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Worth visiting

Added on 05 Jan 2013,

last edited by »biroto-Redaktion« on 29 Apr 2018



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Type of sights

Heritage building(s)


Name and address


DE-95444 Bayreuth

Geodetic coordinates

49.942982 11.574703


Bayreuth, Marktplatz
Bayreuth, Marktplatz
Bayreuth, Neues Schloss
Bayreuth, Neues Schloss
Bayreuth, Seckendorffer und Nanckenreuther Burggut
Bayreuth, Seckendorffer und Nanckenreuther Burggut
Bayreuth, Badstr. 37, Lohmühle
Bayreuth, Badstr. 37, Lohmühle

The festival city of Bayreuth in Upper Franconia (Oberfranken) is relatively quiet most of the year until the Richard Wagner Festival settles in for 30 days every summer. Bayreuth features a wealth of impressive baroque and rococo architecture, as well as freshly-brewed Franconian beer in the local Biergartens. Although the city remains fairly tame compared to the much larger cities in Germany, the presence of more than 10,000 students at the University of Bayreuth means an active nightlife is not difficult to find.



The town of Bayreuth first emerged during the Middle Ages, with a street market in the center of town. In its early history, Bayreuth was only a small village in the widespread Hohenzollern holdings and suffered many plagues and wars. The town was completely destroyed during the Hussite war in 1430, suffered major plagues even until 1602, and incurred major damage by fires in 1605 and 1621. Margrave Christian from Kulmbach moved his residence here in 1603, and after the Thirty Years' War the town began to develop as a more important city with more distinct baroque architecture. When Margrave Friedrich married Wilhelmine, the sister of King Frederick II of Prussia, Bayreuth began to develop its current appearance.

Margravine Wilhelmine was an active lover of the arts and architecture. She commissioned famous Italian architects to design the Margravial Operahouse (a UNESCO world heritage site), which was the largest in Germany for over a century. It still stands today as one of the most ornate baroque opera houses in the world. In addition, Wilhelmine expanded the Margrave's summer residence and gardens and commissioned the architecturally impressive New Palace. During the reign of Friedrich and Wilhelmine, the arts flourished in Bayreuth. The magnificent opera house even attracted Richard Wagner to Bayreuth in 1872 until his death 11 years later, but ironically Wagner's works were never played in that opera house but rather in their own purpose built building bankrolled by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Since then the city has had an integral relationship with Richard Wagner. The Richard Wagner Festival started in 1876 to commemorate and perform the works of the famous composer. During the Nazi era, Hitler considered Bayreuth one of the most important cultural centers in Germany, and as such, Bayreuth was bombed during World War II, though much less heavily than e.g. Nuremberg. In the last half century, Bayreuth has rebuilt, continued the Richard Wagner Festival and grown quietly, mostly around the University, which was established in 1975.



Most attractions in Bayreuth hail from the residence of Margravine Wilhelmine and her husband Margrave Friedrich. A diligent supporter of the arts and culture, Wilhelmine brought Italian architects and French builders to construct many of the town's historical landmarks. As such, much of the architecture reflects heavy baroque and rococo influences. With its wide pedestrian streets, the city center is easy to stroll, and provides a pleasant contrast to many other Bavarian towns loaded with medieval architecture. During the summer many cafes and ice cream parlors set up outdoor seating on the main shopping streets, Maximilianstraße, Sophienstraße, and Von-Römer-Straße. The Combination ticket Die Welt der Wilhelmine (€12) covers entrances to the New Palace, Hermitage, Sanspareil and the information centre at the Margravial Opera House.

  • Festival Theater (Festspielhaus), Festspielhügel 1-2 (Bus 5 to Am Festspielhaus), +49 921 787 80. Open Daily except Mon. 10AM and 2PM (Dec-Apr) or 10AM, 11AM, 2PM, and 3PM (Sept-Oct). Built in 1872, this opera house still ranks among the best in the world in design and acoustics. Home to the Richard Wagner Festival every summer (see Events below). Just north of the main train station, take bus 5 to Am Festspielhaus. The grounds are crowded, tours seldom, and tickets rare during the annual Richard Wagner Festival in late July–August each year. €5. Wikipedia Icon
  • Margravial Opera House (Markgräfliches Opernhaus), Opernstr. 8, +49 921 75969 22. The baroque opera house, commissioned by Margravine Wilhelmine and designed by famous Giuseppe Galli Bibiena and son Carlo from Italy, was completed in 1748 and remained Germany's largest opera house until 1871. This ornate opera house partially drew Richard Wagner's attention to Bayreuth. 2012 the opera house was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. From 2012 to 2018 it was closed for extensive refurbishment, re-opening on April 18th 2018. Wikipedia Icon (updated Jan 2018)
  • New Palace (Neues Schloss), Ludwigstr. 21, +49 921 75969 0. Open Daily except Mon. 9AM-6PM (Apr-Sept) or 10AM-4PM (Oct-Mar). The new residence of the Margrave Friedrich and his wife Wilhelmine after their old residence burnt down. It was designed and built by the French builder Joseph Saint-Pierre, and completed in 1754. The entrance fee includes entrance to the two museums inside as well as the State Gallery. Rooms of interest include the Garden Rooms, Cedar Room, Old Music Room, and the Cabinet of Fragmented Mirrors (designed by Wilhelmine herself). €5.50.
  • Bayreuther Faiences - The Rummel Collection (Sammlung Bayreuther Fayencen). A collection of porcelain manufactured in Bayreuth between 1716 and 1788.
  • Museum of Wilhelmine's Bayreuth (Museum Das Bayreuth der Wilhelmine). Museum highlighting the life and culture of Bayreuth during the time of Margravine Wilhelmine. The collections are part of the New Palace, see above for more information.
  • State Gallery in the New Palace (Staatsgalerie im Neuen Schloss). Occupying three rooms of the palace, this exhibition features 80 works of art from the late baroque.
  • Castle Church and Tower (Schlosskirche and Schlossturm), Schlossberglein 5, 95444 Bayreuth, +49 921 88588. Opens for prearranged tours. The court chapel and tower were also commissioned and built by Friedrich and Wilhelmine, completed in 1758. The burial vault of the Friedrich and Wilhelmine is located here. The spiral staircase in the tower features a ramp to bring supplies up to the guardroom, which has a great view over the town and to the nearby Fichtelgebirge Wikivoyage Icon. €1.
  • Spitalkirche (Spitalkirche) (At the west end of the main market street Maximilianstraße).
  • Stadtkirche (Stadtkirche).
  • Ordenskirche (In the centre of the St. Georgen district in the northern part of the city). The main church of the formerly independent city of St. Georgen was completed in 1718. free.

For a town of its size, Bayreuth is rich in museums; over two dozen can be found in and around the city. Noteworthy among the many are the Richard Wagner Museum and Franz-Liszt-Museum, documenting the lives of these prominent German and Hungarian composers, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized Maisel's Brewery and Cooper's Museum, as well as the museums located in the New Palace: Bayreuther Faiences - The Rummel Collection, The State Galleries and Margravine Wilhelmine's Bayreuth (see New Palace listing above for these). Every fall the museums offer a Bayreuth Museum Night (Bayreuther Museumsnacht). On this night, a single ticket allows entry to every museum in the city from 8PM until 2AM. (Typically either late October or early November, see Tourist Information or the website (German only) for more precise information)

  • Archeological Museum (Archäologisches Museum), Ludwigstr. 21 (Italian Building of the New Palace), +49 921 653 07. End of April to beginning of November: 10AM-3PM on Saturdays, or by appointment. Archeological finds from Upper Franconia and laid out in eight rooms, spanning the stone age through the middle ages. Most text descriptions might be only in German. €1.
  • Catacombs of Bayreuth's Aktien Brewery (Katakomben der Bayreuther AKTIEN-Brauerei), Kulmbacherstr. 60, +49 921 401 234. Tours Saturdays at 4PM, or group tours by prior arrangement. Aktien Breweries provides an interesting tour through the sandstone beer caverns that operated from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Since the caverns stay very cool throughout the year, appropriate clothing is recommended.
  • Fire Brigade Museum (Feuerwehrmuseum), An der Feuerwache 4, +49 921 4625 9. Open upon prior arrangement. A collection of fire engines from different eras and regions. (updated Oct 2017)
  • Franz-Liszt-Museum, Wahnfriedstr. 9, +49 921 51664 88. Sep - Jun: 10AM-noon & 2PM-5PM; Jul - Aug: 10AM-5PM. The house of Franz Liszt, the famous Hungarian composer and father-in-law to Richard Wagner. Very near the Richard Wagner museum. €2. (updated Oct 2017)
  • German Freemason Museum (Deutsches Freimaurer-Museum), Im Hofgarten 1, +49 921 698 24. Tu-F 10AM-noon and 2PM-4PM; Sa 10AM-noon. A museum run by the German Freemason's presenting the history of the organization.
  • German Typewriter Museum (Deutsches Schreibmaschinenmuseum), Bernecker Str. 11, +49 921 234 45. M-F by telephone appointment. A collection of typewriters dating back to 1864. The collection in Bayreuth began in 1936, and has expanded ever since. Free.
  • Historical Museum (Historisches Museum), Kirchplatz 6, +49 921 76401 11. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM; Jul - Aug: also open Mondays. This museum chronicles the history of Bayreuth from a small Bavarian village to one of the most culturally-important small cities in Germany. The 17th century building provides a suitable setting for the historical collections. €1,60.
  • Iwalewa House (Iwalewa-Haus), Wölfelstraße 2 (Just a few metres downhill from the Margravial Opera House), +49 921 5545 00. Tu-Su 1PM-5PM. Afro-cultural center of the University of Bayreuth. 5€ for exhibitions, free every first Sunday of the month. (updated Apr 2016)
  • Jean Paul Museum, Wahnfriedstr. 1, +49 921 50714 44. Sep - Jun: 10AM-noon & 2PM-5PM; Jul - Aug: 10AM-5PM. A small museum dedicated to the life and works of the German poet, who lived his last years from 1804-1825 in Bayreuth. The museum is in the former residence of Richard Wagner's daughter Eva. €1.60.
  • Maisel's Brewery and Coopers Museum (Maisel's Brauerei und Büttnerei Museum), Kulmbacherstr. 40, +49 921 4012 34. Daily 2PM. The Guinness Book Of World Records' Most Comprehensive Beer Museum occupies the first brewery building of Maisel's Brewery (taken out of commission in the 1970s). The 90 minute tour covers the entirety of the brewing process, and of course finishes with a glass of Maisel's Weissbier. Group tours for 12 or more people can be booked by calling in advance. €4.
  • Museum of Art (Kunstmuseum), Maximilianstr. 33, +49 921 76453 10. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM; Jul - Aug: also open Mondays. Housed in the former city hall's Renaissance-style building, the Museum of Art offers alternating collections of sculpture and painting. €1,60.
  • British American Tobacco's Historical Collection (Tabakhistorische Sammlung der B.A.T.) (The collection is part of the Museum of Art). A collection of over 500 objects from British American Tobacco. The history of tobacco culture is presented, encompassing smoking, pipe, and chewing tobacco.
  • Little Poster Museum (Kleines Plakatmuseum) (The collection is part of the Museum of Art). A collection of contemporary poster art primarily concerning popular culture advertisements (such as movie and performance advertisements).
  • Museum of Natural History (Urwelt-Museum Oberfranken), Kanzleistr. 1, +49 921 5112 11. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM; Jul - Aug: also open Mondays. The museum in the main pedestrian shopping area highlights the life, geology and minerology during the last 500 million years of Upper Franconia. In front of the museum looms a giant dinosaur statue, along the main shopping street. €2.
  • Richard Wagner Museum, Richard-Wagner-Str. 48, +49 921 75728 16. July/August: daily 10:00-18:00 rest of the year: Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. The composer's old residence (Wahnfried House, Haus Wahnfried) has been converted to a museum chronicling his life and works. The composer, his wife, and their dog are buried in the garden. The museum may be of lesser interest to non-German speakers, as it has few English translations. Recently reopened after extensive renovations and redesign, this museum is a tribute to one of the most famous residents in the history of Bayreuth. Adult 8€, under 18: free. (updated Oct 2017)


Inside the range of 4 km:


Inside the range of 4 km:

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Wikivoyage contributors, 'Bayreuth', Wikivoyage, The FREE worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit, 26 April 2018, 09:13 UTC, <> [accessed 29 April 2018]

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Added on 05 Jan 2013,

last edited by »biroto-Redaktion« on 29 Apr 2018