Richard Wagner's Festival Theater (Festspielhaus
) in Bayreuth
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 Beergardens. Although the city remains fairly tame compared to the much larger cities in Germany, the presence of almost 10,000 students at the University of Bayreuth means an active nightlife is not difficult to find.
Frequent train services connect Bayreuth to other regions of Franconia and Northern Bavaria. Regular services exist seven days a week to and from
- Regional-Express (RE) trains once an hour (66 minutes travel time). Many times these trains separate en route, so make certain to board the correct train segment.
- As a stop on the Interregio-Express (IRE) service between Nuremberg and Dresden (49 minutes from Nuremberg, 3.5 hours from Dresden)
- Direct RE trains every two hours (2.5 hours)
- Otherwise a change in Nuremberg or Lichtenfels is necessary
- Dresden - With the IRE in 3.5 hours
- Bamberg - 1.5 hours by RE, sometimes a change in Lichtenfels is necessary
The Hauptbahnhof (main train station) is located approximately 1 km north of the city center, easily accessed by foot. Several buses also run from the train station to the central bus station in the town center (Lines 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, and 13).
Bayreuth is easily accessible on the autobahn A9, approximately 70 km north of Nuremberg and 40 km south of Hof.
The nearest airport with regular commercial service is located in Nuremberg.
The bus network around Bayreuth provides extensive coverage of the city and surrounding areas, with most buses running in 20-minute intervals. The central bus station (Zentrale Omnibus Haltestelle, ZOH) is located one block north of Maximilianstrasse near the city hall (Rathaus). The bus plan and schedule can be found at the website for BVB-Bayreuth  (in German only). Day passes (Tageskarte) are available.
Compared to larger cities, Bayreuth is relatively easy to tackle by car. The pedestrian-only area in the center of town is confined to a few streets, and parking garages are easy to find.
Biking is easy and convenient in Bayreuth. Many scenic bike paths radiate from Bayreuth into the surrounding areas.
Most sights of interest are easily reached by foot within the city. Exceptions to this are the Festspielhaus and the Eremitage, both of which are easily accessed by bus or bike.
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 attractions below can easily be combined with cheaper combination tickets. A ticket to the Margravial Operahouse and New Palace are available for 8 €. In addition, a ticket to visit any three attractions (Kombikarte Bayreuth) is available for 10 €, either from the ticket office or the tourist information.
- Festival Theater (Festspielhaus), Festspielhügel 1-2 (Bus 5 to Am Festspielhaus), ☎ +49 (09 21) 7 87 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 €. (latitude,)
- Garden Museum Fantaisie Palace and Park (Schloss and Park Fantaisie), Bambergerstr. 3, 95488 Eckersdorf/Donndorf (Take bus 8231, 8433, 8446, or 8449 towards Donndorf to stop Fantaisie), ☎ +49 (09 21) 73 14 00 11, . Open Daily except Mon. 9AM-6PM (Apr-Sept) or 10AM-4PM (Oct 1st-15th), closed Oct. 16th to Apr 1st. The 18th century palace designed by the daughter of Margrave Friedrich and Margravine Wilhelmine, features Germany's first garden design museum. Located 5 km west of Bayreuth, take bus 8231, 8433, 8446, or 8449 towards Donndorf to stop Fantaisie. 3 €. (latitude,)
- Hermitage/Old Palace (Eremitage/Altes Schloss), Eremitage 1 (Take Bus 2 or 3 to Eremitage), ☎ +49 (09 21) 7 59 69 37 ([email protected]), . Open Daily 9AM-6PM (Apr-Sept) or 10AM-4PM (Oct 1st-15th), closed Oct. 16th to Apr 1st. The old palace of Margrave Georg Wilhelm on the outskirts of town, the palace was expanded and the gardens created by Wilhelmine as a summer residence. The ornate fountains begin their waterworks on the hour from 10AM to 5PM. Guided tours are available. The Eremitage is approximately 6 km outside Bayreuth, take bus 2 or 3 to Eremitage. 2.50 €. (latitude,)
- Margravial Opera House (Markgräfliches Opernhaus), Opernstr. 8, ☎ +49 (09 21) 7 59 69 22 ([email protected]), . Open Daily 9AM-6PM (Apr-Sept) or 10AM-4PM (Oct-Mar). 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. 5 €. (latitude,)
- New Palace (Neues Schloss), Ludwigstr. 21, ☎ +49 (09 21) 7 59 69 21 ([email protected]), . 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: The Museum "Margravine Wilhelmine's Bayreuth" and the museum "Bayreuth Faience - Rummel Collection," featuring porcelain manufactured in Bayreuth in the 18th century. Rooms of interest include the Garden Rooms, Cedar Room, Old Music Room, and the Cabinet of Fragmented Mirrors (designed by Wilhelmine herself). 5 €. (latitude,)
- Castle Church and Tower (Schlosskirche and Schlossturm), Schlossberglein 5, 95444 Bayreuth, ☎ +49 (09 21) 885 88. 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. 1 €. (latitude,)
- Spitalkirche (Spitalkirche), (At the west end of the main market street Maximilianstrasse).
- Stadtkirche (Stadtkirche). The Stadtkirche is since 2006 closed and undergoing renovations.
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-Museumdocumenting the lives and life in Bayreuth of these composers, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized Maisel's Brewery and Cooper's Museum (Maisel's Brauerei und Büttnerei Museum), as well as the museums located in the New Palace: Bayreuther Faiences - The Rummel Collection, The State Galleries and Margravine Wilhelmine's Bayreuth. 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 [|http://www.museumsnacht.bayreuth.de/] (German only) for more precise information)
- Richard Wagner Museum, . description (latitude,)
- Richard Wagner Museum .
- Maisel's Brauerei und Büttnerei Museum (Maisel's Brewery and Coopers Museum) . Kulmbacherstr. 40, 95445 Bayreuth, tel. +49 921 / 40 12 34, email: [email protected], tours Mon. - Sun. 2PM, 4 €. 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.
- Kunstmuseum (Art Museum) .
- Historisches Museum (Historical Museum).
- Urwelt-Museum Oberfranken (Museum of Natural History) .
- Staatsgalerie im Neuen Schloss (State Gallery in the Neuen Schloss).
- Tabakhistorische Sammlung der B.A.T. (British American Tobacco's Historical Collection).
- Deutsches Freimaurer-Museum (German Freemason Museum) .
- Deutsches Schreibmaschinenmuseum (German Typewriter Museum).
- Archäologisches Museum (Archeological Museum).
- Markgräfliche Prunkräume und Sammlung Bayreuther Fayencen (Bayreuther Faiences - The Rummel Collection).
- Museum für bäuerliche Arbeitsgeräte (Museum of Agricultural Tools and Equipment) .
- Feuerwehrmuseum (Fire Brigade Museum) .
- Kleines Plakatmuseum (Little Poster Museum)
- Naturkundemuseum (Natural Science Museum) .
- Museum "Das Bayreuth der Wilhelmine" im Neuen Schloss.
- Court Garden (Hofgarten), (Behind the Neues Schloss). Open 24 hours a day year round. The court garden of the Neues Schloss, this park provides a welcome bit of green in the middle of the city. On sunny days, you can find many residents here relaxing or exercising with a little sport. Free. (latitude,)
- <see name="Hermitage" alt="Eremitage">See Hermitage/Old Palace above for information.
Bayreuth is home to the Richard Wagner Festival for 30 days every year in July and August, when his operas are performed at the Festspielhaus. During the festival, huge crowds flock to Bayreuth for a chance to see the performances. It is estimated that the waiting time for tickets is between five and ten years. For inquiries, contact the Tourist Information office for ideas on the best ways to obtain tickets. Sometimes (with a little luck), last minute tickets can become available.
Drink some of the local wheat beer - Hefeweizen - it is perhaps the best sipping beer in the world.
When traveling in summer, make sure not to miss the beautiful Theta beergarden. It is located in the hills above Bayreuth and it's hard to get there. But even taking a taxi would be worth it. For active people it is possible to do a very nice hike here from the Festspielhaus
Nightlife is not the thing Bayreuth is famous for. A really good place for concerts and parties is the Glashaus on the university campus.