Why visit Germany? It’s a vast country with a diverse landscape, fascinating history and long-established customs that make any trip to Germany one you’ll always remember.
We particularly love the southern German state of Bavaria (after all, that’s where my husband was born!) and have spent a lot of time exploring this beautiful part of Germany. For that reason, you’ll find the majority of our German travel articles feature destinations in Bavaria.
This Bavaria travel guide will help you choose where to go in Bavaria as well as providing you with plenty of Bavaria travel tips.
So, which are the best places in Bavaria to visit? Read on.
You’ll find links below to all of our Bavaria and Germany travel blog articles, all written to help you plan a wonderful Germany vacation.
Best places to visit in Bavaria
One of the first steps in planning a vacation is deciding exactly where you would like to visit. If you love to go where the action is, there are plenty of choices in Bavaria. Cities we love include:
- Munich – Famous for its Oktoberfest and the 1972 Olympic Games, Germany’s third largest city is home to Baroque architecture, priceless artworks, world class museums, royal palaces and easy access to the stunning Bavarian countryside. Munich also makes a great base from which you can enjoy a wide range of day trips.
- Wurzburg – Home to the UNESCO-listed Wurzburg Residenz – definitely one of the most impressive things to see in Bavaria – this attractive city straddles the River Main and is easy to reach from both Frankfurt and Munich.
- Nuremberg – With many historical landmarks, numerous museums, an enchanting Old Town and medieval wooden bridges crossing the River Pegnitz, Nuremberg is a delightful city to include in your German itinerary.
If it’s smaller towns and villages that appeal to you, or you’d like to see the Bavarian countryside, there are endless choices. Why not consider including these attractive and interesting towns in Bavaria, Germany in your itinerary?
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen – Regarded as the most famous town of the Bavarian Alps, GaPa is situated at the foot of Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze. It’s a popular holiday resort all year round.
- Fussen – With pastel-coloured houses lining cobbled streets, Fussen is the quintessential chocolate box town. The town has plenty of sights worth seeing but it’s a visit to the nearby Neuschwanstein Castle that is easily one of the most popular things to do in Bavaria. (You can also reach another of King Ludwig’s royal residences, Linderhof Palace on a half-day trip.)
- Passau – Situated where the rivers Danube, Ilz and Inn meet, Passau is a charming medieval town watched over by the imposing Veste Oberhaus.
- Oberammergau – Home to the world-famous Passion Play which is staged by the village’s residents every 20 years, Oberammergau is worth a visit at any time of year.
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber – One of my favourite places to visit in Bavaria, this fairytale town is one of the star attractions on the Romantic Road tourist drive. For anyone who loves Christmas, the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Stores in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Oberammergau, Rudesheim, Nürnberg and Bamberg are a must-visit.
- Berchtesgaden – Perfectly located in the Bavarian Alps and surrounded by stunning scenery, this alpine town offers plenty to do. Be sure to include visits to both the Eagle’s Nest and Lake Konig (Konigssee) which are among the top Bavaria tourist attractions.
- Lindau – Located on Lake Constance, Europe’s largest reservoir, Lindau boasts a pretty harbour and a charming medieval Old Town. It’s also a great base from which to explore neighbouring Austria and Switzerland.
Bavaria Travel Guide
Where is Bavaria?
The southern German state of Bavaria (Bayern in German) covers an area of around 70,000 square kilometres. As well are bordering the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Thuringia and Saxony, it shares international borders with Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
It’s in the Bavarian Alps Germany’s highest peak can be found. The Zugspitze rises 2,962 metres above sea level and is located near the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
The State’s major rivers are the Danube and Main and Bavaria is home to numerous lakes including Forggensee, Chiemsee, Koniggsee and Bodensee.
Bavaria has a population of around 13 million, and its capital city is Munich.
A number of scenic touring routes can be found in Bavaria including the German Alpine Road from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Berchtesgaden, the Romantic Road from Wurzburg to Fussen and the Castle Road which connects Bayreuth in Bavaria with Heidelberg in neighbouring Baden-Wurttemberg.
These driving routes are ideal if you prefer to travel at your own pace and would like to see a number of Bavaria attractions in different locations.
Christmas in Germany
Christmas is a really special time in Germany with most cities and towns hosting markets and festive celebrations. There are an enormous range of fun ways to celebrate Christmas in Germany – including Bavaria – as you can read in this article.
Planning a trip to Germany
With your ideal destinations finalised, you’ll need to decide how you’ll travel around.
The German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) offer frequent services across their extensive rail network with ICE (Intercity Express) fast trains running on many routes.
If you prefer the freedom to travel at your own pace and will rent a car, the German road network is excellent with multi-lane autobahns connecting most of the larger towns and cities.
A hassle-free way to explore Germany is on an organised coach tour. There are a range of tours to suit every style of traveller – click here to see what Germany tours are on offer.
Flights to Germany
One very important part of your trip to Germany is the flights. Bavaria’s major international airport is in Munich whilst Frankfurt also makes a good starting point for trips into Bavaria. Berlin, in the north of the country, is also home to a major international airport.
Before you buy your plane tickets to Germany, I suggest you read my tips for getting the best value flights in this article.