The Ultimate Day Trip To Augsburg Stop-By-Stop 😍

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Looking for somewhere different to visit when you’re in the Munich area? Taking the Romantic Road and want to know if it’s worth stopping in Augsburg and what you can do when you get there?

Let’s explore how to make the most of a single day in the captivating city of Augsburg. This article is your personal guide to experiencing the heart of Bavaria, from centuries-old historic sites to delightful culinary spots that capture the essence of local life.

Augsburg isn’t just another dot on the map; it’s a mosaic of history, culture, and vivid daily rhythms waiting to be discovered. It’s one of the oldest cities in Germany and a must for any history lover.

However, with Munich so close, this third biggest city in Bavaria is often ignored by tourists which is a shame. I loved my 24 hours in Augsburg, and I think you will too.

Augsburg in one dayPin

I’ll walk you through the cobbled streets, under the shadow of majestic structures, and through the serene landscapes that have been shaped by emperors, bankers, and artists alike. The city’s rich past intertwines with its vibrant present, offering an array of experiences that blend seamlessly into a day’s adventure.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of art, or simply in search of a day well-spent, join me as we uncover the best that a day in Augsburg has to offer.

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A Brief History Of Augsburg

Augsburg, located in the southwest of Bavaria, Germany, is a city steeped in a rich tapestry of history that dates back to the Roman Empire. Founded by the Romans in 15 BC as Augusta Vindelicorum, named after the Roman Emperor Augustus, it quickly became a thriving provincial capital due to its strategic position at the convergence of major trade routes.

This early period cemented Augsburg’s role as a significant center of commerce and set the stage for its future prosperity.

In the early Middle Ages, Augsburg was a witness to the rise of Christianity and became an important bishopric, which elevated its status further. The city’s importance burgeoned in the late Middle Ages when it became a free imperial city in 1276.

This newfound status granted Augsburg a level of autonomy that allowed it to flourish. The city became a hotspot for bankers, merchants, and craftsmen who attracted trade from across Europe.

AugsburgPin

The 15th and 16th centuries marked Augsburg’s peak as a financial powerhouse; known for the Fugger and Welser banking families. Jakob Fugger, “the Rich,” attained great influence not only across Europe but also within Augsburg, notably founding the Fuggerei, the world’s oldest social housing complex that still operates today.

It was during this period that the Augsburg Confession, a central document of Lutheranism, was presented at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, underscoring the city’s pivotal role amid the tumultuous religious upheaval of the Reformation era.

By the time of the Renaissance and the early modern era, Augsburg’s influence as a center for finance began to wane due to the Thirty Years’ War and the shifting powers of European states, yet it remained a beacon for the arts and culture. The beauty of its architecture, including its Renaissance town hall and the Schaezlerpalais, attest to its enduring importance.

During the Industrial Revolution, Augsburg adapted and evolved, becoming an industrial hub with a particular emphasis on textiles and machinery. This period saw economic recovery and technological progress. Augsburg’s ties to innovation continued through the 20th century, with it being a key location for notable companies, including MAN SE and KUKA Robotics.

Despite the destruction that came with World War II, much of Augsburg’s historical character has been preserved or restored, which speaks volumes about the value placed on its heritage. Present-day Augsburg is a testament to endurance, continually building upon its past while looking toward a future of innovation and growth.

Recognized for its historical significance, Augsburg was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2019, celebrating its water management system that spans over centuries.

Augsburg thus encapsulates the essence of a city that has not only survived through the ages but has also thrived, adapting to each new era while maintaining a profound connection to its illustrious history.

What To See In Augsburg In One Day

Wandering Maximilianstraße AugsburgPin
Wandering Maximilianstraße

One day in Augsburg is not enough to experience everything, but it is enough time to get a nice introduction to the city. Simply follow the below Augsburg itinerary stop-by-stop for an incredible day.

It’s been designed to be completed by foot and public transport. In fact, you can easily walk between the stops except the Botanical Gardens which is a little further. You could walk or you can easily take a bus to and from here.

Click here to find all these attractions plotted in Google Maps so you can see how to get between places.

Whether you are visiting on a day trip from Munich or staying overnight (like I did!), this one day Augsburg itinerary should work for you. Make sure you also take the time to just soak in and enjoy Augsburg. I found a great vibe here with its majestic buildings and vibrant city life.

Stop 1: Fuggerei

Visit the world’s oldest social housing complex

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Fuggerei

A step into the Fuggerei is a step back in time, a glimpse into a living piece of history. Founded in 1521 by the wealthy merchant Jakob Fugger, the complex was built as a charitable settlement for the city’s destitute, and it continues to serve that noble purpose to this day.

The Fuggerei’s significance goes beyond Augsburg, as it stands as a symbol of social welfare long before the concept was widely recognized. The annual rent has famously remained unchanged for centuries—equivalent to just one Rheinischer Gulden, or about 0.88 euros—illustrating the enduring legacy of the Fugger family’s philanthropy.

Bunker Museum at Fuggerei AugsburgPin
Bunker Museum at Fuggerei
How kitchens used to look at Fuggerei Pin
How kitchens used to look at Fuggerei

You can pay to enter this complex and walk around. While most apartments are still lived in today, a few have been turned into museums and examples of what the apartments looked like – both today and in the past as there are examples of both as well as an example of an apartment being renovated.

As you wander around, you can experience the modest living conditions within these walls, and learn about the history and lives of its residents through a small museum. There’s also a bunker museum which goes through what happened here during WWII specifically including when the Fuggerei was bombed and how it recovered afterwards.

The picturesque rows of houses, with their meticulous gardens and the original rules still in place, make this site not only unique to Augsburg but to the world.

There is also a beer garden here if you get thirsty.

Stop 2: Augsburg Cathedral (Augsburger Dom)

Admire the stunning architecture and stained glass windows

Augsburg CathedralPin
Augsburg Cathedral

Rising majestically over Augsburg, the cathedral is a masterpiece of architectural evolution, reflecting styles from Romanesque to Gothic. Its oldest parts date back to the 11th century, and the building has grown and changed with the city itself. The photo above makes it look much smaller than what it is. It’s grand, pretty and unique from the outside.

The cathedral’s famed stained glass windows, some of the oldest in existence, cast ethereal light upon centuries of religious art and craftsmanship. You can marvel at the Prophet Windows, dating back to around 1140, and reflect on the human desire to express devotion through beauty.

Inside Augsburg CathedralPin
Inside Augsburg Cathedral

The cathedral houses numerous pieces of significant artwork, including the altar by Hans Holbein the Elder. It is a testament not only to Augsburg’s religious importance but also to its role as a center for artistic innovation through the ages.

Stop 3: Maximilianmuseum

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Maximilianmuseum

Explore art and history at Augsburg’s premier museum

The Maximilianmuseum is a treasure trove of Augsburg’s rich heritage, displayed within the walls of two interconnected Renaissance buildings.

The museum’s extensive collection is dedicated to the city’s history of art and craftsmanship, especially during the Renaissance period when Augsburg’s artisans gained fame across Europe. Here, you can come face to face with intricate examples of Augsburg silverwork, exquisite goldsmithery, and the renowned “Augsburg Cabinets,” which are marvels of both art and utility.

The museum’s exhibits facilitate a deep understanding of the city’s historical significance as an artistic and trade hub. The carefully restored interiors of the museum buildings themselves are as much a part of the exhibit as the artifacts they hold.

Stop 4: St Anne’s Church (St Anna Kirche)

Enjoy this stunning church and visit the Luther exhibits

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St Anna Kirche

St. Anne’s Church offers a captivating cultural and historical experience. With its stunning Gothic architecture, dating back to the 14th century, the church stands as a remarkable testament to Augsburg’s rich heritage.

Inside St Anna Kirche AugsburgPin
Inside St Anna Kirche

Inside, you’ll love this pretty and well maintained church. Check out the intricate stained glass windows and ceiling frescos. There are quite a few treasures here with some beautiful little chapels as well as the tomb of Jakob Fugger (who started the Fuggerei).

This church also played a part during the Reformation. Martin Luther himself stayed here when it was a Carmelite monastery when he came to defend his beliefs at the Augsburg Diet in 1518. There is a small, but great, museum here which talks about this as well as other big events in Augsburg’s history and the Reformation itself. It is definitely worth a visit (and is free).

Das Museum Lutherstiege at st anna kirche augsburgPin
Inside the Lutherstiege Museum

You can switch the order between this and the next two stops if you are already feeling hungry.

Stop 5: Lunch at the Rathausplatz

Experience local cuisine in the historic town square

Rathausplatz AugsburgPin
Rathausplatz

The Rathausplatz is the vibrant core of Augsburg’s old town, bordered by the imposing Town Hall and the Perlachturm (tower). This area is not just a picturesque spot to grab lunch; it’s an open-air banquet of historical sights. Eating here is about more than delightful local cuisine—it’s about participating in a tradition of public life and commerce that stretches back to the city’s foundation.

Eateries surrounding the plaza serve the best of Bavarian fare (as well as other cuisines), with dishes that have satisfied the appetites of residents and travelers alike for generations. Whether it’s for a hearty plate of Käsespätzle, a flavorful bratwurst, or a crisp pretzel, dining at Rathausplatz offers an authentic ambiance where every bite is a taste of Augsburg’s storied past and present.

If you need to work up an appetite, or need to work off your food afterwards, climb the Perlachturm before or after eating. You won’t be able to miss it (pictured just below).

Stop 6: Augsburg Town Hall and the Golden Hall (Rathaus und Goldener Saal)

Witness the splendor of Renaissance architecture

Augsburg Town Hall and PerlachturmPin
Augsburg Town Hall and Perlachturm

The Augsburg Town Hall, constructed in the 1600s, is a monumental expression of the city’s economic power and civic pride during the Renaissance. Under the masterful direction of architect Elias Holl, it emerged as a crown jewel of civic architecture. You can see the outside easy from Rathausplatz and you can venture inside.

The Golden Hall (Goldener Saal), known for its breathtaking ceiling and walls covered in real gold leaf, demonstrates the wealth and artistic ambition that characterized Augsburg’s golden period. You can pay to enter this.

Inside the Golden Hall (Goldener Saal) AugsburgPin
Inside the Golden Hall (Goldener Saal)

There’s also a couple of tiny exhibits on the ground level you can enter for free.

As the political heart of the city for many centuries, the Town Hall has witnessed crucial decisions and historic events. The building’s sheer presence and opulence make it an indispensable stop for comprehending the depth of Augsburg’s historical importance, and its majesty renders it a source of awe for all who enter its halls.

Also, don’t miss the Augustusbrunnen fountain out the front honoring the Roman Emperor this city was initially named after.

Stop 7: Schaezlerpalais

Schaezlerpalais AugsburgPin
Schaezlerpalais

Explore baroque art and architecture

The Schaezlerpalais is a masterclass in baroque magnificence. Erected in 1765 by architect Karl Albert von Lespilliez, it encapsulates the essence of Augsburg’s baroque period, serving as both a palatial residence and a cultural center.

Now a museum, you are invited to promenade through the palatial rooms adorned with period furnishings, frescoes, and a notable art collection. The gallery’s highlight is the Grand Ballroom, a stunning example of baroque opulence designed to reflect status and sophistication.

This palace affords you the opportunity not only to admire but also to feel enveloped by the lavish lifestyle of Augsburg’s 18th-century elite. It’s a stunning palace and worth the entry charge. You won’t forget it.

Stop 8: Augsburg Botanical Garden (Botanischer Garten Augsburg)

Relax in nature’s embrace

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Augsburg Botanical Garden

The Augsburg Botanical Garden offers a departure from the city’s historical ambiance into the realm of natural beauty.

Spread over 10 hectares, the garden boasts diverse collections from alpine to exotic and enchanting themed areas such as the Japanese Garden. It is a sanctuary that elevates gardening to an art form, carefully designed to offer a retreat for the senses and a learning experience for the curious.

The seasonal transformations grant repeat visitors a new experience with each visit. In the luscious greenery and blooming flowers, you can find a peaceful balance to the city’s architectural grandeur.

Have a wander and a rest as it’s been a busy day.

Stop 9: Dinner at Maximilianstraße

Indulge in Bavarian hospitality

Maximilianstraße AugsburgPin
Maximilianstraße

As night falls, Maximilianstraße assumes its role as Augsburg’s epicurean axis. Lined with restaurants and cafes, it provides a diverse culinary landscape set among historic facades and modern boutiques.

The street offers dining experiences ranging from traditional Bavarian pubs to contemporary international cuisine, satisfying both the gastronomic adventurer and the lover of hearty local dishes. Ending the day here isn’t just about experiencing standard fare; it’s a celebration of the city’s prosperous trade roots that brought an array of world flavors to Augsburg.

Where To Stay In Augsburg

I found a surprising lack of accommodation options in Augsburg. I didn’t have many to choose from although, thankfully, I did find a great option.

This is the hotel I stayed at which I highly recommend.

Altstadthotel Augsburg

Altstadthotel Augsburg double roomPin
Altstadthotel’s double room

The Altstadthotel is in a handy location about 15 minutes walk from the station, just off Maximilianstraße on a quiet street. I walked everywhere on this list from this hotel apart from the Botanical Gardens.

There isn’t a huge range of facilities, but breakfast is offered and I was able to store my luggage while I explored. There is an elevator which was a nice change!

My room had an interesting design but I quite liked it. I also also lucky in that I had a private terrace off my room shared with just one other room.

The entry to my room lead to an area where I could store my luggage, clothes and shoes. This entry area was a separate room with shelving, luggage table and cupboard. The compact bathroom came off here with toilet, basin and shower.

This lead into the main bedroom with a big bed, desk area, small flatscreen TV and a minibar as well as the door to the terrace. There was plenty of light with windows on two sides.

The room was quiet, clean and comfortable. My only complaint is that the curtains didn’t block the light and I was awake early with the sun. Otherwise, a great place to stay!

Click here for the latest prices.

How To Get To Augsburg

Taking a trip to Augsburg, the enchanting city in Bavaria, is an experience laced with both ease and comfort. Whether you’re coming from the bustling streets of Berlin or the tranquil shores of Lake Constance, your path to Augsburg is well-paved and straightforward.

If you’re soaring through the skies to Augsburg, the nearest major airport is Munich Airport. From there, trains can take you to Augsburg’s central station in about one and a half hours. Watch the Bavarian countryside unfurl outside your window, a gentle prelude to the historical delights that await.

Augsburg stationPin
Augsburg station

Perhaps you’re setting out from another German city by train. Deutsche Bahn, the national railway company, offers frequent and reliable services to Augsburg from major cities like Berlin, Hamburg, or Frankfurt. The high-speed ICE trains can whisk you to Augsburg in a matter of hours, with amenities that ensure a smooth ride. From Munich, it’s just a 30 minute trip making an Augsburg day trip very easy.

Click here to check out Deutsche Bahn schedules and prices.

Traveling by car is no less convenient. Augsburg is well-connected to the German autobahn network. You’ll find it nestled near the A8, which runs directly from Stuttgart to Munich. Rent a car or hop into yours and navigate the well-signed routes.

Click here to check out car hire options and prices.

Final Words

Maximilianstraße AugsburgPin
Maximilianstraße

Augsburg is a fun place to visit with a long and interesting history and plenty to keep you occupied for a day. It’s quite different to other German cities I have visited and I enjoyed my time here. The streets feel majestic and grand, and there’s a great energy.

Spending a single day in the captivating city of Augsburg will leave you enchanted by its fusion of historical grandeur and vibrant culture. One thing is for sure, you’ll want to come back!

Read our guides to nearby Munich here, Ulm here, Nördlingen here and Dinkelsbühl here. Find all our guides to Southern Germany here.

Sharon Gourlay in the Rhina Valley

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon first fell in love with Germany back in 2000 on her first visit. She loves the long history, the picturesque Old Towns, the castles, the food, everything really! Since then, she has visited many times and loves writing about Germany here so you can enjoy it too. In fact, Sharon loves German culture so much that she sent her kids to a German primary school in Australia. She especially loves Berlin and towns with charming Old Towns like Celle and Quedlinburg. Sharon also has a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and understands the nitty gritty of travel planning. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to Germany whether it's your first or tenth time!

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