Bamberg, a charming Bavarian city, is a hidden gem that offers a wealth of history, picturesque landscapes, and cultural treasures. If you’re looking for the best places to visit, landmarks, and attractions, Bamberg has it all.
From its UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town to its iconic Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) situated on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River, Bamberg is a destination that will captivate your senses. Join us on a journey through this enchanting city as we explore its architectural wonders, immerse ourselves in its rich history, and indulge in its vibrant cultural scene. Get ready to discover the magic of Bamberg!
In a nutshell: My tips for Bamberg
- Top sights: Don’t miss the town hall, Little Venice, and the Bamberg Cathedral. These landmarks showcase the city’s rich history and architectural beauty.
- City tour: Explore Bamberg on a guided city tour to uncover interesting facts and insider tips. Learn about the city’s heritage while discovering hidden gems along the way.
- Overnight tip: Stay at the centrally located and lovingly furnished Altstadthotel Molitor for a comfortable and convenient experience during your visit to Bamberg.
- Must-try beer: Make sure to sample the unique smoked beer at Schlenkerla. It’s a quintessential part of Bamberg’s beer culture and offers a distinct and flavorful experience.
1 The Bamberg Cathedral
The Bamberg Cathedral is a must-visit UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bamberg. With its four towering spires visible from all directions, it leaves a lasting impression. The exterior of the cathedral is truly remarkable, but it’s the interior that truly captivates. Step inside to discover a world of artistic treasures and religious significance.
Marvel at the intricate sculptures, including the famous Bamberg Horseman, a symbol of the city’s history. Explore the various chapels and admire the beautifully crafted tombs of significant figures, such as a pope and an imperial couple. The guided tours offer a deeper understanding of the cathedral’s rich history, providing interesting insights and insider knowledge.
The cathedral also caters to families with children, offering special activities like cool puzzles and handicraft tasks. It’s a great way to engage young minds while exploring the wonders of the cathedral. Don’t miss the chance to experience this architectural masterpiece and immerse yourself in Bamberg’s cultural heritage.
Admission: 6 euros
2 The Old Town Hall
The Old Town Hall of Bamberg is a unique attraction situated in the middle of the river—an exceptional sight you won’t find anywhere else in Germany. Adorned with beautiful frescoes and showcasing the quintessential half-timbered style of Bamberg, the town hall stands on an artificial island in the Regnitz, connected to the mainland by charming bridges.
The facade of the Old Town Hall is a visual delight, with its intricate details and vibrant frescoes depicting historical scenes. As you explore the town hall, you’ll notice a small extension that appears to float above the water—an architectural curiosity that adds to the charm of the building.
To truly appreciate the beauty of the Old Town Hall, head to the Geyerwörthsteg, a picturesque bridge that offers the best view of this iconic landmark. From here, you can capture the postcard-perfect image of the town hall reflecting in the tranquil waters of the river. It’s a sight that will leave you in awe.
To avoid the largest tourist crowds, it’s best to visit the Old Town Hall early in the day. Take your time to soak in the atmosphere, appreciate the architecture, and imagine the historical events that have unfolded within its walls. It’s an experience that transports you back in time and showcases the unique charm of Bamberg.
The Old Town Hall is also the most popular photo spot in Bamberg, attracting visitors from near and far. Prepare your camera and capture the essence of this extraordinary building, preserving your memories of Bamberg in a timeless photograph.
3 Little Venice
Step into a piece of Italy in Franconia as you explore Little Venice in Bamberg. This enchanting neighborhood is a picturesque stretch along the Regnitz River, where beautifully preserved half-timbered houses line the water’s edge. The vibrant colors, charming balconies adorned with colorful flowers, and well-maintained gardens create a captivating ambiance.
Little Venice’s history is tied to its practicality for fishermen. In the past, the direct access to the river provided convenience for the local fishing community. Today, it serves as a stunning testament to the architectural beauty and tranquility of Bamberg.
To fully appreciate the charm of Little Venice, take a leisurely walk on the opposite side of the river. From here, you’ll have a wonderful view of the row of houses with their picturesque reflections dancing on the water’s surface. The calmness of the river adds to the serene atmosphere, transporting you to a different world.
For a more romantic experience, indulge in a gondola ride along the Regnitz. Glide through the water, accompanied by the soothing sound of the gondolier’s oar, as you immerse yourself in the Italian flair of Little Venice. It’s an unforgettable experience that adds a touch of magic to your visit to Bamberg.
Get a gondola ride through Little Venice for about 6 euros.
4 The Garden City
Bamberg has much more to offer than just its charming houses and historical landmarks. Nestled amidst the old buildings and narrow streets lies a hidden gem—a green core that sets the city apart. The garden city within Bamberg features a sprawling fruit-growing area right in the heart of the urban landscape.
As you explore this unique oasis, you’ll encounter a diverse array of plants, including herbs, shrubs, flowers, and, of course, delicious fruits. Stroll along the five-kilometer circular route that winds through this verdant paradise, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.
Make sure to visit the Leaning Tower, a notable stop along the route, which offers a panoramic view of the surroundings. From this vantage point, you can marvel at the integration of nature and architecture, appreciating the harmonious coexistence of urban life and greenery.
Before concluding your garden city exploration, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the farmyard thread. Here, you can stock up on fresh, locally grown fruits, allowing you to savor the flavors of Bamberg and take a piece of the city’s agricultural abundance with you.
5 The Sams House
Embark on a journey to the world of Mr. Taschenbier and his cheeky roommate with a pig nose—no blue wish points required! The Sams House, located at Judenstraße 16, played a significant role in the filming of the beloved Sams movies.
A guided tour will transport you behind the scenes, revealing the tricks and techniques used during the filming process. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the most important locations in Bamberg, gaining insight into the captivating world of the Sams.
This experience is particularly delightful for families with children, offering an absolute highlight to their visit to Bamberg. Immerse yourself in the whimsical world of the Sams, and create lasting memories as you walk in the footsteps of this mischievous character.
Admission: 8 euros
6 Erba Park
Erba Park is a hidden gem in Bamberg, especially beloved by families with children. Situated on the Erba Island, this park provides an ideal escape from everyday life. It offers a range of amenities and attractions to keep the little ones entertained and allow everyone to unwind amidst the green surroundings.
Children can explore multiple playgrounds, each designed with their enjoyment and safety in mind. The water playground offers a refreshing experience, while the climbing tower and slide provide opportunities for adventure. Here, the younger ones can unleash their energy and embrace the joy of being carefree.
Whether you’re looking to have a leisurely stroll, enjoy a family picnic, or simply relax while the children play, Erba Park is the perfect destination. It offers a serene atmosphere and a chance to connect with nature, making it an oasis of tranquility within the city.
Prepare yourself for the grandest folk festival in Bamberg—the Sandkerwa. Taking place over several days in August, this festival has earned its place as one of the largest in Bavaria (excluding the Oktoberfest, of course). It’s a celebration that should not be missed during your visit to Bamberg.
The Sandkerwa is an extravaganza of live music, thrilling amusement park rides, and an enchanting atmosphere that permeates the city. The festivities culminate in a mesmerizing fireworks display that illuminates the night sky, creating a truly magical experience.
One of the highlights of the Sandkerwa is the traditional jousting event. Witness participants battling it out on boats, using long poles to try and push each other into the water. It’s a riveting spectacle that showcases both skill and excitement, leaving spectators in awe.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant spirit of the Sandkerwa, join the cheerful crowds, and indulge in the lively ambiance that permeates the streets of Bamberg during this extraordinary festival.
8 Green Market
If you’re in the mood for some extensive shopping, look no further than Grüner Markt. This bustling marketplace is a shopper’s paradise, offering a delightful array of department stores, charming cafes, and restaurants that cater to all tastes.
From Monday to Friday, the market stalls come alive, showcasing a diverse selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, and a variety of delectable delicacies. It’s a feast for the senses as you navigate through the vibrant displays and savor the aromas of the local produce.
While exploring Grüner Markt, don’t forget to visit Maximiliansplatz, the largest square in the city center. Every Saturday, the square hosts a farmers’ market, where you can indulge in the flavors of Franconian specialties such as the renowned Bamberger Hörnla.
Whether you’re seeking culinary delights, unique souvenirs, or simply enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of a bustling market, Grüner Markt is a must-visit destination during your stay in Bamberg.
9 The New Residence
Prepare to be amazed by the grandeur of the New Residence, one of Bamberg’s most magnificent buildings. Boasting an impressive collection of 40 ornate halls adorned with exquisite stucco work, painted ceilings, and intricate sculptures, the New Residence is a testament to architectural splendor.
Inside, you’ll find the State Gallery, home to an extensive collection of paintings that showcase the artistic heritage of Bamberg. As you wander through the halls, you’ll be captivated by the rich history and cultural significance encapsulated within the walls of this majestic residence.
The New Residence’s charm extends beyond its interiors. Step into the rose garden, located in front of the residence, where thousands of roses bloom in over 70 beds. The intoxicating fragrance and vibrant colors create an enchanting ambiance that transports you to a world of beauty and tranquility.
For a moment of relaxation, visit the small café within the New Residence. Savor a cappuccino while surrounded by the scents and sights of the exquisite rose garden, allowing yourself to unwind and appreciate the magnificence of Bamberg.
Admission: 6 euros
10 Monastery of Saint Michael
Perched atop one of Bamberg’s seven hills lies the Michaelsberg monastery complex. While the building is currently undergoing renovations and cannot be entered, the exterior itself is a sight to behold. With its pointed turrets and imposing presence, the monastery resembles a majestic castle, exuding an air of grandeur.
Take a leisurely stroll to the Michaelsberg monastery, immersing yourself in the serene atmosphere and enjoying the panoramic views along the way. Once you reach the complex, the lush green parks surrounding it beckon you to relax and unwind. Find a peaceful spot under a tree and indulge in a picnic while taking in the breathtaking vista of Bamberg spread out before you.
Though you may not have access to the monastery’s interior, the exterior alone provides a glimpse into its historical significance and architectural marvel. Soak in the beauty of this hilltop sanctuary and appreciate the tranquility it offers amidst the vibrant city.
The Michaelsberg monastery complex can be easily reached by a short walk, making it a worthwhile addition to your itinerary.
Bamberg is a city that truly captivates visitors with its rich history, architectural marvels, and enchanting landscapes. From the magnificent Bamberg Cathedral and its artistic treasures to the picturesque Old Town Hall standing in the middle of the river, the city is teeming with sights and landmarks that transport you to a bygone era. Little Venice, with its colorful houses lining the water’s edge, exudes a charm reminiscent of Italy, while the garden city offers a serene oasis within the urban landscape. The Sams House immerses you in the whimsical world of a beloved character, and Erba Park provides a perfect escape for families with its playgrounds and green spaces. The Sandkerwa festival brings the city alive with music, rides, and a breathtaking fireworks display, while Grüner Markt offers a vibrant marketplace experience. The New Residence dazzles with its ornate halls and art collection, and the Michaelsberg monastery complex provides a tranquil retreat with panoramic views.
Bamberg truly has something for everyone, whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of architectural beauty, a family seeking fun-filled activities, or simply a traveler in search of unique experiences. The city’s attractions and landmarks invite you to explore, discover, and immerse yourself in its cultural heritage. As you wander through the streets and soak in the ambiance, Bamberg leaves an indelible mark, drawing you back to its captivating charm time and time again.