Bamberg is known as a “beer drinker’s Eden.” Despite being a small city, it is home to several breweries, some of which have connecting pubs. Try the local Rauchbier beer, which is characterized by its distinct smoky flavor, caused by the barley being dried over an open flame. You can watch the treatment of the barley at Schlenkerla and Spezial, two brewpubs in the city.
Bamberg as a whole is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. Walk around the historic Altstadt (downtown) where you will see a number of interesting architectural elements. Visit Neue Residenz, a 17th-century palace displaying Renaissance and Baroque styles of architecture.
Across from the palace, you will find Alte Hofhaltung, a Gothic and Renaissance style cathedral, housing gardens and a number of historic artifacts. From there, head to Kaiserdom, a 13th-century Gothic and Romanesque structure, which illustrates examples of medieval religious art including the Bamberger Reiter, a sculpture of an unknown horse and rider.
Watch classic concerts during the summer months at the Sinfonie an der Regnitz. Or for a variety of live entertainment, try E.T.A. Hoffmann Theater, which runs everything from classic plays to modern musicals. A number of cozier theaters and stages put on more diverse but smaller performances like flamenco and live jazz. During the summer, there are a number of festivals held in the city, such as the six-day Sandkerwa in August, featuring folk displays, food, and beer.
Check out the shopping district, located around the Kaiserdom, where you can pick up local souvenirs. A variety of stores sell artwork, ceramics, cups, vases and antique watches, clocks and jewelry.
The city is located in Upper Franconia in Bavaria amid seven hills. The geography of the city is similar to Rome, and Bamberg is often called the “Franconian Rome.” Trains serve Bamberg, making for easy access to nearby cities, including express trains to major cities such as Berlin and Munich. Buses serve the city, connecting outlying quarters and some surrounding villages with downtown Bamberg.