Bamberg – tourist’s guide to the medieval city of Germany on seven hills

Bamberg, Germany – an old German town on the banks of the Regnitz River. This is one of the few places in Europe where the spirit of the Middle Ages still hovers, and people lead the same unhurried way of life as they did centuries ago.

City Embankment

General information

Bamberg is a Bavarian city in central Germany. It stands on the Regnitz River. It covers an area of ​​54.58 km². The population is 70,000. Distance to Munich – 230 km, to Nuremberg – 62 km, to Wurzburg – 81 km.

The name of the city was given in honor of the area on which it stands – on seven hills. For the same reason, Bamberg was often called “German Rome.”

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The city is known as one of the brewing centers in Bavaria (the oldest brewery was opened in 1533 and still works) and it is here that the Otto Friedrich University is located – the oldest university in Bavaria.

View of the Old Town

Bamberg’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it is one of the few European cities that survived during World War II. In 1993, he was included in the list of specially protected objects in Germany. By the way, an interesting legend is associated with the amazing luckiness of the city during the war. Locals believe that Saint Kunigunda (patroness of Bamberg) during the raids enveloped the city with dense fog, so that he was not injured.


Although the city of Bamberg can not be called as popular as Munich or Nuremberg, still many tourists come here who want to see not the buildings rebuilt after the war, but the real architecture of the 17-19 centuries.

On our list are the best sights of Bamberg in Germany that you can visit in one day.

Old Town (Bamberg Altstadt)
Old Town (Bamberg Altstadt)

As mentioned above, the Bamberg Old Town has been preserved in its original form: narrow streets between the houses, paving stones, magnificent baroque churches, small stone bridges connecting different parts of the city and three-story houses of local residents.

Most of the houses of local residents are built in the traditional German style of half-timbered architecture. The main distinguishing feature of such structures are wooden beams, which at the same time make the structure more durable and more attractive.

Public buildings erected in the Romanesque style. They are built of dark stone, and there are no decorations on the facades of the buildings.

Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus)
Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus)

The Old Town Hall is the main attraction of the city of Bamberg in Germany. It is located in the city center, and is very different from most European town halls. The building resembles something between a church and a residential building. This unusual style is explained by the fact that the town hall was rebuilt more than once. Initially, it was a rather simple structure, to which, in the 18th century, another building was added in the Baroque style. After the elements of rococo were added.

It is interesting that the attraction was erected on an artificial island (and the case took place in 1386) and on both sides it is surrounded by bridges. This unusual location is explained by the fact that both bishops and city authorities wanted this attraction to be erected on their territory. As a result, I had to find a compromise, and erect a building on a place that was not part of anyone’s property.

Now in the town hall is a museum, the main pride of which is a rich collection of porcelain, donated to the city by the Ludwig dynasty.

  • Location: Obere Muehlbruecke 1, 96049 Bamberg, Germany.
  • Opening hours: 10.00 – 17.00.
  • Cost: 7 euros.
Cathedral (Bamberg Cathedral)

The Bamberg Imperial Cathedral is one of the oldest (among the surviving to this day) temples of Bavaria. It was built in 1004 by Henry II the Holy.

The outer part of the building was built in the style of Gothic and romanticism. The temple has four high towers (two on each side), on one of which the main city clock hangs.

Interestingly, this is one of the longest cathedrals in Bavaria. As conceived by the emperor, the long corridor that leads from the entrance to the altar should symbolize the difficult path that every believer walks.

The interior of the cathedral is striking in its beauty and wealth: a mass of carved sculptures, gold bas-reliefs and plaster figures of saints. There are 14 paintings hanging on the walls at the entrance, which depict the Way of the Cross of Christ. In the center of the attraction is an organ – it is very small, and it cannot be called incredibly beautiful.

Pay attention to the Christmas altar, which is located in the southern part of the building. Also look into the western part of the cathedral. Here you will find the graves of the Pope and one of the local archbishops.

It is interesting that in the interior of this landmark of Bamberg you can see images of monsters (the style in which they are written is typical of the Middle Ages). According to historians, such unusual drawings appeared on the walls of the church because of the greed of one of the archbishops: artists who were not paid much for their work decided to take revenge on that.

  • Location: Domplatz 2, 96049 Bamberg, Germany.
  • Opening hours: 9.00 – 16.00 (however, locals say that the cathedral is often open even during non-working hours).

New Residence (Neue Residenz)
New residence

The new residence is the place where the archbishops of Bamberg lived and worked. Initially, their location was Geyersvert Castle, but this building seemed too small for the church employees, after which the construction of the New Residence began (completed in 1605). For its intended purpose, the building was used until the 19th century.

Now in the New Residence there is a museum that contains world-famous paintings, porcelain and antique furniture. In total, tourists can visit 40 halls, the most notable of which are:

Red Hall in the New Residence
  • Imperial;
  • Gold;
  • Mirrored
  • Red;
  • Emerald;
  • Episcopal;
  • White.

It is also worth a glimpse into the Bamberg State Library, which is located in the western part of the New Residence.

A favorite vacation spot for locals is the rose garden, which is located near the residence. In addition to beautiful flower beds and hundreds of types of roses, in the garden you can see sculptural compositions, fountains and a board of honor, on which you can read the names of everyone who created this beautiful place.

  • Allow at least 4 hours to visit this attraction.
  • Location: Domplatz 8, 96049 Bamberg, Bavaria.
  • Opening hours: 10.00 – 17.00 (Tuesday – Sunday).
  • Cost: 8 euros.
Theater of Shadows (Theater der Schatten)
Shadow play

Since there are not a lot of theaters and philharmonic halls in Bamerga, in the evenings tourists and locals love to come to the Shadow Theater. The performance lasts 1.5 hours on average, during which the audience will be told an interesting story about the creation of the city, they will show how people lived at different times and immerse the audience in an atmosphere of mystery.

Tourists who have already visited the show are advised to come to the Shadow Theater in advance: before the performance, you can see the scenery and dolls close by, visit a small museum of props and chat with decorators.

  • Location: Katharinenkapelle | Domplatz, 96047 Bamberg, Germany.
  • Opening hours: 17.00 – 19.30 (Friday, Saturday), 11.30 – 14.00 (Sunday).
  • Cost: 25 euros.
Little Venice (Klein Venedig)
Little Venice

Little Venice is often called that part of Bamberg, which is located on the waterfront. Tourists say that this place is not very similar to Venice, but it is really very beautiful here.

Locals love to just walk here, but it’s better to rent a gondola or a boat and ride along the canals of the city. Also do not miss the opportunity to take here some beautiful photos of Bamberg in Germany.

Location: Am Leinritt, 96047 city of Bamberg, Germany.

Fortress Altenburg

Altenburg is a medieval fortress in Bamberg, located on top of the highest city hill. For centuries, knights fought here, and after the castle stood abandoned for almost 150 years. Its restoration was engaged only in 1800.

Now in the fortress is a museum, the entrance to which is free. Pay attention to the so-called bear corner – here is a stuffed bear that lived in the castle for more than 10 years. There is also a cafe and a restaurant on the territory of the fortress, however, they work only in the warm season.

Tourists who have been to Altenburg are advised to rent a taxi or go by bus – it is better not to go on foot here, as there are very steep slopes.

Be sure to check out the sightseeing observation deck – from here you can take beautiful photos of the city of Bamberg.

  • Location: Altenburg, Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany.
  • Opening hours: 11.30 – 14.00 (Tuesday – Sunday), Monday – day off.

Where to stay

Hotels in the city

Bamberg is a small city, so it has less than 40 hotels and hotels for tourists. Reservations should be made in advance, as this Bavarian town is very popular with travelers.

The average price for a room in a 3 * hotel for two per day in the high season varies from 120 to 130 dollars. This price includes a breakfast buffet, free Wi-Fi, as well as all the necessary equipment in the room. Most hotels have facilities for people with disabilities. Also, many 3 * hotels have saunas, spa centers and cafes.

5 * hotels in Bamberg are ready to accept tourists for 160-180 dollars a day. This price includes a good breakfast (rated by tourists as “excellent”), free access to the gym and spa.

Remember that all the attractions of Bamberg are close to each other, so there is no point in overpaying for a room in the very center of the city.

Thus, even in such a small German town as Bamberg, you can find both simple 2 * hotels and expensive 5 * hotels.

Food in the city

Cafe in the city

Bamberg is a small campus, so there are not many expensive restaurants here. The most popular among tourists are small cozy cafes in the city center and a brewery (there are about 65 of them).

Travelers who have already been to Bamberg are advised to visit the old Klosterbräu brewery, which has been brewing beer since 1533. Despite the popularity of the establishment, the prices here are not higher than in neighboring breweries.

Dish, drink Cost (Euro)
Herring with potatoes 8.30
Bratwurst (2 sausages) 3.50
McMeal at McDonalds 6.75
Strudel Slice 2.45
Piece of cake “Black Forest” 3.50
Bagel 1.50
Cup of cappuccino 2.00-2.50
Big beer 3.80-5.00

The average bill for lunch per person is around 12 euros.

All prices on the page are for July 2019.

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Useful Tips

    View from the hill
    View from Altenburg Hill
  1. If you want to visit the Altenburg fortress, try to come in the summer – in winter it is very difficult to get there due to snow, and the observation deck does not work.
  2. Since the Altenburg fortress is located on a hilltop, it is always very windy here.
  3. Tickets to the Shadow Theater must be bought in advance, as the place is very popular.
  4. If hungry, tourists are advised to drop in a Franconian restaurant “Kachelofen”. The menu has a wide selection of traditional German dishes.
  5. Christmas gifts are best bought at a small store near the Old Town Hall. Here is the largest selection of Christmas tree decorations and souvenirs.
  6. To explore the city and feel its atmosphere, it is better to come to Bamberg for 2-3 days.
  7. To get to Bamberg from Munich is best by bus (run 3 times a day) carrier Flixbus.

Bamberg, Germany – a cozy Bavarian place that deserves no less attention than neighboring cities.

Find out what to see in Bamberg in one day from the video.

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