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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

#1
Neuschwanstein Castle

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
#2
Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus)

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
#3
Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds

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
#4
Linderhof Castle

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
#5
Marienplatz

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
#6
Zugspitze

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
#7
Imperial Castle of Nuremberg (Kaiserburg)

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
#8
Victuals Market (Viktualienmarkt)

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
#9
Odeonsplatz

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
#10
Munich Residence (Residenz München)

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
#11
St. Peter's Church (Peterskirche)

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
#12
Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady (Frauenkirche)

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
#13
English Garden (Englischer Garten)

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
#14
King's Square (Königsplatz)

King's Square (Königsplatz)

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King's Square (Königsplatz) was initially built to serve the urban notionsof King Ludwig I, who wished to integrate culture, administration, Christianity and Bavarian military in one massive green space. The king opted for a European Neoclassic style based on the Acropolis in Athens. He even had two museums built in the same style; first was the Glyptothek, where he could house his sprawling collection of Greek and Roman sculptures, and second, the Bavarian State Collection of Antiques, which contains Greek, Etruscan and Roman artifacts. King Ludwig I also commissioned the Propylaea, an imposing and austere gate which served as a memorial to his son, the Bavarian prince Otto of Greece.Despite this architectural and urban prowess, the square is now infamous for being the place where the Nazi party held marches and mass rallies during the Holocaust. In fact, the national headquarters of the Nazi party, the Brown House, was located on Brienner Straße just off the square. It was even featured in a Nazi propaganda film, The March to the Führer. Two temples were built on Königsplatz to honor the 16 Nazis killed in the failed coup attempt by Adolf Hitler to seize power in 1923 – they were later on destroyed (except for their platforms, which are still visible today) as part of Munich’s denazification by the US Army in 1947.However, not all Nazi constructions were systematically demolished; the Führerbau, for example, where the Munich Agreement was signed in 1938, still exists to this day and houses a music school.Today, Königsplatz has returned to its pre‐war appearance and remains one of Munich’s most significant attractions. It is now regarded as the center of Munich’s museum quarter, the Kunstareal.More
#15
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

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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Berchtesgaden and Eagle's Nest Day Tour from Munich
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Romantic Road Exclusive Private Tour from Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber
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Bavarian Beer and Food Evening Tour in Munich
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Munich City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Munich City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

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Munich WWII Combo: Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site and Third Reich Walking Tour
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Recent reviews from experiences in Bavaria

star-4
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.
star-5
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.
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.
star-5
Perfect Trip
Nicholas_S, Jul 2022
Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle Small-Group Premium All-Inc Tour from Munich
I've already recommended the tour to a friend traveling to Munich in the fall.
star-4
Over commercialised
Catherine_W, Jul 2022
Neuschwanstein Castle Skip-the-line Ticket+tourguide
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
BEYOND YOUR EXPECTATIONS!!!
celinefunk, May 2022
VIP tour to the royal castles Neuschwanstein and Linderhof from Munich
This was my third time to visit the Royal Castles (from the US) and this was by far THE BEST!
star-4
Good tour, worth it for the Alps alone
Mark_D, Apr 2022
Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace Day Tour from Munich
There have been some bad reviews here about this day tour but you need to know what to expect before you go, for me just a day on the bus with a few stops for food and some good viewpoints would have been plenty the Bavarian alps are spectacular and well worth the trip, the bus was comfortable and the Girl giving the tour was lovely and helpful, the biggest thing is the time constraints to see both Linderhof Palace and Neuschwanstein Castle in one day tour is pretty much impossible as you could spend a full day at both easily so if you are in Munich for a week or two I would suggest a day tour to each or better still make your own way and take your time, but if you are on a short stay like we were this is the best you can really do
star-5
My first day in Bavaria
Andrea_R, Apr 2022
Neuschwanstein Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Munich
Following lunch, we walked the town and ascended up the stairs to see the Linderhof Castle.
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World's Best Tour Guide
Adam_F, Mar 2022
Open Group Munich City Immersion Tour
I booked this trip to get my bearings in the city and to see the major attractions; I got so much more.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
Absolutely breathtaking! You really get...
Melissa B, Sep 2013
Herrenchiemsee Palace Rail Trip from Munich
You really get to see how beautiful Bavaria is when you do this day trip!
star-5
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.
star-5
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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Beautiful Castles and Scenic Drive Through the Bavarian Alps
Emily_M, Mar 2022
Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace Day Tour from Munich
The bus ride was enjoyable, with beautiful scenery that we wouldn’t have been able to see if we had taken public transportation.
star-5
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.
star-5
The bus ride was great. You get to...
Kevin V, Dec 2014
Day Tour to Zugspitze - Germany's Highest Mountain - from Munich
You get to see the countryside of Bavaria.
star-5
Truly a beautiful picturesque trip...
Adele T, Sep 2012
Romantic Road, Rothenburg, and Harburg Day Tour from Munich
The stops had a good amount of time and was able to see everything we wanted.
star-5
Wonderful visit, guide, and tour
Jordan_S, Dec 2021
Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace Day Tour from Munich
The two castles, Linderhof and Neuschwanstein, are absolute must-see attractions in Bavaria and this is a very easy and good way to do exactly that.
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All about Bavaria

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