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Bamberg

Can anyone who has been there comment on Bamberg? We are ending a river cruise in Nuremburg and want to stay someplace else for a two night stay before heading on to Munch for two nights. (We have been to Munich and Rothenburg ob der Tauber before , in 2006, the latter we felt as if we needed more time on our 2006 trip.) We really do have a sentimental attachment to Rothenburg so I was leaning toward a return visit there, but I am not sure. Bamberg was listed as a top place to visit in my 2006 Rough Guide to Germany. I know Rick does not cover it in his Germany book though and was wondering if folks here recommend it. It's always difficult to choose between places we have been and something new. There is a mix of old and new for us on this trip. I know a lot of people can't stand Rothenburg but we enjoyed it a lot during the short time we were there. (We also plan to linger in Nuremburg for the remainder of our disembarkation day before heading to the next stop, that was a city that we feel as if we shortchanged on our last trip too). Anyway, thoughts on whether Bamberg is strongly advised or missable would be much appreciated.

Posted by
4684 posts

Absolutely gorgeous town. It had the luck of having an architecturally-obssessed ruler in the 17th century who gave people a tax rebate if they built a baroque facade to their houses, then becoming a backwater by the 20th century so it didn't get fought over and hardly got bombed in either of the world wars. Some spectacular churches, and a beautiful and interesting town hall in the middle of a river. I would definitely suggest going.

Posted by
12040 posts

I've never been to Bamberg, but I've heard nothing but good things.

Regensburg is also a good option within an hour or so of Nürnberg. Particularly if your visit coincides with the wonderful Bürgerfest that they hold in early July.

"I know a lot of people can't stand Rothenburg" I don't think it's a matter of not being able to stand it, it's more a matter of objecting to it being promoted relentlessly as the end-all, be-all of preserved historic towns. I view it more of a nice place to visit when you're driving by anyway, not as a town to go far out of your way to see.

Posted by
5615 posts

"Can anyone who has been there comment on Bamberg? We are ending a river cruise in Nuremburg and want to stay someplace else for a two night stay before heading on to Munch for two nights."

The absence of any given place from Rick's books is hardly a black mark. Bamberg's a delight. A UNESCO World Heritage site as well: UNESCO listing

Nuremberg itself is an interesting place if you've only been to Munich and Rothenburg previously.

What you might do... Stay in Nuremberg. That makes your trip to Munich shorter and you aren't carting around your bags by train. Use Nuremberg as a base town for a visit to Bamberg (a direct train trip, 45 min.; IMO one day is adequate for Bamberg.) The 2nd day can be spent in Nuremberg - or you could day-trip to this little walled village with an emphasis on wine and art (it's also 45 min. by direct train from N'berg. See photos at link below.)
Iphofen

The daytrip by regional train to either Bamberg or Iphofen costs €17.50 round trip for two on a "Tagesticket Plus" daypass. Buy it at Nuremberg station from a "VGN" ticket machine. (If you buy it on a Saturday it's valid on Sunday too.)

Posted by
478 posts

Bamberg is charming. It was one of the stops on a guided tour of Germany/Austria. If you can find a local guide or organization that does walking tours of the town, I highly recommend it. The history was so interesting; I'm remembering the large bridge that I believe now houses the city hall (?). The cathedral is beautiful. During the holiday season churches, museums and other public places feature nativity scenes on display; it is called the 'Krippenweg'. I think there are about 30 of them. Even without the nativity scenes it's a lovely town to visit.

Posted by
1875 posts

We thought Bamberg was beautiful and enjoyed our day there. Very walkable town, impressive architecture, nice people. I believe they are noted for their smoked beer (?). It suffered very little damage in WWII so you are not looking at reconstructions. Likewise, Regensburg is also a lovely small town that can be easily visited from Nuremberg and also escaped war damage. Both towns are about one hour away by train, and there are great deals for twosomes riding German trains together. We ended up in Nuremberg last year for three unplanned days...no room in the inns in Munich ( the optometrists or opthamologists had a lock on every hotel room in the city). Planning vs winging it...another topic. I wasn't too happy to be in Nuremberg, but ended up liking it a lot. Albrecht Durer is the favorite son, and the Germanisches. Nationalmuseum was one of the best museums we've ever visited. Nuremberg also has many historic Nazi sights as well. At the end of it all, I liked our days in Nuremberg, Regensburg and Bamberg a lot more than the time we eventually spent in Munich, but YMMV. Safe travels!

Posted by
1878 posts

Many good suggestions here. Most of our trips have included one or two places not in Rick's books since we started using his guides in 2003. Obviously he can't cover everything that is worthy, especially for second trips, if he is going to do so with his customary (and much appreciated) depth. We did visit Nuremberg on our 2006 trip, it was as a day trip from Rothenburg. We drove to a park and ride and took the tram into the city - which worked great, since we had the rental car anyway. We saw the Documentation Center, parade grounds, and Germanisches Nationalmuseum. All were worthy visits, the lattermost is the one I would like to go back to on this trip because we only had an hour or so. It reminds me a lot of the Scottish history museum in Edinburgh, also a favorite. We did not even get to see the old town. On this trip I think we will have a guided tour of that including the castle, included with the river cruise. My plan was to stow our bags in a locker at the Nuremberg train station and explore that city the day we get off the cruise, then on to Rothenburg or Bamberg. We could do both as day trips if we stayed in Nuremberg, and that is worth considering. But from our 2006 trip we left feeling we had not quite done Rothenburg or Nuremberg justice. We spent only two nights in Rothenburg, arriving around 5pm on the first day, second day was out day trip to Nuremberg, and leaving at noon on the day of departure to head to Reutte. We could take some time from Munich to explore Nuremberg, but that too is difficult. But on the third hand, Bamberg does look great. Can I please have another day (story of my traveling life)?

Posted by
1371 posts

Bamberg is a beautiful town, even if you do not drink the smoked beer. The cathedral was really impressive to me. Plus, as mentioned, it was hardly damaged in WWII. We enjoyed the atmosphere in 2008 and are going back this spring with my brother and his wife for two days.

http://mcchelsea.smugmug.com/Germany-2008/Bamberg-2008/6785879_wz7Mrj

I will echo what Tom said that Regensburg is also a wonderful town to visit. We liked it a bit better than Bamberg. There are very similar in that one of their best sights is just to walk through the old town and enjoy the atmosphere. I do not think that you would regret either.

Posted by
252 posts

Bamberg is a delight and definitely worth a visit. We have been a couple of times and totally enjoyed both.

While you may not have time on this trip, I just wanted to second Russ's recommendation of Iphofen. We stayed in this little jewel a few years ago based on a recommendation from a travel blog. Small enough to walk around in but we used it as a base for a few day trips.

Posted by
13026 posts

True, Bamberg was spared the horrific destruction of the strategic bombing and the war....a very recommended city.

Posted by
877 posts

If you are thinking Iphofen then consider Prichsenstadt. Smaller than Iphofen but beautiful in Spring. Franken wine and Spargel (white asparagus) are great together. Volkach and the Main river are only about 5 miles away. Vogelsburg near Volkach has a great view of the vineyards.

Just south of Bamberg is Forchheim and you could continue east into the Franconian Switzerland (German: Fränkische Schweiz) which is a very picturesque area with many small towns with timber frame homes. The river valleys here make nice drives.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franconian_Switzerland