A perfect day in Regensburg

Bavaria has quite a few attractive cities and towns that escaped destruction during World War II, but their charm and history are often overlooked by visitors focused on Munich, beer gardens and the mountains. Regensburg is one of these overlooked gems; case in point, I’ve lived in Bavaria for almost 10 years now, and only recently did I finally visit for the first time! Shame on me for that because it’s both lovely and very interesting. Oh, and its Old Town has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2006!

Regensburg is a great day trip from Munich; trains depart regularly from Munich’s Hauptbahnhof and take less than 90 minutes to make the journey. It’s also a great base for further exploration of the pretty Bavarian forest and other east-central Bavarian cities such as Nuremburg and Passau.

So, here’s my guide for how to spend a perfect day in Regensburg!

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There's a walking/cycling path along the Danube leading into the old town
The Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall)
There are many pretty little treelined squares, like this one

The old part of the city is small and easily walkable. The Town Hall square (Rathausplatz) is a great place to start because it’s where you’ll find the Tourist Information Center.  Secret tip: it’s also where a great audio tour produced by Lauschtour begins. Available on Google Play or Apple App Store in both English and German, their app is incredibly easy to use, and if you enable location sharing the audio will start automatically as you move from site to site.

While evidence shows the area has been inhabited since the stone age, the city’s oldest still-viewable history is at the site of the Porta Praetoria, where a portion of one of the towers guarding a Roman fort that existed on the site still stands (now incorporated into a municipal building). At that time, it marked the outer reaches of the empire, and the fort served both trade and protective purposes.

Regensburg reached the apex of its prominence during the Middle Ages, however, when it was an important center of the Holy Roman Empire. The stone bridge, finished in 1146, was a marvel of engineering for its time and cemented Regensburg’s importance as a city of both transport and trade.

Porta Praetoria

Salt, often referred to as ‘white gold’, was traded here and stored in the aptly named Salzstadl (Salt Barn). Today the Salzstadl houses a free museum upstairs (recommended!) where you can gain a better understanding of the city’s history throughout various eras. Oh, and if your museum visit leaves you feeling a bit peckish, literally outside the door is the famous Historische Wurstkuchl, where you can taste some of the famous local grilled sausage and sauerkraut…but be warned, it’s a popular place and the lines can get to be veery long!

The Salzstadl - the Wurststadl is directly behind the stone wall, and you can see some of the old stone bridge in the background
Tower and gat of the old stone bridge

Speaking of peckish, I scouted out a few other interesting (and perhaps less traditional) places to grab a bite to eat.

First up, Café Mitanand is a cozy, friendly place with great service and an interesting, varied vegetarian and vegan menu.

Next was a real surprise to me: a Mexican restaurant on the edge of the old town that was actually very, very good – seriously! Most so-called “Mexican” restaurants in Europe land somewhere between below average and abysmal as far as quality or authenticity are concerned, but over the years a small number have impressed me…and Guacamole is one of them! The menu has a fair amount of variety with options for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. Totally worth a visit!

Finally, although I didn’t get to try this place because I was there during the day and it only opens in the evening, the reviews for the Piratenhöhle (Pirate Cave) bar are great. It’s in an old cellar not far from the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and the décor does really give it a cave-like (but in the good way) feel. Music (according to numerous reviewers) is in rock/metal genre.

Quaint, narrow alleyways such as this are all over the old town - note the cathedral spire peeking through in the distance!
Front view of the cathedral, with one tower under renovation
It's definitely worth going inside, there are some beautiful stained glass windows

On a lovely spring or summer day (like I was lucky to have for my visit), Regensburg is a real gem and a perfect place to wander the streets, soak up the atmosphere, and get a tasty bite to eat…and a beer, this is Bavaria after all! 🍺 It’s an ideal destination if you enjoy smaller cities that are nonetheless chock full of history and charm. Enjoy!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Erica

    I love that you found a good Mexican restaurant! Was it good enough to go back just for the grub?

    1. Jennifer

      Hmm, I don’t know about that – it’s 1.5 hours each way from where I live, so a long way to drive just for tacos! But, if I were passing somewhere nearby it’d definitely be worth a detour!

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