Bavaria in All its Glory
Bamberg is the epitome of everything Bavarian: half-timbered houses, medieval splendour and heavenly views. Due to its overwhelming beauty, it’s almost surreal to wander its cobbled streets and drink it all in.
Speaking of which, Bamberg has a surprising number of breweries and inns serving its signature Rauchbier. Most are dotted around the UNESCO World Heritage-listed, pedestrianised historic centre - once at the heart of the Holy Roman Empire. Emperor Henry II ordered construction of the 11th-century cathedral and is buried inside.
His empire’s prince-bishops had it good, and their former seats are scattered over the city. Their Old Palace courtyard has wooden balconies adorned with bright flowers. The New Residence is even grander, with opulent halls reflecting the rulers’ wealth. Michaelsberg Abbey – the bishops’ private monastery - is on one of Bamberg’s 7 hills, and on the highest is Altenburg Castle, another ruler’s abode.
The modern seat of power – the town hall – is the most incredible building of all. Spanning 2 bridges over the Regnitz River, it partly hangs above the fast-flowing water and is overlooked by the colourful Little Venice fishermen’s houses.
Booking.com’s Bamberg accommodation is as eclectic as the bishops’ residences, ranging from old town hotels to cheap apartments and guest houses near Maxplatz, home of the main Christmas market.