Regensburg: a Unesco World Heritage Site seen on a solo trip

Regensburg, off the beaten track in Germany, traveling solo

A wonderful city to walk the lanes and avenues, even if the sky is overcast.   Arriving by train in the morning gave me almost an entire day to become oriented to the city.   Day two I would visit many of the locations my guide, Michaela Ederer from Regensburg Marketing, suggested to me.  

Leaving Hotel Central Regensburg my tour took us down cobbled streets of shops, restaurants and apartments.    You imedaitely notice how clean and well kept German towns are.  Regensburg is a Unesco World Heritage City with most of the  the old town within this designation   I found there is far more to see than you can do in two days, plan to stay longer.
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This charming bakery is the only one to supply rolls for the famous sausage restaurant we visited.

 (see below).   A steady stream of local shoppers proved it was very popular.
The spire of St Peters can be seen over the roof tops
The Cathedral of St Peter, another amazing structure that always makes me pause to think ‘how was this done?”

                                                     The organ pipes are massive.

                       On a sunny day I am sure the colored glass windows are stunning.

Let them eat Cake:    I asked in each town I visited for the oldest or best known bakery or a cake that was considered ‘the signature cake’ for that town.   Prinzess Cafe, “Regensburg’s first address for chocolates, coffee and fine pastries” as per their web site, is considered the best.
The window display gave me a hint of the treasures inside.
There was a massive display inside on chocolates and candies.  These are chocolates you select individually and carry the in a box.    The cakes were just as impressive.    

The mad hatter:   Andreas Nuslan leads the 100+ year old family company Der Hatmacher.  As we passed the colorful windows I had to stop when I saw the hat created for Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland!     
I made a second visit the next day and toured the extensive displays on two floor.    The process of making hats by hand is very intensive, hand labor.   The company web site states they are still using the old traditional ‘englische Zuriche’.  “This rare technique is only possible with direct manual labour.  and only with this complicated process, which includes between 60 and 80 working steps, can the felt become strong and stable”.     It would be amazing to watch a hat being created.  You can see this on the web site video.

A large selection of pins that can be added to your hat.  There were pins for almost any hobby or affiliation
My visit was just after Easter so there was a colorful array of headwear
One of the staff who kindly told me about some of the styles.    

Local Artisans:  Often a city or town will specialize in a craft or traditional arts.   Visiting artists shops often give a perspective that you won’t find in a large store.   Regensburg has Kunsthandwerk Orignial.  This small shop showcases hand crafts and art work by locals.   

 I was tempted by many of the fine pieces but limited suitcase space and another 8 weeks on the road encouraged me to select a hand made wooden pen.

 SAUSAGE with sweet mustard
Not much to look at from the exterior this small waterfront stand, the historic Wurst-kuchel, was packed earlier in the day.   When I returned to try one of the sausages late in the afternoon, I was the only person there.

A shortened summary from Wikipedia gives some of the history of this well known stop for sausage:  “The Historic Sausage Kitchen of Regensburg is perhaps the oldest continuously open public cookshop in the world.”  “First as a construction office for the building of the stone bridge you can view from the patio out front, it became a favorite over the centuries”.   .
In addition to the walk up stand with a few inside tables, there is a more formal restaurant across the patio.   Note:  perhaps because it was the end of another long day, don’t expect a chatty staff or any explanation on where your are allowed to sit.  My sausage was handed to me on a plate but I was told I could NOT take the plate to a table or to the outside stand up site.    I will need to research this before I return to try more.
The room to the left of the kitchen has tables and benches.  I did not see any wait staff.
In this tiny room two woman grill hundreds and hundreds of sausages
The secret is the sweet mustard.
I rarely eat sausage and never hot dogs so I was surprised at the first bite.
IT WAS WONDERFUL
The sausage is served on a caraway flavored roll from the bakery mentioned earlier and sauerkraut.

At the end of day two I met my guide again for dinner at a traditional Germany restaurant: Weltenburger am Dom, in the center of town near the Cathedral.   This is a large restaurant and a solo diner will have no problem finding a table early in the evening.

                You can tell from our meals the portions are LARGE.   And so are the potatoes.

So Much More to See:
There are many other important sites to see  and you will find better details on any of these from tourist office in Regensburg.  The staff here were perhaps the most friendly and helpful group I have encountered in my last 2 trips to Europe.   
Some of the other places I visited:
The snuff museum:  What a fascinating history of snuff.   The original setting, tools and factory take you back in history.
World Heritage Visitor Center:  World Heritage sites are on the top of my travel list but this was the first visitors center I have seen.  It is located in the old salt warehouse at the foot of the old bridge and across from the sausage restaurant.   A large tour arrived when I did so I was unable to see much of the exhibits.  However the staff is very helpful, you will find maps of the city and other publications  NOTE:  on the first floor there are lockers you can rent and a free WC
The Palace Tour:   Thurn & Taxis Palace   I was the only English speaker on the tour but an audio tour that follows the guide is available for rent.  Yes, you miss a lot of additional information but the guide was open to any and all questions in both languages 
The church of St Emmerem next to the palace is a great photo opportunity 
St Peters Church:  If there is a tour available or if the choir is performing, try to schedule your visit to enjoy either or both.  NOTE:  the map in the church indicates a WC.  However, only the porter has access to open the door.
One of the first cities where I learned about Stumble Stones.
 Other things I would have enjoyed: 
  • crossing over the Stone Bridge to see another part of the city
  • taken any or all of the boat excursions to spots outside the city (at this time of year there were fewer available and the weather was very wet for a boat trip)  particularly to Walhalla
  • Visiting any of the countless museums
  • Visit the ‘oldest’ knife maker in the city
  • Tour/visit of the theater
  • The Scottish Church or Schottenkirche:  I do love those carvings
  • Visit the interior of any of the remaining towers
  • Seen by tour guide only is an underground exhibit, Document Neupgarrplatz.   Archaeological excavations from Roman times to a WWII air raid shelter
and much more
Solo dining:  In addition to the many cafes, market stands near the center square and restaurants, the large Galeria Kaufhof  department store has a top floor restaurant with an outdoor patio.  Even though the weather was not pleasant it was lovely to sit overlooking the rooftops.  (WC on this floor is free) 
  
The well stocked book store  Bucher Pustet  in the Old Town has a small café on the first floor where you can sit for awhile
  
Across from the entrance to the Palace is another museum with a lovely outdoor café.  Indoor seating also available.  WC to left of the courtyard.
EVERYTHING apparently closes on Sunday in Germany.   This requires some planning if you like to shop or need an item you did not bring with you.   I found the self service machines in one location very interesting.  In addition to coffee, drinks and some food items the machines sold toilet paper.
Juice and toilet paper
Soup as well as hot drinks 
something for a last minute meal?
My host laughed when I expressed such excitement about the policy in Regensburg to promote locations where the use of the WC is free.   No purchase is necessary to use a bar or restaurants facilities when this sign is displayed.  A donation is welcome to defray costs of added use.
This is an idea I hope will spread 
Note:  the train station is across from this massive mall, Regensburg Arcaden, if you need to replenish travel supplies.  The small information booth had a map of the city so I could find my hotel. There is also a free WC in the mall and lots of fast food outlets to pick up a sandwich for the train trip.  The mall closes earlier than USA malls, I believe 7 or 8 pm and it may also be closed on Sundays.
I want to thank Regensburg Marketing for hosting my trip and sharing their wonderful city with me.  my tour guide was kind and very accommodating to answer my countless questions about solo travel is this city.  
The opinions are my own and all the photos are the property of Mature Solo Travel.

Published by Lee Laurino

A traveler not a tourist, searching for experiences not in travel books. Solo traveler who travels as long and far as possible sharing photos of the people and places I discover

5 thoughts on “Regensburg: a Unesco World Heritage Site seen on a solo trip

  1. You should enjoy your visit, I could have spent a few more days and seen more of the city. I must complement the tourist office here and the staff at the Unesco museum, great information and willingness to help

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  2. Noel, so glad you found this interesting. Almost every town I visited offered things I never knew about……….shows me I need to do some research before I arrive………….but often that is how I discover the non tourist parts of a city. But I give credit to the wonderful city guides who rewrote their tours to focus on a solo traveler………….something many of them thought was weird! So glad you found my post

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