Last Updated on January 7, 2023 by Soumya
On my last 10-day trip to Germany, I began by exploring the largest German state – Bavaria or Bayern. It is also one of the prettiest states in Germany. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Bavaria that honestly, it was a task zeroing down on where to go!
We began in the capital city of Munich, went on several day trips nearby, and explored more on Bavaria’s Romantic Road. With so many places to see in Bayern, there was never a dearth of choices.
In Bavaria, we visited magical castles, checked out historic churches, got charmed by timbered dwellings, and glided through alpine lakes in the Alps. Even the towns in Bavaria are utterly beautiful and charming. Some of my favorite ones were Munich, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and Regensburg. I still have 10 more in my wish-list.
No doubt, there is an exhaustive list on the best places to visit in Bavaria. I could not do all of them in one go but here’s what I loved + what I would love to go back for – my Bavaria Bucket List – 10 Beautiful Places to see in Bavaria.
10 Best Places To Visit In Bavaria
Bavaria is one of the most picturesque travel destinations in the whole of Europe and honestly, one of my favorite ones too. The map of Bavaria is dotted with beautiful places and pristine holiday destinations accompanied by great food and good beer. A sorted European vacation, right?
The best part is that all the beautiful towns in Bavaria can be easily accessed by railway. That means if you do not wish to rent a car like me, you can still see the beautiful Bavarian countryside and gape at fairytale castles nestled in the midst of snow-covered Alps.
I also discovered that I could take a train through Bavaria’s Romantic Road, one of the most attractive road trips in Europe. And with a little planning like purchasing a Bayern Ticket, I could save lots on travel and literally plan this Europe trip on a budget.
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Munich, the capital of Bavaria, was one of my favorite places to visit in Bavaria during my 10 days in Germany. Filled with is resplendent palaces, historic churches, and world-class museums, Munich definitely makes for a beautiful European destination.
At the heart of Munich, lies Altstadt or Old Town which houses Marienplatz, an old town square that is nearly 1000 years old. Here, you will find an impressive New Town Hall, the Munich Cathedral which has a Footprint of the Devil, and St. Peter’s Church with its impressive Baroque interior. Right in front of the New Town Hall, you can enjoy the spectacle of Glockenspiel – one of the most popular things to do in Munich with kids.
Not very far away is Viktualienmarkt, the perfect place to shop for food and souvenirs, and Hofbrauhaus, a beer hall that is nearly 400 years old. Be sure take a tour of the Munich Residenz, the opulent urban palace of the Royal Wittelsbach Family. The Hall of Antiquities is spectacular.
Munich has some really good museums including the very famous Deutsches Museum – one of the largest science and technology displays in the world. There is also Alte Pinakothek – an art gallery with prominent Old Master paintings.
Do not miss the Englischer Garten, Munich’s largest public park that is even bigger than NYC’s Central Park. It is one of Munich’s best attractions as well as the perfect relaxing spot.
Also read: How to see the best of Munich in 2 days?
Nymphenburg Palace & Gardens
Located in the western fringes of Munich is the picturesque Baroque palace of Nymphenburg. It was built in the 17th century as a summer residence of the Bavarian monarchs and is one of the best places to see in Bayern.
The entire palace is an elaborate complex of tea houses, bathing places, hunting lodge, various museums, gardens, and a central palatial building.
It can take an entire day to walk through all the opulent hallways and spacious rooms that the palace has to offer. Primly manicured gardens and palace interiors that are worth drooling at make the entire complex one of the top sights in Bavaria.
Nuremberg is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is the second-largest city in the state after Munich and home to some of the prettiest Christmas markets in the holiday season.
The city is also Bavaria’s prominent center of art and culture and houses the famous National Germanic Museum, a lively Toy Museum, and the Nuremberg Transport Museum. The Nuremberg Castle and the old town walls are definitely worth a see.
In Nuremberg, you will also find the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds, a powerful reminder of the most turbulent periods of world history. When in Bavaria you should plan to spend at least a day in Nuremberg.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
If you are looking for a quintessential Bavarian town, you have to visit the town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Located on the Romantic Road, Rothenburg odT is a medieval walled town replete with colorful, half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, and charming public squares.
One of Rothenburg’s unmissable attractions is the Plönlein or the Little Square (picture above) surrounded by colored homes with flower-laden balconies. In the backdrop is a medieval gate topped with a wall clock. The Little Square of Rothenburg is definitely one of Europe’ most photographed locations.
Only a couple of minutes away from the Plönlein, is the unique Medieval Crime Museum that chronicles several crimes and punishments associated with them in medieval Europe. Rothenburg also has a permanent Christmas village where you can check out a white Christmas tree, appreciate an snow-covered German homes, and buy Christmas goodies throughout the year.
If you are looking for a charming Alpine town in the German mountains, then Berchtesgaden is just the place for you. This picturesque village is often ignored/skipped for the more famous city of Salzburg nearby.
But Berchtesgaden can offer a lot to the usual tourist including amazing panoramic views, wonderful boat rides, easy and difficult hikes, and a good bit of history.
The top attraction here is Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest which provides breath-taking views of the valley and a peek into the power of Nazi regime. A boat tour on the Alpine Lake Konigsee, Bavaria’s deepest lake, is highly recommended in spring and summer. Here you will visit the quaint, little church of St. Bartholomew (picture below) and the view against a backdrop of steep, tall mountains is guaranteed to take your breath away.
The historic town of Bamberg is one of the oldest and culturally richest towns in Germany. It was awarded the UNESCO World Heritage Site status back in 1993 for its strong cultural influence in the Enlightenment of Southern Germany in the 18th century.
The well-preserved old town has three different sections- the episcopal town, the island town, and the market gardener’s town. Bamberg is especially famous for its beer which is unique, unusual, and popular at the same time. It is called the Smoked Beer because of its unique smokey flavor which is the result of a different brewing process.
The Old Town of Regensburg is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of Bavaria. The town has an iconic Old Stone Bridge from the 12th century that is a major attraction for tourists around the world.
Apart from that, Regensburg has a number of impressive buildings in Roman, Romanesque, and Gothic architectural styles. Regensburg also houses the World’s Oldest Sausage Kitchen which has been serving fried sausages to customers for the past 900 years!
Wurzburg, located on one end of the picturesque Romantic Road, is one of Bavaria’s most beautiful places. It is often called the Baroque city because of its opulent Baroque and Rococo architecture.
One of Wurzburg’s most iconic landmarks is the Wurzburg Residence, a magnificent Baroque palace. Together with the Court Gardens and Residence Square, it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Palace highlights include the Imperial Chambers with a Mirror Cabinet and the Hofkirche Church elaborately furnished by frescoes. Do not miss the Tiepolo ceiling fresco that greets you as you walk up the staircase.
Other fascinating monuments include the Marienburg Fortress, St. Kilian’s Cathedral, and St. Mary’s Chapel. Be sure to take a stroll along Wurzburg’s Old Main Bridge that is flanked by several Baroque statues of saints.
Bavarian Alps are one of the best holiday destinations in Bavaria and a favorite both among locals and tourists. The mountains are filled with idyllic villages, lush green meadows, and shiny lakes.
Some really picturesque castles also dot these ranges. Bavarian Alps have been befittingly termed as the most scenic place in Central Europe. Skiing and snowboarding are popular sports.
If you are looking for the perfect place to ski, then Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the place for you. Here you will also find Zugspitze, the highest mountain peak in Germany. I know hiking is on your mind already! Well, then go for it.
And last but not least is the best thing that Bavaria, Germany can offer. The Neuschwanstein Castle!
Often dubbed as the Fairytale Castle, Neuschwanstein is a 19th-century Romanesque palace located in southwest Bavaria. The beauty of the palace lies not only in its medieval architecture but also in the fact that it is located on the top of a hill in the Bavarian Alps.
All this makes it one of the most magical castles in Germany and a very popular tourist destination in Europe. Neuschwanstein is believed to have inspired the creation of Cinderella’s Castle in Disneyworld. Replete with cylindrical turrets and pointed rooftops, the castle is every Disney lover’s dream-come-true. For details on logistics, history, and tours of Neuschwanstein Castle, click here.
So, here’s my pick on the best places to visit in Bavaria. Have you been to one or many of them? Which is your favorite? Or, did I miss your favorite? Drop me a line below and we can get the conversation going.