Ingolstadt, a young yet historical town located in southern Bavaria, offers a pedestrian-friendly centre with a number of interesting sights. Due to its strategic location on the Danube, the city once served as the seat of the Dukes of Bavaria, who had to be protected from their enemies. Some of the city’s ancient fortifications are still standing as a reminder of its turbulent history, with the 14th century red-bricked Kreutztor as the main landmark.
Interested in exploring Bavaria? Check out my other article Best day trips from Munich here.
When I first visited Ingolstadt in 2013 as part of my Bavarian tour, I had no idea that this town would later become my new base. Although I frequently travel back to Czech Republic and other parts of the world, I now call myself an Ingolstadt local.
There are still new things to discover every day, but this article should give you an idea of what to visit in Ingolstadt. I have also included recommendations for a day-trip to Weltenburg Abbey, which is an amazing place to visit from Ingolstadt.
The nearest airport is in Munich and I recommend that you use my favorite site Kiwi.com to find the cheapest flights. The airport express connecting Munich Airport and Ingolstadt takes about 55 minutes. It is very frequent and operates by day and night.
If you are travelling from Berlin or Prague, the best and cheapest way to reach Ingolstadt is by bus. The connection is by Flixbus and I use their green buses frequently to move between Czech Republic and Germany: the trip from Prague to Ingolstadt takes about 4,5 hours and starts from about 18 EUR one way.
It is a good idea to connect your visit to Ingolstadt with other interesting places in Bavaria such as Munich, Augsburg, or Dachau. Particularly great trips are to Nuremberg Old Town and Neuschwanstein Castle. There is a lot to see in the region!
THINGS TO DO IN INGOLSTADT
While one day is enough to cover all the main sights, there are enough things to do in Ingolstadt to keep you occupied for a few days or more. The city center is great for walking, featuring a cobblestone pedestrian street lined with colorful historical houses.
Hiring a bike is a good option if you plan to spend more time here. The city is a paradise for cyclists; there are special cycling lanes everywhere, making this mode of transport very safe. I really love this aspect of Ingolstadt, and many locals commute to work on two wheels.
So, what are best things to do in Ingolstadt? Let’s get started!
01 | Historical centre
Walking through the historical city centre is the best way to explore the heart of Ingolstadt. Start at Rathausplatz with the lovely renaissance Old City Hall, with a history dating back to the 14th century, then continue to Viktualienmarkt, featuring a Benedictine monastery. On Sundays, the Gothic tower of St. Moritz can be visited, as long as you don’t mind climbing 200 stairs (it is the only place to see the city from above).
There are several churches in the city. I recommend you visit two: the prominently located Liebfrauenmünster (the biggest one) and Asamkirche (the nicest one), the latter of which is tucked away on a small street in the inner city. It is also called Maria de Victoria and features impressive ceiling frescos.
Later you can continue walking towards the Danube and take a look at Neues Scholls, a section of the second city wall which houses the Bavarian Military Museum. Then continue on to Klenzenpark, featuring flower gardens and a lovely fountain. I love this place since there is lots of fresh air and many places to sit and observe the river.
Practical information: Pick up the free city map with sights at Tourist information am Rathausplatz (just outside the Old City Hall).
02 | Baggersee
People who live in Ingolstadt love both cycling and jogging, and serene Baggersee is one of the most popular options where for these sporty activities. It is located 1,5 kilometers south of Ingolstadt. With an area of 50 hectares, it includes the largest lake in the area.
There is a walking/cycling path going around the entire lake, making for a pleasant trip of 5,3 kilometers with lot of greenery and fresh air. I can’t wait for the summer when I can enjoy my first swim! Stand up paddle boarding seems to be possible as well.
Apart from Baggersee, there are several other lakes around Ingolstadt to explore. For example Weicheringer See (14 km from the city) and Auwaldsee (5 km from the city). Both have great natural settings and make for great half-day trips by bicycle.
Practical information: There are several beaches around the lake perfect for sunbathing and a small restaurant with outdoor seating.
03 | Audi Museum Ingolstadt
When you say Ingolstadt, Audi is most likely the brand that comes to people’s minds. This car manufacturer has had a major influence on way the city looks now. Even if you are not into cars, visiting the Audi museum is one of the classic things to do in Ingolstadt.
The museum is located inside a round, hi-tech building inside the Audi forum. There are several floors filled with vehicles, mainly historical cars and motorbikes. It is rather small but nicely decorated; you can see it all in 45 minutes. It is also possible to join a guided tour; it takes about one hour and it’s conducted in German only.
Practical information: The entrance fee is 2 euros. Even though I visited on a Sunday afternoon, it was rather quiet. Check out the reviews ofon Tripadvisor. There is a nice cafeteria in the same building
04 | Ingolstadt Outlet Village
This place is great for anyone who is into fashion. Ingolstadt Village is a shopping street featuring more than a hundred brands. It is mainly about luxury boutiques, but one can find outdoor shops as well. I went there to purchase clothes and shoes for going to the gym.
The good thing is that there are no cars; it is basically only for walking. Once you get tired from shopping, there are a couple of nice cafes to recharge your batteries. The best is to travel there by car – it is located 6 kilometers from the city center, but buses going there are not very frequent.
Shall you be travelling from further away, there is daily coach from Munich and on Saturdays Nuremburg.
Practical information: Ingolstadt Village is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm. You can find a list of the brands on the Ingolstadt Village website.
HOTELS IN INGOLSTADT
Accommodation in Ingolstadt is mainly aimed at business travelers. I have compiled a list of recommended hotels in Ingolstadt based on the reviews:
Gästehaus zur Linde – guesthouse near motorway A9. Good option if you are travelling on tight budget. Clean rooms, shared lounge and kitchen area. Check the latest prices here.
Enso Hotel – very good location and service for a reasonable price. It’s easy to get to the center and all major sights including the Danube river bank. Panoramic views. Check the latest prices here.
Parkhotel Heidehof – a place to be spoiled. Outdoor swimming pool, spa and amazing services. Rather expensive, but you may be lucky and find some special offers. Check the latest prices here.
As I mentioned above, Ingolstadt can keep you occupied for one or two days, I would strongly recommend the following day-trip from Ingolstadt.
DAY-TRIP TO WELTENBURG ABBEY
Weltenburg Abbey is a Benedictine monastery famous for its history as well as the beer produced for centuries there. The complex sits on a peninsula on the Danube, deep in a wooded gorge and surrounded by spectacular limestone cliffs. Weltenburg monastery is one of the most amazing places I have visited in Bavaria so far.
The main access point is Kelheim, a small city located 31 kilometers west of Regensburg. The trip from Ingolstadt to Kelheim is about 50 kilometers and it takes about one hour. There are river cruises starting from Kelheim, yet I visited the monastery on foot and it was good enough. It’s only about 6,5 kilometers and the trip included small river ferry.
Weltenburg Abbey was founded around 600 AD and is the oldest monastery in Bavaria. The Abbey houses its own brewery that is considered the oldest monastery brewery in the world (the brewing started in 1050). The biergarden is located in the courtyard and the waitresses serving are dressed in traditional dirndl. Make sure to taste the famous dark beer (Kloster Barock Dunkel) and have a taste of some Bavarian dishes. You can return to Kelheim easily by following the Danube.
Practical information: The last ferry across the river is at 5 pm. Make sure not to miss it.
Looking for more trip ideas for Bavaria and around? A fellow blogger recommends these 16 Amazing Fairytale Castles in Southern Germany
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN BAVARIA?
Bavaria is sometimes called one of the most picturesque regions of Europe, and is definitely one of the most popular regions in Germany. Since Ingolstadt is my new base, I am looking forward to getting to know more places in Bavaria. Have you been? What are your favorite places? And did you pay a visit to Ingolstadt?
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Edited by Nick Kembel.