You would like to travel again, but you don’t really know where to go yet?? My tip: Come to the south of Germany and spend your vacation in Bavaria. In this article you will find my tips for exceptionally beautiful places in Bavaria that you must have seen, top excursion destinations and sights, culinary highlights as well as insider tips that are not yet so overcrowded.
Vacation in Bavaria: the most beautiful excursion destinations and places of interest
Bavaria, that is more than Lederhosen, beer and pretzels. Bavaria enchants with wild nature in the mountains and nature parks. A true paradise for hiking, from the Bavarian Forest and the Alps to the Fichtel Mountains. Or for cycling along the rivers like Danube or Main in the Franconian wine country.
And that with the dialect, well, the Swabians have to fight with that too. But isn’t that what we all look for on vacation: the authentic?. It doesn’t get any better than sitting in a beer garden with the locals over a glass of wine or beer and enjoying life together.
The most important things you need to know for your vacation in Bavaria, I have compiled in this post. You will be surprised how cool vacation in Germany can be.
Profile – Bavaria in numbers
Total area: 70.550 km²
Inhabitants: ca. 13 million.
Largest lake: Chiemsee
Highest mountain: Zugspitze
Most important river: Danube
State palaces, castles& Residences: 45
National parks: Bavarian Forest National Park, Alpine National Park and Berchtesgadener Land National Park
Nature parks: 19
Top 10 Bavarian sights at a glance
- Neuschwanstein Castle
- Danube breakthrough/Weltenburg narrows
- Bavarian Forest National Park
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber
- Franconian wine country
Vacation in Bavaria – the most beautiful cities
Not only the nature in Bavaria has to offer enormously what, also numerous cities in Bavaria vie with objects of interest.
First and foremost the state capital Munich, one of the top destinations in Bavaria. The city center with Marienplatz, Hofbrauhaus, Viktualienmarkt and English Garden are as popular with tourists from all over the world as they are with the locals themselves. Here you can find my tips for a weekend in Munich as well as some favorite places in Munich.
At Christmas time, Nuremberg’s Christkindelsmarkt attracts visitors in droves – not only because of the Nuremberg gingerbread (are the best!). The typical red and white striped stalls in the historic old town are a must for every visitor to Nuremberg. The town’s landmark and one of the most famous sights in Bavaria is the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle). At Nuremberg’s Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), the Mannleinlauf takes place daily at 12 noon, with seven figures of the elector circling the enthroned emperor. I also find the Albrecht Durer House in the old town of Nuremberg worth seeing. The birthplace of the famous painter gives a vivid impression of life in the 16th century. Century.
The Wurzburg Residence is one of the most important baroque buildings in Europe. The special feature: Even elements of the French castle architecture and the upper Italian palace building from the 18. The character of the building is shaped by the nineteenth century. The Old Main Bridge, built more than 500 years ago, offers a wonderful view to the Marienberg Fortress. Tip: Do it like the locals and enjoy a Bruckenschoppen on the Main river. Wurzburg is situated in the Franconian wine country, the vines grow right into the city.
Half in Bavaria, half in Baden-Wurttemberg – the two-country town of Ulm is not immediately obvious as a travel destination. But it has really charming corners like the picturesque fishermen’s quarter with Grabenhausle, the Leaning House or the town hall with the colorfully painted facade. Not to forget: the Ulm Cathedral with the highest church tower in the world.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is known to many. Dinkelsbuhl is no less charming, but less crowded. The beautiful, medieval old town invites you to stroll around. Worth seeing is the exhibition about the witch hunt in the House of History near the Wornitz Gate in the completely preserved city wall. My restaurant tip: Deutsches Haus.
Vacation in Bavaria – the most beautiful lakes
Especially in the south of Bavaria you will find numerous lakes with crystal clear water. They are fed by the melt water of the Alps.
The most famous and largest lake in Bavaria: Lake Chiemsee. From the five kilometer long sandy beach (the longest in southern Germany) you have a fantastic view of the alpine panorama. A popular attraction is the Herreninsel with Herrenchiemsee Castle, which was built on the model of Versailles. You can find more tips here: Favorite places at Chiemsee.
Due to its proximity to Munich, the Munich chic crowd likes to gather at the Tegernsee. Surrounded by the magnificent backdrop of the Bavarian Alps, Lake Tegernsee is one of the most popular destinations in Upper Bavaria. You can find more peace and quiet at Schliersee and Spitzingsee nearby – and it’s beautiful there, too.
The Spitzingsee is located 1.000 meters above sea level and is the largest high mountain lake in the Free State of Bavaria. Here you can find more ideas for your short vacation at Spitzingsee.
Fancy a little fjord feeling? Then off to the Konigssee. It is flanked by steep mountain walls in the Berchtesgaden National Park. A nice day trip leads from the Obersee (at the southern end of the eight kilometer long lake) to the end of the valley, where some alpine pastures tempt you to stop for a break.
Beautiful is the round around the Alpsee in Schwangau and can be combined perfectly with a visit to the royal castles.
Vacation in Bavaria – the most beautiful excursion destinations
If there is one sight in Bavaria that everyone probably knows, it is this one: Neuschwanstein Castle. The fairy-tale castle of the extravagant Bavarian King Ludwig II. appears almost unreal in the hilly scenery of the Allgau and even served Disney as a model. The fact that once more than one million humans to Schwangau pilgrimage, would have probably rather frightened king Ludwig, because here he wanted to have its peace before the world. With all the comforts: The castle, built in 1896, had both central heating, running water on all floors, automatic flushing toilets, an elevator, telephone connections and its own electric call system. You have the best view of Neuschwanstein Castle from the Marienbrucke, ca. 15 minutes walk.
Neuschwanstein Castle could be the crowning glory of a unique road trip through Bavaria: The Romantic Road leads from Wurzburg to Fussen. Besides the royal castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, Germany’s oldest vacation route connects some of the top sights in Bavaria, such as the idyllic Tauber valley, Dinkelsbuhl, Nordlingen with the only walkable city wall that is completely preserved or Augsburg. For those who don’t want to drive: the Romantic Road is also available as a long-distance cycle route.
Glass road in East Bavaria
About 250 kilometers long and one of the most beautiful vacation routes in Germany: the Glass Route. If you ski it, you will learn a lot about the 700 year old tradition of glass making, which has always been glass art as well. Until now much is handwork. The glassblowers take the molten, honey-like glass out of the furnace with a long “pipe”, turn and swirl it seemingly playfully until goblets, glasses, vases and bowls are created.
Bavarian Forest National Park and Berchtesgaden National Park
Numerous excursion destinations in Bavaria invite you to discover nature, for example the Bavarian Forest National Park with its 320 kilometers of hiking trails and the Great Arber Mountain. Or the Berchtesgaden National Park, the only one in the Alps, with more than 250 kilometers of hiking trails through dense forests, across flowering alpine meadows and up to the peaks.
Zugspitze with Eibsee
Germany’s highest mountain must not be missing in a list of sights in Bavaria of course. In good weather, you can see as far as Italy from the summit – and even toboggan on the glacier in summer. condition you need comparatively little to cover the 2.962 meters high Zugspitze to climb. From the top station of the rack railroad (from Garmisch-Partenkirchen) to the summit cross it’s only a few meters along a rocky trail. No less beautiful: the Eibsee. Located at the foot of the Zugspitze, this is one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in Germany.
Danube Breakthrough – Weltenburg Narrows
Another top sight in Bavaria is the Danube breakthrough between Regensburg and Ingolstadt. The narrows of the Danube valley near Weltenburg are among the most beautiful geotopes in the Free State of Bavaria and are protected as a nature reserve. The limestone cliffs tower about 70 meters above the Danube River. The “Weltenburger Enge” with the Danube breakthrough can best be experienced from the water: with the excursion boat, a rubber dinghy or kayak.
Volkach Main Loop
One of the largest river meander landscapes in Bavaria can be found at the Volkacher Mainschleife in the Franconian Wine Country – a perfect destination for gourmets. You can hike and bike through the vineyards along the Main River and enjoy a glass of delicious Franconian wine along the way. Nice alternative: paddling a canoe on the Main river.
Vacation in Bavaria: a selection of the most beautiful hiking trails
Franconia is a real pleasure region for me, wine and hiking can be combined very well here. In these articles you will find lots of inspiration for enjoyable hiking in the Franconian Wine Country:
In the Allgau, for example, hikers get their money’s worth on the long-distance hiking trail “Wandertrilogie Allgau” with three routes, three altitudes and over 50 stages. The “Himmelssturmer” route leads to the Alpine peaks, the “Wasserlaufer” route through the watery foothills of the Alps and the “Wiesenganger” route through the rolling hills of the Allgau region.
Always stay on top, is the motto of the twelve kilometer long hike on the Nagelfluhkette. The panoramic trails lead from Hochgrat over six peaks with many cozy places to rest.
Other highlights are a hike around the Alpsee in Schwangau, to the Zugspitze or the Panoramaweg at the Tegernsee. In eastern Bavaria, the Bavarian Forest National Park with the Grober Arber and excellent routes such as the Goldsteig or Jurasteig beckons.
Vacation in Bavaria – the best culinary tips
If you spend your vacations in Bavaria, you can’t miss the beer. After all, hops grow better here than elsewhere. The Hallertau is the largest continuous hop-growing area in the world – and has been since 8. Century.
And what do the Bavarians eat with their beer? Sure, hearty food like dumplings, veal sausage with pretzel and sweet mustard, meatballs, meat loaf, bread dumplings, roast pork, sausage salad or Obazda. Nowhere does a hearty snack taste better than in a beer garden, up on the mountain in a mountain hut or in one of the breweries.
The Allgau is considered the cheese kitchen of Germany because of its many cows. In the early summer brown cattle graze on the mountain pasture, whose herbs give the mountain cheese a special spicy taste. Also popular: Zwiebelrostbraten and Kasspatzen with lots of fried onions, the classic in Allgau.
The most famous representative of the Franconian cuisine are the Nuremberg sausages. They are traditionally served in threes in Weckla or with sauerkraut. The Elisenlebkuchen have made Nuremberg famous and are for me the best there is.
If you have ever wondered why the wine bottles in Franconia look so strange: the Bocksbeutel is the traditional bottle in which Franconian winegrowers fill their good wines. To the most typical of all Franconian wines, the Silvaner, tastes a Schaufela, crispy baked pork shoulder. Must try: “Saure Zipfel”, sausages cooked in vinegar broth.
Another delicacy: Carp. In the Upper Palatinate lies the oldest pond breeding area in Europe with about 6.900 ponds, where for about 1.100 years fish are bred. They end up as “carp blue” or as a baked version on the plates.
Bavaria travel guide – my recommendations