When I asked Tanja Pfeifle, an exchange student at the University of Helsinki, to tell me about her city, Amberg, she described it as “a small and typical Bavarian town.”
Amberg is indeed a small town with almost 1,000 years of history, which you can see in its buildings and the old town. However, despite its small size, Amberg is also a lively town where you can enjoy different events through the year. “I would recommend to come in July when the Altstadtfest takes place, because you can listen to several bands playing live music all over the town,” says Pfeifle.
You can also visit the Mariahilfbergfest in summer, which offers the visitor the opportunity to experience the local gastronomy, such as bratwurst (grilled sausages) and, of course, beer! But, if you are a beer lover, you can’t miss the Kirwa, “a little Oktoberfest”, and visit one of the breweries of the town.
After getting spoiled with all these Bavarian specialties, you will have plenty of energy to go hiking to the Upper Palatinate forest, or take a bike and enjoy the modern network of cycle paths that connects Amberg to Nuremberg and Regensburg. But if you are too tired or lazy to do any exercise during your holidays, you can also relax in one of the two swimming pools Amberg has (one of them is open-air), or cool off in the summer days with a swim in one of the many lakes that are situated in the region.
Anytime during the year is good for visiting the town though. Even if wintertime in Amberg isn’t as cold as it is in Finland, it usually snows there too. During the coldest days, Pfeifle suggests to visit the Christmas market and drink Glühwein (hot wine) to warm up and get into the Christmas spirit.
Your visit may continue with a stroll in the city town, which is very nice since “there are some gothic-style buildings and it’s in a really good condition, especially the city wall and the Stadtgraben.” Then you can go up to Mariahilfberg, from where you will enjoy a beautiful view over the town, and visit the luftmuseum afterwards.
Among the touristic sights Amberg has to offer, one can go to the Stadttheater, a theatre that is accommodated in a former church and which programme includes extraordinary performances and concerts. But if you really cherish ancient charm, you should definitely visit the Eh’häusl (marriage house) or even stay there during your trip, do you want to know its story? “In the 18th century there was a law that only people who have a house were allowed to marry, so someone built that Eh’häusl, which was sold from one couple to another so that everyone could marry.” Nowadays it is the smallest hotel in the world!
So, for those who love beer, culture, music and tourism surrounded by nature... Willkommen in Amberg!