“The Illuminati City”, “The city of Audi”, “Setting of novel Frankenstein”
Easily coming from our base in Nuremberg some 100km to the south we reach the historic city of Ingolstadt on our second day in this weekend after having spent a great day at the UNESCO listed city of Regensburg the day before. Both cities were our reason for returning to this region since we’ve already enjoyed in the past Nuremberg and nearby Bamberg. Now bearing some small cities, we can definitely say we’ve been everywhere important worth not just one, but more trips, therefore if any future trip around here, the base will have to be more south, in Munich, which although we’ve been many years ago, it’s been as such, many years, not even in my blog (as of October 2017 anyway). It won’t be too long time waiting until we start planning some trips there.
This city is way smaller than Regensburg, hence why we kept it for the last day before returning to Nuremberg airport later in the evening for the departure back to London. That gave us plenty of time to enjoy every sight and do everything we wanted to do here, and still, having some spare time in Nuremberg for a nice dinner and relaxing time.
Ingolstadt, same as Regensburg, is located along the Danube river, and it does actually form part of Munich’s metropolitan area. Some further key facts? Yes, there are many actually, but let’s keep to the ones majority of people will know about even if they would have never associated to this city. In the 18th century the Bavarian secret society of the Illuminati was founded, a society which goals were to oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life, and abuses of state power. Then who have never heard of the novel by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein? It is here where scientist Victor Frankenstein creates his monster at the Old Anatomy Building of the university (well, we know its’s fictional but based in a real existing place). And of course, home to automobile manufacturer Audi.
The city itself is of course much more than facts. It’s a beautifully preserved Gothic city and one of the few cities in Germany to be still fully encircled by its medieval walls and gates. This comes to the fact that the city was pretty much spared from the destruction of both War Wars and an early care for preserving the history and old structures with an expansion towards the 19th and 20th centuries surrounding the old city centre outside of its walls.
Walking everywhere through the historic area is easy and straightforward, and the best way to enjoy all the sights and its pretty architecture on the colorful houses, and as usual coming to the next important point in here, food while in this region, I cannot hold myself in repeating what I list for Nurember and Regensburg. Big sizes everywhere, great quality and competitive prices. Of course some tourist traps apply but are easy to avoid by comparing few restaurants / breweries beforehand. The most traditional dish is this region are grilled sausages, too many to select, so try a couple different to taste the difference. Grilled meats, well, everywhere you will find it especially in the breweries where you can also taste any of the hundreds of different beers so famous from Germany. And of course, the Nürnberger Lebkuchen, a kind of gingerbread eaten mainly around Christmas time that you can anyway find all year round.
For more information about Ingolstadt check Wikipedia and Wikitravel sites. Germany’s currency is the Euro (EUR). Please note that any price reference is true as from when this guide was created, therefore check prices in advance as with the time they change.
What to see and do in Ingolstadt:
- Reduit Tilly Across the Danube river, practically the only sight in this area of the city worth in a tourist point of view, is this former classical state fortress, worth to mention for its great half moon shape. It hosts the World War I exhibition, part of the Bavarian Military Museum.
- Herzogskasten The Old ducal Castle, started construction in the year 1255 hence one of the oldest structures in the city. Nowadays is the main city library. After crossing the bridge over the Danube from the Reduit Tilly, it is just meters ahead along Tränktorstraße in Theatre Square.
- New Castle Built from 1418 onwards as part of the second city’s wall ramparts, it is nowadays the Bavarian Military Museum. Located at the other side of Theatre Square.
- Rathausplatz The City Hall Square, one of the most representative and beautiful places in the city completely surrounded by great architecture. It’s right across the bridge from the Reduit Tilly simply continuing straight along Donaustraße; or west from the New Castle.
-Old City Hall Built in the 14th century, is a masterpiece in the Gothic style, expanded in 1882 by combining 4 buildings into one.
-Saint Moritz Church Located right behind the Old City Hall, was built in 1235, being the oldest building in the city.
- Ludwigstraße/Theresienstraße The main thoroughfare east to west along the entire old town. Full of shops, restaurants and breweries. To the west end is the Kreuztor and to the east end the New Castle.
-Liebfrauenmünster Heading west along Theresienstraße, it is the largest church in the city built from 1425 to 1525 by duke Ludwig the Rich in late Gothic style.
-The Kreuztor Built in 1385 it is the best preserved gate of the old city wall.
- Old Anatomy Building of the University The most stunning Baroque style construction in the city, built between 1723 and 1736; and located where part of the novel by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is based, where scientist Victor Frankenstein creates his monster. From the Kreuztor, it is few streets south along the city’s walls.
- Tillyhaus A nice baroque building where Count Tilly, commander in the Thirty Years’ War, died on April 30 1632.
Today the school authority of Ingolstadt resides in this building
- Asamkirche Known commonly as Saint Maria de Victoria, built by the Asam brothers (1732–1736) is the most known jewel in the Baroque style in the city. It’s just across the Tillyhaus.
- District Court Meters ahead from Asamkirche, another Baroque building.
- Audi Forum and Museum For the car lovers this is a must of course. One of the most acclaimed German automobile brands, with a great exhibition and collection of cars since the first Audi cars to the new prototypes of the future.
The nearest international airports are both Munich 75 kilometres south and Nuremberg, 100 kilometres to the north. Since we arrived at Nuremberg, I will describe our experience from here. Serving a large amount of destinations both national and European routes, you will need to make a stop-over at other major German cities for inter-continental routes (Munich being be the best choice because of proximity). The airport is the only one in the country to be linked to the city centre by a metro line, the U2, which takes you directly to the central train station where you can interchange to any of the other metro lines of the city, buses, trams and of course railways such as the lines to Ingolstadt or Regensburg, both of which our objective on this weekend trip.
Coming overland is another good option. High-speed trains criss-cross Germany with Nuremberg being a big junction linking the south to the north, west to the east and beyond into the neighbouring countries. Yet it’s not just only the trains, but a large network of long distance buses and the Pan-European bus routes. If coming from southern Germany, then it’s highly likely your train or bus will be stopping at Ingolstadt before continuing north towards Nuremberg, hence no need to get there first to then having to travel backwards.
Within the city, your best choice is on foot. Most of the streets in the historic core are pedestrianised, and distances are short bearing the Audi Museum which lies north outside of the city and for what you will need to get a bus.
As for any major city and of such importance tourism and business-like, the amount of hotels in Ingolstadt is a good reflection of these facts. You have a great selection of any kind from the top of the range to more modest and anything in between. However, remember key dates like summer months and Christmas time, or any car event happening in your days, these are the most expensive seasons not only in hotels, but also to find a flight deal.
This is the second time we flew to Nuremberg in order to access some secondary cities in our agenda. A year ago we went to Bamberg, while in this occasion to Ingolstadt and Regensburg. Still, Nuremberg was our perfect base with the greatest choice of hotels and best deals. A good and reasonable point to start your search is by checking some of our preferred affiliate hotel search engine such as Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Otel.com, Agoda, Opodo, Hotels Click, LateRooms or Ebookers.
In both of our trips here we’ve found a great deal at the Derag Livinghotel, in Obere Kanalstrasse 11, not far south west from the old city centre and near the Gostenhof metro stations on Line 1 and the Plärrer station on Line 2. Great location to be honest, few minutes walking distance to the Waffenhof mit Spittlertorturm and Frauentorgraben Street, right by the southwestern section of the medieval walls, and 10 mins walk to the central railways station. A 4* property with nice facilities. It did not come with breakfast included hence I cannot comment on this if it was any good or bad, however the room was nice, large and well maintained, a full kitchenette with all appliances and plenty of space in the living room, separate from the bed itself. The staff were very polite and friendly who took our wishes at first instance, while small details as free coffee/tea and apples in the lobby at any time makes a difference with any other hotel.