Bamberg in January (& Munich)

I’m heading on a beer trip to Bavaria for 5 days in mid-January with focus on Bamberg. I’ve seen a lot of good Bamberg threads in the past but can’t seem to find them now with the new forum, so I figured I’d start a new one. Since I’m a beer writer of sorts, this is sort of a work trip :slight_smile:

My rough, preliminary itinerary looks something like this:
Monday 8th: Arrive by flight to Munich at 1 pm, do a bierhalle or three, stay the night.
Tuesday 9th: Head to Freising in the morning, visit the Weihenstephan brewery for a press tour and lunch, continue to Bamberg
Wednesday 10th: Press tour of the Schlenkerla brewery, dinner at the brewery tavern
Thursday 11th: Sightseeing Bamberg and drinking beer
Friday 12th: Depart for Munich in the morning, spend the day in the city, flight back home in the evening

Apart from Schlenkerla I’ll definitely visit Spezial and Mahr’s (and probably pop by Keesman & Fässla due to their proximity to the other places). Is Café Abseits worth a visit? The reviews seem very mixed.

I might have time to venture outside of Bamberg too. Out of the better breweries around Bamberg, Hummel and Knoblach looks like the ones that are most convenient to get to by public transport. Any others to consider?

Took a quick look at but couldn’t figure out if the prices for train tickets are fixed or if they will get higher the closer to departure I book.

I’m also wondering when I will need cash and when I can expect to be able to pay with credit card.

Any other tips for Bamberg, as well as for the shorter stays in Munich, would be greatly appreciated. :beers:

Someone correct me if I am wrong but I believe the Schlenkerla brewery is not open for tours, according to the woman at the original location when I asked 4 years ago.

Spend some time st Spezial. They had 5 or so beers on compared to 1 at Schlenkerla, and the Spezial food was excellent.

I highly recommed staying in Faasla across the street from Spezial for its quality; reasonable rates,); and excellent breakfast.

Bamberg has enough non beer activities to occupy a half day at least.

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Sorry, I should have clarified that I’m a beer writer and will be doing press tours at Weihenstephan and Schlenkerla. I’ll edit my first post.

I’m considering staying at Fässla but have seen pretty mixed reviews. Not sure if it’s the right place for me on what is essentially a work trip, although a fun and beery one, but might stay there for one of the nights to see what it’s like.

Looks like you already have a good plan going.

That is perfect. I’m sure @jonas and I are going to be happy to show you around the best places.

You’re going to have quite some time left in Bamberg if you plan it nicely, probably enough for a nice dinner at Eckerts (with Gänstaller Zwickelpils), some more Witzgall & Gänstaller at Stöhrenkeller, and maybe already a Spezial U, which, let’s not kid ourselves, is the main reason why you really want to go to Bamberg besides Schlenkerla.

beautiful! I hear you can try zwickeled Märzen if you are inside the brewery.

Probably best to chime in with a trip to Knoblach in Litzendorf here, afaik it’s a half hour bus ride.

Watch out - the Munich airport is located quite far out (but then again, so is Arlanda).

Abseits is just a 5 minutes walk from the main trains station, so you will be close there anyway. They are a nice place and you’re going to get a couple of interesting bottles there, but it’s not highest priority in Bamberg if you are more into brewery taverns.

That is more or less where you want to go. Löwenbräu Buttenheim is a 20 minutes walk away from the Buttenheim train station, and Witzgall is a 30 minutes walk away from the Eggolsheim train station.

They are fixed, unless you get a special saver ticket which is fixed to a certain connection at a certain time.

In general, I would always have some cash on me. I wouldn’t expect any place to let you pay by EC card, much less credit card, if you have bought two beers which amount up to 5.60 Euros (the current price in Bamberg is 2.80 per half litre, and it falls off rather quickly outside the city).

Both Fässla and Spezial seem to always be booked out when I want to go there (even when calling them 2-3 months in advance). I have stood at the Brauerei Kraus in Hirschaid (only a 7 minutes train ride outside Bamberg, and then it is very close to the train station) before, and that was fun. They also have a couple of beers, and you can still get some beers rather late before going to bed.

Or you can get a standard hotel in the city of Bamberg if Spezial & Fässla are booked out. Generally, the area is not exactly expensive.

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The latter is usually the case.

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Note that Freising is not really “on the way” to Franconia if you book a ticket on a ICE train - they don’t stop anywhere between Munich and Ingolstadt. For that trip you are most likely better off simply to take regional trains and get a Bayernticket which allows you to hop on and off the slower trains all day - so you can make pitstops anywhere in Franconia too.


Yeah, I know it’s not really on the way in terms of train routes. When I looked it up it seemed like the fastest way from Freising to Bamberg is to go back through Munich. If everything turns out the way I hope with Weihenstephan, I can go there in the morning for my tours and interviews, have lunch there and then leave for Bamberg around 13-14 o’clock and arrive well in time to grab a few beers before dinner time.

I had not thought of the option to take a slower train and make pitstops on the way though, that’s definitely an opportunity I will look closer at. Thanks for the tip!

Ditto for staying in Fassla. Room is basic but nice, staff is super nice, breakfast looks nice if you’re not vegan. Just make sure to arrive early, during the bar’s opening hours.

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Cafe’ Abseits - nice and homey and the beer is good. However, if that’s your first time in town and you have only 2 days, I’d recommend focusing on the traditional places.
Klosterbräu is great, we loved Greifenklau the first time we visited but last time the beer wasn’t in its prime. However, if you’re in town then why not?
Visit Eckerts as it is right by Klosterbräu and the location is beautiful.

Zapfhahn is good for bottles from the region and cheap greasy meals.
And yes, cash. Pretty much everywhere.

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Ended up getting a room at Spezial and squeezed in a visit to Gänstaller while in the Bamberg area, should be fun.

The plan is looking very good, but I’m not sure how to spend my Friday. My flight out of MUC is not until 20.55. If I go through Munich, I would have to depart for the airport around 19.00 at the latest, so I have pretty much the whole day to do stuff. Any ideas?

Monday - arrive in Munich, spend the afternoon/evening with Stefan and Jonas at Andechser, Ayinger (w/ dinner) and Schneider
Tuesday - tour at Weihenstephan and lunch, train to Bamberg in the early afternoon, general bar hopping in the evening
Wednesday - tour at Schlenkerla and lunch, sightseeing Bamberg and general bar hopping in the afternoon and evening
Thursday - visit Gänstaller, more beer in Bamberg
Friday - ???

No other ideas offered, so try some of the other Bamberg breweries, especially Mahr.

Thanks for all the help and tips! Ended up having a great week!

Fun evening with sinh4 and jonas in Munich with beers at Andechser am Dom, Ayinger am Platzl, Schneider Weisse and Paulaner Bräuhaus. All places well worth a visit and especially Ayinger and Schneider would be worth a second visit had I had the time.

The tour at Schlenkerla was very memorable and frankly a highlight among my many brewery visits. Got to throw in a beechwood log in the fire for the smoke kiln and had Märzen and Eiche straight from the lagering tanks in the cellars under the brewery. While they don’t offer general tours, Matthias said that they can sometimes accomodate groups of enthusiasts if they aren’t too busy,

Within Bamberg I ended up having beers at Spezial, Schlenkerla, Mahr’s, Fässla and Keesman, as well as Stöhrenkeller (Eckerts were closed for the night when I came by around 9 pm). Spezial still had their Bockbier on which was great, and their Ungespundets was also top top notch. Mahrs was fine but I don’t think it’s a place I’ll return too. Although the place is pretty cool, having Gänstaller Kellerbier at Stöhrenkeller is a better experience IMO. Café Abseits was also good. Wouldn’t recommend Fässla or Keesman unless you are looking for the ticks.

Ended up meeting a group of Italians including Manuele Colonna at Gänstaller and was invited to join them for a tour of some of the breweries in the smaller villages. Went to Hummel, Griess, Krug and Knoblach, were the last two had the beers in best condition for the day. Had some very nice pepper chicken for dinner at Hoh but the bock I had to accompany it was way too heavy on the caramel.

Stayed at Spezials guesthouse for my nights in Bamberg. Charming but basic place, good value at €50-55 per night for the room including a basic breakfast. No AC in the room and no wifi though, which might be something to consider depending on the season and your needs of internet connection.

Will definitely go back to the area many more times!


That is a superb selection of the breweries close to Bamberg.

Glad to hear you had a great time!