9 tips for a weekend in Bayreuth - sights and excursion destinations in the festival city
Bayreuth sights and insider tips
At the end of September we went to the city of festivals and culture. Admittedly, anyone who thinks of Bayreuth first associates the Franconian city with the famous festival. They are also omnipresent in Bayreuth, just like the centuries-old love story between the city and music. And maybe it's the music that gives Bayreuth that special magic that only a few other historic cities can exude. Because if you think of Bayreuth as a sleepy and dusty little town, you are wrong. Bayreuth is lively, lively, romantic and young. After all, we are in a university town with around 13.000 students. That's why there is life in Bayreuth outside of the festival. You can therefore look forward to a creative café & bar scene.
In just two days we experienced, saw, walked and photographed so much. Oh yes, and even danced! But we'll get to that later. In this blog article we show you our 9 tips and the most beautiful sights of the festival city.
This article is in friendly collaboration with Bayreuth tourism developed. Thanks a lot for this!
- Bayreuth sights and insider tips
- W like Bayreuth? The 4 W's of the city
- Bayreuth sights and insider tips: Our top 9 most beautiful & romantic sights in Bayreuth
- 1. Friedrichstrasse Bayreuth – Jean Paul, the women and a poodle
- 2. Hermitage - Probably the most romantic place in Bayreuth
- 3. Lower Grotto in the Hermitage
- 4. Bayreuth New Palace
- 5. The courtyard garden at the New Palace
- 6. Castle Church and Bayreuth Castle Tower: Over the rooftops of Bayreuth
- 7. Mariengärtlein at the Castle Church - Small oasis in the city center
- 8. Walk of Wagner & Richard Wagner Museum
- 9. Guided tour of the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth: World Heritage with a WOW factor
- Bayreuth by bike: More sights & insider tips in Bayreuth
- Restaurants & cafes in Bayreuth
- Accommodation in Bayreuth
- Going out, partying & dancing in Bayreuth.: Events in Bayreuth with insider tips
- Extraordinary: Operla in Bayreuth
- Photo tip: consumption house – the narrowest house in Bayreuth
W like Bayreuth? The 4 W's of the city
Before we go to our Bayreuth highlights, I would like to introduce you to the 4 Ws that characterize Bayreuth.
W like Wagner – The Richard Wagner Festival
The world-famous Richard Wagner Festival takes place in Bayreuth every year. It is not uncommon for you to bump into one or the other celebrity during the festival. The tickets are in great demand and if you want to visit the festival, you have to be patient. While a waiting period of 9 years (!) used to be common, nowadays it is "only" three. Around 60.000 visitors flock to the Richard Wagner Festival every year.
W like Wilhelmine von Bayreuth - all-rounder and power woman
Historically, Bayreuth provides incredibly good material for a new hit series on Netflix. We have a princess who came to her new hometown rather reluctantly at first, but was happy to stay. She could have become Queen of England, but created a new home for herself and her husband Frederick III in what was then an unspectacular town. from Brandenburg-Bayreuth. She philosophized about life with Voltaire, wrote her own operas, wrote her memoirs in French and, among other things, built an opera house that has lost none of its overwhelming opulence centuries later. Wilhelmine was certainly ahead of her time. Maybe Netflix will get in touch sooner or later to film her eventful life.
W for World Heritage – The Margravial Opera House
What would Bayreuth be without the Margravial Opera House? In June 2012, the baroque court theater was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rightly so, because the building is still a unique monument. From the outside, the opera house may seem almost inconspicuous, but inside it is a spectacular eye-catcher. And of course it is even more overwhelming live than in the pictures. Therefore, I can only recommend that you take part in a guided tour of the opera house. You can find out more and more information about the Margravial Opera House in our top 9 of the most beautiful & most romantic sights in Bayreuth.
W for wheat and sausage - The beer museum that made it into the Guinness Book of World Records
Did you know that the largest beer museum in the world is also in Bayreuth? the Maisel's beer adventure world in the historic building of the old brewery Gebr. Maisel KG tells the history of beer brewing on 4.500 square meters. And visitors can be there live when new beers are created. Til Schweiger even had an exclusive beer brewed at Maisel's for his own restaurant. But the Maisel's Beer Experience World is not the only attraction that makes it into the Guinness Book of Records. With a total of 200 breweries, the Upper Franconia region produces over 1.000 different types of beer - making it the world record holder for the highest brewery density in relation to the number of inhabitants.
In addition to beer, sausage is also considered a Franconian sanctuary. The red bratwurst stands are spread throughout the city. However, if you want to eat the “real Bayreuth bratwurst”, you should go to the “original” bratwurst house on Richard-Wagner-Straße. The little bratwurst house has been around for more than 45 years now.
Bayreuth sights and insider tips: Our top 9 most beautiful & romantic sights in Bayreuth
Before our visit, we thought that there was a lot to see in Bayreuth, but we didn't expect so many different highlights. Here are our top 9 most beautiful & romantic sights in Bayreuth:
1. Friedrichstrasse Bayreuth – Jean Paul, the women and a poodle
The famous poet Jean-Paul lived in the enchanting Friedrichstrasse. The writer, whose real name was Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, caused his female admirers to have blissful fainting spells while he was still alive. He is said to have received regular fan mail asking him to send a curl of himself as a souvenir to the ladies. However, since he didn't want to go bald, he simply cut off the desired curls from his beloved poodle Ponto. Jean Paul was even more successful than Schiller and Goethe at the time. His last house, in which he once settled on the 2nd floor, is still at Friedrichstraße 384 (today No. 5). If you want to learn more about the Upper Franconian poet, you can Jean-Paul Museum visit, which is located in the former home of Richard Wagner's daughter Eva.
As we walked past the historic building, I was immediately reminded of London. So it's no wonder that Bayreuth was also allowed to slip into the role of London as a film set for the book adaptation "Rubinrot". For us, Friedrichstrasse is definitely one of the most worth seeing streets in Bayreuth. In the mornings in particular, it unveils its unique magic and stimulates the imagination as to what it might have looked like here in the 18th century.
2. Hermitage - Probably the most romantic place in Bayreuth
It says who the Hermitage didn't see, wasn't in Bayreuth. We could spend hours in this historic park and would always discover something new. Romance is still the order of the day here: when we were there, we met three bridal couples that late afternoon alone. A special highlight, right at the entrance to the park, is the New Castle (not to be confused with the New Castle in the city center). The outer walls are covered with colored stones, crystals and pieces of glass. This decoration reminded me a bit of the mosques in Uzbekistan. Another highlight are the hourly water features in the Upper Grotto in front of the Orangery. They can be observed perfectly over coffee and cake in the charming Café Orangerie.
3. Lower Grotto in the Hermitage
However, we were particularly impressed by the lower grotto. Hidden and almost enchanted, I would not have been surprised if we had not only encountered the nymphs and water gods in stone form here. Every day between 10:15 a.m. and 17:15 p.m. you can marvel at an enchanting water feature. The Hermitage with all its hidden treasures is rightly one of the most impressive baroque gardens in Germany. While there is an entrance fee in many other palace gardens, admission here is free.
Opening times Hermitage
The Hofgarten Hermitage is open all year round and is always accessible.
Opening times of the old castle from 1 to 15 October: 10 a.m. to 16 p.m
The Old Castle is closed from October 16th to March 31st
Water games from May to October:
Upper Grotto: daily from 10 a.m. to 17 p.m. every full hour
Lower Grotto: each 15 minutes later
4. Bayreuth New Palace
With all the many castles and magnificent buildings, it is easy to lose track. To minimize the risk of confusion in advance: The New lock is located in the old town of Bayreuth and was built after the fire in the old castle in January 1753 by order of Margrave Friedrich von Brandenburg-Bayreuth. At first glance, this castle vaguely reminds of a small Versailles. Even if the New Castle was not a particularly magnificent palace for the time, it still houses some treasures such as the Margravine's cabinet of broken mirrors. As with the Margravial Opera House, Margravine Wilhelmine took over the interior design of the palace.
The Palm Room is particularly impressive. The elongated room was used as a meeting place for the Masonic castle lodge. Inspiration for this room was provided by the so-called Holy of Holies of Solomon's Temple - a room surrounded by palm trees. The Masonic palace lodge founded by Margrave Friedrich is one of the oldest surviving Masonic temples in Europe. The small Italian palace, which the Margrave built for his second wife after the death of Margravine Wilhelmine, can be reached via the ground floor of the New Palace. However, this picturesque rococo palace can only be visited as part of a guided tour.
Address: Ludwigstrasse 21, 95444 Bayreuth
Opening hours New Palace Bayreuth
April to September daily from 9 a.m. to 18 p.m., October to March daily from 10 a.m. to 16 p.m
Currently only the reduced admission price applies: 4,50 euros
5. The courtyard garden at the New Palace
If you are looking for a nice oasis of peace in the middle of Bayreuth, the Hofgarten is the right place for you. The well-groomed paths, surrounded by old trees, the watercourses with the historic sandstone sculptures and the Panorama Palace give the park a wonderful atmosphere. Perfect for a little break from reading or a picnic outdoors to let all the impressions of the city sink in. But it doesn't get boring for the little ones either: the playground in the rear part of the facility was redesigned in 2019 based on Wilhelmine's motifs.
6. Castle Church and Bayreuth Castle Tower: Over the rooftops of Bayreuth
After the old chapel from 1668 burned down together with the old castle, the construction of a new castle church was commissioned in 1753. The same artists and architects who designed the Margravial Opera House were hired for the new building. Today the castle church is the only catholic margrave church. In this church are the tombstones of the Margravial couple and their daughter Friederike Sophie in their above-ground crypt.
The castle tower, which was built based on a model by Leonardo Da Vinci, is also exceptional. You can usually visit the tower as part of a city tour. From the Türmerstübchen you have a fantastic view over the roofs of Bayreuth far into the Fichtelgebirge and in good weather even to the Jura heights of Franconian Switzerland. Another way to see Bayreuth from above is from the towers of the town church.
7. Mariengärtlein at the Castle Church - Small oasis in the city center
What I particularly like about Bayreuth is this healthy mix of a lively city center with lots of greenery and lovingly designed retreats. Just like the tranquil little Mariengärtlein. Created on the occasion of the State Garden Show 2016, the Mariengärtlein is located in the middle of the city at the Castle Church. Just a few meters from the pedestrian zone, it invites you to linger and simply enjoy a moment of peace and quiet. Also nearby is the bronze statue of Margravine Wilhelmine with her little lap dog.
8. Walk of Wagner & Richard Wagner Museum
Based on Hollywood's famous Walk of Fame, the 2013 was created Walk of Wagner in Bayreuth. Here, along the stages of his life and work, visitors receive exciting information about the composer and his life's work. Since May 2021, Wagner's relationships with women in particular have been scrutinized, as they have had a significant impact on his work. Richard Wagner is and remains the city's most dazzling and at the same time most controversial personality. You can find out more about his life in the Richard Wagner Museum and in the exhibition in his former home in Wahnfried. The villa on the edge of Bayreuth's Hofgarten is directly connected to the museum by a connecting passage. In the garden of the house there is even Richard Wagner's grave. His beloved Newfoundland dogs Russ and Marke are also buried not far from there.
Address: Richard-Wagner-Strasse 48, 95444 Bayreuth
Opening times Richard Wagner Museum
Daily from 10 a.m. to 17 p.m
9. Guided tour of the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth: World Heritage with a WOW factor
Honestly, we're still amazed! When we walked into the heart of the opera house, we could immediately imagine how it must have been when the hall was lit with 1000 candles. The opera house was designed by the famous Italian architect Giuseppe Galli Bibiena and his son Carlo.
As a model for the construction of Margravial Opera House served the largest opera houses of the time in Dresden and Vienna. Incidentally, the reason for the construction was the marriage of Wilhelmine's daughter Elisabeth Friederike Sophie to Carl Eugen von Württemberg. Even if the marriage didn't last long, luckily the masterful building has been preserved. The irony is that Trumpftheater of this kind should only impress at first sight and were not originally intended for eternity. Since the Margravine always kept the financial means in mind, rather unusual materials were used: instead of marble or stone, only wood and paper were used for the design of the interior. Admission to the masterpiece costs between €7 (reduced) & €8 and is definitely worth every penny!
Address: Opernstrasse 14, 95444 Bayreuth
Opening hours World Heritage Margravial Opera House
April-September: daily 9-18 clock
October-March: daily 10-16 clock
Admission: 8 euros for adults (multimedia show)
Bayreuth by bike: More sights & insider tips in Bayreuth
Bayreuth is also great to explore by bike. We cycled to the Hermitage with our rented e-bikes and were surprised at how wonderfully close to nature the city is. For example, you can reach the Trebgast bathing lake in just under an hour by bike. And if you don't just want to travel to a lake in Bayreuth, but around the world within an hour, then you're in the Ecological-Botanical Garden of the University of Bayreuth precisely. Over 24 plant species from different climate zones await you on an area of 12.000 hectares.
Restaurants & cafes in Bayreuth
We were overwhelmed by the variety of cafés and restaurants in Bayreuth. Here you will find our selection of restaurants & cafes that we have tried.
Restaurant Eule Bayreuth
The Restaurant where Wagner was a regular guest? We didn't want to miss that. Because Richard Wagner came here regularly for a beer or to enjoy his favorite dish, the "Blauen Zipfel". The rustic inn with a small, cozy beer garden serves traditional, regional cuisine. In addition to traditional Franconian dishes, vegetarian and vegan dishes are also offered. The mascot of the house is, of course, a sweet owl. Also pictured on the plates, she winks at you when you've eaten diligently.
Address: Kirchgasse 8 pedestrian zone, 95444 Bayreuth
Oskar – The inn on the market
The Oskar in the heart of the old town is one of the most popular inns in Bayreuth. In summer you can sit outside in the pedestrian zone. Franconian and German cuisine is served. The portions are extremely generous and there should be something for every taste on the menu. The refreshing house lemonades are super tasty! Since the Oskar is one of the best-known restaurants in Bayreuth, the number of visitors is very high, so it is best to reserve in advance.
Address: Maximilianstrasse 33, 95444 Bayreuth
Cafe Kraftraum - Local organic food and drinks
The Cafe Kraftraum with the nostalgic retro furnishings is one of the most popular places for students. A large selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes is offered. If you like to play, you can even borrow board games and card games here. I call that nice! In good weather you can also sit outside.
Address: Sophienstrasse 16, 95444 Bayreuth
Schinner Braustuben – Culinary highlights with a small beer garden
Schinner breweries is a rustic, cozy inn with incredibly attentive and warm service. The serviette dumplings are a poem and no, we are not exaggerating when we say that they were probably the best serviette dumplings we have ever eaten. The butternut squash steak was also heavenly good. We were also impressed by the extraordinary, homemade macerates.
Address: Richard-Wagner-Strasse 38, 95444 Bayreuth
Accommodation in Bayreuth
Are you looking for a hotel or accommodation in Bayreuth? Here you will find our tips.
We have in the beautiful Hotel Rheingold spent the night. The hotel's location on the edge of the old town, just before the pedestrian zone begins, is ideal for exploring the city and sightseeing. Almost all sights are within walking distance. The Margravial Opera House is only a 12-minute walk away. The in-house underground car park is also practical. In the morning, an extensive, fresh breakfast buffet is served that leaves nothing to be desired. All employees are very courteous and friendly. If you haven't exhausted yourself enough while sightseeing, you can train in the hotel's own fitness room and afterwards relax in the small sauna.
Address: Austrasse 2, 95445 Bayreuth
Golden Anchor Hotel
The historical traditional house Golden Anchor is in a great location not far from the opera house. The Goldener Anker is not only a popular address for visitors to the city during the festival. Many celebrities have already stayed here. The guest list of personalities is long and ranges from Richard Strauss to Romy Schneider, Mark Twain and Wim Wenders.
Going out, partying & dancing in Bayreuth.: Events in Bayreuth with insider tips
A good starting point to get to know the most beautiful bars and pubs in Bayreuth are the Sophienstrasse and the Von-Römer-Strasse. If you want to shake a leg, you can party in the popular Club Fabrik Bayreuth. After more than 1,5 years now also took place in the Lamperie beer garden on September 25th the open air event "Commune - Autumn Feelings" held again, hopefully in the spring under the name "Spring feelings" comes back.
Extraordinary: Operla in Bayreuth
I don't know about you, but there's just something nostalgic and magical about puppet theater for me. I still enjoy watching how artists breathe life into the dolls with fine threads and thus tell imaginative stories. In the puppet theater Opera in Bayreuth tell the productions from the life of Margravine Wilhelmine or bring Wagner classics to the stage.
Address: Sophienstrasse 32, 95444 Bayreuth
Photo tip: consumption house – the narrowest house in Bayreuth
Isn't it cute? It looks as if the little house has squeezed in between the other houses and said: "Get over there!" As it stands now, you would think it would hold its breath to fit in. Designed by French architect Joseph Saint-Pierre, it was formerly used as a type of "bridal suite". At that time, only couples who also lived in Bayreuth were allowed to marry in the town church. However, a clever pastor had the idea of letting the couples and their parents spend the night in the little house for a fee. In this way, the little house became the temporary residence of the couple and nothing stood in the way of the wedding.
We had a fantastic weekend in Bayreuth. If you want to see more of this, please check out Instagram. Among other things, there are our dance performances in front of some of the most beautiful sights in Bayreuth. Are you interested in more travel tips for Germany? Then don't miss out My top 8 holiday destinations in Germany .
This article is in friendly collaboration with Bayreuth tourism developed. Thanks a lot for this! Here are a few more impressions from Bayreuth.
Digital Message in a Bottle – The free newsletter from Petit Chapeau
Carry yourself in ours now free newsletter and never miss an article again. In addition, you will receive exclusive travel tips, announcements and the latest news about honeymoons, adventure travel and mindset.
Subscribe to our newsletter now and never miss an article again. In addition, you will receive exclusive travel tips, announcements and the latest news on the topics of personal development, spirituality and mindset.