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Europe > Central Europe > Germany > Bavaria > Franconia > Upper Franconia > Bayreuth

Bayreuth

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Richard Wagner's Festival Theater (Festspielhaus) in Bayreuth
For the city in Lebanon, see Beirut.

The festival city of Bayreuth in Upper Franconia (Oberfranken) is relatively quiet most of the year until the Richard Wagner Festival settles in for 30 days every summer. Bayreuth features a wealth of impressive baroque and rococo architecture, as well as freshly-brewed Franconian beer in the local Biergartens. Although the city remains fairly tame compared to the much larger cities in Germany, the presence of more than 10,000 students at the University of Bayreuth means an active nightlife is not difficult to find.

Understand[edit]

Bayreuth is famous in Germany as the host of the Richard Wagner Festival (Festspiele) each year from July to August. In that respect, most of the tourist industry has evolved around the life and times of Richard Wagner as well as Margravine Wilhelmine, one of the major contributors in bringing the arts to Bayreuth. For most of the year, Bayreuth is quiet, somewhat out of the way of the major tourist itineraries. However, during the Festspiele, the town fills to capacity; hotels are nearly impossible to book and at certain times the traffic in some areas almost slows to a stop.

History[edit]

The town of Bayreuth first emerged during the Middle Ages, with a street market in the center of town. In its early history, Bayreuth was only a small village in the widespread Hohenzollern holdings and suffered many plagues and wars. The town was completely destroyed during the Hussite war in 1430, suffered major plagues even until 1602, and incurred major damage by fires in 1605 and 1621. Margrave Christian from Kulmbach moved his residence here in 1603, and after the Thirty Years' War the town began to develop as a more important city with more distinct baroque architecture.

Bust of Margravine Wilhelmine, with "her" Operahouse in the background.

When Margrave Friedrich married Wilhelmine, the sister of King Frederick II of Prussia, Bayreuth began to develop its current appearance. Margravine Wilhelmine was an active lover of the arts and architecture. She commissioned famous Italian architects to design the Margravial Operahouse (a UNESCO world heritage site), which was the largest in Germany for over a century. It still stands today as one of the most ornate baroque opera houses in the world. In addition, Wilhelmine expanded the Margrave's summer residence and gardens and commissioned the architecturally impressive New Palace. During the reign of Friedrich and Wilhelmine, the arts flourished in Bayreuth.

In 1872, the magnificent opera house even attracted composer Richard Wagner to Bayreuth, who from then on lived there until his death 11 years later. Ironically, Wagner's works were never played in that opera house. Instead, the Festspielhaus, a new opera house was purpose-built on the "green hill" above the city, bankrolled by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Since then the city has had an integral relationship with Richard Wagner. The Richard Wagner Festival started in 1876 to commemorate and perform the works of the famous composer. During the Nazi era, Hitler considered Bayreuth one of the most important cultural centers in Germany, and as such, Bayreuth was bombed during World War II, though much less heavily than, for example, Nuremberg. In the last half century, Bayreuth has rebuilt, continued the Richard Wagner Festival and grown quietly, mostly around the University, which was established in 1975.

Orientation[edit]

The City of Bayreuth (Kreisfreie Stadt Bayreuth) lies as an enclave in the much larger rural district of Bayreuth (Landkreis Bayreuth). They are at the same level of administrative hierarchy and governed independently. The rural Landkreis contains many small towns and villages that are worth a visit. It covers parts of the Franconian Switzerland in the southwest and the Fichtelgebirge in the northeast, with the city right in-between. The historic center of the city lies to the south of the Red Main (Roter Main), a small river which will eventually discharge into the Rhine.

The 1 Tourist Information office provides lots of very detailed information. It is at Opernstraße 22, near the Margravial Opera House (office hours M-F 09:00-21:00 & Sa 09:00-16:00 year-round, also Su 10:00-14:00 May - Oct). It offers a two-hour city tour (in German) daily at 10:30 (only Saturdays from Nov-Apr) for €6.50. The meeting point is the TI office. The TI office also provides city maps and city/regional maps for bicyclists, some of them are also available online.

Climate[edit]

Winter is normally overcast and wet, with temperatures not deviating too far from freezing. The springtime can be relatively cool, but the weather slowly becomes more pleasant and is welcomed by numerous street fairs and festivals (See Events). Summer is also pleasant, punctuated by occasional hot days. During the warmer seasons, outdoor cafes and Biergartens abound in the cobblestoned city center.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

The Hauptbahnhof (main train station)
  • 1 Bayreuth Hauptbahnhof (main train station) (is located approximately 1 km north of the city center, easily accessed by foot). Several buses also run from the train station to the central bus station (ZOH) in the town center (Lines 301, 302, 303, 305 and 309).

While there are no long-distance trains stopping in Bayreuth, frequent regional train services connect Bayreuth to other regions of Franconia and Northern Bavaria. Bayreuth is part of the VGN network and within that region bus and train day tickets covering large areas are relatively inexpensive. To get you to and from say Nuremberg you would have to pay only €18 for a group of up to 2 adults and 4 kids (under 18 years old). The Bayern ticket is also a cheap option for groups up to five (no age restrictions) starting at €23 for one person and €3 for every additional one. Regular services exist seven days a week to and from:

  • NurembergRegional-Express (RE) trains once an hour (66 minutes travel time). Many times these trains separate en route, so make certain to board the correct train segment.
  • Dresden – change in Hof (usually same platform, the train you change to goes on to Nuremberg)
  • Bamberg – Direct RE trains every two hours (travel time 1½ hours), otherwise a change in Lichtenfels is necessary. Note that a part of this connection (between Burgkunststadt and Ramsenthal) is not part of the VGN network, so their day tickets are not valid on that segment. You'll have to either buy a separate ticket for that segment, get a normal single-trip Bamberg–Bayreuth ticket or just use the Bayern ticket instead.

On foot[edit]

The central bus station (ZOH) is where all local bus routes meet

Several hiking trails go through Bayreuth. Some of them are themed around a special topic (e.g. Jean Paul, a local author, or a beer-themed trail)

By car[edit]

Bayreuth is easily accessible on the autobahn A 9, approximately 70 km north of Nuremberg and 40 km south of Hof. Coming from the west, the A 70 meets the A 9 a couple of kilometres north of the city.

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport with regular commercial service is in Nuremberg (NUE IATA). Many international flights arrive in Germany via Frankfurt airport (FRA IATA) or Munich airport (MUC IATA), however.

  • 2 Airport Bayreuth (BYU IATA, ICAO: EDQS), north-east of the city. Bayreuth's airport is primarily used for air sports, business flights and other forms of general aviation. Regular opening hours are daily 06:30–18:00 in summer, with reduced hours in winter (otherwise PPR). It offers a 1034 x 30 m asphalt runway and equipment for approaches following instrument flight rules. Customs and immigration services are only available on prior (48 hr) request.

By bus[edit]

Several companies serve domestic long distance lines to and from Bayreuth. Note that Intercity buses do not stop at the central bus station (ZOH). Most of them stop at the 3 Goethestraße bus stop instead, where you'll find connections to several regional buses. Local buses, however, don't stop there, so in most cases you'll have to walk around the block towards the main train station (Hbf), where you'll have access to several city bus lines as well as plenty of taxis. Some Intercity buses also stop at the University (stop Mensa), which is connected to the city centre through the local bus routes 304, 306 and 316. Some routes also have a stop at nearby Autobahn-adjacent parking lots, from where you'd have to arrange pickup.

If you are traveling in a group and your destination or point of departure is within the Bundesland of Bavaria taking the "Bayern-Ticket" may well work out cheaper than the bus, however.

Get around[edit]

On foot[edit]

Bayreuth is a very walk-able city, as the terrain is flat and distances are short. Most sights of interest are easily reached by foot within the city. Exceptions to this are the Festspielhaus, the Eremitage, and Fantaisie – all of which are easily accessed by bus or bike. Most of the extensive pedestrian zones in the city centre around the Maximilianstraße are paved with flat natural sett stones or large pavers. They're not great (although very doable) in high heels, but otherwise pretty comfortable. Unless there's some kind of really popular event going on at the market square, even on the busiest summer days the streets never really get over-crowded. Be aware that biking is allowed pretty much everywhere in the pedestrian zones, and that the residents make heavy use of that.

By bus[edit]

The bus network around Bayreuth provides extensive coverage of the city and surrounding areas, with most buses running in 20-minute intervals. The 4 central bus stop (named ZOH for Zentrale Omnibus Haltestelle, not ZOB as in most other places in Germany) is one block north of Maximilianstraße near the city hall (Rathaus). As Bayreuth is a member of the VGN tariff union schedules and rates are available at their website. Bus maps and time tables are also available at the website of the Stadtwerke Bayreuth. Day passes (Tageskarte) are available. In the evening and on weekends some routes are served on request only. The connections are then marked Alt (for Anruf-Linien-Taxi) on the schedules and you will have to call +49 921 20208 to request the bus at least 30 minutes in advance.

By bike[edit]

Biking is easy and convenient in Bayreuth and likely the best way to get around. Riding your bike in pedestrian zones is allowed virtually anywhere, but remember that pedestrians have priority. Outside of the city, many scenic bike paths radiate from Bayreuth into the surrounding areas. Between May and October, E-bikes can be rented from the Tourist Information office for €20 per day (plus a €120 security deposit you'll get back when you return the bike).

By car[edit]

Compared to larger cities, Bayreuth is relatively easy to tackle by car. The Hohenzollernring, Wittelsbacherring and Cosima-Wagner-Straße together form the central ring around the innermost core of the city. The inside of that ring is in large parts pedestrian-only and can be a bit tricky to navigate, so it's not a bad idea to avoid the area. Free parking in and around the city's core is virtually non-existant, and while there is paid roadside parking, it is usually limited to 2 hr. After a bit of searching, you may be able to find a free parking spot along the residential roads somewhere outside of the core city, but be careful as they are also often limited to 2 hr or residents only. The best choice is probably in most cases to just use one of the paid parking garages, which are plentiful in close proximity to the city centre.

If you are on a really tight budget or need a place where you can leave your car for a couple of days, there are a few slightly less convenient choices available, though. There's a large 5 free parking lot in the Frankengutstraße near the public swimming pool. If you arrive in the later afternoon/evening (or you stay falls into the summer/winter breaks), you are almost guaranteed to find a free parking spot at the University campus. There's another 6 free parking lot at the corner of Friedrich-Ebert-Straße and Grünewaldstraße and even more free parking on the opposite side of the river. 7 Parking at the Festival Theatre is also free, at least outside the festival season.

By taxi[edit]

Like in most German cities of this size, taxis in Bayreuth are expensive and rare – don't waste your time trying to hail one on the street. There are almost 20 taxi companies located in the city, but which one you choose does not really matter: they all follow the same pricing scheme (available in German here). Several of the companies cooperate in the Taxi Union Bayreuth with a shared 24/7 telephone hotline ( +49 921 22 333 and +49 921 24 088). Otherwise, you can usually find a taxi at the train station or at the 8 taxi stand at the market square near Karstadt.

See[edit]

Attractions[edit]

Most attractions in Bayreuth hail from the residence of Margravine Wilhelmine and her husband Margrave Friedrich. A diligent supporter of the arts and culture, Wilhelmine brought Italian architects and French builders to construct many of the town's historical landmarks. As such, much of the architecture reflects heavy baroque and rococo influences. The Combination ticket Die Welt der Wilhelmine (€18) covers entrances to the New Palace, the Hermitage's Old Palace, Sanspareil and the Margravial Opera House.

Bayreuth's Operahouse
  • 1 Festival Theater (Festspielhaus), Festspielhügel 1-2 (Bus 305 to "Am Festspielhaus"), +49 9 21 7 87 80. Dec-Apr: Tu-Su 10:00-14:00; Sept-Oct: Tu-Su 10:00, 11:00, 14:00, and 15:00. Built in 1872, this opera house still ranks among the best in the world in design and acoustics. Home to the Richard Wagner Festival every summer (see Events below). Just north of the main train station, take bus 305 to Am Festspielhaus. The grounds are crowded, tours seldom, and tickets rare during the annual Richard Wagner Festival in late July–August each year. €5. Bayreuth Festspielhaus (Q329133) on Wikidata Bayreuth Festspielhaus on Wikipedia
  • 2 Margravial Opera House (Markgräfliches Opernhaus), Opernstr. 14, +49 9 21 7 59 69 22, . Apr-Sep: 09:00-18:00; Oct-Mar: 10:00-16:00; may be closed due to events and rehersals (check the website). The baroque opera house, commissioned by Margravine Wilhelmine and designed by famous Giuseppe Galli Bibiena and son Carlo from Italy, was completed in 1748 and remained Germany's largest opera house until 1871. This ornate opera house partially drew Richard Wagner's attention to Bayreuth. In 2012 the opera house was added to the WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage site list, and from 2012 to April 2018 it was closed for extensive refurbishment. €8. Margravial Opera House (Q278908) on Wikidata Margravial Opera House on Wikipedia
  • 3 New Palace (Neues Schloss), Ludwigstr. 21, +49 9 21 7 59 69 0, . Apr-Sep: Tu-Su 09:00-18:00; Oct-Mar: Tu-Su 10:00-16:00. The new residence of the Margrave Friedrich and his wife Wilhelmine after their old residence burnt down. It was designed and built by the French builder Joseph Saint-Pierre, and completed in 1754. The entrance fee includes entrance to the two museums inside as well as the State Gallery. Rooms of interest include the Garden Rooms, Cedar Room, Old Music Room, and the Cabinet of Fragmented Mirrors (designed by Wilhelmine herself). €5.50.
    • Bayreuther Faiences - The Rummel Collection (Sammlung Bayreuther Fayencen). A collection of porcelain manufactured in Bayreuth between 1716 and 1788.
    • Museum of Wilhelmine's Bayreuth (Museum Das Bayreuth der Wilhelmine). Museum highlighting the life and culture of Bayreuth during the time of Margravine Wilhelmine. The collections are part of the New Palace, see above for more information.
    • State Gallery in the New Palace (Staatsgalerie im Neuen Schloss). Occupying three rooms of the palace, this exhibition features 80 works of art from the late baroque.
  • 4 Garden Museum Fantaisie Palace and Park (Schloss and Park Fantaisie), Bambergerstr. 3, 95488 Eckersdorf/Donndorf (5 km west of Bayreuth: Take bus 327, 373, 375 376, 396 or 969 towards Donndorf (stop "Donndorf Gasthaus Stamm" or "Donndorf Hotel Fantaisie")), +49 9 21 73 14 00 11. Apr-Sep: 09:00-18:00; Oct 1-15: 10:00-16:00; closed Oct 16-Apr 1. The 18th-century palace designed by the daughter of Margrave Friedrich and Margravine Wilhelmine, features Germany's first garden design museum. €3.50 (entrance to the park is free).
  • 5 Hermitage/Old Palace (Eremitage/Altes Schloss), Eremitage 1 (approximately 6 km east of Bayreuth, take bus 302 or 303 to "Eremitage"), +49 9 21 7 59 69 37, . Apr-Sep: 09:00-18:00; Oct 1-15: 10:00-16:00; closed Oct 16-Apr 1. The old palace of Margrave Georg Wilhelm on the outskirts of town, the palace was expanded and the gardens created by Wilhelmine as a summer residence. The ornate fountains begin their waterworks on the hour from 10AM to 5PM. Guided tours are available. €4.50 (Old Palace, entrance to the park is free).

Churches[edit]

Spitalkirche
  • 6 Castle Church and Tower (Schlosskirche and Schlossturm), Schlossberglein 5, 95444 Bayreuth, +49 9 21 885 88. Opens for prearranged tours. The court chapel and tower were also commissioned and built by Friedrich and Wilhelmine, completed in 1758. The burial vault of the Friedrich and Wilhelmine is located here. The spiral staircase in the tower features a ramp to bring supplies up to the guardroom, which has a great view over the town and to the nearby Fichtelgebirge. €1.
  • 7 Spitalkirche (Spitalkirche) (At the west end of the main market street Maximilianstraße).
  • 8 Stadtkirche (Stadtkirche).
  • 9 Ordenskirche (In the centre of the St. Georgen district in the northern part of the city). The main church of the formerly independent city of St. Georgen was completed in 1718. free.

Museums[edit]

For a town of its size, Bayreuth is rich in museums; over two dozen can be found in and around the city. Noteworthy among the many are the Richard Wagner Museum and Franz-Liszt-Museum, documenting the lives of these prominent German and Hungarian composers, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized Maisel's Brewery and Cooper's Museum, as well as the museums located in the New Palace: Bayreuther Faiences - The Rummel Collection, The State Galleries and Margravine Wilhelmine's Bayreuth (see New Palace listing above for these).

  • 10 Archeological Museum (Archäologisches Museum), Ludwigstr. 21 (Italian Building of the New Palace), +49 9 21-6 53 07. End of April to beginning of November: Sa 10:00-15:00, or by appointment. Archeological finds from Upper Franconia and laid out in eight rooms, spanning the stone age through the middle ages. Most text descriptions might be only in German. €1.
  • 11 Catacombs of Bayreuth's Aktien Brewery (Katakomben der Bayreuther AKTIEN-Brauerei), Kulmbacherstr. 60, +49 9 21-401-234, . Tours Saturdays at 16:00, or group tours by prior arrangement. Aktien Breweries provides an interesting tour through the sandstone beer caverns that operated from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Since the caverns stay very cool throughout the year, appropriate clothing is recommended.
  • 12 Fire Brigade Museum (Feuerwehrmuseum), An der Feuerwache 4, +49 9 21-4 625 9, . Open upon prior arrangement. A collection of fire engines from different eras and regions.
  • 13 Franz-Liszt-Museum, Wahnfriedstr. 9, +49 9 21-5 16 64 88, . Sep - Jun: 10:00-12:00 & 14:00-17:00; Jul - Aug: 10:00-17:00. The house of Franz Liszt, the famous Hungarian composer and father-in-law to Richard Wagner. Very near the Richard Wagner museum. €2.
  • 14 German Freemason Museum (Deutsches Freimaurer-Museum), Im Hofgarten 1, +49 9 21-6 98 24, . Tu-F 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00; Sa 10:00-12:00. A museum run by the German Freemason's presenting the history of the organization.
  • 15 German Typewriter Museum (Deutsches Schreibmaschinenmuseum), Bernecker Str. 11, +49 9 21-2 34 45. M-F by telephone appointment. A collection of typewriters dating back to 1864. The collection in Bayreuth began in 1936, and has expanded ever since. Free.
  • 16 Historical Museum (Historisches Museum), Kirchplatz 6, +49 9 21-7 64 01 11, . Tu-Su 10:00-17:00; Jul - Aug: also open Mondays. This museum chronicles the history of Bayreuth from a small Franconian village to one of the most culturally-important small cities in Germany. The 17th century building provides a suitable setting for the historical collections. €1.60.
  • 17 Iwalewa House (Iwalewa-Haus), Wölfelstraße 2 (Just a few metres downhill from the Margravial Opera House), +49 921 5545 00, . Tu-Su 13:00-17:00. Afro-cultural center of the University of Bayreuth. €5 for exhibitions, free every first Sunday of the month. Iwalewahaus (Q1550575) on Wikidata Iwalewahaus on Wikipedia
  • 18 Jean Paul Museum, Wahnfriedstr. 1, +49 9 21-5 07 14 44, . Sep - Jun: 10:00-12:00 & 14:00-17:00; Jul - Aug: 10:00-17:00. A small museum dedicated to the life and works of the German poet, who lived his last years from 1804-1825 in Bayreuth. The museum is in the former residence of Richard Wagner's daughter Eva. €1.60.
  • 19 Maisel's Brewery and Coopers Museum (Maisel's Brauerei und Büttnerei Museum), Kulmbacherstr. 40, +49 9 21-40 12 34, . Daily 14:00. The Guinness Book Of World Records' Most Comprehensive Beer Museum occupies the first brewery building of Maisel's Brewery (taken out of commission in the 1970s). The 90-minute tour covers the entirety of the brewing process, and of course finishes with a glass of Maisel's Weissbier. Group tours for 12 or more people can be booked by calling in advance. €4.
  • 20 Museum of Agricultural Tools and Equipment (Museum für bäuerliche Arbeitsgeräte), Adolf-Wächter-Str. 17, +49 9 21-5 75 15. May - Oct: M-F 09:30-12:00, Su 14:00-17:00; Rest of the year and for groups, irregularly or by appointment. A collection of agricultural equipment highlighting the tools and techniques of farmers from Upper Franconia. What started as a private collection by Günter Schmidt was taken over by the city and offered as a public museum starting in 1972. Housed in a historic farmhouse. €1.50.
  • 21 Museum of Art (Kunstmuseum), Maximilianstr. 33, +49 9 21-7 64 53 10. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00; Jul - Aug: also open Mondays. Housed in the former city hall's Renaissance-style building, the Museum of Art offers alternating collections of sculpture and painting. €1.60.
  • British American Tobacco's Historical Collection (Tabakhistorische Sammlung der B.A.T.) (The collection is part of the Museum of Art). A collection of over 500 objects from British American Tobacco. The history of tobacco culture is presented, encompassing smoking, pipe, and chewing tobacco.
  • Little Poster Museum (Kleines Plakatmuseum) (The collection is part of the Museum of Art). A collection of contemporary poster art primarily concerning popular culture advertisements (such as movie and performance advertisements).
  • 22 Museum of Natural History (Urwelt-Museum Oberfranken), Kanzleistr. 1, +49 9 21-51 12 11, . Tu-Su 10:00-17:00; Jul - Aug: also open Mondays. The museum in the main pedestrian shopping area highlights the life, geology and minerology during the last 500 million years of Upper Franconia. In front of the museum looms a giant dinosaur statue, along the main shopping street. €2.
  • 23 Natural Science Museum (Naturkundemuseum), Karolinenreuther Str. 58, +49 9 21-75 94 20. Nov - Feb: Tu-F 09:00-16:00, Su 10:00-15:00; Mar - Oct: Tu-F 09:00-16:00, Sa-Su 13:00-17:00. This small museum in a farmhouse just outside the city describes the flora and fauna of Bayreuth and Upper Franconia. The museum is especially designed to engage and educate children. €1.50.
  • 24 Richard Wagner Museum, Richard-Wagner-Str. 48, +49 9 21-7 57 28 16. July/August: daily 10:00-18:00 rest of the year: Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. The composer's old residence (Wahnfried House, Haus Wahnfried) has been converted to a museum chronicling his life and works. The composer, his wife, and their dog are buried in the garden. The museum may be of lesser interest to non-German speakers, as it has few English translations. Recently reopened after extensive renovations and redesign, this museum is a tribute to one of the most famous residents in the history of Bayreuth. Adult €8, under 18: free.

Parks[edit]

  • 25 Court Garden (Hofgarten) (Behind the Neues Schloss). Open 24 hours a day year round. The court garden of the Neues Schloss, this park provides a welcome bit of green in the middle of the city. On sunny days, you can find many residents here relaxing or exercising with a little sport. Free.
  • 26 Ecological Botanical Gardens (Ökologisch-Botanischer Garten), Universitätsstraße 30 (directly south of the University's campus). The concept behind the Ecological Botanical Gardens is to show plants in an environment that represents their natural habitats as closely as possible. Hence, it is structured in multiple sections, representing different ecosystems from different parts of the world. Opening hours depend on the season and day of the week (closed on Saturdays); the greenhouses have slightly shorter opening hours than the rest of the gardens. Free. Ökologisch-Botanischer Garten der Universität Bayreuth (Q174823) on Wikidata Ecological-Botanical Garden of the University of Bayreuth on Wikipedia
  • Hermitage (Eremitage). See Hermitage/Old Palace above for information.
  • 27 Tierpark Röhrensee, Pottensteiner Straße. 24/7. Park surrounding a small lake (the Röhrensee). It has a small Zoo and a large playground. Free. Tierpark Röhrensee (Q56283724) on Wikidata
  • 28 Wilhelminenaue (follow the river upstream). always open. Upstream the Red Main, to the north-east of the city centre, lies the Wilhelminenaue. This section of the river underwent renaturation in the 2010s, and the surrounding fields were turned into a park for the 2016 Bavarian Landesgartenschau ("State Garden Show"). A great place for running, walking your dog, etc., especially when the Hofgarten is just too small for you. free.

Do[edit]

With its wide pedestrian streets, the city center is easy to stroll, and provides a pleasant contrast to many other South German towns loaded with medieval architecture. During the summer many cafes and ice cream parlors set up outdoor seating on the main shopping streets, Maximilianstraße, Sophienstraße, and Von-Römer-Straße. As with any town in Bierfranken (compare Breweries in Franconia), trying some of the local brews is a must. The default beer in most pubs is some sort of pale lager (Helles), but the real specialities are the darker ones – look out for Zwickl, Zoigl, Kellerbier or Dunkles on the menu. Interestingly, Bayreuth's largest brewery is best known across Germany for their wheat beer Maisel's Weisse: This style of beer is very common in Bavaria proper ("Altbayern"), but wouldn't normally be considered a typical Franconian thing. Nightlife is not the thing Bayreuth is famous for, at least as far as clubbing and dancing goes. A really good place for concerts and parties is the Glashaus on the university campus, while a few good pubs can be found near the city center.

When traveling in summer, make sure not to miss the beautiful Theta beergarden. It is in the hills above Bayreuth and it's hard to get there. But even taking a taxi would be worth it. For active people it is possible to do a very nice hike here from the Festspielhaus. This would also give you the opportunity to climb the old Siegesturm (= victory tower), which provides a scenic view over (almost) the whole city (free, closed in winter).

Catch a movie at the 7-screen Cineplex near the Rotmain-Center (see the Buy section). Movies are mostly screened in German, but some blockbusters are also shown with original sound – look out for the ones marked OV (original version) or OMU (original with German subtitles).

Sports[edit]

Good spots for recreational running are the Röhrensee park and the Studentenwald forest that attaches to it in the south, as well as the Wilhelminenaue park in the north-east of the city.

If you prefer watching other people doing the work, Medi Bayreuth plays in Germany's top division for basketball. Their home matches take place in the 1 Oberfrankenhalle Oberfrankenhalle on Wikipedia, which is part of the sports park just north of the city center. The close by 2 Hans-Walter-Wild-Stadion Hans-Walter-Wild-Stadion on Wikipedia is home of the local soccer team SpVgg Bayreuth.

Swimming and sauna[edit]

The Kreuzsteinbad before opening in spring.

Bayreuth has quite a lot to offer in terms of swimming, sweating and splashing water. In the summer, a visit to the Kreuzsteinbad is a no-brainer even if (or: especially when) you're low on cash. In the winter, this role is filled by the Stadtbad. The Lohengrin Therme caters more to the opposite end of the spectrum and is a good choice for those who are willing to pay for exclusive treatments. And if you're travelling with children the Therme Obernsees might be just what you're looking for.

  • 3 Kreuzsteinbad (Kreuzer), Universitätsstraße 20-24, 95447 (Between the city centre and the university. Entrance and parking lots are at the Frankengutstraße.), +49 921 60 03 84, . May to Sep: daily 07:00–20:00. The Kreuzsteinbad is a classic outdoor swimming pool as you may find it in any German town. Nothing fancy, but dearly loved by residents, university students and travellers alike, not only because of the incredibly low entrance fees. It has recently been modernized and features a 50 m competition pool for serious swimming, a wave pool, diving tower, water slide and a children's pool. There's a playground for children and courts for playing beach volleyball, basket ball, football and badminton, but also plenty of lawn to enjoy some lazy time in the sun. Bringing your own food and drinks is allowed (no glass bottles, though!) – and probably a good idea unless you want to survive the day on fries and ice cream. If you want to use the lockers you'll have to bring your own padlock or borrow one from the front desk (for a deposit of €10). If you plan to only spend a few hours, consider coming after 17:00, as entrance fees will be even cheaper then! Grown-up whole-day ticket: €4.30. Kreuzsteinbad (Q1788446) on Wikidata
  • 4 Stadtbad, Kolpingstraße 7, 95444 (just north of the city centre: cross the river at Annecyplatz and immediately turn right.), +49 921 600 382, . Summer season: Tu-F 14:00-21:30. Winter season: M 15:00-18:00, Tu-F 11:00-21:30, Sa 10:00-19:30, Su 10:00-18:30. Bayreuth's public swimming pool in the heart of the city offers a 25 m competition pool, a children's pool, a hot tub, a steam bath and two saunas (non-nude). Adults pay €4.20 for the first 2 hours, and €1 for every further 30 minutes.
  • 5 Lohengrin Therme, Kurpromenade 5, 95448 (East of the main city in a town called "Linding" – take bus #303), +49 921 79 24 00, fax: +49 921 79 24 019, . thermal baths daily 09:00-22:00, sauna and spa open at 11:00. The Lohengrin Therme is all about Wellness and relaxation. It consists of three sections: the thermal baths with different kinds of pools and tubs, the large sauna area and the spa where you can book massages and other treatments. The sauna and the spa are clothes-free zones, towels and bathing gowns can be rented for €2 and €4, respectively. Note that children below 6 are not allowed in any section. The spa has an additional minimum age of 14 and is ladies-only on Tuesdays (except holidays). From €9 for 2 hours in the thermal baths to €21 for a day pass including sauna.
  • 6 SBV-Hallenbad, Am Sportpark 5, 95448 (just north of the city centre, between the P3 parking garage and the ice stadium), +49 921 986 14. M 13:00-21:30, Tu-F 06:30-08:00 (swimming only, no sauna) and 13:00-21:30, Sa 08:00-18:00, Su 09:00-13:00. Probably your best choice if you're into some serious swimming, the SBV-Hallenbad offers a 50 m competition pool and a 5 m diving tower. There's also a variable-depth (30-120 cm) pool for babies and toddlers and a steam bath. The sauna (not included in the normal entrance fee) is women-only on Mondays (mixed after 18:00) and Wednesdays, men-only on Tuesdays (mixed after 18:00) and Thursdays and mixed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Adults pay €4 for swimming only and €11 for swimming and sauna (no time limits).
  • 7 Therme Obernsees, An der Therme 1, 95490 Mistelgau (Follow the B22 and St2186 west towards Obernsees or take bus #376.), +49 9206 99300-0, toll-free: +49 9206 99300-10, . May-September: M-Sa 09:00-21:00 (sauna until 22:00), Su 09:00-20:00, October-April: daily 09:00-22:00 (sauna until 23:00 on F Sa). A bit outside the core city (but still within the Landkreis Bayreuth) lie the Obernsees thermal baths. If you prefer the sporty side of swimming this may not quite be your cup of tea, but pretty much everyone else should find something here. There are plenty of options for fun and relaxation, indoors and outdoors: pools, water jets, slides, and more than half a dozen different saunas. Obernsees is a good destination for a bike tour, as the bike path along the former railway line between Bayreuth and Hollfeld passes right through it. Adults pay between €10 for 2 hours and €15.50 for a day pass, sauna is an additional €5.

Events[edit]

  • 1 Bayreuth Festival (Bayreuther Festspiele, Richard Wagner Festival): July – August annually, Festspielhügel 1-2 (Bus 305 to Am Festspielhaus),  +49 921 7 87 80. If there's one thing Bayreuth is famous for, this is it: the annual performance of Richard Wagner's operas in the Festspielhaus. During the festival, huge crowds flock to Bayreuth for a chance to see the performances. Getting tickets has gotten much easier lately: If you order by mail you still may have to wait for a couple of years, but if you buy online chances of getting lucky are much higher. Tickets are being sold through the Festival's website in batches over the year on a first come first served basis. The last batch (the ones that have been returned or not been paid for) is typically sold around the end of June, so there's a chance for getting last minute tickets if you keep a close eye on the online shop. €30-320, depending on the seat and what's being played. Q157596 on Wikidata
  • 2 Wheat Beer Festival (Maisel's Weissbierfest): Every year in April or May, Hindenburgstr. 9. Since 1987, each year the Maisel's brewery hosts their Wheat Beer Festival. It usually starts on a Thursday and culminates in a free concert with an internationally known headliner on Saturday. Over the past couple of years, Rock and Pop performers such as Kim Wilde, Status Quo, Kool & The Gang, James Harvest Barclay or ELO have played there. The Sunday is all about sports – anyone can participate in the Fun Run through the city, although you'd have to register for that well in advance. Free entrance.

Learn[edit]

The University of Bayreuth was established in 1975 and has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students.

Buy[edit]

The Maximilianstraße is the heart of the pedestrian zone

The pedestrian zone of the city center (especially Maximilianstraße) has no lack of smaller shops and some larger stores. Slightly west of the center is the 1 Rotmain-Center, a shopping center with many options. The center is easily reached on foot and is targeted towards families.

  • 2 Bayreuth Shop, Opernstraße 22, +49 9 21 885749, . All year: M-F 09:00-19:00 & Sa 09:00-16:00, May - Oct also Su 10:00-14:00. Bayreuth's souvenir shop, run by the tourist information office.
  • 3 Wochenmarkt (Farmer's market) (In and around the Rotmainhalle, between Rotmain-Center and Cineplex). W 07:30–12:30, Sa 07:00–12:00. A good place to get fresh produce and regional products
  • 4 Walküre Porzellan, Gravenreutherstr. 5, +49 921 78930760, . M–F 09:00–17:00, Sa 10:00–13:00. The local porcelain manufacturing company Walküre Porzellan (established in 1899) runs an outlet store at their factory.
  • 5 sigikid-Outlet, Am Wolfsgarten 8, 95511 Mistelbach (Follow the B22 out of town, then turn left towards Mistelbach.), +49 9201 70 751, . Tu-F 10:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-14:00. Sigikid is mainly known across Germany for their high-quality plush toys, but they also offer fashionable clothes for children and different kinds of toys and child-related accessories. The factory outlet at their home base in Mistelbach offers discounts on remaining stock from past seasons and objects with minor production errors.

Eat[edit]

The traditional pair of Bayreuther Bratwürste in a bread roll, as sold around the city center.

Bayreuth's status as a university city means that a wide variety of restaurants populate the city, including typical Franconian Wirtshäuser, pizza parlors and Asian cuisine (including specifically Chinese, Japanese, and Thai), as well as the normal fast food fare in the train station and along the pedestrian streets. Small food stands (Imbiss) dot the pedestrian areas and offer quick hot meals for those in a rush (the traditional Franconian choice would be a pair of Bayreuther Bratwürste). If you're looking for halal food, the numerous Döner places around the city centre are your safest bet. Most of the hotels listed below also have an attached restaurant or Biergarten, open for anyone to visit. Listed below is a small sampling of the restaurants in Bayreuth. For more options, ask around or just take a stroll through the city.

  • 1 Eule, Kirchgasse 6, +49 921 95 80 27 95, . Sa Su 11:00-14:00, Tu-Sa 17:00-22:00. Traditional Franconian cuisine with a modern touch. The Eule has a rich history: It was Richard Wagner's favourite pub, and hundreds of artists followed his lead over the years, as evidenced by photo-covered walls. Mains start around €12.
  • 2 Hansl's Holzofenpizzeria (Hansl's Wood Oven Pizzeria), Friedrichstr. 15, +49 921-54344. 10:00-22:30. Small but popular pizzeria at the intersection of Ludwigstr. and Friedrichstr. In warmer months, the outdoor seating provides a great dinner atmosphere. Small/large pizza from €5.20/6.90.
  • 3 Himalaya, Von-Römer-Str. 2, +49 921 786 634 96, . Tu-Su 11:00-14:00, 17:00-22:00. If you like Indian food, the Himalaya's Nepali food and Tadoori might be worth a try for you. They also offer some interesting options for vegetarians. Meat-based mains start around €10.
  • 4 Kraftraum, Sophienstr. 16, +49 921-800 2515. M-F 08:00-01:00, Sa-Su 09:00-01:00. A vegetarian restaurant/bistro/café/bar with a large menu, as well as breakfast and a great weekend brunch. From €5.
  • 5 Miamiam Glouglou, Von-Römer-Str. 28, +49 921-656 66. A restaurant/bistro serving up traditional French cuisine. €10 and above.
  • 6 Oskar, Maximilianstraße 33, +49 921-5160553. Located in the historic town hall right on the main pedestrian street, Oskar offers a typical Franconian Wirtshaus atmosphere. Mains starting around €9.
  • 7 Señor Taco, Sophienstr. 7, +49 921-79315115, . M-Sa 11:00-22:00, Su 13:00-22:00. Home-made Mexican-style fast food. From €4.50.

Drink[edit]

The city centre of Bayreuth has plenty of options for having a pint. Most of them fall into the pub or Wirtshaus categories, though, as the city lost its main dance hall, the (in)famous Rosenau, to a fire in 2017. Below is a list of some of the most well-established places, but don't hesitate to just take a walk around the city and see where that leads you.

  • 1 Dubliner Irish Pub, Wittelsbacherring 2, +49 921-512630. M–Th from 19:00, F Sa from 18:00 (open end). Bayreuth's Irish Pub, featuring Irish beer, British cider, a large selection of whisk(e)y (ask for specialities not on the menu) and even some Irish Stew. Occasional live music. Mondays is half-priced drinks, for €3 entrance fee. Otherwise free.
  • 2 Glashaus (On the university campus, between the "Geowissenschaften" building and the bus stop of the same name), +49 921-552198. Run entirely by volunteer university students, the Glashaus is the cultural heart of the campus. During the semester, it is the perfect spot for an afternoon-study break with a mug of fair-trade coffee or tea. In the evening, it turns into a popular location for a wide variety of cultural (an not so cultural) events: concerts (from electro to metal, from reggae to punk), open mic sessions, movies, readings, talks, poetry- and science-slams, … You will have to become a member to take part, but that's really just a formality (and a small fee). Membership fee is €1 for a single month, entrance fees depend on the event (may be free).
  • 3 Rosa Rosa, Von-Römer-Str. 2, +49 921-68502. A cozy pub serving local brews and good food specials. Get there early as the seats normally fill up quickly.
  • 4 Liebesbier, Andreas-Maisel-Weg 1, +49 921 460 080 20, . 17:00-00:00. In a renovated part of the old Maisel's brewery building, the Liebesbier offers a huge selection of regional and international craft beer. It's a bit on the pricey side, but the excellent food and rustic-modern atmosphere easily make up for that.
  • 5 Fabrik, Erlangerstr. 2 (Just outside the city centre where the Erlangerstraße meets the Wittelsbacherring, across the street from the "Dubliner"), +49 921 79 32 77 17, . F Sa 23:00-05:00. If you've been clubbing in Bayreuth before, you might remember this as "Dschäblin's" or "Wunderbar". Apart from the Glashaus, this is probably your best option for dancing in the city. They mostly play Hip Hop and Electro, but also offer some themed events. Entrance fee varies.
  • 6 Kanapee, Maximilianstr. 29 (In a passage between Maximilianstr. and Brautgasse, look for "Miss Vietnam" restaurant), +49 171 8615790. 20:00-05:00. The infamous Kanapee is one of the pillars of Bayreuth's nightlife. It's not pretty or anything, but it's inexpensive and open late. Truth being told, you probably won't go there on purpose unless you're looking for a place that plays Rock and Metal. But you may well end up there early in the morning when everything else is closed but you still haven't had enough. Beer from €2.60.

Beer gardens[edit]

The Storchenkeller in the evening.

There are plenty of beer gardens in Bayreuth, some more authentic than others. Many restaurants have attached outdoor seating areas dubbed "Biergarten", but you probably won't get the real deal there. In the beer gardens listed below, however, you will get exactly that – which of course also means that most likely you'll have to get up and walk over to the counter to get your beer! Prices in this section are given for what you'll get when you simply order a beer (which usually results in a Seidla (0.5 L mug) of Helles).

  • 7 Vogels Biergarten (Lamperie), Friedrichstr. 13 (enter the gateway next to "Lamperie" and keep walking until you're below the trees), +49 921 50 70 94 26, . Daily from 16:00, if weather permits. Located right in the core of the city behind the pub Lamperie, the Vogels Biergarten is a great choice in the summer. The traditional large conker trees provide some shade and atmosphere when you enjoy a local beer from the Maisel's brewery or a crispy Flammkuchen straight from the oven. Beer: 3.10€.
  • 8 Herzogkeller, Hindenburgstr. 9 (outside the city center, just past the brewery), +49 921-4 34 19. Daily from 16:00, closed during the winter season. Bayreuth's largest Biergarten dates back until 1889. Was built as the Bierkeller of the Bayreuther Bierbrauerei, which today is part of the Maisel's group. Beer: 2.90€.
  • 9 Auf der Theta, Hochtheta 6, 95463 Bindlach (go for a hike northwards through the forest from the Festival Theatre.), +49 920 865361. Closed from January to mid of March and on May 1st. Located in a former farm house outside town, this is about as traditional as it gets in terms of beer gardens in Bayreuth. In the summer, you'll find an interesting mixture of all kinds of people here: bikers, hikers, families, university students, suits, hippies … They have their own amber colored beer brewed for them by a local brewery not far away. Drinks and cold dishes you'll have to order and pick up yourself at the counter. The choice of hot foods depends on what time it is, what day, what season, but at least they will be brought to your table. If you don't like the heavy Franconian cuisine, maybe try the Flammkuchen or grilled fish from the black kitchen. And yes, of course you may bring your own Brotzeit instead as well.

Sleep[edit]

Bayreuth's sleeping options are relatively reasonable in price and quality. Be warned, during the Richard Wagner Festival prices can go through the roof. The Tourist Information can help you locate many other smaller guest houses in and around Bayreuth. (Organized by price in each category)

Youth hostel[edit]

  • 1 Bayreuth Youth Hostel (Jugendherberge Bayreuth), Universitätsstr. 28 (south of the city centre, between University and Kreuzsteinbad), +49 9 21-76 43 80, . Bayreuth's Youth Hostel was re-built from the ground up in 2017, paying special attention to the needs of people with handicaps. For example, several wheelchair-friendly rooms are available. As with all DJH hostels, the rate includes a bed (possibly in a dorm room), sheets, and a breakfast. Dinners are also available nightly. Guests over 27 will pay a slight surcharge. The closest bus stop is the Prieserstraße (Bus #310 or 315); Mensa at the University is not too far away either (Bus #304, 306 or 316). From €28.90, DJH membership required.

Hotels in the city[edit]

  • 2 Gasthof zum Brandenburger, St. Georgen 9 (RIght in the center of the St. Georgen district, south of the church.), +49 921-1502610, . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 10:00. A small guesthouse in the northern part of the city, part of the attached restaurant. Single room from €45, double room from €80 (prices drop if you stay longer than 1 night).
  • 3 Gasthof Kolb, Wendelhöfen 8, +49 921-24216, . Small family-run guest house in the northern part of Bayreuth with restaurant and an attached Biergarten. Located near the Bezirkskrankenhaus at the edge of the city, the Gasthof Kolb lies within walking distance to the forests around the Hohe Warte as well as the Festival Theater. Single room from €44, double room from €80.
  • 4 B&B Hotel, Dilchertstraße 1 (at the eastern end of the main pedestrian zone), +49 921-15137770, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00 noon. Bayreuth's newest hotel. Single/double room from €54.
  • 5 Hotel Bürgerreuth, An der Bürgerreuth 20 (just a few hundred metres uphill from the Festival Theatre), +49 921-78400, . A small hotel with only 8 rooms, located in a quiet area (unless it's festival season). Single room from €58, double room from €79.
  • 6 Hotel Rheingold, Austraße 2 (Follow the signs to the underground parking lot "Unteres Tor" (P5), they will directly lead you to the hotel.), +49 921-9900850, . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Claimed to be entirely barrier-free. Single room from €64, double room from 74€.
  • 7 Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Bahnhofstr. 14 (directly south of the main station), +49 921-78600, . Access to WiFi, pool and sauna included single room from €68, double room from €84.
  • 8 Hotel Goldener Hirsch, Bahnhofstr. 13, +49 921-15044000, . Highly reviewed hotel near the train station. Staff can speak English, French, and Italian. Single room from €68, double room from €85.
  • 9 Hotel Lohmühle, Badstr. 37, +49 921-53060. This self-proclaimed "Franconian" hotel sits a short walk from the city center. Single room from €77.50, double room from €115.
  • 10 H4 Hotel Residenzschloss, Erlanger Str. 37, +49 921-75850, . Single room from €70, double room from €80.
  • 11 Arvena Kongress Hotel, Eduard-Bayerlein-Str. 5a, +49 921-7270, . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Specialized on conferences, congresses, etc. Single room from €120, double room from €170 (cheaper on weekends).
  • 12 Hotel Goldener Anker, Opernstr. 6, +49 921-7877740. Highly reviewed hotel very near the Margravial Operahouse, featuring wireless internet and on-site parking. Single room from €148, double room from €248.

Hotels outside the city center[edit]

  • 13 Hotel-Gasthof Opel, Bayreuther Str. 1, 95500 Heinersreuth, +49 9 21-41884, . This hotel occupies a 19th-century building around 3 km from the center of Bayreuth and run by the Opel family. Free wireless internet and free parking is available. From €42.
  • 14 Transmar-Travel-Hotel, Bühlstraße 12 95463 Bindlach, +49 9 20-8686-0. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Chain hotel near the autobahn. Offers normal amenities such as breakfast, free parking, and wireless internet. From €60.
  • 15 Grunau Hotel, Kemnather Straße 27, +49 9 21-7980-0. Larger hotel located 3.5 km east of the city center. Features wireless internet and bicycle rental. From €65.
  • 16 Hotel Eremitage, Eremitage 6, +49 9 21-79997-0. Upscale hotel at the Hermitage (Eremitage).

Stay safe[edit]

  • 1 City Police (Polizeiinspektion Bayreuth-Stadt), Werner-Siemens-Str. 9, +49 921 506-0. This is the regular police station you will go to in most cases. The department is responsible for anything that happens within the City of Bayreuth.
  • 2 Rural Police (Polizeiinspektion Bayreuth-Land), Ludwig-Thoma-Str. 2, +49 921 506-2230. This department is responsible for everything that happens outside the core city in the Landkreis Bayreuth (rural district).
  • 3 Federal Police (Bundespolizeirevier Bayreuth), Bahnhofstr. 22 (next to the main train station), +49 921 871106-0. The Federal Police serves as railway police and border security.

Connect[edit]

While most of the larger modern hotels offer free Wifi, this is not necessarily true for some of the smaller traditional guest houses. If you're staying in one of these and having a room with internet access is important to you, make sure to check out their website or ask in advance.

The state of Bavaria, in cooperation with Vodafone, offers free Wifi connectivity through about 350 BayernWLAN Hotspots scattered across the city. If you are a student or employee of an institution that uses Eduroam, you'll be able to use this as a safer alternative at the University and some other places around the city (see eduroam map for locations of hot spots). The local provider TMT also has a number of hot spots available for a small fee (starting at €4/6 for 1 hour/day, payable via PayPal).

Go next[edit]

Take a trip to the nearby tiny town of Aufsess, which the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes as the town with the most breweries per capita! There's even a beer trail that you can hike with stops at all the local biergartens.

Visit Bamberg to see the medieval town and try the local smoked beer (Rauchbier).

Take an adventure in the Franconian Switzerland (Fränkische Schweiz) or Fichtelgebirge and experience the beautiful local flora, fauna, and scenery. Possible activities include hiking, mountain-climbing and canoeing.

Nuremberg is also nearby, and an easy, exciting day trip.

Routes through Bayreuth
BerlinLeipzig  N Bundesautobahn 9 number.svg S  NurembergMunich
Merges into Bundesautobahn 7 number.svgBamberg  W Bundesautobahn 70 number.svg E  Merges into Bundesautobahn 9 number.svg




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