Bayreuth

Bayreuth Travel Guide

Photo by AngelikaGraczyk on Pixabay // CC0

Introduction

Quiet for all but one month of the year, Bayreuth is a city of music, theatre, and architecture. In its heyday, Richard Wagner, Franz Liszt, and other creatives called this place home. By exploring the museum, opera house, and other attractions, you’ll get a feel for this underrated destination.

Top Attractions

German and many Europeans know Bayreuth as a centre of arts & culture. So, during your stay, try to attend a show at the Markgrafliches Opera House. Opened in the mid-18th-century, this performance venue is one of the few surviving Baroque-style opera houses still standing.

Because of this, UNESCO added Markgrafliches Opera House to their World Heritage list in 2012. If you can’t watch a performance, you can still tour the building. However, apart from an intro film with English subtitles, the guides only speak German. If you can, bring along a bilingual friend.

If you’re still in the mood for musical theatre, head north of Bayreuth to Festspielhaus. Famed German composer Richard Wagner commissioned its construction in the 19th century. Once complete, it served as a venue for all his productions.

Today, it serves as the host for the Bayreuth Festival, which features many of Wagner’s works. As magnificent as this facility is, it only hosts shows three weeks per year (during the Bayreuth Festival). It usually runs from late July to late August, but dress lightly, as this build has no air-conditioning.

Learn more about one of Germany’s greatest composers by visiting the Richard Wagner Museum. This institution is where this creative lived and worked throughout much of his life. As you walk through his former residence, you’ll experience how he lived, hear his most famous works, and see his letters/manuscripts/sheet music.

After taking in all that music (or if opera doesn’t interest you), go check out Hermitage Castle. In the early 18th-century, Margrave Georg Wilhelm built this palace to serve as his court’s centre. With grand spaces like a Music Room and numerous fountains throughout, don’t miss this place.

Other Attractions

Looking for a church to explore while in Bayreuth? Make time in your schedule for Stadtkirche Bayreuth. Local Protestant authorities built this church after a fire in the early 17th century. Builders crafted it in the late Gothic style, giving it many noteworthy features.

Guided tours are available if you’d rather have local commentary rather than wander around on your own. Otherwise, the highlight of this place is the views available over Bayreuth from the bell tower. If you’re lucky, you may be able to catch organ performances as well.

Richard Wagner isn’t the only musician/composer associated with Bayreuth. If you have extra time on your visit, drop by the Franz Liszt Museum. This residence was the final home of Hungarian pianist Franz Liszt. As such, you’ll see how he spent his final days.

Admission is only 2 EUR, but be aware that all displays are in German. To overcome this, you can buy an English pamphlet at reception, or try your luck with Google Translate.

Want to know how brewmasters produce the best wheat beer Germany has to offer? Include a trip to Maisel’s Bier-Erlebnis-Welt in your travel itinerary. This brewery doesn’t just serve their refreshing lager alongside good food, they offer tours.

While the tour is in German, they offer an audio guide app that delivers it in English. A top highlight includes a room with over 4,500 beer mugs. Afterwards, you’ll get a chance to sample their finest beers, along with classic German dishes.

If you’re travelling through Bavaria as a family, take time to explore Tierpark Rohrensee together. This small zoo is free of charge and features a number of exotic animals like kangaroos and flamingos. When you’ve finished checking out the enclosures, rest by the lake, or go on a boat ride.

What To Eat

Looking for a sausage that stands out from the over-represented Bratwurst? While in Bayreuth, track down some Weisswurst. Also known as Weißwürste, this sausage stands out due to its white colour. Rather than grill this mix of veal, pork, and pork fat, cooks stuff it in a thin casing and boil it for roughly ten minutes.

Afterwards, preparers remove the thin casing and slice it prior to serving it. If you want to have it like a local, order a soft pretzel on the side. Seek this dish out at lunch, as local tradition frowns upon serving Weisswurst after Noon.

Need a treat to keep you going through the afternoon? Pop into a bakery and buy some Quarkbällchen. This delightful little dough balls resemble doughnut holes (or if you’re Canadian, Timbits). Covered in cinnamon, sugar, and a hint of lemon zest, you’ll be fighting over them with your travel companions.

At dinner, spoil yourself by ordering Schweinshaxe. This dish is a whole pork knuckle that chefs roast for hours. When complete, the meat is tender and juicy. Served with cabbage and roasted potatoes, this is a meal that will leave you satisfied.

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