view of wurzburg city from castle

8 Best Places to Visit in Bavaria, Germany & How to Get Around

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Bavaria is one of the most beautiful regions in Germany, and it’s no wonder that it is a popular tourist destination. From the stunning mountain scenery to the charming medieval towns, there are plenty of places to visit in Bavaria. In this travel guide, we explore some of the best places to see in Bavaria, as well as recommend ways to get around this picturesque region.

So pack your bags and let’s explore Bavaria!

view of wurzburg city from castle

The Ultimate Guide To Bavarian Germany

The Bavaria region in Germany is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

And it’s no wonder why! With its stunning scenery, quaint villages and world-famous beer festivals. Bavaria has something for everyone.

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.

This is our favourite region in Germany and somewhere we have visited on several occasions and in different seasons of the year too.

Whether covered in snow or blooming in spring flowers, it is always a great place to visit!

Not to mention more than 1200 museums and over 100,000 architectural monuments within the region.

Whether you’re planning a short weekend getaway or a longer vacation, this guide will help you plan your trip to Bavaria.

Where Is Bavaria?

Bavaria is located in south-east Germany. It is bordered by Austria to the south and the Czech Republic to the east.

Bavaria is also the largest of the German federal states, with a total area of 70,550 square kilometres, making it approximately one-fifth of Germany’s total land area.

There are 74 cities and municipalities that make up Bavaria Germany. The largest of these cities is the capital of Bavaria – Munich.

Best Time to Visit Bavaria

The best time to visit Bavaria really depends on what you want to do while you’re here.

If you’re looking to hit the slopes or sip mulled wine as you stroll around the Christmas markets, then the winter months are obviously the best time to go. The ski season in Bavaria generally runs from late October to March or even as late as April.

But if you’re not a fan of cold weather, then the spring and summer months are a great time to visit Bavaria.

This is when you’ll find the most festivals taking place, as well as warmer weather for exploring the region.

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How To Get Around Bavaria

The best way to explore the German Bavarian region is to base yourself somewhere central. Our favourite place to stay is Munich. It’s a great city with plenty to see and do, as well as being within day-trip distance from all the other Bavarian highlights.

Once you’re in Munich, you can then make your way around the region using a mix of public transport or car rental.

The trains in Germany are excellent and will get you the most places, although a car will obviously give you more freedom to explore at your pace, instead of relying on train times.

You can find train and bus routes for most destinations in Germany via Omio.

Deutsche Bahn

german regional train at station in munich

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.

A Bavaria Ticket (Bayern) allows you unlimited travel on all regional trains in Bavaria for one day. The ticket is valid from 09:00 until 03:00 the following morning.

This ticket is an excellent way to explore the region, especially if you’re planning on making day trips from your base.

The ticket costs from €26 for one adult and you can add up to five additional people travelling with you for an extra EUR 8 per additional passenger. Children under 5 are free.

You can purchase a Bavaria Ticket online or from the ticket machines at any train station in Bavaria.

Rental Car

If you want the flexibility to come and go as you please, a hire car might be the perfect option for you instead. While this is likely a more expensive option than the train, there are plenty of car rental services throughout Germany with special deals throughout the year.

We often use Discover Cars as they compare all the leading rental companies, so you can find the best deal.

Just remember that if you’re planning on driving you may need an international driver’s permit.

Buses in Bavaria

If you’re looking for a more leisurely way to explore Bavaria, then consider taking a bus tour. This is a great option if you’re not renting a car and want to see as much of the region as possible without having to worry about planning your own route or finding parking.

There are plenty of bus tour companies that operate in Bavaria and most of them will pick you up from your accommodation.

Best places to visit in Bavaria: Towns & Attractions

Now that we’ve covered the best way to travel around Bavaria, it’s time to get to the really exciting stuff – the best places to visit in Bavaria. These Bavarian cities and towns are all worth adding to your Germany itinerary, each with their own charm and unique tourist attractions:

1. Munich

munich town square

As mentioned earlier, Munich is the capital city of Bavaria and definitely worth spending a few days exploring. This is also one of our favourite places to base ourselves when taking day trips around Bavaria too.

Munich is the largest city in Bavaria and the third largest in Germany.

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.

And of course, the world-famous Hofbrauhaus, well known for the annual Oktoberfest festivities.

Some of the most popular things to do in Munich are:

  • Visit Marienplatz and see the Glockenspiel
  • Tour the Munich Residenz
  • Drink German beer at Hofbrauhaus
  • Take a stroll around the English Garden (Englischer Garten)
  • Learn about science and technology at Deutsches Museum
  • Discover the car history at the BMW Museum
  • Visit Olympiapark, now a popular place for concerts, events and Sea Life Aquarium

Best day tours and experiences for Munich:

2. Nuremberg

nureumberg castle

Time from Munich to Nuremberg by train: 1h & 15m 

Nuremberg is one of the most popular places to visit in Bavaria and for good reason. This historic city was the site of some of the most important events during World War II, including the Nuremberg Trials.

Today, Nuremberg is a beautiful city to explore with plenty of things to see and do. There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Nuremberg for souvenirs or non-touristy wares. Plus there’s the food.

So much fabulous food, especially during the Christmas markets.

Travelling from Munich to Nuremberg by train? Click here to book your rail tickets from Omio

Here are some of the best things to do in Nuremberg in one day;

  • Wander around the old town
  • See Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain) and spin the golden ring for good luck
  • Take a walking tour of the old town city walls
  • Tour the Imperial Castle Nuremberg
  • Visit the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds
  • Learn the unique history at Germanisches Nationalmuseum (German National Museum)

Best day tours and experiences for Nuremberg:

3. Bamberg

bamberg town hall

Time from Munich to Bamberg by train: 2h

Bamberg was a favourite for me. There was something about this city that made me fall in love. Bamberg is known for its 7 hills, each with its 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? Either way, it is a favourite world Heritage Site of mine!

There are also quaint little restaurants and bars, and lovely paths to get lost along.

Travelling from Munich to Bamberg by train? Click here to book your rail tickets from Omio

Best things to do in Bamberg in one day:

  • Visit Bamberg Cathedral and the Diocesan Museum (Diözesanmuseum Bamberg)
  • See the old town hall (Altes Rathaus)
  • Wander around the old town and try delicious local food and drink
  • Discover the Old Court (Alte Hofhaltung) and visit the Historical Museum
  • Dine at the restaurant at Altenburg Castle (Schloss Altenburg) atop Bamberg’s tallest hill

Best day tours and experiences for Bamberg:

4. Wurzberg

wurzburg castle

Time from Munich to Wurzberg by train: 2h 10m

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.

There are a few cafes along the old stone bridge and it is especially beautiful at night.

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.

Travelling from Munich to Wurzberg by train? Click here to book your rail tickets from Omio

The best things to do in Wurzberg in one day:

  • Visit the Wurzberg Residence (Würzburger Residenz)
  • Make the Climb up to Marienberg Fortress
  • Admire the views from Alte Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge)
  • Take a walk in Hofgarten (Court Garden)

Best day tours and experiences for Wurzberg:

5. Rothenburg ob der Tauber

rothenburg wooden houses

Time from Munich to Rothenburg by train: 3h 30m

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is another of the most popular places to visit in Bavaria and for good reason. This historic city is one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Europe and is deemed one of the most beautiful also.

Today, Rothenburg is a beautiful city to explore. The town of Rothenburg is situated on the steep banks of River Tauber.

The old medieval town walls that surround this historic city look much as they did back in the 16th century, while many buildings inside these walls are even older!

We spent a night in Rothenburg ob der Tauber since it is a bit far from Munich to make it a day trip. It was a beautiful town to see by night.

Travelling from Munich to Rothenburg by train? Click here to book your rail tickets from Omio

The best things to do in Rothenburg in one day:

  • Admire the beautiful wooden houses and architecture as you wander the old town
  • See the impressive Town Hall (Rathaus) in the Marktplatz with sections dating back to the 13th century
  • Walk the old town walls
  • Stroll the spectacular Castle Gardens (Burggarten)
  • Visit the year-round German Christmas Museum (Deutsches Weihnachtsmuseum)

Best day tours and experiences in Rothenburg:

6. Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

Time from Munich to Füssen by train: 2h 30m

Neuschwanstein castle is one of the most popular attractions in Bavaria, Germany and for very good reason. This fairytale castle was built by King Ludwig II and is one of the most photographed castles in the world.

It was Walt Disney’s inspiration for Cinderella’s castle, so it may feel very familiar even if you’ve never seen it before. This is certainly a day trip from Munich that cannot be missed!

The castle is open year-round for tours and has guided tours or an audio guide available in several languages to enhance your visit.

Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the small village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen.

If you don’t fancy the walk up to Neuschwanstein, you can take a horse and carriage ride instead, however even in the middle of winter we found this to be an incredible walk!

Travelling from Munich to Füssen by train? Click here to book your rail tickets from Omio

The best things to do at Neuschwanstein castle:

  • Take a guided tour of the inside of the castle
  • Visit the nearby Mary’s Bridge for views of the castle
  • Explore the Hohenschwangau Castle
  • Visit the nearby village of Schwangau

Best day tours to Neuschwanstein:

7. Zugspitze and the Bavarian Alps

Zugspitze and the Bavarian Alps

Time from Munich by train: 1h 30m

The Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany and a perfect place to enjoy the natural scenery of this gorgeous country, especially for those who love the outdoors.

The views from the 2,962-metre eastern summit are breathtaking. You can take a cable car from Eibsee or travel by the Bayerische Zugspitzbahn cog railway, beginning in either Eibsee or in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

The area offers the highest ski area in Germany, making it an especially popular places to visit in Bavaria in winter. During the summer it is a beautiful destination for hikes and nature walks.

Best day tours to the German Alps:

8. Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

Dachau concentration camp memorial in winter

Time from Munich by train: 50 minutes

Dachau is one of the most sobering places to visit in Bavaria, Germany. This concentration camp was established in 1933 and was the first of its kind.

The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial is a very powerful place to learn about the atrocities that took place during the Holocaust. There were over 41,000 deaths that took place here, making it a very important part of Europe’s darker history.

Travelling from Munich to Dachau by train? Click here to book your rail tickets from Omio

Best day tours to Dachau:

Bavaria is a beautiful region in southern Germany with plenty of places to visit and things to see. From the charming old towns to the stunning castles and gardens, there’s something for everyone in Bavaria. If you’re looking for a place to explore in Germany, be sure to add Bavaria to your list!

Book Your Germany Vacation:

  • Flights – We use Skyscanner or WayAway to research, set price alerts and book flights.
  • Car hire – compare the best car rental prices.
  • Trains & Buses – We book with Omio
  • Accommodation – We use Booking.com or Agoda to book most of our hotel accommodation when we travel.
  • Travel insurance – Protect yourself and your belongings with World Nomads Travel Insurance.
  • Tours & attractions – Our preferred attraction and tour booking sites are Get Your Guide and Viator. Booking ahead will mean you don’t miss out on popular tours!

Plan Your Visit To Europe:

best places to visit in bavaria germany