With around 2000 years of history behind it, Regensburg is a colourful and interesting city to explore.
Occupying a lovely spot on the Danube river, this charmingly historic city is the fourth largest in Bavaria and since 2006 has officially been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A Roman settlement completed under Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Regensburg was the first capital of Bavaria, the residence of dukes, kings and bishops, and for 600 years a Free Imperial City. | Lonely Planet
Getting Here from Munich
We visited on a Saturday in early May 2017.
Trains run frequently from the Hauptbahnhof in Munich to Regensburg. Using either the Regional Express or Alex services, direct routes take less than 1 hour 30 to reach the city – so it’s perfect for a day trip.
Even better, these services accept both the Servus and Bayern tickets. They’re excellent value for money and I’d highly recommend the Bayern Ticket, particularly on a weekend. During Saturday and Sunday it’s valid for the whole day, covering local transport in Munich, the RE or ALX train and the RVV buses in Regensburg!
Wandering Around Regensburg
There’s a selection of attractions for the historically minded tourist to enjoy, from the Thurn and Taxis Palace and St. Peter’s Cathedral to the World Heritage Visitor Centre... So what did we do? Well… none of those things! Instead, we took ourselves off wandering through the cobbled streets of the city, snaking our way up and down as many alleyways as we could find. Note: There’s lots of cobbles, so wear shoes you know can cope with!
As seems to be our luck, we often visit locations when significant restoration work is being undertaken. Regensburg was no different! Unfortunately half of the famous Old Stone Bridge was covered up and the Porta Praetoria was fenced off too. However, getting a little bit ‘creative’ with my photography framing means I can still share some of these images with you lovely folks! Please assume my Star Trek style lens flare was a stylistic choice?
The beautiful Roman ruins pictured above were part of the main military camp of the Third Italic Legion in Regensburg, completed under the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in 179 A.D. As you can see, sections of wall have become incorporated into later buildings and I love the effect it has on the feel of the city. Pieces of history are literally within reach.
The odd bit of Roman wall, narrow cobbled streets and interesting examples of 11th- to 13th-century architecture all combine to give this city a cosy and quaint feel. Yet despite all that and mixed in amongst the Gothic cathedral and religious imagery dotted throughout the city, there’s an effortlessly modern heart to it. Eateries and bars abound and high street staples sit comfortably in medieval buildings. There’s even a large shopping centre if the need to spend is strong!
The “Goldene Turm”… is a so-called “house tower”, dating from the second half of the 13th century. In the Middle Ages, wealthy merchant families built these towers as status symbols – the more important a family was, the higher the tower they built. | Tourismus.Regensburg.de (Pictured: Top Left)
On a beautifully sunny day, the laid back Mediterranean vibe in this gorgeously historic city feels pretty special. Of course, at some point refreshment is required. We headed to the Wurstkuchl!
Also known as the Historic Sausage Kitchen, this is the place I knew we had to try for a refuel. It’s the world’s oldest sausage kitchen, having had a footprint at the base of the Old Stone Bridge since the 12th century.
Little has changed since the days where in the Middle Ages Regensburg stonemasons and dockers treated themselves to refreshment at this tavern: with its charcoal grill, homemade sausages purely of ham of pork, sauerkraut fermented in their own cellar and of course the Wurstkuchl mustard | Wurstkuchl
On a sunny, warm and very busy Saturday, there was no chance of getting a seat when we arrived at about half past one. Instead, we joined the queue for the ‘fast food’ option: bratwurst with sauerkraut and mustard in a roll. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ve ever been in such a slow moving queue for ‘fast’ food! Let’s just say it took a while…
Whilst you’re waiting, take the time to spot the measurements of water heights from previous flood waters. The little sausage kitchen is in quite a precarious position! There’s an example above in the photo collage, top right.
The whole thing is definitely delicious and if there’s a small queue, I’d say you should give it a go. Given the wait time though, you might want to order two as they’re quite small! Unusually for Bavarian sausage sandwiches, the bread roll is the right shape for the filling – so there’s no extra bit of sausage sticking out at either end. Yes! Finally!
Stand just beyond the tables and chairs of the Sausage Kitchen to munch your German sausage sandwich. You’ll be right next to the old Salt Warehouse, overlooking the Stone Bridge. On a nice day, I’m pretty sure you’ll find other tourists with the same idea!
- 36 Hours in Regensburg | Packed with some fabulous suggestions for how to spend your time in Regensburg, this is a ‘must read’ blog post if you’re thinking of visiting! It features lots of food and drink tips, along with a few surprises! | Luxe Adventure Traveller
- Discovering Regensburg – A Walk Through The Old Town | Take a look at lots of stonework and buildings in Regensburg itself and across the river… | Travel Yes Please
- Official City Tourism Website | Tourismus.Regensburg.de
- Venture Further Afield | If you’re in the area for longer than a day, consider exploring beyond the city limits! | Visit Regensburg