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Bavarian Germany is one of our favourite regions in Europe, filled with picturesque cities with old world charm, and beautiful architecture. Not to mention all the typical German favourites – the food, the beer and the vibe. It is little wonder Bavaria is a popular German travel destination.
When you are somewhere so scenic, you don’t want to rush by along a busy highway or through the air. You want to have a trip with a view! It is super easy to travel by train in Europe, with the chance to take your time and hop on and off along the way. Or just enjoy the scenery on your way to your destination.
So what is the best way to visit Bavaria? Easy – THE BAHN…
BEST WAY TO TRAVEL BAVARIAN GERMANY
Bavaria is a southern state of Germany, bordering the countries of Austria, Switzerland and Czech Republic. It is popular for the beautiful natural scenery and small medieval towns amongst the larger city centres.
Not to mention more than 1200 museums and over 100,000 architectural monuments within the region.
What makes it even greater is the fact that most of these Bavarian cities are within day trip distance from one another. This means you can find yourself a central hub and make your way back and forth for a day at a time, exploring the different cities one by one, rather than packing and unpacking every night in a new hotel.
The Deutsche Bahn is Germany’s leading train system, and operates within 130 countries, all across Europe.
Rail is by far one of the easiest (and often cheapest) methods of transport around Europe and to make this even easier, Bahn offers a regional day ticket which is the best way to explore Bavaria.
Regional day tickets allow you to travel by rail for a full day with the Bavaria-ticket (Bayern), throughout the state of Bavaria, with up to 4 accompanying people on the local trains. And as an added bonus, children up to the age of 14 travel free on Deutsche Bahn. Great value for family travel.
OUR BAVARIAN GERMANY TRIP
There is no better place to base yourself than the regional capital of Munich, as a starting point for visiting other amazing cities of Bavaria. This was our main starting point during our time in Germany.
Our first visit to Germany was during December, which is one of the most wonderful times of the year to be in Germany.
The Christmas markets are a must see and we were lucky enough to visit Christmas markets in several different cities not only in Germany but in other parts of Europe as well during our explorations. Our favourites were by far those in Bavarian Germany.
Summer time has its appeal too, with perfect weather to get out and explore.
Our time in Munich of course involved a trip to the world famous Hofbrauhaus, well known for the annual Oktoberfest festivities. We enjoyed a night of great food and good company. The boys enjoyed several steins of beer each, and then there were the laughs that followed at their expense.
You will enjoy a visit to the town square (Marienplatz), and a chance to see the town hall and other iconic sights in Bavarian Germany’s capital.
Time from Munich: 1h & 15m
If you are looking for a city filled with culture and impressive sights, Nuremberg is a stand out, from the old town that happened to be packed full of lively Christmas markets. And the very famous clock that you need to see in action in the market square. We also visited the Imperial Castle which gives some lovely views from up on the hill.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Nuremberg for souvenirs or non-touristy wares. Plus there’s the food. So much fabulous food and even more during the Christmas market times.
Time from Munich: 2h 5m
Bamberg was a standout for me. There was something about this city that made me fall in love. Bamberg is known for its 7 hills, each with their own church.
Bamberg’s old town is UNESCO World Heritage listed, with several medieval buildings, including my favourite – the town hall will always fascinate me. How on earth does that part of the building stay attached. There are also quaint little restaurants and bars, and lovely paths to get lost along.
Time from munich: 1h 11m
Nuremberg, like much of Germany, is full of the well known Bavarian style homes, which I adore. I remember growing up near a house that was modeled on this style with the decorative wood panels across the front and always knew I wanted to travel to Bavarian Germany.
To the north of Nuremberg’s old town is a castle, a slight walk up a hill, and stone towers surrounding the old town square. Nuremberg is the second largest city in Bavaria and famous for their Christmas markets. Trust us, they are amazing!
Time from munich: 2h
Wurzberg’s standout is the castle sitting high on the hill, looking down over the river. On your way back down from your Wurzberg castle visit, stop at one of the many cafes down the hill. Or make your way over to the Marienberg Fortress.
We spent a couple of days in Wurzberg following our stay in in Munich and have in fact stayed in Wurzberg in both summer and winter, so we have seen the beauty of the city on both occasions.
DEUTSCHE BAHN TIPS
Trains can be busy during peak holiday seasons and a seat is not always guaranteed with certain ticket classes
Regional tickets may not always be the most cost effective option
Some trains have snack and drink carts but it pays to be prepared (especially if travelling with kids)
A second class Bavarian (Bayern) ticket on the Bahn costs from $23 EU, with an additional $5 EU per extra passenger, for up to 5 passengers. The ticket is valid between 9am and midnight of the same day, or a night Bayern ticket, which is valid from 6pm until 6am the following morning, for a reduced fare price.
Children under the age of 6 travel free on the Bahn, and do not need to be declared on the ticket. Children between 6 to 14 years do need to be declared, however still travel for free.
Find out more about Bavaria Germany Tickets on the Deutsche Bahn website.