Both have rivers, palaces, churches, and even UNESCO Heritage sites! Wurzburg is preferable to Bamberg if visiting many churches is your primary goal.
Check out my post about Wurzburg to discover more.
Photos to Inspire you to visit Bamberg
If you need the inspiration to visit Bamberg, here are the photos to convince you to go here:
Save it on Pinterest.