First mentioned in the 8th century (although the first settlements probably date back more than 3000 years), Altötting's ascension as a Catholic pilgrimage destination began in the 9th century with the construction of a first monastery by King Carloman of Bavaria.
There are two airports that are suitable for a trip to Regensburg:
- Munich International Airport (MUC), one of the busiest airports in Europe, is located 80 km (50 mi) to the west of the city with many international connections.
- Salzburg International Airport (SZG) is situated 60 km (35 mi) to the south of Altötting and has mostly domestic (Austrian) and a few European connections.
Altötting station is conveniently located just south of the city center, but due to its very small size lacks most amenities of a modern train station. There are hourly connections to Munich (90 min) and Landshut (75 min), and a bihourly connection to Salzburg (105 min). With all connections there is a change of trains in Mühldorf am Inn.
With its rather remote location close to the Austrian border, Altötting isn't so well connected to the German highway network. The most important ones are autobahn A 94 to Munich and federal highway B 20 to Salzburg.
Altötting, given its importance for German Catholics, is a major destination of pilgrimage. These pilgrimages are mostly organised and go for 120-200 km and 3-5 days.
Given the city's small size, Altötting is easily navigable on foot. Furthermore, basically all main attractions are located around the central town square.
address: Bruder-Konrad-PlatzThe basilika is the largest church in Altötting, with space for up to 8,000 people. The services, that conclude the pilgrimage, are held in this Neo-baroque building.
Conventual Parish Church St. Philipp and Jacobaddress: KapellplatzThe first church at the location dates back to 876, but today's structure was completed in 1511, as the huge number of pilgrims demanded for a bigger church. St. Philipp and Jacob is a Gothic hall church.
phone: +49 8671 6934address: Gebhard-Fugel-Weg 10The largest historic panorama in Germany shows the crucifixion scene on a 12 metres high and 95 metres long oil on canvas painting, that surrounds the whole interior of the structure.
phone: +49 8671 9242015address: Kapellplatz 4The museum, opened in 2009, is focused on the history of pilgrimage in Altötting. The most valuable exhibit is a gold and enamel altar from 1404, the so called Goldenes Rössl.
Shrine of Our Lady of Altöttingaddress: KapellplatzThe shrine and the Black Madonna, that is housed in the shrine, are the destination of every pilgrimage to Altötting since 1489. The chapel itself dates back to the 8th century. Three bodies and 28 hearts are buried in the structure, mostly of the royal Bavarian Wittelsbach dynasty. Three Catholic popes visited the shrine: Pius VI in 1782, John Paul II in 1980, and Benedict XVI (who was born in the nearby town of Marktl) in 2006.
City Festivaladdress: KapellplatzThe annual city funfair is taking place at the end of July around the central Kapellplatz square.
address: DultplatzThe Parish Fair is an annual one week long fun fair and traditional Bavarian beer festival.
Around the central Kapellplatz square are numerous shops for devotional objects, such as Black Madonnas in several sizes, rosaries, figures of saints and angles, icons, candles, crosses, and the like. There are also some bookstores on religious matters.
phone: +49 8671 5422address: Mühldorfer Straße 1The restaurant with sun terrace is conveniently located at the central square and serves traditional Bavarian food.
phone: +49 8671 96140address: Graming 79A little outside of Altötting proper, this traditional restaurant serves Bavarian food and brews its own wheat beer.
phone: +49 8671 6868address: Kapellplatz 12The Bavarian restaurant with sun terrace right at the city's central square is one of the most popular places for visitors.
phone: +49 8671 5040address: Kapellplatz 2The hotel is one of the most traditional lodging establishments, first mentioned in 1280. The present-day building was designed by Italian architect Enrico Zuccalli (who also desigend parts of Munich's Nymphenburg Palace) in 1688 and today is the place to stay for bishops and presidents (and everybody else who can afford it), should they visit the city.
McDonald's Restaurantphone: +49 8671 969843address: Mühldorfer Straße 67The restuarant of this well-known burger chain offers free wifi on its premises.
LandshutThe capital of Lower Bavaria is 65 km (40 mi) to the north. The city's main attractions are the quadrennial Landshut Wedding, which takes place in the well preserved medieval city center, and St. Martin's Church, the highest church in Bavaria.
MunichBavaria's state capital and its cultural and economical focal point is 95 km (60 mi) to the east.
PassauThe university city of Passau at the confluence of rivers Danube, Iller and Ilz, is 80 km (50 mi) to the east, close to the Austrian border.
SalzburgThe fourth largest city of Austria is 65 km (40 mi) to the south and is not only worth a visit because of The Sound of Music but above all because of its beauty.