Last Updated on March 7, 2022 by soumya.gayatri
On my last 10-day trip to Germany, I began by exploring the largest German state – Bavaria or Bayern. It is also one of the prettiest states in Germany. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Bavaria that honestly, it was a task zeroing down on where to go!
We began in the capital city of Munich, went on several day trips nearby, and explored more on Bavaria’s Romantic Road. With so many places to see in Bayern, there was never a dearth of choices.
In Bavaria, we visited magical castles, checked out historic churches, got charmed by timbered dwellings, and glided through alpine lakes in the Alps. Even the towns in Bavaria are utterly beautiful and charming. Some of my favorite ones were Munich, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and Regensburg. I still have 10 more in my wish-list.
No doubt, there is an exhaustive list on the best places to visit in Bavaria. I could not do all of them in one go but here’s what I loved + what I would love to go back for – my Bavaria Bucket List – 10 Beautiful Places to see in Bavaria.
10 Best Places To Visit In Bavaria
Bavaria is one of the most picturesque travel destinations in the whole of Europe and honestly, one of my favorite ones too. The map of Bavaria is dotted with beautiful places and pristine holiday destinations accompanied by great food and good beer. A sorted European vacation, right?
The best part is that all the beautiful towns in Bavaria can be easily accessed by railway. That means if you do not wish to rent a car like me, you can still see the beautiful Bavarian countryside and gape at fairytale castles nestled in the midst of snow-covered Alps.
I also discovered that I could take a train through Bavaria’s Romantic Road, one of the most attractive road trips in Europe. And with a little planning like purchasing a Bayern Ticket, I could save lots on travel and literally plan this Europe trip on a budget.
Find out how to do a 10-day Germany itinerary on train here.
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Munich, the capital of Bavaria, was one of my favorite places to visit in Bavaria during my 10 days in Germany. Filled with is resplendent palaces, historic churches, and world-class museums, Munich definitely makes for a beautiful European destination.
At the heart of Munich, lies Altstadt or Old Town which houses Marienplatz, an old town square that is nearly 1000 years old. Here, you will find an impressive New Town Hall, the Munich Cathedral which has a Footprint of the Devil, and St. Peter’s Church with its impressive Baroque interior. Right in front of the New Town Hall, you can enjoy the spectacle of Glockenspiel – one of the most popular things to do in Munich with kids.
Not very far away is Viktualienmarkt, the perfect place to shop for food and souvenirs, and Hofbrauhaus, a beer hall that is nearly 400 years old. Be sure take a tour of the Munich Residenz, the opulent urban palace of the Royal Wittelsbach Family.The Hall of Antiquities is spectacular.
Munich has some really good museums including thevery famous Deutsches Museum – one of the largest science and technology displays in the world. There is also Alte Pinakothek – an art gallery with prominent Old Master paintings.
Do not miss the Englischer Garten, Munich’s largest public park that is even bigger than NYC’s Central Park. It is one of Munich’s best attractions as well as the perfect relaxing spot.
Also read: How to see the best of Munich in 2 days?
Nymphenburg Palace & Gardens
Located in the western fringes of Munich is the picturesque Baroque palace of Nymphenburg. It was built in the 17th century as a summer residence of the Bavarian monarchs and is one of the best places to see in Bayern.
The entire palace is an elaborate complex of tea houses, bathing places, hunting lodge, various museums, gardens, and a central palatial building.
It can take an entire day to walk through all the opulent hallways and spacious rooms that the palace has to offer. Primly manicured gardens and palace interiors that are worth drooling at make the entire complex one of the top sights in Bavaria.
Nuremberg is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is the second-largest city in the state after Munich and home to some of the prettiest Christmas marketsin the holiday season.
The city is alsoBavaria’s prominent center of art and culture and houses the famous National Germanic Museum, a lively Toy Museum, and the Nuremberg Transport Museum. The Nuremberg Castle and the old town walls are definitely worth a see.
In Nuremberg, you will also find theDocumentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds, a powerful reminder of the most turbulent periods of world history. When in Bavaria you should plan to spend at least a day in Nuremberg.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
If you are looking for a quintessential Bavarian town, you have to visit the town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Located on the Romantic Road, Rothenburg odT is a medieval walled town replete with colorful, half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, and charming public squares.
One of Rothenburg’s unmissable attractions is the Plönlein or the Little Square (picture above) surrounded by colored homes with flower-laden balconies. In the backdrop is a medieval gate topped with a wall clock. The Little Square of Rothenburg is definitely one of Europe’ most photographed locations.
Only a couple of minutes away from the Plönlein, is the unique Medieval Crime Museum that chronicles several crimes and punishments associated with them in medieval Europe. Rothenburg also has a permanent Christmas village where you can check out a white Christmas tree, appreciate an snow-covered German homes, and buy Christmas goodies throughout the year.
If you are looking for a charming Alpine town in the German mountains, then Berchtesgaden is just the place for you. This picturesque village is often ignored/skipped for the more famous city of Salzburg nearby.
But Berchtesgaden can offer a lot to the usual tourist including amazing panoramic views, wonderful boat rides, easy and difficult hikes, and a good bit of history.
The top attraction here is Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest which provides breath-taking views of the valley and a peek into the power of Nazi regime. A boat tour on the Alpine Lake Konigsee,Bavaria’s deepest lake, is highly recommended in spring and summer. Here you will visit the quaint, little church of St. Bartholomew (picture below) and the view against a backdrop of steep, tall mountains is guaranteed to take your breath away.
Also read: 12 Best things to do in Berchtesgaden – The magical mountain town of Germany
The historic town of Bamberg is one of the oldest and culturally richest towns in Germany. It was awarded the UNESCO World Heritage Site status back in 1993 for its strong cultural influence in the Enlightenment of Southern Germany in the 18th century.
The well-preserved old town has three different sections- the episcopal town, the island town, and the market gardener’s town. Bamberg is especially famous for its beer which is unique, unusual, and popular at the same time. It is called the Smoked Beerbecause of its unique smokey flavor which is the result of a different brewing process.
The Old Town of Regensburg is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of Bavaria. The town has an iconic Old Stone Bridge from the 12th century that is a major attraction for tourists around the world.
Apart from that, Regensburg has a number of impressive buildings in Roman, Romanesque, and Gothic architectural styles. Regensburg also houses the World’s Oldest Sausage Kitchen which has been serving fried sausages to customers for the past 900 years!
Also read: 12 Best things to do in the medieval town of Regensburg
Wurzburg, located on one end of the picturesque Romantic Road, is one of Bavaria’s most beautiful places. It is often called the Baroque city because of its opulent Baroque and Rococo architecture.
One of Wurzburg’s most iconic landmarks is the Wurzburg Residence, a magnificent Baroque palace. Together with the Court Gardens and Residence Square, it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Palace highlights include the Imperial Chambers with a Mirror Cabinet and the Hofkirche Church elaborately furnished by frescoes. Do not miss the Tiepolo ceiling fresco that greets you as you walk up the staircase.
Other fascinating monuments include the Marienburg Fortress, St. Kilian’s Cathedral, and St. Mary’s Chapel. Be sure to take a stroll along Wurzburg’s Old Main Bridge that is flanked by several Baroque statues of saints.
Bavarian Alps are one of the best holiday destinations in Bavaria and a favorite both among locals and tourists. The mountains are filled with idyllic villages, lush green meadows, and shiny lakes.
Some really picturesque castles also dot these ranges. Bavarian Alps have been befittingly termed as the most scenic place in Central Europe. Skiing and snowboarding are popular sports.
If you are looking for the perfect place to ski, then Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the place for you. Here you will also find Zugspitze, the highest mountain peak in Germany. I know hiking is on your mind already! Well, then go for it.
And last but not least is the best thing that Bavaria, Germany can offer. The Neuschwanstein Castle!
Often dubbed as the Fairytale Castle, Neuschwanstein is a 19th-century Romanesque palace located in southwest Bavaria. The beauty of the palace lies not only in its medieval architecture but also in the fact that it is located on the top of a hill in the Bavarian Alps.
All this makes it one of the most magical castles in Germany and a very popular tourist destination in Europe. Neuschwanstein is believed to have inspired the creation of Cinderella’s Castle in Disneyworld. Replete with cylindrical turrets and pointed rooftops, the castle is every Disney lover’s dream-come-true. For details on logistics, history, and tours of Neuschwanstein Castle, click here.
So, here’s my pick on the best places to visit in Bavaria. Have you been to one or many of them? Which is your favorite? Or, did I miss your favorite? Drop me a line below and we can get the conversation going.
Also read: 18 Fairytale castles that you need to visit in Germany
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What is Bavaria best known for? ›
The area is known for its pristine countryside, clean air, wealth of culture and infamous laid-back Bavarian attitude. Medieval castles, small towns, magnificent palaces, Baroque churches and Bavaria's urban hubs provide the backdrop for traditional events and opera festivals.Is Bavaria The most beautiful part of Germany? ›
Bavaria is considered not only one of the richest German federal states, but also one of the most beautiful. No wonder – in addition to beautiful cities and monuments, you will find here, in the south of the country, breathtaking alpine nature with many lakes and mountains.What is the number one attraction in Germany? ›
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria
Neuschwanstein Castle, lying on a rocky hill with 19th-century Romanesque architecture, is the most visited attraction in Germany. This palace lies above the Hohenschwangau village near Fussen, a town in Southwest Bavaria.
The major cities in Bavaria are Munich (München), Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Augsburg, Regensburg, Würzburg, Ingolstadt, Fürth, and Erlangen.What is unique to Bavaria? ›
Bavaria is the largest state in Germany and the only one that shares the Alps. It is made up of four major vacation regions: There is Upper Bavaria with Munich, the highest Alpine peaks and picturesque lakes. Allgäu/Bavarian Swabia with its fairy-tale castle, unique mountain panoramas and a huge meteorite crater.What is Bavaria famous for food? ›
Restaurants in Bavaria offer many different types of meat dishes, including beef, chicken, turkey and lamb. On traditional menus pork dishes feature prominently, such as “Schweinshaxe” (pork knuckle) or “Schweinebraten” (pork roast). Many restaurants and takeaways also sell “Leberkäse”, a type of meatloaf.What is prettiest town in Germany? ›
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber. ...
- Meissen. ...
- Quedlinburg. ...
- Meersburg. ...
- Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden. ...
- Ahrenshoop. ...
- Rüdesheim am Rhein.
With cities like; Berlin (with its edgy and cool vibe), Hamburg (that feels much more 'structured' and almost Scandinavian), Leipzig (that has a really cool art scene ) and cities like Nuremberg (that are steeped in history) – being some of my absolute favs.Which part of Germany should I visit? ›
Those wanting to sightsee or experience the arts should head to the larger metropolitan areas such as Munich, Frankfurt, or Hamburg. For those looking for recreational activities, consider a visit to places such as the majestic Bavarian Alps, the Black Forest, or the Rhine Valley.Is English spoken in Bavaria? ›
Language: German is the main language spoken in Munich, but English is taught in schools and visitors will encounter many English speakers.
What does Bavaria mean in English? ›
Bavaria in British English
(bəˈvɛərɪə ) noun. a state of S Germany: a former duchy and kingdom; mainly wooded highland, with the Alps in the south.
Bavaria's third-largest city is also the oldest - and has only fallen behind Munich in terms of importance since Napoleonic times.Why is Germany called Bavaria? ›
The lands were eventually settled by Germanic tribes from the east and north who mixed with the remaining Celts and Romans. The tribe that gave the territory its name was the Baiovarii (Bavarians), which settled in the south between 488 and 520 ce.What is Bavaria called in German? ›
Bavaria (German: Bayern) is the largest federal state ("Bundesland" or shortened to Land) of Germany, situated in the south-east of the country, and extends from the North German Plain up to the Alps in the south.What do they drink in Bavaria? ›
- Beer. Oktoberfestbier. Munich. Germany. ...
- Eisbock. Kulmbach. Germany. Wanna try? ...
- Weizenbock. Munich. Germany. Wanna try? ...
- Märzen. Bavaria. Germany. ...
- Doppelbock. Munich. Germany. ...
- Rauchbier. Bamberg. Germany. ...
- Weissbier. Bavaria. Germany. ...
- Helles. Munich. Germany.
The golden lion
Following the investiture of Ludwig, Duke of Bavaria had been with the Palatinate in 1214, it served as the common symbol of the old Bavarian and Palatine House of Wittelsbach for centuries.
These are considered to be national dishes. Of all these regional and national dishes, Germany is most famous for Currywurst, sausages, pretzels and Black Forest Gateau, but as you can see, there is plenty more to German cuisine than just these.What is the cheapest city to visit in Germany? ›
Berlin is inexpensive for a capital city, but it's still light-years away from the prices you'll see in eastern and southern Europe. However, there's at least one major city in Germany with low prices and a lot to offer – and that's Dresden.What cities are best to visit in Germany? ›
- Munich. The Bavarian capital is a must for those in search of 'traditional' Germany. ...
- Hamburg. Germany's second-biggest city, Hamburg is steeped in history but also modern and multicultural. ...
- Dresden. ...
- Lübeck ...
1. Venice. Among those who've seen it in person, the conclusion is unanimous: Venice is the most beautiful city in the world, and the only one that can truly be described as unique. Each building is a work of art, with their beauty enhanced when reflected on the canals that cross the city.
Which is the safest city in Germany? ›
Quality of Life. Munich is the safest city in Germany. In comparison to other cities with above 200,000 citizens, Munich has the lowest crime rate.Which city in Germany is cleanest? ›
|1||Neu Isenburg, Hessen||0|
|3||Bad Hindelang, Bavaria||4|
The happiest regions in Germany
Schleswig-Holstein has occupied the top spot every year since 2013. These two super-happy federal states are followed by Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria.
Overall, the best time to visit Germany is during the peak season from middle to late summer in July through September. You'll have the warmest weather, longest daylight hours, and most options for activities and events in the cities during this time.What month is the best travel in Germany? ›
For more settled weather with sunshine and comfortable temperatures, late spring and early autumn – May, September and early October – are the best time to visit. The Germans don't call the harvest season “goldener Oktober” for nothing. The ski season in the Alps runs between Christmas and the end of March.Is Bavarian different than German? ›
Standard German and Bavarian might sound like two different languages, but they are different German dialects. Which one you speak depends on whether you live in Bavaria's north, central, or south. You'll come across three variations of the Bavarian dialect. Bavarian or Bairisch is primarily spoken rather than written.What is famous food in Germany? ›
Of all these regional and national dishes, Germany is most famous for Currywurst, sausages, pretzels and Black Forest Gateau, but as you can see, there is plenty more to German cuisine than just these.What is Germany's real name? ›
The official name of the country is Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland). The terms "Westdeutschland" and "Ostdeutschland" are still used for the western and the eastern parts of the German territory, respectively.What are people from Bavaria called? ›
Bavarians (Bavarian: Boarn, Standard German: Baiern) are an ethnographic group of Germans of the Bavaria region, a state within Germany. The group's dialect or speech is known as the Bavarian language, native to Altbayern ("Old Bavaria"), roughly the territory of the Electorate of Bavaria in the 17th century.What do Bavaria people speak? ›
Over 12 million people live in Bavaria. They all speak German and, thanks to an excellent education system, usually one or two additional languages. However, there are numerous dialects in German and many of them are native to Bavaria. We explain how to find your way around the Bavarian language landscape.
Is Bavaria Austria or Germany? ›
Bavaria (German: Bayern) is the largest federal state (Bundesland) of Germany, situated in the south-east of the country. It extends from the middle German hills down into the Alps.What is the capital of Bavaria? ›
Munich is the capital and largest city of the German state of Bavaria, on the banks of the River Isar, north of the Bavarian Alps. Munich is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, with a population of around 1.49 million. The Munich Metropolitan Region is home to 5.6 million people.Is the Black Forest in Bavaria? ›
Answer is No. Bavaria (and Munich) are not in The Black Forest.Is Bavaria still part of Germany? ›
The Free State of Bavaria (in German: Freistaat Bayern) comprises the entire southeast portion of Germany. It is geographically the largest federal state in the country. Bayern shares international borders with Austria and the Czech Republic as well as with Switzerland (across Lake of Constance).