The stately Hermitage Palace and Gardens (Altes Schloss Ermitage) are the highlight of the Bavarian town of Bayreuth for most tourists.That is, unless you’re an opera fan. Bayreuth is home to composer Richard Wagner, and each August, tourists from around the globe arrive for the famous Wagner Festival. Unlike the coveted tickets to the festival, it costs nothing to stroll the manicured Hermitage Gardens with their splendid fountains and well-preserved grottos, where 17th and 18th century aristocracy used to cool off in the summer.
And while you may not live in a castle, but you can eat surrounded by the splendor of one at Restaurant Eremitage. There’s a lovely outdoor cafe open from May through September, overlooking the fountains and gardens. It’s a great place for lunch or afternoon kaffee and kuchen (coffee and cake).