Bavaria is a place with a stunning mix of natural beauty and historic sites, each corner offering something unique to explore. This article is like a highlight reel of the best bits—the places you simply can’t miss in this southern German gem.
We’ve trekked through green forests, past towering mountains, and into the heart of old towns to bring you a list that showcases the prime picks of Bavaria.
In our search for the ultimate Bavarian destinations, we left no stone unturned. You can imagine us poring over maps, comparing notes, and getting lost in photos and tales of each locale. We were on a quest to find spots that show off just how lovely and diverse Bavaria is.
Every place we’ve chosen brings its own flavor to the table. From the iconic, perched high up Neuschwanstein Castle, fitting for a king’s fairytale, to the Zugspitze, the tallest peak around, where the views are so wide and high they’ll take your breath away.
Each stop is a chapter in Bavaria’s story, a blend of nature and history that is inviting and full of surprises. Let this guide lead you to Bavaria’s outstanding highlights, where every spot offers an extraordinary experience.
Be warned, though, after reading this, you’ll be booking the first flight you can to Bavaria!
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Top 10 Best Places To Visit In Bavaria
1. Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle is a place where fairy tales come to life. From the moment it comes into view, perched atop its rugged hill in the Bavarian Alps, you can’t help but be enchanted. It’s the kind of beauty that doesn’t just sit quietly; it announces itself, with towers reaching into the sky and walls that could tell a thousand stories.
I visit whenever I’m in the area, each time feeling like I step into a storybook. The castle’s interior, with its grand rooms and intricate designs, is just as captivating as its exterior. In the throne room, you can almost hear the echo of royal footsteps, and each window frames the kind of views that make you pause and soak in every detail.
Every visit here confirms why it’s a must-see. Whether it’s your first time or your tenth, Neuschwanstein’s splendor never fades. It’s a testament to the imagination, a place that proves beauty can be both timeless and ever-evolving.
2. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a step inside a living fairy tale. Its cobbled streets and medieval architecture transport you to a time when knights roamed and the walls told stories of ancient lore. The colorful half-timbered houses are a photographer’s dream, each corner holding a new surprise, a more charming view.
When I wander through Rothenburg, the scent of fresh pretzels and a cool breeze whispering through the alleyways always greets me. I particularly love the serene walk atop the city’s defensive wall, offering sweeping vistas of terraced gardens and rooftops that meld seamlessly with the surrounding countryside.
Evenings here are magical. As the sun sets, the city glows under the warm light of street lamps, and the Night Watchman’s tour becomes a must-do experience. It’s not just a place to visit—it’s a place to be immersed in, a spot where every visit uncovers something new amidst the old. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, truly, is the jewel of Bavaria.
3. The Romantic Road
Traveling down the Romantic Road is like stepping into a living fairytale. Picture yourself coasting through a landscape where medieval towns, fairytale castles, and unspoiled nature conjure a sense of timeless enchantment. It’s not just the stunning vistas of the Alpine foothills or the majestic Neuschwanstein Castle looming in the distance; it’s the feeling of connection to a rich, romantic past.
Each stop along this legendary route offers its own unique flavor of charm. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a personal highlight, with its perfectly preserved medieval architecture fostering an otherworldly escape from modern-day hustle. The quaint cafes and artisan shops whisper stories of the past, inviting exploration.
Whether it’s the vibrant frescoes of the Wieskirche or the vineyards gently sloping beside the road, the Romantic Road captivates with its blend of art, history, and natural beauty, making it an undeniable jewel of Bavaria. It’s a journey that lingers in your heart long after the last cobblestone fades from view.
4. Berchtesgaden National Park
Berchtesgaden National Park offers a glimpse into a natural world of breathtaking purity. Each visit here feels like a serene escape; the crystal-clear waters of Königssee are like a mirror, reflecting the majestic Alps.
Gazing upon the Watzmann, the park’s iconic peak, is an awe-inspiring moment that has never lessened no matter how often I see it. The sense of peace I find as I explore the gentle paths or face the challenge of a rugged hike is profound. Treasures like the Obersee’s secluded beauty, and the historic St. Bartholomä Church, only accessible by boat or a rewarding hike, are amazing.
Berchtesgaden is a reminder of Earth’s quiet power and raw beauty, a place where nature’s artistry is so vivid, it’s as if the world has turned up the intensity of its colors just to remind us of its wonders. It is, without a doubt, a jewel in Bavaria’s crown.
5. Munich’s Englischer Garten
As you stroll through Munich’s Englischer Garten, you’ll understand why it holds a special place among Bavaria’s must-visit spots. This vast urban park beckons visitors with its sprawling lawns, which unfurl like a green carpet under the city’s skyline. It’s an oasis of tranquility where the chatter of birds vies with the murmur of city life on the fringe.
Here, the serene flow of the Eisbach River adds an almost melodic backdrop as it weaves through the park. On sunny days, you’ll find surfers riding the river’s continuous wave, bringing an unexpected twist to an otherwise idyllic setting. It’s the juxtaposition of such surprises that casts the Englischer Garten in a unique light, making each visit memorable.
Wandering paths lead to hidden beer gardens, where a frothy local brew and pretzels provide respite for weary travelers. The Chinesischer Turm, towering amidst the trees, is not just a landmark; it’s a beacon calling you to indulge in the Bavarian penchant for good food and better company.
6. Linderhof Palace
When you step onto the grounds of Linderhof Palace, it’s like being whisked away into a fairytale. Nestled in the Bavarian Alps, the palace is a jewel of lush gardens and stunning architecture. It’s not the largest of King Ludwig II’s castles, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in opulence and beauty.
A personal highlight is always the Venus Grotto, an artificial cave complete with a dreamy lake. I pause every time, marveling at the vivid colors and eerie illumination. The palace interiors, with their glittering mirrors and intricate patterns, leave a lasting impression of splendor dating back to a time when royal whims were etched in stone and gold leaf.
With each visit, I discover a new detail in the elaborate gardens, whether it’s a hidden fountain or a perfectly trimmed topiary, confirming that Linderhof Palace is indeed one of Bavaria’s most enchanting places.
Bamberg captures your heart with its medieval charm. As you wander through the cobbled streets, the city feels like a page from a fairy tale, with its half-timbered houses and the towering Bamberg Cathedral. Each visit strengthens the sense that this town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is not just a place but a beautiful experience. It’s a fusion of history, culture, and beauty.
The Altes Rathaus, perched in the middle of a river, strikes a balance between a surreal work of art and an architectural marvel. And it’s not just the sights; the town’s brewery tradition invites you to savor a unique smoked beer, something that carries the genuine flavor of Bavarian heritage.
Standing amidst the old town, the serenity and beauty of Bamberg invariably instill a sense of wonder, a reminder of why it stands proudly amongst Bavaria’s best.
Nuremberg, the jewel of Bavaria, holds a unique charm that continuously draws me back. Walking through the cobbled streets, you can’t help but feel wrapped in layers of history, from half-timbered houses to the formidable Nuremberg Castle that stands watch over the city. It’s a place where the past and present elegantly intertwine.
Every visit offers something new amid the familiar. The bustling Christkindlesmarkt, with its twinkling lights and spicy scent of mulled wine, is a festive wonderland that enchants every sense. Meanwhile, the serene Schöner Brunnen fountain whispers secrets of medieval lore if you turn its golden ring.
But beyond the attractions, Nuremberg’s beauty lies in moments of quiet alchemy—like the golden hour painting the old city walls amber, or the gentle hum of the Pegnitz River, which seems to croon lullabies to the city it cradles. Whether you’re exploring history or simply basking in the Bavarian ambiance, Nuremberg has a way of captivating hearts subtly yet wholly.
Wandering through Würzburg, you’re swept into a realm where every street and building tells a tale. The architectural masterpiece, the Würzburg Residence, with its grand staircase and ornate frescoes, is a sight that shouldn’t be missed. Its gardens, with impeccably sculpted hedges and playful fountains, offer a tranquil retreat in the heart of the city.
Standing on the old bridge, Mainbrücke, a glass of local Franconian wine in hand, the view of the Marienberg Fortress across the river is stunning, especially at sunset when the sky is painted with streaks of pink and orange. The warmth of the city’s residents adds to the charm of exploring Würzburg—a place that doesn’t just boast beauty but invites you to be a part of it.
No trip to Bavaria is truly complete without experiencing the blend of history and culture that Würzburg offers.
10. The Zugspitze
When you visit Bavaria, Zugspitze is an absolute must-see. Standing at the summit, the crisp, pure air surrounds you, creating a feeling of profound serenity. It’s Germany’s highest peak and offers views that are simply otherworldly. On a clear day, you can marvel at panoramas spanning four different countries.
The journey to the top, whether by the cogwheel train or the cable car, presents its own grand sights. Glaciers grace the landscape with a timeless majesty, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot climbers challenging the mountain’s daunting yet beautiful terrain.
I often find myself drawn back to Zugspitze. There’s a unique peace that comes with being above the world, isolated from the bustling sounds of daily life. The purity of nature here is unparalleled; it’s a reminder of Earth’s enduring splendor. Each visit feels like the first – staggeringly beautiful and utterly unforgettable.
Bavaria’s breathtaking landscapes, from the fairy-tale castles perched atop lush hills to the crystal-clear lakes nestled within the Alps, beckon to every kind of traveler. Each destination offers a unique window into the region’s rich history and culture, complemented by the warm hospitality of its people.
Whether you’ve come to wander through cobblestone streets, indulge in the hearty Bavarian cuisine, or simply to soak up the awe-inspiring vistas, there’s no doubt that the memories made in these top 10 best places in Bavaria will linger long after the journey has ended.
Venturing into the heart of Bavaria, travelers find more than just a vacation; they encounter an exuberant celebration of heritage, nature, and architecture that is compellingly intertwined with modern life. Don’t miss a chance to visit Bavaria.
Want to learn more about visiting Bavaria? Read our reasons here for why it’s the best region in the world and find all our detailed travel guides to Bavaria here. Also check out our list of the best places to visit in southern Germany here. Make sure you don’t miss our list to what you must know before you travel to Germany here.