In my humble opinion, Bavaria is one of the most underrated tourist destinations, which is just madness considering how much it has to offer. Tourism tends to be more skewed toward the Swiss or Austrian Alps, but Bavaria has exactly what these destinations offer and more, for a fraction of the price.
After nabbing some cheap flights to Munich, back in May, David and I did a road-trip around Germany and Austria. While Austria was stunning, Bavaria really captured my heart, and we only really scratched the surface – there is so much to see!
Oh Bavaria. You beauty you. Here is why you need to add Bavaria to your travel bucket list.
Fairy Tale Castles & Palaces
Scattered all across Bavaria are castles that look like they belong in a storybook. I visited both Neuschwanstein (aka the sleeping beauty castle) and also Linderhof Palace, two out of the three palaces that were built by King Ludvig II in the 19th century (the third being Schloss Herrenchiemsee on Chiemsee Lake).
King Ludvig II had a romantic vision of what it meant to be king, in a time where politics and secularism were starting to take over. His desire to be seen as a powerful ruler can be illustrated by the castles themselves; Linderhof is dripping in gold and Neuschwanstein is one of the most breathtaking and impressive landmarks that has ever been built.
There are plenty of castles in Bavaria to sink your teeth into but if visiting for the first time, Neuschwanstein is a must!
If buildings are your thing, Bavaria is full of seriously impressive gothic style architecture. Below, is the stunning Ettal Abbey, magnificent from the outside but even more beautiful when you step inside and look up. The Abbey is slightly hidden but well worth seeking out.
Munich also has lots of impressive structures including the New Town Hall in Marienplatz and St Peters Church, which you can climb to the top and oversee the whole of Munich. It’s fair old hike up (about 300 steps!), but the views are worth it.
When people think of Alpine lakes, Austria and Switzerland spring to mind but Bavaria has them in abundance. One misty morning, we visited Lake Walchensee and took the cable car all the way to the top to see the lake in all its beauty. As we arrived early, we were the only people on the mountain, which we found incredible considering how absolutely stunning the views were.
We also accidentally stumbled upon Lake Chiemsee on the way to Austria, and drove past the River Lech on the way to Neuschwanstein, a beautiful river surrounded by mountains. With so many hidden spots, I think Bavarian lakes are their best-kept secret!
Food (and Beer!)
Food is a number one priority for me when it comes to any holiday, but visiting Germany (aka the home of the Bratwurst) as a vegetarian, left me feeling sceptical. Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed, enjoying plenty of spaetzle (potato dumplings), soups and savoury crepes. Of course, if you eat meat, my boyfriend tells me you won’t be disappointed as he enjoyed lots of Bratwurst and Schnitzel (washed down with plenty of beer, a must when in Bavaria!).
If you have more of a sweet tooth, you are spoilt for choice. Lavish cakes filled every bakery we visited, and I managed to consume plenty of Apple Strudel, Black Forest Gateaux and cream filled Almond Cake. Oh and don’t forget to try plenty of pretzels!
Picture Perfect Towns
Finally, one of the reasons Bavaria captured my heart is the picture perfect towns. We visited Ettal, Obermmagu and Memmingen, all had their own character and charm.
Buildings are covered in fairy-tale stories, houses are lined with wooden shutters and flower boxes or are painted in the most colourful fashion. It really is chocolate box perfection, and one of the reasons why Bavaria is so special.
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