Two of the best day trips from Nuremberg by train, are Bamberg and Regensburg. Plan your travel and explore these UNESCO old towns!
The easy of travel from Nuremberg by train is super-easy with the station just steps from old town. The big challenge is choosing where to go and planning your trip. So following are two easy options I’ve already done myself. Both Bamberg and Regensburg have beautifully preserved medieval old towns that are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The streets are beautiful, palaces amazing, and impressive churches.
The great thing is that Nuremberg makes day trips super-easy because the train station is just steps from its own old town. So check your schedule, head over to the station, and get ready for one of the best day trips from Nuremberg by train.
Nuremberg Train Station
The train station in Nuremberg is just outside the Old Town walls, opposite the Handwerkerhof. If you exit the Handwerkerhof through the old city walls, over the bridge spanning the empty moat, you will see the station right across the street. If you are walking out of Old Town on Kӧnigstraβe, you will pass the Handwerkerhof on your right and see a large and heavily trafficked underground walkway in front of you. That underground walkway takes you to the subway and train station. (And while staying in Nuremberg don’t forget to explore all the awesome things to do in old town!)
Day Trips from Nuremberg: Bamberg
At some point in my googling and reading about potential day trips from Nuremberg, I came across pictures of Bamberg’s Altes Rathaus, or Old Town Hall, and I was intrigued. It looks like an old muraled building with a half-timbered cottage grafted onto the side, sitting in the middle of a river with a stone bridge arches connecting it to the sites. It’s odd, and charming!
Then a little more research told me the medieval old town area was a UNESCO world Heritage site. The historic area is a walkable distance from the train station. Ooh… 17th century palace that has tours, a cathedral. As you can see, things were stacking up. a Bamberg day trip made the list and it was just the details to be worked out. Here’s how to do it:
Train from Nuremberg to Bamberg
There are trains running all day, back and forth from Nuremberg to Bamberg and back. First stressor eliminated is, if you miss one train you don’t have to wait too long for the next to come along.
There are two operators serving the Nuremberg to Bamberg route:
- Verkehrsverbund Großraum Nürnberg (VGN) – this is a regional public transport train that is known for being slower than the ICE trains. However between Nuremberg and Bamberg it makes no difference.
- Intercity Express (ICE) – Usually your fastest option, but between these two beautiful towns it’s not a big factor.
Trains to Bamberg from Nuremberg and back, run roughly every 35mins to 1 hour.
I love Rome2Rio for figuring things like this out, and I highly recommend heading over Rome2Rio’s page for Nuremberg to Bamberg transport and taking a look for your specific dates and times. You can even buy your tickets through the site and they will be delivered to your email. You can print them and take a paper copy, or pull up the ticket on your phone to be scanned paperless.
Bamberg Train Station to Old Town
Unlike Nuremberg, Bamberg’s old town isn’t just across the street from the train station. I found it very walkable, but – as the blog name suggests – I tend to do a lot of walking when I travel and that doesn’t phase me. So, I just mention this notice to anyone who may be put off by it. Once you exit the Bamberg train station, it is a 1 km walk to Gruner Markt. Then it’s another .5 km walk to the Altes Rathaus in the heart of the medieval old town.
Here is a quick google map from Bamberg Train Station to the famous Altes Rathaus, with a walk through the Green Market on your way.
Highlights: Things to do in Bamberg Germany
To get you started on your daytrip in Bamberg, here are a few of my top picks of what the town has to offer:
Altes Rathaus: Bamberg Old Town Hall
This is the gorgeous building (photo just under the ‘Day Trips from NurembergL Bamberg’ heading) that adorns postcards all over town. The originally 1387 building was rebuilt into the form it takes today during the 1460s, with the façade paintings being added in 1755. Between the Façade paintings, the rococo balconies, and half-timbered house attached… just take the time to find a good photo spot and make sure you have lots of memory card space.
Neue Residenz Bamberg
Since 1602, the Neue Residenz has been home to the prince-bishops of Bamberg, then a royal residence after 1803. It has beautifully restored interior rooms, and there is ongoing restoration happening. Visit the Neue Residenz official site for the latest information on costs and hours. For a lovely, free of charge spot, walk through the Rose Garden which also has a very nice view of town.
This 13th century Roman Catholic Church is located just across from the Neue Residenz. It is built in the Romenesque style and is known for masterpiece marble tombs, and the famous Bamberg Horseman equestrian statue.
This “Green Market” is located between the train station and the medieval old town, so you might as well walk through and enjoy the sights and sounds as you go! Maybe pick up something to snack on as you go. The beginnings of this market date to the 11th century. Today they offer mostly regional products, some Bamberg gardener’s goods, and some tropical fruits bought wholesale.
If you only have 1 day in Bamberg, be sure to plan out your top sights and thoroughly enjoy exploring this beautiful, historic town.
Day Trips from Nuremberg #2: Regensburg
I chose Regensburg as one of my day trips from Nuremberg by train for several reasons. First, it is extremely accessible by train, a big selling point for me which I explain more in a minute. Second, while it is the 4th largest city in Bavaria, it also has a beautifully preserved medieval Old Town that is a pleasure to walk and explore. Included in the old town are a gorgeous privately owned castle you can tour, and some of the most beautiful churches I’ve visited in Europe. Read on to plan you trip!
Train from Nuremberg to Regensburg
Similar to a day trip to Bamberg, there are many options throughout the day for taking the train from Nuremberg to Regensburg. Again, a train departs from Nuremberg to Regensburg roughly every 30 minutes to one hour. One difference here is that some trains can take up to 2 hours to get to Regensburg, while others only take 54 minutes. The difference between the two trains is how many stops are made between the two cities, and if a transfer is required. So if transit time is important to you, pay attention to this detail.
Three different operators between the two cities. Any of them will work for you, but here are general differences:
- Intercity Express (ICE) – These average the fastest time. Except for the first ICE train at 6:30am (which takes 1 hour and 38 min and has a transfer in Ingolstadt), the trains are all direct and 54 minutes. Especially on my way TO Regensburg, this would be my choice.
- Deutche Bahn (DB) – Most throughout the day take you to Regensburg with no transfers. (4:30am train has a transfer in Schwandorf.) Time-length of trip varies from 1 hour to nearly 2 hours, so if that matters to you check closely before purchasing.
- S-Bahn (S) – These trains run the longer time frame, and have a transfer in Schwandorf. I’d chose a different line, I avoid transfers if I can.
Trains run from Nuremberg to Regensburg and back roughly every 15 minutes to just short of an hour.
Again, head over to Rome2Rio’s Nuremberg to Regensburg Page to look at trains for your specific day planning.
Regensburg Train Station to Old Town
The walk from the Regensburg train station into the heart of Regensburg Old Town is only 1 kilometer. This keeps it quick and easy to exit the station and get your day underway. Within the station is a small convenience store that has inexpensive street maps of Regensburg that will get help you out, too.
Here is a quick Google Map to get you from Regensburg Train Station to Regensburg Old Stone Bridge, passing by St. Peter’s Cathedral.
Highlights: Things To Do in Regensburg Germany
Regensburg Old Stone Bridge and the View
The original Regensburg bridge was a wooden one built by Charlemagne just east of this current bridge. However, as that one proved insufficient for the cities needs, this new stone bridge was built around 1140AD. It is considered a masterpiece of Medieval construction and not only allowed space for barges for travel under it, but also built water mills into the south end to take advantage of the currents. One of my favorite tidbits is the statue, Bruckmandl, in the middle of the bridge of the young man with no shirt on shading his eyes from the sun. The inscription reads “Schuck wie heiß“ which basically means “Shucks how hot.”
One of my favorite things about the Regensburg Old Stone Bridge, is the view. (See the photo under the ‘Day Trips from Nuremberg: Regensburg’ heading.) Walk at least halfway across the bridge and turn and look back, and it will give you a beautiful and colorful view of Regensburg.
Regensburg Altes Rathaus: Old Town Hall
The Old Town Hall was built when Regensburg became an Imperial Free City in 1245. A Permanent Germany Parliament was established in 1663 and met here. Today, this is a museum you can tour throughout the day and many details have been preserved over the centuries. These include “graffiti” one of the attendees of the parliament carved into a glass pane during a meeting, and the torture chamber in the basement.
For more information visit the Altes Rathaus website and plan your visit.
Castle Thurn and Taxis
The Castle of Thurn and Taxis, sometimes labeled as Schloss St. Emmeram, was originally an 8th century monastery. Parts of that original monastery still remain, but a private castle has been built upon it. Now, it is one of the largest private castles in Europe and still a residence. Some of the rooms are gilt, and scrolled, and crystalled quite impressively (see above). You will enjoy learning about the history of the family and the area as you tour.
For more information visit the Castle Thurn and Taxis website to plan your visit.
Basilica of the Nativity of Our Lady & the Churches of Regensburg
As I went through my photos and notes from Regensburg, I was again overwhelmed by the number of gorgeous churches in this one little town. It is truly amazing. The Baroque and Rococo interior of the Basilica of the Nativity of the Our Lady, the oldest catholic place of worship in Bavaria, is simply stunning. It’s hard to come in and keep your jaw off the floor. The outside doesn’t look as impressive as other churches in Regensburg, but don’t let that deter you. Do yourself a favor and visit the artistic achievement this is. And explore the other churches scattered throughout Regensburg. I’ll soon have another post dedicated to the churches of Regensburg with more detail. Located at Schwarze-Bären-Straße 7.
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