Berlin, Munich and even Frankfurt are likely to be the first destinations that spring to mind when it comes to travelling to Germany but it’s time to widen your Deutsch horizons.
We’re giving a shout-out to Bamberg. If you haven’t heard of this picture-perfect town, you can locate it on a map just below the sign for Germany, above Nuremberg and kind of to the right of Frankfurt.
It’s often overlooked for those better-known cities, but it offers a more quintessential German experience – think cobbled streets, towering timber-clad towers and of course, plenty of bier.
Here are three top reasons it’s worthy of a detour.
You can step back into medieval times
Bamberg is often described as the “Rome of Germany”, thanks to the many impressive buildings spotted throughout that hail from the 11th century when Roman Emperors ruled the land.
Your itinerary should include a visit to the UNESCO heritage building that is Bamberg Cathedral, a stunning slice of medieval architecture that can be seen from many points throughout the city.
The Altes Rathaus, Bamberg’s Town Hall, appears to float above the River Regnitz and boasts a history marred by controversy so is also an interesting tour.
And for a true fairytale experience head to the Neue Residenz, the largest palace in the city.
It’s home to a special type of tipple
After taking in the stunning sights of the Bamberg Cathedral, it’s time to venture downstairs and enter the subterranean world of schlenkerla, also known as smoked beer.
Right below the grounds of the cathedral is the unique smoked-beer brewery, Schlenkerla Smokebeer, which has been pouring since 1405.
You can enjoy the beer, still tapped directly from a wooden barrel according to old tradition, from the upstairs brewpub. Pair it with some traditional German fare, like the pork-stuffed roasted onions.
There’s folk festivals galore
Aside from beer, the Bavarian region of Germany is also renowned for a wealth of folk festivals that offer up (more) beer, traditional delicacies and the locals’ famous celebratory nature.
One of the largest is Sandkerwa Festival, and when it’s hosted in Bamberg each August the city truly comes alive.
The streets are filled with endless stands selling beer and bread (to soak up the alcohol, of course!), and the air is rich with sing-song music, so pack your dancing shoes.
If the sound of a German beer that’s practically liquid bacon caught your attention, check out the BWS World’s Biggest Beer Run. Together with actor and influencer, Tai Hara, they visited one of Bamberg’s most iconic breweries. Watch the video above for your shot at winning a six-pack of beers you can’t find here in Australia.