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Where to eat in Malmö

The most common question I get about the Malmö food scene is easily: What even is Swedish food?

And truthfully, before moving here, I had no clue what it was either.

While I’ve been living here in Malmö, and consumed a lot of delicious Swedish farm-to-table fare, I can say that Scandinavian food isn’t the only thing Malmö does well. When I talk about Malmö with family and friends, the conversation typically starts – and ends with – me raving about all the best restaurants in Malmö. And trust me, there are a lot of good ones. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know a lot of my local content centres around me eating my way through this city.

After spending so much time exploring the food scene in this city, I’m excited to share with you all my favourite hotspots and hidden gems. So here it is, everything you need to know about to where to eat in Malmö Sweden.

See Also: Visiting Malmö? Read my guide of all the things to do in Malmö – from a local’s perspective!

Where to eat in Malmö: A Complete Guide

the best brunch in malmö

Kärleksgatan 3: Tucked away in Davidshall, this tiny little brunch spot offers great food, coffee, and the most adorable interior [I mean, just look at this pastel tiled floor!].

JordThis spot offers my favourite vegan brunch in Malmo! With a cosy cafe setting and brunch options that range from toasts to oatmeal, and more!

Atrium: Atrium is the perfect cafe to grab brunch, and is absolutely one of my favourite brunches in the city. The ambiance is perfection, and I am obsessed with their very affordable breakfast platters, filled with everything from a yogurt parfait, to cheese and fresh bread (and don’t forget the bottomless coffee!).

Nam Do: Okay – so this isn’t really traditional brunch. Served on Saturday and Sunday from 11-4, Nam Do offers a Vietnamese “brunch,” which includes a full buffet spread of alllll your Vietnamese favourites, coffee, tea, and oter assorted drinks.

Cafe Grannen: Looking for vegan brunch in Malmö? This breakfast buffet is served everyday in the cutest little cafe. The spread includes an assortment of homemade pies, breads, and other treats. And the best part? At only 79 SEK on weekdays, it is surely the most affordable brunch you’ll find in the city.

Laziza: If you love Lebanese food, this spot is a treat. Laziza offers a Lebanese brunch in Malmo and it is one of my favourites.

Jord Malmo
Left: Atrium; Right: Jord

the best lunch in malmö

Saltimporten Canteen: If you’re looking for a premium lunch experience in Malmo, this is in my opinion the best lunch in Malmo. Everyday they make only one daily lunch option (plus a vegetarian option for the week) using seasonal, local ingredients. It is fantastic!

SMAK: The name of this Malmo Konsthall translates directly to “taste” and they offer a really great dagens lunch (“lunch of the day”). They make premium food, and you can take your own salad, bread, dessert, and coffee from the buffets.

Noir Kaffekultur: This place is so much more than just coffee. The avocado toast paired with a kaffe latte is my go-to, preferably outside on their perfect little Parisien-inspired patio.

Malmö Saluhall: The local “salluhall” or “food hall” offers a variety of restaurants in a cool indoor market setting, and is a great spot to grab lunch if you’re exploring the city. Plus, their diverse food offerings mean that there is guaranteed to be something for everyone. [must try: raman at Pink Head Noodle Bar].

AB Småland: This lifestyle concept store not only carries the most beautiful home goods, but it also offers a great vegan buffet lunch and coffee shop.

Far i Hatten: Located in the middle of one of Malmö’s coolest parks, Folkets Park, this is the perfect spot to grab a patio beer and pizza.

Spoonery: Offering a variety of different different bowls, with a rotating seasonal menu, Spoonery is a great lunch spot. If you’re in the mood to try a Scandinavian classic, opt for the meatballs!

Fiskehoddorna: Also known as Malmö’s fish market, this spot lines the street with colourful huts. Here, you can pick up the local catch-of-the-day to bring home and cook, or you can opt to eat to eat on their back patio. You won’t find better fish ‘n chips in Malmö, trust me.

Slottsrädgårdens Kafé: Nestled in the middle of Kungsparken, a park located in the centre of the city, you’ll find this cafe. This is the perfect summer patio spot for lunch or fika in the sun. [must try: the hummus plate!]

Boru Bowl Bar: Boru Bowl is your spot for the most delicious Asian-inspired bowls. The Crispy Pork is their most popular, but my personal go-to is the Boru Salmon.

Spoonery Malmo
Fiskehoddorna
Left: Spoonery; Right: Fiskehoddorna

the best dinner in malmö

Bastard: Often referred to as the best restaurant in Malmö, Bastard is a premium food experience. Using high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients, the chefs at Bastard deliver incredible Scandinavian cuisine. We opted for the tasting menu, and I couldn’t recommend it more. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more casual, you can opt for pizza in their courtyard in the warmer months. (Update: Unfortunately Bastard has closed, but the owners will be opening a new restaurants called Ruths in March 2021).

Saiko: Step into this restaurant and I swear you’ll feel like you’ve teleported to Japan. To say I am obsessed with Saiko would be an understatement. This Japanese restaurant in Malmö offers small sharing plates, and recommend roughly three plates per person, which means you can virtually try the entire menu. And don’t forget to wash it down with a glass of sake.

LU: This is the best spot for premium yet affordable Chinese food in Malmö. It is really some of the very best Hong Kong-influenced Cantonese food I have ever had, with a variety of meat dishes and dumplings.

Riket: An easy favourite for me, with small plates made from in-season locally sourced ingredients. They also have an impressive wine list with lots of natural wine options.

Opopoppa: Serving unique flavours of pizza by the slice, cans of beer, and a selection of natural wines, this intimate spot is a local favourite.

Casual Street Food: Looking for the best burger in Malmö? Look no further. The high quality burgers here blew me away (this coming from someone who doesn’t even really burgers…).

Soi 29: The best spot for premium Thai food in Malmo, I really love this spot. The space is cool and the food is so well done. If you’re looking to spluge, I would go for the five-dish tasting menu. It is fantastic!

Nam Do: If you love Vietnamese food as much as I do, this is the place to go. The ambiance is cool, the food is delicious, and portions are very generous. I have tried other options, and in my opinion, this is best Vietnamese restaurant in Malmö.

Green Mango: This is your spot for the best Thai food in Malmö. With an extensive, high-quality menu and perfect little patio space, this has become one of my favourite spots in the city.

Malmö Brewing Co.: With a large selection of in-house and international beers, paired with some good old southern cooking (think mac & cheese, pulled pork, and creamed corn), this is a great spot for a casual bite.

400 Grader: If you’re looking for excellent pizza in Malmo, 400 Grader is definitely the best I’ve tried!

LU Malmo
Left: LU; Right: Soi 29

the best cafes in malmö

The list of best fika spots in Malmö is LONG. So instead of including it here, I have rounded up a list of the best 15 cafes in Malmö. You can read the post here.

the best cafes in malmö

Malmö Brewing Co.: With a large selection of both in-house craft beers, and featured international beers, this is the best brewery in Malmö.

Mikkeller Pop Up: The popular Danish craft beer brand hosts a summer popup up in Folket’s Park.

Care/Of: This is my favourite cocktail bar in Malmö for high quality cocktails. It also has a perfectly intimate and cosy vibe.

LiketLiket is a new spot, affiliated is one of the best restaurants in Malmo – Riket! This cosy courtyard space offers a fantastic cocktail menu that changes every day.

MJs: To say I am obsessed with the aesthetic here would quite frankly be an understatement. And the cocktails are great too!

Mineral: This is a perfect little wine bar in Malmö with tapas-style food. I’m also obsessed with their pretty outdoor patio space.

Julie: Julie is the perfect intimate wine bar in the middle of the old town and offers a very extensive wine selection. The staff at Julie definitely knows their wines, so prepare for a top notch experience.

L’enoteca: This central location is great and they host the most amazing wine garden down/across the street this summer. It quickly became one of my favourite go to summer spots to enjoy a glass of wine with friends.

Gustavino: Another central location, I love this spot for an after work drink.

Liket Malmo
L'Enoteca Malmo
Mineral Malmo
Gustavino Malmo
Clockwise from top left: Liket, Mineral, Gustavino, L’Enoteca.

the best falafal in malmö

Did you know that falafel is basically the unofficial food of Malmö? You’ll find it everywhere and it is easily the cheapest food you can buy for only 30-40 SEK. There are many awesome falafel restaurants in Malmö to choose from. However, if you were to ask me where to find the best falafel in Malmö, my answer would easily be Värnhem’s Falafel. Not only is the falafel tasty, but they actually make you a fresh pita right in front of you. And really, it doesn’t get better than that. 

Need help finding the where to eat in Malmö? Take a look at this map!

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Where to eat in Malmö, Sweden
Where to eat in Malmö from a local's perspective
Where to eat in Malmö
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Best cafes in Malmö

Since moving to Sweden, if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that Swedes really love their coffee. I wasn’t a huge coffee drinker until I moved to Malmö – and now, well, you could argue my coffee intake has gotten a bit carried away. It’s hard not to fall for the Scandinavian coffee culture when you have some of the best cafes in Malmö minutes away from your apartment.

Sweden’s culture is so coffee-centric, they’ve developed a verb to describe a coffee break: fika. What does fika mean? Well it loosely translates to “having coffee and a sweet with friends or family.” And while it may seem like a bit of novelty, it really isn’t. Colleagues will suggest we take a “fika break” at the office, friends will often “meet for a fika” after work or in their spare time. It is a moment to pause and enjoy time with the people you care about. Pretty special, eh?

With that being said, there is absolutely no shortage of spots to have a fika in Malmö. I’ve been sharing some of these on my Malmö food guide, but as this post gets longer and longer, I thought my favourite cafes deserved their own place to shine.

I’ve been to a lot of cafes in the city, and in this post I’ll be rounding the best cafes in Malmö – let’s go!

Must- Try Swedish Fika Sweets

 

Before we start counting down the best cafes in Malmö, I want to share with you a few of the best Swedish fika sweets that you must try. There are of course many others you’ll find throughout the year, but these are a few easy favourites.

 

Chokladboll: A chocolate ball (roughly the size of a golf ball) made of oats, sugar, and cocoa, and coated in coconut.

Kanelbullar: The cinnamon bun is arguably the most popular “Swedish” dessert. The local take on the cinnamon bun is different than the version with icing found in many other countries. It is simply dough rolled up with a cinnamon and sugar filling.

Kardemummabullar: Made in a similar way to the cinnamon bun, this one is filled with cardamom. It is my personal favourite Swedish fika treat.

Semla: This is most commonly eaten on Shrove Tuesday, but you can find it in cafes all year. It is a cardamom-spiced sweet roll with the centre carved out, and it is filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream.

Kladdkaka: This is more commonly known as mud cake in English, and is a thin sticky chocolate cake topped with icing sugar, and typically some type of berries, like raspberry.

Lussebullar: Around the Christmas holidays, you will see these swirled saffron buns everywhere. Traditionally they are topped with raisins, but more trendy versions include vanilla or cardamom fillings. 

Atrium Cafe

An easy choice for fika, brunch, or lunch, Atrium is a bright cafe with tons of greenery serving sweets, and a variety of brunch and lunch options. I love the ambiance here, and they have a wonderful garden patio in the warmer months.

 Must Try: They make a fantastic golden milk latte.

Atrium Cafe Malmo
Atrium Cafe Malmo

Solde Kaffebar & Kafferosteri

The best coffee in Malmö? You’ll find it at Solde. This specialty coffe shop roasts their own beans and is the best place to go if you want to buy local coffee beans in Malmö. We brew almost exclusively Solde coffee at home, and love to go here for fika too.

Must Try: Their “Mästers Kaffe” blend is an easy favourite for me, but you’re looking for a lighter coffee, the “Brors Kaffe” blend is a favourite of many.

If you aren’t local, you can also order their coffee beans online.

Solde Kaffe
Solde Kaffe

St. jakobs stenugnsbageri

St. Jakob’s is a super popular bakery that offers many locations scattered throughout Malmö. My favourite is their newest location in Davidshall on Södra Förstadsgatan – where you can sit on a lovely bistro-style terrace alongside the pedestrian-only street.

Must Try: Cardamom buns (especially the saffron cardamom buns that they make during the Christmas holidays).

St. Jakobs
St. Jakobs

Söderberg & Sara

This is my favourite bakery for bread in Malmo! They make the best bread I have tried in the city, and it has become a bit of a tradition for us to pick up a fresh loaf there on weekend mornings.

Must try: Their sour dough bread, grilled cheese sandwiches – they are also known for sourcing some unique coffee roasts!

Bageri Leve

Looking for the best vegan bakery in Malmö? This is it … especially if you’re in the mood for donuts! Every Friday they have a “donut of the day” and locals queue for them – they are that good!

Must Try: As I mentioned, the donuts. But I also highly recommend the fresh-baked focaccia (and really any other of their baked goods).

Söderberg & Sara
Left: Bageri Leve; Right: Söderberg & Sara

Uggla Kaffebar

I absolutely love this cute little coffee spot. It’s located very close to my apartment, which obviously makes me a regular. And they serve good coffee and the perfect fika sweets. In the summer months, you can head across the street to their bistro setup in the middle of St. Knut’s Square.

Must Try: I love their matcha lattes.

Uggla Kaffebar
Uggla Kaffebar

Noir Kaffekultur

This central spot located in the beautiful old town is a great spot for a patio fika. Sit outside with a coffee, watch the bikes zoom by, and I swear you’ll feel like you’re on a terrace in Paris.

Must Try: Coffee – and they make a lovely avocado toast!

Lilla Kafferosteriet

This central cafe has great coffee and an assortment of cakes and pastries. In the warmer months, head outside to the backyard terrace. It is the the perfect spot to soak in the afternoon sun.

Must Try: The employees are coffee experts, so I’d stick with a regular coffee here. And they always have a big selection of sweets.

Cafe No. 6

If you’re looking for a cosy fika spot in St. Knut’s, this is another great option. Across the street from the cafe, they have a lovely garden to take your fika outside.

Must Try: Coffee paired with biscotti.

AB Småland

AB Småland is more than just a cafe – it is a full lifestyle and Scandinavian concept store. Browse through the trendy shop full of Scandi goods, and then grab a fika in the cafe. 

Must Try: This is my favourite golden milk latte in the city.

AB Smaland
Cafe no 6
Left: AB Småland; Right: Cafe No 6

Kaffebaren på Möllan

Great coffee and atmosphere in the trendy Möllan neighbourhood. In the summer months, I suggest taking your coffee out front and people watching while people shop at the farmer’s market in the square.

Must Try: Coffee!

jord

Jord, which translates to “earth” in English, is a vegan cafe and breakfast spot. I really love the ambiance of this cosy cafe, and their food is really good if you’re looking for vegan food in Malmö.

Must Try: The vegan breakfast food is SO good. I particularly love their seasonal oat bowls.

Jord Malmo
Jord Malmo

Pâtisserie David

This French-style patisserie serves many traditional French pastries, and has of the best courtyard patios in the city. If you’re looking for a French-inspired fika, this is your spot.

Must Try: The macarons and crepes.

Slottsträdgårdens kafé

Located in the middle of the beautiful Slottsparken, this cafe is a popular patio spot in Malmö. After you’ve had your fika, make sure to head next door to Slottsträdgården to admire the beautiful gardens, and the iconic Malmö windmill.

Must Try: They always have a variety of sweets – but this is a great spot for lunch, too.

Patisserie David
Left: Patisserie David; Right: Slottsträdgårdens kafé

Djäkne Kaffebar

Djäkne Kaffebar is a trendy, cental coffee bar and co-working space in Malmö. If you’re looking for wifi and a spot to get work done, this is a great spot to do it. Keep in mind, they are only open on weekdays. 

Must Try: I love their cappucino.

Djäkne Kaffebar
Djäkne Kaffebar

Need help finding the best cafes in Malmö? Take a look at this map!

And now that you’ve read all about the best cafes in Malmö, make sure to head over to my Malmö Food Guide where I’m dishing the details on all the best bars and restaurants in Malmö.

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The best cafes in Malmö
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Hallamölla Vattenfall

It’s no secret that I love the autumn season. It feels like a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. The weather is mild and the smell of fresh fallen leaves is something I wish I could bottle up so I could experience it all year long. I’ve always loved autumn, but autumn in Sweden is really something special. 

Last year I wrote about my favourite spots to experience autumn in southern Sweden (you can read that post here). So this year, I wanted to share a new version with all the best spots to experience autumn in Sweden in 2020. We’ve been spending a ton of time outside in nature. And I can’t wait to share my favourite spots and memories with you in a little photo diary.

Söderåsens nationalpark
Solnäs Gård

5 can't miss spots to experience autumn in Sweden

1. Hallamölla Vattenfall

Located just outside the town of Brösarp near Skåne’s east coast, Hallamölla Vattenfall is the biggest waterfall in southern Sweden, and is especially beautiful in the autumn months when the leaves surrounding the waterfall turn orange and yellow. Surrounding Hallamölla, you can also find plenty of stunning trails, including part of the Skåneleden trails.

Hallamölla Vattenfall
Hallamölla Vattenfall
2. Brösarps backar (The hills of Brosarp)

I first visited Brösarps backar, also located outside the town of Brösarp, when we visited Talldungens gårdshotell this past summer (read a blog post about that experience here). And I fell in love with the hiking trails and knew I wanted to come back in the autumn.

Brösarps backar is always beautiful and arguably home to my favourite hiking trails in Skåne. But it really puts on a show in the autumn.

The rolling hills of Brösarp have a very “Tuscany” vibe to them. Along the Backaleden trail through Brösarps southern hills, you will find the best views. Start at the trail head near Brösarp and head toward the train tracks following the yellow trail markers. These trails also lead you through open pastures of horses and cows, forests, and valleys.

Scroll through some of my favourite photos below.

3. Söderåsens nationalpark

Söderåsens nationalpark is arguably the most popular national park in southern Sweden. A common day trip from Malmö or Helsingborg, it is home to some of the most beautiful trails in Skåne, dense forests, lakes, and an incredible lookout point over a deep valley of trees.

We visited Söderåsen on a Saturday and arrived to realize that all the parking near the most popular trails was taken. I guess we weren’t the only ones who wanted to see the autumn leaves here! While we could have parked in the town and walked over, hiking on crowded trails didn’t sounds like a great way to spend our afternoon. So, we drove off in search of a less crowded entrance to the park.

A few hundred metres south of the main parking entrance, we headed up a road that was covered by a canopy of red trees and parked our car. These “non-touristy”  trails weren’t busy at all, and we hiked to the lake in Härsnäs naturreservat. I have never in my life seen such dense forest of red and orange. STUNNING.

Söderåsens nationalpark
Söderåsens nationalpark
Söderåsens nationalpark
Söderåsens nationalpark
4. Alnarps Slott (Alnarp Castle)
Alnarps slott

Alnarps Slott is located in the town of Alnarp between Malmö and Lund on the campus of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. The original castle was built in the 1200s, and then a French Renaissance-style castle was resurrected in the 1800s. The beautiful building is covered by bright red ivy and is surrounded by tons of trees and walking trails.

If you’re looking for major autumn Harry Potter vibes, this is your spot!

Alnarps slott
Alnarps slott
5. Flackarps mölla (Flackarp Mill)

Located just outside of Lund, Flackarps mölla is an old windmill that was built in 1868 and stayed in operation until 1950. The architecture of the historical windmill is beautiful, but it is especially picturesque in the autumn months when the trees around the windmill begin changing colours.

Flackarps mölla
Flackarps mölla
6. Trollskogen

Trollskogen is part of the Prästaskogen nature reserve, which is a popular hiking area outside of Lund near the village of Torna Hällestad. This particular forest very unique because it is home to the unique Skåne twisted beech trees. These trees are very unordinary, with the branches twisting and knotting together.

These unique trees are always worth visiting, but they look really beautiful in the autumn.

Trollskogen
Trollskogen
7. Glorias Äppelgård - Apple Picking in Skåne

If you’re looking for apple picking in Skåne, you can visit Glorias Äppelgård to pick your own. This apple farm outside of Lund offers a huge variety of apples for picking on their property – and they are both cheap and delicious!

Not in the mood to pick your own? You can also stop by nearby Solnäs Gård to purchase locally famous Kivik apples (and other apple-related products made in southern Sweden, like chutneys and ciders). Make sure you make some time to stay for a fika, too

Glorias Äppelgård
Glorias Äppelgård

When is the best time to experience the autumn leaves in Sweden?

Autumn in Sweden, specifically in Skåne, varies each year depending on weather conditions leading up to the autumn season. However, peak autumn leaves in Sweden can typically be experienced around the end of October, and sometimes even into early November.

While it is hard to predict exactly when the peak will be, visiting from mid- to late-October should give you an opportunity to see the beauty of the autumn season.

Check out this autumn in Sweden map to help find these spots!

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Berlin is a city that is popular on most “euro trip” itineraries, which is why it might be a bit surprising to hear that I just visited the German capital for the first time this past August. A city full of grit and history, it has been on my radar forever. I’m not sure why it took me so long to get there, but I am glad I did because as a more immature traveller I am not sure I would have really appreciated it. I always knew I would like Berlin, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. Berlin is incredibly unique – like no other city in the world – which means that there are so so many unusual things to do in Berlin. And while we only scratched the surface of things to do during our three days in Berlin, it just means I have a really good excuse to go back.

If you only have three days in Berlin like us and are looking to eat and see the city beyond touristy spots like Checkpoint Charlie, this list of unusual things to do in Berlin will help you dive a bit deeper in this quirky city.

a few quick facts about berlin:

language | german
currency | euro
population | 3.76 million
diversity | over 190 nationalities are represented in berlin
size | 891.8 km² (that's 9 times the size of paris!)

15 unusual things to do in Berlin

Pay your respects at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Pay your respects to the murdered Jews of Europe at this important monument.

Constructed from 2003-2004, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a massive  19,000 square metre memorial. It is located on a piece of land where part of the Berlin wall used to stand right in the centre of Mitte, Berlin. When choosing the location and size, it was important for the city that the memorial be noticeable – this is not a part of history the German’s wanted to hide. So, it sits in the city centre as a constant reminder of the past.

The artist never revealed the meaning behind the monument, as he wanted to leave it up to interpretation of visitors. We heard a few different interpretations while we were in Berlin, however I’ll let you to visit and reflect on the meaning behind the design of the memorial.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Visit the world's Longest open air gallery: East Side Gallery

While most of the former Berlin wall was torn down, a portion of the wall still remains to be visited. Alongside this portion of the wall you’ll find an urban art project filled with paintings and murals. What used to be a divisive barrier between East and West Berlin is now the longest open-air art gallery in the world. 1.3 kilometres to be exact along the east side of the wall.

It is also one of the most popular tourists spots in the city. But still, it can’t be missed.

Scroll through at a few of my favourite shots:

Take a historical Berlin bike tour

Think you know a lot about Berlin? Think again…

If you want to check off a few of the “must sees” in Berlin and hear stories about Berlin’s past of war and communism, the best way to do this is on a Berlin bike tour.

Berlin is a huge city and it would be almost impossible to see everything you would want to on a walking tour. That’s why a bike tour is the way to go! Stop by tourist favourites like Brandenburger Tor, Museum island, and the parking lot where Hilter’s bunker used to be. Hear about the untold stories of Berlin’s past, including lots of communism tales. 

We did this tour with Berlin on Bike and I could not recommend it enough. The 3.5 hours “Highlights Bike Tour – Berlin’s Best” was the highlight of our time in Berlin. We left the tour in awe of the legacy of Berlin, and with a better understanding of why the city is the way it is – and what makes quirky Berlin unlike any other city in the world.

Snap a Quick Photo of Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) ... And then move on

Is it touristy? Yep! Will you need to be on the look out for giant stuffed animals trying guilt you into taking photos with them? Mhmm.

But it’s also the most iconic symbol of Berlin and has been a part of many historical moments in the city, including being closed in connection to the Berlin wall. So go ahead – don’t be ashamed to have your touristy moment under the gate.

On the note of touristy, if you’re looking for things to skip in Berlin – skip Checkpoint Charlie. Sure it is a historically relevant spot, but the attraction has been recreated, is mega-touristy, and is surrounded by fast food restaurants. Plus, you have to pay to take photos with actors dressed up as soldiers…

Brandenburger Tor
Bar-Hop at the best bars in Kreuzberg

It’s no secret that Berlin is known for its nightlife. I am not much of a nightlife-seeker personally (I’m more of a “in bed by 10pm” kinda person). Even still, given the global disruptions in August 2020, all night clubs were closed.

However, the Berlin nightlife scene is more than its famous nightclubs. I really appreciated the cosy hole-in-the-wall bars and speakeasy cocktail scene in Kreuzberg, Berlin. Here’s a few of my favourite spots!

Café Luzia: In the heart of Kreuzberg, this minimalist hipster Berlin bar was a great spot for a beer or cocktail. They often have live music, too.

Das Hotel Bar: Around the corner from the popular Paul-Lincke-Ufer Street, this was perhaps my favourite Kreuzberg bar. In fact, we loved it so much we went back two nights in a row to sit at one of the tiny sidewalk-side tables. Inside, you’ll find a small living room style bar area with a great drink menu.

Schwarze Traube: Looking for a cocktail bar in Kreuzberg? This low key speakeasy is known around the city for its outstanding cocktails. The menu changes every day, and the bartender will explain in details the daily options – which come served in the most perfectly paired antique glasses to round out the whole experience.

Santa Maria Berlin
Das Hotel Berlin
Berlin Food Guide: Experience Berlin’s trendy food scene

On the tail end of our trip through Bavaria, we were so over Germany food. Luckily, Berlin set us up to end our trip on a high note culinary-wise.

Choosing the best restaurants to visit in Berlin in only three days is a tough task. Especially since there are loads and load – and I mean LOADS – of amazing food options. And while donar kebab from a hole-in-the-wall shop may be the most “popular dish” in the city, Berlin is a in reality a city made for foodies.

Which meant, I was a happy girl. Here’s my mini Berlin food guide:

Mogg: Located in a former predominatly Jewish neighbourhood, Spandauer Vorstadt, Mogg is a must-visit. This NYC Jewish Deli-inspired joint is your spot for traditional matzah ball soup, massive pastrami sandwiches, and authentic New York-style cheesecake. Located in a historical brick building, this space used to be a Jewish girls school. Make sure you make a reservation at this tiny spot to guarantee a table.

Santa Maria: Located in Kreuzberg, this is a popular local spot for Mexican-style tacos and some insanely good margaritas. You’ll probably see a long queue out front but don’t be alarmed. The line moves pretty quick, so give them your name and head across the street to Luzia Cafe for a drink while you wait.

Ilsebill: We stumbled across Ilsebill while we were wandering the Kollwitzkiez area looking for a beer garden that suggested to us after a long bike tour in the sun. We were so starving and the beer, burgers, and cute interior looked too good to pass by. So, I did a quick search to make sure the reviews looked ok and we popped in. I opted for the veggie burger, and paired with an ice cold beer on the patio it was the perfect lunch spot in Berlin.

Kulturbrauerei: Around the corner from Ilsebill, you’ll find this former brewery turned arts space with restaurants, patios, and other exhibits. It’s a great spot to grab lunch in the sun.

Zola: This popular Kreuzberg pizza restaurant was another stumble-upon. With a range of pizzas options, topped with tons of unique ingredients, this is a great spot to go to if you’re into trendy pizzas.

Eismanufactuktur: Looking for the best ice cream in Berlin? I’m convinced that this Graefekiez ice cream shop is it. They have a huge range of delicious vegan ice cream flavours (and non-vegan, too). Take one to go and walk around the Graefekiez neighbourhood. This area ended up being one of my absolute favourites in Berlin. (Tip: Take a look at the location on my map below, because there are a few spots with similar names in Berlin).

A Never Ever Ending Love Story: Looking for the best brunch in Berlin? I loved this spot. I can especially recommend their chai latte (with oat milk), Mexican Breakfast Bowl, and pancakes.

NENI Berlin: Full disclosure, we didn’t eat here. However, we did eat the location in Munich (with an almost-identical menu) and it was great. Most of the dishes are Middle Eastern and Israeli-inspired. And as a bonus, the restaurant is located at the top of Bikini Berlin with optional outdoor seating and incredible views of the city.

Shown above: Reuben sandwich at Mogg; ice cream at Eismanufakturer; brunch at A Never Ever Ending Love Story: interior at Santa Maria: interior at Ilsebill: interior at Mogg
Snap a photo at one of the most instagrammable Places in Berlin (and then grab dinner!)

Adding to my Berlin food guide, House of Small Wonder deserves its own spot because not only is it an amazing restaurant, but it also one of the most instagrammable spots in Berlin.

Tourists and locals alike flock to the spiral staircase to snap photos. So you’d think that the restaurant must be a tourist trap right? Wrong!

The House of Small Wonder menu offers a number of unique Asian-influenced dishes. The owners used to work in the NYC restaurant scene and brought their innovative food concepts to Berlin.

Make sure you make a reservation here for lunch or dinner – it’s very popular.

House of Small Wonder Berlin
House of Small Wonder Berlin
Admire the best berlin street art at RAW Berlin and Urban Spree Berlin

RAW Berlin and Urban Spree Berlin are located right next to each other in what was formerly East Berlin. This is where you’ll find some of the best Berlin street art.

RAW Berlin is a formal industrial site, used throughout the late 1800s and through the 1900s. Many of the historical industrial buildings remain, and you can see the old train tracks running through the property.

Today, RAW Berlin is a cultural hub full of street art, music venues, galleries, restaurants, clubs, and bars. While it is known to be a pretty wild party scene in the evenings, it is a really fun place to roam and admire the pure grittiness of Berlin.

Next door to RAW, you’ll find Urban Spree. Urban spree is a similar open space hosting concerts, restaurants, art exhibits, and a biergarten. Similar to RAW, it is known to be a popular nightlife attraction in the evening, but during the day you can find lots of fun exhibits or visit the Urban Spree Galerie to admire some urban art.

Scroll through a few of my favourite Berlin street art shots:

Visit the best photoautomat Berlin locations to snap a photo

These vintage photobooths, called Photoautomats, are scattered all over the city. They are a fun little throwback and the perfect spot to get a photo souvenir from Berlin.

If you’re looking for the best Photoautomat Berlin locations, you’ll find several of them scattered around Kruzberg. Here’s the Photoautomat Berlin locations of a few of my favourite ones:

Kulturbrauerei Photoautomat: This one is bright pink and is located in the Frannz Biergarten.

RAW Berlin Photoautomat: You’ll actually find two photobooths in RAW Berlin. One outside “Pizza Dealer” at the entrance of RAW Berlin. And the other one is inside RAW Berlin, out front of Cassiopeia.

Urban Spree Photoautomat: This double photobooth is close to the entrance of Urban Spree along Waschaurer Street.

Kottbusser Tor Photoautomat: This one is located next to Supermarket Kaisers at the popular Kottbusser Tor station (which you will likely get off it when visiting Kreuzberg).

Visit the iconic Reischtag Dome

The Reischtag Dome offers an incredible 360-degree-view of surrounding Berlin. It sits atop the Resichtag and you can see the parliament hall below.

I was so eager to visit the Reischtag Dome, but was so sad to find out that the tickets were sold out. I guess it just gives me a great excuse to get back to Berlin soon (not that I needed one).

So, my biggest tip for this hotspot: Make sure you get your Resichtag Dome tickets way ahead of time.

Learn about berlin's history at the Berlin Wall memorial

The Berlin Wall Memorial shows a section of the Berlin wall in its original construction. You aren’t totally able to grasp the concept of this wall, and how it was constructed, until you visit this memorial. Here, you can see the inner and outer wall, as well the construction of mounts, spikes, and electrical fences between them that made it nearly impossible for people to escape East Berlin.

If you take a tour, like the Berlin on Bike one I recommended, they will likely take you hear and explain this in depth. Either way, it’s worth a visit.

Visit Berlin’s most beautiful book store: Umbras Kuriositatenkabinett

Direct translation: Umbras Cabinet of Curiosities.

And I truly don’t think I have ever come across a shop more perfectly named.

This spot was a complete stumble upon in the Graefekiez neighbourhood and I’m so excited to share this secret spot with you! If you’re a fan of books, or book stores, Umbras Kuriositatenkabinett has books stacked floor to ceiling. The books were almost exclusively in German, but that doesn’t take away from just how cool this space was.

Stay at the coolest Hotel in Berlin – with views of the Berlin Zoo

If you’re wondering where to stay in Berlin, I have the best recommendation: 25hours Bikini Berlin! This was one of my favourite hotels, ever. Our hotel room even had a hammock overlooking the Berlin zoo.

I wrote a blog post all about this hotel. Check it out here.

Visit Berlin’s Quirkiest Neighbourhoods: Kreuzberg and Graefekiez (the ultimate Berlin Photography Spots!)

If you’re looking for the best neighbourhoods in Berlin to roam, Kreuzberg and Graefekiez are located right next to each other and are a great spot to do this.

Kreuzberg is Berlin’s hipster haven, full of vintage clothing shops, antique stores, cafes, bars, restaurants – and so much more. It’s gritty and artsy and weird and so quintessentially Berlin in every way. Roam around long enough and you’re bound to come home with a cheap and unnecessary trinkets that you just “had to have.”

Technically part of the Kreuzberg neighbourhood, you’ll find Graefekiez on the south side of the Landwehr canal. A bit more polished and posh, but really cool in a totally different way. This was my favourite neighbourhood in Berlin and the one I would want to live in (anyone else do this when they are travelling, or just me??). It’s filled with unique sustainability-minded shops, florists, cafes, and restaurants.

Berlin was an urban photographer’s dream! I had so much fun wandering the streets and snapping photos. Scroll through this gallery for some of my favourite Berlin photography shots from these two neighbourhoods:

Grab a bite to eat at Markthalle Neun Erste (Market Hall Nine)

You’ll find tons of food vendors in this historical 120-year-old Kreuzberg Markthalle Neun. This is a great spot to grab a quick lunch or snack, or an afternoon coffee. Keep in mind when planning your visit that the market is closed on Sundays.

Markthalle Neun Berlin flower shop
Markthalle Neun Berlin

Need help finding these unusual things to do in Berlin? Here's a map!

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What do you think about when you first think of Germany? Before I first visited Bavaria in 2015, the stereotypical 1-litre steins of beer, magical castles, and men wearing lederhosen first came to mind (and the history, of course). And while my perception of Bavaria has evolved quite a bit after returning for the second time on my recent Bavaria Germany road trip, these three things – and what they represent in Bavarian tradition and culture – are still some of the things I still love most about Bavaria, Germany.

After spending several weeks in this area over the past five years, I have fallen hard for the deep-rooted culture, traditions, and beauty of this region. If you’re looking for quintessential Germany, Bavaria is where you want to go. And I’m sharing all my favourite things to do in Bavaria, and some of the fun things I learned about this region, in this comprehensive Bavaria Germany road trip itinerary. Let’s go!

Bamberg Germany town hall
Nuremberg Germany rooftops

recommended bavaria germany road trip itinerary

5-7 days | 5 destinations

Munich: 2-3 days
Neuschwanstein Castle: 1-2 days
Rothenburg ob der Tauber: half day
Nuremberg: 1 day
Bamberg: half day

Munich, Germany

First up on your Bavaria Germany road trip is Munich, a place with generations-old culture and lots of history. Many people visit Munich for Oktoberfest, but the city is so much more than this iconic festival and is a must-visit for history buffs and fans of unique cultural experiences.

I always assumed that lederhosen-clad men and steins of beer were more of an Oktoberfest tradition, but truthfully, you can find this walking stereotype wandering around Munich on a Monday afternoon. So you can definitely visit outside of Oktoberfest and get to experience true Bavarian culture, which is deeply engrained in Munich.

The best time to visit Munich: Munich is the perfect summer city, when the temperatures are warm and the city is bustling. But, if you’re a fan of Christmas markets, the Bavaria region is also home to some of Germany’s famous Christmas markets, and easily some of best Christmas markets in Europe.

How many days in Munich? For a first time visit, I would recommend three days in Munich. However, if you’re schedule is a bit tight, you can see a lot in two days.

things to do in munich

Take a history tour

Munich is a city filled with history and stories. Many of these stories would be impossible to uncover if you toured the city on your own. Because it was such a history-rich city, we knew it was important to enlist the experts. We signed up for two different tours with Sandeman’s Walking Tours Munich and we were so happy we did. If you’re looking for free things to do in Munich, this is a great option!

Free Munich Walking Tour: This free walking tour of Munich is the best Munich walking tour to get to know the highlights of the city. You’ll spend 2.5 hours learning about different historical buildings, hearing their stories, and learning all about Munich’s history. If you’re only going to do one tour, this one is the one to do. And, it’s a tips-based tour, which means you pay what you think the tour is worth.

Munich Third Reich Tour: If you’re interested in learning about Nazi history in Munich, this is the tour to take. On this 3 hour tour, you will stand directly in some of the most historical spots of this era, hear stories of the rise of National Socialism and Nazi reign, and visit memorial sites. Tour cost is 15 euros.

the best munich beer garden in Munich

Beer halls and beer gardens are synonymous with Munich. Here you’ll find both tourists in locals hanging out, drinking steins, and eating pretzels and bratwurst. You’re sure to see local friend groups visiting in their traditional clothing, and it is truly the best place to immerse yourself in the Bavarian beer culture.

Fun Fact: All local German beers are required to follow the “Bavarian purity law,” which was enacted in 1516.  This laws means that you can only use four ingredients – barley, hops, yeast, and water – to brew beer. As a result, all beers are to be brewed to the same standard, so you’re going to find almost identical beers at each beer garden. However, each beer garden or hall has their own history and unique atmosphere that makes them special so I’d definitely visit more than just one!

What kind of beer will you find at a Munich beer garden? At each beer garden or hall, you’ll typically have a choice of two or three types of German beer: Helles (a lager), Radler (also known as a shandy), and maybe a Weissbier (wheat beer). Some will also serve a Dunkel, which is a dark Garman lager.

You’ll find them scattered all over the city, but here’s a few of the best:

  • Augustiner-Keller Beer Garden: My personal favourite, this central spot seats over 5000 visitors. Situated in a massive green space lined with picnic tables in the middle of the city, this spot is so much fun in the evenings for a massive German pretzel and Augustiner beer.
  • Chinesischer Turm Beer Garden: This beer garden in the English Gardens is a favourite with tourists and students, and is the perfect spot to stop for a beer on a hot summer day which exploring the park. With seats for over 7000, this is Munich’s second-largest beer garden.
  • Hofbräuhaus Beer Hall: A traditional beer hall with an outdoor garden space, Hofbräuhaus is the most famous beer hall in Munich – and probably in the entire world. Founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria, it has a rich history in Bavarian beer culture and has been home to many historical events over many centuries, including hosting Hitler’s first speech (and many subsequent speeches).

In true Bavarian tradition, opt for a 1-litre stein of Helles beer, the most common German beer. If you are looking for something a bit lighter, a Radler blends lemonade and beer.

Take a Dachau Concentration Camp Tour

If you’re looking for a very sobering history experience, a visit to Dachau Concentration Camp is a way to pay your respects to the victims of Nazi Germany. While I think it is very difficult to put this experience into words, because it is something that should be experienced, I can recommend you great tour company to make the most of this experience.

In Their Shoes Dachau Memorial Tours is one of the best historical tours I have ever been on. Tour guide and owner James came to Munich because of his interest in WWII history, and knows so much about Dachau history, the people involved, and many other untold stories. He is truly one of the best tour guides I have ever had.

From my experiences visiting both Dachau and Auschwitz, I can say that while visiting a concentration camp memorial is a difficult experience (and certainly not for everyone), they are best visited with a knowledgeable and respectful tour guide. I can’t recommend James’ tour enough if you are planning to visit Dachau Concentration Camp.

Visit the Englischer Garten (English Gardens Munich)

Located in the centre of Munich, Englischer Garten (or English Gardens) is a great place for a walk or bike ride through the city. The park is huge – 3.75 square kilometres to be exact, which makes it bigger than Central Park! The gardens are beautiful, and here you can also stop at the Chinesischer Turm Beer Garden for an afternoon beer, which I mentioned above. 

In the summer months, you can’t miss the Munich surfers who take their boards out for a ride in the Eisbach River. At the spot where the river begins near Haus der Kunst, you can find large crowds admiring and cheering on the surfers of Munich.

Fancy taking a dip on a hot day? You can go for a swim in Munich along the Eisbach River. You’ll notice that the locals who aren’t keen on surfing will often choose to hop in and float down the river – and you can do this too!

English Garden surfers in Munich
marienplatz

Marienplatz is home to Munich’s “New Town Hall,” Neues Rathaus, which is arguably the most iconic building Munich. A stop by this spot is a must to marvel in the stunning neo-Gothic building. The building was spared from destruction during WWII because it was used as a orientation landmark in the centre of the city.

The best time to visit Marienplatz is at 11:00 am or 12:00 pm all year round, or at 5:00 pm between March and October only, when the iconic Glockenspiel loudly chimes while small figurines dance telling a story of Munich’s history. This daily tradition dates back to 1908!

Marienplatz Munich
Marienplatz Munich
Climb to the top of St. Peter's Church Tower Munich

Looking for the best views of Munich? Climb to the top of St. Peter’s Church and you’ll be greeted by a never-ending sea of orange rooftops. 

St. Peter’s Church Munich Cost: The church itself is free to visit, but it costs 2 euros to climb to the top of St. Peter’s Church Tower.

Shop Around at Viktualienmarkt

Located in the old town centre, Viktualienmarkt (Victuals Market) is one of my favourite spots in Munich. Here you’ll find many vendors set up selling food and other local goods. It’s a great place to grab lunch or pick up souvenirs. There’s also a popular beer garden located in the centre of the market.

Viktualienmarkt Hours: Open Monday to Saturday from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm (closed on Sundays).

Viktualienmarkt Munich
Viktualienmarkt Munich
Marvel at Asam Church

I can’t recommend Asam Church in Munich enough! This over-the-top baroque style church is arguably the most unique church I have ever seen. Built in the mid-18th century the interior of the church is small, but the details and quirks of the design will blow you away. 

Asam Church Munich
Asam Church Munich
Visit the Munich Residenz

A former royal palace, the Munich Residenz is a must see. It is home to an impressive museum, and the interior is extravagantly beautiful. If you don’t feel like visiting the interior, it is at least worth stopping by the palace grounds. the courtyard and gardens are stunning.

Where to stay in Munich?

I’ve stayed at two different properties in Munich – both budget-friendly and a bit of a splurge – and would highly recommend both of them. The are both located right around the corner from each other near the Munich central station, and are within close walking and biking distance from most main attractions.

Best Hostel in Munich: Wombat’s City Hostel Munich is honestly one of my favourite hostels, ever. It is modern, has a great onsite bar, and many activities scheduled activities for making friends with other travellers. I really recommend attending their beer hall tour. It was such a highlight of our time in Munich.

Best Hotel in Munich: I recently stayed at 25hours Hotel Munich The Royal Bavarian and it blew me away. I loved it so much I wrote a detailed blog post about the property. You can check it out here!

Neuschwanstein Castle

Next on this Bavaria Germany road trip, head from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle.

A visit to the famed fairy tale castle that inspired Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle is a must. This place is seriously magical and belongs on every Germany itinerary. Neuschwanstein Castle is often typically a day trip from Munich, but I would recommend staying for at least one night if you have the time. Not only is the town of Füssen charming, but the alps region surrounding the castle is stunning.

I wrote all my tips for visiting Neuschwanstein in this Bavarian Alps Guide. Check it out!

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

From Neuschwanstein Castle by car, you can head up the famed Romantic Road toward the magical town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Along the Romantic Road, you’re bound to find may stop offs en route. And it is a beautiful drive.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is probably the most popular Bavarian town. Sure, it’s a bit touristy. But even still, you cannot miss this spot in Bavaria. Upon arrival, you’ll probably find it hard to believe that this town with its narrow streets and dozens of Christmas shops is real. Because it truly looks like a movie set. 

On the topic of movies, I was SUPER excited to visit this town because this famed town was one of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang locations – which was one of my favourite childhood movies! If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll recognize these iconic narrow streets from the terrifying scene when the kidnapper is searching for the children while they hid in the basement of an old house.

How much time in Rothenburg ob der Tauber? This town is quite small, and can be visited in a half day.

things to do in rothenburg ob der tauber

Truly the best thing to do in Rothenburg ob der Tauber is just wander. Ideally, early in the day is best. We arrived around 9:00 am and had the streets to ourselves. Here’s a few spots that you shouldn’t miss:

  • Plönlein: Want to get that famed Rothenburg Instagram photo where the road forks? This is your spot!
  • Town walls: The old town walls cover four kilometres around the town and offer many stunning lookout points.
  • Rathaus: Also known as the Rothenburg Town Hall, Rathaus is a stunning Baroque-style building located in Marktplatz.
  • Burggarten: The gardens are beautiful and here you’ll find a lookout point with stunning views of the valley that sits below the town.
  • Go Christmas shopping: Rothenburg is home to a huge assortment of Christmas stores selling ornaments and other decorations. The most famous is Kathe Wohlfahrt’s Christmas Shop.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany
Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany
Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany
Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany

Nuremberg

From Rothenburg ob der Tauber, head to the next stop on your Bavaria Germany road trip: Nuremberg. There are plenty of things to do in Nuremberg, and many hotel options, so I’d recommend spending a night here. Nuremberg is a famous tourism spot for history enthusiasts interested in WWII, but it is also home to a super charming old town, and is filled with history. In fact, the city was once regarded as the unofficial capital of The Holy Roman Empire.

While one day in Nuremberg is typically enough, if you find yourself wanting to day many things on my list, you may want to allocate more than a day to Nuremberg.

things to do in Nuremberg

Nuremberg is so much more than just WWII history. Wondering what to do in Nuremburg? I’ve got you covered:

  • Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds: One of the most popular spots in Nuremburg, this is something you shouldn’t miss. Early National Socialist rallies took place in Nuremberg and is a good place to go to learn more about the Nazi’s rise to power in Bavaria.
  • Nuremberg Trials Museum: This famous location – specifically Courtroom 600 – was used to convict high-profile Nazi’s in the late 1940s. On the top floor of the building you will find the museum, which details the trials and convictions. Then, you can head down to Courtroom 600. Keep in mind this is an operating courtroom and on some days, it may not be possible to visit the room itself, but you can look through the windows
  • Kaiserburg: Nuremberg’s castle sits atop of Nuremberg Altstadt (Old Town) and dates back to the 14th century. While it admittedly wasn’t the most beautiful castle I saw in Germany, it is full of history and offers lovely panoramic views of the city.
  • Visit the many Nuremburg churches: I’d recommend St. Sebaldus Church and St. Lorenz Church.
  • Albrecht Dürer’s House tour: Take a tour of the half-timbered home previously owned by Germany’s most famous painter, Albrecht Dürer.
  • Wander the Nuremberg Altstadt: The old town of Nuremburg is beautiful, so make sure you take some time to just wander the canals and admire the old architecture.
  • Visit a beer garden: If you’re looking for a beer garden in Nuremberg, Restauration Kopernikus Biergarten is a great option!
  • Orrrr, a wine bar: If you’re feeling a bit tired of beer, Il Disperato Prosciutteria Weinbar was a favourite spot of mine and they served the most delicious charcuterie platters.
Nuremberg, Germany
Nuremberg, Germany

where to stay in nuremberg

I’ve stayed at two different properties in Nuremberg that I can recommend and both are fairly budget friendly. Both are located within or near the Altstadt and Central Station, and are within waking distance from many attractions.

Best Hostel in Munich: Five Reasons Hostel is a low key and clean hostel. Don’t expect a party vibe here, but the facilities were practical, the location is great within the old town walls, and it is very affordable.

Best Hotel in Munich: I recently stayed at Park Inn by Radisson Nürnberg and was the perfect spot for a short stay in Nuremberg. It’s located right outside the old town walls, offers parking, and the rooms were spacious and clean.

Bamberg

Let me just start off by saying that out of all the small Bavarian towns, Bamberg just may be my favourite. It’s incredibly charming, full of terraces and patios and canals, and is home to the famous Bamberg smoked beer. If you have to choose one town, I would (perhaps a bit controversially), tell you to visit Bamberg.

If you’re wondering how long to stay in Bamberg, I’d say a half day is enough. Here’s some tips of things to do and some photos to inspire you!

Bamberg Germany

things to do in bamberg

  • Try Bamberg’s famous smoked beer: Schlenkerla Smokebeer is a historic smoked beer brewery in Bamberg dating back to the 1400s where the beer is brewed according to centuries old traditions involving open fire that gives it the smokey taste, It is brewed in 600-year-old-cellars and Schlenkerla is one of only two breweries left in the world making beer in this traditional way. While the beer was very smokey and just not really my thing, it was super cool to try.
  • Bamberg Cathedral: Founded in the 11th century during The Holy Roman Empire rule, this church is truly stunning. Inside you can visit the tomb of Henry II and his wife, who were buried in a tomb that took 14 years to carve.
  • Altes Rathus: Perhaps the most easily recognized building in Bamberg, this fresco-covered “Bamberg town hall” building sits over one of Bamberg’s canals. It dates back to the 1300s and is Bamberg’s most popular building for a reason – it is beautiful!
  • Neue Residenz: This palace sits on top of the city, and has beautiful gardens (called Rosengarten). The grounds of the palace also offer the best view of Bamberg’s orange-roofed skyline.
  • Try some unique ice cream flavours: We loved the unique ice cream flavours at Cafe Riffelmacher, like rose, orange basil, and cucumber. Just don’t make the mistake we made and take your ice cream to go. They charge a sitting fee and we were shocked when we got the bill.
  • And when in doubt, just wander: Similar to other Bavarian towns, you’ll find the most charming gems by just wandering. Try to leave the most touristy streets and head for some of the back alleys.
Streets in Bamberg Germany
Bamberg Rathus
Schlenkerla Smokebeer Biergarten

where to stay in bamberg

If you’re looking for an affordable and central hotel in Bamberg, a great choice is Ibis Styles Bamberg. While the hotel itself is mostly no frills, the rooms are modern and clean room, it offers onsite parking, and it sits in a great location within walking distance of all main attractions. I highly recommend choosing this hotel as home base in Bamberg.

A few more tips for visiting Bavaria

I had a few questions that came up consistently while I was on my Bavaria Germany road trip, and so I thought an extra little Q&A was in order to address them. Here’s a few of the most common questions.

Can you visit Bavaria by train? During my two trips to Bavaria I have travelled by both car and train, and I can confirm that both are very efficient ways of visiting the country. On my first trip, we travelled exclusively by train and in many ways, it was faster than having the car because we didn’t have to worry about finding parking. However, the car gave us a lot of flexibility to make stops, and stumble upon some hidden gems. 

What is it like driving in Germany? Well, let me start by saying that I wasn’t the driver. But Sebastian found driving in Germany quite easy. German’s are fantastic drivers, the road conditions were perfect, and the road signage was truly impressive.

How much does it cost to visit Germany? To travel in Bavaria, and Germany in general, I would suggest having a moderate budget. From my personal experience, Germany is a lot cheaper than most western European countries I’ve visited. A decent private hotel room cost us about 70 euros a night, a half-litre of beer ranged from 3-5 euros, and you could typically find a meal for around 10 euros. Of course, there are many ways to save too by choosing cheaper accommodations, grabbing drinks at the grocery store, or eating street food.

Can you use credit cards in Germany? This is one thing that was not guaranteed. Coming from an almost cashless country, I couldn’t believe that Germany is largely cash-based. While we were able to use card at our hotels and some restaurants, there are many restaurants, beer gardens, and tourist attractions that are cash-only. Even the machines to pay for parking were cash-only in many cases. So moral of the story… Make sure you always have some cash on you.

Bamberg Rathus

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Cochem Germany

Germany wine country was something I didn’t know much about prior to planning our summer 2020 trip to Germany. I stumbled upon the Mosel Valley while drafting our German road trip itinerary from Sweden down to the German Alps, and I began looking at the best places for us to stop along the way. I had heard about the towns of the Rhine Valley, but I had never heard of the Mosel Valley before. However, the more I looked into it I was convinced that we must spend a couple days here and began putting together a Mosel Valley itinerary.

I mean… Wine and vineyards and quintessentially romantic German villages? Count me in!

I was a little bit skeptical to share this magical gem, because I feel like it is still largely off the main tourism trail. While we were there, it seemed that many locals had caught on to how special this sleepy region is, but it seems to still be off the radar of international tourists.

For those of you hearing about this region for the first time, the Mosel River runs through central-western Germany and is home to he most perfect little towns. You could spend days and days town-hopping along the Mosel River and admiring the almost-90-degree vineyards that scale the side of the river. But, if you only have a couple days like us, I’m going to give you the details on all the places you can’t miss!

Cochem Germany

SUmmary: OUr two-day mosel valley itinerary

Day 1: Spend the afternoon in Cochem

We arrived in Cochem on our first day around lunchtime. We spent a half-day wandering around Cochem, visiting the Cochem castle, wine tasting, and just enjoying the scenic town.

Day 2: Sunrise at Burg Eltz

A trip to Burg Eltz Castle cannot be missed when visiting the Mosel Valley. We opted to get up early at 5:30am to visit Burg Eltz for sunrise. However, if you aren’t an early bird, you can visit on your first day in the Mosel Valley before arriving in Cochem.

Day 2: Town-hopping in the Mosel Valley

After we returned from Burg Eltz, we checked out of our hotel and spent the day driving from town-to-town along the Mosel River. Keep reading to learn about my favourite towns!

Day 2: Spend the Night in Bacharach 

At the end of the day, we headed back to the Rhine River to spend the evening in the sleepy historic town of Bacharach.

Burg Eltz
Bacharach Germany

The best Mosel Valley towns

There are so many charming towns along the Mosel River to include in your Mosel Valley itinerary, you could get lost in back alleyways of half-timbered houses for weeks. The most picturesque part of the Mosel Valley lies between the area of Cochem and Traben-Trarbach. Here was a few of the best towns to visit in the Mosel Valley.

the most popular town: cochem

Cochem Germany

If you only have time to visit one town, Cochem is the best town in the Mosel Valley. And while it may be the most popular too, this is for good reason. It is home to stunning views of the Mosel River, is littered in hundreds-year-old half-timbered houses, and has a castle sitting atop of the town.

If you’re looking for the where to stay in the Mosel Valley, Cochem is a great home base. We stayed at Haus Christiane, a cosy little family-owned pension in the centre of town, with free parking and an amazing homemade breakfast included.

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Cochem, here’s some of my top recommendations:

Visit Cochem Castle: You can’t visit Cochem without going up to Cochem Castle. To get there, you’ll follow signs through narrow half-timbered alleyways and vineyards to the top of the town. From there, you can visit the castle grounds and you’ll also be welcomed by beautiful views of the town below.

Wine Tasting in the Mosel Valley: The Mosel Valley is home to German Mosel Valley Riesling wine, and doing a tasting in the region in a must. Around Cochem, you’re sure to find lots of spots to stop in for a tasting.

Indulge in German Food: Full disclosure, I really struggled with the food in the Mosel Valley. It was very meat-heavy and fried, which isn’t my thing. But, we enjoyed the atmosphere at the Alte Wein Wirtschaft “Wine Terrasse” and I was able to indulge in some pretty decent vegetarian Flammkuchen (Germany’s take on “pizza”).

Wander Without a Plan: This town is made for wandering! Make sure you take some time to cross the bridge and explore both sides of the town. Plus, you’ll find the absolute best views of Cochem from the bridge (especially at sunrise and sunset). 

ernst

We really loved Ernst because it felt more local. Historical homes with children playing outside. Winding cobblestone streets. And if you want to the backside of the town, there are plenty of vineyards you can wander through and explore! You don’t need much time here, but the parking along the main road is free, and I found it to be really charming.

Ernst Germany
Ernst Germany

beilstein

Beilstein was an easy favourite for me! This town is one of the best-preserved in the Mosel Valley, it looked like it was straight out of a fairy tale. The small settlement dates back to 800 AD and atop the town you can visit the ruins of an old castle. The narrow streets are perfect for wandering, and you’re guaranteed to find a whole lot of places to take photos.

Make time to visit the ruins of Castle Metternich, which was constructed in the 1200s. There is a small fee to enter, but it is absolutely worth it and the views of the Mosel River from the top are stunning.

I would recommend you spend 1-2 hours in Beilstein.

zell

We didn’t spend much time in Zell, but we did make a stop here for a wine tasting. Zell is home to Zeller Schwarze Katz, or “Zell’s Black Cat.” The photo of the towns black cat mascot is on every bottle of wine, and has origins on folklore tales of the town. While wandering through Zell, you’re bound to come across many variations of black cat statues, sculptures, figurines souvenirs, and paintings of the iconic black cat (usually holding a glass of riesling).

I’d highly recommend stopping into this town for a tasting like we did. Although the black cat obsession may seem a bit silly,  we loved the wine sourced from “black cat mountain” so much we bought a few bottles to bring home.

traben-trarbach

The last stop on my Mosel Valley itinerary is Traben-Trarbach, which dates back to 830. And this one is really charming! This is a great place to unwind at the end of your day Mosel Valley town-hopping, and you’re guaranteed to find a great glass of wine here. For hiking enthusiasts, there are some great trails around here too that take you into the vineyards.

Traben-Trarbach Germany
Traben-Trarbach Germany

looking for all these spots?
i've got you covered with a mosel valley map!

How to get around the Mosel Valley

Mosel Valley by Car: In the interest of time, we opted to drive around the Mosel Valley. Driving alongside the Mosel River was beautiful, and we found the region easy to navigate by car. You’ll normally find Mosel Valley parking lots along the river side at the foot of each town. In less popular towns, parking is typically free. However, you’ll have to pay a small amount in more popular towns, like Cochem or Beilstein, so make sure you have change for the parking meters. 

Mosel Valley by Bike: We saw many people biking in the Mosel Valley from town-to-town. If we had more time, I would have loved this option. There were bike paths alongside the river connecting the towns, which meant it was easy and safe to bike.

Mosel Valley by Foot: If you’re feeling adventurous and have a lot of time to spend in the regions, you’ll find lots of Mosel Valley hiking paths leading through the vineyards and connecting the towns.

Things to Do near the mosel valley

burg eltz castle

Burg Eltz Castle

If you are going to do ONE thing when you’re in this region, this is it. I absolutely love Burg Eltz. Dare I say it may even be my favourite castle in Germany?

My biggest tip for visiting Burg Eltz Castle: Go early. We arrived at the Burg Eltz parking lot around 6:00 am, paid for parking,  and walked about 20 minutes through the forest trail to get to the castle. We were so happy to have the castle grounds all to ourselves, and to be greeted by the most perfect morning light.

If you want to visit the castle interior, Burg Eltz opening hours are from 9:30-5:30 for tours, and you can take a Burg Eltz shuttle to the castle if you don’t want to walk. If you are interested in taking a tour, please check the Burg Eltz website for language availability, as most tours are done in English.

Burg Eltz tour price: 11 euro for adults

Burg Eltz Castle
Burg Eltz Castle
Burg Eltz Castle

visit the town of bacharach

Bacharach Germany

Want to be transported directly into a Brothers Grimm story? The sleepy town of Bacharach looks like a real life Hansel and Gretal fairytale. Bacharach was named after Bacchus, the god of wine. To this day, the town is known for having great local wine and attracts wine enthusiasts from around the world.

With narrow streets filled with half-timbered houses, the best thing to do in Bacharach is just to get lost with a camera in hand. However, here’s some other must-do things to do in Bacharach:

  • Burg Stahleck: Atop of Bacharach sits a castle, Burg Stahleck. You can walk up to the top of the castle and take in beautiful views of the Rhine River from above. The castle is also home to Bacharach’s most unique hotel.
  • Go wine tasting at Weingut Fritz Bastian: If you’re looking to sample some local wines, this wine terrace is a great place to do a wine tasting. I’d also recommend having lunch or dinner here on a sunny day.
  • Altes Haus: Admire the oldest house in town that dates back to the 1300s!
  • Go for a hike: There are plenty of hiking trails surrounding the town Bacharach. The Rheinburgenweg (Rhine Castles Trail) leads you through vineyards, and past historical sites and castles.
  • St. Peter’s Church Bacharach: It would be impossible to miss St. Peter’s Church, with stands tall in the centre of Bacharach. This church can be admired from many viewpoints in the town, but don’t forget to take a look inside too!

get ready to fall in love with german's wine country with this mosel valley itinerary!

I was so pleasantly surprised by the Mosel Valley and I hope you use this Mosel Valley itinerary to have the best time in German wine country!

Heading down to German Alps? Check out my guide!

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