Hello everybody! I’m an international student at the University of Bayreuth (Universität Bayreuth). I want to tell you how great it is to live in Bayreuth. In this blog post, I want to tell you my story in the past 12 months, and what I like to do in Bayreuth.
Who am I? How did I come to Bayreuth?
My name is Timur. I’m 23 years old, and I’m coming from Turkey, where I completed my Bachelor’s in Economics. My current study programme is M.A. History & Economics. I enjoy video games, outdoor activities (such as hiking), and basketball.
My journey to Bayreuth started in May 2018, when I discovered the university, the city, and the programme that I’m currently enrolled. The first time that I saw the advertisement for the town and the university, I vividly remember that I said, “This must be a joke because this is exactly what I want!” I wanted an excellent place to study my favorite subject, in a city that is neither too small nor too big, and of course relatively cheap! Bayreuth was, and is, a combination of these three! After a lengthy application and preparation process, finally, I was in Bayreuth in October 2018.
My first months in Bayreuth were the best ones by far. I started exploring the city and the university immediately. The first day I had some bureaucratic things to do, such as registering to the Rathaus. It always takes time wherever you are in the world. But the days after was fun. I met with my new classmates and got to know my new roommates. Also, the first week I had my birthday, so my roommates and I had a hike to Eremitage and the Altes Schloss. After this hike, we went to Oskar, which is a trendy restaurant serving traditional German dishes. Even though this was a fast start, my new friends and I did not lose pace with exploring Bayreuth for the next months. I went to a lot of parties, such as the ones in Glashaus and WG Parties.
What do I do during Winter?
Bayreuth indeed calms down during the winter. But, as a person who enjoys the winter, Bayreuth is not the wrong place to spend time. One of my favorite things about Bayreuth is that at any time of the year, the city has a lot to offer, including winter. Starting mid-fall (around the time that the semester begins), Winterdorf opens on the main street of Bayreuth, which is a cozy place that I prefer to go with my friends. It is located in the middle of Maximillianstraße. There you can eat some Bratwürste, drink some hot wine (Glühwein) and enjoy your time around the tables. It has tables with a small fire in the middle of it, so it is not cold. But of course, that is not the only thing open in that street. The whole street becomes a little Christmas Market from November the 25th to Christmas.
Besides the events in the city, the activities in the university are also delightful in the winter. Not to mention, winter is the time that students have to study :)! Almost every second week, we have the university cinema, which shows very recent movies for a meager price. Also, as an international student group, my friends and I generally prefer to watch movies in English, which is a possibility in university cinema. There were many movies that I wanted to watch at that time, but for me, the cinema in Bayreuth is a little expensive. So, watching movies at the university, with a big screen and good sound quality, is lovely. And, of course, it is cheaper!
What do I do when the weather gets good?
Bayreuth is the best, in my opinion, during the Spring and the Summer. Almost every week, something is going on either in the city center or on the Volkfestplatz. I personally really enjoyed the flea market, food truck festival, and of course, the Volksfest! Let me shortly introduce them, and how I spent time there to give you some things you can do in Bayreuth. Of course, the list is not limited to these!
The flea market opens once or twice a year, so follow the advertisements around. This year, I went with my flatmates. We needed a bread knife, and luckily, we found a nice one, only for 2 Euros! Then, the same person was selling a bread cutting machine too, and we thought it would be nice if we bought it. So, we haggled with her and reduced the price considerably. In the end, we bought it for 5 Euros, which I thought was a good deal. After using the machine, I was sure that it was a good deal.
Food Truck Festival
This summer, for the first time in my life, I went to a food truck festival. The variety of the food just blew my mind. From the unhealthiest sugar-based food to Vegan Ethiopian dishes (including mainstream food trucks like taco or burgers), it was a fantastic experience. I admit I tried a pretzel with a lot of chocolate and candy on top of it. I know that I shouldn’t have, but it looked so tasty. It was definitely worth it. And as a main dish, I tried (I don’t remember its name, unfortunately) an Ethiopian Lentil Soup with excellent bread, which was really tasty.
Volksfest for this year was in the first weeks of June. As an international student, I always wanted to experience festivals in Germany. Volksfest happens in almost every city, including Bayreuth. I don’t know how exactly I can explain what Volksfest is, but I think it is like a small Oktoberfest that happens every year in many cities. There are a lot of things to do and to eat/drink, and it ends with a firework show! You should definitely check out some pictures from this year’s event!
Possibilities around Bayreuth
As I mentioned above, Bayreuth is a medium-size city (in German standards, of course) in Upper Franconia (technically in Bavaria, but don’t tell the locals about this!). Sometimes I miss the crowds because I’m coming from a big city. Nevertheless, the location of Bayreuth makes it easy to visit more prominent cities, both inside and outside Germany. I visited many big cities, which are very close and easy to reach, like Berlin, Munich, and Prague. But don’t worry, the university is full of international students, so you will meet plenty of
One thing that you will hear from everybody about Bayreuth is that nature around is breathtaking. They are completely correct. If the weather is good enough, I either go for a hike, walk, or a small bike tour. I really enjoy riding my bike around Roter Main (the river in Bayreuth), and going to hikes in the forest and visiting parks for a walk. Just last week, my friends and I took a bus to Pottenstein and had a hike there. It was a little far away, but around Bayreuth, there are many hike-trails and forests.
What will I do next?
Living as an international student in Bayreuth has a lot to offer. It is a beautiful city with a lot of things to do, as I hope the above examples will show you. If you are interested in what international students in Bayreuth do, you can check the social media accounts of the university and university groups. You can check this website for all the events that I said in this blog post too. Hopefully, I will regularly update you about what I do in Bayreuth. I mentioned that I like basketball, and on November 24, I will go to a game of the city team Medi Bayreuth. I think my next blog will be about that. Until then, take care!