Bayreuth in northern Bavaria, Germany was an accidental find for us—and a pleasant one at that.
We had no prior plans of visiting Bayreuth when we were in Germany a few months back; it was nearby Nuremberg that was part of our itinerary. However, we found ourselves needing to visit a company that had office branches scattered around Nuremberg, and since the one in Bayreuth was the nearest, we found ourselves boarding the express train to this strapping Franconian town.
Bayreuth is around 40 minutes to an hour by train from Nuremberg. We rode the faster 40-minute train and arrived in time for the mid-morning quiet. What greeted us was a peaceful, classic German oasis with impressive architecture, rich cultural history, quaint squares, great beer and friendly people. We where charmed.
See the top 10 things we love about Bayreuth, which you’d probably do, too.
Bustling market squares, cobbled lanes, outdoor cafes, Biergartens—Bayreuth is a quintessential German village. Despite having been heavily bombed in the last Great War, it has since been rebuilt to reflect its previous status as Germany’s most important cultural center.
Bayreuth is a compact town with all the major attractions located near the city center and near each other. It can easily be explored on foot.
We love places where we can see the sights on foot because for one, it helps us save on transportation costs, and second, walking around, in my opinion, is a more intimate way of getting to know a place better.
3. Majestic Palaces
There are two palaces worth seeing in Bayreuth: the Hermitage (Old Palace) and the Neues Schloss (New Palace). Because we were there for a limited time, we were able to see only the grounds of the Neues Schloss. Neues Schloss‘ facade was remarkable and if that were any indication, then the inside would be a grand affair as well.
4. Grand Opera Houses
Bayreuth is home to the glorious Margravial Opera House, the Baroque style opera house that drew German composer Richard Wagner into town. It’s a beautiful ornate building that deserves your admiration.
5. Diverse Museums
Bayreuth boasts of plenty of interesting museums—from archaeological to art to history and many more.
We were able to see only two: the Franz Liszt Museum and the German Freemason Museum. The latter was only a short walk from the former, so we dropped by as well.
Franz Liszt was a 19th century composer and piano virtuoso, who was also Richard Wagner’s father in law. He lived the last years of his life in Bayreuth, and today his old house is open to the public as a museum. Since I play the piano, I am familiar with Liszt’s works and got excited upon learning that there’s a museum dedicated to him in the neighborhood. You bet that was our first stop after we were through with our official business in town.
6. Lovely Garden
Bayreuth’s own Hofgarten isn’t as large as Munich’s famed English Garden, but it’s as scenic, idyllic and lovely. The weather was fine during our trip and we had a good time there taking in nature’s beauty in between our sightseeing.
7. Amazing Architecture
Wilhelmine, the Margravine of Bayreuth back in the day, was a lover of the arts and architecture, and that can be seen in many of the town’s historical landmarks. Bayreuth is peppered with remarkable Baroque and Rococo styled buildings, which is a big departure from the other usual medieval-themed towns in Bavaria.
8. Cheap Prices
Prices in Bayreuth are reasonable. This includes attraction passes, food, dining and shopping. For instance, a museum pass at the Franz Liszt museum costs only €2.50. We took advantage of the cheap prices and bought a few souvenirs ourselves.
9. Friendly Locals
People in this town are friendly, with ready smiles on their faces. They’re helpful with directions, too.
10. Peace and Quiet
Bayreuth is a fusion of interesting sights and relative serenity. Except for the 30-day Richard Wagner festival every summer when people would flock to Bayreuth, it mostly enjoys peace and quiet most of the year. We love this easy laid-back atmosphere that allows us to enjoy the attractions at our own leisure. It’s also a nice town to get a mini-vacation from one’s vacation should the non-stop sightseeing tires one down.
So these are the top things to love about Bayreuth. How about you? Have you visited Bayreuth? What do you love about it?