To get around Bamberg you need to be prepared to walk a lot, whether you have a car or not. Also, there is a good public transport network.

However, if you want to rent a car in Bamberg because you want to go on day trips or continue onto a longer journey through Bavaria or Germany, then this guide is for you.

If you are staying only for a day, there is no need for car rental in Bamberg.

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When renting a car in Bamberg makes no sense

Bamberg city itself is very compact and you walk here. Driving isn’t the way to go and the cobblestone streets and narrow lanes will give you a headache. Plus, there are a lot of people crossing the street all the time, it’s hard to get anywhere fast.

If you wanted to get up to Altenburg Castle, that’s where a car would be handy. (You’d still need to walk up stairs, however).

When renting a car for Bamberg is advisable

It would make sense to rent a car for Bamberg visits if you want to cover more ground in the surrounding region, such as seeing more castles and cute Bavarian villages in the Bamberg region.

Or if you are only visiting as part of a bigger roadtrip around Germany. Also, if you area coming from airports and larger cities, such as Munich, Frankfurt, or Leipzig, having a car is convenient as you can cruise on the autobahn and reach your destinations fast. (No overcrowded or delayed trains.) And you can drive towards your next destinations and then return your rental car there.

Plus, it allows you to stop at towns along the way, do more sightseeing.

Pro tip: Turn on the radio for live traffic announcements if you understand German.

Moreover, you can use the free Autobahn app (via GooglePlay or Apple Store), which can also show you live webcam images of the traffic situation so you can assess if you should stay on the autobahn or drive motorways and country roads instead. If there’s a big accident on the autobahn, you might be caught in traffic for hours. And that’s not pleasant.

When renting a car in Bamberg is not necessary

You typically don’t need a car within popular tourist destinations in Germany. The layout is made to be very walkable and there is public transport. The old town centers and main attractions are generally within 30 walking minutes of the train stations, too. (Germans walk or bike a lot.)

As a result, it’s entirely possible to take the trains from Bamberg to nearby cities and get there faster than by car. Trains run regularly. Keep in mind that faster trains are more expensive and stop less often. For smaller towns and more off-the-beaten-tourist-path attractions, you might need to take the regional trains.

With the local VGN network you can take buses to get around Bamberg by public transport for short distance travel.

This way, you can get better deals than with the Deutsche Bahn (German train), so look for that at the machines. You can only buy them via the VGN app or at the ticket machines in train stations or at the central bus station.

In case are planning for longer train trips with the Deutsche Bahn around the region, read up on how to snatch the best travel deals and regional tickets.

Note: Credit cards are accepted at the machines, but not when you board the buses (you need physical change, not bills!). And you need to validate your ticket before the ride too!

So you see, it can be super easy to take the trains from Bamberg to other cities. But it’s entirely up to your comfort levels of how much you want to walk around.

Note that many cities have cobblestone streets in the historic center, which are annoying to walk on. (Don’t wear heels!)

But again, you would have to find a local car park, expect to pay around 2-10 euros for a few hours of parking and then still walk for 10 minutes to the main sights. That’s Germany.

There’s a reason Germans value comfort fashion over fashionable looks, I guess. (You can spot them in jeans, sneakers and all-weather Jack Wolfskin rain jackets a lot).

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