You have more than one weekend to spend in Würzburg? Then take a mini-road trip to explore beautiful places near the city. Within one day I visited Volkach (including the Pilgrimage Church Maria im Weingarten (Mary in the Vineyard), Vogelsburg Castle, terroir f Volkach, the town Volkach, Prichsenstadt and Iphofen). On another day, I took a boat trip to Veitshöchheim to visit the palace and rococo garden. However, you can definitely spend a longer vacation in this charming area.
Veitshöchheim Palace and Rococo Garden
A beautiful place to visit just outside Würzburg is Veitshöchheim Palace, which was the summer residence of the Würzburg prince-bishops until 1802. The pleasure palace was built between 1680 and 1682, and from 1749 to 1753 Balthasar Neumann extended it with today's roof and staircase. The biggest attraction, however, is the palace garden, which was originally created in the 18th century under Prince-Bishop Adam Friedrich von Seinsheim and is considered one of the most magnificent rococo gardens in Europe.
The most valuable of the more than 300 rococo figures of famous Würzburg court sculptors placed along the avenues in arbors and at lakes are copies. You can see the originals in the Museum für Franken on the Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg A highlight is the Musenberg Parnass sculpture, built in the middle of the Great Lake with the rising Pegasus (created by Ferdinand Tietz in 1766). You shouldn't miss the hourly water games (April to October, 1 to 5 p.m., every hour on the hour). Since most of Europe's rococo gardens were converted into English gardens in the 19th century, Veitshöchheim Palace Garden is a rare find.
Arrival and Parking in Veitshöchheim
Veitshöchheim is located only about 7 km from Würzburg and is easily accessible by boat, train and car. The most beautiful way to visit Veitshöchheim is a boat trip. Also the rail connection from Würzburg is good. Veitshöchheim Old Town is traffic-calmed. In marked areas parking is limited in time. On the parking deck Bilhildisstraße you can park at a charge .
The large parking lot at the Mainfranken columns is free of charge.
Tourist Information Veitshöchheim
Address: Mainlände 1, 97209 Veitshöchheim, Tel. +49 (0)931 780900-25, Email: , website
Opening hours: Monday - Friday 10 am - 6 pm
If you want to get to know the Franconian wine region around Würzburg a little better, I recommend you do a trip to Volkach. The town at the Main bend is only about 25 km from Würzburg and has a lot to offer. Besides a picturesque old town with many wine taverns and good restaurants there are magnificent viewpoints near the town. A short hike in the vineyards leads you to the Pilgrimage Church Maria im Weingarten (Mary in the Vineyard) with Tilman Riemenschneider's famous Rosary Madonna.
terroir f Volkach
If you are driving to Volkach from Würzburg, you should make your first stop at terroir f Volkach. The sign "Viewing platform terroir f" leads you to the parking lot. From there it is only a few meters to the viewpoint. From the platform you have a wide view of the steep slope of the "Escherndorfer Lump, one of the hottest vineyards in Franconia. The inscriptions on the stairs and a movable photovoltaic element inform you about "climate and climate change" in viticulture, which this terroir f site is dedicated to.
On the way to the pilgrimage church Maria im Weingarten (literally "Mary in the Vineyard") near Volkach, I stopped at a few beautiful viewpoints. The most beautiful one was Vogelsburg Castle, a former Carmelite monastery. Only the church remained of the old monastery complex after the Peasants' War The Vogelsburg Castle was extensively renovated a few years ago and now houses a hotel with restaurant. From the restaurant's garden you have a magnificent view of the Volkach Main bend with the villages Volkach, Escherndorf and Nordheim.
Pilgrimage Church Maria im Weingarten (Mary in the Vineyard)
There are many sights in the area around Würzburg. This is also due to the fact that great artists have left their mark here. Probably the most famous German sculptor and woodcarver of the late Middle Ages is Tilman Riemenschneider. His works can be found mainly in Franconian churches.
To get to the pilgrimage church of Maria im Weingarten, you walk up a 1-kilometer-long picturesque Way of the Cross at a vineyard near Volkach. The late Gothic church from the 15th century houses a late work by Riemenschneider, the "Madonna of the Rosary". The life-size figure of Mary with the infant Jesus in her arms is surrounded by a corona and 50 stylized roses and medallions.
This work has even been the center of a spectacular crime story: On the night of August 7, 1962, the Madonna of the Rosary was stolen from the church. Four men entered the chapel through a window, dismantled the work of art and carried it out through the door. The art lover and publisher of the German magazine "Stern", Henri Nannen, offered the Madonna kidnappers 100,000 marks for returning the madonna. In the November 1962 the handover of the artwork took place at night and fog (without police). Five years later, the thieves were caught and sentenced to six to nine years in prison.
Pilgrimage Church of Mary in the Vineyard Info
Address: Fahrer Strasse, 97332 Volkach, phone: +49 (0) 9381 40112
March: Friday - Sunday 10 am - 5 pm
April - October: daily 10 am - 5 pm
Public tours every Sunday from May to October 2:30 pm, entry fee plus € 5
More info: Tourist Information Volkacher Mainschleife
The old town of Volkach
During my walk through Volkach's picturesque Old Town , I was impressed with the city gates, the market square with the historic town hall and the Church of St. Bartholomew with its lavish rococo décor. Regrettably, I did not have time to stop at one of the inviting vintners' inns. I think Volkach would be an excellent location for spending a couple of days in this region.
Volkach is located in the heart of the Franconian wine country. The numerous wineries produce excellent Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau and Pinot Noir. The city attracts visitors with a wide range of wine experiences, such as expert-guided tours of the vineyards, the wine shops and wine cellars and Franconia's largest wine festival in August.
The Baroque Barn Museum in the Weinstrasse was opened in 2003 after extensive restoration. Here you can get comprehensive information about the culture, history and landscape of the 1100 year old wine village.
Information about wine festivals in Volkach and Franconia
Parking in Volkach
There are a number of free parking spaces outside Volkach's old town (parking lot at the outdoor pool - GPS: Fahrer Strasse, parking lot at the bus station - GPS: Dieselstrasse, parking lot Weinfest-Allee - GPS: Georg-Berz-Strasse, parking lot Mainufer/Schiffsanleger).
The parking spaces in the old town are chargeable on weekdays.
Tourist Information Volkacher Mainschleife
Address: Marktplatz 1, 97332 Volkach, Tel. +49 (0)9381 40112, website
Opening hours: Opening hours vary depending on the season. You will find detailed information at the Tourist Information Volkacher Mainschleife website.
The Steigerwald is a densely wooded low mountain range between Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It consists of almost 70 % beech trees and is the second-largest deciduous forest in Bavaria after the Spessart. If you want to spend a relaxing vacation, you will find ideal conditions in this region surprisingly yet relatively undiscovered by tourists. Pretty towns such as Iphofen, Prichsenstadt and Castell, extensive beech forests and the tree top walk near Ebrach provide for variety. For connoisseurs, wine walks and all kinds of other experiences around the topic of wine are offered.
On the web pages of Steigerwald Tourism e. V. and Steigerwald Nature Park you will find extensive information about places, events and hiking trails in the region.
My day trip to the places worth seeing around Würzburg took me from Volkach on to the tranquil town of Prichsenstadt.
The medieval wine village with its cobblestone alleys and the city wall with defense towersis a dream for fans of baroque and half-timbered architecture. I explored the old Franconian town along the "Historical City Walk" with 22 buildings worth seeing in about an hour.
Prichsenstadt was destroyed twice in the course of history - once in 1462 by the bishop of Würzburg and again during the Thirty Years' War. During the Second World War it was spared. Therefore, large parts of the medieval fortifications have been preserved. Particularly photogenic are the western city gate with its half-timbered top and the high gate tower.
In the center of the village there are a few pretty wine bars and even a four-star hotel with wellness area in the historic Freihof
If you like hiking, you can get to know the beautiful Steigerwald on the new 8 km long hiking trail TraumRunde. On another hiking trail, the Prichsenstädter RebenSLauf,which starts at the Catholic Church, you can deepen your knowledge of viticulture in about 45 minutes at 11 stations.
Parking in Prichsenstadt
The best place to park is outside the city walls. There is a free public parking directly in front of the historical city gate in Wiesentheider Strasse 4.
Address: Karlsplatz 5 (right side of town hall), Tel. +49 (0)9383 97500, website
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 08:00 - 12:00,
Wednesday (additional): 16:00 - 18:00
Also city walks are offered. On the city administration's website you download the plan for the Historical City Walk.
Iphofen is another pretty town I visited on my day trip in the Würzburg area. On the cobblestone market square with its inn, winery, town hall and church, I felt almost like I was in Tuscany on that hot July afternoon. The representative town houses from the 16th to the 18th century testify that Iphofen used to be a prosperous place.
The wines from the Steigerwald slopes surrounding the village internationally have a good reputation. Even Queen Elizabeth II and Fidel Castro ordered wines from Iphofen for their private cellars. More than 20 winegrowing families offer visitors at their wineries and in the vinotheques enjoyable wine experiences, such as wine tastings and wine walks.
If you want to stay in Iphofen for longer, the surrounding area offers wine trails, a "history vineyard" and the viewpoint terroir f Iphofen, which was voted the most beautiful wine viewpoint of Franconia in 2016.
The Evangelist John with chalice in hand is the most valuable sculpture in the parish church St. Vitus. It was created by Tilman Riemenschneider.
The Rödelsee Gate with its crooked walls and pointed tower is Iphofen's most beautiful town gate and a landmark of Franconia. The entire medieval city fortification, the baroque city hall, the Gothic town church St. Vitus and the many wineries make Iphofen an attractive travel destination for a day trip or a longer stay.
Parking in Iphofen
Around the traffic-calmed old town of Iphofen there are (outside the city wall) numerous free parking spaces, e. g. in front of the Rödelsee Gate.
Address: Kirchplatz 1, 97346 Iphofen, Tel. +49 (0)9323 870306, Email:
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and holidays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On the Tourist Info Website you can find information about wine experiences and wine walks around Iphofen.
The largest city in the district of Würzburg (but still a small town) lies right at the river Main and has a couple of interesting sights - among others almost completely preserved city fortifications with gates and towers, a well-known museum of traditional costumes and beautiful half-timbered houses at the Hauptstrasse (Main Street).
The St. Andrew's parish church, the oldest part of which is the tower built in 1288, can boast a masterpiece by Tilman Riemenschneider - a wooden figure of St. Nicholas. Worth seeing are also the precious choir stalls, a sacrament house from 1496 and a bronze baptistery from the Nuremberg Vischer workshop.
Ochsenfurt's New City Hall (built 1496 - 1513) is considered one of the most beautiful town halls in the Main region. In the past, anyone who drank too much ended up in the drunk tank under the staircase of the town hall, the so-called "Narrenhäuslein" (literally: fool house). Every hour on the hour there is action at the figure and moon clock of the lance tower: Two oxen go at each other, a wooden councilman looks out of the window and a skeleton turns over an hourglass - so that we don't forget that the clock is ticking for each of us.
Parking in Ochsenfurt
There are 700 mostly free parking spaces around the old town:
Free large parking lot on the Main (Alte Mainbrücke), directly in front of the old town.
Address: Hauptstraße 39, 97199 Ochsenfurt, phone: +49 (0)9331 5855,
Email: , website
in winter: Monday and Wednesday through Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tuesday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m,
Saturday and holidays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
in summer: (Easter to October): Monday to Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
The painter angle (Malerwinkel). in Marktbreit with its leaning houses and the Main Gate above the Breitbach and the adjoining town hall in the style of the late Renaissance is one of the most popular photo motifs in the Main triangle.
But there is more worth seeing in this small town:
At Painter's Angle House, the most famous building in the village, there is a museum with two permanent exhibitions - one on the social history of women in the 19th and 20th centuries, the second on the life of soldiers in the Roman camp (in 1985 a base from the time of Emperor Augustus was discovered on the Chapel Hill).
The Marktstraße with its baroque burgher and merchant houses leads to the Schlossplatz with the Seinsheim Renaissance castle. In the Schloss-Restaurant (castle restaurant) or on its sun terrace, you can enjoy Franconian cuisine or homemade cake.
The most famous son of the city is the physician Alois Alzheimerwho was born in Marktbreit in 1864. His birthplace at Ochsenfurter Straße 15a is now a conference center and memorial.
Parking in Marktbreit
I can't recommend to drive into town by car. The small town groans under the through traffic, and you won't find a place to park anyway. The best place to park is on Main. From there it's only a few steps to the old town. There is also parking at the train station (for a fee).
Address: Mainstraße 6, 97340 Marktbreit, Phone +49 (0)9332 591595
Email: , website
April to October: Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
November to March: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Recommended hotels in the region
Hotel Tuchhaus (advertising link), Volkach: The historic half-timbered house with outbuilding (new building) is located directly at the Volkach market square. It has a sun terrace, restaurant and free parking.
Romantik Hotel Zur Schwane (advertising link), Volkach: Centrally located hotel in the pedestrian zone with a beautiful courtyard. Free parking. Guests praise the delicious breakfast.
Freihof (advertising link), Prichsenstadt: Four-star hotel in a beautiful historic building (half-timbered). Small wellness area with sauna and pool.
Romantik Hotel Zehntkeller (advertising link), Iphofen: Winery in Iphofen with beautiful garden, nice rooms and free parking.
Hotel/Winery Meintzinger (advertising link), Frickenhausen (about 2.5 km outside of Ochsenfurt): Guests praise the beautiful, tasteful furnishings, the excellent breakfast and the "wine tasting room".
Best Western Hotel Polisina (advertising link), Ochsenfurt: The forest and sports hotel is located about 2 km from the center of Ochsenfurt in a quiet location on the edge of the forest. Free use of pool, sauna and fitness area.
Or would you rather stay in the city of Würzburg?
You can find my hotel tips, the most beautiful sights and a lot of practical information in my detailed blog post about Würzburg.