Leisure in Würzburg
"Professor Dallenberg"? You won't find his seminars in any course catalog. The name is a long-established student code word for one of the city's most popular outdoor pools, embedded in spacious sunbathing lawns and situated at the foot of Dallenberg hill.
Of course there are plenty of other opportunities for sports and exercise, the University's Sports Center foremost among them. Its classes cover an impressive range, from aikido and capoeira to football, fitness training, and basketball, and even underwater rugby and yoga.
Besides, Würzburg has extensive tracks for cycling, running, or inline skating, along the River Main or through the vineyards, with a marvelous view of the city from the hills. Major sports events are, for instance, the City Marathon and the Residence Run.
And when Würzburg's Market Square is packed with wooden booths and arbors, this either marks the beginning of the Christmas Fair, or - in summer - of the "Weindorf", an outdoor wine festival very popular with the student community. The other wine festivals in the city are highly atmospheric as well, particularly the ones in the Residence Gardens or in the inner courtyard of "Bürgerspital."
And what about culture? No, Würzburg does not offer the bustling diversity of the big cities. But neither is it provincial or boring. The College of Music alone provides any number of concerts, and top acts from all over the world occcasionally find their way to Würzburg as well. And besides, there are many smaller operators that join forces to create a musical scene rich in variation.
Every summer, the largest African music festival in Europe raises a city of tents on the meadows by the River Main. Shortly afterwards, the "Umsonst und Draußen" ("Free and Outdoors") music festival takes place on the same location.
Festivals and Fairs
The Spring Fair, Würzburg's time-honored Killiani Festival, the Mainfranken Fair, and the City Festival are further major events. In others, Fortress Marienburg becomes a congenial backgroud for the Medieval Fair, while Alte Mainbrücke is the setting for the regular arts and crafts market. And then, for another atmospheric highlight, there is the renowned Mozart Festival, with its open-air performance of the "Little Night Music" in the Residence Gardens at night.
Not to neglect the equally impressive theater landscape. Apart from the municipal Mainfranken-Theater (Drama, ballett, music theater), there are many smaller companies, sometimes staging quite unconventional plays. And of course one should not forget the multitude of student theater groups, who are always good for a special surprise.
Museums and Exhibitions
The University also figures prominently in the city's museum landscape, as it owns the Mineralogical Museum and the Martin-von-Wagner Museum in the Residence. The latter comprises an antique collection, a painting gallery, and a graphics collection. The "major players" in the scene are "Museum für Franken" on Fortress Hill, the church-owned Cathedral Museum ("Museum am Dom"), and the "Kulturspeicher" that houses the Municipal Gallery and the concrete art collection of Peter C. Ruppert. Smaller venues and galleries round off the picture.
As a university city with a long tradition, Würzburg is perfectly capable of meeting the recreational needs of its students. Downtown abounds with bars, cafés, winehalls, clubs, and pubs. In particular, night people congregate along a few distinctly recognizable party miles.
Sanderstraße, on the southern edge of Old Town, is something like the city's "historical pub-crawl." It is closely lined with restaurants, bars, and cafés. Running in parallel, Münzstraße offers almost as many of gathering-places. Other centers of inner-city nightlife are Marktplatz and Juliuspromenade, most of whose bars, ice cream parlors, and fast food restaurants also have al fresco tables.
Old Inland Harbor
A popular party zone has grown around Alter Hafen, the old inland harbor. "Das Boot," the floating discotheque, lies at anchor on the right bank of the River Main, directly opposite the long-established "Zauberberg" dancehall. Other attractions are the "Cinemaxx" multiplex cinema and "Kulturspeicher", a complex that houses an art museum, the "Bockshorn" theater specializing in satirical comedy, a dance theater, an art gallery, and a bistro/club. The "Hafensommer" summer event takes place in this area with a series of concerts, stand-up comedy perfomances, and more.
Leaving downtown and driving east on Nürnberger Straße, people in search of amusement will find a variety of nightspots. Yet the high point is waiting on the edge of town: "Airport," established in 1983 as one of the first large-capacity discotheques in Germany and a powerful magnet for fans of techno music in the 1990s. Renamed "Soundpark Ost," it is still the go-to place for dancing the night away.
"Mainfrankenpark Dettelbach", to the east of Würzburg, can only be reached by car. On an open field, right next to the Autobahn, a large-scale nightlife center provides ample opportunities for partying and amusement, among them the "Capitol" mega-discotheque and the "Cineworld multiplex.