Regensburg’s Old Town and the 12th century Stone Bridge spanning the Danube River.
Cruising through the heart of special cities and towns is one of several things I enjoy about European river cruises. Step off the ship and you are ready to explore a new destination. A good example is Regensburg, my favorite town on the Danube River. It’s situated in the Lower Bavaria region of southeast Germany at the confluence of three rivers.
I first experienced the medieval town of Regensburg during a 7-night river cruise in 2014. I enjoyed a full German breakfast onboard before setting out to tour the town, only to learn that our first stop was the Sausage Kitchen. Located in a small stone hut near where we docked, the kitchen was serving visitors a couple of finger-size sausages on a rye roll, topped with sauerkraut and sweet mustard. My first thought was how can I handle such a portion at 10:00 in the morning on top of what I already had consumed.
Well . . . I ate two sausage rolls and they were wonderful! What a great introduction to this 2000-year-old city of 140,000 residents and our day had only begun.
We next walked to the north bank of the Danube across the 12th century Stone Bridge to visit a brewery that began operations in the 1100’s as a source of income for a local monastery. While the monastery has been converted to housing for low-income senior citizens, the brewery continues to operate, as it has for nine centuries. Before leaving, we enjoyed several cold samples of its output.
The north shore of the river affords an excellent view of Regensburg’s Old Town, which survived World War II with only modest damage. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Old Town once was a central-European medieval trading center. The oldest surviving part of the town centers around the Alter Kornmarkt (Cornmarket) square, where you will find the Roman Tower dating to the second century, the Old Chapel with its outstanding Rococo interior and the 17th century Baroque Carmelite Church.
You also must visit the Regensburg Museum of History for displays of Roman and medieval artifacts and Old Town Hall with its medieval courtroom, art collection and antiquities (the building’s Imperial Hall was the meeting place of the first German parliament from 1663-1806).
Before heading back to the boat, I stopped at the chocolatier’s shop near the heart of the square and ventured down a narrow street to a little shop that sells countless varieties of mustard, where I purchased two bottles of the sweet mustard that I enjoyed on the sausages earlier.
Following a great dinner and local entertainment onboard, the ship got under way for the next day’s low-impact adventure exploring another city or town down river.
This article first appeared on Travels with Bob, Vacations by Cruise and Travel Experts.