Bamberg, Germany
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Bamberg

Germany

Bamberg is a Bavarian gem located just north of Nuremberg, and is thought to be one of the most architecturally beautiful spots in the whole of Germany thanks to its narrow medieval streets, beautiful churches and cathedrals, and lavish palaces. In fact, there's hardly any modern buildings here at all as it was barely damaged in World War II - unlike many other cities in the country - and the old town is now a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. A dream for any keen photographer, picture-perfect scenes can literally be found around every corner here.

As if that wasn't inviting enough, the town is also laced with pretty rivers and canals, and has a thriving student and beer culture, creating a unique and exciting atmosphere which embraces both its historic past and contemporary present.

Things to see and do in Bamberg

Explore Bamberger Dom (Bamberg's cathedral) - This church is located in the west of the town, decorated with intricate stone carvings on the outside opening up into huge arched stone columns and a beautiful painted dome on the inside. Although the interior may not seem as decorated as other cathedrals you may have visited, there are some great artistic details if you look closely enough, including the Bamberger Reiter statue of a mystery horseman, and the expertly-carved tomb of the cathedral's founders, Emperor Heinrich II and his wife Kunigunde.

Take a self-guided tour of Bamberg's art installations - Bambergers are huge art buffs, and there's loads of different sculptures dotted around town to prove it. Take to the streets on foot and find as many of these quirky pieces as you can, including the bronze 'Lady with Fruit', a circle of red squatting men called 'Meeting', and 'Centurione I', an eerie sculpture of half a face.

Venture inside the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) - Potentially the most iconic sight in the whole town, this building sits in the middle of the Regnitz River across two bridges; on one side there is a quaint half-timbered building, and on the other impressive frecoes (painted murals) adorn the facades. Venture inside to discover the Rococo Hall and the Ludwig Collection of precious porcelain.

Bamberg's famous smoked beer

If you enjoy drinking beer, then a trip to Bamberg wouldn't be complete without sampling the unmistakable Schlenkerla Smokebeer which originates from a half-timbered house close to the cathedral.

The smoky flavour is achieved by exposing the malt to aromatic beech-wood smoke before mixing it with hops and leaving it to mature and develop its unique flavour.

If the weather is good, head to the beer garden in Dominikanerhof to try some, or if you'd rather stay indoors, the restaurant at the Schlenkerla Brewery is a great option as you can sample the beer alongside traditional Bamberg-style onions, which are stuffed with minced pork.

Rumour has it the second glass tastes better than the first, so you may have to stay for two, purely for research purposes of course...