15 Best Things to do in Würzburg, Germany

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Whenever I think of Würzburg, the first thing that comes to mind is the charming old town and the wine culture – but there’s so much more to it. One of the most famous cities in Bavaria, there are many things to do in Würzburg, no matter if you’re just coming for a day or an entire weekend.

Where is Würzburg?

Würzburg Map

Würzburg is located in Bavaria in southern Germany on the river “Main.” If you’d also break it down into Bavarian regions, you’ll find Würzburg in “Franconia.”

It’s easy to reach by car or train and, for example, only one hour from Nürnberg. It’s a great day trip destination to dive into cultural heritage, hip cafes, and boutiques.

Fun Things to do in Würzburg, Germany

1. Take a tour of the world-famous Würzburg Residence and Court Gardens

Würzburg Residence and Skyline

Let’s start with the most obvious one. If you’ve already researched possible things to do in Würzburg, the “Würzburg Residenz” usually pops up first. The Residence and Hofgarten combined are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are an absolute must-see in Würzburg.

A tour of the Residence will lead you through 40 different rooms. You can see rooms rich in tapestries, furniture, Rococo-style mirrors, and exceptional art throughout the building.

The stucco works are impressive (especially in the White Hall and Vestibule), and the wall paintings in the Imperial Hall are admirable. 

The Residence has a lot to discover, so you should plan for a few hours at this attraction. Once you’re in there, make sure not to miss the documentation room, which displays the entire reconstruction process after the damage suffered in 1945 at the tale end of World War II.

The fee for the Residency is currently 9€ per adult without any applied discounts. Entry to the court garden and the court church is free. Even if you’re not in the mood to visit the whole Residence, I’d recommend at least going for a stroll in the court gardens. 

2. Stroll through “Klein Nizza” 

Klein Nizza Park

The “Klein Nizza” area is an excellent opportunity to slow down after touring the city. It is conveniently located next to the Court Gardens and actually describes a certain part of the Ringpark.

Due to its variety of floral arrangements, it reminds visitors of the French city “Nice,” which was the reason for the given name; “Nice”, or in German; “Nizza”)

Ringpark runs at the side of the old town and is excellent to pace down and admire nature.

Besides stunning flowers, you’ll also find a small pond with ducks. You’ll find a lot of kids in this area, especially around the time of year small ducklings hatch. There is also a public toilet close to the pond!

Monument in Klein Nizza

If the Court Gardens and Ringpark weren’t enough yet, Würzburg also has a botanical garden that’s definitely worth checking out!

In the summer season, you will find many horticulture students studying in the botanical gardens, since it’s not far from the university. It is a beautiful sight to see on a Würzburg walking tour.

See Related: Best Islands in Germany to Visit

3. Cross the Alte Mainbrücke and join locals for a “Brückenschoppen”

Würzburg Old Town Bridge

The “Alte Mainbrücke” is Würzburgs oldest bridge and connects the old town with the Marienviertel and the Marienberg. Along the left bank of the bridge, you will find the “Brückenheiligen.” These are twelve stone figures of essential personalities connected to Würzburg.

Besides that, a fun tradition was established on this bridge: the “Brückenschoppen.”

What does that mean?

The restaurants along the bridge (e.g., the “Alte Mainmühle”) sell “to-go” wine to drink on the bridge. This wine is called “Brückenschoppen” and evolved into a classic thing to do in Würzburg.

Especially on a weekend summer night, you will find multiple groups standing along the Main bridge sipping on their wine while having a great time along the bridge. 

A quick side note: “Brückenschoppen” is not the name for a particular type of grape or wine they only sell on the bridge. You can get multiple types of wine; you’d just refer to the act of drinking this wine as “having a Brückenschoppen.”

Brückenschoppen Building

If you’d rather sit down with your glass of wine, you might want to check the Alte Mainmühle for open seats on their outside terrace.

Here, you can enjoy a delicious meal accompanied by local wine and an incredible view of the bridge, the Main river, and the fortress. Since this location is unique and famous, I’d recommend making a reservation beforehand.

Walking down the Alte Mainbrücke all the way will also provide you with an insanely beautiful view of the city, with the vivid bridge and the cathedral’s towers in the background!

You may explore the bridge and other attractions in a Würzburg old town tour.

4. Climb up to the Marienberg Fortress 

Marienberg Fortress and Skyline

The Marienberg Fortress is another iconic attraction in Würzburg. While you can drive up to the fortress in your own car, I’d highly recommend taking one of the scenic paths up the hill.

There are three different paths leading up and down the fortress. One will lead you through the grapevines, the other through the “Tellsteige,” and the third will guide you through the “Landesgartenschau” park area.

Fürstengarten in Würzburg

They can be a little challenging, especially in the summer heat. Make sure to pack water and sunscreen since most of the paths are in direct sunlight. 

My favorite course up the Marienberg is the one through the vineyards. Besides the way being beautifully displayed itself, the view of the city during your walk is absolutely stunning. 

Once you reach the fortress Marienberg, you will have one of the best views of Würzburg, the main river, and the surrounding areas.

There are guided tours to the fortress, however, you can also tour the fortress on your own. My favorite sights in the fortress are the Fürstengarten and the Church of St. Mary.

Once you finish touring the fortress, you can visit the Museum of Franconia or sit down for a refreshing drink in the “Schänke Zur Alten Wache” beer garden.

See Related: Best Castles in Germany to Visit

5. Dive into the local wine culture 

Sipping Wine with View from the Alte Mainmühle

As you might have already noticed, Würzburg and wine go hand in hand. Visiting the city is an excellent opportunity to learn more about wine and dive into the local wine traditions.

Wineries like the Juliusspital or the Bürgerspital are open for tours behind the scenes. (Of course, you can only stop for food in the restaurants and drink some tasty wine as well).

Besides visiting wine cellars, you can also tour the grapevines on one of the many trails. And if you’re lucky, you come just in time for one of the wine festivals like the “Wein am Stein.” This one usually takes place in July.

You can check the dates and news on their official website.

6. Recharge and enjoy local cuisine in a beer garden 

Getting tired of all the wine?

It’s time for a stop at the beer garden. Immersing yourself in the hallowed beer garden tradition in Bavaria is an excellent opportunity to dive into local cuisine.

My personal recommendation for a beer garden in Würzburg would be the Hofbräu. Here you can have some refreshing beer from the local brewery and enjoy Franconian/Bavarian dishes. The location is absolutely scenic, and the food is delicious.

If you’re in the mood for something unique, try their “Brizza,” – The fusion of Pretzel and Pizza.

Some other great beer gardens in Würzburg would be the Goldene Gans, Schützenhof and the Lämmle.

There is another well-known beer garden located directly next to the Residence. However, this one is pretty expensive and touristy. You mainly pay for the location, so I’d recommend skipping this one.

See Related: Best Breweries in Germany | Top German beer

7. People watching at St Mary’s chapel and market square 

St Mary's Chapel

Located in the heart of the market square, St Mary’s chapel is another Würzburg attraction you shouldn’t miss. What’s interesting about this gothic chapel is its unique history.

This Würzburg area was once the Jewish quarter and home to a Synagogue. With anti-semitic conflicts throughout the Middle Ages, this Synagogue was destroyed in 1347.

With the Jewish population massacred and expelled (not the last time Würzburg would be so hostile toward Jews), a wooden chapel was planned to be built over the Synagogue’s remains. It wasn’t until 1377 that the construction of the chapel we see now started.

The Market Square and its permanent market is an excellent place to people-watch and enjoy some coffee or fresh, local produce from the sellers.

The marketplace is the city’s heart, and nearby attractions like Neumünster and the Alte Mainbrücke are just a few meters by foot. This makes it a great location to start your adventures or take a break between visiting all of the attractions.

See Related: Best Family Vacation Ideas in Germany

8. Climb or drive up to the “Käppele” 

Käppele on the Top of the Hill

On another hill outside the old town, you’ll find the Pilgrimage Church of the Visitation of Mary, which is also (mainly) known as “Käppele.”

You can take the bus up the Nikolausberg to visit the Käppele or walk the stations (“Stationsweg”) and dive into the pilgrim culture even more. The Käppele also offers a fantastic view of the city and the fortress.

Overall, the Käppele is not only known as a famous spot to pilgrimage. It also evolved into a sacred place for religious lovebirds.

The chapel doesn’t only marry couples but also offers regular church services for couples. The newest addition to the repertoire is a service to bless couples or women awaiting the birth of a child.

Since the Käppele is used as a wedding location, you might need to plan your itinerary accordingly. The weddings are usually on Saturday, mainly in the summer months. If possible, you should plan your visit to the Käppele on any other day of the week.

For a church, the Käppele certainly is one of the more unique Würzburg tourist attractions. Even if you’re not religious, I’d recommend visiting the Käppele. The chapel is a work of art, and the panoramic view over Würzburg is impressive!

See Related: Is Germany Safe to Visit? Things to Know

9. Visit an art gallery or museum

Würzburg Cityscape

Würzburg offers a variety of galleries and museums that are worth a visit. Some are conveniently located within or next to the city’s main attractions.

Museums and galleries that are worth considering would be:

Domschatz and Museum am Dom

While the Domschatz displays precious religious artifacts, the Museum am Dom (Museum at the Cathedral) is more of a general art museum with many different art pieces on display spanning over 1,000 years of art history.

Museum für Franken

This museum is located in the Marienberg Fortress and displays regional artworks, wooden sculptures, anthropological collections, and artifacts of the Franconian wine culture. It’s one of the town’s top attractions for history buffs.

Martin von Wagner Museum

The Martin von Wagner Museum can be found in the south wing of the Würzburg Residence and is one of Europe’s most influential university museums. It mainly displays ancient artworks and famous paintings of all epochs. 

Museum Shalom Europe

This museum is ideal for deep diving into Jewish history and life. You can learn more about Jewish life in Würzburg, the numerous local atrocities committed against the Jewish people for centuries, gain further insights into Jewish traditions, and visit recovered tombstones from the Middle Ages.

Röntgen-Gedächtnisstätte

The Röntgen memorial site honors the life and work of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. He discovered the X-radiation and won the first Nobel prize for physics. You can get further insights in the museum by viewing original documents and devices.

Kulturspeicher

The Museum im Kulturspeicher Würzburg is a cultural museum that houses permanent and changing exhibitions. The permanent artworks on display are mainly local, historical artworks and a collection of concrete art in Europe by Peter Ruppert. The collection spans from the Second World War to the present.

“Arte Noah” Art ship

The “Arte Noah” is an old cargo ship in Würzburgs old harbor, housing exhibitions from March until November. The exhibits change regularly, and every collection offers a workshop for children. Visiting the “Arte Noah” is definitely among the fun things to do in Würzburg, especially with kids. 

10. Go on a “Bimmelbahn” ride

If you stroll the old town, you might come across the “Bimmelbahn” once or twice. This red and white city train is another staple, especially for tourists. It will drive you through the old town and by many Würzburgs attractions, all while getting information through the speakers.

It is a fun thing to do in Würzburg and a great way to get an overview of the city. It leaves every hour from the Balthasar Neumann Promenade (In front of the Residence), and the entire tour takes around 40 minutes. 

You can purchase your tickets online, join a train tour, or from a vendor next to the Residence. The fee of 9€ also includes a free coffee in the Schönborn Café!

If you’re traveling with little kids, riding the Bimmelbahn is among the most fun things to do in Würzburg, especially for young children!

See Related: Best Lakes in Germany

11. Take a themed tour to explore the city

There are multiple options to go on a guided tour to explore more of the town. Since city tours can get quite boring sometimes, why not spice it up with a themed tour?

There are a variety of possible tours you could take, which have a unique spin that offers a lot of fun while exploring Würzburg.

My personal favorites would be:

The regional classic – a winery tour

Vineyards at Würzburg

Well, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise. There are multiple possibilities to tour the wineries of Würzburg and learn about winemaking, visit the cellars and taste their wines.

I’d recommend checking the estates individually to check their current options for English-guided tours through Würzburg’s official website and list of wineries

The Cicero Tour: a modern twist with fun guaranteed

Marienberg Fortress and Skyline

This tour is perfect for those that prefer going at their own pace. It’s an interactive city rally you can play on your own or with a group of friends. It doubles as a tour and game – perfect for those that look for an adventure!

You can book it on the official Ciceru Website and start your tour whenever you’re ready.

12. Visit St. Kilian cathedral, the religious center of Würzburg

St. Kilian Cathedral

The St. Kilian cathedral (aka Würzburg Cathedral) is another famous sight in Würzburg and can be found in the middle of the old town. It’s considered the 4th largest Romanian church building in Germany and dates back to around 1040.

St. Kilian is the most sacred religious center in town and among the main attractions in Würzburg.

Thousands of people visit St Kilian all year round, especially during the Kiliani pilgrimage week. The street in front of the cathedral is also one of the iconic views of Würzburg. 

Next to the cathedral is an interesting museum; the aforementioned “Museum am Dom,” which displays inspiring pieces of art and exhibitions with changing topics.  

Just like most German churches, the cathedral is open for visitors all day, and you can tour it on your own whenever there’s no ongoing church service. In the summer season, you can also book an official tour for 4€.

See Related: Best Parks in Germany to Visit

13. Explore Neumünster church and the tombs

Neumünster Architecture

The Neumünster church dates back until the 11th Century and can also be found in the old town, just a few meters from the St Kilian chapel. I like the romanesque architecture of this church more than St Kilian cathedral architecture – so make sure to pay this church a short visit as well.

When visiting the Neumünster church, make sure to also tour the Krypta. In “Kilian’s tomb,” you’ll also get a glimpse of the old fountain that was once believed to have healing abilities. 

In general, touring the churches and chapels is perfect if you’re looking for free things to do in Würzburg (or any other city for that matter).

14. Wander the old town with its picturesque sights

Schustergasse Lively Street

Würzburgs old town is the melting point of tradition and modern, vibrant life. Taking a walk through the old town is an absolute necessity, and not only because you’ll find some of the main attractions within this area. You’ll also find modern boutiques, hip cafés, traditional restaurants, and historical sights.

Some other sights you can discover during your strolls would be the Vierröhrenbrunnen, the old town hall, and the Grafeneckart. Make sure you also walk through the scenic “Schustergasse” and snap a few pictures.

Würzburg Old Town Architecture

The entire city is incredibly picturesque, so don’t forget to capture all the charming corners! 

If you’re getting tired of walking, there are plenty of cafés, beer gardens, and restaurants to take a break from all the sightseeing!

See Related: Things to Do in Germany: Cultural Do’s & Don’ts to Know

15. Walk along the river and visit the “Alte Kranen”

Alte Kranen Scenery

Another great path to stroll around is the trail along the river. You’ll find some great restaurants, bars, and the iconic “Alte Kranen.” This dockside crane is another iconic landmark and is nowadays commonly used as a spot to meet friends and hang out, especially in the summer months.

Grab something to drink and head down to the waterside for a relaxed summer night, just like the locals do!

Is Würzburg worth visiting?

Definitely yes!

The size of the city makes it a great place to explore in a day or during a weekend in the area. It’s easy to reach, especially by public transport. The main train station is within walking distance to the old town, making everything a lot more convenient!

Würzburgs tourist attractions are known worldwide, and the wine region in northern Bavaria is simply charming.

The local culture and history aren’t only represented by buildings like the cathedral or the Marienberg fortress but also by the cuisine and ongoing traditions. 

Suppose you want to experience a vivid, young yet historical Bavarian city. In that case, you definitely need to pay Würzburg a visit!

Of course, Würzburg has more to offer than you’ll find in these 15 things to do. However, these will give you the best glimpse of this Franconian pearl.

What I love about exploring this town are the many free things to do in Würzburg, e.g., the churches and gardens. In addition, the tradition around wine is outstanding, and you can feel the city’s pride with everything you see and do.

Final Thoughts

Let me finish this article about what to do in Würzburg with a bonus travel tip.

If you enjoy Würzburg and want to see more of Bavaria, you should start planning your trip to Regensburg.

This city in the heart of Bavaria will remind you of Würzburg and make you love southern Germany even more. Does this sound good? If yes, get some inspiration for more in my guide about the Top 10 Things to do in Regensburg.

FAQ

Where should I stay in Würzburg?

For a truly fabulous stay, check into the Hotel Melchior Park near the University Library. For more budget-conscious folks, the B&B Hotel Würzburg has a buffet breakfast and incredible views. If you’re looking for a rental in the heart of the action, check out this delightful little number right next to the Old Main Bridge.

Where is Würzburg?

Würzburg is located in Bavaria in southern Germany on the river “Main.” If you’d also break it down into Bavarian regions, you’ll find Würzburg in “Franconia.”

It’s easy to reach by car or train and, for example, only one hour from Nürnberg. It’s a great day trip destination to dive into cultural heritage, hip cafes, and boutiques.

How do you spell Würzburg?

If you’ve already heard about Würzburg, you might have seen the city’s name written in multiple versions. Since the German “ü” isn’t common across the borders, the “English way” to write it would be Wuerzburg or Wurzburg.

Both versions are correct; however, the city’s actual name would be “Würzburg” with that umlaut over the “u”.

How do you pronounce Würzburg?

If you want to sound (almost) German in your pronunciation of this place, try saying “vooertz-borg”.

Related Resources

Authors Bios:

Hi there, nice to e-meet you! I’m Julia, a German travel blogger and flight attendant. On JetlagJules, I take you along my travels and share my experiences and tips. My mission is not only to help you have a wonderful trip but also to share my knowledge when it comes to creating content along with it.


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