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10 of the Best Bamberg Attractions (Local Guide)

Are you looking for the best Bamberg attractions for your next visit? We got you covered!

Bamberg, also known as the Franconian Rome, is built on seven hills like Rome. Bamberg is located in the northern part of Bavaria in Germany and has much to offer! As former residents of Bamberg, we can attest to its beauty and charm. We spent five years studying and exploring everything, from the must-see landmarks to the hidden local gems.

So, whether you are seeking a smaller, picturesque town or looking to immerse yourself in rich history and stunning medieval architecture – Bamberg is the perfect destination. We compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Bamberg! We reveal a mix of must-dos and special local tips that we enjoyed in Bamberg. We hope our list of top 10 things to do in Bamberg will inspire you to fall in love with this beautiful town just as we did.

flower covered gardens in front of a German canal
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Little Venice. Photo Credit: Germany Things to Do.

Top Bamberg Attractions for your Next Visit

1. Old Town

At the heart of Bamberg lies its Old Town (= Altstadt), a living museum boasting more than 1,000 well-preserved historic buildings. Did you know that Bamberg became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993? You’ll see why, when you’re meandering through the narrow cobblestone streets.

There are many ancient townhouses, charming squares, fountains, and impressive churches to discover, making Old Town one of the best Bamberg attractions for your next visit. Our favorite streets in the Old Town of Bamberg are Grüner Markt, Austrasse, Lange Strasse and Obere Sandstrasse.

white and building with bridge crossing over the river
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Old Town Hall. Photo Credit: Germany Things to Do.

2. Old Town Hall 

Nestled in the Regnitz River lies the Old Town Hall (= Altes Rathaus). You may wonder why this building is in the river.  According to history, the citizens of Bamberg wanted to build a town hall or, as we would say nowadays, a community center. They asked the bishop of Bamberg for permission. He said yes, they could build it. But not on the bishop’s property. So, they chose to construct it in the river.

The Old Town Hall is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque places in the city. It’s a masterpiece of architectural brilliance. Make sure to explore the Old Town Hall from various angles, such as the Obere Brücke (Upper Bridge) and the Untere Brücke (Lower Bridge). The best spot to take a picture of the Old Town Hall is the Geyerswörthsteg

Hanging out on those upper and lower bridges is a very local thing to do! Grab a beer (you’re allowed to drink alcohol in public here until 10 pm) or a typical Apfelschorle (apple juice with sparkling water), join the people and soak in the atmosphere.

3. Little Venice

For a touch of romanticism, head to Little Venice (= Kleinvenedig). On the opposite side, you can see the half-timbered houses. The street is called “Am Leinritt”.

Do you want to experience more “Venice vibe”? Hop on a boat with a private gondolier.

gondola holding several people going down a river
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Bamberg Gondola. Photo Credit: Germany Things to Do.

4. Best Bamberg Attractions: Bamberg Cathedral

Rising majestically above the town, the Bamberg Cathedral, also known as the Kaiserdom, is an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of the town’s rich history.

The building process of the Bamberg Cathedral started in the 11th century (yes, this building is over 1,000 years old!) and lasted over 40 years. This explains the mixture of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.

5. New Residence

Just across from the Bamberg Cathedral stands a magnificent testament to architectural brilliance and artistic grandeur — the New Residence.

The Cathedral built in the 17th century, is a Baroque and Renaissance masterpiece. It showcases Bamberg’s rich history and cultural significance. With its lavish interiors and intricate artwork, the New Residence offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of Bavarian nobility.

6. Schlenkerla brewery

There are numerous breweries in Bamberg, including the well-established Schlenkerla brewery. Situated in the Old Town of Bamberg and close to the Bamberg Cathedral, the brewery is located in a charming half-timbered building that adds to the overall experience of the visit.

Trying the famous smoked beer (Rauchbier) is a must-do for many visitors. However, be aware: For us, this beer tastes like a ham fell into an ashtray. But many people like it, so it is worth a try! Ask the waiter or waitress for a sample if you are unsure if this is something for your taste buds.

7. Spezial Keller

On warm summer days, head towards the Spezial Keller. This restaurant is a typical German beer garden on top of a hill in Bamberg. The view above the city and the Bamberg cathedral is the best here!

It is even allowed to bring your own Pick-Nick and order the cold beer in the beer garden. They also serve typical German food, which is also worth a try!

In case you would like to drink something sweeter: Try the German lemon beer, called Radler in German. It is very refreshing and the best drink for hot summer evenings!

food and alcoholic beverage sitting on a table
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Bamberg Beer Garden. Photo Credit: Germany Things to Do.

8. Altenburg Castle

If you’re into history and castles, you should not miss the Altenburg Castle.

The Altenburg Castle may not be as stunning as Neuschwanstein Castle, but it was built in the 11th century and is very close to town. Along the path, you can get sensational views of the surrounding countryside.

There is also a very nice restaurant up there if you’re craving German food.

9. Best Bamberg Attractions: Take a Boat Tour

As you can see, there are various ways to explore Bamberg. In case your feet are tired from walking, step aboard a boat and enjoy the city views for 80 minutes, exploring the city in a relaxed fashion.

historical buildings lining a river with a boat going down the center of the river
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Boat Tour Bamberg. Photo Credit: Germany Things to Do.

10. Swim in the River Regnitz

Be sure to pack your bathing suit when coming to Bamberg. One of the best things to do in summer is to take a refreshing swim in the Regnitz River. You can visit the “Freibad” (= public swimming pool) for a small entrance fee. 

It’s a lot of fun to jump in the river, float down, get out, and repeat the process when it’s hot outside!

Best places to eat in Bamberg

There are plenty of restaurants in town. Of course, it can be hard to choose. Here are our two favorite picks: 

If you want to indulge in Franconian cuisine, head to the Kachelofen restaurant. A typical dish to order is the Schäuferla, a big piece of meat with a delicious crust. If you are a vegetarian, the Klöße (= potato dumplings) with mushrooms is a good choice.

If you want to sit in a beautiful location with top-rated dishes, head to Eckharts Wirtshaus. The restaurant has a lovely view above the Regnitz River.

Where to stay in Bamberg

Hotel Wohnbar is a top-rated accommodation in Bamberg, centrally located and offering 12 modern and individually decorated rooms. It’s a perfect base for exploring the town’s historic Old Town.

Final thoughts: 10 Best Bamberg Activities

Bamberg is full of rich history and architectural highlights. It is a destination that captivates the hearts of many travelers from around the world.

From exploring the fascinating Old Town and admiring the charm of Little Venice to marveling at the grandeur of the Bamberg Cathedral, every corner of this town is charming.

We hope our local guide, including our top 10 things to do in Bamberg, gives you an idea about all the nice things you can do in our beloved hometown.

About the Author

Anna and Anne are full-time travel bloggers. They were born and raised in Germany and traveled in Asia, Europe, and all over Germany with their backpacks. On their blog, they share tips and tricks on how to travel Germany like a local.

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