One day in Bamberg

How we spent one day in Bamberg

Last Updated on April 10, 2024 by Ingrid & Alex

When our baby was less than a year old, the first adventure we embarked on as parents was a months-long exploratory trip to Germany. One of our bases of operations was near Bamberg. Thus, we visited the city several times and perfected our one-day itinerary.

We were pleasantly surprised to discover a hidden gem that should not be missed, especially if you love history and nature.

Join us on a stroll along the colorful streets of Bamberg, and let’s discover the city’s secrets together.

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One day in Bamberg itinerary + Our experience

one day Bamberg itinerary
One day in Bamberg itinerary – click on the map to open it in Google Maps

To help you visualize the itinerary, we have mapped the route to the essential attractions in town. The itinerary can be done by foot. Even Bamberg Castle is within walking distance, although it involves a bit of a climb (it is not listed on the above map).

Please note that we took the “Tiefgarage Geyerswörth City-Altstadt Tiefgarage” as a starting point because that’s where we usually parked our car.

It is across the street from the Old Town Center and next to the Tourist Information Point. Even though we traveled during June and July, we never had any issues finding an available parking space.

Alternatively, if you are arriving by train, Bamberg’s main Train Station (96052 Bamberg, Germany) is also within walking distance of the city center.

Bamberg Altes Rathaus
Bamberg Altes Rathaus / Ingrid

Since we stayed in the nearby countryside, we occasionally felt like having a coffee in the city or simply strolling along Bamberg’s crowded streets. While the city is not very large, it has plenty of places to see and discover.

Geyerswörthsteg

Geyerswörthsteg Bamberg
Geyerswörthsteg / Ingrid

We would usually begin our stroll by crossing the Geyerswörthsteg bridge, one of the main belvedere points in town, set right next to the Residenzschloss Geyerswörth. From the picturesque wooden bridge, you get one of the best views over the famous Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall).

As you cross it, you can hear nothing but the bubbly water despite the bridge’s location in the city’s heart. If you are a photography lover, don’t miss this spot.

Altes Rathaus

Altes Rathaus, Bamberg
Altes Rathaus, Bamberg / Ingrid

The city’s most famous building, the Altes Rathaus, or Old Town Hall, has a beguiling story showing how resourceful German people are.

According to the legend, the local Bishop refused to grant the citizens any land on which they could build the town hall.

However, this did not stop them. The Bambergers built the Altes Rathaus on the river instead of on land.

Today, you cannot help but be impressed by the building’s beauty. As we crossed through the gate, we were mesmerized by the frescoes, which added to its allure.

Extra stop: have a coffee or do some shopping on the street leading to the bridge

eis caffee in Bamberg
Eis Caffe, Cafe del Corso / Bamberg

On one of the occasions when we spent one day in Bamberg, we stopped for an eis coffee at the famous Cafe del Corso. This is a simple way to enjoy a dessert and a shot of caffeine.

If you prefer to shop, there are a few nice stores right next to the bridge.

Bamberg Old Town

When we first visited in the second part of June, the city was blooming. Simply strolling through the streets of Old Town was enjoyable.

We admired old and colorful buildings, charming bakeries and restaurants, and all the other people enjoying the Bavarian sun.

It is also worth noting that UNESCO inscribed Bamberg as a World Heritage site in 1993. That is mainly because of its well-preserved historical old town, that transports you to medieval times.  

Bamberg Cathedral

Bamberg Cathedral
Bamberg Cathedral / Ingrid

Our one-day itinerary usually involved climbing the hill to the Bamberg Cathedral (Bamberger Dom). The imposing structure was built in 1002 AD by Holy Roman Emperor Henry II.

Today, you can find the tomb of Henry II and his spouse, Cunigunde, inside the Bamberg Cathedral. Moreover, the tomb of Pope Clement II, the only papal grave in Germany, is here.

These are only a few of the reasons why you should not skip a visit to the Bamberg Cathedral.

Historical Museum Bamberg & the Old Court

Old Court & Historical Museum
Historical Museum & Old Court / Ingrid

No visitor to Bamberg for one day should skip the Historical Museum and the Old Court. Its collection of historical objects, most donated by Vicar Joseph Hemmerlein, would thrill any art and history lover.

Since you are here, don’t skip the Old Court. We passed it several times and always stopped to admire its beauty. Because of its location next to the Cathedral, the building was used as the bishop’s residence after the diocese’s foundation in 1007 AD.

The current form of the Old Court dates from the 16th century and has a unique architecture.

Neue Residenz Bamberg & the Rose Garden

If you only see one thing in Bamberg, that should be the New Residence. The building struck us with its imposing structure across the street from the Cathedral.

Firstly, the bishop’s former residence is a big museum where you can see masterpieces of furniture design, painting, sculpture, and textile art.

Visit the countless rooms, the Imperial Hall, the State Gallery, and the three state apartments where the Prince Bishop used to stay.

Bamberg Rose Garden
Bamberg Rose Garden / Ingrid

Secondly, the hidden gem you don’t have to pay for is its stunning Rose Garden.

As we wandered through the hallway toward the interior garden, I noticed the wall lined with red roses—a harbinger of what was to come. Stepping inside the garden left us in awe—not even one person entered without exclaiming, “WOW!”

View from the New Residence Rose Garden
View from the New Residence Rose Garden / Ingrid

We liked the view from the terrace overlooking the town. However, the garden’s beauty impressed us: many different kinds of roses, statues, and a small fountain in the center.

Moreover, if you are thirsty at this point, you can stop and have a drink at the small cafe set between the roses. On a hot July day, we grabbed some drinks and listened to the bubbly fountain while admiring the roses in bloom.

Klein Venedig (Little Venice)

After we visited the New Residence, we would descend toward the canal. Strolling around would allow us to see many beautiful houses covered with flowers in bloom.

We’ve seen many Little Venices throughout the years and visited the real one in Italy, too. Still, strolling along the canals in Bamberg was charming. Even though they call it Klein Venedig, it made me think more of Amsterdam or Colmar.

The canal is magical, akin to a place conjured by a storyteller of old. We almost expected a leprechaun or a hobbit to appear from one of the colorful houses.

We later learned that the wooden buildings that line the canal were built in the Middle Ages. A cruise or walking tour is another great way to admire them and learn about the city’s past.

Moreover, when we went further up the canal, we saw gondolas taking people on small cruises. It is almost like Venice but without the crowds.

The other side of Little Venice Street hosts some of the best cafes in town. The high density of specialty coffee vendors is probably due to the street’s proximity to the university. All those long study nights…or were they party nights? I am too old to remember my uni days:)

Back to the present, we grabbed a coffee and stayed on the river bank, deciding whether to go on a cruise with our small baby.

We eventually decided against the boat trip – Iris would probably get bored and ruin the trip for all the other tourists – but perhaps you should try it!

Altenburg Castle

Altenburg Castle, Bamberg
Altenburg Castle / Ingrid

While getting to the Bamberg Castle is not “a walk in the park” since it involves some hiking, it is all worth it once you are there.

Getting to Bamberg Castle

Since we traveled by car, we drove there and parked at the Parkplatz Altenburg. However, from the parking space, there is still a hike through a small forest.

If you are not traveling by car, you can walk from the city center (roughly 40 minutes) or take a bus and hike. Three buses leave from near the Altes Rathaus.

bus from Altes Rathaus to Bamberg Castle
Bus from Altes Rathaus to Bamberg Castle

As you can see, even taking the bus will require walking and hiking. Unfortunately, no better option exists, and no bus will bring you closer to the castle.

Even though the castle was not inhabited during its heyday but was only used for defense in times of danger, it is still impressive.

Furthermore, due to its location on one of the region’s seven hills, it offers a stunning view.

We haven’t been inside the castle but have only visited its gardens and walls. Also, there is a restaurant in the garden (the Hoffmannsklause). Unfortunately, it was closed during our visit.

The entrance to the garden and the walls was free, so it was a good escape outside the city center. However, if you would like to climb the tower, expect a small fee (1 EUR).

You can only visit the interior of the castle by booking an organized tour. The price is reasonable compared to other tours, but as far as I can see, the tour is only available in German.

Other places worth seeing in Bamberg

Badeeinstieg

Since we visited on several occasions, on a hot weekend, we ended up at the Badeeinstieg. These are the “public baths,” where people come for a swim in the river.

We enjoyed the vibe, how relaxed everyone was, and how kids would play and have fun with the ducks and their grandparents at the river.

Don Bosco Fähre

A small and picturesque ferry that links the Schleuse bank to the Stephansberg.

International Artists Villa Concordia

We noticed this beautiful baroque building as we strolled along the river. Later, I learned that Villa Concordia is a hub for creating fresh literature, visual arts, and music. It’s a space where artists from diverse backgrounds convene, share thoughts, and occasionally collaborate on projects.

Even though it is not an attraction that can be visited, the Villa is worth admiring from the other side of the river.

How to get to Bamberg

We drove to the city from the suburban village we were staying in, which was less than 30 minutes away.

However, another easy way to travel to Bamberg is by train. The city is linked to many important German towns in Bavaria and other regions.

For example, you can take the fast train from Munich and get to Bamberg in less than 2 hours. Also, the train ride from Frankfurt is a little over 2 hours long, and Wurzburg is less than 1 hour away.

Getting around the city

Even with a small baby, we found it easy to walk around. The city is not that large, and most of the main attractions are within walking distance of one another.

We hope you’ll enjoy your one day in Bamberg when the time comes.

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