Germany’s largest state, Bavaria, is bordered by Austria and the Czech Republic, and it’s also one of Germany’s most popular touristic destinations. Its best known for its magnificent natural scenery that includes captivating mountain peaks, rolling hills and wide rivers.
Top Attractions in Bavaria
The Bavarian Alps
Extending south from Munich to the Austrian frontier and from Lake Constance in the west to neighboring Salzburg in the east, the Bavarian Alps are spectacular and majestic. The Zugspitze Mountain reaches a whopping 3,000 meters high, and most of the mountain peaks range in the same category, with their beauty being intensified by glacier-carved valleys and high plateaus. Whether you’re seeking an easy climb with great views or a challenging hike, the Bavarian Alps can serve it up. The Berchtesgaden National Park is unique in the sense that its peaks - Untersberg and Steinernes Meer - are a hiker’s paradise, which means it’s a destination you can’t pass by if you’re a nature junkie.
Lindau is the Bavarian Alps’ largest town and lies on the shores of Lake Constance. The beautiful Old Town is well worth seeing where it lies on an island in the lake. The harbor is equally as impressive with its Leuchtturm (lighthouse) and the Mangturm. You’ll definitely want to see the 6 meter high Bavarian Lion and the 33 meter high Neuer Leuchtturm that dates back to 1856. Just outside of Lindau you’ll find the sun-kissed town of Lindenberg above Lake Constance at the foot of the Alps, a health resort town famous for its cheeses and hat-making heritage.
Towering out at 2,962 meters high, Zugspitze is Germany’s highest mountain, and it’s part of the Wetterstein Alpine Mountain Range that spans the frontier between Austria and Germany. At the summit you’ll get some of the bets panoramic views of the area and you’ll also see the beautiful gilded cross, all of which can be accessed by the Bayerische Zugspitzbahn cog railway. As you journey up you’ll stop by the Zugspitz-Westgipfel Station, and in wintertime the Schneefernerhaus on the northern edge of the Zugspitzplatt is a skiing heaven!
The Bavarian Forest
The Bavarian Forest runs all the way between Germany and the Czech Republic, comprising of the Bavarian Forest National Park, the Bavarian Forest Nature Park and the Eastern Bavarian Forest Nature Park. This is the largest protected area of forests in all of Europe, with much of its expanse dominating southern Germany. The area can be explored via the countless walking trails, some of which lead to the Great Arber, which measures in at 1,455 meters high is one of Germany’s most popular ski areas, the Bavarian Bohemian Mountain Ridge. Make sure you don’t miss out on experiencing the Tree Top Walk in Neuschonau. It’s a 44 meter high, 500 meter long wooden ramp that leads though the forest to the base of the wooden tower that offers the best views of the area bar none.
At the end of the Deutsche Alpenstrasse is one of the Bavarian Alps’ most popular resort towns, Berchtesgaden. The town is surrounded by the Hoher Göll, Watzmann, Hochkalter, and Untersberg mountains, which is why it’s been a major sightseer’s paradise for centuries on end. A highlight is definitely a visit to the palace of Wittelsbachs, the 6.5 kilometer long Kehlsteinstrasse, its tunnel to Kehlsteinhaus with its restaurant and panoramic views at 1,843 meters up in the air. Another unmissable attraction is the Königssee located in Berchtesgadener Land.
Nestled in the sheltered Isar Valley, Mittelwald is one of the Bavarian-Alps’ most charming old towns. The splendid old houses are set to captivate you from the word go, but there’s also the Baroque Parish Church that’ll possibly steal your heart. Mittenwald also houses the Violin Making Museum, and as such, you can expect to see a lot of violins in the surrounding areas of town!
Located on the most northerly pint of the Danube River, the imperial city of Regensburg has a captivating medieval townscape that consists of numerous churches and old homes that date back to the 13th and 14th centuries. Some of the best highlights include the 310-meter long Stone Bridge, and the Cathedral of St. Peter in the Domplatz, the most beautiful Gothic Church in Bavaria.
The old town of Amberg is one of the best places to get a feel of old Bavaria, with its medieval walls, towers and gates still intact. The Marktplatz is the Old Town’s central focus point and has many great sites you need to see like the 14th century Town Hall, and the Late Gothic Church of St. Martin to name but a few.