Nothing quite marks the start of the fall season like the leaves beginning to change color. Autumn is very picturesque in Regensburg, especially along the Danube. The paths along the river are illuminated by the autumn sunshine, reflected in the golden hues of the changing leaves; this makes the riverbank an ideal spot to go on a leisurely afternoon walk or bike ride or to just sit on a park bench and take in the fall foliage.
For those with a bit more time, going on a bike ride to the Walhalla provides a particularly scenic view. Put on a warm sweater and bring a picnic with you to enjoy at your destination.
Regensburg has several fall festivals with a wide range of events, celebrating, among other things, beer, wine, music, and art — which just happen to be some of the finest things in life!
Late summer/early fall brings the final installment of the Dult for the year, with the Herbstdult festival. Herbstdult, like the Maidult in May, lasts for just over two weeks and is a beer festival accompanied by rides, games, sausages, and sweet treats.
Autumn is also the perfect time for drinking wine: there’s no greater way to experience this than to go to Regensburg’s oldest wine festival, Weinfest Stadtamhof, the wine festival in the historical Stadtamhof neighborhood, which usually takes place in September. The festival weekend is a relaxing one, where you can sip on an assortment of wines with various music performances playing in the background while you savor your drink.
And I really shouldn’t forget to mention the Galerienabend (‘gallery evening’), when most of the galleries in Regensburg open their doors for free for the night. It is a great chance to learn a bit more about the different art styles and exhibits in town.
Another seasonal festival celebrating art and creativity is the Popkultur-Festival. It serves as an opportunity for artists and those interested in the creative scene to take part in events and share ideas about projects pertaining to promoting culture in Regensburg.
A favorite Bavarian autumn pastime is to go foraging for mushrooms, also known as Schwammerln. Not only does mushroom picking allow you to get up close and personal with nature, but if you manage to find the prize edible mushrooms, they will also serve as an especially nice ingredient for many heartier traditional Bavarian dishes, which are ideal to eat during the fall chill.
Word of caution: Make sure to attend a training course or go with someone who is certifiably knowledgeable about mushrooms as there are both edible and poisonous varieties.
Plum cake, known as Zwetschgendatschi or Pflaumenkuchen, is a beloved kind of pastry for late summer and early autumn, which begins popping up in German bakeries just when the temperatures start to cool again. The Zwetschgendatschi in the most traditional sense is a thin sheet cake covered with Italian plums and topped with a sugary, buttery layer of streusel to balance out the tartness of the tiny plums. Other variations are also available.
The only thing greater than savoring a fresh piece of Zwetschgendatschi from a regional bakery is to bake one of your own. Be sure to check a Bavarian cookbook or ask someone familiar with Bavarian baking for a traditional recipe. Leftovers would certainly be appreciated by friends and coworkers.
The tendency to be a bit more housebound during the fall also has some advantages. One of them is to stay inside and enjoy a good read accompanied by a hot mug of tea. There are booksellers spread all across Regensburg, where you can purchase new books. The bookstore Pustet (Gesandtenstraße 6) has a section dedicated to English and other foreign language books, as well as plenty of books written in German, of course.
Instead of purchasing a book, you can also use the autumn season to become more familiar with the city library, the Stadtbücherei. The main building is located downtown (Thon-Dittmer-Palais, Haidplatz 8), but there are also branches in the northern part of town close to ALEX Center (Hans-Hayder-Straße 2), in the south (BiC BildungsCenter im KÖWE, Dr.-Gessler-Straße 47) and in some other neighborhoods.
The library offers all kinds of books and other media from novels to non-fiction to audiobooks, magazines, CDs, DVDs, ebooks, and more. The main branch also has a section just for English books and English magazines. They occasionally offer tours — join one to get more acquainted with their services and free trial periods before you commit to becoming a member.
Gabrielle Byko is an international communication professional who has a passion for world travel and experiencing international culture exchange in all of its forms. Gabrielle is our Local Reporter in Regensburg.
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