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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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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