In northern Bavaria in southern Germany is the world heritage city of Bamberg. Bamberg is a city for which our hearts burn a little extra. A city where parts of our family have their roots. Here in the old medieval alleys, parts of the family have probably fallen and got scrapes on their knees. Or maybe even stuck with a heel on the cobblestones on the way to a dance. It simply feels a little extra in the pit of the heart when you are here.
Bamberg has one of the best-preserved medieval city centers in Germany and miraculously escaped WWII aerial bombing. Thanks to that, the cobblestones can still tell us today about when King Henry II founded the city in the 2th century and had high-flying plans to make Bamberg the new Rome.
The red roofs and countless stone bridges have been carefully cared for over the years and it is no wonder that Bamberg often ends up on top lists of Germany's most charming cities.
Bamberg's is called the "City on seven hills" because of the seven churches that stand proudly on each hill, but the city could almost as well have been called "the city with the seven breweries". Head to Sandstraße in the central parts of the city to try the famous smoked beer – Rauchbier – which tastes like you're drinking smoked bacon. Good, but maybe not something you drink too many sips of.
In the city center there are over 1000 protected historic houses, so car traffic is partially prohibited and there are not many parking spaces in the central city. Add to that lots of one-way streets, and you quickly realize that Bamberg is not a car town. If you book a hotel in the city center, make sure there is parking!
1. Old Town Hall
The most famous sight in Bamberg is undoubtedly the old town hall (Altes Rathaus), which you'll find depicted on everything from puzzles to guidebooks. The town hall is located in the middle of the river Regnitz, surrounded by rapid eddies.
What is unique about the town hall is that the walls are covered in the most detailed paintings with perspective and shadows. However, not everything on the house facade is painted, so you need to look for any detail that stands out a little extra.
2. Little Venice
Little Venice is a well-preserved area of half-timbered houses along the river Regnitz that was previously only allowed to be owned by the town's fishermen.
The houses are right down by the river's edge and most houses have a small jetty or a splendid patio. The area here by the canal is especially beautiful in spring and summer when the flowers bloom along the canals and the sun glistens on the water.
3. Old town
The old town of Bamberg is UNESCO-listed for its well-preserved medieval architecture. Wandering through the old districts is a big part of Bamberg's charm. The area is full of breweries, squares, narrow alleys, hanging geraniums and crooked half-timbered houses.
One of the popular stops is at the brewery Schlenkerla, where the unique and very local smoked beer comes from.
4. The new residence and its rose garden
Up on one of Bamberg's hills is the new residence and a splendid rose garden. The "Neue Residenz" served as the bishop's residence during the 17th and 18th centuries and is an impressive baroque building.
If you visit the residence during the summer months, a visit to the rose garden is a must. You find your way to the garden through the lovely scent of roses that spreads over the walls and the view from the garden over the roofs of Bamberg is worth the visit alone.
5. The cathedral
Bamberg Cathedral (Bamberg Cathedral) was inaugurated in 1012 and still dominates Bamberg's profile today. The cathedral and is known for its somewhat unusual architecture and its four towers.
6. Monastery Michaelsberg
Another of Bamberg's famous buildings is the Michaelsberg monastery from the 11th century. The monastery is famous for its view of Bamberg and for its beautiful paintings of flowers on the ceiling of the abbey church.
The monastery church closed urgently to visitors in 2016 due to race risk and has since been under renovation, but you can visit the garden and look at the view.
How do I get to Bamberg?
Bamberg is located in Bavaria in southeastern Germany. The nearest large city with direct flights is Frankfurt, 20 miles west of Bamberg.
Read more about Bamberg at Bambergland.
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Travel blogger, gastronaut, photographer and family adventurer with over 55 countries in his luggage. Eva loves trips that include beautiful nature, hiking boots and well-cooked food. On the travel blog Rucksack she takes you to all corners of the world with the help of her inspiring pictures and texts.