During my time in Nuremberg, I also made a couple of day trips to nearby smaller cities to get a more-complete picture of the Bavaria region with all its charm and history. That said, I chose to make a day trip to Regensburg, located about 100 kilometers south from Nuremberg. Having heard good things about the city, I decided to give it a try.
Historically known as “Ratisbon,” the city of Regensburg is the fourth-largest in the State of Bavaria. It’s situated at the meeting point of three rivers– Danube, Naab, and Regen– which makes it a central spot for political, economical, and cultural activities in the region. During WWII, Regensburg didn’t suffer so much from bombardment, with its medieval center remaining relatively intact. Today, the city receives plenty of tourists who come to see one of the few major Bavarian cities that had survived the war.
Granted, I hadn’t heard about this city until a few months prior, after watching a YouTube travel channel, Wolter’s World, praise nothing but great things about Regensburg. After doing some research about it, I found it feasible to visit from Nuremberg, and soon enough booked round-trip Flixbus tickets to and from the city. I headed out after my second night in Nuremberg, taking the 9:15 bus to Regensburg. There was a bit of a hold-up at the beginning of the journey (had something to do with one of the passengers), but within 15 minutes, we were on our way again. I settled in comfortably for the one-and-a-half-hour journey over.
Arriving close to 11:00 at the Hauptbahnhof, I set out on foot towards the city center. My first stop was at the Scots Monastery, which had actually been founded by Irish missionaries before being transferred to Scottish monks in the 16th century. It’s especially famous for its Schottenportal, an intricately-designed portal which depicts plenty of religious and mythical allusions. The details on the edifice has been subjected to numerous interpretations in the past two centuries, thus making it fascinating to study, or at least admire in person. Due to outdoor exposure, much of the exterior has worn away– as means of preserving it, a glass cover was placed over it to keep it well-regulated, so that visitors can continue to admire the countless reliefs upon walking inside.
Making my way into the historic center, I ended up first in Haidplatz, one of the main squares where the Christmas markets were going on. Continuing down the main street, Neue-Waag-Gasse, I reached the Alte Rathaus (Old Town Hall), another site for the Christmas markets. I then took one of the narrow, but charming passageways towards the Dom (St. Peter’s Cathedral), which absolutely towered. Weather was absolutely freezing, as I had to put on gloves to prevent my fingers from succumbing to frostbite– mind you, it wasn’t even snowing either!
On the way to the Old Stone Bridge, I made a quick detour at the Porta Praetoria, an old gate dating back to the Roman times (AD 179), for a photo, before continuing on. Upon reaching the Old Stone Bridge, I crossed it and got colorful views of the medieval city buildings from the other side, all of which were wonderfully-situated on the Danube. In spite of the snow flurries which were starting to fall, the views on the bridge were lovely. The simplicity of the Old Stone Bridge reminded me very much of the Pont Neuf in Toulouse, and it served as a reminder of Regensburg history and its steadfast work to preserving it.
I crossed the bridge back to the historic center, where I decided to check out the Christmas markets. While small and not as impressive as Nuremberg’s, the Christmas markets in Regensburg nevertheless were pleasant to walk around in. I was also starting to get hungry, so I ordered Kartoffelspiralen, which were like curly fries, but crispier, along with glühwein, and enjoyed my small treat amidst the holiday festivities. After eating, I checked out the holiday decorations being sold– I also saw penguin glass sculptures on display, which just about melted my penguin-loving heart. ❤
With about an hour-and-a-half left before I had to leave, I left the historic center and headed in the direction of the Hauptbahnhof, where along the way I stopped by the Schloss St. Emmeram, a monastery-turned-castle which also houses the Saint Emmeram’s Abbey. I had been interested in visiting the castle grounds, but apparently there was a massive Christmas market going on inside which required an entrance fee which, in my opinion, was rather steep (10,50€). That said, I decided to forgo the inside of the castle, instead merely visiting the abbey that was located outside of the castle grounds. The interior was utterly gorgeous, and I snapped a few photos of it inside. Just before leaving the area, I took a photo of the castle from outside of the Christmas markets, which was better than nothing.
I made my way back to the Hauptbahnhof, where I waited for my Flixbus to arrive at 14:15. The bus ended up being 15 minutes late, which on a warmer day might not be a big deal, but in sub-zero degree weather, it was rather painful. The bus was packed as we boarded, and its toilets were out of service during the whole journey, which was irritating, since I really had to go. I managed to hold it in until we got back to Nuremberg close to 16:00, then I booked it all the way back to my Couchsurfing host’s flat where I could relieve myself. #tmi
My visit in Regensburg was short, perhaps no more than four hours, but all the same sufficient to see everything that there is to see. I was able to cover everything within a couple of hours, and the rest of the time was to enjoy the Christmas markets and admire the quaint, historical architecture. Although I didn’t find that many things to do there, Regensburg is nevertheless a picturesque city worth strolling around to see how Bavarian life looked like back then.
Stay tuned for my final post of my German travels. Next up: Bamberg, Germany!