Established by the Romans more than 2000 years ago, Augsburg is one of the oldest and most historic cities in Germany. It was one of Europe's most significant economic hubs during the 16th century, and today it's the largest city on the popular tourist route known as the Romantic Road. There's plenty to see and do here whether you come on a day trip from Munich or decide to stay for an entire week, including stunning architecture, unique museums home to ancient masks and historic puppets, and the chance to visit the oldest social housing complex in the world.
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Conveniently located right in the center of Augsburg, Perlach Tower is one of the city's biggest landmarks. Originally built in the 10th century to serve as a watchtower, the tower now functions primarily as a tourist attraction and a clock with 35 bells that ring every hour on the hour. The tower stands seventy meters tall, and it features an observation deck that offers sweeping panoramic views of the entire city and its surroundings. Reaching the top requires climbing approximately 260 steps, and there is a ticket booth right below the observation platform where visitors will be required to pay a small fee.
Rathausplatz, 86159 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-821-50-20-70
Named in honor of the wealthy Fugger family who built it, Fuggerei is a social housing complex that was constructed in the early 1500s. The walled complex was built to provide affordable housing for Roman Catholic laborers and their families, and it's still inhabited today, which makes it the world's oldest social housing project. Incredibly, the price of rent hasn't been raised since medieval times, and it stands at 88 euro cents per year. Visitors are welcome to explore the complex for a small fee, and one of the ground floor apartments has been turned into a museum display.
Jakoberstraße 26, 86152 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-82-13-19-88-10
3.The German Baroque Gallery and the Schaezler Palace
Housed inside the Schaezler Palace, the German Baroque Gallery is home to an excellent collection of 17th and 18th century artwork. Very few of the signs describing the paintings are in English, but English audio guides can be borrowed from the front desk for a deposit. The palace itself is a magnificent example of rococo architecture and deserves a look as well, particularly the elegant ballroom, which features mirrored walls, carved decorations, and a beautifully painted ceiling and was specially built for a visit from Marie-Antoinette. Visitors can also explore the palace's other rooms, browse the gift shop, and relax in the outdoor garden.
Maximilianstrasse 46, 86150 Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany, Phone: +49-82-13-24-41-02
Originally constructed in the 11th century, the Augsburg Cathedral is a beautiful Roman Catholic church that boasts the oldest stained glass windows in Germany. Other highlights of the building include its Romanesque crypt, its two choirs, and its large bronze door, which can now be found inside the church museum. The church is open to visitors every day between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. except for during services, and guided tours are offered most Thursdays through Sundays between May and October. Private tours for groups of more than 15 people can be arranged by request.
Frauentorstraße 2, 86152 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-821-31-66-85-11
Referred to in English as the Red Gate, Rotes Tor is a well-preserved gate that was originally built to secure the city from traffic coming from the south. The gate dates back to medieval times, and for hundreds of years, it served as a customs station on the road from Italy. In modern times, however, it's a beautiful tourist attraction with a large park at its base. A medieval festival is held at the base of the gate in the summer months, and there is also an open-air stage here that hosts operas, musicals, and concerts in June and July.
Am Roten Tor, 86161 Augsburg, Germany
Formerly an important hub for the textile industry in Germany, the Weberhaus is an important historical building that's immediately recognizable thanks to its colorful, striking exterior. It was originally built in the 14th century, but it's been reconstructed and renovated many times throughout the years, most recently in 2004 after it was badly damaged by a fire. The building is now filled with shops and offices, but visitors come here simply to take photos and marvel at the beautiful murals that adorn the exterior walls, which feature brightly colored geometric shapes decorated with human figures.
Moritzpl. 2, 86150 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +44-17-27-86-79-00
© Mozarthaus Augsburg
The birthplace of Mozart's father, Leopold Mozart, the Mozarthaus Augsburg is a small but fascinating house museum that offers a glimpse into the life of the famous composer's family. Leopold was a talented composer in his own right, and the rooms are full of fascinating memorabilia, including historic musical instruments, books, letters, and handwritten musical scores. Visitors can take a self-guided tour by borrowing an audio guide from the front desk. The house is also the venue for the annual German Mozart Festival, a two-week-long event that takes place during the end of August and the beginning of September.
Frauentorstraße 30, 86152 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-82-14-50-79-45
8.Augsburg Railway Park
If you're a train enthusiast, the Augsburg Railway Park is a must-see while you're in Augsburg. The park is located on the grounds of the city's former locomotive shed, and it's home to an excellent collection of steam, electric, and diesel trains that come from all over Europe. The entire facility can be toured by appointment, and visitors can also opt to take one of the park's special train excursions. Other attractions include a functioning blacksmith shop, a model train display, and a large turntable used to transport the locomotives in and out of the shed.
Firnhaberstraße 22C, 86159 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-82-14-50-44-70
Home to approximately 1600 animals that represent around 300 species, the Augsburg Zoo is one of the country's twenty largest zoos. Some of the biggest attractions include a savanna habitat home to giraffes and rhinos, a reptile house with approximately 25 different species of reptiles and amphibians, and an enclosure where visitors can see lions and tigers. Lucky visitors will might also have the opportunity to see the seals and penguins being fed. Plenty of guided tours are available, including options for both children and adults, but visitors are also welcome to explore the zoo on their own.
Brehmpl. 1, 86161 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-82-15-67-14-90
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Located in downtown Augsburg right next to the excellent shopping at the City Gallery, the Vogeltor is a four-story gated tower that dates back to 1445. The structure is one of the only remaining gates of the historic city walls, but it's better known for the story behind its construction. Legend has it that the city refused to pay the builders after the tower was complete, claiming it wasn't straight. The builder then climbed to the top of the tower and defecated out the window, proving the city council wrong when his feces fell straight to the ground without touching the side of the tower.
Oberer Graben, Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany
© Augsburger Puppentheatermuseum
Part of a marionette theater that has been producing puppet theater shows since 1948, the Augsburger Puppentheatermuseum is a family-friendly museum with a large collection of puppets from all over Europe. The puppet displays include plenty of information about the puppets and the shows they appeared in, and there is a small room that plays old television shows based on the puppets. The museum also offers an interactive play area for children. Guided tours are available in English and several other languages, and visitors can also watch a puppet show, although most are only performed in German.
Spitalgasse 15, 86150 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-821-45-03-45-29
Established in 1936, the Botanical Gardens is a peaceful oasis that encompasses approximately 10 hectares of land on the outskirts of the city. There are more than 3,000 species of plant in the gardens, including 280 species of rose, 450 species of woody plants, and approximately 1,200 different tropical and subtropical plant species. The garden also boasts plenty of beautiful themed gardens, including a picturesque Japanese garden, an apothecary garden, and a sunken garden designed for summer flowers. Visitors are welcome at the gardens every day of the week, and a small admission fee is charged.
Dr.-Ziegenspeck-Weg 10, 86161 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-82-13-24-60-38
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Augsburg Rathaus is the city's administrative heart, but it's also one of the most beautiful and most significant Renaissance buildings in the area. The exterior of the building can be admired from the large square outside it, which offers several coffee shops and restaurants. Once inside the building on the ground floor, visitors will find several exhibits and memorials to the victims of the Holocaust bombings. Visitors who would like a more in-depth experience can also pay a small admission fee to enter the building's Golden Hall, an elaborate room decorated with wall murals and ceiling paintings.
Rathausplatz 2, 86150 Augsburg, Germany
14.Textil- und Industriemuseum
© Textil- und Industriemuseum
Commonly referred to by its acronym TIM, the Textil- und Industriemuseum is a museum located inside a former spinning mill. The museum primarily focuses on the city's textile industry during the 19th century, and exhibits include a fabric sample book with designs from as far back as the 1780s, a collection of working textile machines, and a display that discusses the lives of former textile workers. For a small additional fee, visitors can also see weaving and knitting machines in use. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, and guided tours are available for groups.
Provinostraße 46, 86153 Augsburg, Germany
Augsburg has been an important center of gold and silver craftmanship since the late Middle Ages, and many of the most beautiful masterpieces made here are now housed in the Maximilian Museum. These pieces are the biggest attractions in the museum, but it also offers a marvelous selection of other objects and artifacts, including religious sculptures, intricate clocks, and machine models. The building that houses the museum is also worth seeing in and of itself; it's a former family residence that was built in the 15th century, and it boasts a glass-domed courtyard and beautiful painted ceilings.
Fuggerpl. 1, 86150 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-82-13-24-41-02
16.St. Ulrich’s and St. Afra’s Abbey
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A unique double church that is half Protestant and half Catholic, St. Ulrich’s and St. Afra’s Abbey was built in the late 1400s to honor the city's two patron saints. The Catholic side of the church is very elaborate while the Protestant side is done in a simpler Rococo style, but both sides are well worth seeing. The tombs of both saints can be found in the church's crypt, which is open to visitors, and guided tours are available upon request for visitors who would like to learn more about the two saints and the basilica's rich history.
Ulrichspl. 19, 86150 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-821-34-55-60
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17.Fugger und Welser Erlebnismuseum
© Fugger und Welser Erlebnismuseum
Opened in 2014, the Fugger und Welser Erlebnismuseum is a fascinating museum that introduces visitors to the history of two of the city's most significant 16th-century merchant families. The museum is housed inside a stunning Renaissance building that was constructed in the 1530s, and it was designed to explain the city's economic history. To do this, it relies heavily on films, projections, sound bites, and other interactive exhibits that bring the history to life. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and hour-long guided tours are available for groups of up to 25 people.
Äußeres Pfaffengäßchen 23, 86152 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-821-45-09-78-21
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Constructed for the Summer Olympics in 1972, the Augsburg Eiskanal is an artificial whitewater rafting course that was designed for the canoe slalom event. This was the first year that the canoe slalom was part of the Olympics, and the course in Augsburg was the first course of its kind in the world. The course is still regularly used for many competitions, including the World Cup, the World Championship, and the European Championship races. It's also an excellent place to swim in the summer, but children and weak swimmers are advised to use caution because of the strong current.
Am Eiskanal, 86161 Augsburg, Germany
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© Internationales Maskenmuseum
Undoubtedly one of the most unique museums in the area, the Internationales Maskenmuseum houses the world's largest collection of authentic masks from cultures all across the world. There are approximately 9,000 masks in the museum, some of which are hundreds of years old, and they're made of a variety of different materials, including cloth, wood, and clay. In addition to the permanent mask exhibition, the museum also offers excellent temporary exhibitions about various aspects of world culture and history. The museum can only be visited by appointment, and the price of admission includes a guided tour.
Lindenstrasse 1 86420 Diedorf, Bayern, Germany, Phone: +49-8-23-86-02-45
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20.St. Anne’s Church
Known for its elaborate baroque and rococo interior, St. Anne’s Church is a historical Protestant church that was constructed in 1321 as part of a monastery. Visitors shouldn't miss the opportunity to marvel at the stucco on the ceiling and the beautiful frescoes on the walls, but it's worth taking some time to learn about the church's fascinating history as well. The site is notable for having been one of the places Martin Luther defended his ideas in front of one of the Pope's representatives; visitors can learn more about the subject from the informative exhibit inside the church.
Im Annahof 2, 86150 Augsburg, Germany
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21.Cosmos Heart Cafe
© Cosmos Heart Café
Specializing in high-quality espresso drinks and American-style bagels with a variety of toppings, Cosmos Heart Café is a charming vegetarian cafe inspired by the spiritual leader and meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy. The cafe is conveniently located only a hundred meters away from the Town Hall Square, but it's tucked away down a small alley that makes it feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city. All espresso drinks are available hot or iced, and in addition to bagels and coffee, the menu also offers a small selection of salads and baked goods.
Steingasse 12a, 86150 Augsburg, Germany
Family owned and operated since 1925, Café Eber is widely recognized as one of the best cake and pastry shops in the country. Customers can choose from a wide selection of delicious pies, cakes, biscuits, and chocolates, and all products are proudly made in-house. Coffee and tea are available as well, and there is also a small selection of savory dishes perfect for lunch or an afternoon snack; the selection changes daily, and a special lunch menu is offered between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Visitors are welcome to enjoy their food inside the restaurant or outside on the terrace, which overlooks the city hall.
Am Rathausplatz, Augsburg, Bavaria Germany, Phone: +49-82-13-43-34-77
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23.Beim Weissen Lamm
© Beim Weissen Lamm
Found in the city's theater district, Beim Weissen Lamm is a cafe, bar, and nightclub all in one. The cozy interior is decorated with old-fashioned wallpaper and hundreds of photographs and pictures, and there are plenty of comfortable couches and cushions to sit on. During the warmer months, guests can also choose to sit outside on the large terrace. The non-alcoholic beverage options include coffees, teas, and milkshakes, and there is an excellent selection of beers, wines, and cocktails. There is also a small food menu offering pizzas, bagels, and sandwiches for anyone who wants a bite to eat.
Ludwigstraße 23, 86152 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-82-13-19-67-29
24.Bohème Kaffeehaus & Restaurant
© Bohème Kaffeehaus & Restaurant
Inspired by the traditional 'bohemian' bars that have long served as a gathering place for unconventional artists, the Bohème Kaffeehaus & Restaurant is a colorful, cozy cafe with a beautiful outdoor garden. Indoor dining is also available. The restaurant specializes in German food, all of which is made fresh daily using local ingredients wherever possible, and the menu changes regularly so that the chef can make use of the region's seasonal produce. The beverage selection includes everything from coffee and tea to beer, wine, and cocktails, and freshly baked pies and cakes are usually available for dessert.
Vorderer Lech 3, 86150 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-821-15-91-27
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© Seven Five
Located on the historic Maximilianstraße in the city's Old Town, Seven Five is a cozy cafe and sports bar that regularly plays FCA and Champions League games for visitors to enjoy. However, the cafe is also an excellent destination even if you're not a big sports fan; the kitchen makes excellent American-style burgers and pasta dishes, and the coffee served here is some of the best in the city. Beer, wine, and an excellent selection of cocktails are also available, and customers are welcome to relax inside the restaurant or outside on the sunny terrace.
Maximilianstraße 75, 86150 Augsburg, Germany, Phone: +49-821-51-46-65
25 Best Things to Do in Augsburg, Germany
- Perlach Tower, Photo: Motte 62/stock.adobe.com
- Fuggerei, Photo: XtravaganT/stock.adobe.com
- The German Baroque Gallery and the Schaezler Palace, Photo: fotoru/stock.adobe.com
- Augsburg Cathedral, Photo: Vermeulen-Perdaen/stock.adobe.com
- Rotes Tor, Photo: manfredxy/stock.adobe.com
- Weberhaus, Photo: laguna35/stock.adobe.com
- Mozarthaus Augsburg, Photo: Mozarthaus Augsburg
- Augsburg Railway Park, Photo: Argusauge/stock.adobe.com
- Augsburg Zoo, Photo: Mona/stock.adobe.com
- The Vogeltor, Photo: Klaus Eppele/stock.adobe.com
- Augsburger Puppentheatermuseum, Photo: Augsburger Puppentheatermuseum
- Botanical Gardens, Photo: andersart-fp/stock.adobe.com
- Augsburg Rathaus, Photo: Klaus Büth/stock.adobe.com
- Textil- und Industriemuseum, Photo: Textil- und Industriemuseum
- Maximilian Museum, Photo: oxie99/stock.adobe.com
- St. Ulrich’s and St. Afra’s Abbey, Photo: Manuel Schönfeld/stock.adobe.com
- Fugger und Welser Erlebnismuseum, Photo: Fugger und Welser Erlebnismuseum
- Augsburg Eiskanal, Photo: Matyas Rehak/stock.adobe.com
- Internationales Maskenmuseum, Photo: Internationales Maskenmuseum
- St. Anne’s Church, Photo: DedMityay/stock.adobe.com
- Cosmos Heart Cafe, Photo: Cosmos Heart Café
- Cafe Eber, Photo: exclusive-design/stock.adobe.com
- Beim Weissen Lamm, Photo: Beim Weissen Lamm
- Bohème Kaffeehaus & Restaurant, Photo: Bohème Kaffeehaus & Restaurant
- Seven Five, Photo: Seven Five
- Cover Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com