View of Passau in Eastern Bavaria
Sina Ettmer Photography/

“Legendary” Natural Secrets in the Heart of the City

Eastern Bavaria’s cities inspire with (quite literally) “legendary” natural secrets, special urban hiking adventures and green oases of peace and relaxation. These places are often only a stone’s throw away from famous sights such as the Regensburg Cathedral or the spectacular confluence of three rivers in Passau.

An exciting city trip or a weekend in the great outdoors? In Eastern Bavaria both worlds come together; pulsating city life and relaxing idyll in equal measure. These experiences can surprise visitors. Especially when they head off the beaten path, away from the much visited and often photographed “tourist favorites”. Discover hidden natural adventures to recharge your batteries and enjoy some peace and quiet.

Amberg: A Green Oasis in the Heart of the City

Amberg with its “Maltesergarten” (Maltese Garden) offers a hidden green haven of peace in the middle of the city. In the 17th and 18th century, the magnificent parks, which are the venue for concerts in the summer months, belonged to the Amberg Jesuit College. Surrounded by thick walls, they were only accessible to monks at that time.

Autumnal panorama of Amberg in Eastern Bavaria

Today, the idyllic greenery provides a place of rest, relaxation and well-being for everyone. Wits fountain, extensive green spaces and orchard meadows, the “Maltesergarten” is ideal for relaxing lunch breaks, short walks or a relaxing end to the day in the evening sun. 

Neumarkt: Germany’s smallest hiking area

Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate region of Bavaria fascinates guests with its lively old town, magnificent merchant houses and its museum for vintage Maybach cars. Germany’s smallest hiking area is also located here. The “Zeugenbergrunde”, as this trail is known, leads walkers around the city over a distance of 48 kilometres. Although relatively short, this “Leading Quality Trail” is nonetheless considered one of the best hiking trails in Europe. The trail leads through sunny forests and along the “Ludwigkanal” waterway up to the ruins of Castle Wolfstein, whose history goes back 900 years. The castle plateau, located about 150 metres above the city, is the place for awesome panoramic views of Neumarkt.

Regensburg: A Princely Jewel of a Park on the Edge of a World Cultural Heritage Site

The “Herzogspark” (Duke’s Park) in the middle of the Regensburg is only around 1.5 hectares big but it’s a popular destination for lovers of green spaces. This jewel of a park is located only a few hundred metres from the medieval old town of Regensburg, which has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 2006. The name of the park goes back to the sister of Prince Maximilian Karl von Thurn und Taxis, the Duchess Marie Sophie von Württemberg. She used the palace on the edge of the park as her residence from 1843.

Today the building houses the Museum of Natural History of Eastern Bavaria. A Renaissance-style garden forms the heart of the park. Along one of the hedges, plants known from the dramas of William Shakespeare are grown there. The four-story, 700-year-old Prebrunn Tower on the edge of the park can be climbed up in summer. From the top, enjoy views of the silhouettes of Regensburg’s old town and of the Danube flowing directly past the park.

Passau: A “Black Pearl” with Rare Flora and Fauna 

The Danube makes its mark on Passau; a city at the confluence of three rivers. The point where the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers all come together, known as the “Dreiflüsse-Eck” or “Three-River Corner” is considered to be the only place in the world where three rivers coming from three different points of the compass unite and flow together in a fourth direction. Here, the Danube has already become a mighty river. The Ilz is the smallest of the three rivers in Passau and is called the “Black Pearl of the Bavarian Forest” because of its colouration caused by moorland and spruce forests.

Church in Passau, Bavaria
Cedric Schulze

A natural paradise borders directly on the city area; the protected area known as “Halser Ilzschleifen”. With gurgling water, green banks and low-hanging branches, the river here meanders through the valley. The idyllic hiking trails carry you off into another world. With a little luck, visitors can  discover rare animals such as kingfishers, black woodpeckers, white-throated dippers and otters.