The unique region of Bavaria lies in southeast Germany and is the country’s largest land state. Bavaria was in fact an independent kingdom for 100 years and today is the most autonomous region in Germany, Bavaria’s full name is ‘Free State of Bavaria’. Many Bavarians see themselves as Bavarian before German, and their culture and traditions remain strong in the region today. Full of beautiful historic towns, inspiring nature, quirky traditions, and joyful locals, you will soon be captivated by this charming region. Here are a few of our favourite locations to visit in Bavaria.
First on our list is the enchanting city of Munich, the capital of Bavaria. Many know Munich for the famous Oktoberfest celebration, but this captivating city has much more to offer. Steeped in history, the city has undergone huge amounts of renovation to preserve its oldest buildings. This makes Munich an interesting mix of old and new, with beautifully restored buildings telling its rich history in a fairy tale like city. As well as its history and famous beer halls, Munich is full of luscious parklands and nature.
This summer Munich is one of the host cities for the Euro 2020 football tournament; the quarter finals, which will be played at Munich’s impressive Allianz Arena, with its full colour changing exterior. There is a lot of anticipation surrounding the event this year, especially thanks to the tournament’s one-year delay and it being the 60th anniversary of the games; it is fair to say thatmany fans have football fever. After a long season without attending games, German fans will be able to cheer on their team from the stands; this is sure to give their national team a much-needed boost, asempty stadiums have mainly affected home teams.
With its historically rich backdrop and impressive infrastructure, Munich makes an excellent setting for large events. As well as Allianz Arena, the city is also home to the impressive Olympic Park and Olympic Stadium, constructed for the 1972 Olympics. This unique combination of refreshing parkland and futuristic architecture is an iconic spot for large sports events and concerts.
Nuremberg is the second-largest city in Bavaria and is famous for its Christmas markets. It is a beautiful city in all seasons, but if you visit at Christmas you will be greeted at every corner with the sights and smells of Glühwein, hot chocolate, bratwurst and pretzels as well as intricate hand made crafts. You can spend a day getting lost among the markets, which stretch from the station all the way to the main market square.
An alternate time to visit is during summer for the Franconian Beer Festival, taking place in June amongst the picturesque banks of the Nuremberg castle moat. There you will find over 100 delicious beers from 40 local breweries, endless traditional foods and a good selection of live music too; a perfect way to embrace the local culture.
Beyond its festivals, Nuremberg is a historic city with captivating sights. You cannot miss walking up the hill to explore the history of Nuremberg castle and taking in the magnificent views. You can stop for lunch at the famous ‘Bratwurst Röslein’, the largest sausage restaurant in the world, with its idyllic beer garden hosting 250 seats. Lastly, explore the winding streets, such as Weissgerbergasse, known as the most picturesque street in Europe.
Sitting on the river Danube, Regensburg is a small, enchanting city with a captivating old town and an idyllic waterfront. This town is small enough for you to meander freely and discover the sights as you go. In the old town, you will find plenty of traditional restaurants and quirky bars at every corner. Bismarckplatz is perfect during summer, to enjoy a drink in front of the sparkling fountain and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. Another unmissable spot is the Old Stone Bridge, the emblem of Regensburg. This 12th-century bridge is a masterpiece of medieval construction, crossing the Danube and linking the Old Town to Stadtamhof. There are spectacular views from the bridge as you look back towards the Old Town towards the Cathedral and the multicoloured houses on the waterfront. You should visit The Historic Wurst Kitchen, claimed to be the oldest sausage kitchen in the world! This sits just beneath the bridge so you can enjoy riverside views and delicious, traditional food.
During May and September, you will find the city full of people in traditional Bavarian dress; lederhosen and dirndl, ready for the magnificent Dult beer festival. Across the stone bridge to Stadtamhof you will find the festival in full swing. We highly recommend this as an authentic alternative to Oktoberfest, where you can experience a true taste of the vibrant Bavarian culture. Prepare to be amazed!