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Things to do in Bavaria

Things to do in  Bavaria

Welcome to Bavaria

Bavaria is a mountainous land in the southeast of Germany rich in both history and culture, where Oktoberfest—an annual festival featuring beer, sausage, and lederhosen—draws in revelers in their droves. The festival is held in Munich, the Bavarian capital, which boasts some of the finest architecture in Europe. But Bavaria is a vast area with much to offer beyond Munich—from the walled city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber to King Ludwig II's unfinished island castle of Herrenchiemsee, you won't be short on things to do. With that in mind, tours that link several sights are often the best way to experience the region. Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle, can easily be combined with the villages of Oberammergau and Hohenschwangau on a day trip from Munich. Private tours take visitors into the Bavarian wilderness, from the high mountains to the deep lake of Berchtesgaden National Park, as well as the area's dense forests where a local guide is your best bet for exploring. For sports enthusiasts, the Bavarian Alps offer ski resorts that are cozier and less expensive than those in neighboring countries. Finally, many people choose to visit Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site on guided tours which provide insight into a dark chapter in German history.

Top 15 attractions in Bavaria

Neuschwanstein Castle

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With its snow-white limestone facade and fanciful turrets peeking out from the forested mountain tops of the Hohenschwangau valley, Neuschwanstein Castle (Schloss Neuschwanstein) could easily have been lifted from the pages of a fairy tale. In a way, it has—the German castle famously inspired Disney'sSleeping Beauty castle.More

Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus)

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Just an hour’s drive outside of Salzburg lies the alpine town of Berchtesgaden and the historic Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus), Adolf Hitler’s mountaintop chalet and the former southern headquarters of the Nazi party. Perched atop Mt. Kehlstein, Eagle’s Nest offers a dark history and panoramic views of Germany’s Bavarian Alps.More

Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds

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A vast tract of untended land southeast of Nuremberg's medieval city center, the Nazi Party Rally Grounds were once the stage for some of Adolf Hitler's most infamous and dangerous speeches during the rise of the Third Reich. The nearby Documentation Center museum chronicles the terrors inflicted by the Nazi party during World War II.More

Linderhof Castle

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Inspired by the Palace of Versailles in France, Bavaria’s 19th-century Linderhof Castle is one of the country’s most magnificent structures. The smallest in a trio of elaborate royal palaces built by King Ludwig II (also known as the “Mad King”), Linderhof was the only one he saw completed.More

Marienplatz

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A public plaza in the center of Munich, Marienplatz is full of history—it’s been the city’s main square and central heart of Munich’s Old Town (Altstadt) since 1158. Marienplatz is a popular gathering spot and possibly the busiest location in all of Munich, with crowds of locals and tourists visiting its landmarks, shops, and restaurants on foot from early morning until late at night.More

Imperial Castle of Nuremberg (Kaiserburg)

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Built in 1120, Imperial Castle of Nuremberg (Kaiserburg) was once a residence for kings of the Holy Roman Empire. Despite suffering damage over the years (especially during WWII), the castle has been carefully restored to showcase its original Gothic and Romanesque architecture.More

Victuals Market (Viktualienmarkt)

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Munich's historic Victuals Market is the city’s main destination for gourmet Bavarian goods. Its stalls—many family-run for generations—overflow with exotic fruits, fresh vegetables, truffles, flowers, spices, sausages and hams, artisanal cheeses, honey, and much more. Snack as you go or gather items for a picnic at the nearby park.More

Zugspitze

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Located close to the Austrian border and soaring to a height of 9,718 feet (2,962 meters), the snow-crowned Zugspitze is Germany's highest mountain and one of its most popular ski resorts. The views from the top are spectacular, spanning the German and Austrian Alps.More

Odeonsplatz

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Hemmed in by Italianesque palaces, grand concert halls, and Baroque churches—Odeonsplatz is a testament to Munich’s storied past and the site of some of the city’s key historic events. At the northern end of Munich Old Town (Altstadt), the busy public square is the gateway to the Hofgarten gardens and the Munich Residenz.More

Munich Residence (Residenz München)

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Discover elaborately adorned rooms and royal art collections during a visit to Munich Residence, the former royal palace of the Bavarian Monarch. This landmark is the largest city palace in Germany and contains museum displays spread across 130 rooms including collections of porcelain, silver, antiquities, and paintings.More

Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady (Frauenkirche)

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A Munich landmark, the Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady (Frauenkirche) features two 325-foot (99-meter) towers topped by spherical domes. According to local ordinance, no other building in the city may be taller than this, preserving the cathedral’s central position on the skyline of Bavaria’s capital.More

St. Peter's Church (Peterskirche)

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Explore a piece of Munich’s history with a visit to St. Peter’s Church or Peterskirche, a Roman Catholic church built in the 12th century. The building is known for its Gothic paintings, sculptures, and a ceiling fresco, plus panoramic views from its spire. Colored rings at the lower platform reveal details about the view from the spire; a white ring means the Alps are visible.More

English Garden (Englischer Garten)

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One of the largest urban parks in the world, the English Garden (Englischer Garten) is Munich’s most popular green space, boasting over 48 miles (78 kilometers) of walking and cycling trails. It offers plenty to explore, including a Japanese teahouse, a boating lake, and traditional beer gardens.More

Regensburg Cathedral (St Peter Cathedral)

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The Regensburg Cathedral is the most important church in the city and is dedicated to St. Peter. It is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Regensburg and its two tall spires can be seen from all around the city. It is one of the best examples of Gothic church architecture in Bavaria. Though a church was once at this location since the year 700, the one that you see today was completed in the early 1300s. Over the centuries the cathedral underwent several renovations including the addition of Baroque elements.On the north side of the cathedral you can visit the Bishop's Palace, which is now the Treasury Museum. The square to the west is called Domplatz. The west portal of the cathedral is decorated with arches, canopies, and several sculptures depicting scenes from the bible. Nearly 100 images of St. Peter can be found both outside and inside the cathedral. Visitors can also admire the large number of detailed stained glass windows that have managed to survive since the Middle Ages.More

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

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The Dachau Concentration Camp was opened by Adolf Hitler's Nazi government in 1933, and served as a model for later concentration camps. Today, the camp is a memorial to the more than 32,000 people who died and the more than 200,000 who were imprisoned during the Nazi regime. The memorial was established as a site of memory and education in 1965, 20 years after Dachau was liberated by American troops.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Munich

How to Spend 2 Days in Munich

Top activities in Bavaria

Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle Small-Group Premium All-Inc Tour from Munich
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Neuschwanstein Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Munich
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Romantic Road, Rothenburg, and Harburg Day Tour from Munich
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VIP tour to the royal castles Neuschwanstein and Linderhof from Munich
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Recent reviews from experiences in Bavaria

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A castle and a palace in one day!!!
Robin_B, Aug 2022
Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle Small-Group Premium All-Inc Tour from Munich
I loved that we got to see two castles in one tour, with a little side trip to see the town where they have fairytales painted on some of the houses!
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Great beautiful castles n garden n fountain
Irma_A, Aug 2022
Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle Small-Group Premium All-Inc Tour from Munich
To see Inside these magnificent castles.
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So so beautiful
Kailey_G, Jul 2022
Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace Day Tour from Munich
I am so grateful I had the opportunity to see them.
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Interesting tour through the landscapes of Bavaria
Morgan_C, Nov 2022
Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace Day Tour from Munich
Smaller than most palaces, the tour lasts only a couple of minutes but you get to see everything.
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Very informative and enjoyable tour with Elizabeth
Minerva_S, Oct 2022
Salzburg Sightseeing Small-Group Day Tour from Munich by Rail
She speaks English very fluently and clearly, making her an excellent guide for English language tours.
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English Gardens 2 hr journey
deedeewillems, Sep 2022
Private and full rickshaw tour in the English Garden
The English Gardens were a beautiful destination.
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Excellent Trip
Laura_F, Jun 2022
Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle Small-Group Premium All-Inc Tour from Munich
Monika was knowledgeable and provided wonderful history, pointed out landmarks and gave us other suggestions of things to see in Bavaria.
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Over commercialised
Catherine_W, Jul 2022
Neuschwanstein Castle Skip-the-line Ticket Including Guide
Visit at a quieter time of year; in summer you feel processed through it, and the visit is only around 40 mins, barely time to notice anything.
star-5
Fantastic Bavarian Adventure!
Amore_M, Apr 2022
Comfort Mini-Van & Professional and FRiENDLY Guide: CUSTOMIZED 1-DAY TOUR from Munich
We only had two places we absolutely wanted to see - Stefan spent the rest of the trip showing us the Bavarian towns and countryside, along with the narrative we would never have with a public tour.
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The best tour you’ll find.
Carl_W, Dec 2021
Open Group Munich City Immersion Tour
It was the first winter tour and the weather was uncooperative.
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Greatly enjoyed the...
David_B, Oct 2021
MY*GUiDE EXCLUSiVE Neuschwanstein Tour INCL. TICKETS from GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN
Our tour guide, Stefan, was so informative and spoke great English.
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Best Tour Taken!
Hector_B, Mar 2019
Bavarian Beer and Food Evening Tour in Munich
Great way to see the city while also getting some tastes of Bavarian culture.
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Do this tour!!!
Christine_M, Nov 2022
Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle Small-Group Premium All-Inc Tour from Munich
This was such a great find, of course everyone travels to see these castles when you go to Bavaria.
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Fantastic guide Dani who really...
Robert R, Oct 2017
Neuschwanstein Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Munich
Really pleased we travelled by train , got to see all the beautiful countryside, and Dani gave us some real insights into Bavaria and its culture.
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Our tour was fantastic! Our guide...
Cynthia, Jul 2017
Munich Small-Group Bike Tour
This is the best way to see the city!
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Great (but rushed) tour
Kirsty_Y, Sep 2022
Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace Day Tour from Munich
This tour was a fantastic way to see the famous and beautiful castles of Bavaria.
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Salzburg is such a small city that...
Patrick S, Nov 2015
Salzburg Sightseeing Small-Group Day Tour from Munich by Rail
Our tour guide, Yolanda, had a great knowledge of the city and its secrets, and the best places to visit.
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The bus ride was great. You get to...
Kevin V, Dec 2014
Zugspitze - Germany's Highest Mountain - Day Tour from Munich
You get to see the countryside of Bavaria.
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This was a lovely trip through...
marilyn_S, Jun 2014
Neuschwanstein Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Munich
By the time we joined up with the hundreds ofother people jostling to see mad king Ludwigs excesses .
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An amazing experience!
Lubov_B, Oct 2022
Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle Small-Group Premium All-Inc Tour from Munich
A luxurious coach with restrooms, coffee made to order, snacks and beer, an extremely hospitable and friendly driver :) ; a professional and cordial guide with perfect organizational and English language skills; perfectly timed activities.
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All about Bavaria

When to visit

To see Bavaria’s countryside beauty at its best, hike the Alps, and avoid the crowds, visit during spring or fall. YOu can also time your visit to one of the major local festivals: The Bayreuth Festival (Bayreuther Festspiele), which runs from July to September is a tribute to German composer Richard Wagner that draws visitors from from all over to celebrate Bavarian food and culture. Gäubodenvolksfest, in Straubing, is the second-largest beer festival in Germany—and a less-crowded alternative to Oktoberfest.

Getting around

It’s hard to beat the magic of driving along Bavaria’s Romantic Road (Romantische Straße), a 220-mile (354-kilometer) route from Würzburg to Füssen that passes picturesque villages, UNESCO-listed sites, and idyllic scenery. If you don’t have a car, you can get around via Bavaria’s excellent train and bus networks. If you want to see a lot in a short time, opt for a Bayernticket from Deutsche Bahn, which allows unlimited travel in Bavaria for a day.

Traveler tips

Travelers flock to Bavaria’s main cities like Munich and Nuremberg, but there are plenty of fairytale towns and villages fartjer off the beaten track. Try Mittenwald, a small town and ski resort with painted houses and cobblestone streets; or UNESCO-listed Bamberg, which is known for its stunning old town, historic buildings, and unusual smoked beer. Another great option is Würzburg, which sits at the heart of the Franconian wine country and boasts excellent wineries and cellar bars.

Currency
Euro (€)
Time Zone
CET (UTC +1)
Country Code
+49
Language(s)
German
Frequently Asked Questions