Nuremberg regularly makes the list of the must-see places in Germany. The city is a beautiful mix of cobbled streets and half-timbered houses, ancient city walls and a medieval castle, historical museums and beautiful churches – visit in December and you’ll experience of the most enchanting Christmas markets in Germany.
Nearly three million years’ worth of dripping rainwater has carved a vast labyrinth of delicate dripstone caves into the ground below near Pottenstein, 55 km (34 miles) east of Bamberg. Guided tours of the Teufelshöhle take you underground to artificially-lit chambers of stalactites and stalagmites, and tell the story of how archaeologists unearthed skeletons of the now-extinct cave bears here which provided proof that the large mammals lived in the area some 25,000 years ago.
A day in Würzburg means a jam-packed sightseeing tour of some of Bavaria’s most impressive architectural and historical landmarks. The city is primarily known for the ostentatious Bishop’s Palace, which boasts an eclectic mix of Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical architecture, and which these days also proudly bears UNESCO status. Other must-visit sites are the Cathedral, the Old Bridge and Marienburg Fortress.
Greifenstein Castle is one of those underhyped locations in Upper Franconia – the fortress-turned-Palais is worth the 30-minute drive from Bamberg if you’re into history and want to roam the historic weaponry and wine cellar, check out the bergfried tower, and explore the richly decorated castle church which boasts both Gothic and Baroque elements.
Coburg is another Franconian gem which is situated approximately 50 km (31 miles) north of Bamberg. A day in the city is just about enough to cover the highlights which include Germany’s largest fortress, the Veste Coburg, the striking Ehrenburg Palace, historic churches and a quaint market square. To round things off, the city has a number of fantastic restaurants which dish up the most delightful specialities Bavaria has to offer.
Follow the beer route
The municipality of Aufsess boast in Franconian Switzerland boasts the worldwide largest cluster of breweries per capita. A signposted 14-km (8.7-mile) hiking trail takes you through the hilly landscape past museums, castles and other historical sights and most importantly, four village breweries in Sachsendorf, Hochstahl – Heckenhof and Aufsess, which all serve you their brew in a chilled glass mug.
Hike the Druidenhain circular trail
The Druidenhain in Franconian Switzerland, 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Bamberg, is a magical beech wood forest known for the giant moss-covered boulders covering the ground. A circular hiking trail takes you through the eerie landscape between Wohlmannsgesees, Muggendorf and Streitberg, where you can stop for a quick visit to the Neideck castle ruins which sit perched on a hill near the village.