After a day in bed recovering from our Oktoberfest shenanigans, we looked at google maps on our iPhones and found Würzberg. It ticked all the boxes – it was a few hours away in the direction of Dresden where we were heading, there were cheap buses to get us there and we found a place to stay on Airbnb. That was the extent of our research, so when we arrived we were very pleased.
Würzberg is a small yet scenic university town with a long history of academia with its Alte Universität dating from 1582 and educating 14 Nobel Prize winners. So we weren’t at all surprised when we arrived at our Airbnb to find a large, converted office space with five bedrooms housing four students and two student couch surfers who were in town to organize their accommodation for the next semesters study.
We immediately all got on like a house on fire after a shared lunch, cheap beer from Aldi and a few rounds of ‘Jenga’. Oh the joys of student life!
But there is more to Würzberg then study. The history of the town dates back to 1000BC with the Celts taking refuge on the hill where the Marienberg Fortress now stands. Walk up to the castle grounds for excellent views over the Main river and old town. The views also extend to surrounding vineyards as this area is also well known for its Franconian Wine.
Würzberg also boasts a UNESCO world cultural heritage site – The Residence Palace – one of the most important castles in Europe dating from 1720. It is designed in South German Baroque style and is located within the grounds of the magnificent Court Gardens, complete with numerous rococo sculptures, fountains and topiary shrubs. Simply divine.
When it’s time for lunch, the markets in the large square opposite the colourful, late Gothic church, Marienkapelle, have tasty German treats as well as a variety of fresh produce if you are self catering.
Come evening, do as the locals do and buy a wine or Aperol spritzer from the bar on the Alte Mainbrück bridge and hang out with the statues of the saints as you savour the sunset. Or if your on a student (or traveller’s) budget, buy a beer from the supermarket and head to the esplanade along the riverside with the younger crowd.