17 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Bavaria Germany
Bavaria, Germany’s largest state, lies in the southeast corner of the country and is bordered by Austria and the Czech Republic. Bavaria, one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations, is filled with attractions and things to do. It offers some of the country’s most beautiful scenery, including spectacular mountain peaks, rolling hills, and lovely lakes. In this article, we will explore everything about Bavaria Germany.
About Bavaria Germany
Bavaria, known as Bayern in German, is one of the 16 federal states (Bundesländer) that constitute the Federal Republic of Germany. Positioned in the southeastern part of the country, Bavaria enjoys widespread recognition for its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking natural landscapes, and a robust sense of regional identity. Now, let’s delve into some key points about Bavaria:
Bavaria, the largest state in Germany, covers an expansive area of approximately 70,550 square kilometers (27,200 square miles). Moreover, it shares borders with Austria, the Czech Republic, and several other German states. This state is notably characterized by its diverse geography, encompassing the Bavarian Alps in the south, picturesque lakes, rolling hills, and fertile plains.
The capital and largest city of Bavaria is Munich (München in German). Munich is not only a thriving economic and cultural hub but also famous for its annual Oktoberfest celebration, which is the world’s largest beer festival.
Bavaria boasts one of Germany’s strongest economies, with a focus on industries such as automotive manufacturing (BMW, Audi), aerospace (Airbus), technology (Siemens), and the chemical sector. The state is also known for its thriving tourism industry, attracting visitors with its historic cities, charming villages, and outdoor recreational opportunities.
4) Culture and Tradition
Bavaria has a distinct cultural identity with a deep appreciation for traditions like folk music, traditional costumes (lederhosen and dirndls), and Bavarian cuisine, known for dishes like pretzels, sausages, and sauerkraut. The state is also home to numerous festivals, including the aforementioned Oktoberfest.
5) Education and Research
Bavaria is home to some of Germany’s most prestigious universities and research institutions. The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are renowned for their academic excellence.
Bavaria has its own state parliament, known as the Landtag, and plays a significant role in German federal politics. The state has been governed by the Christian Social Union (CSU), a conservative party, for much of its post-war history.
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Major cities of Bavaria
Bavaria is home to several major cities, each with its own unique character and cultural significance. Some of the biggest and most prominent cities in Bavaria include:
- Munich (München): Munich is the capital and largest city of Bavaria. It is not only the economic and cultural center of the state but also one of Germany’s most important cities.
- Nuremberg (Nürnberg): Nuremberg is the second-largest city in Bavaria and is famous for its medieval old town, which features well-preserved city walls, historic buildings, and the Nuremberg Castle.
- Augsburg: One of Bavaria’s oldest cities, Augsburg. It earned recognition for its well-preserved medieval old town, Renaissance buildings, and the Fuggerei, the world’s oldest social housing complex. It is an important cultural and economic hub in the region.
- Regensburg: Located on the Danube River, Regensburg is another Bavarian city with a well-preserved medieval old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is known for its historic architecture, including the Regensburg Cathedral.
- Ingolstadt: Ingolstadt is known for its automotive industry, as it is the headquarters of the German car manufacturer Audi. It is also home to historical sites like the New Castle (Neues Schloss) and various museums.
- Würzburg: Würzburg is known for its beautiful baroque and rococo architecture, particularly the Würzburg Residence, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is located in the Franconian wine region and is famous for its wines.
- Erlangen: Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) and its research and innovation-focused industries are known for Erlangen. It is part of the metropolitan area around Nuremberg.
- Fürth: Fürth is located in close proximity to Nuremberg and is known for its historic old town, cultural events, and the annual Michaelis Fair.
- Bayreuth: Bayreuth is famous for hosting the annual Bayreuth Festival, dedicated to the works of composer Richard Wagner. It is a city with a rich cultural heritage and beautiful gardens, including the Eremitage.
These cities contribute to Bavaria’s rich cultural tapestry and offer a wide range of attractions, from historical sites to cultural events and vibrant urban life.
Places to visit in the state of Bavaria Germany
1. Neuschwanstein – A Fairytale Castle
Perhaps “Mad” King Ludwig II was eccentric in his choice of a fairy-tale-inspired neo-Romanesque style for his castle, but his choice of setting was pure genius. The spires and towers rise from a rocky crag above a forest and lake, with a panorama of the Bavarian Alps rising beyond.
2. Glockenspiel in Marienplatz, Munich
Munich, the capital of Bavaria, ranks as the third-largest city in the country and is home to many of Germany’s top tourist attractions. Situated on the River Isar, along the fringes of the Bavarian Alps, it stands out as one of the best places from which to explore Bavaria.
3. Zugspitze and the Bavarian Alps
Bavaria’s Zugspitze is part of the Wetterstein Alpine mountain range that spans the frontier between Austria and Germany. Steep valleys surround it, and visitors can reach its 2,962-meter eastern summit by taking a cable car from Eibsee or the Bayerische Zugspitzbahn cog railway, which starts in either Eibsee or Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
4. Nymphenburg and the Residenz, Munich’s Royal Palaces
The Munich Residenz, the seat of the dukes, electors, and kings of Bavaria for centuries, is one of Europe’s most spectacular palaces. Additionally, in the summer, the royal family moved to their airy country palace of Nymphenburg, which is surrounded by magnificent gardens.
5. Tour Nürnberg Castle and Altstadt (Old Town)
Although badly damaged in World War II, Nürnberg’s historic Altstadt has been painstakingly restored to its prewar condition. Enclosed by more than four kilometers of walls that date from the 12th to the 16th century, the Old Town is a historic area. Nuremberg Castle, among the most important surviving medieval fortresses in Europe, dominates the area with its 351-meter-tall fortification.
6. Englischer Garten (English Garden), Munich
One of the most popular places to go in Munich, for both locals and tourists, the English Garden attracts walkers, joggers, and cyclists with 78 kilometers of pathways and bridle paths, and sunbathers with acres of lawn and riverbanks.
7. Rothenburg and the Romantic Road
The three medieval walled towns of Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber, Dinkelsbühl, and Nördlingen are highlights of the Romantic Road. Furthermore, it’s a driving route that scenically winds through the rolling countryside of Bavaria and northern Baden-Württemberg.
8. Linderhof Palace
Linderhof Palace was King Ludwig II’s favorite, and it’s easy to see why. Although it glitters with lavish ornamentation, its size and its setting amid cool green forests give it an intimate and livable quality.
9. Königssee and Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest)
One of the most beautiful spots in Bavaria is the emerald green Königssee. It’s a lake surrounded by steep wooded mountainsides and the rocky cliffs of the Watzmann range.
10. Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial
Before World War II and the Nazi era, the little town of Dachau was known for its castle and as a plein air artists’ colony. Today, the attractive town’s name is almost synonymous with the Holocaust. It is known as the site of the notorious Dachau concentration camp.
King Ludwig II of Bavaria chose an island in Chiemsee, Bavaria’s largest lake, as the site of his third and largest palace, Herrenchiemsee.
12. Imperial Regensburg
The old imperial city of Regensburg lies at the most northerly point of the Danube. Here, it is joined by the River Regen and remains navigable all the way to the Black Sea.
13. Bamberg Cathedral
Bamberg Cathedral — affectionately referred to by locals as Domberg — lies high atop a hill overlooking one of Bavaria’s most picturesque small cities.
14. Partnach Gorge
One of Bavaria’s most dramatic natural wonders is the Partnach Gorge. The Partnach River in Garmisch-Partenkirchen cut a narrow crevasse into the solid rock.
15. Passau and the Danube
Passau lies on the Austrian frontier at the junction of the Danube and the River Inn. It is famous for its flat-roofed, 17th-century, Italian-style houses linked by flying buttresses.
16. Art Museums in Munich’s Kunstareal District
The art district around the Neoclassical Königsplatz features one of the finest groups of art museums anywhere in Europe.
17. Cruise through the Danube Gorge from Weltenburg Abbey
Carved about 200,000 years ago when a branch of the Danube wore through the limestone and changed the course of the river. The Danube Gorge is a five-kilometer ravine with rock walls as high as 70 meters.
In conclusion, Bavaria, Germany, is a captivating blend of natural splendor, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the fairytale allure of Neuschwanstein Castle to the cultural treasures of Munich and the breathtaking landscapes of the Bavarian Alps, Bavaria offers an unforgettable journey through its diverse attractions and warm hospitality.
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