Bayreuth, Germany is a great city to visit for a weekend. It has everything you need to keep you entertained from culture to palaces and of course beer.
Bayreuth, Germany is a city of culture, palaces, and beer. It’s also a wonderful place to spend a weekend. I was lucky enough to have our very own personal tour guide, Nathalie from the Bayreuth Tourist Office.
The Margravial Opera House
Nathalie started off our visit to Bayreuth with a stop at the famed Margravial Opera House. I was especially excited to visit this since it just obtained UNESCO World Heritage Site status on June 30th, 2012. The Margravial has been called the world’s most beautiful unchanged Opera House.
The entire building is made of wood, even though you would never know just by looking at it.
The New Palace in Bayreuth, Germany
Our next stop was the New Palace, which was the residence of the Margraves. My favorite rooms in the palace were the mirrored room, Japanese room, and the Palm room.
The Richard Wagner Museum Bayreuth, Germany
Nearby is the Richard Wagner Museum. It includes a permanent exhibition which has handwritten letters, manuscripts, and scores by the famous composer Richard Wagner. The exhibition documents the life and work of the composer in 3 parts. Due to renovations at the time I did not manage to see the museum myself.
We were there the first weekend in July which every local knows is Bürgerfest (Citizen’s festival). The streets are lined with vendors selling the region’s famous microbrews (which has more microbreweries per capita than anywhere else in Europe!). The festival celebrates the community all day long and way past sundown. Local dance groups and singers of all genres take the stage. It’s THE place to be on the first weekend of July!
I’m sorry we missed out on the Maisel’s Brewery Museum, which is in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s largest beer museum. Admission is available by tour only, which is held at 2:00 pm every day. The AKTIEN Catacombs tour, which takes visitors into the subterranean maze liked cellars also looked interesting but is only open during its daily 4:00 pm tour (right after the Maisel Brewery Museum tour). I will definitely come back to Bayreuth for both of these tours, but if these are on your list, plan your visit accordingly.
The Festival Theater
Next up was the Festival Theater. The theater is where the world-famous Richard Wagner Opera Festival is held every summer. However, it was closed to the public due to rehearsals. So if you would like to visit the Festival Theater, you have to be lucky enough to have tickets to the Festival (which sells out years in advance). Or you can come in September after the festival is over.
We sat on a bench just outside the theater and listened to the rehearsals. They sounded amazing through the theater walls, so I can only imagine how good it would sound in the theater itself which is world-renowned for its acoustics.
The Eremitage, Old Palace
One of my favorite places in Bayreuth was the Eremitage, Old Palace. It was the summer residence for royalty and I could have stayed there all day. The grounds of the Eremitage are huge. With a labyrinthine like maze created by shrubs. Moreover, the cafe with its fountains was one of the most beautiful and relaxing places I’ve ever had a cappuccino. The Old Palace itself (which is only visible by tour) is quirky and I’ve never seen anything like the inside water fountains.
Additional Tourist Info for Bayreuth, Germany:
- Bayreuth is located ~230km north of Munich. Bayreuth is easily reached by auto or train.
- A variety of specialty tours (especially for Richard Wagner fans) are offered through the Bayreuth Tourist Office (contact them for details).
- In addition to the attractions listed above, Bayreuth is home to a lot of other museums. Including the Museum of Fine Arts, Porcelain Museum and even off-beat museums like the Little Poster Museum, German Typewriter Museums, and the School Museum. Note some of these museums are only open during the week and have limited hours so check in advance.
- Try a segway sightseeing tour of Bayreuth for a great experience of the city without having to walk too far. It is perfect for those unable to walk distances.
Where to Stay in Bayreuth, Germany
The Arvena Kongress Hotel has conveniently located a short walk to the city center and has huge rooms. There is a sauna and a lovely terrace where you can enjoy the views of the surrounding areas.
Hotel Bayerischer Hof has a perfect location and is just a short walk from the center. You can enjoy traditional warmly decorated rooms and a la carte breakfast. The hotel has its own Finnish sauna and a steam room that is free for guests.
Hotel Rheingold is highly rated. The hotel offers comfortable accommodation and a breakfast menu featuring both German and international cuisine. It is located centrally near the main point of interest.
After two days I left Bayreuth, Germany with great admiration and appreciation for all the city has to offer and with the hopes that I will return soon.
Thank you to Bayreuth Tourist Information for hosting us and a special thank you to Nathalie, who gave us a wonderful introduction to Bayreuth.