While there are many stunning attractions in Bamberg as well as local guided tours to keep you busy for days during your visit, you may be the type of traveler that wants to take in the countryside and nature as well. If you are looking for the best hikes in Bamberg, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top hiking trails to look for in Bamberg with different difficulty levels and elevations.

In case you are looking for day trips from Bamberg and hikes that you can do in the region around Bamberg, I also have information on that. (Just click the links or send them to your travel buddy to help with their travel planning.)

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City Tours

Of course, the most obvious option for walking around Bamberg is through guided walking tours. This way you will see stunning sights without having to go far out of the city or walk too long.

And there are plenty things to see in Bamberg anyway, not only around the most popular sights in Bamberg but also to see and sample the famous local breweries. (Book your tour in English here.*)

poppy field in front of a white wall with red roof
Seehof Castle in Bamberg

Walk around Castle Lakes – Seehof

One of the most scenic hikes you can do in Bamberg that comes with a vibrant castle (and Bamberg has a few castles!) are the lake trails of Castle Seehof.

The Castle sits right outside the city borders but still technically belongs to the municipality of Bamberg. So it’s basically a hike in Bamberg.While it is possible to walk all the way here from the city center (I did it!), it is not particularly offering great views when you walk next to the main road or through the suburbs.

So I recommend not doing that. Instead, you should rent a car* or take the local bus. It’s very easy to use public transportation to get here. In case you are only visiting Bamberg for a day or a few days, it might not make sense to actually rent a car and public transport will get you around with ease.

You can read up on our guide to local public transport in Bamberg in general or how to get to Castle Seehof in particular.

The castle itself cannot be entered and is currently being renovated. There is always one side of the castle wrapped up in scaffolding but you can take pictures from the other sides. Plus, the entrance gate, gardens and lake views are stunners in their own right!

You can stroll around the park landscape, sit in the café with a fresh coffee and cake, or go on a little walk between the lakes. Note that the land adjacent to the lakeshore is a protected nature reserve. So do stay on the trails.

  • Recommended visit time: 90 minutes
  • Time to get there from city center: 40 minutes by bus, 15 minutes by car
  • Address: Schloß Seehof 1, 96117 Memmelsdorf

Epic Views from a Castle – Altenburg

Another castle in Bamberg and one you can spy from afar in most locations around town is Castle Altenburg. It sits high on its throne on the hill, overlooking the valley below. This means, you can enjoy epic views over the city and region. It really offers the best lookout.

Fun fact: Bamberg is known as the city of hills and in total has seven. The hill of the Altenburg is the highest of them all.

Plus, there is a restaurant and you can even climb the castle tower and visit the castle museum if you’re interested.

Walking the castle grounds, moats and walls is free of charge. There are also public parking spots. One is a little underneath the castle and you walk up a trail through the forest up to the castle.

This also doubles as an educational trail with information boards on local flora and fauna (in German but with pictures and Latin names).

Another is a little behind the castle on top of the hill. But you’re here to hike, so why not pick the first one? It tends to have more free spots.

  • Recommended visit time: 30-60 minutes
  • Time to get there from city center: 30 minutes by bus, 9 minutes by car, + walking
  • Address: Altenburg 1, 96049 Bamberg

Shady Boulevards in the City – Hain

The hiking route in Bamberg that is the most popular among locals and the easiest and most even one are the trails around the Hain Park.­­­

The park stretches all the way from the historic city center to the southern tips of the city. It’s the green heart of Bamberg and modelled after the English landscape gardens. It almost seems wild at times, with beech forests and wide meadows. But it’s well kept.

You can tell it was originally created for pastime promenading when you spot the many statues, gazebos and mini gardens.

At the start of the park you can find maps showing you the different trails and points of note around the Hain Park.

There are three highlights in our opinion. The first is the very tip, called Buger Spitze. It is here that the island in the middle of Bamberg suddenly stops and gives way to the merging of the river and canal with a view of pretty little row houses in the distance.

In the summer, this is where people go boating and swimming as well.

The park also houses a public bathing spot (Hainbadestelle) with a lifeguard in case you want some supervision and facilities.

The second highlight is the Botanical Garden which shows multiple rows of plants and flowers according to the concept of Linné and his teachings of biology. It’s free to visit and a great spot for deep breaths and sitting in the calm among nature.

The third highlight is the historic water mill at the start of the park in the center.

  • Recommended visit time: 90 minutes
  • Time to get there from city center: 10 minutes by foot, 2 minutes by car
  • Address: Altenburg 1, 96049 Bamberg

Fountain Walk – Michaelsberg Mountain

An easy walk and a must for the best views over Bamberg is getting on the Michaelsberg (also written as Michelsberg) via the monastery gardens.

The monastery is one of the key monuments in Bamberg and its spires can be seen as far as the southern borders of the city. But don’t stop just here.

If you have a car, you can drive all the way up to the hospital and park on the street there. Or you walk onwards and upwards for seven minutes.

The Ottobrunnen (Otto Fountain) is a natural spring and a little Catholic shrine was erected on top of it to harness its healing waters. Sadly, a gate was installed so you cannot actually get to it. But you can can still see the inside of the shrine and the icon inside.

Now, you’re also on the trail called Schöpfungsweg (Path of Creation). Bamberg has deeply religious routes and history and many of its trails will reflect and topicalize that.

Just a few meters to the west you can find yourself at station four of the trail, which leads you all the way into the forest and to the spring of the mountain Michelsberg, which is close to the quarry and station 8. From here, you can trail down into the city via the station 10.

The entire hike loop itself takes at least an hour to complete if you start and end at the monastery.

There is parking at the edge of the forest. (Parkplatz Michelsberger Wald)

  • Recommended hike time: 90 minutes
  • Time to get to the monastery from tourist center: 20 minutes by foot, 8 minutes by car
  • Address: Ottobrunnen, 96049 Bamberg
green lavender field with cathedral spires in the distance
lavender field on Michelsberg mountain

Jacob’s Way

Did you know that the Camino de Compostela runs through Bamberg? You can walk parts of it along the much shorter Jacoby’s Way pilgrimage trail, which runs from Lichtenfels to Nuremberg via Bamberg.

In total, it’s 82 miles (132 km) long and cuts from North to South through the city and onto one of Bamberg’s Seven Hills. Get a stamp inside the church as a souvenir! (Open from 9am to 4pm).

More information on The Jacoby’s Way.

blue sky with small clouds above a sandy beige church building with a clock tower
St Jacob’s Church

Contemporary Island – ERBA

The city center of Bamberg sits on an island in the middle of the Donau-Main-Canal and the river Regnitz.

The northern tip used to be industrial with factories, which have now been converted into the university campus and modern apartment buildings, complete with a beautiful park landscape.

The catalyst for this was the Bavarian garden exhibition in 2012. Germans love the national and state-wide garden exhibitions, which see cities being transformed with floweral displays and new gardens. The ERBA drew a total of 1.05 millionen visitors during the event!

Now, it’s freely accessible, free to visit and it’s also wheelchair friendly as paths are even. (Note: It’s fine gravel, not paved.)

In the spring time, you can enjoy cherry blossom trees. It’s one of the best places to see cherry blossoms while in Bamberg.

There are viewing platforms from which you can gaze out onto the waters, lots of benches and a playground. If you want to freshen up, the park also has a little café and there is a coffee shop nearby as well.

  • Recommended hike time: 90 minutes
  • Time to get to the monastery from tourist center: 20 minutes by foot, 8 minutes by car
  • Address: Ottobrunnen, 96049 Bamberg

Walking the Canal – Southern Fields

Just beyond the city borders of Bamberg and in the region of Bamberg you can find the Südflur area (translates to “southern fields”).

There isn’t anything all that special about the area but when you want to enjoy a nature walk in general, you are not always looking for or needing breathtaking views or scattered attractions. Enjoying nature in and of itself is a worthy pastime.

The southern fields lie beyond the basketball arena (Bose Arena) and lead through corn and maize fields, towards pope tree groves and parallel to the Donau-Main channel.

The channel is one of the two rivers of Bamberg and there’s always a boat or cruise coming by. If you’re lucky you can even see one of the waterworks in action, which raises or lowers the boats from one water level to the other. It’s fascinating and takes about 25 minutes.

You can also walk on the sandbanks of the channel, which is very pretty and feels much more like walking in Northern Germany than it does Bavaria.

A great time to visit is during sunset as the smooth water surface offers a brilliant reflection to the orange glow of the sky and the Altenburg Castle at the horizon.

  • Recommended hike time: 30-120 minutes
  • Time to get to the Bose Arena from the tourist information: 45 minutes by foot, 8 minutes by car
  • Address: In der Suedlfur, 96050 Bamberg
small ship on canal surrounded by green fields and forests
canal walk in southern Bamberg

In Jesus’s Steps – Kreuzberg Mountain

The mountain Kreuzberg can be found north of Bamberg in Hallstadt, and it is part of the nature park Haßberge.

You can easily take the bus out here and then hike to the forest edge and up the mountain to the chapel.

It’s great for a family outing as there is also a little adventure playground (free), picnic benches and a beer garden.

On your way up, you can see depictions of the stations of the cross of Jesus carved in stone.

From here, you have the option to wander deeper into the forest and visit other religious sites, such as the Chapel of Helen (Helenenkapelle), which dates back to the 19th century. Its original well was said to have healing qualities.

Other sites to include on a longer hike are the Hubertus Stone (Hubertusstein), the well Feustl (Feustlbrunnen) and the quain lake Mönchsee. Just beyond the latter, you can find a former Jesuit College, where you can also sit down for refreshments.

To help you stay on the path, stick to the hiking signs on the trees with the blue M.

  • Recommended hike time: 40 minutes (just Cross Hill), 4h (full round trail)
  • Parking: Wanderparkplatz Dörfleins, Naturerlebnispfad Hallstadt-Dörfleins, Weißer Graben, 96103 Hallstadt (14 minute car drive)
  • Public transport: bus 904 from ZOB to bus stop “Dörfleins, Obere Hut”, walk for 15 minutes to forest entrance (check timetable here, bus doesn’t leave on Sundays)
  • Address: In der Suedlfur, 96050 Bamberg

Activity Trail in the Forest – Hauptsmoorwald

If you’re into a forest walk in Bamberg but don’t care for getting far on a bus and out of town, visit the forest Hauptsmoorwald, just beyond the big city pool Bambados.

There are many easy trails to casually amble underneath the old trees, which will feel like you’re far from the busy city. But you’re really not all that far.

A big bonus is the main path that also functions as a fitness trail with 20 stops for active sporty pursuits. If you want to complete the parkour, schedule in about 45 minutes.

If you want to make it a bigger hike, you can go all the way to the natural historic spring Hubertusbrunnen.You can get right up to the mouth of the spring, however, drinking is not advised as there are no quality controls. The water flows straight into one of the streams of the forest.

Following the trail onwards, you will reach a now defunct well that belonged to the royal railroad. So it’s also good for looking at abandoned places, even if they are small.

There are parking spots right at the forest entrance and one close to the spring. Both are free but limited in space.

  • Recommended hike time: 40 minutes (just Cross Hill), 4h (full round trail)
  • Parking at forest: Moosstraße 116, 96050 Bamberg (49.895360, 10.930815)
  • Parking at spring: 49.888617, 10.954457
  • Public transport: take bus 911, 921 or 936 to bus stop “Max-Planck-Str.”
  • Address: Armeestraße, 96050 Bamberg

Forest Bathing – Bruderwald

Another forest to explore in Bamberg is the Bruderwald. There is an information trail for kids with boards depicting local flora and fauna. (The text is in German but there are photos and Latin names too.)

There is some elevation; it’s not as even as Hauptsmoorwald, but not difficult at all. You can enter near the hospital and then get out in the district of Bug, where you can walk back through the Hain Park or along the river on the cliffside.

I found this forest was less busy than the Hauptsmoorwald and offers perfect shade during hot summer days. The trees are big and tall here. Please be aware that there are many mosquitoes here in summer time, so come prepared with insect repellant*.

  • Recommended hike time: 1 hour
  • Parking: Wanderparkplatz, 96049 Bamberg (49.861913, 10.911019)
  • Public transport: take bus 901, 908, 918 or 937 to bus stop “Am Bruderwald”; or take bus 918 to the stop “Schloßstr.”
  • Address: Bruderwald, Buger Str. 113, 96049 Bamberg
green forest and brown paved paths leading to a bench
Bruderwald forest trails in Bamberg

Watergates Hike – Along the Canal

Bamberg has both a river and an artificial canal on which many commercial and touristy boats are floating throughout the day and night.

To conquer fluctuation water levels, a series of waterworks were installed at the Donau-Main-Canal.

In total, the Seven Rivers Hiking Trail (Sieben-Flüsse-Wanderweg), as it is officially called, spans a distance of 200 km (124 miles) and 23 stations. You can fully hike them all and get far out of Bamberg if you want to go hard on hiking.

You start in the city center at the historic water mill (Schleuse 100) and walk through the Hain Park all the way to the edge of town in the district Bug. This takes about an hour.

After that, you have the option to continue the journey all the way via Nuremberg to Kelheim, which takes over 30 hours in total. It’s a multi-day hike which can allow you to visit other cities of the region as well.

A shorter trip that you can do in an afternoon is that from the Southern Plains (start at the Brose Arena) to the village Strullendorf. It has a train station, so you can take the train back (they come about every 30 to 60 minutes) or call a taxi.

  • Address: Schleuse 100 Ludwig-Donau-Main-Kanal, Mühlwörth 15, 96047 Bamberg
  • Parking: Bamberg, Tiefgarage Geyerswörth City-Altstadt Tiefgarage, Geyerswörthstraße 5A, 96047 Bamberg
  • Duration on foot: 45 minutes (to Bruderwald), 2 hours (to Strullendorf)
white house with red roof directly by the river among green trees
Historic Bamberg mill

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