Known in German as Bayern, Bavaria is Germany's largest state and a world of wonders for the eyes. Culturally it is possibly the most distinctive region of the country. Bavarians are known throughout Germany for their love of tradition, as well as for their heavy regional accents.
Bavaria borders Austria and Czechia and shares the Obersee (Upper Lake Constance) with Switzerland. It's a good part of Germany to stop by if you're into border-hopping. But if you decide to stay for longer there's plenty here to keep you busy!
The Romantic Road
This route takes you through some of Germany's most picturesque and significant locations, including a couple that will be examined closer in this article.
The road stretches from Würzburg to Füssen and gives a cross-section of Bavaria's history along the way.
Getting There, Getting Around
To get the most out of Bavaria, having access to a car is definitely a plus. If you're planning to fly, it's worth having a look at the options for car rentals from Munich and Nuremberg airports.
This is one of several beautiful walled villages along the Romantic Road. A village where the pastel-colored houses almost look edible.
There are also plenty of shops and cafes, making it the perfect stopping point on your drive.
One of the Romantic Road's final destinations.
Ludwig II's castle is Bavaria's most famous feature. Don't mistake this for a ‘real castle', this building dates back to the 19th century and is a palace, not a fortification. But fans of Walt Disney‘s fantasy castles will be enthralled; this is the building that inspired all of them.
Inside the building are dazzlingly ornate rooms, and from the castle is a fantastic view of the lush green landscape surrounding it. The castle is set amongst mountains and forests making the area a dream for anyone with a camera or a sketchbook.
Those who admire the tastes of King Ludwig II should also consider visiting:
This is King Ludwig II's favorite residence. It has extensive luxury gardens and the Venus Grotto (a man-made fantasy cavern).
This is by far Ludwig's largest palace. Actually, he never saw this one completed
Its place in the 20th century has cast a dark shadow over Nuremberg. However, it's a good visit for anyone with an interest in Nazi Germany.
But Nuremberg's history goes back much further, and you can see what a place of prosperity it must have been as you walk through its glorious old town. If you're there in December, don't miss it's Christmas market and the chance to see the illuminated city from the seat of a horse-drawn- carriage.
Architecture enthusiasts will fall in love with the range of churches here, showing the full range of styles in Germany's past. Ranging from elaborate Renaissance masonry of St Michael's to the Frauenkirche in its formidable late-Gothic style.
Central to Munich is the Marienplatz. It's a square that is also the focal point of carnivals and other festivities.
Make sure you're looking towards the city hall at noon; when little automatons come to life and perform from the Rathaus Glockenspiel.