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Bavaria is one of the most attractive regions of Germany; it is not surprising that tourists and travelers from all over the world come to this southern land with its nature, architecture, cuisine, climate and leisure opportunities. Bavaria is the largest region in the country, diverse both in its landscape and in its historical heritage. In Bavaria, romantic castles and famous historical monuments, Alpine nature and Franconian “gingerbread” towns, crystal lakes and museums of modern technology can be found.
Travel routes in Bavaria are very diverse. In the north of the region Franconia lies with its small but extremely picturesque towns, thermal spas and the greatest natural attraction – the Danube Fault. In the south of the country, you can see the alpine nature with its lakes, mountains and waterfalls, as well as visit the local ski resorts. To the west there are the world-famous castles, as well as Lake Constance. To the east there is the Bavarian Forest Nature Park. Well, Central Bavaria is traditionally associated with Munich and its many attractions.
◊The climate of Bavaria is quite mild, except the area of the Bavarian Alps. Bavaria is considered to be the southernmost region of the country, so there are much less rainy days than in the rest of Germany.
◊In winter there can be a slight minus temperature and short-term snowfall, which, most often, immediately melts (except the Bavarian Alpes where snow covers the area for the whole winter).
◊Springs, summers and autumns in Bavaria are warm, but not hot, so sightseeing is comfortable almost at any time of the year.
◊Bavaria’s weather is characterized by mildness in most of the region, with the exception of the Bavarian Alps, where winters are quite snowy and ski resorts are open.
◊The swimming season in Bavaria lasts from June to September, and although there are no sea shores, holidays on the lakes are rather popular. In this regard, the leaders are the Constance Lake in the west of Bavaria and the Chiemsee Lake in Central Bavaria.
◊Please, note, that the Alpine lakes (Konigssee, Obersee, Hintersee, etc.) are not suitable for swimming even in the summer months, and it makes sense to visit them only for sightseeing purposes.
◊As for Constance Lake and Chiemsee Lake, here you can find all the necessary options for a beach holiday, and the water temperature warms up for comfortable swimming during the summer time.
In Germany, as in most European countries, the euro currency has been adopted. If you have not exchanged money in advance, then currency exchange offices can be found at the arrival terminal. You may need cash at the airport to pay for public transport or taxis; other currencies (dollars, for example) are not accepted for payment.
In Bavaria, as in the rest of Germany, they speak German, while in the southern part of the region you can hear an unusual Swabian dialect, which is also characteristic of Austria bordering Bavaria. English is understood, as a rule, in all tourist places; many signs in museums, galleries, castles and other attractions are duplicated in English.
◊Please, note, the local time in Bavaria is GMT+2.
How to get to Munich from the airport
Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport is located 30 km from the city center and consists of 2 terminals. There are several ways to get from the airport to the city. You can get to Munich from the airport by train, by regular bus or by taxi.
By taxi: you can order a taxi at the information desk, or book a transfer in advance via various services:
Kiwitaxi is a service for ordering taxi transfers from airports, train stations and hotels around the world;
Intui.Travel is an online service for self-booking a tourist transfer to/from the hotels.
By train: Trains depart from the airport throughout the day, going to the center of Munich. You can get to the city by train in about 45 minutes; they depart from terminal No. 1 every 20 minutes.
By bus: Also, regular buses depart from terminal No. 1, the duration of the trip varies greatly depending on traffic. On average, it is usually from 50 minutes to 1 hour and sometimes a bit more.
Train timetables from Munich airports to various cities in Bavaria can be checked on the Raileurope service; bus timetables from Munich to various cities in Bavaria can be checked on the Flixbus service.
Bavaria has a quite wide network of public transport, so moving between cities and smaller towns here can be easy. A convenient way to travel around the region is to buy the so-called “Bavarian ticket” for regional trains; it is cheap and covers a lot of routes. With such a ticket, you can travel not only around Bavaria, but also, for example, visit the Austrian Salzburg.
You also can use a bus in Germany to get around. Although bus trips take a little longer, they are very popular among budget tourists. In addition, buses also help out when you need to get to places in Bavaria where trains do not go, for example, to Bavarian castles, as well as the Berchtesgaden Alpine region.
As for urban public transport, in most towns there is no need to use it due to the small sizes of towns. The only exception is Munich. In Munich, public transport is represented by the underground, commuter trains, trams and buses. The entire network of public transport in Munich is divided into different areas. In order not to bother yourself with all these divisions into areas, it is convenient for tourists to purchase tickets for the whole day (or for 3 days) and travel unlimited on all means of transport to any part of the city.
⇒You also can get by with a one-time ticket, its cost depends on the area you need to get to (the ticket machines have detailed maps duplicated in English). By the way, there are no turnstiles and barriers in the Munich metro, but this does not mean that there is no control on the line.
◊Please, note, that tickets must be stamped in special machines located at the stations before boarding; on buses, this must be done inside the cabin. For an unvalidated ticket, the owner faces a fine. In general, moving around Munich is quite convenient even for those who are in the city for the first time, because there are detailed signs and maps that help you quickly navigate the place. Munich is a friendly-looking city for tourists and guests of the city.
Germany is traditionally famous for its high-quality roads, and especially for its high-speed highways called autobahns. If you have driver’s license and plan to travel a lot in Bavaria then it makes sense to rent a car. This option is quite popular in Germany, and in Bavaria in particular. You can find car rental offices in any more or less large Bavarian city. Needless to say, there is a great number of offices in Munich.
At the Munich Airport, 9 offices of various car rental companies are open at once. Also, in the city there are car rental offices of Global, InterRent, Budget, Thrifty, Alamo, Europcar, Enterprise, Hertz companies, as well as the national Buchbinder car rental company. You can choose to take a car in almost any class, including small, medium, large, station wagon, premium car, minivan, SUV.
In order to rent a car, you must have a passport, an international driver’s license and a bank card. You will also be offered to take out a car insurance. You also can book a car in advance using special online services:
Discover Cars is a service for searching, comparing and booking cars for renting;
Economybookings is search service for cheap car rentals around the globe.
Bavaria is famous for its “gingerbread” towns, and each town is interesting in its own way. It can be difficult for a traveler to choose which town to eventually include in his or her travel itinerary. We present you a short guide to the main attractions of the cities and towns of Bavaria:
To see in Munich: Marienplatz, Old and New Town Halls, Nymphenburg Palace and Munich Residence, Old and New Pinakotheks, BMW Museum, Hellabrunn Zoo;
To see in Nuremberg: Nuremberg Fortress, Castle Quarter, Market Square, German National Museum, Durer House Museum, Toy Museum, Nuremberg Zoo;
To see in Regensburg: St. Peter’s Cathedral, stone bridge, Thurn and Taxis Palace, Valhalla monument and Weltenburg monastery, Bavarian Forest National Park;
To see in Bamberg: Bamberg Cathedral, Old Town Hall, Museum of Ceramics, Altenburg Castle, New Residence, Michaelsberg Monastery;
To see in Augsburg: Augsburg City Hall, the Basilica of Saints Ulrich and Afra, the churches of St. Anna and the Holy Virgin Mary; the building of the former episcopal residence with a court garden, Legoland park;
To see in Wurzburg: Wurzburg Residence, Marienberg Fortress;
To see in Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Markplatz and Plonlein squares, Topler castle, Nativity Museum;
To see in Passau: Upper and Lower Passau Castles, Mariahilf Monastery, Michaelskirche Church, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Residence Square.
In addition to cities and towns with a rich historical heritage, Bavaria is also famous for its natural landscapes, as well as the famous romantic castles. Most of these attractions are located in the south of the region in the foothills of the Alps. In addition, several thermal spas can be found in Bavaria, which are also becoming increasingly popular among tourists these days.
The natural attractions of Bavaria are very diverse. In the south you can find the Bavarian Alps with the crystal-clear mountain lakes and beautiful forests; in the east there is the Bavarian Forest National Park; in the west there is one of the largest lakes in Europe called Bodensee (or Constance Lake); in the north there is the only inland fjord in Europe called Kelheim; in the center of the region there is the Chiemsee Lakw with magnificent islands. In addition, in Bavaria you can relax in one of the thermal spas, be it Bad Kissingen in Franconia or Bad Reichenhall in the foothills of the Alps.
The Bavarian Forest National Park is one of the most visited natural attractions in Bavaria. The park is a vast mountainous forest area, where rare species of plants and trees grow, as well as wild animals live. For the most part, the park consists of coniferous trees. You can walk here along special touristic routes that allow you to see the maximum of natural beauties. The Bavarian Forest is located in the eastern part of Bavaria, on the border with the Czech Republic; the nearest major city is Regensburg, but the park’s tourist offices, where you can find out about the routes, are located in the towns of Lusen and Falkenstein.
The Bavarian Alps area is one of the most beautiful sights in the region. The mountains are located on the border with Austria; here you can find the top ski resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the thermal spa of Bad Reichenhall and the mountain resort of Berchtesgaden. All three places are popular not only among tourists, but also among the locals. Fresh air, amazing natural landscapes, mineral springs, historical monuments attract travellers from all over the world. Once in the area of the Bavarian Alps, you should definitely visit the highest point of the Zugspitze, the mountain lake of Konigssee, salt mines and the historical site called “Eagle’s Nest”.
Bodensee (Constance Lake) is located in the west of the region and is one of the largest lakes in Europe. In fact, the lake is so large that it is surrounded by several countries at once. In addition to Germany, it is also Austria and Switzerland. And in Germany, Bodensee is administratively located on the territory of two regions – Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg. On the Bavaria side, Lindau is considered to be the largest spa town. This town is cute and cozy and attracts attention with its lighthouse and Mangturm tower; it also has other historical sights. Lindau is perfect for both beach and sightseeing holidays.
The Danube Fault in the town of Kelheim is a unique natural attraction located in the very north of the Bavarian region. In fact, the fault is the only inland fjord in Europe and it definitely deserves attention.
The Chiemsee is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Bavaria. The lake is located in the central part of the region, just an hour and a half drive from Munich. Chiemsee is a great place for swimming in the summer, but, in addition to a beach holiday, you can also see numerous attractions here. For example, on the islands of the lake there are a Baroque palace and a Benedictine monastery; there is also the Prinavera water park nearby, as well as a thermal complex in the neighboring town of Bad Endorf. In general, Chiemsee offers a lot of entertainment for its visitors.
The thermal spa of Bad Kissingen is less well known than its “brothers” Baden-Baden and Bad Reichenhall, but it offers no less options for relaxing. Sanatoriums, spa hotels, thermal complexes, parks and gardens – that’s what Bad Kissingen is famous for. In addition, there are a number of historical sights, and even a zoo, which also deserve attention of travelers.
Visiting romantic castles is another great reason for travelling to Bavaria. The most famous castles in Bavaria are considered to be Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, standing opposite each other a located a few kilometers from the medieval town of Fussen, in the south of Bavaria. In addition to these two castles, another southern castle called Linderhof is also popular; it is more festive and baroque. You can see both exteriors and interiors of the castle; the gardens surrounding the castle are also attractive.
A little less known is Herrenchiemsee Castle, built by order of the same king; it has a number of similarities with other Bavarian castles and impresses with its majesty and elegance. Herrenchiemsee Castle is located on one of the islands of the Chiemsee Lake. Well, the most easily accessible castle in Bavaria is Nymphenburg Palace, located in one of the districts of Munich. All in all, we can say that all four castles are worth seeing, and often tourists come on a trip to Bavaria to view these grandiose architectural buildings.
Bavaria is considered to be a popular tourist region. You can stay in Bavarian towns in hotels, B&B`s, apartments, guest houses, etc. The largest number of hotel offers is presented in Munich, as it is the largest city in the region, however, housing can be easily found in any other towns.
⇒The service of Bavarian hotels is no different from hotels in the rest of Germany. Even if this is a very small family hotel, then you don’t have to worry about the quality of services. In small towns, you can often find family hotels of the “bed and breakfast” type. As a rule, such hotels are designed for a small number of guests. In larger cities (Munich, Nuremberg, Regensburg, etc) you can also find standard chain hotels with the usual set of services.
⇒The same goes for apartments. This option is becoming more and more popular among travelers and it differs from hotels, in fact, in that the apartments have an equipped kitchen area, which means that the guest takes care of preparing food on his or her own. Renting apartments is especially popular in the southern resort towns of Bavaria and in ski resorts.
⇒It is definitely better to book a hotel or an apartment in advance, because you can find more budget options, especially in the “high” season. Before booking, it is recommended to read the reviews of guests who have already visited the location, so you can choose the best accommodation option in terms of price and quality.
The Christmas markets are very popular in Europe. Such fairs last until Christmas, and you can find them in literally every major city, be it Stockholm, Strasbourg, Prague or Innsbruck. One of the most colorful Christmas markets are the Bavarian fairs in Munich and Nuremberg. This is where you can feel the real vibes of Christmas. Most often, fairs look like tent camps selling Christmas tree decorations, delicious Christmas pastries, Bavarian sausages and hot mulled wine. The Christmas markets are also a place for costumed performances, in which everyone can participate; this creates festive vibes and a lot of fun.
Photo above the article: Skaja Lee