Franconian Switzerland

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Thurnau Castle from the lake.

The Franconian Switzerland (German Fränkische Schweiz) is an upland in Franconia, northern Bavaria and a popular tourist retreat. Located between the Pegnitz River in the east and the south, the Regnitz River in the west and the Main River in the north, its relief reaches 600 meters in height.


The Franconian Switzerland is one of the oldest and most popular holiday areas in Germany. It was given its name by Romantic artists and poets in the 19th century who compared its landscape to Switzerland.

The Franconian Switzerland is the region with the highest density of breweries in the world.


Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]


  • Aufseß - record-holder for the greatest brewery density in the world
  • Forchheim - a former royal city with the prince-bishop’s palace, 14th century
  • Ebermannstadt - old Franconian timbered buildings and Feuerstein Castle
  • Gößweinstein - Basilica Pilgrimage church of the Holy Trinity
  • Muggendorf - river Wiesent and ruin Neideck
  • Pegnitz - old townhall from 1347
  • Pottenstein - with Cave Teufelshöhle
  • Streitberg - Cave Binghöhle
  • Thurnau - Castle Thurnau and St.-Laurentius-Church.
  • Waischenfeld - river Wiesent and castles of Waischenfeld, Rabenstein and Rabeneck
  • Wonsees - Sanspareil Rock Garden of Margravine Wilhelmine and Zwernitz Castle




Rock Climbing[edit]

Franconian Switzerland is, though not the cradle, the Mecca of German and European rock climbers. Every climber has to come here once in his lifetime to have at least a look at the famous action-direct climb. The limestone in this area is plentiful and the local scenery and breweries make it a nice weekend retreat. For German standards the safety (amount and quality of bolts) is really high here, though it does not reach the French standards. See [1] for online topos and access descriptions.

Bier im brewery Rothenbach

Drinking Beer[edit]

Even though this does not seem to be an activity on its own it can easily become one in Franconian Switzerland. As said the density of breweries is the highest here all over the world and literally every village has its own pub serving home brewed yeast juice at very reasonable prices and hefty Franconian local cuisine.


Franconian Switzerland have more of 1000 caves of every size.

  • "Devil's Cave" (Teufelshöhle) in Pottenstein
  • "Bing Cave" (Binghöhle) in Streitberg
  • "Sophie's Cave" (Sophienhöhle) in Ahorntal
Canoeing on Wiesent

Most caves are full ofbizarre columns of limestone and stalagmites and stalactites of various shape and size.


The river Wiesent is the only still allowed river for paddling, canoeing and kayaking in the Franconian Switzerland. The stretch of river, around 28 km, is especially for fans of light white-water (Class I Easy and Class II Medium) to recommend.



Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

Visit Bamberg to see the medieval town and try the local smoked beer (Rauchbier) or to Bayreuth, is famous as the host of the Richard Wagner Festival, furthermore the Markgräfliches Opernhaus is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List

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