Sometimes travel is overwhelming. Not just packing and getting there, but for me it’s all the stress about making sure I see and do everything. I may only get to visit a city once, so there’s all this pressure to get the most of it!
But with Würzburg, the stress was so minimal. The city is so relaxing, and it’s just the right size. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s one of Germany’s wine capitals 😉 Visiting Würzburg is the perfect mix of sights and food and old world charm.
It may not be as famous as other German cities, but Würzburg should definitely be on your bucket list. Here’s my guide to what to do, what to eat and drink, and where to stay. There’s a Google Map at the end of the post with all the important places marked to make your trip even easier.
What to Do:
I never pass up a change to visit a palace, and the Würzburg Residence does not disappoint. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside, but don’t even think about skipping the tour! The palace was built in the 18th century as the home for the Prince Bishops of Würzburg, and they wanted to show everyone who visited that they were rich, important people. We’re talking tapestries, murals, and fancy furnishings galore. After the tour you can walk around the picturesque gardens and enjoy the blooms.
Alstadt (Old Town in German) is just lovely. The main square has the Marienkapelle church on one end and a fresh market (Würzburger Wochenmarkt) in the middle. Along the square are shops, restaurants, and cafes, so Alstadt has something for everyone.
Keep an eye out for the tourist office just behind the church if you want maps and more info on the city.
For the best views of the city and a little bit of history, you must make the trek up to Marienburg Fortress, or Festung Marienberg. As you cross the Old Bridge (Alte Mainbrücke) towards it you will see signs for two ways to walk up, one way through the vineyard (a little longer), and one way through the city and garden (a little shorter). My suggestion is to go up one way and down the other so you get the best of both worlds.
If you’re on a budget, the walk up and the view is great. It’s actually a great spot for a picnic, too. If you’d like to get your knowledge on there’s the Princes’ Building Museum and Museum für Franken.
Where and What to Eat/Drink:
Have you heard of white asparagus? It’s very popular in this area of Germany. It’s grown underground so it doesn’t develop the normal green color, and it’s supposedly more tender. It’s available from around April to June, so if you’re there during this time you should definitely try it! I thought it was pretty good, and definitely less bitter than regular asparagus. If you’re staying in a place with a kitchen you could buy the white asparagus at the Würzburger Wochenmarkt and cook it yourself.
Do you ever just walk by a place and know it will be amazing? On our way to Marienburg Fortress we spotted this cool boat restaurant…like a tiny fishing boat with just a few tables and chairs in the open. It’s called Fischbar zum Krebs and they specialize in fish and chips and also have a great beer selection. The view of Alte Mainbrücke and Marienburg Fortress from the boat was the icing on the cake. Or should I say the tartar sauce to our fried fish?
You know I wasn’t going to end this travel guide without talking about wine some more! The Franconia region is known for its white wines, and not just Riesling. Silvaner and Bacchus are two other varieties that you’ll love. We stayed within the city center on this trip, but the surrounding area has many vineyards you can go to for tastings.
If you’re a wine lover, then I highly suggest going to Alte Mainbrücke at night and getting some wine from Alte Mainmühle right on the bridge. They have a little to-go wine counter where you can grab a glass and chat with friends while enjoying the scenery. Even on a week day you can find several people socializing and having a great time.
Where to Stay:
Würzburg is a highly walkable city, so there’s no need to worry about getting a hotel in the perfect area. I would recommend staying on the east side of the river, closer to the Old Town area, so you can just stroll through the streets and shops. We stayed at the Hotel Residence (the orange marker on the map) and had a great view of the fortress out of our window!
I hope you get a chance to visit Würzburg, especially in the spring when all the flowers are in bloom. Although, I have heard that they have wonderful Christmas markets, so really don’t miss out on a chance to enjoy this beautiful city no matter the season.