One of the best things about living in Bavaria is all the beautiful nature to explore! There are so many places to hike, bike, and stroll within an hour of Grafenwöhr and Vilseck. If you need a change of scenery, you should definitely visit Pottenstein, Germany.
The town itself is known for its castle, but there are also some amazing outdoor activities in the area! From toboggan runs to bike trails, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Pottenstein.
American Living in Germany: Know Before You Go
Halfway between USAG Bavaria and Bamberg, it takes anywhere between 45-60 minutes to drive from Grafenwoehr or Vilseck to Pottenstein. The town itself has a population of around 5,000 people (a little smaller than Vilseck), and offers all the charm that comes with a German village!
If you live in Germany under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), you don’t need to carry your passport with you. But I do recommend that you have your military ID with you just in case anything happens!
I also recommend that you bring cash. Most attractions and restaurants and shops throughout Germany don’t accept card, so hit up the ATM (geldautomat) before going on your adventure.
And wear good shoes and comfortable clothes! You’ll definitely be walking everywhere once you park your car, and you’ll want to explore the natural surroundings a bit as well.
Things to Do in Pottenstein Germany
It’s a really lovely town, but before you even get to it, there’s plenty to do outside the city limits! You can easily park outside the town and take either a walking path or bike trail into Pottenstein.
Before you arrive in Pottenstein, you’ll see signs directing you to the Devil’s Cave (Teufelshöhle). It has some really amazing formations and is just a fun adventure that’s different from your every day routine.
The cave got its name from the locals because livestock used to disappear around the vicinity, and they attributed it to the “devil.” When it was officially discovered in 1922, people found bodies of animals that had fallen into the cave and died. You can see a reconstructed bear skeleton on the tour!
COVID-19 Update: The Devil’s Cave is closed to visitors as of 2 November, 2020.
Admission is €5 for adults and €3 for kids. They also lead guided tours in English, which will take you around 45 minutes. And afterwards, just walk around and enjoy the surrounding nature. It’s just such a beautiful landscape!
I don’t recommend going if you hate small, enclosed spaces. It’s a cave, after all!
Sommerrodelbahn Pottenstein at Erlebnisfelsen
You absolutely have to go to Erlebnisfelsen when you visit Pottenstein during the spring and summer! It’s a perfect way to enjoy the natural beauty of Franconia if you don’t like hiking.
Well…sort of. You have to hike up a hill in order to reach all the activities.
But once you reach the top, there’s an incredible sky walk, trampolines, and my personal favorite, the toboggan run (sommerrodelbahn).
If you don’t like roller coasters but enjoy a leisurely ride, a toboggan run is for you. You’ll get some amazing views as you coast down the hill, and whether you prefer a fast or slow ride, you can control the speed.
If you have a fear of heights, I’m not sure any of these activities will be good for you. But the hike, nonetheless, will at least lead to a beautiful view!
After doing a few runs on the sommerrodelbahn, splash around in the natural bathing pool at Felsenbad!
The rock pool is just across from Erlebnisfelsen. Sit in the biergarten and enjoy a sunny afternoon by the water.
COVID-19 Update: Felsenbad and Erlebnisfelsen are temporarily closed. You can see which activities are open on their website
Once you actually reach Pottenstein, you should visit the castle (it’s hard to miss).
You can walk throughout the castle, but you’ll have to climb a narrow stairway to see the museum. After you finish the tour, walk to the backside of the castle for yet another amazing view of the village!
What to Eat and Drink in Pottenstein Germany
Franconia has the highest density of breweries in Germany, so be sure to treat yourself! You don’t necessarily have to find a brewery in order to enjoy the local beer. Pretty much any restaurant you visit will serve the local brew – just ask for a helles, dunkel, or weizen!
I also recommend visiting Stadtcafe Wunderlich for some Kaiserscharrn. It’s a fluffy, sweet pancake that’s usually served with a fruit jam or compote.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pottenstein Germany
I’ve answered some of the most common questions about planning a trip to Pottenstein, but feel free to ask your own question in the comments!
All of these activities are great to do with families! In the warmer months, there are a bunch of outdoor pools and rivers to swim in or take paddle boat rides on. The Erlebnisfelsen Pottenstein or “Adventure Rock Pottenstein” also has all types of fun activities for kids.
You can find a number of hiking, biking, and walking trails within Pottenstein through the Komoot app.
Check the Pottenstein official events page for activities throughout the year including the famous Eternal Adoration Fire Festival.
If you’re looking for things to do in Bavaria, Pottenstein is the perfect day trip during the summer. And it doesn’t matter if you have kids or just want to hang out with friends. Everyone can enjoy Pottenstein!