The Top Things to See and Do in Würzburg

The citys fortress is one of the iconic symbols of Würzburgs rich history
The city's fortress is one of the iconic symbols of Würzburg's rich history | © Panther Media GmbH / Alamy
Natasha Holt

Nestled in the heart of Franconia, Würzburg is arguably the best destination in all of Germany for world-class wines and cultured cuisine. Yet there’s so much more to this quaint city than its gastronomy. With superlative rococo architecture, picture-perfect churches and a towering fortress, Würzburg is just as appealing for art lovers as it is for students. Here’s our list of the best things to see and do while you’re there.

1. Sample regional delicacies in Market Square

Architectural Landmark

St. Marys chapel, Wurzburg, Lower Franconia, Bavaria, Germany
© Imagebroker / Alamy

Situated right next to the Marienkapelle church, Würzburg’s market square is always a hive of activity. While the drawcard is definitely the small bratwurst hut, selling a wide variety of regional sausages, there are also bright blooms at the flower stalls and tables laden with artisan cheeses and baked goods. Come over the festive period for the memorable Christmas Market.

2. Tour the Würzburg Residence Palace

Architectural Landmark

Germany, Bavaria, Wurzburg, Wurzburg Residenz or Residence Palace, Hofgarten or Court Garden, View from the South Garden including sculpture titled Th
© Eye Ubiquitous / Alamy
Built in the 18th century as a home for the local prince-bishops, the magnificent Residenz is one of Germany’s most stunning Baroque palaces. Wander around 40 extravagant rooms, including the unmissable Imperial Hall, before admiring the unique zigzagging Treppenhaus staircase. Above this sits the world’s largest ceiling fresco, painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, depicting four continents. It’s worth taking the guided tour as this allows access to the spectacular stucco Spiegelkabinett (Mirror Hall).

3. Admire the view from the Alte Mainbrücke

Architectural Landmark

Famous Alte Mainbrucke the historic city of Wurzburg on a sunny day, region of Franconia, Northern Bavaria, Germany
© MacEaton / Alamy

Twelve gilded statues of saints and emperors line Würzburg’s pedestrian bridge, which links the old town and the former fisherman’s quarter on the left bank. Now it’s a popular place for socialising, especially during the summer when locals enjoy the view with a glass of Franconian wine. The bridge, which was completed in 1543, offers unrivalled panoramics over the city’s famous vineyards, as well as taking in the Fortress Marienberg.

4. Explore the Marienburg fortress

Architectural Landmark

Summer view at Wurzburg city and gardens from the Marienburg fortress, Germany.
© Vera Duchovskaja / Stockimo / Alamy

Starting life as a small 8th century fort, the Marienberg was renovated throughout the renaissance and baroque period until it took on its current form. For five centuries, it was home to the city’s prince-bishops. Now, you can explore the castle keep and check out the Marienkirche, one of Germany’s oldest round churches. Visit the dungeons and have a stroll in beautiful gardens, which boast magnificent views of the city. There are also two museums where you can immerse yourself in Franconian history.

5. Walk the wine trail

Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark

Vineyard along Stein-Wein-Pfad trail, Wuerzburg, Franconia, Bavaria, Germany
© Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy

Surrounded by glorious vineyards, it’s easy to see why in Würzburg, walking and wine go hand in hand. Trek through the mountains and then enjoy a cool glass of Franconian wine while taking in the views. There are numerous wineries offering cellar tours, where you can try out the local favourite tipple, Silvaner, or any other of the region’s famous whites. In autumn, several wine festivals take place and the air is filled with the smell of freshly fermented grapes.

6. Discover the Würzburger Dom

Cathedral, Church, Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

© Peter Schickert / Alamy

Known as the Dom, the Romanesque Basilica Kiliansdom towers over the city. Altered numerous times over the centuries, the cathedral is a mishmash of styles but they all come together to create something totally unique. A guided tour will take you past a spectacular seven-armed candelabra, the medieval bronze baptism font and a cross from the year 1000, which depicts the smiling face of Christ. You can also see the tombs of the bishops of Würzburg.

7. Peruse artworks in the Museum im Kulturspeicher


A Frottage of the artist Heinz Mack is exhibited at the museum Kulturspeicher in Wuerzburg, Germany, 04 July 2011. The exhibition Heinz Mack - The Language of my Hand is presented to the public between 05 August 2011 and 09 October 2011. Photo: Karl-Jos
© dpa picture alliance archive / Alamy

Housed in a former granary, the Kulturspeicher museum is packed full of art from the 19th to the 21st centuries. Split into two main collections, it holds the municipal collection featuring mainly regional art from Franconia and Southern Germany, alongside the Peter C. Ruppert collection, an assembly of computer art, sculpture and photographs. The gallery was only founded in 1941 but the impressive haul includes Biedermeier-style portraits and German Impressionist landscapes, right through to sculptures by Emy Roeder and contemporary art.

8. Enjoy wine tasting at Bürgerspital Weinstuben

Restaurant, German

cask cellar of Burgerspital winery, Wurzburg, Germany
© Eckhard Supp / Alamy

With so many vineyards nearby, it would be rude not to try a glass or two of the region’s finest wine. Where better than the Bürgerspital wine estate, one of the oldest and largest wine estates in Germany? Take a tour of the famous wine cellar, where some of the whites date back to 1540, before indulging in top-notch regional cuisine in the restaurant. Don’t forget to give the signature dish Mostsuppe, a tasty wine soup, a try.

9. Grab a pastry from Juliusspital Bäckerei

Pastry Shop, German

almond pretzel / almond pretzel
© Panther Media GmbH / Alamy

These artisan bakers will have your mouth watering in no time; as you walk into the store, you’re greeted by the smell of freshly baked loaves. There are more than 20 different types of bread to try, made from wheat, spelt, rye and oats. If you’re in the mood for something sweeter, opt for the hand-wrapped almond pretzel or one of Scheckenbach’s pastries. Choose from poppyseed snails, a soft buttery croissant or a cherry pocket.

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article