My best friend keeps telling me that I need to go Bamberg … and that I will immediately fall in love with its beautiful well preserved old town displaying charming arched bridges and pretty houses from the 11th to the 19th century. Large parts of this old town have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Oh well, I’m pretty sure I will. Go to Bamberg soon to feast my eyes and soul, that is. And also fall in love with the city.
Until then I’m more than happy to dream about the city by reading Laura Neundörfer’s insights and recommendations. Laura is a young local, a vivid and beautiful student who kindly agreed to share her insider tips with us. By the way, I will definitely give the smoke beer a try.
How long have you been living in Bamberg?
I was born in Bamberg so I’ve been living there for 20 years now.
What’s unique about the city?
Bamberg is such a charming city. Every time you walk through the historic center you feel that there is something like charisma in the air. Also, the old redbrick houses and the scenery around the town hall tell their own story.
Which 3 words best describe the city?
Spontaneous, familiar, charming
If Bamberg was a person, what would be its main characteristic?
Bamberg is like a sweet-tempered mother who welcomes you with open arms, to whom you can return every time when you’re feeling bad and want to fill up your energy levels or just be in good society.
How do people react when you tell them you’re from Bamberg?
“Oooh, that’s so nice. I heard Bamberg is beautiful!” And every time one of the first things is: “There’s good beer and a great basketball team!”
What is your insider tip, what shouldn’t people miss when in town?
Go to the brewery Schlenkerla and try the Smoked Beer. There are two types of people: The ones who love it and the ones who hate it. Make up your own mind! After that, you can continue to the “Sandstraße”, which is the place to be in the late evenings or at night because of all its bars and pubs for people of all ages.
Despite that, a walk along the footpath next to the Regnitz or the “Hain” area is always a good choice to spend some time outside. And a must-do is visiting “Little Venice”. You would be surprised how similar it is to the Italian role-model.
What’s the most common prejudice about the city? (And is there some truth to it?)
The most common prejudice is: There’s the best beer of the world made in Bamberg.
Yes, that’s true. You can choose between 11 family-operated breweries in the heart of the city and 60 others in the localities around the city.
What pitfalls should people avoid when interacting with the locals?
Nothing special. People of Bamberg are the same as any other Germans.
Walk through the streets with a smile and everything will be perfect.
What’s your favorite spot in Bamberg? Why?
There’s one bridge at the town hall and when the sun is shining a lot of people, especially students, are sitting there, drinking a cup of coffee (or bottle of beer) and talking, laughing, and enjoying the great weather. I love being there. Just sitting in the sun, relaxing, and watching people who pass the bridge. And of course, you meet a lot of friends because e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e is there.
Do you have a recommendation for a great vegan spot to eat?
There’s one restaurant called Kornblume.
Any recommendation for sustainable shopping?
A great shop – and great idea: A little store called Unverpackt where you can buy food without any plastic and other packaging. Either you bring your own packaging or you buy containers there.
What’s the best place to enjoy a sundowner?
Go on the “Kettenbrücke” and turn to the side you prefer, there you can watch the sun going down over the Regnitz. Also, a lot of lockers hang there on the handrail to show the love of many couples – making the scenery perfect.
What’s not worth doing or visiting?
You don’t have to do a guided tour through Bamberg. Just get informed on the internet or through guidebooks and talk to people in your environment or owners of a public house.
What’s the best way to find out more about the city?
Just go to the city center and let yourself float around.
Is there a book that can convey the spirit of the city?
There’s one funny book called “Resturlaub” which plays in Bamberg, which is absolutely worth reading.
What’s the best season for a visit?
Any season is a good season for visiting Bamberg, but especially at sunny, warm days the time in Bamberg is unforgettable and you can do more activities outside.
If you had a magic wand what would you change about the city?
I would remove all the parking signs so that you can park for free everywhere.
Any other suggestions for visitors?
Sometimes there are little tours for interested people in the late evening until night, which are very special. A man dressed like a knight leads you through the history of Bamberg. Every time a great adventure, also for locals.
What are the places where it’s most likely to meet you?
On summer days I often sit on the bridge at the town hall or on a grassy place near the water, hanging out with friends and enjoying life.