Best places to go in Bavaria
Most people only dream of taking a once in a life-time trip abroad. I have been so fortunate to be LIVING abroad for over four years now. While there are abundant options for things to do and see, sometimes I like to stick close to “home.” Maybe I want to just get out of the house and explore or show family and friends visiting what a beautiful country and area I live in.
For anyone who has traveled to Germany, they know that Bavaria is where all the stereotypes come true! It is not uncommon to see a couple wearing a Liederhosen and Dirndle on their way to a fest, to see someone drinking a beer by 9am and pretzels and brats are staples of the cuisine. Many people that come to Germany will check out at least Munich, but there are so many other amazing things to see in the in addition to the beer halls of Munich, including some wonderful day trips in Bavaria.
I have many readers who are affiliated with the military. Whether you are stationed at one of the few posts scattered in Bavaria or are just wanting to see more of the region, here are some of our favorite and best places to go in Bavaria.
20 Day Trips In Bavaria
This is one of the most picturesque towns you may ever see.
There is plenty to do in the city itself or, you can really make a day (or several!) out of it and tack on. Check out A Delightful Day Down the Danube for extensive info on the following amazing Bavarian points of interest.
- Donau River Cruise: From Regenburg at the stone bridge, take a relaxing river cruise down the Donau. There are various options from an hour to dinner cruises
- Weltenburg Abbey and Kloster: Take a ferry ride down the river or just drive to the oldest brewery in Bavaria. This beautiful kloster, church, brewery and restaraunt is nestled into the cliffs and riverbed and is the perfect day trip
- Kelheim: If going to Weltenburg, stop at Kelheim as well and check out the Befreiungshalle Monument (to commemeorate the victories over Napoleon) before hopping on the boat
- Walhalla: Also possible to combine in a day with Weltenburg and Kelheim is this “hall of fame” if you will of famous German influencers. There are beautiful views out over the river as well
Not far from Regensburg is the often over-looked village of Berching, but it offers so much! With an intact defensive wall, 15 century towers and brightly colored houses and buildings, you’ll think you are in a fairy tale town. There is a great indoor swimming pool, perfect for families and plenty of delicious restaurants to grab a Bavarian meal at.
Another world UNESCO Heritage site perfect for the beer lovers of the world is beautiful Bamberg. In fact, Bamberg has the most breweries per capita (clocking in at over 300!) You can get the specialty brew made locally in the town; Smoked Beer or Rauchbier (think bacon meets beer…not for the faint of heart!).
Even if you are not into beer, Bamberg is worth a visit for it’s beautiful architecture and quaint painted houses along the riverside. You can easily spend a day wandering around, enjoying the churches, river views and more.
Dating all the way back to the 9th, century, Nuremberg is an absolute must for history buffs. Take in great views from the Nuremberg castle or just walk the cobbled-stoned streets stopping at the many churches and town squares. There are also the Nazi Rally grounds and Documentation Museum, a very well-done center explaining how Hitler was able to raise up to power as well as the effects of the war and Holocaust. Grab the Rick Steves Nurnberg self guided walk (free in his book) to learn more about the rich history of this beautiful town.
If you are there over the winter months, absolutely do not miss the largest Christmas Market in Bavaria and try the original gingerbread (Lebkuchen)!
Another historically rich activity to do while in Germany is to visit the concentration camps. Dachau is the first “official” concentration camp in Germany but Flossenberg is just as worthwhile to remember the atrocities of the Holocaust. Both are easy to get to an an extremely important and memorable thing to do while in Germany.
The area around Pottenstein is actually dubbed the “Franconian Switzerland” due to it’s beautiful geographical features. This is the perfect setting for all there is to do in Pottenstein, including caves, a sommerrodelbahn (think mini roller coaster), great restaurants, rock climbing and more! This is both a great place for people looking to get outdoors as well as families to explore.
Waldwipfelweg (Upside Down House and Nature Park)
This nature park is a children’s (and children at heart) delight! Explore the upside down house that will have everyone giggling and everyone on Facebook totally bewildered! Take a walk up in the trees or stroll along the forest floor in the nature section and enjoy the great cafe.
Only a few hours drive from several of the Army posts in Bavaria is this gem of a lake! There are water sports, beaches, snack shops and restaurants; all perfect for a day out on the water.
Velburg Caves and High Ropes Course
For another day out in nature, head to Velburg, a small Bavarian town not far from the US Army Garrison, Hohenfels. Spend the day exploring deep in the caves and high up in the trees. (Note: Both activities are only open in the summer months) To find more info click here
A beautiful Baroque styled city. Tour the Residence, meander in the gardens, stop at the churches, see the castles, take a wine cruise and more!
Rothenburg a.b. Tauber
A little further from Bavaria, Rothenburg is still close enough to get to for even just a (rushed) day trip. Despite the mass amounts of tourists that come to Rothenburg, you can still enjoy the medieval city for a day (but stay longer to really enjoy it!)
The Hundertwasser Tower is a famous work of art that actually houses a wonderful centuries old brewery. Take a brewery tour and get a beer sampling from the freshly made beer.
Head to this indoor water park and spa for the perfect day of fun for the family or relaxation for you! Not far from Munich and in the heart of Bavaria makes this a great day trip,
There is so much to do in the city of Munich that one day probably isn’t enough, but if you are looking for things to do, you can easily fill up a full day (and return for more in the future!). There are, of course, the touristy stops like the Marienplatz, HofbrauHaus and Oktoberfest (in September). However, there are plenty of other things to spend your time doing like enjoying the Augistiener Bier Garten, visiting the Nymphenburg Palace or spending the day at the Deutches Museum or BMW museum.
Many people will combine the “Disney Princess Castle” with other places on the Romantic Road, like Rothenburg and Munich for a weekend trip, but it can still be done in a long day. Here is my post on Everything you need to know for Neuschwanstein!
While most of the above mentioned locations are great for families, couples and solo travelers alike, there are some great family-oriented destinations to be found as well on day trips in Bavaria.
Playmobil: Great for all seasons and not far from Nurnberg, this theme park is perfect for fostering that imagination in your kids http://www.playmobil-funpark.de/en
Legoland: For all things Legos and fun head to this theme park between Munich and Stuttgart http://www.legoland.de/en/
Palm Beach: Summer or winter, feel like you are at an island paradise at this water park in Nurnberg http://www.palm-beach.de/
Europa Park: This popular theme and amusement park is great for families and is another great place to consider year around, but might be a better weekend option depending on where in Bavaria you are starting from due to distance. They even have this amazing looking campground if you really want to go all out!
Whether you are looking for the best towns in Bavaria, a good Bier Garten, outdoor adventures or a delicious schnitzel, there are so many things to do in beautiful Bavaria! What are your local favorites?
Day Trips In and Near Bavaria by Train
DeutscheBahn Trains and the Bavaria Pass
One of the easiest ways to travel in Germany is via the DeutscheBahn trains. The Bayern Pass is the perfect ticket to get you to many of the destinations on this list.
(At time of writing):
Cost of Ticket: 23 Euro for one individual + up to 4 additional travelers at 5 Euro each.
Times: 9am-3am of following morning
Transport Types: Good for all trains, S-Bahns, U-Bahns and Buses
Location: All of Bavaria and even extending into Salzburg as well as
Bavaria is So beautiful! Tell us in the comments where have you been in Bavaria that others should know about?
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