A Guide to Delightful Bamberg: A Historic Wonderland of Beer and Grandeur

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A scenic stroll and a sip of smoky beer was all it took to convince me.

My friends, I think Bamberg, Germany might just be one of the most underrated cities I’ve ever visited.

Studding the upper end of Franconia (in the north of the German state of Bavaria), Bamberg is a certified postcard trapped in time, with an entire millennium of history spilling into its streets and stories baked into every crooked half-timbered house.

In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about visiting Bamberg for yourself, from history and how to get there, to nightlife and where to stay.

You might also like this full list of things to do in Bamberg.

Save this Bamberg travel guide for later!

You’ll be very glad you did.

First: A Brief History of Bamberg, Germany

To really understand Bamberg, it’s important that we first discuss its 1000+ years of history. I’d like to avoid testing your attention span, so here it is in a condensed version.

You see, over a thousand years ago, Henry II, valiant Duke of Bavaria (and eventual Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire) set out with the hefty goal to make Bamberg into a second Rome of sorts.

And so, he commanded the construction of many epic monuments, including a new church (Bamberg Cathedral) and Abbey (Michaelsberg Abbey).

This formed the foundations of Bamberg’s skyline as we know it today.

Around the 13th century began the era of the Prince Bishops, bishops who moonlit as civil rulers with money and power in spades.

They went on to add additional layers of fanciness to Bamberg, moving into the swishy Altenburg Castle and erecting palatial additions to the Bamberg cityscape like the Neue Residenz and Schloss Seehof in the 17th century.

Amidst all this rosy imagery however, it’s important to remember that Bamberg’s history wasn’t all just castles, churches and swanky prince-bishop parties…

There’s a dark side to the city too.

Not only was Bamberg one of the worst centers for witch hunts in Germany, it survived a series of wars and epidemics including the plague, the 30 Years War and of course, both world wars.

Miraculously, unlike many other cities in Germany, Bamberg came out of WWII mostly unscathed, which is how it has managed to retain an authentic, historic charm, one that’s been UNESCO-protected since 1993.

Today, it’s the stomping grounds of countless visitors eager to drool all over it.

… And I highly recommend you go there to drool too 😉

How to Get to Bamberg, Germany

While Bamberg is a small city, it’s well connected by train so it’s relatively easy to get here from other major cities in Germany.

The nearest airport is Nuremberg, and you can get from Nuremberg Airport to Bamberg in about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes, depending on which train you catch.

Otherwise, you can easily catch a variety of regional and ICE trains to Bamberg HBF, which is about a fifteen minute walk from the historic centre (AKA the pretty part!)

Here are some tips on getting to Bamberg from some Nuremberg and Munich, two common jumping points.

NOTE: I always use Omio to compare/book my transport options – sometimes they show cheaper fares than the DB app for some reason and you can quickly compare bus, train and flight options. Click here to check it out!

How to get from Nuremberg to Bamberg

OPTION A (Recommended!): Take the train from Nuremberg to Bamberg

There are frequent trains that run from Nuremberg to Bamberg, at least one an hour.

High speed ICE trains will get you there in 30-40 minutes, whereas there are a lot of regional trains that take 40 minutes to an hour.

If you’re doing a day trip, I highly recommend you get a Bayern Ticket, which is a regional ticket that gives you unlimited public transport for one day in Bavaria using regional trains.

While it can’t be used on ICE trains, it can save you a LOT of money (for one person it’s 26 euros, then 6 euros for every additional passenger) and it covers you for the whole day, making it an amazing deal.

Learn more about using the Bayern Ticket in my full guide here.

OPTION B: Carpool with BlaBlaCar

If you’re looking for a very cheap/more adventurous option, you can look into BlaBlaCar, which is like a carpooling/rideshare service.

The route from Nuremberg to Bamberg is a popular one so there are often people looking to fill cars going there, and it’s as cheap as 5 euros per ride.

NOTE: While many travelers use BlaBaCar regularly, remember general safety precautions like reading reviews for your driver, etc.

How to get from Munich to Bamberg

NOTE: While many travelers are interested in doing Bamberg as a day trip from Munich, I wouldn’t recommend it because it would be a very long day.

Even if you took an ICE train, it would be 4 hours of travel total for the day, which doesn’t give you a ton of time to explore Bamberg.

Stepping off my pedestal now, here is how you would travel from Munich to Bamberg if you so wished.

OPTION A: Take the train from Munich to Bamberg 

Taking the train is the most comfortable way to get from Munich to Bamberg.

There’s 2-3 departures per hour, and the route is serviced by both ICE trains and regional trains.

NOTE: Depending on how many people you’re travelling with, I might look into getting a Bayern ticket for additional savings.

The Bayern Ticket is a regional ticket that gives you unlimited public transport for one day in Bavaria using regional trains.

While it can’t be used on ICE trains, it can save you a LOT of money (for one person it’s 26 euros, then 6 euros for every additional passenger) and is especially worthwhile if you’re travelling as a group (you can get five adults on one ticket for 53 euros – which is like 10 euros per person!)

OPTION B: Take a Flixbus from Munich to Bamberg

This is probably the cheapest option, taking a Flixbus to Bamberg. Flixbus seems to have buses running from Munich to Bamberg a few time daily for about 10 euros, so if you want a cheaper way to get to Bamberg and don’t mind the longer drive (around 4 hours), then this might be a good option for you.

NOTE: Flixbus is fine but not usually the most service-oriented or punctual. You can read my full review of them here, but I would still recommend taking the train because of convenience.

OPTION C: Carpool with BlaBaCar

If you’re looking for a very cheap/more adventurous option, you can look into BlaBaCar, which is like a carpooling/rideshare service.

The route from Munich to Bamberg is a popular one so there are often people looking to fill cars going there, and it’s as cheap as 12-15 euros for a ride.

It’s also faster than Flixbus because they don’t stop as often – most estimate it takes around 2.5 hours.

NOTE: While many travelers use BlaBaCar regularly, remember general safety precautions like reading reviews for your driver, etc.

Must-Knows Before You Visit Bamberg, Germany

So, before you visit Bamberg for yourself, here are some key pieces of info to keep in mind.

The best part of the city is the Old Town, by far

I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, the area around the Bamberg HBF is pretty average… I don’t know why part of me expected to see the historic Old Town and cute half-timbered buildings right away.

This definitely isn’t the case! It takes about 15 minutes by foot to get to the pretty Old Town part of Bamberg, so remember to save your judgment until then!

The off-season is wonderfully quiet, but lots of things will be closed

I visited Bamberg in the dead of winter on a weekday.

This was phenomenal for a lot of reasons, namely NO crowds and the ability to flounce around and enjoy the picture-perfect streets in peace.

There WERE were numerous downsides though, namely that none of the museums were open and many of the restaurants/cafes were closed as well.

If you want to just enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the city, then off-season travel is fine (we had no trouble finding food or anything) but if you are interested in visiting more of the museums/attractions, keep that in mind before booking your trip for the off-season.

Bamberg is Franconian

Bamberg didn’t actually become part of Bavaria until 1802, and it’s a Franconian city through and through.

I know it’s a little confusing, but it’s an important distinction to make because Franconia is culturally quite different from Bavaria and the rest of Germany.

So, not that I can imagine any locals getting overly angry about anything (they’re SUPER nice here), just remember to refer to things as Franconian, and don’t be surprised when menus or signs have this indistinguishable language that ends with a lot of “las” – that’s just Franconian, and yes, it’s very different from German!

Don’t worry though, you can get by with German and even English in the touristy parts of the city.

Bamberg, Germany at golden hour
What’s Franconian for “honey, grab the camera!!!!!”?

Bamberg Acommodation: Where to Stay in Bamberg, Germany

There are plenty of options at your disposal if you’re trying to decide where to stay in Bamberg. Here are some of my recommendations:

Hotels in Bamberg

There are quite a few Bamberg hotel options to choose from, but in my opinion, you should be looking for accommodation in the scenic Old Town.

The downside is good options here are a lot scarcer and book up extremely quickly, so if you’re planning a trip to Bamberg, I would try to book something as soon as possible.

Here are my top picks for centrally located hotels in Bamberg with excellent reviews:

HotelRatingTypeAdditional NotesReviews
ibis Styles Bamberg9.4Deluxe24h Reception
Free WiFi
On-Site Bar and Fitness Center
Check reviews & availability
Altstadthotel Molitor9.1BudgetHistoric design in a renovated mill
Free WiFi
Check reviews & availability
Boutique Hotel Villa Katharina9.1Mid-RangeFree Parking
Breakfast Included
Outdoor Pool
Bike Rentals
Check reviews & availability
Ventura's Hotel und Gästehaus9.0Mid-RangeFree WiFi
Kitchen Included in Apartments
Complimentary Water, Coffee and Tea
Check reviews & availability
Welcome Hotel Residenzschloss Bamberg8.5LuxuryBreakfast Included
On-Site Restaurant, Lounge and Bar
Free WiFi
Check reviews & availability

Pensions, Guesthouses, Apartments, and Bed and Breakfasts in Bamberg

I can’t sugarcoat it – thanks to demand, hotels in Bamberg can be really expensive. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can consider staying at a pension in Bamberg (like a guesthouse), or choose more home-style accommodation like apartments.

Here are my top picks in the Old Town area with excellent reviews:

Property NameRatingTypeAdditional NotesReviews
Appartement Bamberg am Rathaus 9.4ApartmentFree WiFi
BBQ Facilities
Fully Equipped Kitchen
Check reviews & availability
Altstadt Apartment9.3ApartmentFree WiFI
Washer/Dryer Facilities
Fully Equipped Kitchen
Check reviews & availability
Altstadtpalais im Sand9.2ApartmentHoused in a timbered building w/ Baroque staircases and stucco ceilings
Free WiFi
Free bottle of homemade liqueur on arrival
Laundry Facilities available
Check reviews & availability
Zum alten Häusla8.9ApartmentFree WiFI
Kitchenette Included
Check reviews & availability
Swarg Ferienwohnungen7.9GuesthouseOn-site Indian Restaurant
Free WiFi
Check reviews & availability

Hostels in Bamberg

There are very few hostels in Bamberg. From my research, I was only able to find two: and Sleepy Owl and Backpackers Bamberg – Lilly’s Hostel (which has a more confusing reservation system).

Bamberg Nightlife

As a quiet, little charming city, Bamberg nightlife is far from the exciting, vibrant scene you might get in larger cities like Berlin… but with a big student population, there are still plenty of fun things to do in Bamberg at night.

Bamberg breweries

So it’s not exactly partying, but if you want to get a fill of local culture, be sure to stop by some breweries and enjoy some drinks.

Again, you can book a self-guided brewery crawl that comes with 4 vouchers and a souvenir mug for only 22 euros! Click here for more info.

Clubs in Bamberg

As I didn’t stay the night (and I’m also a grandma trapped in a 20 something’s body), I didn’t go clubbing while in Bamberg.

That said, if you’re more fun than I am, here’s a local guide to clubs in Bamberg. It’s in German, so Google Translate is your best friend.

The Best Things to do in Bamberg, Germany

Bamberg has one of the best preserved medieval centers in Germany, sliced through by the idyllic River Regnitz and surrounded by seven hills each crowned with their own castle or church.

Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty to do here. This list of things to do in Bamberg covers a lot more ground, but below are some highlights:

  • Sample Bamberg’s famous smoked beer
  • Admire the incredible New Town Hall
  • Photograph Bamberg’s “Little Venice”
  • Wander around Old Town
  • Check out Bamberg Cathedral

We hope this guide helps you visit Bamberg like a pro!

Let us know if you have any more questions. Have a great trip!

My Go-To Travel Favourites:

🧳 Eagle Creek: My favourite packing cubes

💳 Wise: For FREE travel friendly credit cards

🍯 Airalo: My go-to eSIM

🏨 Booking.com: For searching hotels

📷 Sony A7IV: My (amazing) camera

✈️ Google Flights: For finding flight deals

🌎 WorldNomads: For travel insurance

🎉 GetYourGuide: For booking activities

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