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BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN BAVARIA, GERMANY

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN BAVARIA TO VISIT

Bavaria is probably the most beautiful state in Germany. It is full of historical sights, cute towns and villages, bustling cities, and great scenery. If you are wondering about the best places to visit in Bavaria, this post is for you. 

Located all the way down in the south of Germany, bordering Austria, it isn’t a place I would visit regularly. However, after I had already visited places like Munich, Nurnberg, and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, I decided it was time to road trip Bavaria. And, yes, this part of Germany is picturesque. 

Given its size (it is the biggest state in Germany), I do not even claim to have seen all the top places in Bavaria, but I have gotten around, and here are my tips for the most beautiful places.

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Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is probably the prettiest town in Germany. Rothenburg doesn’t disappoint – it is as picturesque as it looks in pictures.

It is a popular stop on the “Romantic Road“ – a road trip in Germany with the most romantic towns and castles along the way.

Plönlein in - Most Photographed Building in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
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I got to visit twice and, admittedly, there are not that many places and attractions. If you are a fast traveler, you might be done in a few hours.

Walk the town walls, and enjoy the cobblestone streets, pretty buildings, and great views. Enjoy a snack in the cutest cafe in Germany, too. Where to find that cafe? Click here for a detailed travel guide on the cutest town – Rothenburg.

Though it is a small town, I still recommend staying in Rothenburg at least for a night. Many tourists come here for a day trip in summer, so it can get busy,in themornings or later afternoons you don’t have to fight your way through the crowds.

From Rothenburg ob der Tauber, you can visit Wurzburg and Dinkelsbühl quite easily.

Eibsee 

Pretty lakes are only in Switzerland and the Dolomites? Not really. There are some beautiful lakes in Bavaria that can keep up (well, almost) with them. Eibsee is one of them.

Most beautiful place in Bavaria, Eibsee
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Eibsee is close to the town of Garmisch-Patenkirchen in the very south of Bavaria and lies at almost 1,000 meters above sea level.

I really recommend walking around the lake because it shows its prettiest colors at the other end. It takes about 2 to 3 hours (depending on your walking speed) to walk around the 8 km lake shoreline and see the lake from the best angles. 

If you visit Eibsee, you can combine it with a trip to Zugspitze – which is the highest mountain in Germany and which is “just around the corner” (more on that later).

You can get here by car or public transportation. It takes just a few minutes to get to the lake.

Wurzburg

Another beautiful city, and probably the friendliest city I have ever come across in Germany, is Wurzburg (or Würzburg in German).

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But Wurzburg is not only great because of its friendly people. The town is known for its baroque and rococo architecture, and wine lovers will also have some fun here. 

It is home to a gorgeous castle, the Würzburg Castle, and an interesting fortress, Marienberg Fortress. The old town and the Marienbrücke are more tourist sights in Bavaria. 

If you are short on time, I suggest staying in Wurzburg for a day. The city is located in the northern part of Bavaria and is often the starting or ending point on the Romantic Road. 

Neuschwanstein Castle

Yes, this is a princess’s dream come true: Neuschwanstein Castle.

Neuschwanstein Castle in the very south of Bavaria is surely one of the top places to see in all of Germany. I had seen images as a child but I never realized it was actually in my own country.

Best fairytale castle Neuschwanstein Castle, Waterfall near Marienbrücke
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It was built on a hill above the village of Hohenschwangau in the 19th century. The former king of Bavaria, Ludwig II, wanted to use it as a place for his retreats, so he paid for the building with his own money. Unfortunately for him, he did not get to see the finished version because he died shortly before its completion. 

While he couldn’t admire his own castle, about 1.3 million visitors do each year – the castle is probably the most famous attraction in Bavaria.

I suggest planning in 3-5 hours for this castle alone (but there is a lake and some more sights, like another castle right next to Schloss Neuschwanstein) and a full day for this area.

Munich 

Munich, Bavaria’s beautiful capital is the second biggest city in Germany and a perfect city to visit.

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Located more towards the south of Germany, it is also a good base to use when heading to other tourist attractions in Bavaria, but the city itself is full of gorgeous places.

Fun things to do in Munich include: visiting the pretty market square (Marienplatz), the Munich Residence, the Town Hall, the Englischer Garten, the Viktualienmarkt, and the Asam Church. 

Of course, people love the Oktoberfest as well (can you believe the last time I was in Munich was at the time of the Oktoberfest, and I still skipped it?).

Munich is a city full of sights. You spend days and weeks here without getting bored. If you have less time, you should plan a full day to explore Munich.

Nuremberg

Nuremberg, the second biggest city in Bavaria, comes with a pretty medieval old town. So, exploring the old town on foot is the best thing to do. Such pretty, old, and colorful houses make a perfect stop for any photographer (or Instagram addict).

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Visit the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle) and look for the numerous statues and fountains throughout the city.

Nurnberg is also known for one of the best Christmas Markets, so if you are in Bavaria at the end of November/ December and enjoy some mulled wine and gingerbread.

Augsburg 

Augsburg is another city to add to your Bavaria itinerary. It is the second oldest in Germany! With about 300,000 inhabitants, it is also the third biggest city in Bavaria, making it a lively and fun place to see.

The best places in Bavaria, Germany, Augsburg
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Medieval houses, a market square with an ancient town hall, the Fuggerei (the oldest social settlement in the world), and the fancy Maximilianstraße – there are many attractions to visit.

However, the most charming and off-the-beaten-path way to discover Augsburg is to stroll the canals and see the watermills. This also makes Augsburg unique, and it felt different than any other place in Bavaria. 

Stay 1 day in Augsburg, and you will see the best places in the city.

Königssee

Near the Austrian border, you will find the clearest lake in Bavaria – the pretty Königssee.

The best places in Bavaria, Germany, Königssee
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Most of the lake lies in the Berchtesgaden National Park, which makes it a protected area. While boats cruise the lake, the water is so clean that you could even drink out of it, thanks to those boats being electric.

Add some hiking and a boat cruise to your Bavaria list. This way, you will see the St. Bartholomä, a popular pilgrimage church and, according to the boat captain, one of the most photographed buildings in the world (not sure about that, though).

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Obersee – a lake just behind Königssee – is reason enough to do the boat cruise. Get out at “Salet“ boat station and, after a ten-minute hike, you have the next treat for your eyes.

If you do some hiking (around Obersee) and go on a boat cruise, I would suggest a full day at Königssee.

Kehlsteinhaus/ Eagle’s Nest

The Kehlsteinhaus, in the area of Berchtesgaden, is known for two reasons: its great views of the beautiful scenery and for being built during the NS dictatorship, where politicians of the NS regime later made decisions.

Best mountain views in Bavaria, Germany, Kehlsteinhaus
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According to the official website of Eagle´s Nest, it wasn’t a present for Hitler´s 50th birthday, though it was often and falsely said to have been.  After the initial idea of destroying the building after the Second World War, it was decided to leave it intact.

Now, you can either hike up or take a special bus to get up and learn about its history – and, of course, enjoy the view. 

This Bavarian attraction is located near Berchtesgaden – and it is also a popular day trip from Munich.

If you hike up (and down), I suggest planning for a full day. If you take the bus to get up and do some hiking at the peak, 3 to 7 hours should be enough. 

Breitbachklamm

There are several gorges in Bavaria, but I will talk about this one since I only visited one of them. The Breitbachklamm is a gorge close to Garmisch-Patenkirchen and one of Bavaria’s best places for outdoor lovers.

Bretibachklamm, Bavaria, Germany What to do (1 von 1)
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It was created by the Breitbach River and is one of the deepest gorges in the Bavarian Alps.

Along the 2.5 km path, you will pass roaring waterfalls and fast currents. There are some steps and uphill hiking included, but with proper shoes, this is a nice walk – especially in summer, when it gets hot in the cities.

It is great to visit from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and I spent about 2 to 3 hours here.

Zugspitze 

Fancying a view from the highest mountain in Germany? Zugspitze stands at almost 3,000 meters above sea level.

What to see in Bavaria, Germany, Zugspitze
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On clear days, the views from up there are supposed to be splendid.

Spoiled by mountain views in Switzerland, I was unsure whether I should pay the 55€ to go up the Zugspitze. I ended up not going because I wanted to have mountain views for that amount of money, and I wasn’t sure that the Zugspitze could actually deliver – on that day as it was a very cloudy day.

The Zugspitze is easily accessible from Garmisch-Partenkirchen and can be easily combined with a trip to Eibsee.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen 

This famous ski resort town in Bavaria consists of Garmisch and Partenkirchen and is one of the most popular places to visit amongst tourists worldwide.

It is also a popular base if you want to visit the Zugspitze, the Eibsee, or Partnachklamm (another gorge), as the town centers themselves don’t have many attractions. 

There are some pretty buildings and lots of flower pots around in the town center, and if you enjoy luxury shopping, then Garmisch-Partenkirchen is your place.

Hintersee Lake

Also, in the region of Berchtesgaden, there is the beautiful Hintersee Lake. It is a mountain lake with great views of the mountain ranges and the Zauberwald forest.

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To enjoy the lake from all different angles, go on an easy 45-minute walk around the lake. On your way, you will find boards with info about different artists who were inspired by this lake.

While I visited in early fall, this is probably also great to visit in winter and summer. You can even rent a rowboat and have fun on the lake.

The lake is located in beautiful and quiet scenery. You can combine it with many different hikes – and in summer you can swim in the lakes and enjoy some water sports activities.

You could spend between 1 to 8 hours here.

Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden

I was really smitten when I passed this beautiful St. Sebastian Church in Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden. With the bridge that is just in front of the church – and the mountains in the background – it seemed to be the icing on top of an already pretty place.

What to see in Bavaria, Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden
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It felt so idyllic and pretty, and it reminded me of how beautiful road-tripping Bavaria can be. It is situated north of the Berchtesgaden National Park, and if you are in the area (Königssee or Hintersee), this is a great stopover.

I did not see much else to do except strolling and taking pictures, so it is really not a place to spend hours.

Dinkelsbühl

The historic town of Dinkelsbühl is the best-preserved medieval town in all of Germany. Apparently, only one window glass was destroyed during World War II – nothing compared to many other German cities, towns, and villages. 

Dinkelsbühl, Where to go in Bavaria, Germany
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Colorful, semi-timbered houses and the Gothic Minster of St. George (one of southern Germany’s most impressive hall churches) are just some examples of its history. Strolling the old town is probably the best thing to do here.

If you are a fast traveler, a few hours will be fine to discover the best of the best-preserved medieval town in Germany. 

Bad Reichenhall

Cute Bad Reichenhall! This little Alpine town is really picturesque and a perfect place to relax and explore the area of Berchtesgaden. 

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The town itself has several pretty gardens, like the Royal Spa Garden, and the small but fine town center with its market square. You can also find out a lot about the history of salt production in Bad Reichenhall.

When I visited places in and around Berchtesgaden, Bad Reichenhall was actually my base. Staying here is not as handy as Berchtesgaden itself, but I loved it and would probably stay here again if I didn’t find a great hotel deal in Berchtesgaden itself.

Linderhof Palace

Linderhof Palace is another beautiful castle with a gorgeous garden in front of it. It is located close to Ettal Abbey.

King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who also built Neuschwanstein Castle, actually got to see the result of this one, the smallest of his three castles. 

Like Neuschwanstein Castle, you can go inside for an entrance fee, but strolling the garden is free. It is probably the nicest garden in Bavaria, even though there is a lot of construction work going on and the construction cranes spoil the idyll.   

You can go for longer hikes around the castle and enjoy lush mountain views.

You can get here from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Füssen or Munich.

Füssen

Another picture-perfect little town to visit in Bavaria is Füssen (or Fussen), in the very south of Bavaria. It is often overlooked, as it is at the end, or beginning, of the Romantic Road, and visitors head to Schloss Neuschwanstein and then home or to Munich.

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However, this pretty town has numerous historic and colorful buildings, like the Hohe Schloss, which used to be a summer residence for bishops and is now a museum, or the monastery Benediktinerklosters St. Mang.

Also, stroll the river and enjoy the views from the Theresienbrücke and the Lech River.  Here are more tips on what to do in Fussen.

If you are into interesting bridges, head to the Walderlebniszentrum Füssen, where you can walk the 480-meter “Baumkronenweg“ for an entrance fee. 

MORE PLACES TO SEE IN BAVARIA + CONCLUSION

Here are a few more places in Bavaria that I haven’t visited yet, but which are high on my list, and you could add to your Bavaria itinerary

  • Bayreuth
  • Chiemsee Lake
  • Passau

As you can see, Bavaria has a lot to offer – it surely is one of the prettiest states in Germany and should be on your Europe itinerary.

I hope this post has helped you get a good impression of the most beautiful and best places to visit in Bavaria, and the travel tips help you create your own trip. 

Safe Travels, Arzo
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