Street cafe in front of the "Old Mint"
You start your morning with an ample breakfast in one of the numerous Speyer street-cafés. As the sun tickles your face and you sip your coffee appreciatively, you decide on everything that you want to do on this beautiful day — alas, in Speyer, there are lots of choices.
Old city gate from the east
Your decision is made. Well fortified with the coffee, you decide on pure culture to begin with because Speyer is anything but stingy when it comes to culture. You start at the foot of the Old City Gate which is 180 ft. tall and a landmark of the city. More important, it opens onto the “Maxi”, as locals affectionately refer to their main street turned pedestrian zone.
View of the "Maximilianstraße"
You take off down Maximilian Street, past numerous stores and premises. The ice cream parlors already have a lot of customers. Not surprising — it is plenty warm out and what works better in such conditions than a delicious ice cream? With so many choices, your decision does not come easy.
Ice cream cone in hand, you amble on further down Maximilian Street and there it is — the Imperial Cathedral
Aerial view of the imperial cathedral
As you draw closer, you are enthralled by its aura. Anxious for more, you also want to see this imposing structure up close on the inside. Arriving in its sacred halls, you can hardly believe your eyes — Wow! These columns and frescoes are mighty imposing. It’s hardly a surprise that UNESCO had bestowed the title of World Heritage Site on this cathedral way back in 1981.
After all the terrific impressions that the Cathedral provides, you have gotten hungry and want to let the sights you have just seen “sink in”. So you stroll alongside the cathedral in the direction of Old Town, past cozy squares and inviting restaurants. You are in the mood for some typical Palatine cooking and decide on a quaint restaurant that offers just that. The Raven's Nest Wine Bar seems to be the perfect choice plus, as the name already suggests, it offers equally tasty wines from Palatine vintners. For wine lovers, Speyer, located in the heart of the Palatinate, is known as absolute paradise.
Medieval ritual bath (Mikveh)
In order to digest the opulent cuisine, you decide to get your legs moving again and to further explore Speyer by foot. Perfect because the “city of short paths” is ideally well suited for this. At the Tourist Information Office, you find the most important news updates and tips for your ongoing day-trip. Equipped with the information for a City Tour by means of audioguide and a map of the city, your cultural program begins. You will visit the most important tourist attractions in the city at your own pace and at your own cost while simply listening to related information on your smartphone. It doesn’t get any easier than that, does it?
After the cultural part of your day has been successfully completed and you have started to perspire as a result of the afternoon heat, you are drawn in the direction of the water. And there, the city on the Rhine offers, as its name says, the right alternative. (The banks of the Rhine are a mere 15-minute walk from city center.)
Cyclists at the Rhine bank
Arriving there, you enjoy the view of the passing ships. Then, a tingling refreshment beckons you into either the Il Rustico restaurant or into Rays, which offers the best view onto the Speyer yacht basin.
Heading back toward the inner city, you make out the silhouette of an airplane between the green treetops. The Boeing 747 of the Technology Museum arouses your curiosity and since you are a fan of technology, you decide to spend the rest of the afternoon there. And so that you don’t miss out on the fun of the movies during during your visit, the Autokino on the grounds of the museum offers first-class films for romantics and movie lovers alike from the comfort of their own car.
Boeing 747 in the "Technik Museum Speyer"
Meanwhile, night has set in and naturally, one’s culinary wellbeing on a trip to a city must not be left wanting. You would like to spend this marvelously mild summer evening outdoors and what better place than in one of Speyer’s beer gardens? The locals swear by their Cathedral Courtyard Craft Brewery; it has over the years attained cult status. On this particular evening, the beer garden is bursting at the seams. That’s a good sign, you think and you wait until you are shown to a table. To match the craft-brewed beer, guests here are spoiled by hearty German food. What’s more, the Reich’s Supreme Court once met here . . . alas, the cultural program even covers dinner, you think.
After such an exciting day, you fall into bed, tired and happy. Thank you, Speyer!