Everything you need to know to plan your trip. Where to stay, when to go and the best things to do in Augsburg.
Are you planning to visit Germany? And are you wondering about the best places to visit in Augsburg? Then you certainly came to the right place: My detailed Augsburg travel guide will tell you everything you need to know.
The Capital of Swabia surely is among the top 20 day trips from Munich. As a local, I made sure to include all the obvious and none-obviously tourist highlights and points of interest in Augsburg.
So, let’s get started with my list of the best things to do in Augsburg, shall we?
1. Augsburg Town Hall
The most famous tourist attraction in Augsburg is probably the Augsburger Rathaus (town hall). It’s widely acclaimed as the most important Renaissance-style building north of the Alps and was build between 1615 and 1625.
Go here to marvel at the impressive Golden Hall on the second floor. Sadly, the original burned down during World War II, but in the 1980ies it was reconstructed based on old photographs and paintings.
2. Fuggerei & Fuggerhäuser
Did you know that Augsburg was once the financial center of Europe? In the middle of the 15th century, the Fugger family built a merchant empire spanning across half the world. Jakob Fugger is widely accepted as one of the richest persons of all time.
The Fuggers funded kings and wars, but they also built the world’s oldest social housing complex. Five centuries later, the family still runs the (very same) complex. A small part of the Fuggerei is converted into a museum.
Fun fact: The entry fee of 6,50 euros is eight times the annual rent of a house in the Fuggerei!
One of the houses you should also check out is the former headquarter of the Fugger on the central Maximilanstraße. You cannot go inside the so-called Fuggerhäuser (Fugger houses) – only the three courtyards are open to the public. Still, the first Renaissance-style building ever to be constructed north of the Alps is worth walking by.
Note: The former Bathhouse (Badestube) is open to the public, you will have to call the tourist information to make an appointment, though!
3. Wasserwerk am Roten Tor
The Wasserwerk am Roten Tor (waterworks at the red gate) is the oldest waterwork in middle Europe. From 1416 until 1879 it provided fresh water to the inner city of Augsburg. A mighty aqueduct fed the waterworks with water and energy to power the pumps.
It’s only one of many sites in Augsburg along the old city wall, but certainly the oldest and most majestic. It’s a very early testament how mankind used the power of water to provide a modern city with a clear and unpolluted source of tap water, which is why the UNESCO inscribed it as a World Heritage site in 2019.
In 1879 the Wasserwerk am Hochablass (waterworks at the Hochablass) was built and the older once were decommissioned. Back then, the new steam-powered pumping technology was equally as novel as the red gate waterworks were in the early 15th century. Just one of the reason why this waterwork is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site historic waterworks in Augsburg as well.
Note: All these sites are only open every first Saturday of every month! Via the tourism office, you can arrange for a private tour for a fee (around 70 Euros per attraction & group).
Looking for other UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bavaria? Then check out my guide to the amazing Church of Wies.
4. Augsburg Cathedral
Churches in Germany are sometimes old, very old. The Augsburg Cathedral dates back to the year 995 AD but archeologists even found late Roman foundations as early as the 4th century. So, it really is a must-see in Augsburg.
Augsburg Cathedral is particularly famous for its five stained glass windows dating back to the 11th century – the oldest in Germany. They depict the prophets David, Jonah, Daniel, Moses, and Hosea.
The old bronze door is equally famous (probably very early 10th century), but it’s now on display in the adjacent museum to protect it from corrosion.
Want to know how the wealthy bourgeois lived in the 18th century? Then visiting the Schaetzlerpalais should be on your list of things to see in Augsburg. The unique rococo ensemble is the best-preserved house of its kind in Augsburg (and probably Germany as a whole).
On the second floor of the richly decorated house, you’ll find a wonderful museum (included in the ticket price). The garden of the Schaezlerpalais is also quite worth a visit, even if you don’t want to see the museum! Here’s the website.
That being said, especially the old german masters’ section of the museum is truly outstanding and you absolutely should visit!
Silver from Augsburg has been a household name for between the 16th and 19th century. No other city in Europe produced more beautiful goblets, plates or candleholder. Even today Augsburg silverware is priced beyond all others and fetches extraordinary prices on international auctions.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the mastership of Augsburg’s silversmiths, then visiting the Maximilianmuseum is a must. Here’s the official website to plan your visit.
7. St. Ulrich and Afra
At the far end of the majestic Maximilanstraße, you cannot help but notice the imposing Basilica of St. Ulrich and Afra. Pope Johann Paull II visited in 1987 which should give you a good indication of the significance of the unique renaissance church.
The interiors are quite serene (it fell victim to the Iconoclasts in the 16th century) but the high altars and statues that survived are a marvel in itself. Do visit!
The Perlachturm is a 70 meter (230ft) high tower right next to the town hall. It once served as a guard tower (as early as 989) but what you see now largely dates back to around 1612. Once, you were able to go all to the top, and enjoy a beautiful view of Augsburg but due to ongoing renovations, the tower is currently closed to visitors.
9. The monumental fountains in the old town
I already mentioned the many waterworks of Augsburg are a designed UNESCO World Heritage site ever since 2019. Back in the late medieval age, running water wasn’t the norm – it was a grand exception. Wells (if at all), and certainly not lavish fountains provided the burgher households with precious waters.
The ornate bronze fountains of Augsburg were a grand display of wealth, power, and knowledge like no other – a bit like a monorail in these days.
Augsburg’s monumental fountains need to be seen in exactly this historic context. They are a visual sign of a free imperial city that stood at the height of its power.
10. Augsburger Puppenkiste
One of the best things to do in Augsburg with kids is visiting the famous Augsburg Puppet Theater. You’ll find it inside the ancient Holy-Ghost-Hospital and there is hardly a German who doesn’t know it. The productions are very detailed (there also some shows for adults)and the skill of the ensemble is unparalleled!
Here is the official website where you can reserve tickets (German only; so use google translate)
Other things to do in Augsburg, Germany
Augsburg has a long history and dates back to the year 15 before Christ. Back then the Romans erected one of the castras on the banks of the River Lech. You cannot help but notice all that history as you walk through the city. My list of things to see in Augsburg may be long, but it’s far from complete.
One of the most famous buildings I didn’t mention so far is the so-called Stadtmetzg, the former butcher’s hall. You cannot go inside, sadly. You can, however, visit the beautiful Synagogue in Augsburg. The interiors are stunning, though the museum just explains Judaism in general and can be skipped.
You should also be aware of the Zoo (click for the official website), which is rather small, but maybe a good thing to do in Augsburg with kids. Right next to the zoo you will find the Botanical garden, which makes the trip worthwhile.
Other than that, you’ll find a couple of other beautiful churches sprinkled throughout the city, and I do recommend to go for a walk around the city wall. You can even go kayaking – the Zur Kahnfahrt Restaurant would be where you need to go then (quite the beautiful spot!)
So, is Augsburg worth visiting?
Augsburg became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2019. I think this fact alone proofs the ancient city is totally worth visiting. And as there are so many beautiful things to do in Augsburg, it is so easy to reach from Munich, a (day) trip to Augsburg should be en essential part of every Germany itinerary
Just in case you are coming that way: Check out my list of the top 50 things to do in Munich.
I feel weird whenever somebody asks me if Augsburg is worth visiting. Sure, it’s not castle Neuschwanstein or the Oktoberfest (make sure to read my guide), it really can’t compete with these top attractions. Augsburg’s beauty is more low-key. You need to dig a bit, but then you won’t regret visiting!
How to get from Munich to Augsburg
By far the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to get from Munich to Augsburg is by train. Trains leave every half hour from Munich central station and it takes about 30 minutes if you take the ICE (the high-speed train). Calculate around 22 Euros each way.
You could also take the regional train (which has multiple stops on the way). It will be cheaper (15 Euros) and takes about 50 minutes.
Check out the official website of the Germany railway service for the timetable and to book your tickets.
You could also rent a car, but quite frankly it will be slower and more expensive, so I do not recommend it. If you are traveling in a group, you can buy a group train ticket, and again, it will be cheaper and faster than a car.
There are no regular tourist buses I’m aware of.
Best hotels in Augsburg
Note: I do earn a small commission from purchases through the links in this article.
Augsburg is quite a small city, so there aren’t all that much options for travelers. A day trip from Munich is entirely feasible, but if you still want to stay, I really dug deep to find the best options for you
Probably one of the best hotels in Augsburg is the Dom Hotel (book it here). It’s right in the city center, there is an indoor pool, and you get to enjoy views of Augsburg cathedral directly from your room.
A good alternative in the city center would be the Hotel Augusta (book it here). The reviews are good and the location perfects if you want to explore the city at night.
While not directly in the immediate center, the Hotel Augsburger Hof (book it here) is a lovely little property inside a historic building and offers a great bang for your buck. It’s not directly in the center, but a 5minute’s walk will get you where you need to be.
A good budget alternative would be the Hostel SLEPS (check it out here). It has a wonderful location and it’s one of the cheapest hotels in Augsburg. The rooms are small but serviceable and clean.