Founded in the 10th century, Würzburg served as the home of powerful prince-bishops for many centuries. It is renowned for the Residence, regarded as one of the finest palaces in Europe and a high point of Baroque art (also UNESCO cultural world heritage!). Würzburg is also home to one of the oldest churches in Germany, built in the 8th century on top of a former pagan shrine. One of its most famous structures, Festung Marienberg, is a fortress which now surrounds the church.
Würzburg was the center of the kingdom known as Franconia. In the 19th century, Napoleon merged Franconia with Bavaria, by which the city is ruled to this day.
Würzburg experienced heavy demolition during a 20-minute bombing raid in 1945 which destroyed some 80% of its city buildings. Much of the city has since been rebuilt, though not as painstakingly true to its original architecture as some other historic german communities. Anyone eager to visit this town to study its historic architectural structures should be prepared to see its restored buildings placed next to several post-war modernistic houses. Würzburg has been home to a large US military installment since post-World War II reconstruction. As a result, many of the locals are familiar with American customs. However, as of 2006, the military base is scheduled to close which will cause the city to lose most of its American bases.
Würzburg is not served by an airport. However, if you fly into Frankfurt, Nuremberg or Munich, the Deutsche Bahn can get you anywhere that's worth going. Get on an ICE train, which will take you an hour until you reach the Wuerzburger Hauptbahnhof, from Munich you will drive about 3 hours.
Würzburg has an excellent connection to the German "Autobahn" (highway)-system. A3 (highway 3) from Cologne via Frankfurt and Nuremberg to Austria passes the city as well as A7 (highway 7) from Hannover via Göttingen to Ulm. In addition there is A81 to Stuttgart
Würzburg has a good public transport system with trams and buses. Public transportation maps and timetables can be found from VVM-Info.
Tickets are available from any ticket machine or from the bus driver. You cannot buy ticket onboard a tram, if you want to take a tram you will have to purchase a ticket from the ticket machine at the tram stop. In many cases it might be a good deal to buy a day pass, which is cheaper than several single tickets. Families can buy a family day pass, which is valid for two adults and up to four children under 15. All tickets are valid on trams, buses and regional trains within the respective range of the ticket. If you want to buy a ticket for the city of Würzburg you have to select "Großwabe" on the ticket machine. Tip: The Bayern Ticket is also valid on all trams and buses in Würzburg.
The trams have a high frequency of every 7 to 15 minutes. Most city buses operate every 20 minutes.
The bus route 9 runs from the Residence via the city center (Juliuspromenade) to the Marienberg Festung, connecting two major sights of the city. The bus operates in the spring and summer time (approx. April-October) and there is a bus every 45-60 minutes until late afternoon.
- Würzburger Residence is one of the finest Palaces in Europe and is famed for its magnificent staircase. It is regarded as one of the finest pieces of Baroque art in the world as such it has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The building was designed by Balthasar Neuman, and the Fresco above the Staircase was painted by Tiepolo, it is reputed to be the largest in the world. The palace has 300 rooms, spread over 3 wings. There is also a Chapel decorated by Tiepolo which is free to enter and well worth a visit
Entrance is €6.50, 9am - 6 pm Summer 10am-4.30pm winter
- Würzburger Residence gardens are situated behind the Palace and are free to enter
There are several old, beauiful churches in town to visit and marvel at, cafes, shops and eating establishments to spend time in as well as taking in a guided tour of the city.
- Festung Marienberg. Enjoy the beautiful view over the city and the Main from the fortress' walls which are open freely to the public. The castle's pay-admission museum is a somewhat confusing experience to foreign visitors and could be avoided as it is almost entirely in german. No english language guiding is available. Also note that most of the Marienberg's once very rare collections and interior were destroyed in a fire during the war. Today's interior and the present collections are a sad replacement.
Würzburger Weinfest, one of the bigger wine fairs. But nearly every winegrowing village in Lower Franconia has its own wine fair, so you can visit at least one if you visit Würzburg in summer or fall months.
Africa Festival, one of the biggest festivals about african culture. Mostly about May or June.
Germany may be world renowned for its beer, but its wine is its hidden treasure. Franconian wine is amongst the best in the country and Wuerzburg has been growing grapes since its first contact with the Romans. Be sure to pick up a memory that will last by picking up a bottle of wine. Franconian wine is often sold in special bottles named "Bocksbeutel". Normally having 3/4 litres there also exist smaller ones with 3/8 litres. These bottles look small and fat. If you do not know much about wine, buy it directly from the winegrowers or from small shops which sell only wine. They do know... The Würzburger Residence has a winery in the basement and just across the road is a wine shope with excellent wines at very reasonable prices.
There are some great restaurants in Würzburg, catering for all spectrums. At the highest end is the Schloss Steinburg. Situated a few kilometres north west from the centre of town, it is perched above a vineyard overlooking the river Main, the town, and with great views across to the Marienberg. Prices are naturally at the high end, but for fabulous food, great views, and an unforgettable ambiance - this is the place.
Great restaurants in the town centre include the Altemainmuehle, the Burgerspital, the Juliuspital and Stachel. All serve excellent food in rustic settings with by no means unreasonable prices. Service is great and you can be guaranteed a great meal.
It musn't be forgetten that Würzburg is a student town, so local establishments cater accordingly. These tend to be situated in the southern sector of the town on Sanderstrasse. Recommended are Unicafe (on the corner of Neubaukirche and Sanderstrasse), Cafe Muck and Cafe Kult( both Sanderstrasse). Here you can expect a good honest meal at very reasonable prices in a freindly atmosphere.
Takeaways include Tigris, Pinar as well as other Indian and Chinese establishments. Best Doner in town is at the West end of the AlteMainbrucke, it is called MC' Doner. Fresh pitas regularly.
Only decent Mexican food is at Joe's.
The local brewery, Würzburger Hofbraeu, brews excellent wheat beer (Weissbier), which carries the name of a 1600s bishop of Würzburg, Julius Echter. Basically this beer is served for you in almost all the local bars, if you order a hefe.
Würzburg resides in the middle of Franconian wineland and Frankenwein is served in many places. You can recognize the peculiar shaped bottle, Bocksbeutel, easily.
- Babelfish Hostel, Haugerring 2 (Next to the railway station), ☎ +49(0)9313040430, . edit
- Jugendherberge, (Below the fortress of Marienberg on the left bank of the river Main), . edit