Immerse yourself in the magic and fascination of the world heritage site!
Experience great events of history, discover a city with a character, and feel the magic of Bamberg. The medieval flair in the narrow alleyways makes 1,000 years of history come to life. But historians are not the only ones who are fascinated by the marvellously preserved buildings from different architectural eras - renaissance, baroque and rococo. UNESCO recognised the uniqueness of Bamberg and declared the whole historic centre a world heritage site. Discover the joys of "Franconian Rome" and its seven hills on your own, with your partner, your family or friends and be enchanted by its thrilling stories.
Leisure activities at the Youth Hostel
The completely intact historic city centre is something unique to Bamberg, and it makes for a very special attraction. The numerous museums and guided tours invite visitors to learn more about the city. A visit to the atmospheric beer cellars or typically Franconian restaurants is also something you shouldn't miss!
There is plenty to do for our younger guests, too. This is the place for putting together a cheerful programme to please children and youngsters.
Some ideas on how to discover Bamberg:
May we invite all our guests who are looking for a bit of action to the leisure room to play table tennis, table football or billiard! You will find a TV set and PC in our lounge, the ideal place for a long night of watching films or just sitting together - and if the weather is right, you can sit on our veranda with a view to the cathedral. Outside, there are even more opportunities to play table tennis, relax or enjoy a cup of coffee.
Leisure activities in the area
Churches in Bamberg
With its countless churches, Bamberg has a wealth of historic and religious buildings that hardly another city can compare with. The first church worth mentioning is, needless to say, Bamberg cathedral. It is regarded as the hallmark of Bamberg , and celebrated its 1,000th anniversary in May 2012 (1012 - 2012). Its founders, Emperor Heinrich II and Empress Kunigunde, are buried here. It is also home of a stone equestrian statue of an unknown rider from the 13th century.
Michelsberg Abbey is thought to have been built in 1015, and is particularly famous for its impressive staircase - a reason why many couples decide to get married in its church. Moreover, a legend says that sore backs will stop aching if you pass below the grave of Bishop Otto the Holy. The "Our Lady" parish church, St. Jacob's church, St. Stephen's church and the Carmelite convent are other well-known and important churches in Bamberg.
Historic buildings, palaces and castles
Altenburg is a medieval castle with a spectacular view of Bamberg and its surroundings. It is easily reached on foot from our Hostel. While the compound used to house brown bears in the old days, the only bear visitors get to see these days is "Poldi", the stuffed bear.
The "Neue Residenz" on Domplatz square was the residence of Bamberg's prince-bishops until the 19th century. Even today, it is an extraordinarily impressive building with over 40 state rooms with stucco ceilings, and furniture and carpets from the 17th century.
Another special symbol of Bamberg is the old town hall, located on a bridge over the middle of the river Regnitz, which used to be the border between the civic city centre and the episcopal hill. This way, the old town hall was built neither on the secular nor the clerical side of Bamberg, avoiding potential conflicts.
The diocesam museum shows visitors a vivid picture of the history of Bamberg cathedral and its founders, the Emperor Heinrich II and Empress Kunigunde. A special highlight at the museum: the special exhibition on the occasion of the 1,000th anniversary of the imperial cathedral.
Besides its impressive collection of paintings, the historic museum also hosts an award-winning gallery that focuses on the history of Bamberg.
The museum also has a special programme for kids: with free "researcher forms", the young explorers can go on tour in the exhibition.
The museum of natural science tells the story of how the earth came to be and how it developed, in a way that is both appealing to children and highly informative. The "Bird room" is the central room of the museum. Here, you can see domestic and exotic birds, but also vertebrates and minerals.
The Villa Dessauer city gallery has hosted changing exhibitions of modern art all year round since 1987. Currently, works by Dali, Miro and Chagall are on show there together with paintings by Hundertwasser and Picasso.
The historic city centre has been a UNESCO world heritage site for almost 30 years. Discover it on your own or by joining one of the many guided tours. Apart from guided bike tours or night-time city walks, there are special tours for families with children or anyone else who would like to join: the "Sams" (English name: Slurb) tours, which take you to the locations in which the "Sams" film was shot and other points of interest.
A romantic and more unusual way of discovering Bamberg from a different perspective is the Venetian gondola which the gondoliere takes up and down the Regnitz in true Venetian style. You will not get a better view of Bamberg's old fishermen's houses anywhwere else, which are lovingly referred to as "Little Venice".
Eating and drinking in Bamberg
Austrasse's many little cafés and shops are particularly inviting for a leisurely stroll. Other cafés we recommend are the Café am Kranen or Villa Remeis. For "Kaffe und Kuchen" - cake and coffee - and a spectacular view, the Café im Rosengarten in the Neue Residenz, just beside the cathedral, is the best tip.
And of course, Bamberg is the "secret" capital of beer. Apart from the wide variety of typical Bamberg brews, such as the Schlenkerla smoked beer, the Fässla lager and many more, the idyllic beer caves have left their mark on the city. The Wilde Rose beer cellar, only 600 metres away from the Hostel, Greifenklau brewery, 750 metres away, or the Spezialkeller, 700 metres away from the Hostel, all offer magnificent views. The Spezialkeller is famous for its typical smoked beer, and is the most popular cellar, visited by tourists and locals alike.
More information on the culinary delights of Bamberg is included in the 2012 "Erlebnisführer", which you can obtain from us free of charge when you arrive.
The newly opened Bambados water park is a fun way to spend the day for visitors of any age. Apart from the usual swimming and paddling pools, the indoor and outdoor pool offers a big fun area with a wild water slide and a relaxation area that is also where you will find the highlight of the water park: the rooftop outdoor pool with underwater lighting.
And the high-ropes garden, only 500 metres away from the Youth Hostel, provides entertainment and adventure for everyone in the family! You can prove your skills in heights of up to 12 metres while strengthening the team spirit of your group at the same time.
For winding down, go to Stadtpark Hain, an large park in the south of Bamberg. There are plenty of family-friendly leisure activities on offer right here, too. Apart from the big adventure playground and the Hainbad pool and a bathing beach on the Regnitz river bank, there is a mini golf course and you can rent pedal boats or canoes.
Folk festivals and cultural events
"Sandkerwa" (or Sandkirchweih) is a traditional and very well-known folk festival that takes place each year in August in the historic city centre - to be more precise, round about Sandstrasse. It attracts 300,000 visitors every year, which makes Sandkerwa one of the biggest folk festivals in Bavaria.
The "Zwiebeltreterfest" (onion treader festival) takes place in Bamberg every year in September. There is live music, traditional dishes with onions plus many other attractions for visitors of all ages.
Once a year, Bamberg enchants tourists and locals alike. On the third weekend in July, magicians, jugglers and other street artists populate Bamberg's city centre.
And every year in December, there is a Christmas market. The stands have the typical Christmas feel and are designed as a 'nativity village' with over 40 stations along the 'nativity walk', offering typical Christmas delights such as mulled wine with and without alcohol and a huge variety of sweets. All together, there are about 400 nativity sets distributed across the city.
Outings and excursions
Bamberg is not only surrounded by big cities such as Erlangen, Nuremberg and Würzburg, but also by a varied landscape that is unique in Germany.
Discover nature in Franconian Switzerland
Franconian Switzerland offers over 4,600 km of hiking routes, ideal conditions for long tours. There are special offers for tours without luggage, tours garnished with a bit of culture or tours that are accompanied by a guide, all of which can be booked at the Hostel.
Of course you can also go on a discovery tour of the region around Bamberg by bike. The well-maintained cycling routes - particularly those around Ebermannstadt - are ideal for cycling tours even with smaller children. Another little highlight: along the route from Ebermannstadt, there are plenty of playgrounds to stop at.
With over 6,500 different climbing routes, Franconian Switzerland also tops the list of climbing regions. No other area has such a variety of climbing routes to offer as the southern Franconian Jura.
Kletterwald Pottenstein is a climbing park that offers courses with varying degrees of difficulty for different age groups. The park is open in every weather except storms or thunderstorms.
The Frankenjura climbing school has climbing tours for all ages, for beginners, experienced climbers and pros.
Caving enthusiasts will also find a fantastic playing field in Franconian Switzerland. Environmental influences created caves that were discovered and opened to the public about 200 years ago - let yourself be enchanted! The "devil's cave" - Teufelshöhle - near Pottenstein, Sophienhöhle near Rabenstein castle and Binghöhle near Streitberg are the three largest caves. Because of the geological conditions in the region, each is different, unique and fascinating. Apart from the various show caves, there are also tips for hiking tours to caves that you can explore. However, please bear in mind the opening times. The caves are open from the beginning of April to the beginning of November. More information is available at the Hostel or on Franconian Switzerland's homepage.
A small guide to the musuems
The Palatinate museum in Forchheim hosts the archaeology museum, in addition to a number of late gothic murals.
Visitors learn about the significant pre-historic finds in upper Franconia. In addition, the Palatinate museum hosts the museum of city history and a museum of traditional costumes.
The museum of Franconian Switzerland in Tüchersfeld is one of the museums in Franconia that is particularly worth seeing with its large collections. It presents information on all aspects of the region and its landscapes by means of archaeological finds, and reconstructed residential rooms and workshops reflect the living conditions of the time.
The Levi Strauss museum in Buttenheim tells the story of Löb Strauss - who later called himself Levi, and who was born in Franconia. He later emigrated to the United States and designed the probably most famous piece of clothing ever: jeans.
Adventure and discoveries
There is so much to discover for guests of every age along the "adventure mile" (Erlebnismeile) in Pottenstein. Climbers can prove their abilities in the climbing forest. And then you can relax after all that effort in the Felsenbad pool and Juramar water park. The more courageous ones can try the summer toboggan run in the Toboggan Mekka.
From medieval games to cowboy shows, animal encounters and a wild water ride: Schloss Thurn leisure park will make every day a special event. It is located between Bamberg and Nuremberg and open from April to October.
The Franconian Wonderland in Plech enchants all its visitors - not only those shorter than 1 metre, who have free entry, but also their parents and people going along with them. The fairy tale forest, like Schloss Thurn, is open from April to October.