When people think about visiting Bavaria, there’s mainly just one city they have in mind – Munich. But as beautiful as Munich is, it doesn’t withstand the competition with what is arguably Bavaria’s most precious gem – Bamberg. This cozy little town that stands on seven hills, just like Rome, has so much to offer in terms of beauty that your head will go spinning. I mean, where do you choose to look? To the left? To the right? To save you from too much headache I’ve picked the best beauty spots for you to see in Bamberg!
1. Explore the most beautiful UNESCO center in Germany
In 2014, Bamberg’s Old Town was listed as high as #16 of Germany’s Top 100 Sights, and when you walk in those gorgeous narrow streets you understand why. Seriously beautiful. Impossible to forget. The old historic quarters of Bamberg are a real feast for the eye. There’s three of them – the Episcopal town, the island town and the market gardener’s town. All part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, Bamberg’s old quarters provide an exact image of how Central Europe used to look during the Middle Ages. There are around 1200 historical monuments so, as small as Bamberg is, you will definitely need more than a day to explore its Old Town fully and thoroughly.
2. Pretend to be a rich monk browsing for antiquities
When in Bamberg, you never know what you’ll discover next. This town, a gemstone of its own kind, collects the gemstones of European art that are kept in the most stylish antique shops. The one I was lucky enough to visit was located in a real cellar filled with medieval masterpieces. Religious music playing from somewhere behind the walls, lit candles, low ceilings – antique shops in Bamberg are something really special.
3. Get a taste of a real Franconian beer!
Do you like beer? Well, if you don’t, wait until you visit Bamberg. The Bavarian town is famous for its amazing breweries that make the experience of German beer tasting absolutely unforgettable. Go for an Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, a so-called smoked beer – it tastes like nothing you’ve ever tried!
4. Life feels beautiful in the Neue Residenz
Attention: when you walk in the stunning rococo-styled rose garden belonging to the palace of the Neue Residenz, your brain might get an overdose of beauty. Go with the flow and don’t fight it – it’s not often when you can enjoy 4,500 roses of all different sorts and colors, surrounding you in heaps.
5. Think of Venice at the river Regnitz
Every European city wants to be Venice. When you come to think about it, actually, even Venice doesn’t care about being Venice that much as some other cities in Europe. London, Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Stockholm – they all have their own little Venices and Bamberg is no exception. And indeed, what can be more romantic than enjoying a ride in a gondola on a hot summer day?
6. Read the signs from the past
Wherever you go in Bamberg, you can’t escape the past – there are hundreds and hundreds of old signs that, with a bit of help from your imagination, can tell the most captivating stories about life in Bavaria. Here’s the good old pub Schlenkerla that has been brewing beer since 1405. Next to it there’s the Bäckerei Seel that opened its doors to customers in 1427 and never closed them since. On beautiful Karolinenstrasse there’s Hofapotheke, which has been writing prescriptions for all kinds of diseases since 1453… The streets of Bamberg are an almanac of stories and, if you’re attentive enough to pay attention to the signs, you’ll develop such passion and enthusiasm for history (and beauty) that your grandchildren will thank you for it when the day comes.