10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Regensburg
Regensburg lies at the most northerly point in the course of the Danube, where it's joined by the River Regen and navigable all the way to the Black Sea. Long an important trade and cultural center, Regensburg's medieval townscape - now a UNESCO World Heritage Site - is made up of numerous churches and fine old aristocratic houses from the 13th and 14th centuries. Regensburg is also a popular river cruise destination, with excursion ships sailing the local waterways and beyond. Visitors are also drawn to this historic city for its wonderful cathedral, its Roman remains, and its location at the doorstep of the Black Forest and other attractions in southern Germany.
See also: Where to Stay in Regensburg
1 Regensburg Cathedral - St. Peter's
Near the Stone Bridge in Regensburg lies the Domplatz, the Cathedral Square, for centuries the hub of the city. The 13th-century Cathedral of St. Peter, with its two 105-meter-high spires and magnificent west front dating from 1395-1440, is the finest Gothic church in Bavaria. Its spacious interior is of great beauty, its most notable features being its superb 14th-century stained glass and the figures of the Annunciation from 1280 on the two western piers of the crossing. Adjoining the beautiful 14th-century cloister is the Romanesque All Saints Chapel with its wonderful wall paintings, and on the north side is St. Stephen's Chapel, which dates back to 800 AD. The cathedral is famed for its boys' choir, the Domspatzen, and a highlight of any visit is to hear them in action. Also of note is the Cathedral Treasury with its displays of gold and textiles from the 11th to the 20th century. Adjoining the Bishop's Palace is the Niedermünster, a former abbey with the tomb of St. Erhard, numerous 12th-century frescoes, and the excavated remains of Roman buildings.
Address: Domplatz 1, 93047 Regensburg
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Regensburg
2 The Stone Bridge and Museum
The best views of Regensburg are from the 310-meter-long Stone Bridge (Steinerne Brücke), an impressive 12th-century structure that has straddled the Danube for more than 900 years. This masterpiece of medieval engineering, now for pedestrians only, also offers great views of the Danube and the many tourist and pleasure vessels that pass below. Be sure to visit the Bridge Tower Museum in the last surviving of the bridge's three towers. Highlights include artifacts and documents relating to the construction of the bridge, as well as its 17th-century tower clock (it also offers superb views from the top of the tower). Two other buildings worth checking out near the bridge: the Sausage Kitchen, which has reputedly sold its excellent treats here since the 12th-century; and the historic Salt Warehouse built in 1620, fully restored and used for community events.
Address: Weiße-Lamm-Gasse, 93047 Regensburg
3 Schottenkirche - The Scots Monastery
At the west end of the old town of Regensburg, in Jakobstrasse, is the Schottenkirche, also known as the Scottish Church or Scots Monastery. Built in 1150 by Irish monks, this former Benedictine monastery - originally named Jakobskirche or St. James Abbey - was eventually named after the numerous Scottish monks and missionaries who called it home from 1560 to 1860. A highlight of a visit is the spectacularly ornate north doorway - the Scottish Doorway - which has resulted in the church being named one of Germany's most important Romanesque ecclesiastical buildings. Also of importance is nearby St. Ulrich's Church, an Early Gothic church dating from 1025 and home to the Diocesan Museum with its sacred art from the 11th century onwards.
4 Walhalla, Donaustauf
At Donaustauf, just 11 kilometers east of Regensburg, is spectacular Walhalla, the famous German Temple of Fame. Built to resemble the Parthenon in Athens, it stands 96 meters above the Danube and boasts amazing views of the surrounding area. Built by Leo von Klenze from 1830-42 during the reign of Ludwig I, it was designed as a place to honor famous German-speakers from history. This impressive neoclassical monument - named after the Valhalla of Norse legend - boasts more than 65 plaques and 130 marble busts covering some 2,000 years of history. A pleasant half-day trip involves taking a tour boat from Regensburg to Walhalla, a round trip of approximately four hours, including a tour of the building.
Address: Walhalla Verwaltung, Walhalla Strasse 48, Donaustauf
5 The Hall of Liberation, Kelheim
Another excellent Bavarian attraction easily accessible via the Danube can be found at Kelheim, 26 kilometers southwest of Regensburg. Here, high above the Danube on the Michaelsberg is the Hall of Liberation (Befreiungshalle), a towering 59-meter-high edifice built in 1863 in a style similar to that of ancient Rome. Constructed in the form of a large rotunda, this inspiring structure commemorates the wars of German liberation of 1813-15. Inside, 34 goddesses of victory can be seen, as well as important inscriptions from Ludwig I, while the facade's buttresses are adorned with 18 statues commemorating the 18 German tribes.
Address: Befreiungshallestraße 3, 93309 Kelheim
6 The Old Cornmarket and Old Town Hall
The heart of Regensburg's wonderful UNESCO-World-Heritage-status Old Town focuses around the Alter Kornmarkt, or Old Cornmarket. It's here you'll see the oldest surviving part of the town, the Roman Tower dating from the 2nd century, and the Herzogshof, a residence of the Dukes of Bavaria first mentioned in 988 AD. On the south side of the square stands the Old Chapel (Alte Kapelle) dating from 1002 with its sumptuous Rococo interior, as well as the 17th-century Baroque Carmelite Church. Other highlights to explore include the Regensburg Museum of History in an old monastery with its fine displays of Roman and medieval artifacts, and the Kepler House, where astronomer Johannes Kepler died in 1630 (it's now a museum with original instruments and documents). It's also where you'll find the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) dating from the 14th - 18th centuries with its historical apartments, medieval courtroom, art collection, and antiquities. The building's superb Imperial Hall (Reichssaal) is the famous meeting-place of the first German parliament from 1663-1806.
Address: Rathausplatz 4, D-93047 Regensburg
7 St. Blasius' and St. Emmeram's
St. Blasius', an early Gothic Dominican Church dating from the 13th century, is one of the biggest and oldest surviving Gothic churches in Germany. Highlights include many lovely murals and tombs, a late Gothic Virgin of Mercy, as well as a 15th-century desk in the same room where St. Albertus Magnus, one of Europe's leading scholars, once taught. Another old church of note is the former Benedictine monastery of St. Emmeram. Founded in the 7th century on the site of an old Roman building, the church features a Romanesque porch from 1170 and an exquisite doorway with three 11th-century limestone reliefs. The church has a sumptuous Baroque interior added in 1733, which contains a number of magnificent tombs from the 12th - 15th centuries, as well as three crypts.
Address: Beraiterweg, 93047 Regensburg
8 Regensburg Museum of Danube Shipping
Near the Iron Bridge (Eiserne Brücke) in Regensburg, you'll see a couple of old vessels moored on the banks of the Danube. These are the museum ships Ruthof/Ersekcsanad, an old paddle steamer, and the diesel tugboat, Freudenau, the main attractions at the Regensburg Museum of Danube Shipping. Other highlights include displays of artifacts and materials related to the history of shipping in Bavaria, including the lives of the people that navigated these rivers.
Address: Thundorfer Straße, 93047 Regensburg
9 Art Forum East German Gallery
Dedicated to modern art, the Art Forum East German Gallery (Kunstforum) showcases the work of artists from the many German-influenced cultural regions of Eastern Europe. Consisting of an impressive collection of more than 2,000 paintings, plus numerous sculptures, sketches, and drawings, the museum is a must-see for art fans.
Address: Dr. Johann-Maier-Straße 5, 93049 Regensburg
On the banks of the Danube, the four-acre Herzogspark is a pleasant place to spend time. Highlights of this ancient public park - it dates back to 1293 - include a botanical garden, the medieval Prebrunnturm (a tower built at the same time as the garden) as well as the remains of the town's former moat. Of special interest to gardeners are the lovely alpine garden with its carnations, primroses, and rhododendrons, as well as a rose garden. Also of interest is the recently added Renaissance Garden, laid out in a style common to that period. Afterwards, pay a visit to the Württembergisches Palais, home of the Natural History Museum of Eastern Bavaria.
Where to Stay in Regensburg for Sightseeing
We recommend these convenient hotels in Regensburg with easy access to the city's charming old town:
- Grand Hotel Orphee: historic luxury, old town location, antique furnishings, uniquely decorated rooms, French bistro.
- Sorat Insel-Hotel Regensburg: 4-star hotel, beautiful riverside setting, short stroll to old town, modern decor, large rooms, great breakfast.
- Hotel Goliath am Dom: mid-range pricing, central location, friendly front desk staff, comfortable beds.
- Ibis Regensburg City: budget-friendly rates, near train station, sleek decor, multilingual staff.