Explore Bayreuth on this self-guided walking tour, from baroque architecture, to curious palaces, to Wagner.
This walk starts from Bayreuth Train Station. You can use the 49-Euro ticket to get here from Munich in 3 hours, or Nuremberg in 1 hour.
Bayreuth Walking Tour Map
Get the route by downloading the .gpx or .kml file below. For navigation with Maps.me on your mobile phone, simply download the .kml file and open to add it to the Maps.me bookmarks.
Tips for Bayreuth Walking Tour
- If you want to visit all castles and monuments in and near Bayreuth owned by the Bavarian state, it’s worth getting “The world of Wilhelmine” combination ticket (€18/16). This includes the Margravial Opera House (€8/7), Eremitage Altes Schloss (€4.5/3.5), Neues Schloss (€5.5/4.5), Schloss Fantasie (€3.5/3), and two other castles slightly further away.
- The three best places to stay in Bayreuth are the Budget Ibis*, B&B Hotel Bayreuth* or 3 Zimmer Dachgeschosswohnung Apartment*.
- For a nearby stroll, walk to Schloss Fantasie, or check out other walks on our Germany Hiking Page.
Top Sights in Bayreuth
On this self-guided walking tour you’ll visit the most famous landmarks and attractions in Bayreuth. You need at least two days in Bayreuth if you want to wander around town, visit the famous opera house and also the castles surrounding town.
- Rathaus Roof Terrace Viewpoint
- Margravial Opera House
- Bayreuth Old Town
- Maisel’s Bier-Erlebniswelt
- Neues Schloss and Hofgarten
- Richard Wagner Museum
Further afield are two castles, both 10-minute bus rides away: The Eremitage Altes Schloss and the Schloss Fantasie.
Bayreuth Walking Tour Route
This walking tour starts at the train station, only a short walk from the centre of Bayreuth.
Directions: Turn left when you leave the station and cross a main junction. The first stop is a tall building on your right.
1. Rathaus Roof Terrace Viewpoint
Key Information: Open from 10am on weekdays in summer months only, free entry.
The Bayreuth Rathaus (City Hall) is an obvious skyscraper with a roof deck you can access*. There’s an elevator to the 12th floor, then you walk up a final floor to the terrace viewpoint. From here you have great views over the rest of Bayreuth, including the Festspielhaus and Margravial Opera House.
Directions: Continue walking along the road and soon you’ll reach the central area of Bayreuth. Turn left along the canal in the pedestrian zone, past the tourist information, and turn right to reach the next stop.
2. Margravial Opera House
Key Information: Open daily Apr-Sep 9am-6pm, Oct-Mar 10am-4pm. Tickets €8/7.
The Markgräfliches Opernhaus (Margravial Opera House) (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a stunning Baroque opera house and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s probably the top attraction in Bayreuth. Margravine Wilhelmine had this opera house built in the 18th century, modelled on the greatest opera houses of the time. She was an avid music and theatre lover and commission the opera house in celebration of her first daughter’s wedding.
On your visit, there’s an attached museum explaining the history, building and renovation of the opera house. There are some fun interactive exhibits, and everything is in both German and English. You’ll either start or end your visit by walking through the opera house itself, with its ornate, glittering golden surface and detailed woodwork.
3. Bayreuth Old Town
Now spend some time walking around the old town of Bayreuth.
Directions: Leave the opera house and turn left, then head right and right again to walk through a nice garden area with views of the surrounding grand buildings. Then take a left and left again to walk through the Old Schloss and Church.
Old Schloss and Church
The Old Schloss, with a church, is a collection of grand old buildings in the centre of Bayreuth. You can enter the church, but not the other buildings, however, you can walk through the courtyards.
Directions: After walking through the Old Schloss, turn right on Maximilianstraße, the main street of Bayreuth. There are many restaurants and cafes here with lovely outdoor terraces. Bend left around the corner past the Spital Church. If you want to visit Maisel’s Bier-Erlebniswelt, take a right. Alternatively, to continue through the town centre turn left and wind your way through the streets to the Stadtkirche.
Stadtkirche (Town Church)
The Stadtkirche* (Town Church) is a historic church that dates back to the 13th century. It’s quite impressive from the outside, with Gothic and Baroque architectural elements. From the inside it’s a fairly average church, with intricate stained-glass windows and an ornate altarpiece. You can visit the crypt if you go down the staircase past the altar, where the coffins of the Margraves are stored. If you go up the tower, there are great views from the top.
Directions: From the church, head through the passageway under the building on your right and walk through the car parks to reach the Neues Schloss.
4. Maisel’s Bier-Erlebniswelt
Key Information: Open daily 11am – 6pm. Visits are with an audioguide (several languages). Tickets €12, including a glass of beer. On-site bar and restaurant.
Maisel’s Bier-Erlebniswelt (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a huge museum right next to one of Germany’s top beer producers. There’s a roughly 90-minute audioguide tour and at the end you get a glass of beer included in the admission price. On the tour you’ll explore the brewing process, and take a look at the fermenting cellar, beer casks and grinding shop. There’s also a very large collection of beer mugs, coasters and glasses. The onsite restaurant has many beers and great food.
Directions: Return to the centre of town and head past the Stadtkirche to the Neues Schloss.
5. Neues Schloss and Hofgarten
Key Information: Open daily Apr-Sep 9am-6pm, Oct-Mar 10am-4pm. Tickets €5.5/4.5.
The Neues Schloss, or New Palace (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is an impressive Baroque palace, once the residence of the Margraves of Bayreuth. On the lower floor there’s a museum, a few galleries of old paintings (not super interesting) and the Italienisches Schlösschen (Little Italian Palace). The Italian Palace is only visitable on a guided tour (included in the ticket price), in German only with an English handout. The rooms here are the nicest in the entire palace.
Upstairs are the formal rooms, with descriptions in German and English. These rooms are fairly standard and similar to those in many other German residences, with a few highlights such as the palm room.
The Hofgarten (Court Garden) behind the palace is definitely worth a stroll. It’s a lovely park with beautiful trees, water features and splendid flowers.
Directions: Walk through the Hofgarten, heading around the water features. Return slightly towards the palace and then head right through the wall towards the Richard Wagner Museum.
6. Richard Wagner Museum
Key Information: Open 10am-5pm every day in summer, closed Mondays Sep-Jun. Tickets €8/6.
Wagner lived in Wahnfried, the small but grand house next to the modern museum building. He built this with funds given by King Ludwig II (the fairly-tale prince and his great benefactor). Interestingly, you can see the tomb of Wagner and his wife Cosima, plus their dog, around the back of the house.
The Wagner Festival
The Wagner Festival takes place every summer, and has done for the past 130 years. It lasts for a whole month, from late July to late August, with each performance attended by almost 2000 people. It’s very difficult to actually get tickets to the concerts, and if you do visit Bayreuth during this time, make sure to book your hotel well in advance.
Directions: This is the end of the Bayreuth Walking Tour. To head back into town, take a left from the front of the museum. To explore more Bayreuth attractions, head to the train or central bus station for buses to the Festspielhaus or two castles further from town (Eremitage Altes Schloss and Schloss Fantasie). Alternatively, you can take a nice walk to Schloss Fantasie.
Bayreuth Attractions Further from Town
Key Information: Take bus 305 north from the centre of town or the train station.
The Festspielhaus (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is one of the largest opera venues in the world and a must-see for lovers of opera and Wagner. There are daily tours, but check the website for details. The acoustics of the main opera hall are exceptional, and Wagner designed this theatre specifically so his operas could be performed correctly. Additionally, there are no bad seats!
Eremitage Altes Schloss
Key Information: From the train station or central bus station, take bus 322 or 303. Open daily Apr-Sep 9am-6pm, Oct-Mar 10am-4pm. Grounds free, tickets for the castle tour €4.5/3.5. Nice cafe in the grounds (open summer from noon).
The Old Castle Hermitage (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a beautiful park and palace complex featuring stunning gardens, fountains, and pavilions. There are many interesting sections of the grounds (free entry), with a Chinese Pavilion, ruined ‘ancient’ theatre and intricate beech hedge designs.
The Altes Schloss itself is quite small and unusual. To enter you must visit on a 45-minute guided tour (German), the best part of which is the fountain/grotto room at the beginning.
Key Information: From the train station or central bus station, take bus 375 or 376. Alternatively, walk here from Bayreuth town centre. Open daily Apr-Sep 9am-6pm, Oct-Mar 10am-4pm. Grounds free, Garden Museum €3.50/3.
The Schloss Fantasie (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a bus ride in the opposite direction from the Altes Schloss Eremitage. Alternatively, you can walk here. There are fun gardens surrounding the palace itself, which merge into the woodland beyond.
Inside the Schloss is a museum about Gardens through the ages, mainly focusing on formal gardens that surround palaces and how their design has evolved. The museum was more interesting than I thought it would be.
Best Places to Stay in Bayreuth
There are a few good places to stay in Barr, with a couple of hotels and several apartments, though bear in mind that some have minimum-stay requirements. The best of the hotel and apartment options in Barr are below:
- Budget Ibis*: Conveniently located by the station with the reception open 24 hours, plus a car park just outside. Rooms are plain but comfortable and clean.
- B&B Hotel Bayreuth*: A very central hotel with flexible check-in, friendly staff and comfy, clean rooms.
- 3 Zimmer Dachgeschosswohnung* (or Three-Room Roof Apartment): A cosy apartment with a kitchen and two double beds. It’s not super close to the centre of town, but you can walk there in less than 20 minutes.
Guidebooks to explore more of Germany
For more walking tours and hikes in Germany, see our Germany hiking page.