They say “home is where the heart is”. Well, my heart certainly hasn’t been in Augsburg. Or where I grew up for that matter.
My heart lies with Karlsruhe, the only city I ever got to truly choose to move to. I moved to Augsburg out of pure necessity, and I think some of that, in addition to bitterness that I had to leave Karlsruhe, resulted in some pretty hard feelings towards this city.
Yes, yes, the infrastructure is crap, it’s quite expensive for a university town and many landlords refuse to rent out to students (once again, this is a university town), but Augsburg also has many beautiful sides. Did you, for example, know that this is Germany’s third oldest city? That its most famous sons and daughters, the Fugger family, built the oldest still operated social home complex in the world? Did you also know that Augsburg has the most bank holidays of any city in Germany? I mean…That’s pretty cool!
Since I’m moving away sooner than planned, I took another good, hard look at this city I reluctantly call my home to find all the beauties that my eyes refuse to see.
This is the first of my two-part Hometown Travel-series. In this post, I’ll give you a general overview of some of my most beloved spots in Augsburg.
Next week’s post introduces my favorite budget vegetarian restaurants in Augsburg!
I hope you’ll follow along and get inspired to see your own reluctant hometown in a more positive light!
As I already mentioned, Augsburg is a pretty old city. It was founded in 15 B.C. by the Roman emperor Augustus and named Augusta in his honor. You’ll actually still find bank branches named for the emperor to this day in the city. With all that history, it’s no wonder that the Old Town of Augsburg is as beautiful as it is. For me, the Old Town starts at the Town Hall square and cascades down to the so-called Vogeltor (Bird Gate) to the one side and the Fuggerei at the other. In between, you’ll find gorgeous Renaissance and Rococo-influenced architecture and many quirky little shops.
Take the opportunity to get an ice cream cone at Tutti Frutti (White Chocolate & Nutella – yum!) and wander the narrow streets. You’ll feel like you were transported to another time.
The Fugger family is a well-known merchant family, similar to the Medici of Italy. With Augsburg becoming a major trade destination in the Middle Ages due to its convenient location, the Fugger family amassed grandiose amounts of riches. Jacob Fugger, known as “Jacob the Rich”, was as wealthy as he was charitable, and so he built the worldwide oldest still running social housing complex in 1521. That was and is the Fuggerei. People in need could live there for less than (by today’s estimations) 1 Euro a year, provided they were of Catholic faith and came to poverty through some other means than gambling or drinking.
You’ll find the open herb garden on the fringe of the Rotes Tor Park (Red Gate Park). What’s so cool about the herb garden is that not only do they have all kinds of different herbs on display, but you can try the herbs out for free! Did you ever wonder what chocolate basil tastes like? You’re in luck because they have it here!
The Restaurant zur Kahnfahrt (awkwardly translateable to: The Rowing Boat Restaurant) is a real secret tip in Augsburg. In fact, I’ve lived here almost 4 years and never knew it existed. The restaurant itself has a very cute marine-theme, but the real treasure can be found outside the building: you can rent rowboats here and paddle around the historic city moat! Row, row, row your boat gently down that moat! The cool thing is that not only are you surrounded by lots and lots of green, but also the ruins of the city wall! It’s one of my very favorite date spots in the city and a great place to take visiting friends and family, as the rowboats hold up to 4 people.
You know what I love? Movies! You know what I don’t love? Getting robbed by chain cinemas!
Tickets: 10 EUR, Popcorn: 5 EUR, Drink: 5 EUR,
Hitting yourself over the head because getting dinner at a fancy restaurant would have cost the same and you could have just pirated that movie: ???
Fear not, fellow pirate, Liliom is here to help!
Also, come on. Look at that location! The Liliom used to be a foundry before getting turned into a cinema plus restaurant with a beer garden. The building itself is under monument protection and I can definitely see why. The brick walls and see-through floor paneling are huge eyecatchers.
They show both arthouse and AAA-blockbusters at sensible prices and even offer OV showings of international movies! You can get a beer for 2 EUR and just have some friggin’ fun instead of emptying your pockets and getting disappointed with a lukewarm supposed blockbuster.