Regensburg Walking Tour

Old Stone Bridge in Regensburg
Old Stone Bridge in Regensburg

Regensburg is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany and a walking tour is a great way to explore its hidden past.

Apart from medieval buildings, the city also contains Roman ruins from Castra Regina, the fortress built here in 179AD to guard the frontiers of the great Roman Empire. The mighty Danube River was the border of the Roman empire well into the 5th century, and Regensburg later grew into a flourishing medieval trading centre. Rich merchants built the distinctive tall tower houses in the medieval city, and the Imperial Diet (or Council) was held here from 1663–1806. These historical events mean that today Regensburg contains a wealth of grand buildings mixed with ancient ruins and is one of the best Bavarian towns to explore on a walking tour.

Location

This walk starts from St Peter’s Cathedral in the middle of Regensburg. It’s a 10-minute walk from Regensburg train station, from which it’s 1hr20 from Munich or roughly 1 hour from Nuremberg.

Regensburg 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 Regensburg Walking Tour

  • If you’re visiting on a Sunday, bear in mind that you can’t visit the churches during mass (often 10am-11am, some later).
  • If you’re visiting Walhalla, download the free English App beforehand (Google, Apple).
  • Check out other walks on our Germany Hiking Page.

Top Sights in Regensburg

Top sights in Regensburg, Germany

On this self-guided walking tour you’ll see the main sights and attractions of Regensburg. One to two days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Regensburg, depending on how many museums you visit.

  1. St Peter’s Cathedral
  2. Neupfarrplatz
  3. Altes Rathaus
  4. Haidplatz
  5. Scots Monastery
  6. Church of the Holy Trinity
  7. Thurn and Taxis Palace
  1. Dachauplatz
  2. Museum of Bavarian History
  3. Stadtamhof
  4. Stone Bridge
  5. World Heritage Visitor’s Centre
  6. Alter Kornmarkt

If you prefer a guided tour, the Regensburg Sightseeing Train Tour* is very popular. You start from St Peter’s Cathedral and ride through the town on a little train listening to an audioguide – available in six languages including English.

Regensburg Walking Tour Route

This walking tour starts from St Peter’s Cathedral, in the middle of Regensburg.

1. St Peter’s Cathedral

Walking around Regensburg Cathedral in Bavaria, Southern Germany

Key Information: Free to enter and open from 6:30am every day all year round. It closes at 5pm in winter and 7pm in summer. On Sundays, mass takes place from noon until 1pm, during which time you are not allowed to enter (unless going to mass). On summer weekdays, there’s 15 minutes of meditation and organ music at noon, free to attend by anyone.

Regensburg Cathedral, or St Peter’s Cathedral (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*), is one of the most famous churches in Germany and the central point of Regensburg. Construction began around 1275 with a Gothic design and went on for roughly 600 years. By 1500 the money had run out so all building work stopped for a while, with the towers still missing their high spires. Later, building recommenced with some Baroque additions, but King Ludwig I of Bavaria had these removed in 1872, when the cathedral was finally complete.

Inside the Cathedral

Inside St Peter's Cathedral in Regensburg
Regensburg Cathedral

The light in the cathedral is quite unique and almost magical. You won’t think this as you first go in because it will just seem really dark. However, after a few minutes, your eyes acclimatise, bringing the wonders of the cathedral to life.

Make sure to admire the colourful, medieval stained-glass windows, dating from 1310 to 1450. Unlike most churches in Germany, bombing raids didn’t blow these windows out so they still contain the original glass. After looking at the windows, try and find the ‘Smiling Angel’, on a column near the front on the righthand side, considered a masterpiece from around 1280. Another sight not to miss is the silver high-altar, in the centre at the front.

Apart from the architecture and art, Regensburg Cathedral is also famous for the Dom choir. Founded by a bishop in 975AD, it’s the oldest’s boys’ choir on earth.

Domschatz Museum (Cathedral Treasury Museum)

Key Information: Open Mon-Sat 11am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm. Tickets are €3.

The Domschatz Museum is a typical cathedral treasury museum, with golden religious works and treasures, both old and modern. One special item in the Regensburg Museum is a jewel-covered chest, as well as many gold items and textiles.

Directions: Leave the Cathedral and walk left to Neupfarrplatz.

2. Neupfarrplatz

Neupfarrkirche, a church in Regensburg
Neupfarrplatz Ort der Begegnung (Place of Encounter) memorial for a Jewish synagogue

Neupfarrplatz is a pedestrian square in the middle of Regensburg’s old town. Immediately noticeable is the Neupfarrkirche, or New Parish Church, standing by itself on a plinth in the centre. This used to be the location of the Jewish Quarter, with Regensburg having one of the oldest Jewish communities in Germany.

However, Jewish Quarter was destroyed in 1519 and the New Parish Church was built in its place just afterwards. The city converted to Protestantism in 1542 and inhabitants used this church for their first Protestant services.

As recently as 1995, a car park covered this square. During its redesign, excavations uncovered the remains of a medieval synagogue. Today, next to the church, is a low white sculpture called the Ort der Begegnung (Place of Encounter), which shows the layout of the former synagogue. Over a thousand years before the Jewish Quarter, Roman officers lived here in a large Roman Fort, the Castra Regina, which covered a similar area to Regensburg Old Town as we know it today.

Document Neupfarrplatz

The Document Neupfarrplatz (Website) is the site of the large archaeological excavations beneath Neupfarrplatz which you can visit on a guided tour. These tours are all year round at 2:30pm Thu-Sat, with additional tours on Sun & Mon in summer. Tickets cost €5/2.50. The excavations show a Roman military barracks, the medieval Jewish quarter and other exciting finds.

Directions: Leave Neupfarrplatz out the narrow end of the square and turn right on Wahlenstraße.

The Goldener Turm
Walking along Wahlenstraße with the Goldener Turm on a tour of Regensburg
Wahlenstraße and the Goldener Turm
Wahlenstraße with the Goldener Turm, a walking street for pedestrians in Regnesburg, Germany

Wahlenstraße is a cute street with several tower houses, the residences of rich merchants from Medieval Times. The tallest of these is the stone Goldener Turm, noticeable because it really is very much taller than any of the other buildings on Wahlenstraße. In general, this area is a nice place to just wander around and perhaps have a drink at a cafe or go into any of the little shops. At the end of Wahlenstraße you’ll reach the Altes Rathaus.

History of Regensburg

Castra Regina, a Roman legion camp, was founded here in 179AD. It later grew up as a trading city and from the 6th century Regensburg was the first capital of Bavaria, with a bishop arriving here in 739. From 1135-1146 the old Stone Bridge was constructed and in 1245 it became a free imperial city. The Perpetual Imperial Diet took place here from 1663-1806, the heyday of Regensburg. It ended in 1806 when the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation was dissolved, but luckily the city escaped much bombing in the Second World War meaning the medieval buildings remained mainly unscathed. Today it’s a World Heritage Site for the Old Town and Roman remains.

3. The Altes Rathaus

Altes Rathaus, a famous sight in Regensburg and a stop on this self-guided walking tour
the Altes Rathaus and tower, one of the best things to see in Regensburg

Key Information: The tourist information is open every day from 10am-6pm, or 10-4pm on weekends. The Town Hall Museum (or Document Reichstag) has English guided tours every day at 3pm in Apr-October or 2pm in Nov, Dec and March (no English tours Jan/Feb). Tickets for a guided tour of the Reichstag are €7.50/4.

The Altes Rathaus (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a collection of buildings containing the Baroque Old Town Hall, the historic tower, and the Reichssaal, or Imperial Hall. You can visit the Document Reichstag, or the Town Hall Museum, only on a guided tour. The tour includes a visit to the prison and medieval torture chamber in the basement, as well as to the Reichssaal. There is one English guided tour per day and many more in German, but you can go on the German tours with an English audioguide if the timing works better for you.

Rathaus in Regensburg

The oldest part of the Altes Rathaus complex is the 55m high tower from 1260, followed by the 14th-century Gothic Reichssaal. This was the seat of the permanent Imperial Diet (or Imperial Council) from 1663-1806, where important members of the Hapsburg Holy Roman Empire discussed politics, administration and military matters. This is an important room because it was basically the location of the first German Parliament and predecessor of the German Reichstag today in Berlin.

Apart from the museum, the tourist information office is on the lower floor of the Altes Rathaus. It’s open every day from 10am-6pm, or 10-4pm on weekends. Opposite the town hall is Germany’s first coffee shop (Prinzess Confiserie & Café), which opened back in 1686.

Directions: Walk past the Rathaus and you’ll reach Haidplatz.

4. Haidplatz

Walking through Haidplatz on a tour of Regensburg

Haidplatz (Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a beautiful triangular-shaped square in the middle of Regensburg that dates back to the Middle Ages. It gets its name from that of an overgrown wasteland, or ‘Haide’. It used to be a much larger, open square and held the Knight Tournaments in the 12th century.

Later in the middle ages, various buildings were constructed around it. In 1673, a French tightrope-walker fell to his death here as he tried to walk along a rope high above the square with fireworks strapped to his back. Today, historic buildings such as the ‘Neue Waag’, or ‘New Weighhouse’ surround the square.

Directions: Continue walking onwards until you reach a square full of buses. Turn left, take the first right and cross over the road.

5. Scots Monastery

Scottish Doorway in the Scots Monastery, or St James's Church, a stop on a walking tour of Regensburg

The Scots Monastery, or St James’s Church (Tripadvisor Reviews*), is open 8am-6pm daily. In 1070, monks from Ireland came to Regensburg and lived here for hundreds of years, later joined by Scottish monks. The church was started in 1090 and is most famous for its doorway, known as the Scottish Doorway, an important Romanesque monument.

Today a protective glass box encloses the doorway. Around the doorway are several figures carved in stone, though experts believe they used to be painted, perhaps even gold or silver-plated. In the middle is Christ, with six apostles on either side. Some of the other figures may be outcasts i.e. those denied entry to heaven, each representing ‘evil’ trades such as criminals, dancers, jugglers and ‘the lazy’.

Directions: Leave the church by heading towards the city centre and you’ll soon be in Bismarckplatz.

Bismarckplatz

Bismarckplatz is an open square with the grand city theatre on one side. This square was a traffic intersection even thousands of years ago when it was just outside the Roman fort’s walls.

Directions: Continue onwards and the next church is on your right.

6. Church of the Holy Trinity

Church of the Holy Trinity, or Dreieinigskeitkirche, a stop on a walking tour of Regensburg
Church of the Holy Trinity, or Dreieinigskeitkirche,

The Dreieinigskeitkirche (Church of the Holy Trinity) is a lovely church and you can climb the wooden tower (Apr-Oct, noon-6pm, €2) for great views over the city from the top. The climb up the tower is rather scary, so not for those afraid of heights. It’s an early Baroque church from 1631 and unusually, it doesn’t have any pillars inside, which made it quite famous at the time. The lack of pillars meant all seats had good views of the altar.

Directions: Walk onwards until just before Neupfarrplatz and turn right along Bachgasse, a cute little street. After 250 metres, turn right just after the church and through the stone gateway on the square.

7. Schloss St Emmeram (or Thurn and Taxis Palace)

Schloss St Emmeram (or Thurn and Taxis Palace)
Schloss St Emmeram (or Thurn and Taxis Palace), a stop on a walking tour through Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany

Key Information: You can wander freely around the outside and into St Emmeram Abbey. To see the inside of the Schloss and cloisters, you have to go on a tour, tickets are €16/14. There are audioguides in English.

Schloss St Emmeram (Website), also known as the Thurn and Taxis Palace, is in a former Benedictine monastery. It’s very large and there are more than 500 rooms inside, today one of the largest private residences in Germany. It’s the seat of the Turn and Taxis dynasty, originally from northern Italy, who moved to Regensburg in 1748 to represent the emperor at the perpetual Reichstag. The family was given the Benedictine monastery in exchange for the nationalisation of the Bavarian postal service, which had been run and owned by the family itself.

Baroque St Emmeram abbey
Baroque St Emmeram abbey in Regensburg

You are free to visit the Baroque St Emmeram abbey by yourself, but to see the rest you must take a guided tour. The main tour includes a visit to the Schloss museum, staterooms, and old cloisters. In the museum, you learn about the monastery as well as the Turn and Taxis family, a very important aristocratic family. The visit to the Furstliche Schatzkammer (Treasury and Stables) is separate.

Furstliche Schatzkammer (Treasury and Stables)

Key Information: Open Sat-Sun 10am-5pm, and also Mon-Fri 11am-5pm in Apr-Oct. Tickets are €4.50. Audioguides are available in various languages.

The Furstliche Schatzkammer (Princely Treasury) has furniture, porcelain and many, many snuff boxes. The royal stables are now a carriage museum, with an incredible number of carriages.

Directions: Leave the Schloss complex through a gate to the right at the far end. Turn left and left again into Fürst Anselm Park.

Walking through Fürst Anselm Park with great views of the back of Schloss St Emmeram.

As you walk through Fürst Anselm Park, make sure to check out the views of the back of Schloss St Emmeram.

Directions: Take the first left across the park and then right and left again to walk towards Dachau Platz.

8. Dachau Platz

Dachau Platz is a little square with a few cafes and a water sculpture in the middle.

The Historisches Museum

The Historisches Museum on Dachau Platz

Key Information: Open Tue-Sun 10am-4pm. Entrance is €5/2.50, or free on the first Sunday of each month. There’s an English audioguide.

The Historisches Museum (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a large museum in a former monastery, so you can also walk around the cloisters and church. Inside there are exhibits about the city’s history, focusing on Roman times and the Middle Ages.

Städtische Galerie

The Städtische Galerie, also called the Galerie Leerer Beutel (open Tue-Sun 10am-4pm, €5 or free on the first Sunday of each month) is a gallery of fairly modern artworks from eastern Bavaria and temporary exhibitions. It’s located in a grain warehouse from the 15th century.

Document Legionslagermauer

The Document Legionslagermauer is a free archaeological exhibit about the ancient walls of the Roman Fort that were discovered here at Dachauplatz during excavations to build a parking block. The entrance is in a multi-story car park and inside there’s a multimedia exhibit about the Roman fort and Roman history of the area.

Directions: Continue along the main road towards the river.

9. Museum of Bavarian History

Museum of Bavarian History, a stop on a walking tour of Regensburg
Museum of Bavarian History

Key Information: Open Tue-Sun 9am-6pm. Tickets cost €7/5, children under 18 are free. Captions are in both English and German. An audio guide is an extra €3, or download it for free beforehand (Apple, Google), and remember to bring headphones for your phone.

The Museum of Bavarian History (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) or Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte is a modern museum lying on the banks of the Danube. It focuses on Bavarian history from 1806 up to the present day, though some exhibits talk about the much longer history of the region.

It’s free to enter the foyer, where you can see a large statue of a lion and enter the Panorama Room. The panorama show is a film, which replays every half an hour, about the history of Regensburg. It’s in German, but you can understand enough even if you don’t speak the language, and it’s very well done and quite funny.

Upstairs is the permanent exhibit, which has many media installations and large-scale objects. Captions are in both English and German. There are good views of the old town from the panoramic windows in the museum.

Directions: Walk across the Iron Bridge, across Wöhrd Island and over the next bridge into Stadtamhof. Take the first street left.
Detour: For a longer walk, head east to the Eastern City Gate, or Ostentor, from 1284, the best preserved of Regensburg’s former city gates. It’s very close to the Königliche Villa, which you can see from the nearby park. Return back along the river.

Regensburg

10. Stadtamhof

Stadtamhof is a small district on an island on the northern bank of the Danube. It was not incorporated into Regensburg proper until 1924 so has a different vibe to the main city. There are many cute narrow lanes, artisan shops, little cafes and more, making it a picturesque place to wander about.

The Stadtamhof district was always proud of being a separate city from Regensburg, and one would never ‘marry over the bridge’. For example, the coat of arms of Stadtamhof has three keys, while that of Regensburg only has two!

Directions: Leave Stadtamhof via the Stone Bridge.

11. Stone Bridge

The famous Stone Bridge in Regensburg
The famous old Stone Bridge
Views from the Bridge Tower in Regensburg
Views from the Bridge Tower

Construction of the Stone Bridge (Tripadvisor Reviews*) started in 1135 and it has remained in place since medieval times when it was considered an architectural masterpiece. However, there has been significant reconstruction and repair work over time so some of it looks slightly new. For 800 years, from 1135 until 1935, it was the only reliable bridge across the Danube in the neighbourhood. This made it an important piece of infrastructure, guarded over by three watchtowers. Not there’s only one, the Brückturm (Apr-Oct, 10am-7pm every day, €2), which you can ascend for great views over the city.

In the middle of the bridge is a stone statue of a funny man staring at the cathedral’s towers. According to legend, he’s the bridge builder who had a bet with the cathedral builder about which would be finished first. The best views of Regensburg are from the Stone Bridge – you can see the cathedral, old town and many boats on the river.

Looking down from the Bridge Tower o the people walking across the Regensburg Stone Bridge
Looking down from the Bridge Tower

Three rivers actually converge in Regensberg, the Danube being the most famous. The others are the Regen and the Naab. If you’re particularly interested in the history of shipping and boats on the rivers, head to the Donau-Schifffahrts-Museum by walking left after you’ve crossed the bridge.

Directions: Continue over the bridge and the World Heritage Visitor’s Centre is the tall old white building on your left by the banks of the river.

12. World Heritage Visitor’s Centre

The old salzstade, or salt warehouse, a stop on the walking tour of Regensburg
The old salzstade, or salt warehouse
Inside the World Heritage Visitor's Centre in Regensburg
Inside the World Heritage Visitor’s Centre

Key Information: Open daily 10am-6pm and free to enter.

The old Salzstade building now contains a World Heritage Visitor’s Centre (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*). There are several exhibits with artefacts and interactive displays where you can explore the history of the city over the past 2000 years. You can also learn about the world heritage of the city and medieval trade.

The Salzstade building itself used to be a salt warehouse, back when salt was very valuable. So much so that soldiers sometimes had their wages paid in salt instead of money. In the 13th century, salt travelled up from Reichenhall near Salzburg where huge salt deposits were discovered. The salt came up on boats on the Danube. It was stored in the Salzstadel, right next to the river.

Walking around the old town

Directions: Continue up the street from the Stone Bridge towards the David and Goliath wall painting.

The Goliathhaus, as seen on a walking tour in Regensburg

The aptly named Goliathhaus, built in 1260, is the most impressive tower house of the rich merchants. It looks a bit like a castle, with turrets on the corners. It used to be a house for theology students, and later the home of various rich patrician families. Don’t miss the large painting of David and Goliath on the side nearest the river.

Directions: Turn left along the road towards the big stones in the white wall.

Porta Praetoria, a must see sight in Regensburg on a walking tour

Porta Praetoria (Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a part of a Roman City Gate, now in the bishop’s brewery walls. It was the northern gate of the former Roman Fort, part of ‘Castra Regina’ from 179AD, making this Roman gateway almost 2000 years old. The Fortress Castra Regina held around 6000 Roman legionnaires, stationed here at the frontier of their great empire.

Directions: Wander further along the road, then take the first small street to your right, past the Niedermünster to Alter Kornmarkt Square.

13. Alter Kornmarkt

Towers of Niedermünster, while walking through Regensburg on a tour.
Towers of Niedermünster
Inside the Alte Kapelle, a stop on a walking tour through Regensburg
Inside the Alte Kapelle

Just before the Alter Kornmarkt square you’ll pass the Niedermünster church. Pop inside for a quick look, though the interior is quite plain. Beneath the church is the Document Niedermünster, a large archaeological excavation site. Visits to the Document Niedermünster are by tour only. Tours (in German) take place on Sundays, Mondays and holidays at 2:30pm and last roughly 75 minutes.

The archaeological site is one of the largest excavations in Germany and you can see traces of the Roman city along with finds from the middle ages.

On the far side of the square is the Alte Kapelle, or the Basilica of the Nativity of Our Lady Regensburg. It has a rather over-the-top Rococo interior, not to be guessed from its rather plain facade.

St Ulrich Church is just out of the square towards the cathedral. The church is from the 13th century and now displays art from the past 1000 years. The Römerturm (the tower by St Ulrich’s Church) is a remaining section of the Wittelsbach palace that used to be here and the tower is from roughly 1200.

Directions: Just past St Ulrich Church is Regensburg Cathedral and the end of this walking tour.

Best Places to stay in Regensburg

Budget Singles: Hostel am Ostentor* – a conveniently located hostel with a price that can’t be beaten. It’s clean, with a well-equipped shared kitchen and a nice sitting area.

Budget Couples: The Niu Sparrow* – 10 minutes walk from the Regensburg Old Town, this hotel has stylish, quiet rooms and a good breakfast all for a great price.

Comfort: Altstadthotel Arch* – A hotel full of character right in the centre of Regensburg Old Town, yet with quiet rooms.

Luxury: The Bischofshof am Dom* – in a location hard to beat with enough history to boot. Emporers used to stay here in the 17th to 19th centuries. There’s a great beer garden in the square outside. In a lovely old building, with a delicious breakfast.

Walhalla Monument

Walhalla is a very famous German monument based on the Parthenon housing busts of important German-speaking men and women. It’s about 30 minutes east of Regensburg and a great half-day excursion on the banks of the Danube.

Walhalla Monument
Inside Walhalla Monument, Germany, near Regensburg

Key Information: To get to Walhalla from Regnesburg, take bus Number 5 from Dachauplatz Bus Stop by the History Museum. The bus takes almost 30 minutes and goes to Donaustauf Walhallastraße Bus Stop, from where it’s a 5 minutes walk to Walhalla. Alternatively, you can take a boat or walk along the Danube to get here.
Opening Hours: Apr-Oct 9am-6pm, Nov-March 10-12am and 1-4pm. Tickets cost €4.50.
Tip: Download the free English App beforehand (Google, Apple).

Walhalla is a neoclassical building built by King Ludwig I in 1830-1842. Its design is based on the Parthenon in Athens and it sits atop a hill on the banks of the Danube, with a nice view over the plains below. It’s a place of remembrance for German-speaking men and women of outstanding merit, though it’s not certain that all the members really did speak German. There are kings, generals, scientists and artists, most from the 19th century, though more people have been added since 1966.

Views over the Danube from the Walhalla Monument, Bavaria, Germany

The name Walhalla comes from the resting place of heroes in Noric mythology. Famous people inside include Catherine the Great of Russia (born in what was a German port at the time), Frederik Barbarossa, Alfred the Great of England, Mozart, Goethe, Dürer, Charlemagne and more. There’s a very complete free audioguide you can download called Die Walhalla bei Donaustauf (Google, Apple), which will greatly enhance your visit. It’s in English and will guide you around both the inside and outside of the Walhalla monument.


Guidebooks to explore more of Germany


For more walking tours and hikes in Germany, see our Germany hiking page.

FAQS: Regensburg Walking Tour

Is Regensburg worth visiting?

Regensburg is definitely worth visiting as it’s one of the best-preserved medieval trading towns in Germany. You could easily spend two or three days here, taking in all the sights.

What is Regensburg known for?

Regensburg is known for its medieval old town, the famous stone bridge from 1135, Roman ruins, and many impressive churches and museums.

Is there a Christmas market in Regensburg Germany?

There are several Christmas markets in Regensburg around the centre of the medieval old town. The city’s main one is the Regensburg Christmas Market on Neupfarrplatz and is on from Nov 21 – Dec 23, 2022.

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