No city trip to Augsburg is complete without a day trip to the surrounding region, which is easy to do with public transportation. All around Augsburg, castles, museums and plenty of nature await, and no destination is more than an hour away! Text: Markus Stein
Augsburg Region: 8 Tips for Day-Trips with Public Transport
No city trip to Augsburg is complete without a day trip to the surrounding region. All around the Swabian capital, visitors will find castles, museums and plenty of nature. And no destination is more than an hour away with public transportation! The top 8 day-trip destinations with environmentally friendly transportation.
Friedberg: Palace and Historic Alleyways
Augsburg’s neighbouring town of Friedberg is situated in the hilly landscape of the Wittelsbacher Land. While strolling through the historic Old Town, monuments echo the glory days of the town’s 750-year history. Wittelsbach Palace is a must-see. The building, erected to secure Wittelsbach’s borders, was first mentioned around 1257. In 1541, the palace was fitted with a two-storey arcaded courtyard in Renaissance style. The four-winged complex is surrounded by a moat. A modern museum has been established in the south wing, which provides information about the exciting history of the former watchmaking town of Friedberg. In addition, visitors will find interactive and media stations as well as a museum café with access to the palace garden.
How to get there: 7 kilometres to the east, 10-minute train ride to Friedberg, take bus 210 to the stop “Stadthalle, Friedberg”, from there it takes 5 minutes to get to the palace
wittelsbacher-schloss-friedberg.de (only in German)
Aichach: In Wittelsbach Country
Aichach is also closely tied to the history of the Wittelsbach dynasty. Presumably, the first settlement took place in the 8th century. What is certain is that the town was granted its town charter on 18 June 1347, during the reign of Ludwig the Bavarian. Today, Aichach has a population of 20,000. A stroll through the streets reveals a great deal of old Bavarian charm. From the town square with the town hall, which follows the path of the old road between Augsburg and Regensburg, you'll pass through the baroque Upper Gate to the "Spechtturm" tower, where remains of the Old Town wall can be seen.
Continue on via the historic hospital church (Heilig-Geist-Spitalkirche), the Jahrtausendweg and the old cemetery to the Kögl Tower. The Gothic Lower Gate (with an archaeology museum) borders the Old Town to the north. The route leads past the Auer or Färber tower through Botengasse and returns to the town hall via Schlossplatz. For more sights, visit the Aichach website.
How to get there: 25 kilometres to the north-east, by train in half an hour to Aichach station
Gersthofen: The Balloon Museum
The Balloon Museum in Gersthofen is one of the major German technology museums and is unique in Europe. It is housed in a former water tower and a newly constructed building. With its walk-through models, video and audio stations, a visit is fun for the whole family. Be sure to check out the full-size replica of Baron von Lütgendorf’s gas balloon. In 1786, Lütgendorf attempted (unsuccessfully) to be the first German to travel through the air with the original gas balloon.
The pressurised capsule from the balloon in which Auguste Piccard set his stratospheric altitude record (15,785 metres) from Augsburg in 1931 is also on display. As they walk through the museum, visitors will encounter many other daring pilots and learn about records, as well as disasters.
How to get there: 7 kilometres to the north, 30 minutes with tram 4, change at “Augsburg-Nord” and continue with bus lines 51-54 to “Gersthofen Rathausplatz” or “Strasser” Or take the train or bus 56/57 to “Strasser”.
ballonmuseum-gersthofen.de (only in German)
Bonstetten: Naturally Artistic!
About 20 kilometres north-west of Augsburg, in the “Holzwinkel”, lies the village of Bonstetten. The forests surrounding the town belong to the "Augsburg-Western Woods Nature Park". In this small landscape idyll, the Bonstetten LandArt Art Trail was inaugurated in 2014. The award-winning artist Hama Lohrmann has created nine works of art from natural materials found in the immediate vicinity – with his own muscular strength and without technical means. A circular trail about six kilometres long that is suitable for pedestrians, cyclists and buggies runs through the park. You can download the audio guide listening tour “LandArt Kunstpfad Bonstetten – Kunst trifft Natur – nachhaltig & inspirierend” (LandArt Kunstpfad Bonstetten – Art meets Nature – Sustainable & Inspiring) to your smartphone. After the tour, visitors can stop off at “Gasthof Bräustüble”.
How to get there: In 50 minutes by bus 32 and 501 or by train and bus 501 to the stop “Bonstetten, Kirche”; starting point of the 90-minute tour is at the town square (Dorfplatz)
Welden: On the Trail of Ganghofer
The novelist Ludwig Ganghofer (born in 1855 in Kaufbeuren, died in 1920 in Tegernsee) is one of the most widely read German writers of the 20th century, having sold 40 million (!) books. Ganghofer spent his childhood in the village of Welden in the Holzwinkel region to the west of Augsburg. His book “Lebenslauf eines Optimisten” (Life of an Optimist) also deals with all kinds of naughty pranks carried out in today’s market town. The Ganghofer-Lausbubenweg in the “Augsburg-Western Woods Nature Park” brings these adventures to life. The more than three-kilometre circular trail offers variety for forest explorers big and small. A listening tour guide is also available: Download the free app to your phone using the keyword “Bayerisch-Schwaben-Lauschtour” in the App Store or on Google Play – and you’re ready to go.
How to get there: 20 kilometres to the north-west, in 1 hour by bus 32 (change at “Neusässer Straße”) and 501 to “Welden, Rathaus”, trail distance: 4 kilometres
Langweid: Historical Power Plant and the Lech Museum
The Lech River has shaped the landscape and life in and around Augsburg for thousands of years. The Lech Museum teaches visitors about the 256-kilometre-long righthand tributary of the Danube – including its nature and its cultural and economic significance. The museum is housed in the listed historic Langweid Hydroelectric Power Plant Museum. It has been generating electricity since 1907 and still supplies the region with energy today. Don’t miss the historic Francis turbine, which can be walked through on two levels. Outside, you can also learn about the power plant on an educational trail and marvel at the replica of a historic Lech raft. At peak times, rafts used to travel down the Lech every quarter of an hour.
How to get there: 15 kilometres to the north, a quarter of an hour by train, from Langweid station 2 kilometres by foot to the museum, open every 1st Sunday of the month, admission is free
lechmuseum.de (only in German)
Königsbrunn: Nature Museum and Epochal Knightly Battle
The Königsbrunn Nature Museum – a trip that is perfect for the whole family – is based on the collection of the Augsburg naturalist Dr Heinz Fischer. It provides information about the local nature with its diverse habitats. Various animal species, the Lech, the heath areas along the banks and their preservation, life in and around the water as well as in the forest are vividly presented, subdivided into the categories “Evolution”, “Forest”, “Hedge”, “Meadow” and “Water”.
The large diorama of the Lech River is also exciting to explore, experience and touch. Right next to the museum, the information pavilion on the famous battle on the Lechfeld in 955 is worth a visit. A permanent exhibition illustrates this epoch-making event. King Otto I defeated Hungarian cavalry warriors on the Lech River and as a result advanced to become a candidate for the title of emperor. Seven years later he received the title from the Pope in Rome.
How to get there: 10 kilometres to the south, 35 minutes with tram line 3 to "Königsbrunn Zentrum"; Nature Museum is open Saturdays and Sundays/holidays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Info Pavilion 955 has different opening hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays until Sundays.
koenigsbrunn.de (only in German)
Oberschönenfeld: Swabia Museum, Nature Park and Forest Experience
The Oberschönenfeld Museum is located on the grounds of the Cistercian abbey in Oberschönenfeld (the rococo church is well worth a visit!). As a museum dedicated to the local history of the district of Augsburg, it presents Swabia as a unique Bavarian cultural region. With its focus on Central Swabia, it collects and presents original objects related to the everyday culture of the rural population from 1800 to the present day. In 2019, the museum received the Bavarian Museum Award.
The neighbouring Nature Park House provides information about the “Augsburg-Western Woods Nature Park” with the permanent exhibition “Natur und Mensch im Naturpark” (Nature and Man in the Nature Park). A 2.5-kilometre-long forest adventure trail begins behind the small “Staudenhaus” farm museum. It explains the forest habitat at nine stations and introduces native tree species. There is also a monastery tavern where you can stop for a bite to eat.
How to get there: 15 kilometres to the south-west, about 30 minutes by train to Gessertshausen and bus 605 to Oberschönenfeld or bus 601 to Gessertshausen and bus 605 on to Oberschönenfeld.
museum-oberschoenenfeld.de (only in German)