Before you start your city tour of Regensburg, you should know one thing in advance: Regensburg is rich in history and offers its visitors a wealth of sights that give you reason for more than just a day trip. Particularly characteristic of Regensburg are the patrician houses and family towers that characterise the cityscape like no other Bavarian city. To get a first impression of the city, we will visit the best-known highlights of Regensburg on this tour. This way, there will be enough sights left over for your next visit to the UNESCO World Heritage City.
We start our city walk through Regensburg to discover the sights at the main railway station. From here we head north along Maximilianstraße, passing the eastern part of St. Emmeram's Palace Park. After about 300 metres we already reach the first small highlight of our tour. Somewhat north of Ernst-Reuter-Platz is an exposed site where the remains of the wall of the Roman legionary camp "Castra Regina" can still be seen today. The ancient walls - recognisable by their construction with large stone ashlars - were later integrated into the medieval Zwingermauer.
Further excavations of the Roman camp walls are located about 150 metres further north in the Dachauplatz car park. The freely accessible area uses monitors and visualisations to convey a picture of the city's important history as the northern frontier of the Roman Empire. Together with the excavation at Hunnenplatz, the three sections of the ancient wall form the document Legion Camp Wall.
We continue north along Maximilianstrasse until it turns into Speichergasse. Passing the Römerturm, a 28-metre high former residential and defence tower, we arrive at the heart of Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Regensburg Cathedral of St. Peter, Regensburg's best-known sight. The foundation stone for the Gothic building was laid in the middle of the 12th century, but the cathedral acquired its present form in the course of 600 years of development. The two spires, for example, were only added between 1859 and 1869 thanks to the sponsorship of the Bavarian kings Ludwig I and Maximilian II. During your visit, pay particular attention to the colourful stained glass windows from the 13th and 14th centuries, which bathe the interior in a majestic light.
Continue along the Krauterermarkt to under the Schwibbögen. In this alley you will find another hint of the city's Roman predecessors during your visit. The Porta Praetoria is one of the oldest buildings still standing in Regensburg. Together with the Porta Nigra in Trier, the Porta Praetoria is the only surviving Roman gateway north of the Alps. Regensburg tips include the former north portal of the Roman legionary camp "Castra Regina" is almost 2,000 years old and comprises a small tower and an archway, both of which have been part of the façade of the Bishop's Court since the 17th century. So anyone who doesn't know about the historical significance can easily overlook this highlight.
As we all know, sightseeing makes you hungry. So it's a good thing that our next stop is of a culinary nature. Via the Weiße Hahn-Gasse we reach the southern bank of the Danube, where we get a little refreshment in the historic Wurstkuchl, the oldest bratwurst restaurant in the world. As early as the 12th century, workers and stonemasons who were involved in the construction of the cathedral and the Stone Bridge enjoyed delicious cooked meat and sausages here next to the Salzstadel. Today, the family business offers its guests fine bratwursts from the in-house sausage shop as well as homemade sauerkraut. Our tip for Regensburg: Definitely try it. We wish you bon appétit!
After this little refreshment, our city tour to explore Regensburg's sights continues next to the Salzstadel, which also houses the UNESCO World Heritage Visitor Centre . Here, the Stone Bridge crosses the Danube, connecting Regensburg's Old Town with the old Bavarian district of Stadtamhof, which we save for our next visit to the Danube metropolis, however. The masterpiece of Romanesque architecture is also Regensburg's landmark and was built between 1135 and 1146. With a length of 330 metres and 16 arches, the bridge was important for trade as a fixed crossing over the Danube and thus contributed to the prosperity of the city. At the highest point of the Stone Bridge you will come across a Gothic column on which a sitting man is enthroned. The so-called "Bruckmandl" has been sitting above the Danube since the Middle Ages, facing south, his hand placed on his forehead to protect him from the sun.
Our tour of Regensburg takes us back to the old town for more Regensburg sights. Originally flanked by three towers that served as entrances to the city, today only the bridge tower stands at the south end of the Stone Bridge. From here, head south through Brückstraße to Goliathhaus, Regensburg's largest city castle, and from there west towards Kohlenmarkt. In front of you now is Regensburg's Old Town Hall, with its 55-metre-high tower, the oldest part of the building. Through additions in the course of history, the town hall is divided into three parts: the town hall tower with adjoining palace, the Gothic imperial hall building and the Baroque town hall. Until 1806, the Perpetual Diet, the permanent assembly of the imperial estates in the Holy Roman Empire, met in the former dance hall of the Gothic building. The magnificent building can be visited on daily guided tours.
Past the Old Town Hall, the route continues to Haidplatz, one of Regensburg's oldest and most traditional squares. The former festival and tournament square is now the venue for the summer civic festival, which always takes place in June and offers a colourful and extensive cultural programme.
Our Regensburg tip: Café Lila is also located directly on Haidplatz and also offers vegetarian or vegan alternatives for a short coffee break with cake.
We leave Haidplatz with its imposing patrician houses and gradually make our way back to the station. We follow Rote-Hahnen-Gasse to Gesandtenstraße and turn east. The narrow, winding streets of the old town hide many small and traditional shops that invite you to take a stroll. Before reaching Neupfarrplatz, take a look at Untere Bachgasse. There you will catch sight of the Golden Tower, a 50-metre-high patrician tower dating from the 13th century, from afar.
Via St.-Kassians-Platz and Fröhliche-Türken-Straße we return to St. Emmeram's Castle Park. We save the Emmeram Palace, which gives its name, for our next excursion to Regensburg. There is much to discover in the spacious rococo palace on the foundations of a Benedictine monastery. Through the palace gardens, past the Kepler Monument, we return to our starting point at the main railway station. On your journey home by train, you will have another opportunity to review the many impressions of Regensburg's sights - from the Roman camp walls to the masterpieces of medieval architecture.
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.