Deutsche Bahn ride – From Ulm to Regensburg
Our journey to Regensburg- the UNESCO World Heritage City started from Ulm. We booked the Bayern day ticket, which covers major regional transports. Catching an early morning train in Germany comes with many benefits. The first thing is that there will be very few passengers. So, with no rush, you can get a seat. Also, you will enjoy the morning panorama view, as the drape of morning mists reveals the golden hour. One more thing to keep in mind is that if you are travelling early, do not forget to pack some snacks, as the regional Deutsche Bahn does not have a pantry. It is better if you can carry your tiffin box. This will help minimise the usage of plastics or packaged food. Small things like this help us become responsible travellers. Our train journey was about three and half an hour, and boy! What an incredible ride it was. We crossed vast stretches of farmlands, forests, lakes, rivers, and snow-clad mountains on our way to the old medieval city.
Regensburg- One of the UNESCO World Heritage Medieval cities
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German philosopher, and writer once stated: “Regensburg is situated beautifully. The area had to attract a city..”. Regensburg is a city under Bavaria or the Bayern state of Germany. The oldest settlement in Regensburg is from the Stone Age. Interestingly, it has a Celtic name, Radasbona, which is the oldest name given to a prehistoric settlement in Germany.
The first historical records of the city date back to 79 AD, when the Romans built a cohort camp for 1500 men in Kumpfmuhl. Again in 179 AD, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius built the mighty Castra Regina (Fortress by the River Regen). Therefore, Regensburg has the oldest written foundation charter of Germany.
Further, during the 12th and 13th centuries, Regensburg was one of the wealthiest cities with a very large population. Regensburg truly possesses all the attributes of a medieval city. No wonder why UNESCO included in the World Heritage Programme. It’s been a proud 14 years of a journey, since 2006.
A Perfect Guide for the Walking Tour of the City, Regensburg-the World Heritage City
As soon as we got off at the Hauptbahnhof (Central station), we headed straight to the Hbf bus station, only at a distance of 200 meters. From there, it took another 20 minutes’ ride to our Airbnb stay at Karl-Stieler-Strasse, Regensburg. Our host Luke was away with his family to celebrate Christmas, but he guided us until we arrived safely. I liked our picturesque little room, with a view of woods spread miles long. Soon after lunch, we walked around and found a flock of birds chirping, flying from one branch to another. At least one squirrel on each of the trees, running tirelessly all-over the trunk and branches. Besides us, one little girl was playing outside with her mother and father. Apart from that, not a single soul was outside. Then, we went again to the Hbf bus stop. Because the best way to enjoy the medieval city, Regensburg is on foot. When Germany’s government had made separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists, it would have been a loss for us if we hadn’t taken the walking tour of the city.
First, walk towards the Maximilianstrase.
So, we headed straight to the Maximilianstrase. I confess it is not one of the vibrant streets in the Old Town of Regensburg. Instead, it offers a few restaurants, hotels, affordable shopping complexes and a historic café.
Stay options in Maximilianstrase, Regensburg
Hotel weidenhof: Kathy and Leo natives of Regensburg are behind this successful, charming little hotel. They take the utmost care for the needs of their guests. Their scrumptious breakfast buffet is a lovely affair for the visitors. It is within five minutes walking distance from the main station.
Eurostars Park Hotel: If you want to grace yourself with elegance, history, and palace-like decoration, then this is the best choice for you. You will get the much talked royal treatment of this medieval city. Also, this is only at a distance of 250 meters from the Hbf station. Both these hotels fall under the category of luxury and boutique hotels.
Places to eat in Maximilianstrase, Regensburg
Cafe Furtsenhof: It’s on an exquisite building with a balcony and outdoor sitting. For wheelchair and older people, there is a lift. It is a cosy, well-kept, retro-themed cafe. We had apple strudel with custard and coffee. It was delicious.
Ganesha: You can enjoy delicious Indian food with great cultural ambience. Compared to other Indian restaurants, this is cheap. You can mainly find north Indian food with an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Apart from that, they also have a lunch buffet every day. Though the reviews of service are not good earlier, now they have improved on that front.
Thai restaurant Rambutan: A reasonably priced restaurant amidst the shopping complex. This place offers a wide variety of Thai dishes from vegetables to meat to sea-food.
(On a personal level, we love to eat the local delicacies, that way it is sustainable and also allows you to enjoy wide varieties of food.)
Turn to Dachauplatz
It is one of the largest parking garages in the old town. A portion of the Ancient Roman walls is still present on the ground floor of the parking lot. After exiting, you will arrive at a charming little square with New Rathaus (city hall) on one side and the historical museum of Regensburg on the other.
Stay options in Dachauplatz, Regensburg
Achat Hotels: With a flair of modern interior design, this group hotel will pamper you for sure. Their buffet breakfast menu is rich in the local flavour. They also have tailored packages as per your needs to give you the benefits of a pleasant holiday.
Places to eat in Dachauplatz, Regensburg
Backerei Brunner: One of the most successful family-run businesses for the last 60 years. They offer stone oven bread, Zoigl bread, pretzels, and sweet delicacies from the cake counter, something for everyone’s taste. We loved the pretzel and bread here. 17
Then comes Unter den schwibbogen.
Turn north from Dachauplatz and then take a left to arrive at Unter den schwibbogen. If you walk further in the narrow lane, you will come to Porta Praetoria, the northern gate of Castra Regina built by the Roman Emperor. Porta Praetoria of Regensburg is Germany’s oldest above-ground structure, and the only preserved camp gate. As the structure is a part of Bischofhof brewery, you will find locals and tourists sitting with a glass of beer in groups, talking, laughing and eating together.
Stay options in Unter den schwibbogen, Regensburg
Hotel Orphee: Grand Hotel Orphee a baroque palazzo with antique floorboards, and door frames restored to take your breath away. Antique furniture, chandeliers hanging from the stucco ceilings, vintage wardrobes designed uniquely for every room. It is a phenomenal experience to stay at this hotel. The hotel also has two other branches in Regensburg. One is the Petit hotel and the country manor.
Places to eat in Unter den schwibbogen, Regensburg
Orphee restaurant: It is the most authentic French bistro in Regensburg. If you soak into the era of the timeless classic, then this place is for you. It is open every day for eighteen hours. Since 1896, the restaurant has maintained its age-old charm to fulfil the needs of visitors. It is better to make early reservations if you are planning to go there.
Now comes the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Regensburg’s Dom/ St. Peter’s Cathedral
St. Peter’s Cathedral is at the centre of Regensburg. A splendid depiction of French Gothic architecture in southern Germany started around 1274. They formerly built it on the model of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, but King Ludwig I of Bavaria instructed to include spires and finally completed in 1872. So, roughly 600 years of construction period!!
This magnificent state-of-the-art of Regensburg also has 1100 stained glass panes from 1310 to 1450, which is the largest collection of the medieval original glass north of the Alps. St. Peter’s Cathedral is also decorated with many stone sculptures. The most distinguished ones are the Virgin Mary and the beaming Angel. The Regensburg Cathedral is home to the world’s oldest boy’s choir, called the Domspatzen, which dates back over 1000 years. You can hear them live on Sundays at 10 A.M during mass. The cathedral also has the world’s largest hanging organ, which weighs around 37 tonnes, with 8571 pipes and 80 ranks. There are many cafes, bakery, and ice-cream parlours in front of the Dom.
Stay options in Regensburg’s Dom
Hotel Kaiserhof Am Dom: Located just opposite to the St. Peter’s Cathedral, which helps you to explore the other world heritage sites as per your convenience. This hotel is in a perfect location for shopper’s wonderland and a food explorer.
Elements Hotel: A modernly designed hotel that showcases the beauty of both the exterior and interior front. You will relax in the historical rooms bundled with five elements of fire, water, earth, air, and space.
Hotel VIII: Another excellent hotel catering to the needs of everyone’s budget. It’s located just 200 meters away from the cathedral. Along with it, they also offer a lavish buffet breakfast.
Apartment Filipus: Imagine yourself living in a 13th-century house. The best part is that you can enjoy the royalty within your budget.
Places to eat in Regensburg’s Dom
Haus Heueport: Once upon a time a castle built around 1300, has now turned in to the most strategically located cafe. Excellent choices of food, coffee, and cakes to take away your hunger pangs with a majestic view of the cathedral. We had the best coffee and cake here on that rainy evening.
Krauterer am dom: Another old restaurant dated back to 1310 that offers nice outdoor and indoor sitting with good choices of food and drinks.
Weltenburger Am Dom: A part of Weltenburg’s monastery opened right at the heart of the old town. A few meters away from the cathedral, this place is famous for authentic Bavarian cuisines. Relax in a star-filled night eating the regional delicacies and drinking the oldest beer in the world. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go there as it was closed during Christmas week.
Next walk towards Alter Kornmrket
Alter Kornmrkt of Regensburg is a little market square full of Churches behind the Weltenburger Am Dom. The most significant one is the Alte Kapelle (Old Chapel). Inside the Old chapel, you can find gold leaves on every wall. During Roman times, the Emperor, bishops and representatives used to conduct meetings here.
Around 400 AD, the Germanic tribe called the Bavarii left the Castra Regina and declared Regensburg the capital of Bavaria. The Kornmarkt became their place of residence. Interestingly, Kornmrkt also served as a common ground for military parades, tournaments, and bloodthirsty justice of middle ages. It also served as the grain market for Regensburg until 1830.
Places to eat in Alter Kornmrkt, Regensburg
Caffe Rinaldi: A quaint little Italian restaurant famous for its lavish breakfast and brunches. Their main attraction is classical Tiramisu, which remains unchanged over the last 10 years. We tasted the Tirimisu here, which is so mouth-watering and smooth. Before we even realise, we finished it.
Cafe Bistro La Chapelle: From our total six days of stay, we went to this café four times. Yes! A quiet, cosy restaurant amidst bustling street is a rare find. On top of it, the cakes were homemade, and the vegetarian breakfast option is something we couldn’t miss.
Take a left turn to arrive at Neupfarrplatz.
Regensburg had one of the oldest Jewish communities in Germany. The community, including students, has created a city within a city. This micro-city was located at the present-day Neupfarrplatz. Approximately 30 houses connected with bridges and underground passageways, gave a notion of a walled-in enclosure. The Christian community lived next to them separated only by doorways.
However, during 1519 Regensburg’s economic depression, jealousy, and Anti-Semitism destroyed this place. Shortly after the death of Emperor Maximilian-I, the Jewish community left the city in 4 days post confrontation. They could not take all of their belongings, so destroyed the holy objects instead of handing them over to the Christian community.
The square served as a parking area until 1995. Parts of the synagogue and many mugs with golden coins unearthed during renovation work.
Stay options in Neupfarrplatz, Regensburg
Regensburg-Apart: These apartments are one of the affordable hotels at such a good location. It is best you book the rooms in advance to avoid last-minute high demands.
Places to eat in Neupfarrplatz, Regensburg
Hacker-Pschorr-im-Augustine Kloster: A long traditional history of a haunted house and peace offering, this is a must-visit to get a taste of local Bavarian cuisine and beer-garden.
Alex Regensburg: It was a delight for us to have our breakfast here. There are so many vegetarian options to pamper ourselves. We had one of the Oriental happy bowls and winter waffles topped with hot raspberries and ice-cream. We are sure that you will definitely satisfy your hungry soul here.
Take a walk through the meandering alleys of Regensburg in Kramgasse and Tandlergasse.
All Antique lovers, we have good news for you. Walk-through, the winding alley of Kramgasse and Tandlergasse and get charmed by the secrets of quaint antique shops. The famous Der Hutmacher, who has made the Mad Hatter’s hat from Alice in Wonderland, is also here. So, hold your partner’s hand and get lost in the charming alley-ways.
Walk straight through the Bruckstrasse to the Steiner Brucke
Walk past the 12th Century Goliath House a landmark of Regensburg, famous for its painting of David and Goliath done in 1573. From there, if you walk towards the bridge, you can find the bridge museum and UNESCO world heritage visitor’s centre.
During Summer’s long night, locals come to sit at the banks of the river Danube crossing the old bridge. Often beer in one hand they would sit hanging down their legs watching the sun spreading its golden hues over the horizon.
Places to eat along the banks of Danube, Regensburg
Wurstkuchl-Regensburg: The historic Wurstkuchl is on the banks of river Danube, for over 500 years. During middle ages, stonemasons working at the stone bridge and dock workers used to eat boiled meat from food stalls here. In 1806, this historic kitchen started selling the sausage. You can have the Regensburg’s famous sweet mustard cake here.
Right across the Stone Bridge is a small island called Stadtamhof.
As early as 981, some inhabitants settled in Stadtamhof. It was a small Bavarian neighbourhood in the middle of the independent city Regensburg. Hence, it always remained a source of conflict. Even today the vibe is different here than the historic city Regensburg. The main street is full of colourful rainbow houses and small shops run by generations. There is a beautiful Rococo church overlooking a patch of grass lawns. The famous Spital biergarten is also in here. Stadtamhof is one of the best-preserved medieval metropolis with over 1000 UNESCO heritage-listed buildings.
Stay options in Stadtamhof, Regensburg
Hotel Lux: In the idyllic town of Stadtamhof, this hotel offers time travel into the sweetness of the medieval era. If you like to live near to the city centre but avoid the chaos, then location fits perfectly to your itinerary.
Places to eat in Stadtamhof, Regensburg
Restaurant Perivoli: An authentic Greek restaurant where the local Greek families dine regularly.
Now walk back across the bridge to Kohlenmrkt.
Kohlenmrkt is a lively, tiny little square with colourful crooked houses lined asymmetrically on the streets of Regensburg. Usually, locals and tourists gather here to eat and relax on a sunny day or to drink gluwine in freezing winter evenings. You can always find someone to play musical instruments around the corner. If you continue walking straight, you will find the tourist information centre and the oldest cafe in German-speaking countries, Cafe Prinzzess. Here you can also visit Regensburg’s old town hall and parliament hall.
Take a half-round turn from old town hall to Haidplatz
This is the central square of Regensburg. Every building in this square has a rich historical journey. They are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the city. There is a water fountain in the centre of the square, adding beauty to the multi-coloured buildings standing quietly along the cobbled streets.
Stay options in Haidplatz, Regensburg
Hotel Goldenes Kreuz: If you value service and want to live like royalty for some time, then Goldenes Kreuz is the right place for you. Embedded in the former imperial and princely hostel to the Golden Cross, one of the most important German Inn from the times of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Yes, that’s true. Since 1968, this place served as a meeting point for Kings and Emperors.
Places to eat in Haidplatz, Regensburg
Goldenes Kreuz: It was drizzling outside, so we went inside the door and lifted the curtain hanging from the door ceiling. It was like a magic door to another world. A group of old women and men sitting together overlooking the window, some men and women were sitting alone with a slice of sweetness and a book in their hand, and huge mirrors were hanging from every corner of the wall.
Da Tino: An Italian restaurant famous for its large proportions of food and authenticity serving since 1980. So, in Regensburg, if you crave for an Italian evening, then do not forget to make a reservation before you go.
Continue walking west till you reach Arnulfplatz.
This is also a colourful neighbourhood nestled in the old city. We went here to end Sameer’s hunt for the old beer garden. Kneitinger is Regensburg’s one of the local beer producers, which has a history of 400 years. However, the present-day Kneitinger came into the picture in 1861.
So, do not forget to check this brewery for the authentic taste of German beer and Bavarian delicacies. Cheers!! to all beer lovers.
Just around the corner from Arnulfplatz lies Bismarckplatz.
Sun just peeped from the clouds and hesitantly graced us on that cloudy afternoon. We sat on the steps near the fountain, ice-creams in our one hand soaking in every bit of sunrays, and admiring the simple beauty of the surrounding square.
Finally, end the city tour by visiting Regensburg’s Castle, The Thurn and Taxis Palace.
From Bismarckplatz, take a stroll down Obere Bachgasse, and then turn right to Emmeramsplatz to reach Thurn and Taxis Palace. Thurn and Taxis is the largest inhabited palace having more rooms than Buckingham Palace in London. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?
Pastel pink and white coloured mismatched buildings with a vast area of gardens and ponds increased our heartbeat right away. The aroma of fresh snow on the grounds mixed with charred leaves made us nostalgic. We couldn’t think of any better way than to spend Christmas evening in this medieval romantic backdrop.
Stay options near Thurn and Taxis Palace, Regensburg
Wonderschone Apartment: An affordable apartment just 200 meters away from the Thurn and Taxis Palace. Everything you need for a comfortable stay is here.
Important Information On Regensburg
What is the best time to visit Regensburg?
We visited Regensburg during Christmas Holidays, which didn’t work out well. Because from Christmas until two days post-Christmas, most of the places remain closed. On top of it, On the day of Christmas advent and Christmas public transport modes operated for a short duration. So, we had to limit our itinerary to 4 days.
Winter: If you do not want to miss out the fun of Christmas, plan a week ahead until Christmas Advent, then enjoy the holiday vibes and relaxed mood of Regensburg.
Summers: Regensburg in Summer becomes vibrant. All the restaurants, shops, guided hike starts. Though Regensburg becomes beautiful, the streets become crowded with locals and tourists.
Fall and Spring: Hence, visiting Regensburg during Fall or Spring is another good option to avoid large gatherings of tourists.
Apart from that, it is difficult to pinpoint any month for this charming medieval city. No matter when you go, you can always enjoy your time in Regensburg.
Where to stay in Regensburg?
We have mentioned streetwise best stay options earlier in this post and provided links for hotels and homestays. Those hotels are from mid-range to the luxurious category.
For budget hotels, the following options we would definitely consider for Regensburg:
Ibis Hotel Regensburg City: Ibis hotels are famous among budget travellers because it fits into the budget and offers all the basic amenities that one looks for. Also, they are always near to the city centre.
Check out the prices and book Ibis Budget hotels here.
B&B Hotel Regensburg: Another great affordable budget hotel just 6 minutes drive away from the main station. It also offers a buffet breakfast. This hotel is famous among the budget couple and family travellers.
Look at the prices, review and availability of this hotel here.
For Airbnb stays, check out the below-mentioned options. Use our Airbnb code to get $35 off on your first booking.
Private City Centre Room: It is a top-floor apartment in the 98 years building. You will get your own room, a kitchen, and a bed and a shared bathroom. Gregory is a Superhost and also makes traditional Bavarian breakfast with pre-orders.
Find out the prices and book the room here.
Central City Apartment With Graden: Augusta hosts this charming little studio apartment with direct access to the terrace and garden. This apartment has a perfect setting for a quiet and romantic holiday. You can feel the warmth of the personal touch given to this lovely apartment by Augusta. It is also within walking distance of the city centre.
Go through the dates and prices here.
Cute and Bright Maisonette In Central Location: Jen’s place is located in the young neighbourhoods of Regensburg. It is near to the city centre. Being a Superhost Jen makes sure that you have a great holiday in Regensburg.
For availability and prices check here.
How to Travel to Regensburg?
By Air: There is no airport in Regensburg. The nearest airport is Munich or Nuremberg or Frankfurt. From the airport, there are two ways of reaching Regensburg. One is via Train and another via shuttle service.
Shuttle service: A 24-hour commercial shuttle service runs from Munich to Regensburg. The average cost is 42 Euro, and advance booking is necessary. Book the shuttle service for Regensburg here.
By Train: Deutsche Bahn brings you to Regensburg from all the above mentioned major airports. In Deutsche Bahn, they have two categories of trains. One is super fast ICE, and another is regional trains. ICE bookings and timings search here. (Advance booking is necessary.) The cheapest option is to buy a Bayern ticket at the train station from the ticket vending machine. One – way journey for a single person is 25 Euro and for couples 32 Euro. This ticket is valid across all the major public transports across Bavaria for the day.
By Bus: The cheapest option in Bus is often the Flix bus. However, you can always compare the prices with other bus services in Omio and Checkmybus.
By car: Apart from Shuttle services, if you want to drive on your own, then rent a car with Europcar. They provide a wide range of services, from Personal-drive to Share&drive. Browse through their latest options here.
What are the means of transportation in Regensburg?
Transportation in Regensburg is very easy, as the city solely relies on buses for public transport. RVV looks after the bus service in Regensburg. These buses are yellow coloured and run on the zone basis. There are 10 zones in Regensburg, including the city and outskirts.
For the city tour, we would recommend you to buy Day ticket up to 2 zone, which costs 5 Euro for 2 persons. This day ticket is valid for 24 hours starting from 9 A.M. You can find all the details regarding zones here. Also, do not forget to download the RVV app for easy access.
Cars are not a workable option to explore the old city.
Instead, you can rent bicycles to explore the cobbled streets of Regensburg. There are many bike rental companies, but our favourite is Zweirad Ehrl GmbH. They do not take any deposits and are completely hassle-free.
Tips to be a Responsible Traveller:
Carry your own thermos water bottle and request to refill it in restaurants. (Sometimes restaurants charge you for this.)
Always throw the garbage in the differentiated waste bins. Germany has one of the best waste management systems. So, read the instructions before throwing your wastes into the bins.
When you are inside a Church or any historical places, do not litter and follow the instruction to show respect for the local culture.
To check out the vegetarian options near you, download the happycow app.
Keep these things in mind if you are travelling during winters:
It is always better if you exchange currency at the airports before departure or through banks.
In Germany, especially it is important to carry cash as many shops, restaurants and places only accept cash. So, the best option is to go for travel cards. You can compare the best travel cards for 2020 here.
Before planning your travel week, always check the weather predictions.
If you are travelling during winters, then always carry an umbrella. Because winters in Germany are often unpredictable with rains and snowfall.
Dress in Layers and cover properly because German-winters are very windy.
Wear comfortable, waterproof boots/shoes to avoid the cold or slipping over snow.
Always carry a mini moisturiser with you to avoid drying of hands.
To use a restroom, look for WC signs. In most of the places, public toilets charge simple fees towards maintenance.