Hi there, I finally have a new guide for you. Considering that I’ve lived in six different cities in four countries in my 23 years of life, I haven’t actually written much about the places I’ve (so far…) called home. Recently I started putting together a wedding gift for a dear friend of mine who just got married last weekend and moved to Regensburg with her husband. Therefore I had the idea to collect all my favorite places, restaurants and activities and turn them into date night ideas for my friends as a wedding gift. So as I was thinking about all the best things to do in Regensburg, I figured why not turn them into a new blog post, too. Now that they’re married I no longer have to keep my gift a secret and can finally publish this for you.
I first moved to Regensburg in 2017 to study there. Regensburg is known to be one of the most popular destinations for students because of its two universities. I hadn’t ever been to Regensburg until after I’d already registered for the B.A. career I was going for but I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Writing this and going through all the pictures and memories is making me super nostalgic since I moved away last summer with a heavy heart. Luckily, some of my friends still live there so I have a good excuse to visit as often as I can. But enough about me, let’s get started.
First off, I’m not going to talk in depth about the typical tourist must-see’s which I’m sure you’ve already heard about anyway by the time you’ve decided to visit Regensburg and have reached my blog. So if you’re looking for information on the Walhalla, Steinerne Brücke, boat rides etc. you won’t find what you’re looking for here. But if you’re up for experiencing Regensburg the way the locals (and especially the students like me) do, keep on reading!
So here are some (okay, many) ideas how to spend the perfect day off in Regensburg at any season and no matter the weather. These will include a loooot of cafés, restaurants and bars which shouldn’t come as a surprise since Regensburg is the city with highest density in bars in Bavaria. And don’t worry, they all fit in a student’s budget although of course while living there you don’t eat out or treat yourself to a nice dinner with a glass of wine or an aperitif every day, but none of these places are high end in price. As I lived in the old town, all of the recommendations will be in walking distance to most accomodations in the city center.
Let’s start with breakfast. If you’re visiting in the summer time (which is when it’s least crowded as all the students are visiting their families and most other locals are on vacation themselves), there are bunch of cute cafés with idyllic courtyards in the heart of the oldtown. My favorites among them are Freiraum, a Regensburg classic, and the newer Gardener’s Nosh, which makes you feel like you’re on vacation. The inside area of Gardener’s Nosh is beautiful as well and they also offer lunch and cocktails apart from breakfast.
Another classic is Café Weichmanns which also has a pretty courtyard but last time I went (which was probably a year ago so it may have changed but I couldn’t find their current menu) it barely had any vegetarian breakfast options and basically no vegan options so it’s not my favorite for breakfast but lovely for a cold drink on a hot summer afternoon.
Other great breakfast (and coffee, lunch and drinks!) options are Malefiz and Café Lila. If you want to have your breakfast with coffee roasted in Regensburg, go to 190 Grad Café.
After breakfast, you can start strolling around the old town. My favorite local places to shop are Teelust (their Moscow Mule tea is my favorite!), Donaustern (for many local products), Peacehand (Second Hand), Füllgut (a zero waste shop) and Pura Vida or Rehorik for coffee. If you want some non-touristy souvenirs, go to Kekszauber, a female-owned local business, that sells very cute (and delicious) cookies. After you’ve explored the tiny alleys on the southern side of the Danube, you can cross over to Stadtamhof at the northern end of Steinerne Brücke and explore some more there. You could also take the first “exit” off Steinerne Brücke to your left when coming from the old town to go for a swim or sunbathe on Jahninsel. If you’re feeling motivated you can also take a longer walk in the Inselpark and make use of the outdoor gym.
If you end up exploring Stadtamhof around lunch time and are starting to feel hungry, have an aperitif (this is a must as they are delicious and huge) and a pizza at Trattoria Marina. If you’re lucky, you might be able to snag a table with a view of the Danube river, Steinerne Brücke and the Dome. They also offer a cheaper lunch menu during the week. On the other side of the bridge you can find incredible bagels for lunch at Tiger Green.
Continue on to Stadtamhof after your lunch if you’re not already there to walk up to Dreifalitgkeitskirche to enjoy the view over the entire city and surroundings. This is also a great activity for sunset. Once you’ve finished your walk uphill and are done taking everything in, head back down towards Stadtamhof and get yourself some well deserved coffee and cake in Kuchenbar and this is not a step you want to miss. Seriously, don’t skip it. Kuchenbar hands down offers the most incredible, special and unique cakes in Regensburg. Even my family in Munich became obsessed with it and had me bring them cake whenever I came home to see them or they insisted on going there whenever they visited. Unfortunately they don’t offer vegan cakes but there are plant-based milk options to go with your beverages. If you do decide to skip Kuchenbar but still want an afternoon pick-me-up coffee there are also plenty of options in the old town.
Aside from the cafés I already mentioned as breakfast options, Wanderlust and Urban Coffee (their iced oat milk latte is the best!) are also great places to go for coffee. For those who aren’t into coffee but have a sweet tooth, Stenz is not a place you’ll want to miss if you’re a gelato addict like me. It’s probably the most popular gelato place in Regensburg (you’ll recognize it by the everlasting queue) but trust me, the wait and the hype are worth it and well deserved. They always offer vegan sorbets as well and their flavors vary. You can sit down by the fountains on Bismarckplatz to enjoy your gelato.
Once you’ve had enough you can head into Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte (a modern an interactive museum on Bavarian history, free of charge for students) or go for a stroll along the Danube river towards Villapark and then head back into the old town through Ostentor.
For dinner I have quite a few options for you again, all of them located in the old town. For the best Spanish tapas, go to Bolero’s. They’re beautifully arranged and they have quite a few vegetarian/ vegan options and very attentive staff.
If you didn’t go to Trattoria Marina for lunch and you’re craving Italian food, you can enjoy pizza, pasta and wine at Papageno. In the summer you can sit on their patio facing the river or you could do as all the locals do in the summer: grab a pizza to go, a bottle of wine and sit right by the river with your feet dangling over the water as you enjoy your food and one of the incredible sunsets.
If you’re not into Italian food but still like the idea of sitting by the water, grab Vietnamese food (my favorite is the yellow curry soup with tofu!) from Ha Tien, a local favorite with very limited seating space inside which makes it perfect to take to the river. Most of the other cafés I’ve mentioned before also offer dinner options. Another popular (and most affordable, especially if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet and stick to veggies) activity among students is having a BBQ on Jahninsel with a portable grill. You can enjoy your own food, a cool beer and have a nice time with friends even when you’re on a budget.
If you don’t feel like going home after dinner, there’s still a lot more to do. It’s always worth checking if there are any events taking place like a concert at Degginger, a poetry slam in the Mälze or a movie at the outdoor Cinema Paradiso. If you feel like dancing and drinking, Mono and Vinyl would be my go to for a more chill night out, but there are obviously some other clubs as well depending on your taste in music. Dude’s is also a fun place to go for drinks.
If you’re visiting in the winter time, don’t miss out on the beautiful christmas markets and Glühwein (mulled wine). My favorite is the one at Spitalgarten but since they’re all very close and not too big, you can easily walk to each and every one of them.
In the summer, you don’t need to be by the sea for some serious beach vibes. Instead, you can just head to the roof of the Arcaden mall (Arcaden Beach) where they spread out sand every summer so you can feel like you’re on vacation. Sometimes they also show movies. The only downside is that the drinks are quite pricey compared to some other bars. If you’re in Regensburg at the right time, there’s a street festival (Bürgerfest) which takes place every other year. For one weekend, there are local food and drink vendors, bands and many more scattered all around the city center and it’s just the best time. I went to the last festival in 2019 with a bunch of my co-workers and we spent the entire late afternoon and evening going from vendor to vendor trying all kinds of food and drinks from local businesses.
If you happen to be visiting in the spring or fall, you can experience the Dult, a traditional Bavarian festival (like the Oktoberfest in Munich but smaller and still a bit more traditional since it’s not as touristy). If you go in the afternoon you can enjoy the rides, Schokofrüchte (chocolate covered fruit), gebrannte Mandeln (roasted almonds) and other goods. In the evenings the tents get crowded with people dancing and singing on the benches with a Maß (1 liter of beer) in their hands to some more or less (mostly less) traditional music. It’s always a fun time and definitely a unique experience you don’t want to miss once it can take place again.
I hope this gave you some inspiration if you plan on visiting Regensburg once it’s possible to do all these things again. Regensburg will always have a place in my heart and I hope this post gave you some insight into how special and liveable this small city is. Thank you so much for reading.
All pictures and opinions are my own, I am not affiliated with any of the brands and businesses mentioned.