Bamberg is a German town that escaped Allied bombing during World War II. Most German cities had to be rebuilt after the war. Because Bamberg retains most of its original infrastructure, the city is a great example of the Franconian region of northern Bavaria. It is also declared UNESCO World Heritage. This is a beautiful, walkable town with old architecture, timber-framed houses, and red clay rooftops. It’s also known as the town of seven hills.


Transportation

The main source of transportation is the public transportation buses. There are more than 20 routes connecting the outlying quarters and villages. It’s very easy to get around by bus and by foot. Some areas are very difficult to drive and you would need to find a parking garage and then finish to your destination on foot. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes since the streets are cobblestone and because the main sites are on one of the seven hills.


Must See

Altes Rathaus
This is the Old town hall built in 1386; it straddles the Regnitz River and is accessible by two bridges. When you look up Bamberg Germany, most likely a picture of the Altes Rathaus will appear.

Bamberg Dom
This Cathedral was completed in the 13th Century and is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church. The Cathedral contains many works of art. A well-known treasure is an equestrian statue known as the Bamberg Horseman. Look up to the ceiling when you are inside and use your camera lens to zoom in, there are randomly painted monster like faces. The reasons for these faces are unknown, but ask a local and maybe they will tell you a story about them.

New Residenz and the Rose Garden
The New Residenz was the seat of the prince-bishops until 1802. You can take a guided tour through the residence and then check out the beautiful Rose Garden with views overlooking the town.

St. Michael’s Monastery
This Monastery is a former Benedictine abbey founded in 1015. The monks were the first to brew beer, so the Franconia Brewery Museum is in the old brewery on the property. Visitors cannot tour the church due to structural integrity issues, but work on the restoration began in Spring 2016, expecting to be done at the earliest in 2021. You can walk around the property to see the landscape and other wonderful views of the town.

Altenberg Castle
This castle sits on the highest of Bamberg’s hills. This was the residence of bishops during the 14th and 15th century. There is now a restaurant and please go up to the watchtower, the views are amazing.


Food

Make sure you partake in the afternoon Kaffee und Kuchen (Coffee and Cake). There are many café’s and bakery’s and in the afternoon around 4pm, especially on a Sunday, you’ll find German’s gathering with their friends or family to leisurely talk about their day, eat something delicious, and enjoy their time together.

You can find many restaurants around town and they are not limited to just German food. We had some of the most delicious food. Each neighborhood will have a restaurant, a grocery store, a bakery and a café. This is where the residences of the neighborhood will frequently go for a meal or to buy their food. These places are family owned and it’s a treat to get to know them if you visit frequently on your trip. We enjoyed one restaurant a few times and our last night we just had to go back for one last meal and to say goodbye. In Europe you don’t typically tip a large amount, round up to the nearest Euro, but my husband wanted to give our new friend a special tip. She was so grateful, that as we were walking out the door she gave him a beer glass. 

Of course you know that if you go to Germany you can’t leave without tasting the beer. The oldest beer, Weihenstephan, dates back to 1040! Bamberg is known for its smoked beer, Rauchbier. Including Rauchbier, there are nine breweries in Bamberg, Brauerei Fässla, Brauerei Greifenklau, Brauerei Heller-Trum, Brauerei Kaiserdom, Keesmann Bräu, Klosterbräu, Mahrs Bräu and Brauerei Spezial. 

You might luck out and find that a Fest is going on. It’s not just Oktoberfest that German’s celebrate every year in September, they will have other fests in other towns throughout the year. It might be a special date to remember or a holiday. We were there during the Easter holiday and there was a fest going on down the street. The fests are really a family affair and you can think of it like a carnival here in the United States. All of this is to say, if you see a fest, go to it and have a crepe. The Nutella Crepe that we had was to die for! On my bucket list is to go to Germany at Christmas time and go to a Christmas Fest.

We were fortunate enough to visit Bamberg for about a week and half, so we took our time and soaked in the culture. Because we were able to immerse ourselves into Bamberg, this is hands down one of our favorite trips.  If you wanted to make a quick trip while you are on your way to another city, the must see places can be seen in a couple of days.

To travel to your next destination, the train station is accessible by walking or easy to get to by bus.

Prost!