Passau is the type of city I really enjoy, but never seem to get there. It is one of those lesser known destinations which retains a lot of the old Europe character and is blessed with the cozy beauty of being situated at the confluence of three rivers. It is gloriously Baroque in style and reminds me of a mini-Salzburg. It sits in the far southeast corner of Germany just across the border from Austria and the Czech Republic.
Passau had been on my bucket list since seeing shots of it in a video airing on American Public TV many years ago called Visions of Germany which featured aerial video taken from a helicopter with soft, almost dreamy narration and music. I remember thinking this is the type of place I want to visit to feel lost in time.
I had my chance a few years ago to finally visit Passua on a Christmas Market road trip with my daughter as we were on our way to Cesky Krumlov. We made it in time to hit the traditional last night of the Christmas Market in Germany, December 23. Everything else otherwise was closed and we were lucky to find a restaurant still open.
Here are some highlights of a very short one-night visit.
The Christkindlmarkt is situated on the Domplatz in front of the most impressive building in Passau, St. Stephan’s Dom.
Going inside the cathedral is a must, highlighted by what once was the largest organ in the world, since passed by more modern places of worship, such as West Point Academy.
A walk around the classic lanes of Passau’s Altstadt (Old City) after some gluhwein is a must.
Breweries in Passau
Given that my stay was brief and when everything was more or less closed, I didn’t get to visit any breweries. But I did try some local beers in the restaurant and hotel.
Here is a map I made of the breweries and interesting brauhaus’ in Passau.
Visually, Passau met all of the expectations that I had. It feels like a place enjoyed by local people and students and not so much by foriegn tourists. It is a 2hr train ride from Munich and Nuremberg and 2hr car ride from Cesky Krumlov. I can say without a doubt that I need to return at a time where I can enjoy the local beer culture and savor its old world charm more thoroughly.