Practical 3-Day Bamberg Itinerary: Weekend in Upper Franconia, Germany

Bamberg is a pretty beautiful town in upper Franconia, and this 3-day Bamberg itinerary covers the three most prettiest places in the area. Built on seven hills, the Bavarian city of Bamberg offers picturesque charm. Coburg, situated nearby and inhabited by Franconians, not Bavarians, served as the seat of dukes and a gathering place for high nobility. Notable highlights in Coburg include the market square and the residential castle. On our return journey to Frankfurt, we made a stop in Würzburg to explore the renowned Bavarian State Winery.

Our trip took place in late autumn, with crisp air and clear skies setting the scene. While the weather was ideal for photography, certain maintenance activities prevented us from capturing some iconic sights. Nevertheless, the beauty of the places we did explore left us truly amazed during our brief visit.

Schlossplatz in Coburg Germany
Schlossplatz in Coburg Germany

The detail of 3-Day Bamberg Itinerary is as follow:

1st Day: Bamberg

  • St. Michael Monastery in the fog
  • Bamberg Cathedral hill
  • Lunch at the historical centre, the Little Venice
  • Altenburg castle 

2ed Day: Coburg

  • Breakfast in the restaurant
  • Market square
  • Coburg fortress (Veste Coburg)

3rd Day: Würzburg (Bavarian State Winery)

1st Day: Bamberg

St. Michael Monastery in the fog

In the morning, we ascended the hill to St. Michael Monastery. The thick fog obscured the expected view of the old town.

Bamberg Cathedral hill

So, we strolled towards Bamberg Cathedral. The Imperial Cathedral, with four spires atop one of Bamberg’s seven hills, is a sight to see. If you’ve visited Germany before, it’s not uncommon to encounter a sight under renovation. This time, the Bamberg Cathedral was undergoing maintenance. Unable to capture photos, we moved on to explore the Old Imperial Court and Bamberg State Library.

Little Venice in Bamberg, Germany
Little Venice in Bamberg, Germany

Lunch at the historical centre, the Little Venice

Around lunchtime, we found ourselves back in the pedestrian zone surrounding the Old Town Hall, an iconic sight in Bamberg and a popular tourist spot on the charming island district, often referred to as Little Venice. This area is dotted with numerous restaurants and bars offering delicious Franconian cuisine and smoked beer.

Choosing a classic Franconian dish, we ordered a platter featuring five types of sausages accompanied by a generous serving of Sauerkraut. However, my excitement waned a bit as the famous Blue Sausage wasn’t part of the selection.

Later, I discovered that the Franconian specialty, Blue Sausages, are typically prepared in wine vinegar, and they are offered as a separate meal. Determined to taste them, I successfully placed an order at the Schlenkerla restaurant for dinner.

Altenburg castle 

In the late afternoon, we visited Altenburg Castle, situated atop Bamberg’s highest hill. From the terrace, we relished a panoramic view of the town and the surrounding region.

St. Michael Monastery in the Morning Fog
Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) in Bamberg
Entrance to the Altenburg castle near Bamberg

2ed Day: Coburg

Breakfast in the restaurant

Typically, eateries and pubs in Coburg provide a range of breakfast options. Following a morning meal at a restaurant near the main parking area, we made our way to the market square. However, due to the farmer’s market, our view was mostly filled with local food vendors, making it challenging to appreciate the historic buildings in the vicinity.

Market square

Numerous historical buildings surround the market square, extending into adjacent side streets. Exploring one of these side streets led us to the castle square, where an impressive sight awaited – not a soul in sight. The castle square made a striking impression! On one side, the State Theatre (Landestheater) and Edinburgh Palace rose imposingly, while on the other side, Ehrenburg Palace showcased its magnificent neo-Gothic sandstone facade.

Coburg fortress (Veste Coburg)

Our standout moment was a brief stroll up to Coburg Fortress (Veste Coburg). In the deep afternoon of autumn, the sunlight cast a soft and warm glow. Following a short walk, we found ourselves shedding jackets and taking a break to catch our breath. The pathway was adorned with vibrant foliage, reflecting the golden sunlight—a quintessential autumn scene!

Market Square in Coburg
Schlossplatz in Coburg Germany
Market Square in Coburg
Schlossplatz in Coburg Germany
Schlossplatz in Coburg Germany
Coburg fortress (Veste Coburg), Germany
Coburg fortress (Veste Coburg), Germany

3rd Day: Würzburg

Würzburg made its way into the Bamberg Itinerary as it lay on our route back to Frankfurt. Given our limited time, we took a short visit and chose to explore the Bavarian State Winery during our short stay.

Located just beneath the Würzburg Residence, the Hofkeller (the Court Cellar of the former Prince Bishop, now the Royal Bavarian Court Cellar) is a sprawling cellar spanning 4,557 m². Despite Bavaria’s beer renown, the region boasts an outstanding wine cellar with a history spanning over eight centuries. Intrigued by this, we embarked on a 45-minute Hofkeller cellar tour. During the wine-tasting session, I enjoyed a glass of wine without considering my empty stomach, leaving me a bit dizzy afterward. In haste, we headed to the town centre in search of food.

After indulging in two days of Franconian cuisine, we craved a change. However, the decision proved challenging, as most eateries offered local fare. Eventually, we ventured into a quaint backstreet and stumbled upon an Italian restaurant offering a daily special of mussels and French fries. Intrigued by the menu, we ordered for the seafood plate and salmon pasta, both reasonably priced.

Hofkeller in Würzburg, Bavarian State Winery (Staatlicher Hofkeller Würzburg)
Coburg fortress (Veste Coburg), Germany

Travel tips for Bamberg Itinerary

Where to stay in Bamberg

There are a few charming hotels nestled in the heart of the old town. Check them out below.

How to get there

Getting to Bamberg from Frankfurt, Munich, or Nürnberg is convenient with various transportation options. For detailed information, please refer to the details provided here.

Travel tips for your Bamberg Itinerary

  • Make sure to indulge in four local delights while in Bamberg: Blue Sausage, Smoked Beer, Bamberger Hörnla, and Schäuferla.
  • Evenings in Bamberg’s old quarter are bustling, especially around the renowned Schlenkerla restaurant. Locals gather with mugs of smoked beer, and getting a seat inside requires dining for dinner.
  •  Don’t be surprised if you end up sharing a table; it’s a common practice in Bavaria. table.  
  • While many Bamberg restaurants offer breakfast menus with attractive layouts, the portions can be rather modest. We tried two different places on consecutive days, and despite having set menus, we still found ourselves hungry afterward. 

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