If you are around Frankfurt, consider making Würzburg one of your daytrip destinations.
Although located just about an hour’s train ride away from Frankfurt, Würzburg is very off-the-radar when it comes to touristy cities in Germany. It is otherwise known by its anglicised name, Wuerzburg and its misspelled moniker, Wurzburg. Würzburg. Alles klaar? Gut.
I only happened to be in Würzburg due to work. The first time I visited Würzburg was in 2016, but it was a mere passing day trip to a customer site. This time round, I was fortunate to have just a bit more free time – a full day – in this city.
The Main river
I left my hotel without a plan, except directions from the reception on how to get to the Old Town: “Just follow along the river, and eventually you’ll arrive.” Alright then.
It turned out to be the most pleasant walk. The sun was shining bright, so the river was glistening. The paths were well-maintained, and when I was there, there were flowers blooming everywhere. A lot of the locals were just hanging out by the river ledge with drinks in hand.
One 15-minute stroll later, indeed, I arrived into the Old Town.
Explore the Altstadt
I love Altstadts, or German Old Towns. There’s just something uniquely European about walking on cobblestones amidst medieval buildings… although a lot of the buildings are not actually old. Würzburg was one of the worse hit cities in WWII by the Allies – 90% of the buildings were completely destroyed. Over the next couple of decades, the buildings were painstakingly and carefully reconstructed.
From the town’s Marktplatz, or market square, the Marienkapelle is a striking landmark. The Marienkapelle is a chapel characterized by the terracotta red exterior. Right behind the Marienkapelle is the Falkenhaus, whose Rococo French-style façade is an attraction.
If you go on a weekend, the street market opens, hawking fresh flowers, produce and handmade local souvenirs. Word of warning: don’t attempt to take photos. The stallkeepers will fly at you. #chillpillthough
Located right beside the Marienkapelle is this German sausage takeaway stand. Locals rave this as having the best traditional bratwurst in Würzburg. You can’t miss it; there’s always a line but it moves really fast. Feel free to order in English. The ladies at the stand are very friendly and it is quite fun to watch them assemble your Bratwurst bun. Order it with mustard.
Actually, just a lot of really good food
Würzburg had one of the most diverse cuisines packed in an Altstadt. I had great Italian at Trattoria Lugana, deliciously authentic Vietnamese pho at Madame Nguyen, and hearty German fare at a local brewhouse – Brauerei-Gasthof & Biergarten Alter Kranen.
My favourite was definitely at the Brauerei-Gasthof & Biergarten Alter Kranen for the lively and casual atmosphere, and the ultra-friendly hosts. When it’s warmer out, you can sit on the patio outside by the Main river.
I saw that there are vegetarian places available too, such as Veggie Bros, which specilised in falafels and rates highly on Tripadvisor. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance – but it was good to know that vegetarians can eat well enough in this sausage-loving country.
And that’s all I did in a day – basically a lot of meandering about the Altstadt.
If you have more time that I did, I would recommend also visiting the Würzburg Residenz, the Old Bridge and perhaps the city’s most prominent landmark, the Marienberg Fortress. Perched atop a cliff, the medieval building houses two museums. It felt too mammoth a task for me to make my way all the way there… so I was more than content to see it from the river below.