Bamberg is in Upper Franconia. The town has slightly over 70,000 residents. For its historical architecture and preserved heritage, the whole town of Bamberg is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. It is a great place to see South German baroque architecture.
Bamberg can trace its history to a first mention in the year 902. Its main claim to fame is being the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bamberg, which was established in 1007 and consequently the Bamberger Dom cathedral. It was a staunchly Catholic town through the Reformation under the rule of cuius regio eius religio (roughly, "the ruler decides the faith") and remains more Catholic than the rest of Franconia to this day. Bamberg is said to have been built on seven hills and thus it sometimes calls itself "Franconian Rome", though whether the hills were conveniently counted to get to seven is anybody's guess. While the city had lost much of its relevance and influence by the 20th century, that was a blessing in disguise as it meant being spared the bombardments of World War II and surviving the war with much of the architectural heritage intact.
- 1 Bamberg Main Station. Deutsche Bahn (or DB) serves Bamberg with a dependable train service. Frequent trains run from/to Nuremberg (twice an hour by regional express; 40 min), Wurzburg (twice an hour; 55–70 min), and Bayreuth (once every two hours; 70 min). ICE high-speed trains from Munich (1 hr 45 min), Berlin (2 hr 45 min) call here at least every second hour, also linking Bamberg with Erfurt (45 min) and Leipzig (1 hr 30 min). Several times a day, there is even a direct train from Hamburg (4 hr 40 min). From Frankfurt, there is a relatively slow regional express connection every other hour (taking 3 hr) or you may take the ICE and change trains in Würzburg (2 hr 10 min–2 hr 30 min). See Deutsche Bahn's website for more information.
Bamberg is part of the VGN meaning that for all regional trains from Nuremberg and many surrounding areas the VGN rates (usually cheaper than standard DB) apply. Note that VGN tickets are not valid on ICE or IC trains. VGN fares and schedules
The nearest airport is in Nuremberg NUE IATA, with cheap local transport able to get you there for about €10; however, if you are coming from very far away, Germany's main hub, Frankfurt Airport FRA IATA, may very well work out to be cheaper and more convenient with discount train tickets (one way, book well in advance) starting at €29 and "rail&fly", an offer that combines your flight with a train ride to any point in Germany and is often cheaper than a domestic connecting flight. See here for more information.
Intercity buses in Germany began operating on a large scale in 2013, but the market is growing. As of 2017 prices are not as low as they once were (one offer was anywhere in Germany for €9), but still quite affordable and often cheaper than a train or Mitfahrgelegenheit (ride sharing). However as the market is consolidating, expect rising prices (especially if the unpopular exemption from road tolls is eliminated) as well as a denser network. The biggest company by far is Flixbus. German railway company DB also operates buses under the name IC Bus. Expect to spend more time with less comfort on a bus than on a train.
The Main Donau Kanal ends here and is linked to the river Main.
- 2 Harbor.
- 1 Bamberger Dom (Bamberg Cathedral), Bamberger Dom. contains the intruiging Bamberg Rider sculpture. No one knows for sure who the young royal rider is.
- 2 Kloster Michelsberg (Michaelsberg Abbey).
- 3 Altes Rathaus (old town hall). is perched in the middle of a bridge above the Regnitz River and is a must-see.
- 4 Alte Hofhaltung.
- 5 Neue Residenz.
- 6 Bamberg State Library (Staatsbibliothek Bamberg), Neue Residenz, Domplatz 8. Temporary exhibition of rare books and manuscripts. Free of charge.
- Sandkerwa (site in German). Is held over the last weekend in August, Sandkerwa is a six day folk festival that consumes the entire town, with some 300,000 people attending. It is a festival with offerings of beer and food that rivals or even exceeds the likes of Oktoberfest and includes local traditions such as "fish jousting".
- 1 Backstübla (translated "little bakery" in the local Franconian dialect), Obere Sandstr. 31, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. W-Su 11-17. Run by two sisters, this charming place is in an old village house with a magificient courtyard, and in two rooms decorated by the sisters. The casual atmosphere is one thing, but the homebaked cakes are delicious.
Many bars and clubs are on and around Sandstraße (actually, that's two streets, "Obere Sandstraße" and "Untere Sandstraße").
Try Rauchbier (smoked beer), unique to Bamberg. The two main brewers are Schlenkerla and Spezial, both of which have taverns where you can sample the beers. Rauchbier is a traditional Franconian beer style made all or in part from beechwood-smoked barley malt. Before modern kilns became common, most malt was dried over an open flame and most beers featured some smokiness. Today, Bamberg is one of very few locations where the old-school smoking takes place. Most Rauchbiere are medium-to-full-bodied lagers with pronounced smoke and malt character, light bitterness, and minimal hop flavor. Smoked versions of Weißbier and Bockbier are also available. Around Christmas Schlenkerla also produces a special Bock made with oak-smoked malt; called Eiche (meaning oak) and during Lent produces another special called Fastenbier available only on draught at their tavern. Schlenkerla malts and smokes their own barley, and Bamberg-based malting giant Weyermann produces a comparable version available for export around the world for home and commercial use.
- Spezialkeller, Sternwartstraße 1 (up the stairs near Concordia, turn left and left again), ☏ . The open air location to drink Spezial beers with typical local food having a panoramic view over the city.
- 1 Backpackers Bamberg, Heiliggrabstraße 4, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- DJH Jugendherberge Bamberg-Wolfsschlucht, Oberer Leinritt 70 (across the river (via footbridge) from the tip of Hainpark with car access via Am Rengnitzufer), ☏ . Paddleboating and swimming opportunities are just a few minutes walk away in the Hain, and restaurants and bars are equally close around the corner in Bug. The Bamberger Altstadt is a very pleasant 30-40 minute riverside walk. A DJG/Hostelling International membership is required and available for purchase upon check-in.
- Jugendgästehaus am Kaulberg, Unterer Kaulberg 30, 96049 Bamberg (im Zentrum Bambergs), ☏ .
- Brauerein Fässla, Obere Konigsstraße 19-21, 96052 Bamberg.
- [dead link] Gästehaus Steidle, Frauenstraße 32, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ .
- Hotel Alt Ringlein, Dominikanerstraße 9, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ .
- Arkaden Hotel im Kloster, Karmelitenplatz 1, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ .
- Hotel Central, Promenadestraße 3, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ .
- Hotel garni Berliner Ring, Pödeldorfer Straße 146, 96050 Bamberg, ☏ . Three-star hotel.
- Hotel Ibis Bamberg am Schillerplatz, Theatergassen 10, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ .
- Hotel National, Luitpoldstraße 37, 96052 Bamberg, ☏ . Three-star hotel.
- Barock Hotel am Dom, Vorderer Bach 4, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ .
- 2 Sandschlössla, Obere Sandstraße 31, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. two apartments in a traditional city house
- Hotel Brudermühle, Schranne 1, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ .
- Hotel Europa, Untere Königstraße 8, 96052 Bamberg, ☏ .
- Villa Geyerswörth Hotel, Geyerswörthstraße 15, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ . Five-star hotel.
- Hotel-Restaurant St. Nepomuk, Obere Mühlbrücke 9, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ .
- Palais Schrottenberg, Kasernstraße 1, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ .
- Romantik Hotel Weinhaus Messerschmitt, Lange Straße 41, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ .
- Bamberger Hof Bellevue, Schönleinsplatz 4, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ . Four-star hotel.
- Best Western Hotel Bamberg, Luitpoldstraße 7, 96052 Bamberg, ☏ . Three-star hotel.
- Tandem Hotel, Untere Sandstraße 20, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ .
- Welcome Hotel Residenzschloss Bamberg, Untere Sandstraße 32, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ . Four-star hotel.
- Welcome Kongresshotel Bamberg, Mußstraße 7, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ . Four-star hotel.
Nearby towns and cities:
- Erlangen - university town and site of Franconia's biggest beer festival
- Nuremberg - biggest city in Franconia with a lovely castle
- Forchheim - former imperial residence with charming old town
|Routes through Bamberg|
|Leipzig/Halle ← Erfurt ←||Berlin/Hamburg Munich||→ Erlangen → Nuremberg|
|END ←||Main Danube||→ Forchheim → Erlangen|
|Suhl ←||Suhl Nürnberg||→ Erlangen → Nürnberg|