In Bamberg, as in any good university town, there is no shortage of opportunities to kick off the start of a new semester or celebrate completed exams. Particularly in the city centre, students can find an abundance of buzzing clubs and bars.
Especially at the beginning and end of each semester, there are more than a few parties organized by individual student societies and organizations.
There are ample occasions for celebration in Bamberg. Each church has its own parish and community festival (Kerwa), and each brewery organizes an autumn celebration at which the season’s bock beer is tapped. The most famous of the Kerwa is the Sandkerwa which takes place in the vicinity of the Elisabethenkirche and along the Sandstraße. This multi-day celebration is among the largest traditional folk festivals in Bavaria. Here visitors can marvel at the so-called fisherman’s joust (Fischerstechen) and sample beer from the many breweries in the city and surrounding region.
The Hain park, located in the south of Bamberg, is the city’s green lung. The many lawns and meadows are perfect for sunbathing, having a barbecue or studying for that next exam. But the Hain also offers bicycling and walking paths, tennis courts, miniature golf courses and even an historical river swimming area, the Hainbad.
For those looking to get out of town, the Franconian Switzerland offers much to be discovered. It’s easy to find a recreational activity to suit any taste in this naturally beautiful region situated between Bamberg, Bayreuth and Nuremberg. After a long day of rock climbing, hiking, cycling or exploring the area’s castles and caves, you can wind down and enjoy the traditional fare at one of the many beautifully situated beer gardens. (These beer gardens are known in the region as Keller – German for “cellar” – as they are often located atop the cellars or caves traditionally used for storing and cooling the beer.)
The Main River Bicycle Route (Main-Radweg) runs directly north of Bamberg and offers many possibilities for cycling excursions into the Upper Main Valley (Vierzehnheiligen Basilica, Banz Abbey) or the Franconian wine country.
Whether it’s literary readings, theatre or concerts, in Bamberg there’s something for every cultural taste. The city’s various theatres offer a widely varying programme throughout the year. Poetry Slam events and The ETA-Hoffmann-Theatre’s Calderon Festival, held in the city’s Old Court each summer, are particular highlights. On the musical side, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra offers special student concerts twice a year, and in August the pedestrian area is home to the many German and international musicians performing in various genres at the swinging Tucher Jazz & Blues Festival.
A further highlight is the Bamberg Zaubert International Streetlife Festival. Magicians, acrobats and street performers of all kinds make the streets and squares of Bamberg their stage and attract over 150,000 spectators. The festival takes place every July.
Bamberg is “Freak City!” Ever since the Brose Baskets (still GHP Bamberg at the time) won the German championships in the 2004/05 season, Bamberg’s basketball enthusiasm has known no bounds. Sold out home games with the wild Bamberg “freaks” (as the fans like to call themselves) and live broadcasts in the Play Off sports bar and at the Maxplatz in the city centre are now a part of life here in Freak City – and students can get tickets at reduced rates.
Every two years, the people of Bamberg lace up their running shoes to take part in the Weltkulturerbelauf. This running race offers courses with distances ranging from 4.4 km to the challenging half marathon, with its gain of approximately 280 vertical metres and partly cobblestoned route through the old city.
Since autumn of 2011, Bamberg has been proud to present Bambados, the first indoor aquatics centre in Europe to be built according to passive house standards. With its guiding themes of “family, sports and ecology,” it is a truly modern recreational and athletic facility.
Additionally, Bamberg offers abundant opportunities to participate in organized club and league sports.
Further information on individual events and recreational activities are posted regularly on the city of Bamberg’s calendar of events.