Bautzen Travel Guide

Explore the historic city of Bautzen with our comprehensive travel guide. Find things to do, places to stay, and local tips for your upcoming trip.

Introduction to Bautzen

Nestled in the hills of Upper Lusatia in Saxony, Germany, Bautzen is a charming city steeped in history and culture. Known as the “City of Towers,” Bautzen boasts over 1,000 years of history and is home to many well-preserved buildings from the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods.

List of Places to Visit in Bautzen

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Bautzen Memorial: A must-visit for history lovers, this museum documents the atrocities of World War II and the Communist era in Saxony.
  • Old Waterworks: This industrial complex operated for over 80 years and is now a cultural center with exhibitions and events.
  • Ortenburg Castle: This medieval fortress houses a museum dedicated to the history of Bautzen.
  • Michaelisfriedhof Cemetery: A peaceful place to wander and pay your respects to famous Bautzen residents, including Sorbian writer Handrij Zejler.

Natural Attractions of Bautzen: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Bautzen Reservoir: Popular for swimming and water sports, this lake offers beautiful views of the city and surrounding countryside.
  • Bautzen Vineyards: Take a tour of the vineyards and sample some of the local wines.
  • Riechberg Nature Reserve: This protected area offers scenic hiking trails through forests and meadows.
  • Saurierpark: Take a trip back in time at this dinosaur park featuring life-sized models and interactive exhibits.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Bautzen

  • Bautzen to Cottbus Bike Route: This picturesque route takes you through the countryside of Saxony, past charming villages and scenic vistas.
  • Bautzen to Königswartha Hiking Trail: This trail offers stunning views of the Bautzen Reservoir and surrounding hills and valleys.
  • Spreeradweg: Follow the river Spree on this 400-kilometer cycling route that passes through Bautzen on its way from the Czech Republic to Berlin.

Best Things to Do in Bautzen: Activities and Tours

  • Bautzen City Tour: Learn about the city’s fascinating history on a guided walking tour.
  • Sorbian Folklore Evening: Enjoy traditional music, dance, and cuisine of the Sorbian people, a Slavic minority group that has lived in the region for over 1,000 years.
  • Bautzen Wine and Dine Tour: Sample local wines and cuisine at some of the city’s best restaurants.
  • Lusatian Lake District Tour: Explore the scenic lakes and countryside near Bautzen on a guided tour.

Week-Long Itinerary for Bautzen

Day Activities
1 Bautzen City Tour, Visit Ortenburg Castle
2 Bautzen Memorial, Explore Old Town
3 Hike in Riechberg Nature Reserve, Visit Saurierpark
4 Bautzen Vineyard Tour, Relax at Bautzen Reservoir
5 Sorbian Folklore Evening, Dinner at Local Restaurant
6 Day Trip to Görlitz, another historic city nearby
7 Bike Tour along the Spree River

Food and Drink Scene of Bautzen

Must-Try Dishes

  • Spreewald Pickles: These tangy pickles made from cucumbers grown in the nearby Spreewald region are a popular snack and souvenir.
  • Sorbian Mustard: Made from a secret blend of spices, this mustard is a popular condiment in the region.
  • Quarkkeulchen: These sweet potato pancakes are a traditional dessert in Saxony.

Local Beverages

  • Radeberger Beer: This crisp, refreshing beer is brewed in nearby Radeberg and is one of Germany’s most famous brands.
  • Local Wines: Bautzen is located in the heart of Saxony’s wine country, and the region is known for producing high-quality white wines.

Where to Stay in Bautzen: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Best Western Plus Hotel Bautzen: This modern hotel offers comfortable rooms and is located in the heart of Old Town.
  • BurgHotel: Located inside Ortenburg Castle, this historic hotel offers unique rooms with castle views.
  • Pension Lausitz: This cozy guesthouse is located in a quiet residential area and offers comfortable rooms and a hearty breakfast.

What to Buy in Bautzen: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Spreewald Pickles: These tangy pickles make a great snack or gift.
  • Sorbian Embroidery: Handmade tablecloths, napkins, and other items are popular souvenirs and can be found in many shops in Bautzen.
  • Local Wines: Take home a bottle of Saxony’s famous white wines.

Local Culture and Customs of Bautzen

Bautzen has a strong Sorbian culture, and many residents still speak the Sorbian language. The city celebrates numerous cultural events throughout the year, including the Sorbian Music Festival and the Bautzen Wine Festival. Visitors should be respectful of local customs and traditions and take the time to learn about the region’s unique culture.

Best Time to Visit Bautzen

The best time to visit Bautzen is from May to September, when the weather is mild and many cultural events take place. The Bautzen Easter Market and Christmas Market are also popular times to visit the city.

Do’s and Don’ts of Bautzen


  • Learn a few words of Sorbian to impress the locals.
  • Try traditional local cuisine and drinks.
  • Take part in cultural events and festivals.


  • Take photos of people without their permission.
  • Wear shoes inside houses or apartments. German and Sorbian culture dictates that shoes should be removed before entering.

Safety and Health

Safety in Bautzen

Bautzen is generally a safe city, but it is always wise to take precautions while traveling. Avoid leaving valuables in unattended cars or in visible places in your hotel room. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid isolated areas at night.

Health in Bautzen

Bautzen has a number of medical facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. If you need medical assistance, ask your hotel for a recommendation or visit the emergency room at the Klinikum Bautzen hospital.

Getting to Bautzen: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Bautzen

The closest international airports to Bautzen are Dresden Airport and Berlin Tegel Airport. Both airports offer convenient connections to Bautzen via public transportation or rental car.

Bus Stations Near Bautzen

Bautzen has a central bus station with regional and long-distance connections to cities throughout Germany and Europe.

Other Options

Bautzen is easily accessible by train. The city’s main train station, Bautzen Hauptbahnhof, has connections to major cities in Germany and Europe.

How to Get Around in Bautzen

Bautzen is a compact city that is easy to explore on foot. Bicycles can be rented from several shops in the city for those who prefer to bike. Taxis and buses are also available for transportation around the city.

Where to Go Next from Bautzen: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Görlitz: This nearby city is known for its beautiful architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Dresden: The capital of Saxony is located less than 100 kilometers from Bautzen and is known for its stunning Baroque architecture and cultural attractions.
  • Spreewald: This unique region in eastern Germany is known for its canals and waterways and is a popular destination for kayaking and boating.


Bautzen is a beautiful city with a rich history and unique cultural traditions. From exploring medieval castles to sampling local wines and cuisine, there is something for everyone in this charming German city. Plan your trip with this comprehensive travel guide and discover the best of Bautzen.