Bamberg, in northern Bavaria, is famous for being one of the most beautiful towns in Germany. Picturesque from every angle, the town looks like a fairy tale brought to life. The charming orange-roofed, pastel-painted medieval buildings are sprinkled across the seven hills of Bamberg, with every hill topped with the spires of churches. Ancient stone bridges span the many canals and rivers, and the town is surrounded by the green rolling hills of protected land. This is a place of sun-drenched street cafés by day and quaintly lit streets by night, where from every street, in every direction, perfect romantic scene waits to be photographed.
This tiny town boasts a lot to see and do. Famous cultural sites in Bamberg include numerous churches and cathedrals, 13 museums, 10 art galleries and 8 theatres. The network of canals draws hikers, rollerbladers and kayakers. For the more laidback urban explorers, its hilly, winding streets are a pleasure to navigate on foot.
Amongst Bamberg’s 3,000 historical buildings, you’ll find plenty of ways to taste the various specialities of the region. The restaurants, breweries and cafés of Bamberg serve local beers and wines as well as Franconian and Bavarian cuisine. Bavaria has the highest density of breweries per square kilometre in the world, and Bamberg’s 8 breweries wont disappoint. To eat and drink like the locals, brewery taverns are the place to go. Head to Sandstrasse (a street in the centre of town) for some of Bamberg’s famous ‘rauchbier’ (smoked beer), sausages and bread.
Ships travelling to Bamberg dock near the centre of town on the Regnitz River, which diverges from the Main River.
The port in Bamberg is just a mooring point with no facilities of its own, but it is very close to the town and all its facilities.
Facilities near the port in Bamberg include:
- Tourist information centres
- Restaurants and cafés
- Souvenir stores
- Public toilets.
How To Get Around
Most of central Bamberg is a pedestrian zone and parking is scarce. Its one-way system of roads through medieval streets is very difficult for tourists to negotiate. Even many hotels do not offer parking for their guests. Bamburg is easily navigated on foot or by bicycle. Bicycles are available for hire, and every attraction in town less than a 15-minute journey via bicycle. The ‘7 Hills Bus Tour’ is another great way to travel the city. It circles the city every hour, and passengers can hop on and hop off as often as they like.
- Currency – The currency in Bamberg is the Euro (€). Notes come in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500 denominations. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and €1 and €2 denominations.
- Time Zone – Bamberg follows Central European Time (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Daylight savings occurs between March and October; during this time, Bamberg is 2 hours ahead of UTC.
- Weather – Bamburg enjoys a cold and temperate climate, with relatively warm summers for Western Europe. The city receives a lot of rainfall, even in its drier months. July is the hottest month in Bamberg, with temperatures reaching an average high of 18.8 degrees Celsius. January is the coldest month, with and average high of only -0.2 degrees Celsius.
- Klein Venedig – Once a fisherman’s village, Klein Venedig, or ‘Little Venice’, is a row of quaint half-timbered cottages from the Middle Ages. Built along the east bank of the Regnitz, these tiny, slightly crooked homes lean against one another, holding each other up. They are built over the river on wooden poles, each boasting a front terrace garden. This area looks most beautiful in summer when bright geraniums crowd the houses’ window boxes. While it’s nice to stroll along this area, excellent vantage points for a decent photograph include Am Leinritt and Untere Brücke near the Altes Rathaus.
- Schlenkerla – This brewery was established centuries ago and is the home to Bamberg’s famous dark, smoked beer called ‘rauchbier’. You can find Schlenkerla on Strandstrasse in the centre of the old section of Bamberg, right below the cathedral. The beer is still tapped according to tradition: directly from each wood barrel. Like all brewery taverns in Bamberg, Schlenkerla serves traditional Franconian fare, from Bamberg-style sausages and bread at breakfast to pork with sauerkraut and potatoes for dinner.
- Altenburg Castle – On the tallest of Bamberg’s seven hills sits Altenburg Castle, built in the 12th century. Only the keep survived the castle’s destruction in 1553, and the castle was subsequently rebuilt in the romantic style. Altenburg once served as the palatial home to Bamberg’s bishops. Today, the castle boasts a few sumptuously furnished and decorated rooms which preserve the style of this lavish era. The castle is also home to a popular Bavarian restaurant and offers stunning views across the old town.