If you’re after an authentic Bavarian getaway while visiting the south of Germany you can’t really look past Regensburg. It really offers the perfect combination of nature, fun activities and history. Located between Nurnberg & Munich, the town is split in two by the Danube River. Getting here is easy by car from Nurnberg (1:15 hours) or Munich (2:30 hours) or there are regular train services from both cities to Regensburg.
The city dates all the way back to the Roman Empire so there is no shortage history here. A short walk around the city will certainly highlight that. You can see St Peter’s Cathedral from miles around and the city is filled with beautiful architecture.
Visiting the Cathedral is a ‘must do’ whilst in the city. Construction started in the 12th century and it was finished until 1520. It backs onto the main square of the city and casts an impressive shadow. Heading inside is equally rewarding. It will take 15-20 minutes to explore the inside and check out the catacombs below. Photos are allowed, so snap away.
Aside from the Cathedral, Regensburg is full of historical sites. Many of the houses in the old part of the city date back to medieval times and have been well preserved. The aptly named Old Stone Bridge provides unbroken panoramic views of the town and the river, be sure to stop by here to get some amazing photos. It is especially picturesque in the early morning or at sunset.
We visited during the summer months which allowed us to do plenty of hiking in the ‘Bayerischer Wald’ (the Bavarian forest, the largest protected forest in Europe). Exploring the nature aspect of the region was certainly enjoyable but if you are visiting in winter then there are plenty of activities for you.
If you are visiting in summer, don’t forget your swimwear. The Danube River provides a perfect swimming spot amongst the trees. The river moves slowly so feel free to float away downstream and take in the sites as you go, just remember you have to walk back eventually!
The food scene here is great. There is a huge variety of places to choose from, cafes line the roadside. We thought the food was great and did our best to try out all the ice creameries in town, no complaints at all. If you are stuck for a meal in the evening, we thoroughly enjoyed eating at Namaste Indian Restaurant during our stay. The food was excellent and very well priced. Just don’t make the mistake we did and try the extra hot (‘scharf’ in German) naan bread – it was too authentic for my western tastebuds.
Regensburg offers one of Germany’s best Christmas Markets (Weihnachtsmarkt). No one celebrates Christmas better than the Germans and from late November to Christmas eve you can enjoy mulled wine (Gluhwein) and bratwurst while the snow falls. The Christmas markets is not all just about delicious hot food & drinks, there are heaps of stalls selling knitted winter wear, handmade Christmas decorations and everything in between.
Additionally, the cold winter allows visitors to try ice skating on the many frozen lakes or skiing if you are prepared to travel out of town.
Ultimately, Regensburg is a beautiful city that operates at a very relaxed pace. If you are looking to wind down and take things slowly then this would be ideal for you. Enjoy the dining and taking in the sights. We loved it here and walking around with our camera all day was a pleasure.
For those who are interested in an action packed getaway, this probably isn’t the place for you.