Bamberg is a truly picturesque town, and its famous 15th-century “Altes Rathaus” — or Old Town Hall — is one of the most photographed sites in Franconia, thanks to its unique location spanning the River Regnitz. Set amid seven hills, the entire Old Town of Bamberg was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, and today delights tourists with its medieval charm.
What We Love
Franconian Wines: Known locally as “Franken wine,” varietals produced in the region flow readily in Bamberg, as they do throughout much of Franconia. One of the best wines you’ve never heard of, “Fränkisch trocken” — Franken Dry — is ideal if Germany’s famously sweet Rieslings are too much for your palate.
Michaelsberg Abbey: Listed on maps as Michaelskirche, this former Benedictine monastery dating back to 1121 is worth a visit, if not for the imposing size of the structure itself, then for the spectacular views from its perch high above Bamberg.
Best Known For
Breweries and Taverns: Germany is known for its pub culture, but Bamberg takes things to an entirely new level. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to escape town without being lured onto one of the many patios that line the streets of Old Town by the promise of shade and a refreshing lager. Don’t order what you’d get at home; the local brews (Bamberg is known for its “rauchbier,” or smoke beer) are phenomenal.
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Who It's Best For
Everyone: Despite its small size, Bamberg offers something for everyone: a plethora of both high-end boutiques and tourist shops, a burgeoning local restaurant and tavern scene, a picturesque location, and an array of historic sites.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It’s Crowded: Particularly outside Old City Hall, where the hoards crossing the bridge that spans the River Regnitz can choke off pedestrian traffic on either side. If you have to meet your tour group to head back to the ship, give yourself plenty of time to navigate this area.
Aaron Saunders is a Calgary-based contributor to ShermansCruise.com.