61km (38 miles) NW of Nürnberg
You’ll come to this little city, set in the rolling Franconian hills where the Regnitz River flows into the Main, for two reasons: To walk down narrow cobblestone streets to see ornate mansions, palaces, and churches, with styles ranging from Romanesque to Gothic, Renaissance to baroque, up to the eclecticism of the 19th century, and to drink beer. Bamberg and beer go together like barley and hops. The town has been called “a beer drinker’s Eden” (there are more breweries here than in Munich) and the average Bamberger drinks 190 liters of beer a year, making the rest of the Germans look like teetotalers by comparison. The beverage of choice in Bamberg is Rauchbier, a smoked beer first brewed in 1536.