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Bamberg

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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 List. It is a great place to see South German baroque architecture.

Understand

Bamberg can trace its history to a first mention in the year 902. It's main claim to fame is being seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bamberg, which was established in 1007 and consequently the Bamberger Dom (Bamberg 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.

Get in

By train

  • 1 Bamberg Main Station. Deutsche Bahn (or DB) serves Bamberg with frequent and 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 in two hours; 70 min). ICE high-speed trains from Munich (1:45 hrs), Berlin (2:45 hrs) call here at least every second hour, also linking Bamberg with Erfurt (45 min) and Leipzig (1,5 hrs). Several times a day, there is even a direct train from Hamburg (4:40 hrs). From Frankfurt, there is a relatively slow regional express connection every second hour (taking 3 hours) or you may take the ICE and change trains in Würzburg (2:10–2,5 hrs). 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 ticktes are not valid on ICE or IC trains. VGN fares and schedules

By plane

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.

By bus

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.

By boat

The Main Donau Kanal ends here and is linked to the river Main.

  • 2 Harbor.

Get around

Walking is best throughout the Altstadt (old city center). The Hauptbahnhof (train station) is less than 2 km northeast of the Altstadt. Walk or take a bus.

See

  • 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 townhall). 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.

Do

  • 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".

Buy

Eat

  • 1 Ambräusianum, Dominikanerstraße 10, ☏ +49 951 5 09 02 62. Gasthausbrauerei
  • 2 Restaurant AltenburgAltenburg 1, ☏ +49 951 5 68 28.

Drink

Cafés

  • 1 Backstübla ((translated "little bakery" in local Franconian dialect), Obere Sandstr. 31, ☏ +49 176 63864152, ✉ katharina.hueckstaedt@googlemail.com. W-Su 11-17. run by two sisters, this charming place is in an old village house with a magificient courtyard; further it offers some tables in two rooms decorated by the sisters running the place. The casual atmosphere is one thing, but the cakes are delicious, home baked by one of the sisters.

Bars

Many bars and clubs are on and around Sandstraße (actually, that's two streets, "Obere Sandstraße" and "Untere Sandstraße").

  • Try Rauchbier (English: 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 & 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 the Schlenkera 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), ☏ +49 951-54887. The open air location to drink Spezial-Beer with typical local food having a panorama view over the city.

Sleep

Budget

  • 1 Backpackers Bamberg, Heiliggrabstraße 4.
  • DJH Jugendherberge Bamberg-Wolfsschlucht, Oberer Leinritt 70 (across the river (via footbridge) from the tip of Hainpark with car access via Am Rengnitzufer), ☏ +49 951 56002. 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), ☏ +49 951 29952890.
  • Apartment mitten in Bamberg, Unterer Kaulberg 13, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 5 95 85..
  • Brauerein Fässla, Obere Konigsstraße 19-21, 96052 Bamberg..

Mid-range

  • Gästehaus Steidle, Frauenstraße 32, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 2 08 72 39.
  • Hotel Alt Ringlein, Dominikanerstraße 9, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 9 53 20.
  • Arkaden Hotel im Kloster, Karmelitenplatz 1, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 5 09 84 10.
  • Hotel Central, Promenadestraße 3, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 98 12 60.
  • Hotel garni Berliner Ring, Pödeldorfer Straße 146, 96050 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 91 50 50. Three-star hotel.
  • Hotel Ibis Bamberg am Schillerplatz, Theatergassen 10, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 98 04 80.
  • Hotel National, Luitpoldstraße 37, 96052 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 50 99 80. Three-star hotel.
  • Barock Hotel am Dom, Vorderer Bach 4, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 5 40 31.

Apartments

  • 2 Sandschlössla, Obere Sandstraße 31, ☏ +49 951 1206327, ✉ bamberg@sandschloessla.de. two apartments in a traditional city house

Splurge

  • Hotel Brudermühle, Schranne 1, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 95 52 20..
  • Hotel Europa, Untere Königstraße 8, 96052 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 3 09 30 20..
  • Villa Geyerswörth Hotel, Geyerswörthstraße 15, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 9 17 40. Five-star hotel.
  • Hotel-Restaurant St. Nepomuk, Obere Mühlbrücke 9, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 9 84 20..
  • Palais Schrottenberg, Kasernstraße 1, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 95 58 80..
  • Romantik Hotel Weinhaus Messerschmitt, Lange Straße 41, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 29 78 00..
  • Bamberger Hof Bellevue, Schönleinsplatz 4, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 9 85 50. Four-star hotel.
  • Best Western Hotel Bamberg, Luitpoldstraße 7, 96052 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 51 09 00. Three-star hotel.
  • Tandem Hotel, Untere Sandstraße 20, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 51 93 58 55..
  • Welcome Hotel Residenzschloss Bamberg, Untere Sandstraße 32, 96049 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 6 09 10. Four-star hotel.
  • Welcome Kongresshotel Bamberg, Mußstraße 7, 96047 Bamberg, ☏ +49 951 7 00 00. Four-star hotel.

Go next

Nearby towns and cities:

  • Coburg
  • Erlangen university town and site of Franconia's biggest beer-fest
  • Nuremberg biggest city in Franconia with a lovely castle
  • Würzburg
  • Forchheim former imperial residence has charming old town



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