Walk from the station to the old town
Located in the region of Upper Franconia, Bamberg is easy to get to by train, taking just under 45 minutes from Nuremberg. Once you arrive at the station, the old town is no more than a stone's throw away. Your stroll takes you over the Regnitz – twice, as the river divides into two branches before it reaches Bamberg's historic centre. With its many architecturally important buildings, the old town was added to UNESCO's world heritage list in 1993. The visitor centre is a good place to begin as it provides tourists with an overview of the town.
Bamberg's old town is a UNESCO treasure
If you want to start your day's sightseeing with a tasty second breakfast, you can call in to someplace like Café Spitz Rein on Obere Sandtrasse. Afterwards, you'll be ready for a good helping of culture. Ambling is the best way to explore the beautiful old town, founded over 1,000 years ago. At some point, you'll stroll under the arches old town hall, perched on an island in the river. A legend says that, in the 15th century, the bishop didn't want to give the townspeople a site for their town hall, so they drove piles into the riverbed and erected the impressive building on the artificial island they created.
The cathedral square is located further on and combines architecture from different eras. The jewel in the heritage site's crown is located here: the four-towered cathedral of St Peter and St George, one of Germany's "imperial cathedrals". Take a short break to study in the imposing structure, and see the famous Bamberg Horseman for yourself. The Alte Hofhaltung complex is located right beside the cathedral and was once the home of Bamberg's bishops.
Schenkala's smoked beer
If you're getting hungry and want to try the local specialities, head for Brauerei Schlenkala. The brewery makes the town's smoked beer – it's something of an acquired taste, but you should definitely try a glass. And it's okay if you don't want your drink to taste of smoked meat: the menu has scores of other regional dishes for you to choose from. Afterwards, a stroll to aid digestion is a good idea, so look for the rose garden of the Neue Residenz. This palace was built in the 17th century after the bishop moved house in 1602.
Walk down Markusstrasse on your way back to the station. It takes you across the river, and you can enjoy a wonderful view of the neighbourhood called Little Venice, once the home of fishermen in the centre of Bamberg. Built right on the water, the former cottages of the fishermen and boatmen not only remind visitors of the northern Italian city, but also of Alsace with its enchanting half-timbered houses. It's a beautiful sight to end your visit.
Spectacular architecture, charming streets and great food. Bamberg is like Alsace, only closer – just a short train trip away.